Changes

     I have only been eating low-carb for a little over a week now, but I have already noticed some changes happening.  The first change I noticed started only a few days into this new WOE and has stayed with me since.  It is an increase in energy.  I have been waking up completely refreshed anywhere from a half hour to two hours before my alarm goes off in the mornings.  This is a welcome change as I used to wake up when my alarm sounded and feel as if I could sleep for another 4-5 hours.  Within a couple hours of waking up, I used to have to fight the urge to take a nap, but that isn’t happening any more either.  I finally feel awake during the day and am sleeping well at night.  

     Another change I have noticed is my skin is clearing up.  I developed acne at age 9 and it is something I am still struggling with at 25, but the last few days my face is seeming to clear up.  Since I haven’t changed my skin care routine lately, I believe this is directly related to my diet changes.  

     The last change I have noticed is the amount of headaches I get has decreased.  I have always had headaches rather frequently, at least one every other day, but often times more like one a day.  If I had an abundance of carbs and sugar, I would end up with a headache.  I got checked for diabetes but when that came back negative we did not know why my headaches came from eating carbs.  Now that I am eating low-carb, I have only dealt with 2 headaches.  While I do hope that my headaches go away completely, 2 is much better than the normal 4 or 5 I would have in a week.  

     I think these changes are all a good sign that I have chosen a new WOE that is working for my body instead of against it.  I am happy with the choice I made to go low-carb and am looking forward to see what changes come next.  

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Self-Love

     I recently received a comment on one of my posts referring to my self-love. When I read it I thought to myself, “What self-love? I obviously don’t have self-love since I am trying to change myself through this weight-loss journey I have decided to embark on.” However, I just couldn’t get this idea of self-love out of my head, so I took the time to look up the definition for self-love. According to “The Free Dictionary,” self-love is the “instinct or desire to promote one’s own well-being; regard for or love of one’s self.” 

     The part of that definition that really got me thinking was “instinct or desire to promote one’s own well-being.” Being over-weight, especially in the obese category, is not healthy, and by taking steps to change my physical condition, I am promoting my own well-being. In addition, I am only trying to make a change that affects my health and appearance, it does not affect who I am at my core. Then does that mean I have self-love?
     Well, I know there are things about myself that I love, such as my cooking skills or the fact that I will stop and buy the homeless man who is standing in the cold a warm meal because I hate the idea of anyone suffering. There are also ways I demonstrate love for myself that are not related to losing weight, such as taking care of my personal needs. I have three kids five and under and being a stay at home mom means I am with them 24/7, so if I need a couple hours or even a day to myself to reconnect with myself or my husband then I will send them to their grandma’s house and not feel guilty about it. She loves them, they love her, and I get some time alone or time with the husband.
     I am not saying there are not things I do not like about myself. I have those things too, such as my quick temper, my disorganization, and my weight, but these things do not out-weigh the good things I feel and do for myself. Knowing what I do not like about myself is a good thing as it gives me an area of myself that I can work on and make better. I am not ashamed to have things about myself that I do not like because that makes me human and I accept that nobody is perfect so I won’t ever be either.
All in all, I now know that I do have self-love and so does anyone who is doing something to take care of or better themselves. I will continue along my new journey knowing that I am making these changes not because I do not like myself, but because I do love myself.

Week 1 Weigh-In

     I made it through my first week!  This morning I stepped on the scale and found out I had lost 4 lbs.  Since I was starting the week of Christmas, I only expected to lose 3-5 lbs. so I am happy with my results.  I am sure I could have had a higher number if I had stayed on my low-carb plan during my Christmas festivities, but in the past I always gave up when I felt deprived, so I chose to handle the holiday by not eating low-carb and instead I just practiced portion control.  I think this worked well for me because I got to enjoy what everyone else was eating and did not feel that I was missing out.  

     Today starts week 2 for me and I am looking forward to continuing this low-carb lifestyle.  I usually give up within a couple days of starting a new WOE, so it is pretty exciting that I am starting week 2.   Even my husband noticed I haven’t given up and he promised me a $1,000 shopping trip for new clothes when I reach my end goal.  I am losing weight for myself and would continue without an end prize, but that shopping trip does make things a little more enticing.  

