Weekly Weigh In #14

Monday, April 10, 2017

Guys, this hasn't been a good week.  I am down merely .1 pounds, and that is because I have been having a free for all since Friday.  Thank God I didn't gain anything.  Going keto is indeed a lot like quitting smoking.  You can't just quit and have one cigarette on the weekend without going back to the drawing board and starting at zero days since my last cigarette.  Well zero days since my last carb.

Not trying to throw God under the bus, but Friday's in Lent are basically impossible to be keto AND meat free.   I take that back, totally possible, but I was so tired of eggs and cheese and peanut butter on Friday, I was like give me pizza and give it to me now.

It all starts with the negotiation conversation you have with yourself.  "If you go to Mcdonalds you can't just have egg and cheese without the muffin.  With sausage gone, that is like no calories and I will starve by 9:30. Just get it with a biscuit"  Then I was thinking about dinner "well we need to go return that bench to Target, and the new Mod Pizza is right there, and that is a good meatless option, and I already ate a biscuit, so lets just have a carbs are okay day."  Then "Well, I am having carbs for dinner and breakfast, shrimp quesadilla for lunch!"  "It is carb day, lets make it really worthwhile and get ice cream on the way home, tomorrow is a new day."

THEN - "I am going to Mom's to help with yard work, so I ought to eat the muffin on the breakfast sandwich since I am going to be active."  "Man, it was hot out there today.  A McDonalds cone would so hit the spot right now." "Yes, Olive Garden sounds great, and I was active today so pass the breadsticks."

So to round out the weekend, I ate carbs all day Sunday too.  Obviously.

I ate the friggin muffin on my breakfast sandwich today too because I was sitting in standstill traffic and was 20 mins late to work.  Thanks, someone who got in a car accident.  

And I have had a headache all day and am going to have to re-withdrawal from carbs and sugar then do it all again next week because you know I will be feasting on Easter Sunday.  

Maybe I will just count calories this week and stop being such a whining drama queen...

This week I am just going to make sure to drink lots of water, hope for the best and enjoy Easter Sunday.

Afterward I will re-pump myself up for major keto weight loss victories.

Weekly Weigh In #13

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sorry I am late!  It is the end of the month and also end of the quarter so this accountant was tied up doing inventory and month end closing the books all day Monday.  Then yesterday I wanted to just do nothing, so I did.  Fun stuff, I will spare you the exciting details, lol.

Last week went okay.  I stayed on the low carb wagon mostly until Saturday.  Saturday my Mom and brother and I went to San Antonio for the day to visit grandparents.  We started the day at McDonalds where I ate the biscuit instead of removing it, then to City Market in Luling, for the greatest BBQ I've had in a long while.  Outside of City Market a bake sale for a sick child was happening, so we bought some treats from them.  Then later we went to Oscar's for puffy tacos, and you know I ate all that goodness plus half a giant cupcake when we got back.  It is Granny's birthday, after all.

Needless to say, I was up a bit on Monday.

I am proud of myself though, Sunday came around and I got right back on the horse with no carbs.  Old Natalie would have just said we had a good run and gone back to old habits.  So, go me!

This shirt really accentuates my rolls :\

A whole pound up from last week, but I hope to get back into the swing of low carb eating this week and try to lose a pound+.  

Again sorry for the late and short post, next week will be back to normal!

March Wrap Up

Friday, March 31, 2017

I started at 286.4 on 2/28/17 according to last month's wrap up and this morning I am weighing in at 278.8.  I am up a little from last week but I think it is due to the monthly bloat. 
  My loss for the month is 7.6 pounds!

Measurements for the month are more evidence of my bloatedness, I went up in my chest and waist areas!?! Maybe that means I am losing the dangerous visceral fat around my organs rather than the pudge in my outer layers?  I hope to be moving in the other direction next month.  (I noticed the picture isn't labeled, but those are bust, waist and hip measurements in that order)

March Goals

Keep my Lenten sacrifices of not eating pizza at all and forgoing desserts during the week.  I know this will be helpful in my weight loss efforts

Doing well!  Now that I am low carb I don't even bother with dessert anymore, but darn it I miss pizza.  I haven't had any yet but I am counting the days until Easter and I can make this low carb version

Exercise 4 times per week.  I am leaving my options open whether to get on the rower, do some youtube yoga, swing the kettle bell.  Time to get moving!

Utter fail.  Maybe I need to just quit with the exercise goals for now.  I make them and then have no intentions of keeping them.  I will perhaps reassess at another time. 

I really want to challenge myself and am setting a goal to weigh 279 or less by the end of next month.  I have been losing about a pound a week, and I realize 7.4 pounds is nearly double.  I haven't been 'trying' very hard either, so to mix things up I want to really focus and be disciplined.  I won't be crushed if I don't hit the goal, but I think if I do everything (mostly) right, I can do a lot better than a pound a week.

I did it!  That felt really good to type.  Plus the whole making a goal and achieving it feeling is pretty nice as well. ;)

Go through my clothing and find what is fitting and not.  Donate what I don't want.

Ugh, I need to do this and I am mad at myself for not getting it done.  

Review the goals weekly and not only on March 31.

I did really good with this for two weeks and that is where it ended.  If I had, maybe my clothes would be sorted by now.  

So about 50/50 with the goals. I feel like I met the most important ones, so I am pretty happy with the progress this month.  Now lets make some April goals!

