Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I'm Here

Wow, I have been slacking on my blog lately! Just super busy with work and family responsibilities lately. I haven't had much to say, I guess.

I am doing really well - I seem to have gotten my health-focus groove back. Monday I went to see my hormone specialist doctor. I hadn't seen her in a year and a half, so I was way overdue. She manages my Hashimoto's better than any other doctor I have seen - more of a holistic approach. I donated six vials of blood to check my thyroid, thyroid antibodies, plus all of my hormone levels. Hopefully, labs will come back soon so I can see where I am.

I am very excited that I've walked the past 3 days in a row! I know that doesn't seem like that big a deal, but for months, I have had trouble getting my exercise habit back. Sunday was rainy and gray, so I drove to the community gym to use the treadmill. Then both Monday and Tuesday I walked around the neighborhood. I plan on walking again today, too. My goal is 20 minutes 5 days a week to build back up, but I've walked longer every time. Once I hit that 8 or 10 minute mark, I start to feel really great and could keep walking further.

And foodwise, I'm sticking to paleo-ish right now. Basically still lower carbs, but not as low as Atkins levels. Lots of vegetables, plenty of fat, and meat. Plus, I eat 1 piece of fruit and 1 serving of nuts a day. I'm also eating sweet potato or white potato 3 or 4 days a week. Very limited full fat cheese and cream. I feel so much better with this slightly higher level of carbs and a little more variety.

I'm down about 4 pounds from the start of the year, too, and 8 pounds down from where I was the day after Christmas. Those first several pounds, I'm sure, where bloating and water weight from overindulging during the holidays. Still. I finally feel like I am completely back on track.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

I'm a Marathon Lighter!

Happy 2017! I am spending my morning getting organized - uninstalling unused computer programs, updating my filing cabinet, updating my to do list, and rearranging my office. It feels good to start the year with everything in its place.

I weighed in this morning and realized I am exactly one marathon lighter than I was last January 1 - 26.2 pounds. I am 50.7 pounds lighter than January 1 in 2015 - a total of 55.2 pounds down from my all-time highest. If anything, I am predictable - around 25 pounds lost each of the past two years.

I also noticed that in both years, I showed a small gain during the last couple months of the year. Now is my time to kick it back in high gear. I usually have my best losses the first half of the year.

I had set a goal to get under 200 this year, but didn't quite make it. I'm 9 pounds away from that, but that's OK with me.

I don't set resolutions at the beginning of a new year, but I do spend some time thinking about where I want to be physically, mentally, emotionally. One of my ongoing goals for myself the past few years is to continue working slowly toward becoming a healthier me. 2016 had its share of challenges, pain, and difficulty, but then again, doesn't every year? I also had many blessings and joys in 2016.

This morning, I am feeling optimistic and excited and ready to keep on LIVING. Happiest of new years to my friends!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wonderful Wednesday

I woke up feeling just plain GOOD today. I have logged and eaten everything I've stuck in my mouth the past 3 days, and stuck to real whole food for the most part. Monday I noticed I was hungry often, but realized I got way too little protein in that first day. I also went over my calories Monday thanks to a lunch out to Fuzzy's Tacos with my kids. Can't go to Fuzzy's without having their chips and queso.

Yesterday was better - I got 91 grams of protein and 20 grams of fiber during the day and was a tad under my calorie goal. And so far today, I'm already at 92 grams of protein and 18 of fiber, and I haven't even logged my dinner yet! I haven't really set specific macro goals for myself this time around - I just know a solid amount of protein and sufficient fiber keeps me satisfied and feeling good. I'm working up toward a minimum of 100 grams of protein a day, but not too worried about exact numbers. I also eat when I'm hungry. My calories may be 1400 on a particularly sedentary day and closer to 2000 or more when I'm extra active.

I've been reading back through my logs and journals and doing what I know works for making me feel good and still be able to lose some poundage along the way. I am DEFINITELY feeling better digestive-wise not on a super low carb plan.

This morning, I headed out at 7 a.m. for a brisk 40 minute walk. I've got to take advantage of our record high temperatures before Winter decides to come back and actually settle in for a few months. We have had THREE super cold days this year - below 20 degrees, but moderate and even quite warm several others.

Anyhow, that's all the time I have today. I need to finish up at work before a 5-day weekend. I'm off Thursday through Monday, woohoo! Nothing specific planned, which is nice. Maybe a hike if we have some good weather? A bit of organizing and cleaning for the New Year, spending a little time with my family. Just easy breezy for several days.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Post Christmas Bravery

I'm putting this out there...Yep, I have stayed off the scale the past few weeks - on purpose. I've gained about 8 pounds in that few weeks. I pretty much ate whatever I wanted, and too much of it during that time. That's OK, though. After all, I am still 51 pounds down (and some change).