     This week I am going to continue to focus on eating low-carb and drinking plenty of water, but I am also going to start working out.  Last week I only worked out once, which is more than I normally do but I want to up that number to at least four times.  I think four times a week is good for now and is attainable, so I will be working on that this week.  However, I am new to working out and at the moment I do not have a gym membership.  We are moving in a week so I do not have the time or money to go buy home work out equipment or DVDs, so if any of you have some good tips for working at home without any equipment please let me know in the comments.  Any tips would be helpful!

Zumba and Temptations

I tried Zumba for the first time today and I am worn out.  For those who may not know, Zumba is a dance-fitness program that mixes upbeat music and choreographed dance moves to create a full body workout.  For more information, check out their website here.  I had heard a lot about Zumba, but was hesitant to try it because I am not in any way blessed with rhythm and I did not want to make a fool of myself in a Zumba class.  However, I wanted to find a good workout I could do at home so I decided to search for a Zumba video online.  I found one for beginners and began the workout… I only made it through 20 minutes.  During the first half, I did not even feel like I was working out, but that last ten minutes was hard!  I quit before the video was over but since I haven’t worked out in months, I think 20 minutes is better than nothing.  I think I will continue working at it until I can do a full hour of Zumba and then maybe I will up for going to a class.  

Yesterday was not the easiest of day for me.  I stayed on plan with my food for the most part so that was ok, but I had many temptations and cravings.  At breakfast, my kids wanted French toast so I made them some.  Of course, that made me want French toast but I fought the cravings and ate eggs instead.  Then I realized I am sick of eggs already since I have had them every day for a week now.  Luckily, in my collection of old cookbooks I have one that is entirely devoted to eggs and all the ways of preparing them.  Looking through that helped me realize that I just need to change how I am fixing eggs and try something new.

After breakfast, I started baking.  I am always the person who brings the baked goods to family functions and with Christmas fast approaching I needed to bake 12 dozen cookies.  Let me say that baking cookies that you cannot eat is not fun.  I won’t lie, I did end up eating a chocolate-filled peanut butter cookie.  One cookie out of 12 dozen felt like an accomplishment to me since I normally eat way more than one.

The other craving I faced was for sweet tea.  I come from a family who loves their sweet tea, the sweeter the better.  A gallon of tea around here usually has between a cup and a half to two cups of sugar, so there is no way I am drinking that anymore.  I knew that tea with Splenda would not do the trick so I just did the best I could at ignoring the craving, added some lemon to my water for a change in taste, and eventually I quit thinking about tea.

Today, I am doing well.  I think the extreme hunger that I was dealing with is subsiding, as I did not wake up ready to eat everything in sight.  Actually, I was not hungry at all this morning and am just now getting hungry after having been up for four and a half hours.  Even though I was not hungry this morning, I did make myself eat a handful almonds and frozen blueberries since I was going to work out.  Hopefully this lack of hunger is going to stick around and doesn’t end up being a one-time deal.

Eating Low-Carb Fast Food

Yesterday was was a pretty easy day, I had green eggs and tomatoes for breakfast and turkey with a side of cauliflower for lunch.  I snacked on some cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and almonds when I was hungry throughout the day.  I did not have any issues until dinner time.

Because we had things to do once my husband got off work yesterday, we were out during dinner time.  At first we tried to wait until we got back home to eat, but when the kids started whining about their bellies growling we decided to stop for fast food.  My husband pulled into Taco Bell’s drive through and I told him what I wanted.  Then I remembered that I was trying to stay low-carb, so after I stared at the menu for about 5 minutes I still did not know what they offered that I felt comfortable eating.  I told my husband I couldn’t eat there and he should just order himself and the kids something and I could wait until we got home.  Instead, he asked where I could eat.  I remembered reading this post on Your Lighter Side, so I knew I could eat a Baconator from Wendy’s.  I ended up with a Baconator made without a bun or ketchup, which according to Wendy’s nutritional information on their website, has only 3 carbs.  I am not much of a fan of burgers unless they are homemade and I don’t like bacon all that much, so it wasn’t the best dinner in my opinion, but it was the only thing I knew I could eat, so I ate it.

I am glad that I found something to eat while we were out, but for someone who is still learning what is ok to eat while living low-carb and what is not ok, this was a bit of a hassle and quite nerve wracking.  I think that until I am more comfortable with my new WOE I will be eating at home rather than attempting to go out to eat.

