Sunday, December 31, 2017

Goals for 2018!

Happy New Year's Eve!!

I've been thinking a lot on what I want to accomplish this coming year with my health, fitness and weight loss goals and here's what I have so far...

  • Hit my goal weight
  • shift my focus from just low calorie/low carb to healthier food options while remaining low carb
  • get back into a regular workout routine
  • beat my "no cheating" record of 199 days (preferably stay "no cheating" for the entire year)
  • make one new low carb/keto recipe a week
  • try an exercise class or a new workout once a month
  • learn to meditate
  • let things go and breathe
  • look for the positives in every situation instead of the negatives
  • be my own guru
Also, I've decided that tomorrow I'm going to restart My Fitness Pal from Day 1 because it's the easiest way for me to keep track of all my days on track and I want to start my weekly count over again tomorrow as well, kind of take 2018 as a whole new beginning for everything!

What do all of you want to accomplish??

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Today Is The Day...

Of course yesterday was the day too along with the day before that and the day before that, but today is REALLY the day to get back on the low carb/keto track and I finally feel ready after a 6-day carb feast.

I know the first 3 days will be the worst but I'm ready and I'm actually looking forward to them because that will tell me that I'm doing it right. I also made sure there's nothing carby left in the house for me to eat and I'm not going to the store any time soon so I'm good there.

And today I actually feel ready. I'm not trying to convince myself  (or any of you) that I am and I'm not just saying it while dreaming of carbs. I just finally feel ready to get back to it and to give up the simple carbs and sugars for good because, obviously, my body and my head can NOT handle cheat days. At all.

I have plans to try at least one new low carb/keto recipe a week and to make my food plan slightly healthier with more real food and less protein bars and shakes. That will also help me get a variety of veggies and keep me from getting bored with what I'm eating.

I also had plans to stat working out today but right now I'm dealing with a high pain day and generally feeling like crap so we'll see.

But the most important thing is to get back on track with the no cheating. Everything else is secondary to that!

So come on, keto flu... bring it on!!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thursday Weigh-In - December 28th - Twenty-Nine Weeks Low Carb/Keto

Thursday Weigh-In - December 28th:
12/28/2017:                  +4 pounds
Total lost:                     66.4  pounds
Current Weight:          163.6 pounds

So, four pounds up this week. Considering how things have been going, it's not surprising and a big portion of that is water weight anyway. And my short-term goal is now back to 160 lbs.

I'm still struggling with sugar and carbs and I'm taking one last day to eat a few of my favorite carby foods and starting fresh as of tomorrow with absolutely NO cheat days planned at all.

I realize it may seem counterintuitive to do it this way but that's how I started the last time. I took one day, enjoyed my favorites and then went ahead with no cheating for almost 200 days so that's how I'm doing it again and this time I have a new goal to beat... I need to not cheat for more than 199 days lol.

I also plan to start working out this week. Right now the plan is for Saturday, probably at home, and I'll be doing my back protecting weight training workout. It's ready to go and trainer approved and since my back seems to be in a good place right now,  I think I'm ready to get back to it!

As I wrote earlier in this blog, I learned a lot of lessons this past week on what my body (and mind) can and can not handle so I know how to go forward from here.

I think that's all I have for today!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Confessing My Sins and Lesson Learned

Hi, My name is Aleks and I am a true carb and sugar addict.

I thought I could handle it. I thought I had it under control. I thought, what's one day... I've gone 199 days with no cheating, I can handle one day, easy!

I was wrong.

The cheat day itself seemed to go well. I ate what I wanted (out of the things I had planned), didn't binge and I felt good so I got all proud of myself... you guys read my blog post.

Yesterday was hard, I'm not going to lie. I held somewhat firm (I did eat extra stuff but I made sure I could fit it in, but it was still hard when all my brain could focus on was leftovers).

Then came today. I started the day with healthy, low carb food and then suddenly, somewhere around lunchtime, I started eating leftovers and didn't stop until... well, there was nothing left over anymore.

It was like the calories and macros disappeared and all there was, was delicious, high sugar, high carb, yummy, yummy food... bread, more tiramisu, chocolate, pie, more bread... I'm not even going to list it all but sufficed to say, there's nothing left and I feel incredibly sick.

It was like another creature took over my body and mind until all the food was gone.

So I have learned my lesson. Me having a high carb/sugar cheat day is like an alcoholic having a bottle of wine for Christmas dinner. It just can't happen.

I can NOT handle it and now I know I can not handle it.

From now on, whatever kind of cheat food I may want to have, I either have to find and make a low carb version of it or pick something else. Not even one cheat day can happen from now on. I know this now and I accept it.

I'm not going to beat myself up about this and I'm not going to make myself feel bad. I tried it, I couldn't handle it, and I know it now. I'm going to look at this as an important lesson learned and not as some kind of failure.

Tomorrow I get back on track and start my 30-day count over fresh. I now know that the next couple of days are going to be very, very hard for me but I've done this before and I can do it again.

This is just how things have to be and I accept that.

So let's do this!

Monday, December 25, 2017

200 Days Low Carb/Keto with One Cheat Day! - Long With Lots of Numbers!

Wow! So today I hit 200 days of low carb/keto with one cheat day (yesterday no less).

First off, I still feel great from the cheat day. I had no carb/sugar hangover when I woke up and I'm right back on the low carb track today! So, back to the 200 days!

I am impressed but not surprised that I got to this place. Once I had my 100 days down, I knew I could keep going for another hundred and that one cheat day was very planned out and definitely enough to keep me satisfied for many more months to come!

Also, today starts my new 30-day count for my next funny sports tank top.

My biggest goals for next 100 days are to keep working toward my final goal weight, to get back on track with regular exercise and to stick with the no cheating plan!

I can't wait to see what next 100 days bring!

So here's what I accomplished numbers-wise in the last 200 days:

Days Without Cheating:
199 (June 8th-December 24th)

Cheat Days:
one (Christmas Eve)

Weight Lost: 
39 lbs (198.6 - 159.6)

Weeks weight was lost: 
27 out of 28

Inches Lost:
waist - 3.5
bust - 3.5
jeans size - 1
right arm - 0.8
left arm - 0.8
right thigh - 2.5
left thigh - 2.5
right calf - 1.2
left calf - 1.2
hips - 5.0
chest - 3.0

Highest Daily Calorie Intake (excluding the cheat day):
1,311 calories

Lowest Daily Calorie Intake (excluding the cheat day):
1,005 calories

Highest Daily Net Carb Intake:(excluding the cheat day):
47 net carbs

Lowest Daily Net Carb Intake:(excluding the cheat day):
23 net carbs

Days Worked Out:
63 days

Rewards Earned:
6 (day 30, day 60, day 90, day 120. day 150 & day 180)


Sunday, December 24, 2017

My First Cheat Day in 199 Days of Low Carb/Keto!

Happy Christmas Eve!!

So, I had my first cheat day in 199 days of low carb/keto (tomorrow is day 200 and I'll have a post on that tomorrow as well) and, all in all, it went far better than I expected!

I had a little bit of everything I planned to have... our typical Christmas Chinese food (a day early because we're getting hit with yet another snow storm tonight and into tomorrow), some really good chocolate, some really amazing bread and some tiramisu plus little bits of and pieces of random food.

I did not go crazy and eat everything in sight. In fact, I didn't eat everything of anything that I had and I ended up having a really reasonable portion of the tiramisu and had leftover Chinese Food that I have no more interest in and lots, and I mean, lots of great chocolate left over.

I didn't stuff myself until I became sick, I didn't have two bites of bread and eat everything carby in the house, I didn't get nearly as sick as I afraid I would and my addiction is still under control, as in, I don't even want anything that's still left over.

Will I be tempted to eat any of these things tomorrow? I seriously doubt it. I'm actually looking forward to going back to my normal low carb/keto food plan!

Yes, it was a lot of fun to eat whatever I felt like eating, at whatever time, with no regard for macros or calories, but I definitely don't want a second day of it. It was fun, it was slightly exciting and now it's done. I didn't feel deprived by limiting my choices at all and I don't feel deprived knowing it will be still be here tomorrow but I won't be eating any of it, not even after looking at the all the leftovers. I just don't want any more of it and that's a freaking amazing feeling.

