Saturday, October 31, 2015

So... Halloween...

As you guys know, I am very honest on this blog. I don't lie. I don't cover up gains. I admit my mistakes and my bad choices so here goes...

Halloween candy... please DON'T say "I told you so"... I already know!

After all my research and blogging and everything, I still decided that today would be a cheat day. I allowed myself a Big Mac (been craving one forever but NO fries), one of those small McDonald's soft serve ice creams and a few pieces of Halloween candy. With the McDonald's I specifically went with something that was a single serving each because then I couldn't binge on it. The candy, on the other hand, is bingeable, but I don't even want to see it right now.

Within 10-15 minutes I thought I was going to pass out. I can't remember the last time I felt that horribly sick. I became dizzy and lightheaded, my arms, legs and head felt like they weighed 50 pounds each. I thought I was going to throw up and pass out and I had to lay down before that happened. My heart rate was up like crazy, my head was starting to hurt and I realized that I had made a very, very big mistake.

I'm assuming all that was from the massive rush of carbs and sugar into a body that hasn't seen more than 20 grams of sugar and under 50 grams of carbs in at least nine days. I actually ended up falling asleep for a few hours and now I'm up again. I don't feel as sick as before but definitely not good either. There's also a large bowl of candy on top of the microwave and I don't want to even look at it at this point in time.

So have I learned my lesson? Maybe. I supposed if I really, really, really wanted a piece of candy I could have planned ahead and gotten something small and wonderful but I went a little crazy with it. Okay, a lot crazy with it.

Do I plan to do it again? NO!

I only have one time coming up when a really great dessert will be up for grabs and that's next weekend when we go to Sarah's for the weekend for Gabriel's birthday. Her grocery store has this amazing bakery and we always get one small, individual dessert each when we're there. I want part of that dessert but I don't want to get a lot and I don't want to get sick. Can I have a small part of it or will my body react this badly to any shot of sugar above what I'm used too?

I'm not sure right now and I do plan to do some serious research on it before next weekend. I also realize today knocked me out of ketosis and it will take me several days to get back there so I'm ready for the scale on Thursday. I made this decision knowing all this (except for the getting sick part) and I'm prepared for the consequences.

But I have no desire to do this again. Lesson learned.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Week Four Low Carb - Thursday Check-In (Month One)

Week Four Weigh-In:
10/22/2015:         -1.2 pound
Total lost:             13.6 pounds
Current Weight:   216.4 pounds

Yes! Down another 1.2 pounds! I only have 1.4 more pounds to lose to hit a 15 pound loss and I'm really hoping for (and working toward) that for next week!

This may be slow progress for low carb but considering my lack of progress before low carb I'm very happy with it!

I've noticed a few other things as well that I may have mentioned before, the most important being that I have way, way less headaches which is just huge for me! My stomach is also settling down nicely (I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and it's been  much more under control eating this way. I have more energy, I don't want to sleep all the time and I'm thinking about food a lot less. I'm sure there are other changes that I may not have noticed yet but in general I feel healthier.

The problem is that I've gotten really bored with meat, cheese and tuna but, once again, friends on Facebook came to the rescue and I have  a lot of ideas and plans for new recipes and foods now, especially seafood. I also have a Twice Baked Cauliflower recipe that I've been dying to try to I finally picked up the ingredients and will be making it this weekend!

After writing back and forth with my friends about various food last night I realized that if I'm going to stick with this and I AM going to stick with it, I need to start paying more attention to the quality and taste of my food. The first few weeks were more like an experiment but since it's obviously working for me in many different ways I need to plan better. There's not reason to limit myself to a small grouping of meat and tuna and suffer through eating it over and over again. It's time to play with the food a little and check out some other choices and ways of cooking it.

I also did a lot of reading on Keto (click here for more info) and low carb yesterday and learned a lot. The biggest thing that I learned (that, in all honesty, I already knew) was that high carb cheat days will really mess you up and can cost you several days of weight loss. Now, I already stopped with the massive cheat days but I was hoping to still be able to eat some extra carby things (or even 1 high carb thing) once a week but the way I'm looking at it now, I don't think I'm willing to give up days and days of weight loss (and fight weight gain) for some yummy carbs. I think it will all depend on the day and situation. But I have a lot more reading to do because I'm finding this whole Keto thing fascinating!

