Keto Craziness

Since getting married I’ve gained about 20 pounds. I made it through college without succumbing to the freshman 15 and I’ve been blessed with a pretty quick metabolism most of my life, but I hit 40 and everything went downhill. (It probably didn’t help that in the year and a half leading up to and after the big day I’ve moved 5 times, lost two grandparents, gained a teenager, changed jobs 8 times and dealt with long periods of unemployment, all of which helped trigger bouts with depression and anxiety among other things.)
I’ve chalked it up to all of those things and have whined about the pants that no longer fit (as my ever-patient husband assures me that of course I’m not fat.) But when the fat pants I bought to tide me over became too tight and some of my shirts started to become uncomfortable thanks to my batwing arms I knew I was going to have to do something. The last straw came when I could no longer get my wedding ring on (or back off!)
I have a love/hate relationship with the concept of dieting. I’ve watched my mom struggle with her weight due to health problems since I was a teenager. I know extremes can get the weight off but are rarely sustainable. I’m a true believer in balance. But when things are out of balance we might need to take some relatively drastic steps to get back in balance. And especially having the quick results to keep you going can be important. With that in mind I decided to try a ketogenic diet because I know that I’m definitely out of whack leaning to the side of too many carbs. And I figured a diet that let me eat cheese and bacon could be sustainable for a few months to get the bulk of the weight off since I likely wouldn’t feel too deprived or hungry.
It’s super popular right now and there’s a ton of information out there about what foods are ok and not (with a bit of discrepancies of course.) Because of the popularity I’m still waiting on books from the library and have gotten everything from online searches thus far. They say you don’t have to track calories, just the net carbs but I’ve been using my calorie tracker just to stay in the habit and I’m not super vigilant about counting the actual carbs each day but I use the carb counters and specified recipes in my meal planning and have stuck pretty close to the recommended <20 net carbs/day.
I’d like to say I’ve been perfect at following it. But that’s just not true.The first week I cheated a bit (I just couldn’t pass up the homemade brownies and cookies at book club but I only had one bite of each instead of loading my plate so I still consider that a success) but still ended up 5 pounds lighter. This week I overdid it one day on fruit which hadn’t been on the menu at all but I needed mentally to keep from bingeing on the chocolate I was craving. So far the loss isn’t as spectacular (only 2 pounds) but still happening.  Next week I’m upping the game and adding some exercise to the mix so we’ll see how that changes things and then after that’s not so tough I’m planning to work in some intermittent fasting.
The hubs and I are planning a trip to Chicago early in May so the goal is to have all the weight off by then so I can buy a new swimsuit, not have to buy all new clothes (but fit back into all the clothes I’ve stashed away), and be able to indulge in a little deep dish pizza without feeling super guilty!
But I’m curious if any of you have done this…any recipe suggestions? I’m not a super fan of meat. I tend to like it as an accent to the meal rather than the showpiece (though I do occasionally enjoy BBQ or a steak like once a month!) I do love the cheesy, creamy things but I know those aren’t really the best choices. And eggs are tough for me to swallow sometimes, literally. We’ve done a few varieties of smothered and stuffed chicken, a beef and broccoli with cauliflower rice, taco salad, Thai chicken lettuce wraps, and a lasagna using zucchini instead of noodles. I would love to hear what you’ve done and any favorites you’ve found along the way! Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! 🙂

New Year, New Adventures


Snow Shadows

I love New Year’s. I love the idea of a fresh start, a time to re-evaluate and re-focus on where you want your life to head. I’ve always been a goal maker and list maker for as long as I can remember and the fact that my birthday rolls around near the beginning of New Year’s has always given me a greater sense of starting fresh and feeling rejuvenated than just making traditional resolutions.

I’ve got a bunch of things I’d like to work on this year including finishing a book I’ve been working on for ages (and ages!), getting my finances in order (marriage does funny things to your money :/ ), and getting back to a healthy place physically. The last few years have been rough on me physically and emotionally. I’ve moved 5 times, been unemployed more often than not, gotten married, turned 40, dealt with a bout of serious depression, lost several close loved ones and gone through a host of smaller but still trying issues. And all of that has wreaked havoc on my health. I’ve never had to worry about my weight before and it’s not taken me much to bounce back after an illness or something but that just isn’t the case anymore and it’s kind of killing me. I’ve been looking at several eating plans to get me back on track and have set several goals to push me physically. And what better way to hold myself accountable than to publish them here for all to read!

As far as the eating goes, I’m watching portions/counting calories (I’m not obsessing over it, mostly trying to become more aware instead of continuing to eat like a teenage boy), cutting carbs (no sugar, 1 serving/day of grains or starchy veggies–breads, rice, pasta, corn, potatoes), upping all the other veggies and protein. I hate the idea of ‘dieting’, I’d rather focus on eating healthy and balanced but right now I’ve got about 20 pounds to lose before I can work on maintaining. And since I’ve never really had to work on losing before I’m not sure how well that will go. So, any tips, tricks, recipes, suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

The exercise goals are a little easier to track. I’m working on a 30 day yoga challenge (Yoga with Adrienne is my favorite!), I want to run four 5Ks this year (one each quarter), and I plan on hiking once a week. Another one of the issues I’ve dealt with is the depression and I’ve realized that not being in nature or the mountains has added to that depression. So this one is a two-fer, it should help me get back into shape but also help stave off the depression. What’s your favorite way to get motivated to move more?

You’ll probably hear more about this year’s goals as it goes on. I’d love to hear about yours!  Share them in the comments. Happy New Year!