Don’t Wait For The Middle Finger

white haired man in jacket with watch
Photo by Life Of Pix on

Young ones (well, anyone younger than me, aka 50 and younger), please don’t be like me.

I treated my body like it was immortal: nothing I did or didn’t do would have a lasting effect. Despite the little things (which just kept building up) I felt when I turned 30 years old, I kept right on rolling, downing that Crunch Berry cereal while doing virtually no physical activity. The scale didn’t matter, how my body felt didn’t matter, all I cared about was what goody I was going to put in my mouth next to drown out my emotions. I told myself I didn’t care what anyone else thought and I didn’t. The problem was, I just didn’t care, period.

I only looked in the mirror with “tunnel vision”, seeing only my face to put on tons of makeup (to cover up my blotchy skin and apply contour to my double chin) and fix my highly damaged hair but never looking at my body. I cannot remember ever looking at my body just out of the shower.

The year I turned 42 years old, after YEARS of warning signs, was the year my body stuck up its middle finger at me and said, “I’m done”. Thankfully, I have never had high blood pressure or high cholesterol but I became allergic to just about everything, I got sick if anyone looked at me funny, and I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Through diet and exercise over the past 8 years, I have reduced my A1C from 9.0 to 5.7 (my first ever fasting blood sugar was 400). I am very proud to officially no longer have type 2 diabetes and did it on my own.

Unfortunately, there is only so much proper (for me) diet and exercise can do after 42 years of neglect and abuse. Here is a partial list of the issues I am dealing with:

  • Allergy shots for the next 5 years
  • Gallbladder removal 7 months ago
  • Severe intestinal issues that were not resolved by removing the gallbladder. I am still undergoing testing to figure out what is causing this (upper endoscopy, MRI, so much blood work the technician knows me by name). Next will probably be scheduled for a colonoscopy (if none of the current tests reveal anything).
  • Just had a TIA (mini-stroke) in my eye last week. There was no permanent damage but this means more tests (went to the lab two days in a row this week and have 2 MRI scans next week), more doctors (in addition to my allergist, dermatologist, ophthalmologist, primary care, and gastroenterologist, I have an appointment with a neurologist and am waiting for a referral to a cardiologist) AND I had to stop exercising because that TIA could possibly lead to a full-blown stroke (can you say stress?).

To be brutally honest, I have no idea how much of what is still wrong with me could have been avoided if I had cared about myself earlier in life but now, I will never know. All I can do is hang on, say a few prayers, and do whatever I can to get through this so I can (once again) start over on my fitness journey. As soon as I am given some sort of clearance, I am hitting the weights and my neglected exercise bike (there will also be some digging in the yard going on, too, since I was not able to finish planting before this all happened).

So, you young whipper snappers, please. Take a good, hard look at your lifestyle. Take into account that you will not be in your 20’s forever. Our bodies age, whether we want them to or not. How old do you want to feel when you are 30, 40, or 50? Do you want to be able to do whatever you enjoy or would you prefer to get out of breath walking to the mail box? Do what is best (not easiest) for your health now so you do not end up like me.

How the H*ll Did I Gain 2 Pounds Overnight?

Once I began this journey (and finally figured out what food my body did and didn’t like) one of the most frustrating things was magically gaining 2 pounds overnight. It happened so much that, at one point, I stopped weighing myself every day (choosing to only weigh myself once a week). I became obsessed with my daily weight, weighing (and limiting) my food and increasing my daily activity so I would lose those mysterious pounds again. Even though I have now adopted a broader view of my weight (I weigh every day but my focus is typically how I am doing over the course of the week). I never really looked into the why of it all. This year, with my renewed focus on my health, this is what I decided to do.

I have been tracking all of my food in My Fitness Pal since June. I had been using a different app on my phone but thankfully, someone told me how to work the app on my phone. I am loving it even more than before, especially since it has a UPC scanner! I am even able to scan a store-brand food item (from a local store) and it pulled up all the information on it! The idea of having to input (or rely on someone’s sketchy input) always made me tired. If you haven’t used it, try it! Grab that family pack of steaks and scan it with the app. It’s (almost) a miracle!

So, I have been going about my business, losing or gaining a pound, and usually I could attribute it to some specific food item, until two days ago. I had an especially busy day and hadn’t eaten as much as usual but what I did eat was typical. The next day, I had gained 2 pounds. The first thing I did was go over my food. Nope, that couldn’t do it. What about fluids? Nope, I drank my usual amount. I did notice, however, that my breathing was a bit off and I felt a bit “swollen.” That’s when I remembered all the dang reading I had done for so many years: my weight gain was caused by inflammation.