I'm also pretty sure that my carb count will go up a bit once I lose the weight I need to lose but I can really see myself doing the low/lower carb for life. To me it seems doable and the carbs I would add back in would be the healthy complex carbs and not pastries and stuff like that.

I realized yesterday that I've been on low carb for almost four weeks now and, outside of a couple days at the beginning, I haven't had any desire to quit. Yeah, I'm craving carbs now and again but I'm not going crazy over them, I'm not cheating with them and, most important of all to me, I'm not binging. That is just HUGE. I also know that if I were to take a bite of, I don't know, Ben and Jerry's ice cream or a cheesecake I would not be able to stop until I ate the whole thing (or so I think at this time) so why even take that bite?

Basically I can see myself doing this in the long run and I feel great about it. This is the first time in a very long time that I've actually stuck to something and been excited about it (Gabriel pointed that out last night).

So, what are my goals for this coming week? Well, I really need to rest the ankle more. It's been a really busy week and I've done way too much walking on it to the point where it's swelling again and hurting a lot more. My only workout goal right now is to organize all my home exercise stuff and to do abs so my biggest focus is on food. 

And, of course, to keep blogging!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

It's Been a Long Week...

...and it's only Wednesday.

Let's start with the biggest thing first. This is our new (to us) car...

She's a 2011 Chevy Impala and she drives beautifully, has front seats that warm up and is generally newer and nice than our Honda. We loved our Honda but after 3 appointments for repairs in four weeks, basically emptying out our savings account and looking at more repairs and costs piling up, it was time to move on. Hopefully this car will hold out a little longer before falling apart left and right.

But... and this is pretty big but (no jokes here people!!) she is more expensive so one of the things that had to go was my gym membership. Frankly, I'm okay with this. Between the back injury and the knee injury and the ankle injury I've barely been able to get to the gym anyway and I have tons of DVDs and equipment to use at home. I also have all the workouts my trainer built with me and for me and most can all be done at home (excluding weight machines obviously).

This isn't going to stop me from exercising at all, it'll just have to be done differently and I believe that the therapy pool will still be open to me for free as a resident of Springfield. Plus I like working out at home. I also have bike paths available to me and just at home I have: various resistance bands including the good ones with hand and ankle straps that  can attach to a door if I need too, my weights that range from 2lbs - 10lbs (I really want to get heavier ones with time), the reclining workout bench, the big ball, yoga mat, step bench, ankle and wrist weights as well as punching gloves, yoga straps and blocks, a recumbent bike (that has seen better days :/) and an elliptical as well as well over 25 workout DVDs plus all the free workouts you can find online. I definitely won't be hurting for equipment! I do have more I'd like to get eventually but right now I'm good to go, especially since I'm limited in what I can do while my back and ankle heals.

What else has been gong on? Well, I started a new pug portrait commission and I've done really well with the low carb thing. On the downside I'm pushed my ankle and back really hard because I had so much stuff to deal with so I'll be doing a lot of resting, elevating and icing the ankle through the rest of this week.

Tomorrow if my weigh-in day and I'm hoping for at least a 1 pound loss but right now I am SO sick of meat and cheese and tuna that I'm desperately seeking other foods to eat. One of the bloggers/Instagramers I have follow has an amazing recipe for a twice-baked cauliflower thing so I'll be making that this week and hopefully that should help. I'm just so tired of the stuff I've been eating (except the shrimp. I can always eat more shrimp lol) so I need to figure something out!

And in less than two weeks we'll be visiting Sarah for the weekend.... wooohoooo!!

That's all I have for today but tune in tomorrow to see how my weight loss went this week!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sunday in the Kitchen - Drink Your Produce Green Juice

We found this juice recipe online while looking for some better tasting juices and this is actually the best tasting one we've made so far.