Of course, I may feel differently tomorrow but even if I do, it's right back to low carb for me!

I actually want to go back to the calories and macros. Yes, I definitely needed a break from it but I guess all I needed was this short, 1-day break and I'm looking forward to just being back to normal.

I also have absolutely no plans for another cheat day for a long, long time to come, maybe next Christmas, maybe sooner, but not for a very long time.

I may be singing a different tune tomorrow with a carb and sugar "hangover" but I'm hoping for the best here.

So, I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas Eve and I'll have new posts tomorrow!!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thursday Weigh-In - December 21st - Twenty-Eight Weeks Low Carb/Keto and a Lot of Thoughts

Thursday Weigh-In - December 21st:
12/21/2017:                  -0 pounds
Total lost:                     70.4  pounds
Current Weight:          159.6 pounds

For the first in the 28 weeks that I have been doing low carb/keto without cheating I have not lost weight.

I tried to convince myself that I would be okay with stalling because it was bound to happen but my attitude this morning did not reflect that and I have some serious thinking to do about not just my attitude but my entire approach to this weight loss and how I live my life.

Today, it was suggested to me by several people who I trust, admire and listen to (most of the time) that I need to take a step back and look at (and be grateful for) what I have accomplished so far in my journey, to be happy with me and to accept and love myself as I am. That I've made huge strides in the last six months and that I'm not in a sprint to lose this weight, this isn't a diet and there's no being "done." This is a marathon and an entire life change and my happiness can not and should not be based on the number that shows up on the scale.

I agree with all of that and I needed to hear it but it may take me a while to get my head around the whole idea of it. I mean, mentally I get it and I agree but emotionally it will take some work to not let my happiness rest on what the scale shows me.

So what have I accomplished since I started losing weight and, especially, in the last 28 weeks?
  • I've lost 70.4 pounds total
  • I am stronger, faster and more capable of holding down a workout (excluding back issues)
  • I'm off my cholesterol meds completely
  • my headaches and fibro flares are much less frequent
  • I sleep better and don't nap anymore
  • I have an amazing amount of energy
  • all of my psych meds have been lowered
  • I'm wearing clothes I haven't been able to wear in many, many years
  • I'm happier and I smile more
  • I look forward to working out
  • I'm confident in my ability to create and run a workout (or many lol) and I enjoy doing it
  • I can control my cravings
  • I stopped binging
  • I don't emotionally eat anymore
  • food is not my therapist, it's just food
  • I believe I can accomplish what I set my mind too
And those are some pretty great accomplishments!

On another topic, my freaking back went out yet again, this morning, in the same spot as the last two times in the last week. I'm in a lot of pain and I honestly have no idea where my workouts are going to go from here. I'll see my doctor in just under a week but I need to get by until then and, right now, I need to focus on getting my back healthy and strong and not worry about "getting in shape." Once again, something I have to look at in a different light and something that will take some serious mental work.

In the meantime, I'm going to keep working on mental health and attitude while sticking to the same general food plan. I know I'm not done with the weight loss yet because I, at least, want to get to a healthy weight for my height, but I am know I need to step back from obsessing so I'm going to keep doing what I have been doing while focusing on making my diet more healthy and varied and not making that number the highest priority of whether or not I'm being successful.

I get my one feast day on Christmas Eve and I'm greatly looking forward to that but my biggest goal right now, outside of the mental work I have to do, is to find a way to function with whatever this back injury is.

I started this journey not just to lose weight but to get healthy and I'm slowly getting there, but there's still a lot of mental and emotional work to be done.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tuesday Thoughts on Pretty Much Everything...

So this is an update kind of post on all sorts of things, mostly to do with workouts and food..

1) I seem to be somewhat stuck with my weight. I'm trying not to obsess about it because I knew it would start to really slow down (if not stop) for a while, so I guess I'll take what I can get and only complain if there's a gain of some kind.

2) My back went out again yesterday, in the exact same place at on Saturday, so I'm being very careful with it, which led me to change up my workouts again. I did a lot (and I mean a LOT of research on how to deal with the back while still reaching my workout goals) and I discovered that

  • Pilates, yoga and barre are really good for strengthening core and back even with a bad back as long as you're careful and, like I posted last week (or the week before), I have access to many DVD's for all these things and I enjoy them.
  • I don't NEED weight machines at the gym to protect my back, there's ways to protect it as home and still work out which is really good because with my schedule for the next two weeks and other stuff going on, I may have a hard time getting there. I'm basically taking the gym month by month right now.
  • I can find modifications and exercises that will specifically protect my back while still allowing me to work on weight/strength training which is my favorite workout to do
  • the best cardio for me right now may just be walking!
So I took my 6-week Upper/Lower Weight Training Body Plan and I went through it exercise by exercise, looking up each one and either finding a safer back replacement or a modification form of it to create a new 6-week Upper/Lower Weight Training Workout that is specifically made to keep my back as safe as possible while helping me build strength in both the back and the core, as well as all other muscles.

It's created now (in big part thank to my amazingly patient trainer!!) and ready to go as soon as the current pain settle down some, hopefully by next week. Right now I'm planning for 1 day a week of pilates, yoga or barre, whichever my body seems to want, depending on how I feel. This plan can also easily be converted for the gym so I can do it at home or the gym, no problem, it's just depends on how I feel, what the weather is like and what my schedule looks like!

I also want to start with 10,000 steps again because that may be my best option for safe cardio for now when I'm at home. There's also great cardio variety at the gym but, at the current moment, slow walking is probably best.

3) Plans for my Christmas feast day may be a day sooner than originally planned because, looking at the current weather forecast, Christmas day is promising a wintry mix of snow and ice while Christmas eve looks good (we'll need to go out to get the Chinese food and I'm not risking it in bad weather!)

This actually works out well because Dmitri will be home Christmas Eve and working Christmas Day and, because Christmas Day is actually 200 days of low carb, that would be the perfect place to pick up with low carb after my one day of freedom and decadence, but I'm not making any final decisions until we get closer to the date!

I think that's about all I have for now. I'm just really looking forward to starting my new workout plan already and for my back to stop going out!!!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

And Now For a Few More Workout Changes...

So my back went out today, badly. I felt like I had a knife stuck into the lower, right side of my back and I could barely lift my right arm.

What was I doing to throw it out at the time? I was freaking paying for groceries!!! WTF!!

In any case, after Advil, Tylenol and ice, I'm in slightly less pain but no less pissed off that it went out for no reason at all and I made an executive decision about my exercise plan... I'm going back to the gym.

The reason for this is simple, right now, with the way my back has behaved all week, the safest form of exercise for me is weight machines because they protect my back so that's what I'm going to start with.

Plus, you guys know how much I love the gym and how much I've gone back and forth about keeping it and not just working out at home. At this time we can afford to keep it (for now anyway) and I miss it and I desperately need to get away from all the stress in my life and have some me time (and the gym is my favorite place to do that... go figure).

My plan is still Upper/Lower Day workouts but for the next 6 weeks (or as long as I need it to be), when I'm at the gym, I'm sticking with machines. I don't even have to create a new plan because I have one already so as soon as my back settles down a little, I'm going to the gym! After about 6 weeks I'll add in cables but I may keep free weights at home and still continue with once a week gentle yoga or something. Just do the best of both worlds and not worry about how often I go. The big thing here is to keep from getting obsessed with it, I don't want to fall back into the whole "I HAVE to go to the gym every day since I'm signed up or else I have to give it up or I HAVE to workout at home because I have equipment here" thing... every day will not be the same and that's life anyway (can you tell I have an obsessive disorder?).

On the days that I'm home (especially with the next two crazy weeks) I'll work on my other home workout plan and just try not to obsess to much and be really careful with my back!

So some days I'll work out at the gym, some days I'll work out at home and some days I'm hoping to maybe, finally, hit some classes at my trainer's studio but everything will depend on pain, injuries, weather and time.

I'm just going to take it week by week and day by day if I have too, kind of like I did with sticking with low carb, and I honestly think that right now, the best thing for my back is to do things that will keep it protected. And this gives me way more options for cardio than the home DVDs do.