April Goals

I don't like to make specific weight loss goals, even though I did last month.  I like the focus to just be on following the plan consistently and get the results that I get without the focus being on the number on the scale.  That being said, my minimum goal for the year was to stick to a pound a week, and I am at the end of the 13th week, heading into week 14 and am down a total of 14.2 pounds.  Right on schedule despite a slow start!  So by continuing this pattern, I expect to be around 274.8 this time next month. If my weight is lower on April 30th, so be it! 

Enjoy pizza in moderation once Easter is here, which I define as 2 times or less this month.

Wow my endocrinologist with my weight loss and improved lab work.

Go to the eye doctor, which my endocrinologist asked me to do the last time I saw her.

Stick with the tracking and low carb living

See you Monday for the next weigh in!

Weekly Weigh In #12

Monday, March 27, 2017

Week 12 is here and I am having a great week!  Remember last week when I said I wanted to try going lower carb to give my weight loss progress a boost?  Well I did, and I have seen fantastic results, to the tune of 4.6 pounds lost in a weeks time.  My motivation came in part from my annoyance with such slow progress, and from seeing the most incredible success stories on reddit about the Ketogenic or 'Keto' way of eating.  People are losing 50+ pounds in a matter of months!  It is exciting to get a quick fix, and while I don't think that is the best way to achieve long term successful weight loss, it can be a powerful motivator.

And good riddance to the 280s!!

Now Keto eating is a super strict way of eating, your goal is to keep your carbs below 30g per day.  There are carbs in so many things though, like I had a V8 vegetable juice and that is 7 right there.  I did not want to commit to such extremes, especially since I am a type 2 diabetic and am on lots of medications and don't want to low carb myself into a coma.  I don't like to mess with my meds without my doctor being involved, but if I would start feeling a little funny like my blood sugar was getting very low I would skip the next metformin dose.

Eating this way totally isn't the worst.  For breakfast it is usually eggs and breakfast meat.  Today I am enjoying the other half of a delicious omelette I ordered yesterday after church - eggs, spinach, bacon, and corned beef.  It is delicious!  Lunch is my usual random assortment of grab and go foods.  Sometimes I bring more eggs, sometimes I wrap up lunch meat and cheese around a pickle spear, or I find a nice lower carb soup that doesn't have rice or noodles or potatoes.  Dinner is meat and a veggie side, or I just straight up don't eat the bun off a burger or sandwich.  Basically if it is any sort of bread/grain/carb thing, I won't eat it, and nothing with sugar either.  Some keto eaters will eat berries since they are low sugar, and that was my treat for the weekend.  I am not trying to be a totally control freak over it - like I will eat something breaded(like a chick fil a chicken egg and cheese bagel, hold the bagel) and it hasn't seemed to have a negative effect.  My carb ranges have averaged in the 60s, but that feels low enough to me.

I have to say, the results thus far keep me motivated day to day, and I treat it kind of like smoking or AA.  Maybe CSA? Carbs and Sugar Anonymous?  Kidding aside, the first three days of giving up carbs sucked, I got headaches and I wanted to go eat an entire chocolate cake by mid day. I had to just suck it up and just stick with it and by Thursday it was smooth sailing.  I feel like if I were to have a 'cheat day' and just eat anything I'd have to go through that hellish three days again.  No thanks!  This mindset has been a Godsend for the weekends.  Much to my delight, eating this way has made it extremely easy to stay well under my calorie limit as well.  The premise of this way of eating is LCHF - low carb high fat, so you can be as liberal as you wish with the butter, the cheese, the fatty cuts of meat, etc.  This is so helpful in keeping you full and not focused on you next meal constantly.

I'm not trying to evangelize this diet, (it has only been a week, after all) but I about fall over dead with shock when I check my blood sugar in the mornings.  Before, under 150 for me is alright.  (These are first waking up readings) When I cut calories it would be about 120 give or take.  I'd get really proud of myself if it was under 110, and it was a rare day when I was even under 100.  Like maybe I fell asleep at 6pm and skipped dinner.  Now - freakin' 80's for several days in a row now!!  I even check twice sometimes because that just seems unreal.  Shouldn't I feel weak and dizzy with sugar that low??  (no, because this is a completely normal and healthy blood sugar level to have). I have an appointment with my endocrinologist next month and I am looking forward to knowing the results of my lab work and getting all the compliments about the pounds I've dropped.

I plan to keep on with this plan and hopefully I will keep my sugar levels in the fantastic range they've been in and the weight will just continue to fall off.  At this rate, maybe I will be on the the 260s in a matter of weeks??  After being in the 280s for months, it would be a welcomed change!

That is 14.8 pounds down!

Can I tell you about these jeans for a minute?  I was in desperate need for new jeans at the end of last year, and I ordered 3 pair in a size 24.  The two pair I order fit like a dream, but one pair was a lot smaller for being all the same size.  I even stacked them on top of one another and this pair was a good inch or so smaller in the waist on either side compared to the others and the legs were very borderline skinny jeans.  I try them on and they fit but it was muffin top city.  I didn't return them because I forgot, then I was a month into calorie counting when I remembered and assumed eventually they will fit better.  Well today was that day!  My other jeans are in need of a belt but not too huge that I wont wear them anymore, but I tried this pair on and I was only muffin topping a regular amount!  Now I have 4 pairs of jeans in the rotation, yay!  (and I have around 6 pair waiting in the wings for when I am ready to size down fit into my old clothes again)

Good week!  Going to keep on doing what I am doing for now because it is working, but I do have a cheat meal planned for our trip to San Antonio this weekend.  When you get a chance to eat Oscar's Puffy Tacos, you take it.  Look for my March month end recap on Friday!