We originally modified the recipe a little to suit our needs and the nutritional value is what I'm getting when I plug the recipe into My Fitness Pal but I'm not sure if it's exactly right because of all the pulp and parts of the fruits and veggies that don't end up in the juice.

Also, everything is measured in grams because it's easier for us to get the nutritional value that way.

I don't drink this anymore because it's way too much carbs vs. protein but Charles still enjoys it!

13 grams Raw Ginger Root
575 grams Carrots
797 grams Peeled Cucumber (we found that peeling the cucumber makes the juice less bitter)
718 grams Apple
379 grams Pear

Follow your juicer instructions, juice and try to enjoy!

This recipes makes six 8 oz servings.

Nutritional Facts
1 8 oz glass: 168 calories, 1 g fat, 68 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 1 g protein.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Week Three Low Carb - Thursday Check-In (Month One)

Week Three Weigh-In:
10/22/2015:         +0.6 pound
Total lost:             12.4 pounds
Current Weight: 217.6 pounds

Okay, so I gained just over half a pound and I take responsibility for the majority of it. So what did I do wrong this past week?

1) I didn't preplan as much so my carbs were a little higher (still under 46 a day) and my protein was a little lower than the last 2 weeks. I also need way more fiber but I did great with sugar!

2) I barely got any vegetables, once again because of lack of planning.

3) I got hurt and the swelling in the ankle isn't helping the scale go down!

4) no gym or major walking, once again, due to getting hurt.

5) my "anniversary date" ended up turning into a cheat day because I wanted it to be and then I was in pain and feeling sorry for myself. Next time that we eat out I am preplanning and sticking with the low carb thing instead of letting myself go a little bit crazy since it's a going out day anyway. I did eat much smaller portions but the carb count was crazy!

6) I let a few too many Dunkin Donut coffees sneak their way in. Most of them were black with me adding my own tiny bit of sugar and half and half but at least two were ordered with stuff included and while I counted that as stuff I asked for, I have no way to be sure what really went into them.  I can honestly say I didn't have any donuts or food though, just the coffee.

So how am I going to deal with all this?

1) I'm not going to get mad at myself. I made some mistakes and I can go forward from here.

2) I'm already preplanning this weeks' meals, including reworking my "epic" salad to lower the carbs and shopping ahead of time to make the meals work. I will have at least 4 big salad meals this week which will help with health and fiber!

3) No Dunkin Donuts this week!!!

4) Focus on my abs and core this week for exercise. It's about all I can at this point in time.

5) Rest the stupid ankle so it can start healing.

Speaking of the ankle, I saw my doctor and am now in an air cast that I pretty much have to wear for at least six weeks. I also need to keep an eye on the swelling and if the sharp pain kicks in again they'll do x-rays. In another week or so I should be able to exercise in the pool at the gym and then work with my trainer again to build up my body and make the ankle stronger.

I also plan on blogging more this week. This past week was a little quiet around here!

Monday, October 19, 2015

It Was Quite a Weekend

As you guys probably know the weekend started out great and then went downhill fast (somewhat literally).

We started out by going to the Yankee Candle Factory and luckily got there before it got too busy. I'm only been there once before and Charles never had so we had it planned out for a while now. I made sure to take some photos since we don't have many of us doing stuff but the pictures that someone took of the two of us together didn't come out at all :(

                                                             Us in the car :)

In front of the pumpkins. I realized yesterday that my hair here is the same color as the pumpkins!

The whole Yankee Candle Place is gorgeous! There's tons of plants and pumpkins and little areas to sit outside and it was an absolutely beautiful day to begin with... like the perfect fall day!

The store was really nice inside as well but really crowded and it just got worse as time went on. I have to say that my favorite rooms were the medieval one with the gargoyles and Christmas trees ones with the waterfall. I was too short to get good pictures with any of the fun stuff but I did get one shot of a tree behind me!

                                                      Me with the trees.

I also really wanted to bring home this bear so I could freak out the cats but he was too expensive lol.

      The bear and I... also, I can totally see my jeans getting looser in this photo!