So here's what the basic weekly line up will look like... and I'm looking at 7-9 exercises for each workout day including planks, gentle back work and abs on lower body days which may seem like a lot but I've done if before with machines and was very happy with it.

Day 1 - Upper A
Day 2 - Lower A
Day 3 - cardio
Day 4 - Upper B
Day 5 - Lower B
Day 6 - cardio
Day 7 - REST or Active Rest (gentle yoga and stretching)

As always, I reserve the right to change and edit the plan as I go depending on how my body feels and what it needs at the time, or of I come across a different workout that I want to do that just works better for me. I know exactly what I'm looking for and I think I know where I can find it so I will updated as I go.

Let's see what happens!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thursday Weigh-In - December 14th - Twenty-Seven Weeks Low Carb/Keto

Thursday Weigh-In - December 14th:
12/14/2017:                  -0.2 pounds
Total lost:                     70.4  pounds
Current Weight:          159.6 pounds

Well, on one hand it's still a loss despite how small it is. One the other hand, it's so small but that's pretty much how my weight loss has been going and last week was a great loss so I'll just be happy with what it is and hope for more next week.

This also means I've lost something for 27 weeks straight and I'm down 39 lbs in those 27 weeks. So it's still progress, just really slow this week. My short-term goal is still 155 lbs.

My back is still bothering me so I'm resting it and waiting to see if my trainer approves my new workout plan. I want to be back to working out by this weekend if possible.

I now have 11 days left until I can have some yummy, carby foods and I'm assuming that week will definitely show a gain but I'm ready for it!

So, now I just keep doing what I have been doing and keep working on this weight loss. I think that's all I have for now.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

And... I Need to Rethink the Workout Plan...

...but I already have a new plan so I'm good!

Here's the issue, today my back hurts very, very badly. Like, I'm not even working out today badly and the only thing I've done differently this week are the video workouts and I didn't pull it or hurt it in any other way.

So, obviously my body can't really handle this many video workouts in a row and that's okay. Live and learn, and here's what I learned...

1) I need more variety with my plans.

2) I need shorter, more basic workout plans that don't require 4 days to compete the full body and have, like, a month's worth of almost daily workouts in one plan.

3) I really like doing the full body or even an upper/lower body split rather than the regular push/pull/leg/abs split right now.

4) I need a break from creating and obsessing over my own workouts.

So, here what's I'm doing... I decided that, for now, I want to do an upper/lower body plan split into 4 day weeks: Upper/Lower/break (or cardio or gentle yoga) then Upper/Lower/Break (or whatever again) plus a rest day if I haven't already taken one.

I also want to do ONE video a week, yoga or pilates probably, not weights, since I'll be doing that on my own. I figure once a week, if I choose the right videos, won't hurt me if I'm careful.

And, of course, I need to do cardio but that can fit in anywhere.

I'm doing a lot of online research and I've already found four upper/lower body routines that are already created and ready to go (I just need to switch out a couple of exercises with stuff I can't do or that require gym machines) so I don't need to worry about creating my own and I can switch workouts every 6-8 (or whatever) weeks or whenever my body is ready for change.

I'm still going to send the workouts plan to my trainer for approval and I'll start this week, once my back feels better, but this seems like a great compromise to me and I'm looking forward to it!

So let's see what happens with this plan!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday, December 12th Workout - Full Body Stretch with Yoga Poses

Today was definitely a gentle stretch day! I started out with some cardio but my body is super sore and exhausted so I just focused on my regular full body stretch (yoga poses included) and it felt great!

Back to tougher workouts tomorrow though!

Full Body Stretch w/Yoga Moves: 23 Minutes

Rotating Neck Stretch
Neck Release Stretch
Standing Side Bend
Overhead Tricep Stretch
Shoulder Stretch
Overhead Shoulder Stretch
Eagle Arms Pose
Wrist Stretch
Wide Arms Stretch (using the doorway)
Tree Pose
Warrior II Pose
Triangle Pose
Standing Calf Stretch
Standing Hamstring Stretch
Standing Quad Stretch
Standing Half Forward Bend (holding on to shelf)
Standing Forward Fold
Downward Dog Pose
Downward Dog Pose with Alternating Calf Stretch
Low Lunge Pose
Half Split Pose
Cat/Cow Pose
Thread the Needle Pose
Cobra Stretch
Child's Pose
Pigeon Stretch Pose
Reclined Butterfly Pose
Knee to Chest Stretch
Rotating Ankle Stretch
Prone Hamstring Stretch with Stretch Band
Reclined Glute Stretch (1 foot on floor)
Reclined Glute Stretch (both feet off floor)
Supine Twist (knees folded for back safety)
Bridge Pose
Seated Butterfly Stretch
Seated Side Bend
Seated Spinal Twist
Cross-Legged Forward Bend
Seated Hamstring Stretch
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
2nd Seated Butterfly Stretch

Monday, December 11, 2017

So Let's Talk About This New Workout Plan...

First off, every, single part of me is sore and I love it!! It even hurts my abs to laugh and I can't wait to see how I feel tomorrow after all the work I put in today!

Second, I'm totally loving this plan right now. I have over 200 online DVDs to choose from with the Amazon channel I signed up for and there's other channels available with tougher workouts whenever I get ready for that. So I can do whatever workout I want and feel like doing that particular day and I can't see myself getting bored with it anytime soon!

I was afraid the DVDs might be to easy for me with all the work I've done in the past year or so but even though there's less reps and my weights are lower, I'm still getting a fantastic workout, at least with the ones I've tried so far!

I'm also working differently since I'm not only working certain muscles groups per day right now. I'm just doing whatever the instructor tells me too and I'm doing a lot more combo type work (example: squats & biceps together), especially since I work the full body every other day. This really changes my approach to exercise and my body is loving it!

It also make it easier if I have to miss a day due to illness or emergency because once the full body is done I'm good to go! Right now the plan is full body one day of whatever... yoga, pilates, barre, weights, a combo of all... whatever I feel like trying and cardio the next.

And I'm looking forward to working out again and that feels amazing!! I don't have to worry about setting things up, planning my workouts, printing my workouts,  etc. I just decide what I want to do that day, grab some basic equipment and I'm good to go!

All in all, I'm thrilled that I decided to try this and I can't wait to see what this will do for my body and my fitness levels!!

Monday, December 11th Workout - Denise Austin's Personal Training System Customized Workout

Today was full body day again so I decided to hit it hard with a strength training workout.

I went with Denise Austin's Personal Training System because I've done it in the past and liked it (excluding the cardio segments) and by putting together all of the strength training and stretch, I got a fantastic workout that challenged me!

In fact, I couldn't even finish out all the reps in the hardest, final high intensity segments for upper body and lower body but I loved it and my body is now Jello lol. And my abs still kill from the Pilates workout the day before yesterday!

I'm thinking of making sure this particular workout and the way I did it should be in my rotation weekly but we'll see!

Full Body Workout Day - 1 hour, 25 Minutes

"Denise Austin's Personal Training System:" 

One 10-Minute Abs Workout

Three 10-Minute Upper Body Workouts (low, medium and high intensity) using 3 lb, 5 lb, 8 lb and 10 lb dumbbells going back and forth with...

Three 10-Minute Lower Body Workouts (low, medium and high intensity)

One 10-Minute Full Body Stretch

Motivational Monday

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday, December 10th Workout - Walk Away The Pounds: 4 Mile Super Challenge

I had a great cardio workout today and I'm very nicely sore from yesterday's pilates! I'm also looking forward to tomorrow's full body workout, I just haven't fully decided what it will be yet but I have a lot of choices.

I think I may do this full body one day/cardio the next thing for a while. This makes it a lot easier to plan and I'm not missing a body part if I have to miss a workout for some reason. It simplifies things and it's a huge change for me that I'm liking right now.

Cardio Day - 60 Minutes

“Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds: 4 Mile Super Challenge”:
Fitbit info: time: 60 minutes, distance: 3.11, steps: 6,879, calories burned: 416

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Saturday, December 9th Workout - 10 Minute Solution Pilates DVD - All Five Segments

I started the day with a high pain day and ended feeling amazing from today's workout!