But. I've been feeling bloated and yucky and gross, too. Sure, I enjoyed eating some junk, enjoyed a big Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner, but enough is enough. Off the rails for 2 or 3 weeks is plenty.

I know at least a few of those 8 pounds are bloating from loads of carbs and a handful of sweets, so a few should drop right back off with plenty of water and some clean eating.

I am back to logging and weighing everything as of this morning, and kicking back out any sugar or processed carbohydrates. Mostly lean protein and vegetables, small amounts of fat, 1-2 servings of whole fruit, and 2-3 servings of gluten-free whole grains. Simple. Easy, Delicious. If I have trouble with that, I'll slowly back off on the carb servings. Brooks is doing super low carb, so I'll stick to dinners with separate protein, veggies, and a side grain he can skip.

I'm happy to have the day off today to first do some food planning for the week and a bit later to enjoy a day out with Chloe and Thomas. The 3 of us have some Christmas money to spend, so we will have lunch out and just do some wandering about.

Christmas was really good, but really weird this year. Both Chloe and Brooks had to work both Christmas Eve and Day, so our traditional activities were up in the air for sure. We ended up exchanging our family gifts with just us four on Thursday evening since that's the only night everyone had a few hours free. For Christmas Eve, Chloe was off earlier, so the kids, my niece, and I drove to my parents' house for our traditional family Christmas Eve dinner. Brooks was supposed to try and meet us there, but he didn't get off until after 6 and had to go to bed by 8:30 or 9. I ended up bringing him gifts from my parents and sister as well as a plate of food.

Our Christmas Day is usually family gifts in the morning followed by late morning lounging together - BUT with half my family at work, Thomas and I hung out and watched TV. It felt weird. That, and it was a record 80 DEGREES here on Christmas, so we had windows open and shorts on. It certainly did not feel like Christmas Day. We always have dinner with our best friends, so Thomas and I headed to their house late in the afternoon. Fortunately, Chloe and Brooks made it by 6:30 or so, so we all 8 were able to eat together and exchange gifts. Our families have been the best of friends for almost 10 years now - the kids have grown up together, and we think of them as our chosen family. Here's the goofball bunch of us yesterday:

Brooks gave me a Google Home, which I am VERY excited about! It makes me feel super powerful to use the voice command and ask it questions. AND Chloe gave me a Keurig, which I am equally as excited about. We have been brewing coffee in a quite old basic coffee pot for many years. It still works, but I love being able to brew a single cup as needed. Plus, we have loads of teas and cocoas to use. The whole family is loving it. 

OH! And check this out! I, alas, have minimal crafting and sewing skills. My sister, however, is very gifted. For Christmas, she crocheted these for the kids:

That's Lin-Manuel Miranda (from Hamilton the Musical) for Thomas, Rey from Star Wars for her daughter Rose, and Jamie Benn (a Dallas Stars hockey player) for Chloe. She did all 3 of these in like 2 days of work! I've never gotten any further crocheting than making a really long chain of yarn and then unraveling the chain. Very impressive, and the kids all love them!

Anyhow, I hope everyone had lovely holidays with loved ones. And if you're like me, you are ready to refocus all your energy on mental and physical HEALTH! Lots of people wait until January 1 or 2 to restart on health goals, but my reboot starts right NOW. As we venture towards 2017, my mind and my eyes are definitely back on ME...which of course, we know when Mama focuses on herself, she is way better at taking care of everyone else. Happy Rest of the Year, friends!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Guess What? Rethinking things AGAIN.

Hmm. Guess I need to rethink my eating plan again. Last week I had a checkup with my doctor. I've been having some bouts of tachycardia, frequent insomnia, and waxing and waning energy. I suspected - no, I knew - that my thyroid medication was too high and had been for a while. After 21 years of dealing with Hashimoto's, I can tell when my thyroid meds are off. I realized that I've been on exactly the same dosage of Armour Thyroid for several years. My doc pointed out that after losing 60 pounds, I may not need as much.

Labs came back just as I suspected, with my thyroid meds too high. Of course, my doctor is out of the office all this week, so hopefully she will call in the new prescription soon.

Another thing concerning was my lipid profile. My cholesterol numbers have been very good for a few years. Everything got worse with my labs this time around.

Total cholesterol went from 194 to 216 (goal is 199 or less)
Triglycerides went from 160 to 233 (goal is 149 or less)LDL cholesterol went from 112 to 127 (goal is 99 or less)HDL cholesterol went from 50 to 42 (goal is 51 or higher)

I know they aren't THAT bad, but they've certainly gotten worse. I've eaten primarily low carb/high fat in the six months since my lipid profile was better, so I'm going to ease back into eating more variety - whole foods, but focus on leaner proteins, more produce, and gluten free whole grains. I'm sure the lack of exercise isn't helping either. It's something like 18 degrees outside right now, but we have a warm-up coming tomorrow. Highs in the 50s and 60s through the next week, so I have NO EXCUSE not to get out for some walks.