There were some absolutely gorgeous glass ornaments in one of the rooms but we decided to go with something less breakable. It's funny, but we picked out the same ornament to get at almost the same time! A really beautiful cello ornament that will look perfect on our tree!

After buying fudge and checking out every room we moved on because it was getting super crowded in there. We decided to grab lunch as Applebee's so no low carb was going on but it was pretty cool that I was full after eating half my meal. I keep seeing little bits of progress everywhere!

After that we went to take pictures of train stuff. Charles had found a small, off the beaten path place where there were railroad things and trains and all sorts of fun stuff so that's where we went and where it all went wrong. But first... photos...of course Charles got the good photos, mine were all taken by phone!

So what exactly happened? Well, we were walking past the main railroad area and chatting and then my ankle turned out under me and I went flying on to my left knee, lower leg, hip and left hand, flat down. The knee was scraped and bleeding, the hand hurt and the ankle killed. I was hoping it was just twisted but it's a sprain.

I didn't really step funny or trip on anything, my ankle just decided to give away like it sometimes does and, of course, since it's been a while since it happened I wasn't wearing any ankle braces.

So I limped to the car and we ended up going home which kind of sucked.

I'm now on day three of this injury. The ankle is definitely sprained and in a Velcro brace and walking/sling/air cast thing...

The knee is bruised, scraped and hurting. My lower back in aching, my hand, thumb and fingers ache and I'm mad and upset and in a lot of pain but the ankle is the worst. I had to do a lot of walking today and now it's way more swollen and painful.

I can't do my regular workouts, obviously, and the plank challenge thing isn't going to happen either. I emailed with my trainer and I guess I'll be using the pool once things start to heal up, especially pool exercise classes. Once the ankle is healed I'll be able to workout the way I was before but in the meantime I can't do anything but sit here and complain.

The scale has also creeped up by a few pounds so that's bugging me as well. I'll be happy to break even this week when I weigh in.

So that was the anniversary weekend. At least the first half of it was great!

Motivational Monday

I have to keep telling myself this!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sunday in the Kitchen - Bread Machine French Baguettes

These are super easy to make and go great with any meal or on their own with a little butter! They're not low carb but they're still really good!

1 cup water
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water

1. Place 1 cup water, bread flour, sugar, salt and yeast into bread machine pan in the order recommended by manufacturer. Select Dough cycle, and press Start.
2. When the cycle has completed, place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
3. Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 16x12 inch rectangle. Cut dough in half, creating two 8x12 inch rectangles. Roll up each half of dough tightly, beginning at 12 inch side, pounding out any air bubbles as you go. Roll gently back and forth to taper end. Place 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Make deep diagonal slashes across loaves every 2 inches, or make one lengthwise slash on each loaf. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water; brush over tops of loaves.
5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Nutritional Facts: makes 12 serving
1 serving is 100 calories, 0 g fat, 195 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Week Two Low Carb - Thursday Check-In (Month One)

Week Two Weigh-In:
10/15/2015:        -1.8 pound
Total lost:             13 pounds
Current Weight: 217 pounds

Yes! Down another 1.8 pounds! That's a total of 4.8 pounds since I started low-carb 13 days ago!

This week has gone much better with cravings. I actually only had one serious evening of cravings and I held out and talked myself through it (with a little help from my friends online and off). I also made it to the gym once this week and worked out at home once (planning more for today).

Unfortunately with the weather changes taking places my head has started hurting again and my joints have started acting up as well, with my right knee going out on Tuesday. The knee is okay now but the joints in my hands and fingers feel like they have needles going through them which makes working out somewhat difficult. I'm still working on the plank but it's slow going and only at 12-15 seconds right now.

I'm getting used to planning low carb meals and I feel like I'm pretty well prepared for this coming week. Charles and I are going on a late-ish anniversary trip this Saturday and will be eating out so we'll see what happens then but I'm definitely planning to go easy on the carbs, even when celebrating. I'm allowing myself to open that day up a bit in terms of macros but not go crazy with it at the same time.