Full Body Workout Day - 52 Minutes

"10 Minute Solution: Pilates:" 
Pilates for Abs
Pilates for Buns & Thighs
Pilates for Flexibility
Sculpting Pilates
Pilates Burn

I did the entire 52 minute 10 Minute Solution Pilates DVD (all five segments) and I LOVED every minute of it! I've never, ever (and this DVD used to be my favorite) been able to do the entire 52 minutes before and I was able to to do every exercise!

I sweated like crazy, my legs feel like jello and the most important thing is that I loved every minute of it.

Maybe this whole time the problem was that I was getting burnt out on the same type of strength training that I've been doing for, what, two years now, and I just needed a huge change and that's why my workouts kept stalling and fizzling out?

Anyway, cardio tomorrow and then I have, like, 166 other DVDs to choose from on the Amazon channel I found the workout on. My biggest fear this whole time was that the DVD's moved too fast for me but after all the weight I've lost, they're not too fast anymore!

So maybe I won't be building serious muscle right now but as long as I'm doing something and actually enjoying myself, that's what counts, right? And eventually I'll be back at the serious stuff but right now I need a break from it. And I have pilates, yoga, weights, dance, cardio, barre and all sorts of other DVD's to choose from to keep me from getting bored!

I am so pumped and excited and I actually can't wait to work out again!!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thursday Weigh-In - December 7th - Twenty-Six Weeks Low Carb/Keto Plus Measurements

Thursday Weigh-In - December 7th:
12/07/2017:                  -2.2 pounds
Total lost:                     70.2  pounds
Current Weight:          159.8 pounds

Holy crap, I'm in the 150's!!!!! Today is 6-months (26 weeks) of low carb/keto with no cheating and I'm down 70.2 lbs since June 2015 and 38.8 lbs down in that 26 weeks! I have 29.8 lbs to go until I hit my goal weight... less than 30 pounds away and I hit my short-term goal is 160 so my new short-term goal is 155 lbs!

This is what my My Fitness Pal weigh-in's for the last six months have looked like...

...which is really awesome! I've lost weight every week for the last six months! Yes, it has slowed down and it'll start getting even slower soon but I'm okay with this.

My biggest goal right now, outside of sticking with what I've been doing, is to get back to working out. I really, really need to create some muscles here to offset the sagging skin and because I freaking love working out lol.

I'm guessing I'll probably be in the 150's for a good two months (if not more) because that's how long it took to get out of the 160's and I'm not really worried about it. I'd love to be done but I'm doing this in such a way that the weight will stay off. There's no reason to rush it.

I also did my measurements and I lost on everything but upper arms and jean size! The most recent will be posted here and the total amounts will be on my "weigh-in and measurements" page.

Lost between 10/26-12/07        Total Lost:
Waist: -0.5 inch                         9.5 inches
Hips: - 1.0 inch                        10.0 inches
Bust:  - 1.0 inch                         9.0 inches
Chest: - 0.5 inches                     11 inches
Right arm: -0 inches                  2.8 inches
Left arms: -0 inches                   2.8 inches
Right thigh:-0.5 inch                  6.5 inches
Left thigh: - 0.5 inch                  6.5 inches
Right calf: - 0.2 inches               2.5  inches
Left calf:   - 0.2 inches               3.0 inches
Jeans Size: no change                 5 sizes

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

180 days Low Carb/Keto Cheat Free!!!

So, today is 180 days cheat free low carb/keto and my next 30 days of being cheat free which earned me my favorite tank top to date! I think I was originally going to post this at 175 days but I forgot.

Also, I had to get a replacement tank top because this one was a little too big at the bottom and I know that it'll be way too big in a matter of months which is actually really cool!

The last 30 days have been the same as the several 30 day cycles before them in terms of food, calories and macros and I'm still working on getting my exercise back on track. The only things that's changing is how fast the weight is coming off because it's definitely slowing down but that's normal and I'm still at some kind of weekly weight loss so I'm not complaining (too much anyway lol).

I'm still within all my numbers (I haven't gone over 46 net grams of carbs in 180 days and I've lost 36.6 lbs in that time). I'm still losing inches and sizes (as shown by the huge trash bag of clothes I gave away that are too big for me now). I'm still not binging, cheating or craving cheating but I'm also tired. I want a day where I can just eat whatever and not think about it or plan for it or worry or track or any of that but that's what Christmas is for and that's only 20 days away.

And, speaking of Christmas, here is where things change just a little. The next no cheat cycle is only going for 20 days because Christmas falls on Day 200 and that's my feast day. 

I think that at this point I will start the 30-day count over again the day after Christmas and once 30 days pass from then I get another tank top but I'm not sure because I will have that last 20 days under my belt already so I'm still figuring that out.

Other than that the total daily count is staying the same but now it'll be posted and talked about as "200 days low carb/keto, 1 cheat day" versus "200 days low carb/keto cheat free." I hope that makes sense lol.

So my main goals right now are to get into the 150's within this month (getting closer and closer to that every week), get back to regular working out and just keep working hard!

And here's my new tank top in a size Large... I have a Medium on it's way to me in the mail!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thursday Weigh-In - November 30th - Twenty-Five Weeks Low Carb/Keto

Thursday Weigh-In - November 30th:
11/30/2017:                  -0.4 pounds
Total lost:                        68  pounds
Current Weight:             162 pounds

Twenty-five weeks (175 days) of no cheating and I'm down almost another half a pound! This is also a loss of 36.6 lbs in the twenty-five weeks of low carb/keto with no cheating and I only have 32 lbs to go until my original goal weight!

I seem to be in this pattern where I have one week with a small loss and the next week with a bigger loss and then back to the small one but, hey, they're losses so I'll take them!

My short-term goal is still 160 but I really want to be in the 150's by Christmas when I have my one day to feast (I can't wait!). Seeing as I'm only 2.1 pounds away from the 150's I should be able to make it to there without much of a problem!

I'm also only 5 "no cheat days" away from a new tank top and I've already ordered it! I can't wait because I think it's going to be my favorite thanks to the slogan on it! I'll post a pic when it actually comes.

I didn't have the best week in terms of being sick and exercising. I didn't complete the step challenge (although I went above and beyond on the days that I DID do it) and I haven't worked out since Saturday but all that is in the works. I am finally getting better (although still stuffed up and coughing up crap) so I'm hoping to be back in workout mode by this weekend.

So my plans for this coming week and, pretty much for December, are to stick with my food goals like I have been, keep working on the weight loss and start up my workouts again.

I'm not doing any specific challenges this coming month because December is usually crazy anyway and there's a lot of stressful stuff going on but at least I'm doing awesome with my food!

Monday, November 27, 2017

So Sick of Being Sick...

Yes, I'm sick AGAIN!

I woke up Saturday morning with a horrible sore throat after being not sick anymore for days. Now I'm coughing up disgusting gunk, my nose is stuffed up, my throat still hurts, I'm losing my voice and I feel like crap.

I had to take a workout rest day yesterday and a full rest day today (no workout, no steps).

My scale is climbing up like crazy but my food, calories, macros and everything has been on track and on plan so I know it's not real weight, probably water retention, but it still sucks to see that number climb! I'm just hoping it's back down to at least what it was last week by weigh-in day.

Charles is still coughing too so I have no idea how long this freaking bug will be in out house or if the kids are getting it next.

This sucks and I'm sick (hahahahaha no pun intended) of it!!!

Motivational Monday

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Saturday, November 25th Workout - Abs Day A - Upper, Lower & Obliques Plus Stretch

I wasn't sure if this workout was even going to happen today. Woke up with a horrible sore throat and coughing up gunk again. Whatever bug is in this house, we seem to be passing it back and forth. Let's just hope the kids don't pick it up!

Anyway, I felt good enough to get it done mostly because I have no idea how I'll feel tomorrow so I'm using every opportunity to get a work out in!

Also, holding contractions on the "dead bug" is worse than holding them on squats but I did it!

