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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I was super active a few years ago - both on this site and physically. The SP community was a great motivator for me to get into running, lose weight, and just feel more healthy. I fell away from that as my kids got older and both started being involved in many activities. It was difficult to make time for myself. I couldn't find the time to run anymore and my eating just got totally out of control. I knew that I was overweight. I realized that I had to shop in the lower end of the plus size departments of stores more often than not but whenever I tried to get back on track, I would fail after usually only a day or so.

In late May, I went on my older son's school field trip and sat with one of his friend's moms. She mentioned not being able to eat much of the provided lunch (Medieval Times) because she was doing a low carb diet. Nothing occurred to me at the time but I think that it sat there in the back of my mind. I was crazy busy with both boys playing baseball and I barely could think about anything aside from the daily routine of getting everyone out the door, working as much as I could, leaving early for a game or practice almost every night, making sure that everyone's uniforms were clean and so on.

Than, I was tagged in a picture of myself on Facebook back in June that flabbergasted me so much that I immediately removed the tag. I looked WORSE than when I was pregnant. I could NOT believe how huge that I looked. It was unreal. I felt bad about that for a couple of weeks until I remembered my son's friend's mom. I also remembered how successful I had been at following an Atkins program back in 2003. I had lost a lot of weight and gotten almost into a size 8 but gained a lot back with my next pregnancy once I stopped avoiding carbs.

In May and June, I also experienced a string of minor health problems that served to be a major wake up call. I had a UTI that the first round of medication did not resolve, so I had to go to our local urgent care center a couple of times. On both occasions, I had pretty high blood pressure to the point where they told me that I should see my primary care physician. That really scared me. I'm only 44. I did not want to be saddled with blood pressure meds the rest of my life. My tendonitis in my shoulder was really bothering me as well but I did not want to see my PCP because she had been nagging me to get my fasting blood screening done. I just could not (or would not) find the time to go there and do it. I think that I might have been afraid of the results. Considering that I had gestational diabetes with my second pregnancy, I'm pretty sure that I had borderline metabolic syndrome issues.

So, in late June, it occurred to me to consider cutting out sugar and carbs . I decided to use Atkins as my template to get started. I got prepared by purchasing the foods that I would need and getting some recipes and meal plans set up before I started. I also gave up diet soda about a week before I started by slowly weaning myself off it. My official start day was June 30. The first few days were pretty rough. I felt awful but once ketosis kicked in, I was a new person.

Along the way, I have tried to stay engaged with this WOE. I have read a lot, including Good Calories, BAd Calories, which was incredibly eye opening when I learned that our standard American diet is based on shady "science" at best. I tried to attempt a new low carb recipe each week. I tried to always be prepared - so much so that it became like a part time job. I plugged along with a minor hiccup when we were at the beach in August and I am 1 pound away from the halfway mark to my goal. Wow!

Aside from the preparation involved, I must say that it has actually been easy. I've done tons of diets and weight loss plans in the past, even wasted significant amounts of money on them. Some have not worked at all while some have only worked for a short period of time. No matter how committed that I thought I was, I would always fall short. I attributed it a lack of will power on my part. On every single one of those low fat, low calorie diets, I felt hungry ALL THE TIME. I was constantly thinking about when I could have my next meal or snack. It was entirely consuming and exhausting. So, I understand now why I had such difficulty sticking with it.

Now that I have cut out sugar, grains, and starches, believe it or not, I sometimes forget to eat (something unheard of prior to this) or if I'm running out the door to a sporting event or other activity, I can stay satiated for hours on a piece of cheese or handful of nuts. I never get those "hangry" feelings anymore when I'm getting close to my next mealtime. I cannot begin to explain how liberating this feels to me.

I know that there are many people out there with undamaged metabolisms that can skip a meal and not feel like they're going to pass out or commit a felony if they don't get some food but I'm not one of them. I've realized through all of the research and reading that I've done that I cannot consume sugars and carbs like other people can without adverse side effects. So, I know that I am going to have to eat this way (except maybe to a lesser extent) the rest of my life. Honestly, if it that's what it takes to feel this way, I have no regrets.

I have baked cookies, cakes, and other goodies for my family and have not even been tempted to take a taste from my finger. It is absolutely unreal sometimes. My will power was there all along. It was just all that extra insulin floating around in my bloodstream triggered by too much sugar consumption making me slip up.

The last time that I had my blood pressure taken in September, it was back to normal. I am now looking forward to getting that blood work done for my doctor if I can find time. My tendonitis is still there but is improved - I think because my arms hand straighter down the sides of my body when I'm standing up. I don't have as much fat at my sides forcing my arms out.

I have loved being able to fit into some of my old clothes and buy some new ones in a lower size. I am so close to dropping yet another size - probably in about 5 more pounds. I love being able to wear cute clothes and not feel like a whale in them.

So, as I approach my official halfway mark, I thought that I'd make a reflective post here. I know that not everyone agrees with the LC/HF lifestyle especially here at SP but more and more evidence is coming out to support it. I have to say that never in my 44 years have I been able to stick to an eating program for this long. This is also probably the most weight that I've ever lost in my life and I have not done a lick of exercise. I just wish that it hadn't taken me so long to figure it out.

I had set a mini goal for myself to get down to a weight of 180 lbs. by Christmas. I'm very close at 182 and am hoping that I'll get there, but if I don't I will try to get there by 2015. The preparation and work that I have to do to keep up with this is becoming almost habit, so hopefully I can just keep on trucking. I would really like to meet my goal by the 1 year mark and I'm thinking that I'll need to add exercise to the mix to make that happen. Now that I've figured out the eating part of things, I am starting to feel ready to consider adding another layer to this fitness journey.

If you ever want to chat about this lifestyle or learn more, please feel free to comment here or on my spark page. If you don't agree with what I'm doing, please keep it to yourself. Everyone is on their own journey. I won't come and disrespect your journey if you don't come and disrespect me or mine.
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  • RUNSWITHDEER
    I try to stay away from sugar and breads, although I love some chocolate ice cream every so often. I think you are on the right track and adding exercise will help balance your life. Keep up the good work and I know you will make your goal!
    2223 days ago
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