Weekly Weigh In #11

Monday, March 20, 2017

Welp, here we are at week 11 and I am proud to say I am officially down 10 pounds this morning! I wish I felt more excited for this milestone, but I'm thinking maybe it is fine if I am not.  Firstly, I was frankly shocked to see the scale where it was this morning after all the junk and sugar I ate over the weekend.  I assumed I wouldn't get there.  Then just thinking it is week 11 and I am only down 10 pounds, so I am behind schedule on the pound a week minimum I was trying to reach.  I'm just feeling in a slump or a funk lately, I don't know.

This week I just feel like doing a brain dump rather than the old format of positives vs things to improve upon.  

I am proud of myself for working towards this goal consistently since January.  There is something to be said for momentum, and how as the weeks tick up one by one, I am a little more dedicated to not quit.  Quitting isn't even something I think about ever.  It is more like 'quit what exactly?' because I still do everything I want to do or don't want to do, except tracking without fail.  The act of tracking and wanting to stay reasonably within my calorie limit during the week is the sole reason for my success to date.

The last week or so I have even noticed my pants getting a bit loose.  They aren't falling off of me, but I feel like if I were a plumber I'd fit right in..  It is a little motivating nonetheless.  When I look at myself I don't see any noticeable change, so at least this is something.

So why am I feeling in a funk?  I wish I knew.  I can't even tell if it is a funk over weight loss specifically or just a general life funk.  Part of it seems like it could be that I have lots of life things in the works that I am 'working on' and the road ahead is long, and I won't get to check things off the list until a lot of work and progress is made.  I have definite attention deficit tendencies so I am always looking to be excited and inspired and want to tackle things with gusto (and get the payoff with gusto!) and things I want are just not going to come to fruition so quickly.  So what I see is endless work and trudging along, which isn't fun at all, but I know I need to do it.  

I'm trying to earn my CPA so I can get a better job hopefully at the first part of next year.  Ahead of me are 25-35 hours per week of studying.  Expenses piling up from review programs and exam fees, kind of stresses me.  Each day my job just annoys me more and more, I am SO READY for a change.  I'm trying to lose weight and here we are month three and I am down only 10 out of like 160 pounds - this is going to take an eternity.  I am impatient about wanting to start a family.  I wish (I'm sure everyone on earth trying does too) that you could decide you are ready for a baby to come along and boom, here comes a baby.  It isn't even like we've been very focused on trying for months and months, it is just my own impatience.  Plus I would rather be much lighter when a baby comes along, I can hardly shut one of those paper gowns at the doctors office around my body as is, could you imagine if there were a pregnant belly on me as well?  Too much.  But I just want all these things to be happening now, without having to do all the hard work

Long story short, being self disciplined is hard and I hate it right now.  

When I quit crying and have a little better perspective on things, were this any other year, or me doing the same things I could be eating what I want and be 300 pounds right now, but I am not.  I am 282.8, and that is a heck of a lot better than the alternative.  

I feel ready to kick things into the next gear so starting today I am trying to eat more low carb in addition to staying in my calorie range.  I really would like to get into the 270s before the month is over, so it is crunch time!

I'd also like to give a special shout out to this lovely lady on her birthday:

My Mom is truly an inspiration to me.  She has struggled with her weight in the past and she just has the determination to do whatever she sets her mind to.  She has lost like 30 or 40 pounds in the last couple of years.  Was diagnosed with diabetes and now she is 100% off any medications and controls it with diet only.  She is amazing and wonderful in way more ways beyond just health and I love her with all my heart.  Wishing you a very happy birthday, Mom! <3

Weekly Weigh In #10

Monday, March 13, 2017

Double digits, can you believe it??  There isn't much in life that I have stuck with for 10 weeks in a row, so that is noteworthy in its own right.  Happy to be here another week and share my progress (or lack thereof.)

I did not lose weight this week :\  Actually, I did but by the time Monday rolled around I was up again.  It makes me think of that Paula Abdul song 'Two steps forward, two steps back...'

I ate well all week

I had my typical indulgent Saturday, but I tracked all my food and was within my calorie goals basically all week.  The gain I am just attributing to normal cycle fluctuations and possible water retention from a gnarly smashed finger incident that happened over the weekend.  I'll spare you the gory photos of my purple nail.  

No pizza!

Pizza is my Lenten sacrifice this year and man do I miss it.  Not having a pizza crutch to fall back on when I am feeling too lazy or tired to cook dinner is a challenge, but I feel it saves the day on the calorie count.  Honestly I was kind of burned out on pizza (at least the frozen kind) lately.  My new lazy meal is to cook a giant pot of soup and have leftovers for days, lol.

Now for the two five steps back:

I ate out a lot over the weekend

Eating out it tough because it is difficult to properly count your calories.  We had taco cabana on Friday, which was easy enough, but you never know if they were heavy handed with the cheese in your quesadilla or whatnot.  Then I helped my brother move a dresser on Saturday, so my reward for helping was more Mexican food, only add chips and salsa to the mix.  Who even counts those?  Then Saturday night before getting together with friends we got lobster rolls at this cute local place which doesn't have nutritional info online.  Then out for breakfast Sunday and I get a waffle and who knows how much syrup I drowned that bad boy in?  So on paper my calories were fine but it is all guessing.  I assume the average lobster roll on is close enough?