Abs Day A - Upper, Lower & Obliques Plus Stretch - 1 hour, 6 minutes

Upper, Lower & Obliques: 45 Minutes

Basic Warm Up

Basic Triangle Crunch - 4 sets x 10 reps

6-Inch Hold - 2 sets x 16 seconds, 1 set x 13 seconds & 1 set x 12 seconds

Dead Bug - 4 sets x 10 reps

Prone Side Reaches - 4 sets x 10 reps

Reaching Obliques - 4 sets x 10 reps

Standing Anchored Band Oblique Crunch - 4 sets x 10 reps: 4 x 20 lb band

Full body Stretch - 21 Minutes

Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday, November 24th Workout - Leg Day A - Gutes, Quads, Hamstrings and Calves Plus Stretch

Holy crap... one, I can barley use my arms due to soreness (woohoo) and, two, pausing on every rep contraction is killer on leg days!! It was sooo hard but so worth it at the same time!

I might be crawling for the next two days but if I can keep this up I will look and feel amazing this summer!!

Abs Day A tomorrow. One of these days I'll add cardio back in but for now the 10,000 steps a day or more will have to do!

Leg Day A - Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings & Calves Plus Stretch: 1 hour, 28 Minutes Total Time

Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings & Calves: 65 Minutes

Basic Warm up

Basic Plank - 1 x 71 seconds, 1 x 65 sec, 1 x 60 sec

Single Leg Glute Bridge (Leg on Thigh) - 4 sets x 10 reps

Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise- 4 sets x 10 reps: 4 x 10 lb

Seated Weighted Quad Extensions - 4 sets with weights held between feet x 10 reps: 4 x 10 lb ankle weights per ankle w/8 lbs dumbbells

Prone Dumbbell Hamstring Curl - 4 sets with weights held between feet x 10 reps: 4 x 10 lb ankle weights per ankle w/5 lbs dumbbells

Paused Plie Squat w/Dumbbell  -  4 sets x 10 reps: 4 x 15 lbs

Single Leg Calf Raise: -  4 sets x 10 reps

Full body Stretch - 23 Minutes

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thursday, November 23rd Workout - Pull Day A - Back, Traps & Biceps Plus Stretch

Wooo... another great workout and I'm SO feeling yesterday's as well! Tomorrow will be Leg Day A!

I haven't added cardio back in yet but I am doing at least 10,000 steps a day and that's got to count for something!

We also added some extra hooks to the doorway of my workout closet and I reorganized two shelves on my entertainment center to have more room to organize all of my equipment, especially all the stuff I can hang up. Now I can just grab what I need instead of sorting through it and  trying to figure out were I put it! And it looks soooo much better than it did before!

Pull Day A - Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms Plus Stretch: 1 hour, 14 Minutes Total Time

Back, Traps & Biceps: 52 Minutes

Basic Warm up

Basic Plank - 1 x 62 seconds, 1 x 61 sec, 1 x 60 sec

Superman Hold - 4 sets x 20 seconds

Wide Grip Anchored Band Lat Pulldown on Swiss Ball w/Lat Bar - 4 sets x 10 reps: 4 x 50 lb band + 8 lb bar

Anchored Band Bicep Curl- 4 sets x 10 reps: 4 x 20 lb band

Dumbbell Upright Row -  4 sets x 10 reps: 4 x 8 lbs

Dumbbell Standing Hammer Bicep Curl -  4 sets x 10 reps: 4 x 8 lbs

Anchored Band Shrug -  4 sets x 10 reps: 4 x 40 lb band

Seated Dumbbell Forearm Curl - 4 sets x 10 reps: 4 x 3 lbs

Full body Stretch - 22 Minutes

Thursday Weigh-In - November 23rd - Twenty-Four Weeks Low Carb/Keto

Thursday Weigh-In - November 23rd:
11/23/2017:                  -1.4 pounds
Total lost:                      67.6  pounds
Current Weight:            162.4 pounds

Yes! I had a great loss this week and am slowly making my way to my goal! This is also a loss of 36.2 lbs in the twenty-four weeks of low carb/keto with no cheating and I only have 32.4 lbs to go until my original goal weight!

This also means I've lost weight every week for the last twenty-four weeks. It's definitely slowing down, I seem to be having a small loss week and then a good loss week and then back to the small loss but I'll take it.

I do wish I could be done already but its not like I'll ever be actually "done." Like I've said over and over again, this is isn't a diet and I'm not going back t the way I used to eat once I hit my goal but it would be nice to relax a little and allow occasional special day foods in.

So the plan now is to stick to what I've been doing, keep going with the exercise and steps (I can't wait to do Pull Day A today) and just keep plugging away at it.

I will need to rethink my clothes again soon because my size "large" clothes are getting really loose but I have enough to get me by through the winter.

And I still can't wait for Christmas Day so I can have yummy, high carb foods and just enjoy them!!

Happy Thanksgiving...

From all of us to all of you!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wednesday, November 22nd Workout - Push Day A - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Stretch

I finally, finally worked out again and I feel amazing!!

I had been tossing around the idea of going to the gym but with how sick Charles is and how many germs are floating around my house I decided to stick with home and, wow, did I get an amazing work out!

I held every single contraction like I was supposed to and it hurt but it a great way! I'm also going to be hurting tomorrow but, once again, in a great way and I can't wait to work out tomorrow too!

I was also shocked by how much looser my workout clothes were but seeing as it's been almost a month since I worked last out I guess that makes sense.

Weigh-in day tomorrow!!

Wooooo...I'm pumped lol!

Push Day A - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Stretch: 1 hour, 19 Minutes Total Time

Chest, Shoulders & Triceps: 58 Minutes

Basic Warm up

Basic Plank - 1 x 70 seconds, 1 x 62 sec, 1 x 60 sec

Anchored Band Tricep Pulldowns - 4 sets x 10 reps: 4 x 20 lb band

Standing Anchored Band Chest Press w/Bar - 4 sets x 10 reps: 4 x 30 lb band + 3 lb bar

Seated Dumbbell Press (Palms Facing Out) - 4 sets x 10 reps: 4 x 8 lbs

Crossface Tricep Extensions -  4 sets x 10 reps: 4 x 5 lbs

Dumbbell Fat Bench Fly-  4 sets x 10 reps: 4 x 8 lbs

Anchored Band Lateral Raises -  4 sets x 10 reps: 4 x 20 lb band

Full body Stretch - 22 Minutes

Monday, November 20, 2017

Just Some Thoughts and Updates

As you guys may have noticed, I have been pretty quiet this week. Mostly this is because I've been really sick since about Thursday with the weekend being the worst and today not being great.

I ended up missing Gabriel's play, church and a bunch of appointment and I'm on day 3 of almost no steps because I feel like total crap. I think it is finally starting to get better but I did manage to give it to Charles which makes things even more fun :/

On top of that, as of Thursday night, I had to stop using the antibiotic cream for my face from the dermatologist because it was making my skin about 100 times worse from the moment it actually touched my skin. I gave it 4 days and it got worse with every use so the derm told me to stop using it and they called in something different but my insurance only approved it just now and it has to be special ordered by pharmacy so I won't have it until tomorrow.

In the meantime, nothing with my face has changed for the better and it's actually dryer than ever and feels itchy and not good. At least the rash hasn't come back!

I also attempted to try and use my pull up bar with the assisted band I got for it and I guess I'm a big scaredy cat because I couldn't come up with the courage to let go and step off the chair. I just feel like it won't hold me even though I know it's limit is 220 lbs and Charles hung on it for a second and it held him. I just couldn't take that step off. I guess I need to keep working on it or something.

I do want to start my workouts up this week, at home because screw germs! I'm not getting sick again!! And we don't really do Thanksgiving so it's more like us having a bunch of days off to just hang out together and put the tree up the day after, so I'm hopping to feel better enough to get my butt back in exercise mindset and back to my steps.

Food and tracking and diet and all that is going great by the way, the issue now is being sick and lack of exercise.

I think that's about everything.

Motivational Monday

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thursday Weigh-In - November 16th - Twenty-Three Weeks Low Carb/Keto

Thursday Weigh-In - November 16th:
11/16/2017:                  -0.4 pounds
Total lost:                      66.2  pounds
Current Weight:            163.8 pounds

Another week, another loss! It may be a pretty small one but I'm thrilled with it because up until this morning the scale hadn't moved down all week!

