Wednesday, July 11, 2018

It's Not Just About Weight Loss Anymore, It's About Health - Edited, Updated and Reposted

I've spent a lot of this past weekend and early week (when I wasn't studying) thinking about keto, low carb, exercise, whole foods, fibromyalgia, pain, headaches, weight loss, health, exercise and where I want to go from here on out for all of that.

I was away from home this past weekend which gave me a slightly different perspective (and had me eat some foods I didn't plan for and not really track well :/) and I also rewatched "The Magic Pill" keto documentary because I knew it would help get me on the right track.

What I've come to realize is that it's not only sugar alcohols that set off my fibro flares lately, it's a lot of processed foods in general. I thought it was higher carbs but that's not it, its the kind of carbs they are. The more processed the food, the worse it gets. The majority of the time it's the sugar alcohols (especially Erythritol although I seem to do okay with Stevia in small amounts) but other factors are starting to contribute. Like, I tend to be in more pain after having the Atkins shakes and the PowerCrunch bars than if I'm consuming natural foods.

I'm also coming to a point where it's really not about weight loss anymore. I mean, yeah, I'd love to lose some more weight but I think my health needs to be the high priority now especially as I don't even have an official goal weight anymore because I don't know what it should be.

Like I've posted on here before, I'd way rather focus on lowering my body fat and dropping inches than looking at the number on the scale. I'd love to get away from the scale altogether but mentally I don't see that happening any time soon.

But in order to do all this, in order to be really healthy, I need to change how I eat. Not leave keto because keto works best for my body, but turn it into a more "whole foods" keto or low carb type of meal plan. The problem lies in wanting to add in more fruits and veggies which, I think, would make me more low-carb than keto.

For example, I had watermelon over the weekend. Yummy, yummy, cold, sweet watermelon and it tasted amazing. There were brownies too but I wanted watermelon way, way more (which is huge for me to begin with). Did it raise my blood sugar because it's high on the glycemic scale? I'm sure it did. Was it healthy and delicious? Yes it was was. Did it hurt me in any way just because it wasn't a keto food but I had it anyway? I really doubt that.

And that's what it comes down to right now. The foods that I truly miss aren't pizza, pasta, cookies and bread (although, let's be honest, there are days I could kill for a piece of fresh, warm homemade bread). The foods I miss and crave are watermelon, sweet potato, butternut squash, plums, cherries, pears, etc and none of of those foods are bad for me! They're natural, whole foods. They're not going to hurt me.

Sure, they'll kick me out of ketosis but does that even matter to me any more? And, speaking of ketosis, the keto-mojo definitely needs to go. I used it for 3 days before the obsessive voice in my head whispering "quick, cut out the watermelon, berries and baby carrots to drop your ketones right now!!" came back with a vengeance so I definitely can not keep trying to use it. My brain just can't deal with it and that's how it is.

So anyway, ketosis. I know I'm not in it anymore. I might not have the official "keto" label anymore if I follow through with this plan but I think I'll be happier giving up the label and allowing those foods back in (in moderation) than to keep struggling and wishing I can have them. Or maybe it does still count as "keto." I think it all depends on who you talk too. Strict keto seems to be 20 grams of carbs and under but "officially" it's 50 grams and under which is my plan so I'm going to try and not obsess about the title and just go with what works for me.

I'm so tired of processed stuff and I know it's making my body sick and leaving me in pain so the only thing to do is to change that. I also know that I have the least amount of pain when I stick to natural, whole foods and more pain when I deal with alcohol sugars and all sorts of other crud.

I still want to remain low carb. I plan to still keep it at 50 whole carbs (or maybe some days net, I don't know yet. The limit is currently set as 50 total). As I said before, I lost almost all my weight at about 33-45 net grams of carbs (give or take a few) so I know weight loss works for me at those levels but I also know I feel really good at less carbs than that. I've gone under 20 net before and it went pretty well (except some obsessing) so not every day will be the same.

And fruit and veggies don't make me binge or crave more sugar. That's the big difference between those natural carbs and sugars for me versus the artificial ones.

I still want to keep it high-ish fat and really work on getting in healthy proteins and I still want to stay away from simple carbs and sugars. All I want to change is how I look at food and what kind of fruits and veggies I allow in. And I still want to stay away from cheat days.

In fact, I want to commit myself to this for an entire year including over the holidays and Christmas. I know that will make our Christmas food very different this coming year but I've committed to other ways of sticking to healthy choices before, but I've never tried a year and I really want to.

Knowing this, we actually had some Chinese food and cake earlier this week (so, yeah, the scale is very likely to go up tomorrow) and, honestly, I was able to have one piece of cake before it started making me sick because of how sweet it was and the Chinese food was okay but I could have done without it and I think I can do without it over the holidays. Plus if I plan carefully enough I can find some recipes for some holiday keto/low carb meals that will fit my plan and taste amazing!

I've been doing some research and I found a great keto site, with recipes that seem to be based around whole foods so I plan to do a lot of reading there. I think I can manage to try out at least one new recipe a week (especially with Charles' help) and the rest can come from veggies, meat, seafood, chicken and fruit.

I have had an "off" week so tomorrow is my official Day 1 again but I'm okay with that. The scale will likely go up but I'm okay with that too because I know tomorrow is a new day.

I've also been thinking a lot of about the gym and what I want to accomplish there and, as of now, I think I'm starting the LG plan again on Saturday (I'm crazy busy until then). I know I keep going back and forth but that's the one I'm really leaning toward right now but tomorrow I might be leaning toward my own plan again so I think I'll just decide when the day gets here. Either way I'll be doing some kind of workout and that's what counts!

I know all of this will take some time and work but I honestly think it'll be the best thing for my body in the long run. And, of course, if things start to go wrong with the additional carbs I will reconsider and replan as I go!

I hope I haven't missed anything I wanted to talk about but if I did I'm sure I'll be blogging more soon!

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