I have been able to up my protein like I wanted but I definitely need to plan ahead for that. I've actually been doing a lot of planning and a lot of moving foods around in My Fitness Pal as well as adding and subtracting foods from meals to get the right ratio of macros before I eat. I'm not obsessing with it but if I want to see results and do this right I need to plan and plan and plan some more.

I definitely did not do 4 gym sessions like I wanted but I'm not about to give up on that goal and I'm working on the plank every day, whether or not I'm in the gym.

I'm putting off progress pics for now and will take new ones (except the stuff that goes on my Instagram) when I hit a 20 pound loss. Also, I'm sure Charles and I will take some pics on Saturday.

So the plan for this coming week is to continue what I'm doing and add in more exercise, more water and more veggies. And keep working on that plank!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Eight Years!!

Eight years married and many, many years of friendship and flirting before that!

Happy eight year anniversary Charles ❤ we've had some great times and some hard times but I couldn't ask for a better guy to spend those years with and to raise the boys with!

Here's to the last eight years, all the ones that came before them, and to many, many more yet to come ❤❤

Tuesday, October 13th Workout

I totally forgot to blog yesterday's workout. Because of a scratchy throat and generally feeling not so great I worked out at home. Since I'm working with bands and own a bench the only thing I wasn't able to do was the ropes.

Day two: 1 hour
Basic warm up
Plank - held for 12 seconds
Crunches hold for 2 seconds: 3 sets of 20
Face down band row on bench: 5 sets of 20
Band bicep curl: 5 sets of 20
Middle trap band pulls: 5 sets of 20
Lat pulls: 5 sets of 20

Monday, October 12, 2015

Monday, October 12th Workout

Back at the gym! Still working under no weights, no lower body, and no treadmill restrictions but the rest felt great!

It really helps to go first thing in the morning!

Day one:
Warm up and cardio: heavy ropes 10 sets of 20 seconds
Crunches: hold for 2 seconds: 3 sets of 20
Plank: 15 held between 6 and 10 seconds
Band press: 5 sets of 20
Band fly: 5 sets of 20
Tricep band push down: 5 sets of 20

Motivational Monday

Yes, yes and YES!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sunday in the Kitchen - Taco Salad

I put this recipe together myself (it's very simple) while trying to keep it on the lower carb side, at least way less carbs than protein. I'm also dividing the recipe itself into two segments; the taco beef and the toppings. The nutritional info is for the specific foods that I used so if you use a different salsa brand or type of beef your nutritional info may be different.

As you can see from the ingredients this is pretty high calorie and sodium but also very high protein so I save this meal for days when I have a lot of nutrients left to go in my day.

Taco Beef Ingredients:
1 lb of Beef (I went with 80/20 and my whole amount was actually 1.08 lb)
1 Jar Salsa (I used Carlita Thick and Chunky Mild because it was on sale)
1 TSP Olive Oil

Pour the olive oil into a pan over medium/high heat and add ground beef. Break up the beef into little chunks as it cooks, browning it until there's no pink left anywhere. Drain the beef and put back on the burner bringing the heat down to low. Add the whole jar of salsa. Mix it all together and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes on low stirring when needed. Take off the burner when done and divide it into portions.

I divided it into three 1-cup portions because I was really hungry and I knew it would be my last meal of the day. You can always make your portions smaller but remember to modify your nutritional info if you do!

Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 cup) equals 482 calories, 33 g fat, 1104 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 32 g protein.

This is the recipe for the toppings I used. You can use any toppings you want. This is just what I like!

Taco Beef Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Mexican-style 4 Cheese Blend
1/2 Cup Fresh Express Sweet & Crunchy Mix
1/4 Chopped Up Vine Tomato
2 TBS Sour Cream

Sprinkle the cheese over the beef mixture so that it melts. Cut up the lettuce and tomato, top with sour cream and enjoy!

Nutritional Facts: 1 serving equals 189 calories, 14 g fat, 187 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 9 g protein.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Week One Low Carb - Thursday Check-In (Month One)

Week One weigh-in:
10/08/2015:        -3 pound
Total lost:           11.2 pounds
Current Weight: 218.8 pounds

Three pounds down! Wow! I was told I'd lose a nice chunk of weight and I read about it as well but I still didn't expect it. It was great to see the scale dip that low for the first time in about a year and I will definitely keep going! I know the weight loss will slow down but this is really inspiring me to work even harder!