I now have 33.8 pounds to go until goal weight and I'm on day 161 of no cheating, and, I have to be honest here, I'm getting more and more tired of "dieting." Yes, I know I'm changing my lifestyle and not actually dieting but I'm tired of the whole thing right now.

It's not that I'm craving carby foods and it's not that I'm not making progress or anything like that I'm just tired. I want a day or two where I don't have to count and weigh everything and worry about what I'm eating but I know I'm not ready for that, and I'm not done, so I'm just going to keep going.

But I am SO looking forward to my feast day on Christmas! And I don't need to worry about Thanksgiving because we don't do Thanksgiving anyway lol.

I was also all set to do a big gym workout today until I woke up miserably sick. So, for today, I want to do my steps (at least 12,000) and I start to feel any better instead of just feeling worse as the day goes on then I'll do more. I am doing awesome with my steps so I'm thrilled about that.

I also decided to just put the gym off until Spring because my body can't seem to handle germs right now. This is the second time I've been sick in less than two weeks and with winter coming, I'm going to stick with working out at home and worry about the gym come Spring. There's tons I can do here anyway!

I think that covers it for now!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Thoughts And Updates on Dermatologist, Skin Issues, Workouts - Gym/Home and More!

It's been a long few days so I'm breaking this down into bullet points...

  • I finally saw the dermatologist. He thinks what's going on with my face, neck and chest is Rosacea but after listening to me explain what happened and  looking at all the photos I had, he said he can't discount the possibility of lupus (which, you know, I wasn't surprised to hear with all the other autoimmune crap I have going on).                                                                             
  • For the next month I'm on a serious sun block in the mornings and an antibiotic topical cream at night. I'm going to continue to take pics depending on what my skin does and if that same kind of rash comes back anytime during this month I need to call his office ASAP and they'll get me right in. He said if he had seen me during that rash he probably would have biopsied it :/                                                                                                                                                            
  • I go back in a month and we'll go from there. I'm hoping this clears up the problem but we'll see. I'm not going to obsess about it right now.                                                                                  
  • I still haven't started working out again (outside of hitting my 10,000 steps a day or more) and since yesterday I've been wanting to hit the gym again. I was waiting for that feeling to away like it normally does but as of right now I still want to go back so I really sat back and thought about it and here's my new thoughts...                                                                                                                
  • I'm going to finalize my home and gym workout plans and as soon as I feel up to them again, I'll do either gym or home or some of both. My gym membership goes until January 1st which gives me over a month to go if I really want to and see how I like going in the cold and dark and then decide if I want to keep the gym or not. It seems more sensible for me to leave the option open while I can instead of deciding today that I'm done.                                                                                                       
  • I think it's all going to depend on how I feel on a particular day, what my schedule is like and what the weather is doing! In the meantime, I don't actually have to make a final decision until January 1st so I can at least stop obsessing for now!                                                                        
  • But I am seriously missing working out and I really have to fit some kind of workout back into my plan ASAP!!!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday Thoughts...

I had a great time at my best friend's this weekend!

My food stayed completely on track and I hit over 13,000 steps on Friday (thanks to the mall) and will hit over 10,000 today! I did make Saturday a rest day because of how badly my back hurt so I'll just skip the coming up rest day on Tuesday and do regular walking then.

I also discovered (because I asked my friend to measure my height so I could know exactly what it was) that I'm 1/2 inch shorter than I thought all these years.

I'm 5'2.5 and not 5'3 which shouldn't matter that much I guess, it just means that I need to lose an extra 2 lbs to get into the overweight BMI and could actually shoot for a lower weight loss goal if I wanted to but, for now, I'm leaving my goals as they are.

I haven't weighed myself since Friday which is really weird to me so it'll be interesting to see what the scale shows tomorrow. Hopefully things are still on the downward trend.

I plan to start my full workouts tomorrow with Push Day A, cardio and stretch as long as my back holds out. Other than that everything else: food, plans, etc are pretty much staying the same.

I will also be seeing the dermatologist on Tuesday morning (finally!!) so hopefully we can figure out what's going on with my skin.

I think that's all I have for now!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thursday Weigh-In - November 9th - Twenty-Two Weeks Low Carb/Keto

Thursday Weigh-In - November 9th:
11/09/2017:                  -2.0 pounds
Total lost:                      65.8  pounds
Current Weight:            164.2 pounds

Yes!! I had an awesome loss this week and I worked hard for it! Not only did I stick to my food plan (despite how much I want that damned donut yesterday) but I did 8,000 - 12,000 steps a day for the last 7 out of 8 days (one day was a rest day). Those steps really added up fast and my body feels so much more ready to work out once this weekend is over!

So, I've lost weight every week for the last 22 weeks and I'm down 34.4 lbs in the same 22 weeks of no cheating! And I only have 34.2 pounds to go until my original goal weight!!

This week my plan doesn't really change much... stick to the food plan, stick to the step goals and start up my serious workouts again on Monday (as long as I feel okay because usually after a weekend away my body makes me pay for the fun with some serious pain).

Other than that, nothing much is changing. I'm just chipping away at my goal bit by bit and eventually I'll get there!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Home Gym For the Win!

Home gym it is!

After tons of thinking, planning, making lists, more thinking, some obsessing, lots of talking and many opinions, I'm going with my home gym for now.

A lot of this has to do with the coming winter, financial costs, germs, bad weather and more financial  issues.

I have a fantastic "gym" of my own that I've been slowly building and I'm happy here. I love the actual gym but right now we're cutting everything that counts as extra and making as many cutbacks as possible.

I am going to consider the actual gym again when Spring comes with better weather and. hopefully, a better financial situation.

In the meantime, I'll be starting up my official workouts again as of Monday (I'll be out of town all weekend and will at least manage my steps and some stretching) so stay tuned for those!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

To Gym or Not to Gym... That is the Question...

So, for the last several days I've been contemplating if I should continue working out at home or return to the gym (currently I'm just working on 10,000 steps a day until the pain days improve so I have time to think).

There are definitely pros and cons to both and it's hard for me to make this decision but a decision needs to be made.

Sure, it would be great to do both BUT if I pay for a gym membership I actually need to attend and not waste my money and if I do that then I need to stop making excuses (like... it's cold out, it's raining~soon to be snowing, I don't have time, I'm tired, it's getting late, it'll be dark by the time I'm done...) and just go and I need to stop purchasing equipment for my home because I really can't afford to do both.

If  I choose to stay at home instead then I can keep buying affordable stuff for the home but I need to stop spending money on a gym membership I don't use because, once again, I can't afford to do both.

Sure, I can go to the gym for the majority of the time and do things like yoga, pilates, stretching and outdoor walks (in good weather) at home but just stop buying stuff to challenge myself more and make myself work harder so let's do some pros and cons because it always helps me to "think out loud."

Also, at this time one of my pros for staying at home is the fact that no one will shoot me here and even I know that's not a mentally healthy thought so I suppose I should deal with that sometime soon!

Okay, so, let's do this...

Working Out at Home Pros:
  • I don't have to leave my house
  • I don't have to wait on any machines or equipment and it doesn't matter what I look like
  • I can watch movies while working out
  • I'm right at home in case of emergencies or issues
  • I can work out at any time or day
  • immediate bathroom access (I have IBS... trust me, this one is important)
  • doesn't officially cost me anything
  • bad weather won't prevent a workout
  • I don't have to pack a bag or forget my water bottle or headphones or whatever
  • I don't have to deal with other people
  • someone is usually here to take my pics for my Instagram during workouts
  • no germs!
  • I can get all my questions answered online by my trainer and meet with her is the need exists
  • I can go as slow or as fast as I want and really focus on every rep without worrying that I have to rush home again
  • I can grunt, swear and yell as much as I want and not feel stupid lol
  • I seem more likely to stick to a home routine more than a gym routine
  • I'm a lot less likely to wake up on a super rainy day and say "ugh, I'm not going out in this today" vs going "it's raining but it's not like I have to leave the house so let's work out."
  • I can split my workouts into morning and late afternoon and not have to worry about getting to the gym twice
  • I do get a huge endorphin rush even at home
  • if I pay money for equipment I can suit it to what I want/need and I get to keep it with no membership needed... it's mine for life
  • I'm a lot more likely to do simple exercises or a yoga DVD on high pain days rather than go to the gym... high pain days are for home
  • um... I don't have to leave my house (I know, I know, I said that one already)