Weight loss-wise, I am STILL exactly where I was October 1. I'm still happy to have not gained anything these last 3 months of the year, but I'm ready to get back on some type of plan. The simplest is just weighing, measuring, and logging everything I eat. Focus on lean protein and eat lots of vegetables. It's not hard, I just keep starting and stopping my efforts. Still, if I end 2016 without regaining anything I've lost this year, I will be super pleased with myself.

I'm scared of decreasing my thyroid dosage - if it's too low, guess what? I gain weight and feel miserable. Ugh. Autoimmune disease, please die in a fire.

If I don't blog again this week, Merry Christmas, friends!

Friday, December 9, 2016

60 Pound Weight Loss Progress Pics

The other night, my 21-year old daughter brought over a few boxes of clothing that was too big for her after she herself lots quite a bit of weight. At one point I put on a pair of yoga pants and a size large top, and my hubby said I looked really good! I looked in the mirror and said, 'yea, I guess', still focused on the belly bulge and big thighs.  But then he took a few pictures. Why can we see physical changes so much more in photographs? I've not made any progress the past few months, but at least I haven't gained anything during Thanksgiving and birthday celebrations.

Here's me 60 pounds heavier June 2014:


Christmas 2014: 

And as of Wednesday night, at my lowest weight in over 20 years:

Never mind the goofy expression on my face...I have no idea what was going on there. 

I still have my curves, but realized the other night that I have made a LOT of progress! I'm wearing my daughter's clothing. A few things are a bit tight, but I can wear normal clothing now instead of having to shop in the plus sizes! It was nice to hang up a bunch of new-to-me clothing in the closet. 

Seeing the photographic evidence has helped me refocus on where I want to be and where I am going. Sometimes I forget how many too big clothes I have donated, and get stuck in the mindset of being obese my entire adult life. I still see and feel like that 265-pound woman. Or I get stuck focused on the months I haven't lost anything instead of focusing on the big picture of how far I HAVE come. I feel so much better. I haven't had any problems with plantar fasciitis in over a year. It's easier to just move in general now. I stepped into this journey 2 years ago to feel better and manage some chronic health conditions. Now it's about focusing on what I can accomplish! 

This time of year is difficult to stay on a healthy plan. I have definitely struggled with getting exercise the past few months, and I've eaten way more off plan meals than I generally do. I haven't lost any weight in the past 2+ months.

But I haven't gained any. That, in itself, is a huge deal. Even last year, well into this weight loss journey, I gained back around 10 pounds in October and November. This year, just sticking to where I am. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I Need a Vacation!

Wednesday afternoon, I left with Thomas' theater class to chaperone their trip to the state thespian festival. It was exhausting, but we had a blast! I clocked over 40,000 steps between the 3 1/2 days of the festival. We were up at 5:30 a.m. each day and back at the hotel around 10:30 or 11 each night. The kids attended workshops, performed pieces in competition, and we got to see several different productions by other schools. We saw Cabaret and Heathers the Musical among other pieces - it's amazing that these extremely talented kids are only in high school! We got home around 7 Saturday night, and Tom and I both slept most of Sunday.

I ate as healthfully as I could during the festival, but was limited by what food the festival fed us for a few meals plus limited selections at food trucks and the like. Still, with all that walking, I didn't gain anything over the long 3 1/2 days!

THEN Monday afternoon, I met Chloe at her house with a UHaul and moved her to another house with some different friends. In the rain. And 50 degrees. She and I loaded up all her furniture and most of her boxes before Brooks could get there to help. Fortunately, we had a few more friends to help with the unloading, so that took less than an hour. Needless to say, I was exhausted again Tuesday!

I finally, finally got my new oven yesterday morning after more than 3 months with only the broiler function working. I can't wait to cook so many roasted and baked recipes I've been skipping for a long time. Meals have been limited to stovetop and crockpot cooking. Low carb chicken parmesan is on the menu for tonight.

Last night, we finally had time to go out for my birthday dinner a week late. We went to a favorite sushi place. YUM! And no, rice, isn't low carb, but at least it's gluten free!

My plan for the rest of the year is to stick to low carb as much as possible and continue to try and get back into an exercise swing. I just can't seem to get my exercise groove back.

As of today, I weigh the same as I did October 1. For not exercising much and eating off plan for Thanksgiving, my birthday, and other days, that's a big win. For many, this time of the year means some gains on the scale, so I am completely satisfied.