I have a couple of goals for this coming week. I want to up my protein to over what it was this week (it ranged between 75 and 90 grams) and add more vegetables. I also plan to keep my carbs under 45 the way I have been but dropping them a little as well would be fine. And I really want to get back to the gym. I've been able to do some of the exercises here at home but I've been so wiped out exhausted that not much of that has happened. I'm planning for a minimum of 4 gym sessions this coming week (hopefully more though).

I'm taking meal planning a few days a time right now. So far I have meals planned out for this weekend and Monday I can plan some more. Anything more that is just too much right now.

I also need to decide if I want to take progress photos every ten pounds or not because if I do I need to get new photos this weekend. That was my original plan but we'll see.

I think that's all I have for now but, woohoo for a great weight loss week!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Five Days In...

I am five days into this low carb thing. I'm exhausted, somewhat lightheaded, sleepy and my brain seems to have slowed.

I've read (and spoken with my sister) and this is normal while I withdraw from carbs and sugar. It's sometimes known as the keto flu or the low carb flu. Apparently you can also get irritated very easily but, shockingly enough, I haven't had that yet. It's also interesting, but it never crossed my mind that my sugar intake would go way down like it has so that's really good too!

In terms of carbs and protein I've done really well since I started. I'm not even facing any massive cravings (although I'm sure that will come). Today at work we had donuts and I didn't even want one! And I've basically given up my beloved Dunkin Donuts and, so far, I'm not really missing it but I'm sure that will come too lol.

One of the things I wasn't expecting as much was planning meals. I'm used to boxed and frozen stuff but that's just not possible for low carb unless I want to eat the exact same thing over and over again, plus, you know, it's really bad for you. I'm going grocery shopping tomorrow so I'm planning on finding some basic, easy, healthy recipes tonight.

I still have a lot of learning to do but I'm learning as I go. I'm still finding what fruits and veggies I can have (blueberries seem like the best choice right now) as well as finding foods that I will be able to eat.

Tomorrow is my weigh-in day and I'm starting my weekly count over again since I'm on a new plan. Basically, I'm doing a lot better than I thought I would be. Now if my energy would come back I'd really be happy!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sunday in the Kitchen - Squash Braid Bread

This bread is absolutely amazing. It's delicious and goes really, really fast. No one seems to be able to eat just one slice! I originally found it in Taste of Home magazine. I even did a bread making session with preschool kids once and the kids devoured the two breads that we made. And you know if preschoolers go nuts for it then its really good!

A few things.
I always use butternut squash. I'm sure you can try it with another kind but that's the one that's         supposed to be used. I also always double the recipe and make 2 loaves at a time. The recipe calls for 3-3.5 cups of flour but sometimes it takes an extra cup or two to get the dough just right so just see what happens and be ready to add extra. The nutrients are based on 3.5 cups of flour though.

Prep: 25 min. + rising Bake: 20 min.
16 Servings

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water (110° to 115°)
1 cup mashed cooked butternut squash
1/3 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon water

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. In a bowl, combine squash, milk, butter, egg, brown sugar and salt; mix well. Add yeast mixture and 1-1/2 cups flour; mix well. Add enough remaining flour to form a
soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Divide into thirds; roll each third into a 18-in. rope. Place on a greased baking sheet. Braid ropes together; pinch ends. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Combine glaze ingredients; brush over braid. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Yield: 1 loaf.

Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 slice) equals 140 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 35 mg cholesterol, 78 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Let's Talk Gym and Low Carb

Yesterday's gym session went great! My trainer showed me to how to workout using the bands, what to do to strengthen my core and back and how to stretch. Everything I'm doing right now is to get my back stronger. She even brought the floor to me using a tall box so I didn't have to try and get down on the actual floor.

I have to keep reminding myself to suck in and tighten everything front and back whenever I move, especially with turns, bends and, well, pretty much everything. It may take me a while to make it a habit but it's something I have to constantly keep in mind and do for the rest of my life.