I didn't exercise

I just wanted to sleep in instead :\  No good reason why I chose not to work out.  I think it was so much easier the last time I was rowing consistently is that the rower was in the living room and I had like 900 episodes of America's Test Kitchen on the DVR.  Now the rower is in the office, so I can pull up the cable on the internet, or find a youtube channel to watch I suppose.  I just haven't gotten into the routine.  It is a new week though, and I am going to do better.  Just need to get over that daylight savings time change, it has me draggin!

So here I am, coming in at 285.4, whomp whomp.

It got cold today, so I buried my girth in an over-sized sweater

283, I am coming for you, so look out!

Discipline over Motivation

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

There is SO MUCH information out there in every corner of the internet about how to lose weight.  There are diet plans to follow, exercise programs to join, support groups that can help you stay accountable.  These are great resources I am sure, and can be very helpful in reaching your goals.

I think for people like me, who are extreme amounts of overweight, all of these things are easier said than done.  I know I need to exercise, I know a calorie dense food from a light yet filling food.

Motivation is what we need!  If we just get properly motivated, then we will want to put the work in and get it done.  We will be excited and poised to conquer all obstacles set before us!

Oh, if I had a dime for every time I was motivated to lose weight.  (Can I get an Amen??)

Motivation isn't what we need at all.  Motivation relies on unsustainable feelings of empowerment.  Motivation is fleeting.  If we were able to just accomplish things we were motivated to do at one point, we'd all be awesome at life and goals and we would be living our dreams.

Motivation isn't enough.

Discipline is what we need. Discipline is action whether or not we feel like it.  Those actions over time will yield the results which is turn motivate us to stay disciplined.

When you think of disciplined individuals, who comes to mind?

Tiger Moms?
Olympic Athletes?

The soldier doesn't check in with his feelings about getting up at 5AM to do PT training.  The Tiger Mom didn't ask her daughter if she would rather watch YouTube instead of practice the violin.  Monks don't achieve holiness by giving into their whims and skipping Mass.  Maybe Simone Biles would have liked to spend weekends at the mall instead of at the gym?  Usain Bolt probably had to miss several late nights throwing back beers with his buddies, but he has achieved record breaking greatness and they have beer guts.

We don't need to achieve the extreme levels of discipline needed to fight a war, or join the New York Philharmonic.  We can use these examples as metaphors in how to better structure our lives to yield successes, weight loss or otherwise.

When taking inventory of my own life, I have concluded that I am not very good at discipline.  I am almost too in-tune with my feelings and whether or not I want to do something.  This is the mentality of a procrastinator, because I usually never want to do something now if it can be done later.  I usually don't do the dishes after dinner, because I'd rather watch tv and relax, I just get to them the next morning.  (terrible I know, don't tell my mom.)  I make sure I've checked all the social media and all of reddit before I will sit down to study for the CPA exam.  I will over eat on calorie laden food and desserts and proclaim 'tomorrow! tomorrow I will lose weight'

How can I be more disciplined?

Discipline is like a muscle, so be proud of your small gains and keep building upon them.  The few little 'discipline' things I do every day without fail have definitely been an asset to me on my weight loss journey.  It isn't very much, but I track my blood sugar levels every morning (I used to not be very consistent with this, which is HORRIBLE for a diabetic person), and I track all my food I eat.  That is it.  Just doing those things and having that knowledge helps me to make better food choices.  When I wake up with 145 blood sugar levels, I know I need to lighten up on the carbs today.  I know that if I go over my calories 4 days in a row, I shouldn't be surprised at what the scale reads.  You just need a tiny bit of motivation to commit to doing something consistently, then it becomes habit.  I'd guess the average fit person engages in several disciplines activities to manage their weight, so if I were to do the same, there is no reason why I can't be fit as well!

Discipline is great too because it puts all the weight management stuff out of your every day mental evaluations and puts it on autopilot.  I don't have to think about if I want to track my food, or whether or not I find it to be a pain in the rear; I just do it.  My feelings about the task at hand don't get counted in the equation.  Much like anything, when you stop worrying about your feelings, they don't rule you so much.  I don't give much energy to the fact that my job isn't my favorite place to be, I just get up and go because I want the money.  I'd prefer to watch Food Network all morning on Sundays, but we decided that going to church is important to us, so I just get up and get ready for church.

Maybe you go visit your Mom every Wednesday, maybe you walk your dog every night without fail.  Maybe you aren't a gross smelly person who does their dishes every night, lol.  There are likely things in your life that you already do in a disciplined way, so use those as a guide for cultivating even more disciplined actions.

In conclusion, we don't have to be slaves to our feelings.  If we learn to side step them in favor of disciplined action, we will be a much more powerful force for goal achievement.

Weekly Weigh In #9

Monday, March 6, 2017

It is a great day!  I am at my lowest weight thus far and a mere 1.6 pounds from the 10 pounds down mark!  Excited and proud of my progress.

Great things:

Lent Began

It is Lent so I am not eating any desserts during the week and no pizza at all.  It has only been 5 days, and two were desserts are okay days, but the scale seems to have rewarded me.

I exercised!

Also a big help, I was able to get up early before work and get back on the rower.  I started slow with just about 10-15 minutes of rowing, but my muscles were feeling a difference!  I can totally see a difference in my blood sugar levels when I get exercise in my routine, so this is something I really need to stick with long term.  Not to mention I feel much more energetic and focused when I do even a little bit of movement in the morning.