Working Out at Home Cons:
  • I don't get quiet the same kind of endorphin rush as the gym
  • I don't get as sore or feel my workout has been as tough as at the gym
  • the money I'd spend on a gym membership is actually being spent on random home equipment most months :/
  • a lot less options for equipment and cardio choices
  • if my form is wrong there's no one to correct it
  • if I don't know how to do an exercise I can't just ask someone that minute and have someone show me how to do it
  • I am more isolated which isn't the best thing for my metal health at times
  • distractions... so many, many distractions
  • my cardio is limited to DVDs (unless I can get outside or eventually afford a treadmill)
  • The Christmas tree is going to seriously get in the way of my workout space from end of November to New Year's Day although I'm working on a plan for that

Working Out at the Gym Pros:
  • Very short drive to get there - less than 10 minutes from home
  • 2 available bathrooms (IBS thing again)
  • Internet and phone access in case of emergencies
  • tons of options for equipment and cardio
  • weight training machines that support my back and push me harder
  • huge endorphin rush
  • I sweat more and am twice as sore as any at-home workouts
  • someone to correct my form
  • someone to answer my questions or show me how to do a certain exercise
  • I can listen to music for the whole workout and/or watch a movie during cardio
  • endless exercise options using dumbbells, kettle balls, cables, machines, free weights, barbells, squat rack, cardio stuff and many, many more... also higher quality equipment than what I have at home
  • people to talk to and get inspired by
  • people to share workout progress and accomplishments with
  • I can go at anytime since it's 24 hours
  • my trainer is there twice a week and can answer all my questions and show me how to do whatever I want to learn to do
  • making new friends
  • full length mirrors so I can take my own pics as I go and watch my form and muscles work as I work out
  • learning new exercises and routines just by watching people or asking and being able to see if first hand and not on YouTube
  • The equipment is mostly set up and ready for me... for example: I don't have to figure out how many times to wrap a resistance band around an anchor to make it heavy enough or short enough for an exercise... I just choose the weight and go

Working Out at the Gym Cons:
  • I actually have to make myself go there
  • have to make sure I can fit so much time into my schedule so I don't have to break up a workout or end it early
  • monthly payments
  • having to leave my warm house in rain, snow and cold
  • having it closed or not being able to get there in snow or ice storms
  • sharing equipment or waiting to use it
  • germs!!!!!
  • no one to take my pics for Instagram while I work out
  • making sure I have everything I need - sneakers, water bottle, headphones, phone, yoga mat, printed workout, etc
  • feeling intimidated by others - maybe, it depends on the day
So, that's what I have so far (if I think of more I'll add it throughout the day). 

Thoughts, opinions, ideas?

Help me out here people!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

150 days Low Carb/Keto Cheat Free!!!

So... today is not just 150 days low carb/keto with no cheating but also my my most current 30-day no cheat streak (so I have a new tank top - pic at the bottom of the page).

These last 25 days have been pretty much the same as a the previous 25. I'm sticking with everything I've been doing before, I'm not having any major cravings and I'm still losing weight.

Some weeks the weight loss is better than others but it's still going down and it was bound to slow down so I'm okay with that.

I was doing great with working out until the pain days kicked back in and my face/neck/chest is just a mess with my skin (still the redness and heat but no spots for now). I'm starting to think that all of this is some kind of autoimmune thing and nothing that I'm doing wrong which kind of sucks in a way because if it was something I was doing, I'd be able to fix it.

This month I'm doing the 30-days step challenge again so that's keeping me going and walking and I'm definitely eating more calories than before because I'm hungry from burning off calories during workouts and walking but it all seems to be evening out come weigh-in day.

So... in 150 days I have not gone over 46 net grams of carbs, I've lost 32.4 pounds (based on my last weigh-in) and countless inches and sizes and I'm looking and feeling better every day.

I still haven't binged and have no plans to binge. I'm still planning my feast day for Christmas but that's not for 50 more days so it's nothing I need to worry about now. I've also hit five 30-day no cheating goals now which is really cool!

I have had absolutely NO desire to have any Halloween candy despite the fact that there's been a giant bowl of it in the house for three weeks now and that feels amazing! I don't miss junk food and crap food at all. Occasionally I think about how yummy it would be to have a small piece of good bread or something but it's not a cravings or anything, just a passing thought and it just feels so great to be in control of what and how much I'm eating!

I have no plans to stop any of this and will just keep sticking with what I'm doing until I hit my goal weight and then I can attempt to figure out maintenance, but, once again, that's nothing I need to worry about right now.

I think that covers it for now!

New 30-day tank-top and it's a size Medium!!!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Thursday Weigh-In - November 2nd - Twenty-One Weeks Low Carb/Keto

Thursday Weigh-In - November 2nd:
11/02/2017:                  -0.2 pounds
Total lost:                      63.8  pounds
Current Weight:            166.2 pounds

This week I had a tiny loss but I'm okay with this. I didn't really work out much because I've been in pain and felt like crap all week and I know I didn't do anything wrong with my food so it just is what it is.

I've been mentally preparing myself for a while now for the weigh loss to slow down because it was bound to start slowing by now so I'm just going to stay on track and on plan like I have been and, hopefully, kick the exercise back in high gear this week.

I'm also going to keep working on eating more real food with decent protein rather than just grabbing a protein bar or shake because it's easier and I don't want to deal with "real" food. Plus I know that as soon as the pain days and headaches settle down again, things will get back on a better track.

I think that's all I have right now!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November Plans...

Happy November everyone!

My Facebook group and I have decided to try the 30-Day Step Challenge that we occasionally do starting today.

Normally, I'll be doing the Intermediate level but since I'm still dealing with a nasty headache that doesn't seem to want to leave as well as more joint pain, today will probably just be beginner level steps.

And, thanks to feeling like utter crap for the last few days, my workouts have obviously been on hold. I have been stretching but that's about all for now but I am hoping to get back into them tomorrow, or at least start one and see how I feel as I do it. I really want to get back into the workout rhythm I've been developing and I'm absolutely loving my current workout plan and set up. I just need this pain tho go away.

As for food, I'm going to continue on with the exact plan I've been following since June. It's going really well (except this week the scale has barely moved at all but, that's okay, that was bound to happen sooner or later and missing days and days of exercise isn't helping) and it just works for me.

I'm almost at my next 30-day no cheating day and I've already ordered my tank top reward so I'll have a photo of that when it's time to put it on!

This "no-cheating" thing seems to be getting easier and easier as I go! I wasn't even tempted once with all of the Halloween candy and last year I would have probably wanted the entire, giant bowl so that's a pretty cool feeling! I'm still having my one "feast" day on Christmas Day but that's not until next month so I'm not really worrying about that right now.

We'll also need to figure out where to put the tree so it doesn't get in the way of my workout space but, once again, that's not something we have to deal with right now so it's not that important.

So... the plan is continue low carb/keto with no cheating, do the step challenge and get back into the workout groove!!

Let's do this!!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The "Secret" To My Success... Very, Very, Very Long... Part TWO

Okay, now that the hard part is over, "The "Secret" To My Success... Very, Very, Very Long... Part ONE - READ THIS FIRST) , let's talk about what I'm doing and what I changed this time around to actually be successful with my weight loss and fitness.

This is the biggest and important change of all - I stopped all cheating cold turkey.

There are no more cheat days, cheat meals, cheat snacks etc. If it doesn't fit into my macros and calories then I don't eat it. The only exception will be Christmas day where I get one free day and even that won't be a free-for-all. It will be one meal and one small desert. NO binging!

Yes, not cheating is hard. It takes a lot of willpower and the first week is the absolute worst (the 2nd week isn't the greatest either) but I promise, it DOES get easier! The longer you don't cheat, the less you will want to.

You will need to take it one hour, one day, one pound at a time. Post about it all over Facebook if you have to, talk and talk and talk about it when you need it and it really does help to have someone who will stop you but let's back up for a minute. Here's in what I basically do....