Hunger and Cinnamon Almonds

Day two is almost over so I feel that it is ok to go ahead and say it has been a success.  One thing I noticed, this morning I woke up an hour and half before I normally do because of hunger.  I was so hungry that it woke me up!  This is not normal for me, I do not usually even eat within the first couple hours of waking up because I’m just not hungry.

So while munching on my cheesy, scrambled eggs and tomato, I did a little research and found that during the first two weeks of starting a low-carb lifestyle this is normal due to the body going into ketosis.  Ketosis is when the body switches from using carbohydrates as its main fuel to using fat as the main fuel.  While this happens during the first two weeks of starting low-carb eating, a person may feel extremely hungry, but once ketosis is attained he or she tends to get hungry less often.  So I guess my hunger is a good sign.

My children ate cinnamon-covered cereal for breakfast today and I wanted so badly to make myself a bowl, too, because it smelled so cinnamon-y and good.  I did not eat any of their cereal, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day so for my evening snack I sprinkled cinnamon and a packet of Splenda on some slivered almonds.  This did the trick!  If I had any almond milk I would have added some and ate it all like a bowl of cereal, sadly I was all out.  I think this will be my go to cereal substitution for now though.

I have not ate supper yet as I am waiting for my husband to be off work so we can eat together, but I do know what I am making.  While browsing recipes on Pinterest, I found a recipe for hamburger stroganoff from Easy Low Carb Cooking.  My husband has been asking for me to make something with ground beef in it for dinner, so I will be making this tonight and as suggested by the author, I will use french cut green beans instead of noodles for the dish.  I will be serving this with a side of roasted califlower and I think it all sounds delish.

The last thing worth mentioning for the day is my water intake.  Yesterday, I noticed that I had not been drinking enough water and I decided that today I would pay more attention and make sure I was drinking plenty.  So today, I carried a 1 liter bottle everywhere with me and this definatly helped.  So far I have refilled it 5 times and I still have a few hours before bed.  I would call that a success!

Day One…Completed

My first day of eating low-carb is coming to a close and I survived!  I have read that it does not get really hard until about day three when all the carb cravings seem to hit all at once, so I was expecting today to go pretty smoothly, and it did.

One of the first things I did this morning was weigh myself.  I had not stepped on my scale for about six weeks because I just didn’t want to see that I had gained any more weight.  However, this morning I knew I had to suck it up and step on.  After figuring out my weight and comparing it to the healthy weight range chart I was using, I realized I needed to lose 102 lbs to reach my goal weight.  This number is a bit scary!  I know that it is an attainable goal in the long run, but at the moment it seems like an unreachable number.  Because of this, and to help keep myself motivated, I am going to set smaller goals that work toward my larger goal.  My first goal is to lose 15 lbs.  This goal feels much more manageable.

I believe I ate pretty well today.  For breakfast, I had scrambled eggs with spinach, or green eggs as we like to call them, and two pieces of bacon.  I am not much of a bacon eater, I like a slice or two every now and then but mostly I prefer ham or sausage as my breakfast meats.  With breakfast I did try to drink my coffee without sugar, but that just did not happen.  However, instead of the four tablespoons of sugar and sugary, flavored creamer that I normally add to my coffee, I found that I could stand drinking it with a splash of half & half and a measly one teaspoon of sugar.  I am allowing myself this “treat” for the first week and then I plan to try either decreasing the sugar or not using it at all.

Lunch was a pretty low-key meal as I just ate some turkey and cheese rolled together and some tomato slices.  Apparently, this was not enough food as I was hungry an hour later.  After a few slices of summer sausage I was good until dinner.

For dinner, I sautéed some garlic, onion, and broccoli in a tablespoon of butter and then added shredded chicken, ranch seasoning, and french-style green beans.  I served this on two cups of spinach and romaine lettuce and let me just say that for a combination that seems a little crazy, it was really good!

I drank water with my dinner, as I did with lunch, but overall today I did not drink much water.  This is not normal for me as I usually drink about a gallon a day.  Tomorrow I plan to pay attention to how much water I am drinking and make sure I am drinking enough.

With day one complete, I have strong hopes that tomorrow will be just as easy.