I got complimented by my Mom

I went to see my mom on Sunday and she noticed I was looking a bit smaller!  That was encouraging, and she isn't the type to say stuff that isn't true just to be nice.

Needs Improvement:

I hate thinking about improving when I just had a stellar week, but alas, things are worth noting

Weekends are always a challenge

Weekends are sort of meant for letting your hair down a little, but I always feel like I go overboard.  We bought a big thing of frosted flakes at the grocery store and I was eating those all weekend long, noshing on cookies Saturday while being totally lazy and watching 100 movies on the couch, along with having dessert at my moms, then dessert Sunday night.  I didn't go crazy amounts over my calories but I can't imagine it is good to shock my system with all of that after days of eating healthfully.

Staying consistent with exercise

I got on the rower Wednesday and Thursday but I let myself sleep in Thursday and didn't do anything over the weekend when I had all the time in the world.  I even slept in this morning, so I need to get back to it and stop making excuses.  March is going to be a good month, come hell or high water!

I will be happy when that spare tire/muffin top is gone!

Now is the time where you can say a little prayer for me that I will be 283 or less next week.  I really want to be at the 10 pounds down mark.  It is already the third month of the year, I don't think ten pounds is asking so much? 

I was going to 'reward' myself with a little something for every ten pound loss I hit, but I think I want to keep it on the even 10's so once I am 280 it will be time to #treatyoself.  Any ideas for a good non-food related reward?  I will be thinking about it the next couple of weeks - March will be over before we know it!


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Today is Ash Wednesday and the start of the season of Lent.  Us Catholics attend mass, are told 'Remember that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return' as ashes from last year's Palm Sunday are smeared across our foreheads in the shape of the cross by a priest, and then go about the rest of the day being told 'Hey, you've got some dirt on your face'.

Lent is a solemn season as we prepare for Easter.  Ash Wednesday reminds us that we are not of this world for long, so we need to repent our sins and follow the Gospel.  Then the weeks of Lent follow, in which we focus on prayer and sacrifice.  The point as I see (and as was taught to me) is that it is a 'death to self' and a reminder that we don't need to give into the temptations of the flesh.  I am not a theologian by any stretch, but that is the extremely abbreviated version of what is going on in my world.

Catholics typically 'give something up' during this time of year.  It is good practice to learn that things of the world don't control you, such as alcohol or chocolate.  Each year I like to think about different virtues and how I would like to spend my time during Lent to gain in those virtues.  I like being an overachiever too, so my list for this season is 1. no pizza (so hard.) 2. No desserts during the week 3. No being snarky on Twitter (sorry Bachelor finale! 😭 ) 4. Practice Self-Discipline

All aside from my twitter mean-to-reality-tv-stars persona taking a hike, these sacrifices are beneficial to my weight loss endeavors.  Pizza is a big struggle because it is my go to meal when I don't want to cook.  So I will have to fight my urge to be lazy and make dinner every night.  Desserts need no explanation.  I feel like I want a dessert after every meal I eat, so I need to remember what it feels like to not.  Self discipline is going to be important because after much reflection, it is a major source for why I feel 'stuck' and unable to move forward with any of my goals.  I make plans and don't follow through.  I want all sorts of things for my life but never modify my actions to make them happen.  It is because when I plan for tomorrow, I feel nice about it and nothing is required of me in the here and now.  It is just that the 'tomorrow' part of the equation never comes, I just make a new plan every day instead of executing the plan from yesterday.  A number of things will explain 'why' I do this, but the main theme is that I do what I feel like doing rather than what I should be doing.  It is the procrastination habit, or just giving in to laziness or other time sucks (the whole internet and all social media), but I need to regain control and remind myself of what can be accomplished with a little self-discipline.

I am looking forward to the next six weeks and seeing the difference these adjustments will make!  Wishing a blessed Lenten season to all who partake!

February Wrap Up

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

On January 31st, I was 290.4, this morning I was 286.4, that is a 4 pound loss for the month!  It is modest, but I am happy with it since one of those weeks was a candyfest.

Here are the measurements:

Hello waistline!!

I was looking at my last wrap up post and noticed I made goals and then didn't look at them again... Lets see how I did.

February Goals

It is a short month so I want to keep it reasonable.  Just 5 pounds from my lowest January weight of 288.6 - so I will be happy as a clam at 283.  If I work hard enough, maybe I will even break into the 270's.  That would be great!
Oh me and my ambition with no follow through... I missed the mark by 3.4 pounds.

I'd like to be solidly back in the 22/2X size range.  Most of my clothes are in that size but about 50% are too tight for the moment, and I was gifted some 3X sizes at Christmas, so I should be covered (literally, lol) with enough clothes to not need to get anything bigger (or smaller) for this month and likely next.
I haven't gone through and tried on my clothes to know for sure how everything is fitting, but I feel more or less the same size as a month ago.  

HOWEVER - I am wearing the same shirt today as I was during my first weigh-in:

I can see a teeny bit of progress I think.

Move.  I need to add activity to my routine.  I know it will help the results move along and help my body get back into a nicer shape even if the scale doesn't move much.  
Haven't gotten activity in, but it is 100% happening in March.

I can't be mad at you, February!

March Goals

Keep my Lenten sacrifices of not eating pizza at all and forgoing desserts during the week.  I know this will be helpful in my weight loss efforts

Exercise 4 times per week.  I am leaving my options open whether to get on the rower, do some youtube yoga, swing the kettle bell.  Time to get moving!