1) I admitted to myself that I am a simple carb and sugar addict and I can NOT control myself when it comes to those foods so those foods are no longer part of my life. The longer I don't have them, the less I miss them. Not only do they make me break out with unhealthy skin and added pounds but they set of this chain reaction of binging. I haven't had any high carb foods in 143 days and I don't even want them at this point. And ever since I stopped eating them, I stopped binging.

It's kind of like being a drug addict. Simple carbs and sugar are my drug and I'm getting clean.

2) I count carbs, both total and net (carb total minus fiber). I track several macros including carbs, protein, fat, fiber and sugar. I stay under 49 total carbs and usually under 42 net carbs. Usually I'm in the mid-30's and upper 20's for net carbs although it varies throughout the week. I keep the fat higher and the protein somewhere between medium and high and get as much fiber as possible. The sugar naturally stays low because I don't eat unhealthy, sugary carbs.

3) I count calories. I keep it under 1300 calories a day. On days when I work out my calories have been going between 1250 and 1300 and on days that I don't work out I try to keep at about 1200 or under (since I'm short this is working for me).

I use MyFitnessPal for all my food tracking and absolutely love it. There are other places you can use but MFP is my long-standing favorite.

4) I weigh and measure all my food and all my ingredients. NOTHING goes in my mouth  until I know the calories and macros and everything get weighed down to the last almond. I have a lot of spacial perception issues (which sure is fun as an artist) and can never accurately estimate portion sizes so to be safe, it all gets weighed and measured and I'm used to it by now that it barely takes any time.

5) Exactly as the quote says I have changed my mindset on food. I'm choosing not to eat certain foods. I can have them if I really want to but I'm choosing not to because it will mess up my food plan and my weight loss and, because I know, it will probably make me feel like crap and not be worth it!

As an example, I found some mini Reese's dark chocolate peanut cups so I figured out that I could have one for so many carbs so I saved room for it and had one waiting to enjoy it. I'm still waiting. It didn't taste anywhere near as good as it used to and was really not worth it in the end. I'd rather fit in a small piece of some really good, high quality chocolate instead!

6) I've found substitutes for food I love. I started out with basic low carb/keto substitutes but it turns out that my Fibromyagia doesn't like alcohol sugars and they set off my fibro flares so all of those yummy things are out for me but they could be okay for you. You have to try numerous things to see what you like and what works for you. I did find some snacks without sugar alcohols and some recipes that I love and make often. Things like keto blueberry muffins make an amazing breakfast for me and I LOVE them!

7) Intermittent Fasting. Basically periods of time when you don't eat. I started mine without even realizing I was doing it. My last meal of the day is dinner at 5 pm and then I don't eat again until 8-9 am the next morning which gives me a 15-16 hour window of "fasting" and I'm asleep for most of it so win-win. Some people fast for 24 hours, some for longer, some for shorter. It's not necessary but it works for me!

8) I have people around me that support me and help me through the hard times. I have my family, my friends, my kids and my online communities. I have my Instagram which absolutely keeps me accountable as well as a private Faceboook exercise and "diet" board where everyone supports everyone else. I have the Facebook keto board which is an immeasurable help and I also have my trainer just a few clicks away.

I'm very, very lucky to be supported by some many people and I owe them a lot. That's one of the reasons I want to give back to others who might not get the same support or may need a little more. People help me and it's my turn to help others!

I also have this blog which also helps keep me accountable!

9) I set up rewards for every 30 days that I don't cheat. My first 4 "30-day" segments were rewarded with really cool weapons and my next 4 will be funny tanks tops (I already have one and just ordered the next).

You may need to set up more frequent rewards to make it work but 30 days works for me. If I could think if something little that I wanted (it can NOT be food!!!!) I may have done weekly rewards but I'm happy with what I'm doing and it definitely helps keep me on track!

10) I weigh in officially once a week (but I weigh myself every morning just to keep an eye the daily fluctuations) and I take my body measurements every 6 weeks or so. I also take progress photos every 13-15 or so pounds. I also post my weekly scale photo on Instagram and post my weight, measurements and progress pics on Instragram and my blog. That way, gain or lose, I'm still accountable for it!

11) I celebrate every victory that I can but I don't do it with food! I do it by, I don't know, I guess just being happy about it and posting online about it. So I lost a little less than half a pound some week... great... it's still a loss!

I lost more... awesome!

I went so many days without cheating... woohoo!

I was massively craving something and didn't give in... definitely something to be proud of!!

Look for the positives in what you're doing, NOT the negatives!

12) I celebrate NSV's (non-scale victories). Things like a smaller clothing size, clear skin, more energy, being able to lift a higher weight, being faster on your run...whatever it is! Whatever improvements you make, they need to count!

13) I exercise!! This is so, so important and you can do it any way you like and anywhere you like. If you like the gym and can afford it, great!! GO there!

If you prefer to work out at home, awesome! Work out there!

Do you want to run? Then run?

Do you hate to run and don't want to do cardio... okay, do some yoga! Lift some weights!

Who cares as long as you do something and enjoy yourself!!

Personally I do strength training (at home recently and am loving it), cardio because... well, it's not my favorite but I need it so I'm at least doing cardio I don't hate, and a long stretch with a lot of yoga poses thrown in. I don't run. I don't do Zumba, I don't really do classes. I do what I love (or like and deal with) and I'm happy with that!

14) This leads me to the next very important part... finding what works for you! I count calories and am low carb/keto (I'm not officially, strictly "keto" since I don't stay at 20 carbs and under so I usually just call it low carb/keto to be fair). But this won't work for everyone.

Someone may just want to count calories. Someone else might want to go Vegan. Someone may want to do Paleo and someone may just want to something entirely different. You have to find what works for YOU and not for someone else!

Personally, I truly believe that low crab/keto is the best thing in the world for me. It makes my fibro flares better, it obviously works for me for weight loss, my skin looked amazing up until something went wrong a few weeks ago (you can read back about it if you want but I still don't have an answer and don't see the Derm until the 14th so there's not too much posted about it) and I look and feel a decade younger!

But you have to find what will work for you! It may take some time and some experimentation or you can just decide on a way to go and just do it. Eventually something will click!

15) It takes time.... OMG, does it take time! I didn't become obese overnight and I'm not going to lose it overnight. I have had amazing success since I stopped cheating and I've lost weight every week since June 6th but I know that eventually it will slow down and come to a crawl. It won't continue at this pace forever and I have mentally prepared myself for that. You have to be ready. You have to know that you're facing a long, tough road and just, be ready. It will take a long time but, hey, that time will pass by anyway!

16) Take it pound by pound! If you're looking to lose, let's say 100 pounds because that's what I was looking at, thinking about losing the whole 100 pounds could be incredibly overwhelming! Take it pound by pound, day by day. What I do currently is know what my final goal weight is but I celebrate every 5 pounds lost so I always have my long-term goal and then 5-pound increments for my short-term goals and this works out well for me!

17) Be ready to set-backs, plateaus and an occasional gain. Now, honestly, I haven't had any of those since I stopped cheating but I'm sure they'll come eventually so I'm trying to look at all of it in a positive light.

For example, I spent that one year changing my mind on my eating plan and losing and gaining the same so many pounds for, well, the whole year. I can look back at that and kick myself for wasting a year and losing time and all that crap or I can look at it as a lesson learned: yes, I made no weight loss progress that year BUT I did generally maintain a 25-30 pound loss, I didn't gain everything back plus some and I learned what I can handle eating and what I can't!

18) Plan on a long-term plan. I know it's kind of a thing to say this but it's true, it is NOT a diet! It's a lifestyle change! If you only follow your plan until you're doing losing weight and then go back to what you were doing before, you will weight what you did  before! Yes, you will have some more leeway but you have to make a real, sustainable change which is yet another reason to do what works for you and what you can live with for the rest of your life!!

I plan on doing this for the rest of my life and I'm totally fine with it. Find what you can do, what you will do, and what will happily sustain you for life and you'll do great!

I think that may cover it for now but I'll definitely post more if it comes to me and, once again, if you would like some help, or just talk or have any questions for me please don't hesitate to reach out to me and keep in mind, I'm not done yet but I'm getting closer to it every day!!