My biggest exercise goal for this coming month is the plank. The freaking plank lol. Basically, she told me to make the plank "my bitch" lol. Right now I can hold it for 5 seconds. By November 1st she wants to see me hold it for a full minute. It's the best thing I can do right now for my back and core and will strengthen everything!

The thing with the plank though is she showed me how to do it right and all of these years of workout DVDs I've been doing it wrong. I'm now seriously thinking of selling off most of my DVDs because they move too quickly for me to get a decent workout and they don't teach me how to do the exercise correctly or have me hold the exercises long enough to get the wanted effect.

I also did ropes for my warm-up and cardio and bands for everything else. The plan is for four days a week; 2 days of "push" and 2 days of "pull." Legs are on hold for at least a week until we see how my body holds up. The interesting thing is that the stretch was the hardest exercise for me but by the end I think I had it down.

Now, let's talk low carb and let's be honest about it... I've been making a lot of excuses to avoid actually doing it. Despite my sister's amazing results with it, despite everything my doctor said to me, despite what my friends had shared with me online and what's been recommended to me, I've been avoiding it and just making excuses. I can admit that. It was just easier to keep doing things my way... talking about doing "low-ish" carb and generally just avoiding the whole thing. Did this get me any closer to weight loss and feeling healthier? No. No it didn't.

So why am I avoiding the whole thing? I know why...because it sounds hard. Because I love carbs. Because I have to prepare and preplan. Because I have to leave my comfort zone. Because I don't eat eggs and hate Greek yogurt and cottage cheese and those things seem to be used a lot in low carb which will make it even harder for me. And did I mention loving my carbs?

Anyway, yesterday my trainer highly recommended doing very low carb for at least a month, month and a half to get some weight off my back and joints quickly, and then up it a little until I find a good spot where I'm losing weight regularly, which was exactly what my doctor told me to do. And what my sister told me to do. And what some of my friends told me to do. And what Charles agrees with and is completely willing to help me do. And what the research I've done have told me to do.

Everything in the last several weeks has tried to lead me to low carb and I believe in things like that. I believe in God and in signs and suggestions from "the universe" and in someone outside of "me" who is guiding me. And even when I try to resist, that someone or something shows me yet another reason to do what they are suggesting.

So I'm done fighting it and I'm going to embrace it and give it everything I've got. I've been wanting a huge change in my diet plan and this is pretty huge for me. I know it'll be a lot of work and I know it won't be easy but nothing worth having comes easy.

I'm ready and I'm finally done with the excuses.

Let's do this thing!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Week Ten - Thursday Check-In

Week Ten weigh-in:
10/01/2015:        -1.6 pound
Total lost:           8.2 pounds
Current Weight: 221.8 pounds

Happy October 1st! This week showed a good loss and I think I can thank taking away the cheat day for that. And let me tell you guys, taking away that cheat day was hard! I didn't realize how much I trained my body to stuff myself every Thursday (and usually Friday of not more) and my body was demanding that stuffing when it didn't come. I had to take it hour by hour and some days minute by minute but I did it!

I did end up staying at the high end of my daily calorie goal almost every day though and I went over my planned calories by a couple hundred on two days so I want to avoid that this week. I'm okay with being at the top of my calorie range but I don't want to go over again.

I finally admitted to myself that I need to start preparing healthy food if I want to eat it. It's not going to magically show up in my fridge when I feel like having it and to get started on the right foot I prepped four "Epic" salads this afternoon. Now I have four ready to eat meals. I also planned out my breakfasts and dinners for at least three days (depending on how often I want to eat the same food). I'm fully ready to take this hour by hour again if I have to!

Along with the eating I'm allowed to go back to the gym and I can't wait for my band training session tomorrow! As long as I'm doing okay I want to be back there five days a week even if for a short, simple workout. Our workout Facebook group has also decided to do the step challenge again this month so that'll get me moving. It always does as long as I don't get hurt again!

Today's step challenge is 2,000 steps and I'm already past that so yay! Now to keep moving forward!