I really want to challenge myself and am setting a goal to weigh 279 or less by the end of next month.  I have been losing about a pound a week, and I realize 7.4 pounds is nearly double.  I haven't been 'trying' very hard either, so to mix things up I want to really focus and be disciplined.  I won't be crushed if I don't hit the goal, but I think if I do everything (mostly) right, I can do a lot better than a pound a week.

Go through my clothing and find what is fitting and not.  Donate what I don't want.

Review the goals weekly and not only on March 31.

Weekly Weigh In #8

Monday, February 27, 2017

This week was better.  I am down from last week, thank God.  It is still a bit discouraging, thinking it is only week 8 and I am working on re-losing pounds I already lost a few weeks ago.  They say weight loss isn't linear, so I guess I should take that to heart.

I ate reasonably well all week, though I did feel like my appetite for sugar was still in full force.  It feels like the Trucility shot works better some weeks versus others.  

Here are the wins for the week:

I wanted to eat ALL THE SWEETS, but I was able to not
I am not the best person for self discipline.  I am very in tune with my cravings, and I like to do what I can to say 'YES' to what I want.  A person who is good at weight management will appease their sweet tooth by having some fruit, or make a chocolate rice cake, but I am not there yet.  I will just buy a pint of Ben and Jerry's and figure out how to make it work.  I made it work though ;)  And other times I just distracted myself to where the feeling passed and then it was time for bed.  My night time eating habits are the true problem area.

Moving in the right direction
While I am bummed that this month wasn't a major success, a loss is a good thing, just need to keep my eye on the prize!

Looking forward to March
And Lent.  Lent is the time I really get it together for the Lord, it is the extra boost to keep myself focused, humbled and obedient.  I haven't solidified my plans for my Lenten sacrifice but I am leaning towards pizza, and probably dairy.  Aaron has decided beef and pork are out for himself so light dinners will be on the menu for the next 40 days.  

Things to work on:

I've fallen out of love with tracking
I'm not sure what happened, or if anything specific changed my attitude.  I don't hate tracking, nor have I given up on it as a practice.  Truth be told, I have found it extremely helpful to be able to review the week before I write these recap posts.  I just haven't been on it as tightly as I have in weeks past.  I don't want to get out of the habit, or forget to log stuff as the day goes on.  Yesterday I was all tucked in bed ready to drift into dreamland when I was like ::record scratch:: I forgot to track my food!  I logged in and got everything in there without breaking my 56 day streak, but man that was close.  Also when I went scrolling, I noticed I forgot to log Friday dinner.  I don't want to get into this lax habit, so I need to be better about remembering.

Blood Pressure Concerns
I see my endocrinologist at minimum twice a year and my BP is always normal.  I check my BP at the grocery store with their little machine by the pharmacy about every other week.  It reads high typically, but the machine is at the end of the store, plus the cuff doesn't fit my giant arm very well.  So I figure it is high due to me just getting done pushing a heavy cart up and down the store.  Well on Saturday I went in the 'out' door to avoid children selling things and was by the BP machine at the beginning of the trip.  It still read high.  I would be hard pressed to think of a family member who doesn't take meds for high blood pressure (even my 20 something younger brother), so I am wondering if my time has come.  I am going to research some natural ways to address the problem and hopefully more weight loss will help too.  I don't want to be killed by the silent killer.  Plus we are trying to make a baby, so we want as healthy a start as we can get!

Looking sloppy, like I stayed up too late watching the Oscars...

Feeling a little less puffy this week, and hoping to break past the 286.4 pound mark which was my lowest weigh in thus far.  I think I can do it!  

This week I want to keep in my calorie goals while trying to cut down on the dessert and fast food intake.  I also want to make some plans for March and how to make it a really productive month!

Weekly Weigh In #7

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

This week way waaaaaaay off the rails.  After coming off the good loss the week before, I decided to be lenient on myself this week. MISTAKE.

Tuesday was Valentine's Day and we had a beautiful meal planned.  Steak.  Scallops.  Mushroom Parmesan Flat Bread.  It is a holiday though, so I thought it fine to have a celebratory day and not fuss over the calories.  I still tracked everything, but didn't care if I went over.  Aaron bought me a pretty decent sized Russel Stover collection of chocolates, and I think that is what did me in for the week.

Guys, I can not control myself around candy.  I ate all this candy within a span of three days.  Then I was still needing a candy fix so I bought MORE candy over the weekend (it was discounted, how could I say no??).  THEN when it was all gone, I found a friggin bag of holiday M&Ms which I planned to bake with over Christmas and ate the whole giant bag of those.
Seriously, Natalie?

Oh plus, my co-worker's wife teaches elementary school and was showered with boxes upon boxes of treats which got 'donated' to us.  Every time I got out of my chair-whether to use the restroom, make a photocopy, I'd pass by the kitchen and grab a candy.  (Those did not get tracked, shame on me.)

So SHOCKER, I was 289 pounds this morning.  ::sobs::

So fine, we had our fun and crazy week, it is time to get focused.  It doesn't help that my body is gearing up for it to be lady time next week so my PMSing self wants to eat all the food in sight everywhere.

Anyway, here is the recap:

I hit my 50 day streak of logging in daily to My Fitness Pal

My MFP friends are just the sweetest too.  Always there with an encouraging word for even the most mundane of little wins.

This is really the only good to come out of the week, I am not going to pretend like it was better than it was!


I overate and basically got off plan all week

Maybe it was all the candy and steaks but I just did not care a flip about losing weight this week.  I ate everything and not even Trulicity and high blood sugar readings were going to stop me.

I think, for now, I need to approach my 'triggering' foods like quitting smoking.  I quit smoking about 3 years ago and it was probably the most difficult achievement requiring willpower I have under my belt.  Nicotine is incredibly addictive, so if you even have just one cigarette, you have to start the process of weening yourself off it all over again.  That is the main component of being successful, just like AA or anything else.  If you have a smoke or a drink, you go back to day one.  Breaking the streak is what stops your success in its tracks.

With Lent fast approaching, this may be a good time to start a streak of not eating sugary stuff that will send me into a tailspin of failure.

I also need to celebrate a successful week in other ways than giving myself license to loosen up and eat whatever I feel.

I may be down but I'm not out.  Let's get back on track and make this a good week!  Yay!

Consistency - The Metric that Matters

Thursday, February 16, 2017

In one of the many weight loss related Facebook groups that I belong, I read an interesting little article that discusses the very approach I am taking with my weight loss program. Link.

As the sun rises and sets eat day, the little choices we make every day will turn into our life, and also our size.

When the light-bulb finally went off in my own head, I recognized that the way I eat was wrong.  It feels right, and satisfies my cravings at mostly every turn, and I even talk myself into believing it is a reasonable way to eat.  The truth of the matter is that my diet was pushing me towards 300 pounds, regardless of my feelings towards it.

Diets are the Worst.

This is when I fell into a brief moment of despair. I knew the routine.  I'd diligently do SouthBeach dieting for a month, then fall back into my old ways.  I'd resolve to home cooking all our meals from scratch, then a week later be exhausted from work and commuting and polish off half a large Papa John's pizza and think nothing of it.  I know me.  I know I can't stick with things once the gung-ho attitude fizzles away.  So logically, I thought to cut out the middle man (the diet) and just give up.  I'll always be fat.  Maybe I just won't have children.  I will live a shortened lifespan and have to take a cocktail of pills and shots forever.  Oh, well.  I just can't do this, and I am tired of lying to myself and thinking that I can.

I snapped out of it and cleaned up the crumpled plates and ripped streamers from my pity party of one.  I reflected upon my feelings and the root of this anguish I was experiencing.  I was right about one thing - history has shown that 100% of the time I will quit a diet.  So I knew a traditional diet was out.  It would be a waste of time and I am not in the mood for wasting more time.  Something about turning 35 and thinking things will only get harder from here, makes you want to solve stuff once and for all.

If You Do Anything, Make it Something You Can do Forever

Do you watch the TLC show My Big Fat Fabulous Life ?  Well last season, Whitney, the show's obese protagonist goes head to head with a comedienne over weight issues and the body positivity movement.  A particular point in the exchange Whitney proclaims 'I've done it before, I've lost 100 pounds!' and the comedienne shoots right back 'Well you aren't there now!'  Regardless of my opinions of the body positive movement, the comedienne has a point.  If you couldn't keep the weight off, does the success of your 100 pound weight loss even matter?  It is a little like blogging too.  If I write one epic post, then leave the blog dormant for a year, what good is that?

So in typical Natalie Hinkley fashion, I dipped only a toe in at first, which is my preferred avenue of procrastination.  I decided only to track my food on the My Fitness Pal app.  I was going to eat whatever I wanted, as much as I wanted, but I had to commit to tracking everything 100%.

It was the New Year, so I was excited about being healthy, so I thought I bet I can stay pretty close to the calories MFP says I should have to lose weight.  So I had an egg Mcmuffin for breakfast instead of a bacon egg and cheese biscuit.  Saves about 150 calories.  Egg Mcmuffins aren't as tasty as bacon egg and cheese biscuits, but I totally wouldn't turn my nose up at one.  Every day since, I get my morning Mcmuffin, and I am on day 45.

Then when I realized that getting fast food every day for lunch leaves me only about 300-400 calories for dinner.  So I started bringing my lunch.  I don't even get fancy about it, I just grab about 500 calories of snacks and fruit on my way out the door.  I am not one to get up early and prepare lunch, I just like sleep too much.  So my lunch is usually an apple I cut up at work with a jif-to-go peanut butter cup, a stick of string cheese, and some pretzels or nuts.  Everything is grab and go.  Food is my love language, so I would rather save up calories for a nice dinner I share with my husband than to use them up while I sit at my desk and read twitter for an hour.

These are all changes I made to things that I wasn't giving much thought to in the first place.  When I made my breakfast and lunch selections all I concerned myself with was, what would taste good right now? 

The Little Things Add Up 

What I am learning is that tracking and making little tweaks to stay with my calorie budget on most* days is actually working and I am losing weight!

*When I say 'most' I will do my darnedest during the week and relax a bit on the weekend.  Or if I have an over indulgent day or two (such as Valentine's Day and all the candy!) I will be more strict on myself to get it back in control so that the week on average is still resulting in a loss.

Nothing I have done thus far has felt drastic.  Even when I knew we were going out for dinner and I really wanted the 1200 calorie entree and I powered through the lightest of lunches to be able to go nuts at dinner, it was just one day.  Plus if it is Saturday and we want to go get ice-cream or the giant pretzel at the mall, I just have it.  This is what reasonably cutting back while still enjoying life looks like.

Rethinking Big Goals

In the past, I would get hung up on what was possible.  If the Biggest Loser Contestants can lose 150 pounds in a year, then maybe I could too?  I'd make monthly goals on January 1 that would have me at goal weight by Christmas morning.  I hate telling myself not to dream big or be optimistic, but look where it has gotten me?  I weigh more than I have ever weighed in my life.  Dreaming big and having supersized goals is not the solution for me.  

The new approach is to not worry about the goal at all right now.  My motto is consistency at all costs, and let the chips (or pounds) fall as they may.  It very well may take me three years to get to my goal weight.  It may even take ten.  I've even considered the thought that maybe I will make every 'I'm willing to do this forever' change and still be overweight.

I assume if I am losing weight and feeling happier with how I look, my attitudes towards what I am willing to do will adjust.  It is something I decided I will evaluate at the point of hitting a plateau.  If I am stuck at 250 for two weeks, maybe getting rid of the egg muffins will be something I am willing to do.  Who is to say?  I certainly don't need to get rid of them now, so I will cross that bridge if and when I get there.

Even though I am only down about 7 pounds so far, I am so very proud that I have been consistent with my tracking and calorie counting.  If I can keep it up, then I should be about 241 on Christmas morning.  It is not flashy catch me on the front page of reader's digest amount of weight loss, but that is fine.  Going about it in the ways I have before would mean I am 300+ for the year 2018, and I am not about that life.

Weekly Weigh In #6

Monday, February 13, 2017

This week was FABULOUS!!  It is amazing how results happen when you do what you are supposed to do...  This week I am down 2.8 pounds from last week, and that is an increase from my lowest weight of the week.  I typically weigh myself every day just because I like to know the immediate results of my eating from the day before.  The beneficial thing is that when the scale goes up and I know I ate bad, I will get back in control instead of not knowing for a whole week.  Everyone is different though, and if you are the type to get crazy over the number on the scale, just weigh weekly or monthly, or not at all!

Wins for the week:

I lost 2.8 pounds!

I made a deal with myself last week.  I said "Natalie.  If you don't stay within your calorie range on the My Fitness Pal app, which is plenty generous, then you have to get up early and get on the rowing machine the following day. The choice is yours, but you aren't getting away scot free anymore."  Would you believe it, it worked?!  I stayed within my goals all week!  I had a 'pic or it didn't happen' moment too where I was at 284.8.

Do you like my Microsoft Paint pedicure?

What?!  It was great, and I felt really happy that I was able to stay accountable to myself.  That was a totally new feeling.

'Cheat' weekends weren't so bad

I got indulgent on Saturday.  Aaron bought cookies and we went to Chick-fil-a of breakfast, and I ended up about 500 calories over the limit.  I let myself go a little crazy on Saturdays because that is when I take my new Trulicity shot.  Friday and Saturday are the days I have the biggest appetite because the drug from the previous week has pretty much worn off and the new shot hasn't kicked in yet.  Sundays are the days I am usually not feeling so hot and eating 2 bites of anything feels like I am Thanksgiving level fullness.  So I get plenty of good eating in on Saturday and by Sunday it corrects itself.

Regardless of drug issues, I am making good choices about portions and food choices for the most part.  We spend a lot of meals eating out over the weekend (need to work on that) but I didn't go for anything terrible like fried stuff or things covered in a mountain of cheese (<3).  Even still, I am sure this paired with the not drinking as much water as I do during the week is why I am always up a bit on the scale come Monday morning.  I can't be mad about it though!

Expanding wardrobe

Okay, so I am not swimming in my clothes or anything at this point but I can fit back into shirts that were getting a little snug.  The shirt today, which I affectionately call my pioneer woman shirt (lol), was in the 'do not wear' pile because it doesn't have any stretch.  I could get it on my body, but if I needed to reach forward I would have  hulked right out of it.  But today I tried it on and it was back to fitting well.  Yay!  Tonight I may need to go through my closet and see what else may fit.

The week went well and I lost a great deal of weight, so I don't want to focus on the negatives too much.  However, this very well could have been a fluke, so it is good to know the whole picture, yes?

The ugly:

We ate out SO MUCH

I just wasn't into meal planning or grocery shopping last week.  I blame trulicity.  While it is a wonderful thing and helping me so much, it is tough just wanting to lay around on Sunday because my stomach feels whack.  I have stuff to do here.  So we got Pei Wei, then we ate sandwiches, then we decided to use out Chili's gift card, then I picked up tacos, then it was Friday, so we got a pizza.

I am not one to diss eating out, I love it.  But we should be reasonable.  Restaurant food is pretty sodium filled and you can never really be certain if your calorie counts are going to be accurate.  Not to mention I knew we'd be eating out so I would kind of starve myself all morning so I'd have 1000 calories left for dinner.  Whatever, right?  Except it is hard on my body to eat so much at once and also late in the day.  It really reflected in my AM blood sugar readings.  They were on the higher side of normal all week.

Too much sugar on the weekends

I wish my indulgences weren't so predictable.  Granted, I get housework and walking while shopping done, so maybe it gets burned off.  I didn't notice much of an increase in my blood sugar levels, but I know eating 4 mini candy bars in one sitting isn't good for me.  I am not a macros tracker person, but this is the one metric that I need to watch.

That's the rundown for this week!  Here are the progress pics:

This week I am going to stay the course but try to eat home cooked instead of all the take out.  Aaron and I's Valentines plans are low key, just going to cook a nice meal at home and hopefully not eat a bunch of candy.  The fact that I am in very close striking range of being a full 10 pounds down in keeping my willpower strong.  Here is hoping I have another successful week!