One of the biggest issues that is typically addressed within the low carb/paleo/gluten-free community of experts is how some carbohydrates (it seems to mostly be grains but we all know every body is different) cause inflammation within the body. It is usually that inflammation that wreaks havoc on our bodies, causing all sorts of illnesses/health issues. So, if you ate great all day but decide to eat that burger on a hamburger bun and gain 2 pounds overnight, it’s not simply the gluten or carbohydrates (or corn syrup) that caused that weight gain. It could be the inflammation caused by one (or all) of those properties of the hamburger bun that did it.

Or, if you ate fantastic all day, yet still gained that weight, what happened? After thinking everything over and going through my activities of the day, I figured out my weight gain was due to allergies. I had decided to tear apart the front room because it is that time of year when mice are wanting to come inside and I one had boldly walked through the house into that room. I vacuumed everything, rearranging what I could to make it easier for me to move things to clean (storing my son’s items in this tiny house is a bit of a challenge). Two of the things I am still allergic to are dust mites (check) and mice (check).

If I had been lifting heavy things (like lugging buckets of river rocks from one side of the yard to the other) or actual weight training, I could have gained water weight due to my muscles retaining extra water. The point of this post is, unless you truly ate garbage the day before you “magically” gained weight, it could be any number of things that caused that temporary weight gain. There is no need to beat yourself up, starve yourself, or overdose on water. 9 times out of 10, that weight will be “magically’ gone in a day or two, so just breathe. You are doing great!


It’s Not About The Number On The Scale

This woman’s story it the perfect example for everyone to NOT rely solely on how much you weigh. It isn’t just about your measurements or your clothing size, either. It is a combination of everything, including just how good you feel!

A Year Today – Cancer and Life

It has been a year today since my husband’s surgery to remove a polyp that turned into a cancer diagnosis. It has been one heck of a roller coaster ride. I spend my days alone, while he is at work, yet when he was in the hospital I was like a little child, lonely and weepy, eating everything I could get my hands on, drowning my sorrows in food. It was awful!

Then, when he got home, it was time to play “What can he eat?” It has taken a year for him to be able to eat the fattier cuts of meat without pain or it running right through him. With that year of food uncertainty, I let myself go. It didn’t click how bad it was until I stepped on the scale and it lied to me, telling me I was 201 pounds. I tried it three more times before I realized it was correct. June 3, 2015 (15 days before his surgery) I weighed 176. That was the last time I weighed myself until this month.

I am happy to say that not only is he STILL cancer free but he has decided to begin exercising to build up his strength! So, while we slowly figure out how low carb/keto he can go, I am taking it slow. Very low/possibly keto during the day, then a normal dinner together (which is much better now that there are no children in the house again). And this is my current favorite exercise (which I have already posted on my Facebook page, so sorry about the duplicate):

Kettle Bell Swings

I actually read about them in the “4 Hour Body” by Tim Ferris. I knew what a kettlebell looked like. Heck, I even carried one into the house when my son was moving but I had never looked into exercising with it. So, I stole it from him (well, borrowed it). I began lowering my carbs and exercising March 29th. Day one, I managed to do 20 kettlebell swings. That was it for the week. I was wobbly and sore. The next week, I did 26 swings. This week, I have done 30 on Monday and 48 today. Since March 29th, I have lost a whopping 2 pounds according to the scale but I have lost 10 inches all over my body!!!! My goal is to work up to 3 times per week with as many as I can do while still keeping good form. I can truly feel this all over my body (in a good way) so this is the exercise I am having hubby do. Thanks to the work he currently does, it won’t be too long until we will have to purchase a heavier kettlebell (since his first day he did 50, which was Wednesday … I need to write that down).

This exercise has not aggravated my carpal tunnel (which decided to flare a bit, thanks to writing a book) or a gem of a gangleon cyst that formed at the base of my right middle finger (no, I didn’t get it from overuse) OR my still-slightly-tweaky shoulder. I am hoping to take almost-before pictures tomorrow (kinda hard when I am alone). Not sure if I will post those or hold onto them to include with “progress” pictures.

I do have an entire folder of recipes to go through and share here (313 at last count) but if you want to see anything more immediate, please join me on Facebook. It’s so much easier to share there (

The “After” Myth

Can Anybody Hear Me?



It’s here.

In my first post, Before, 3 years ago, I said “I’m not to After yet, but I’m closer to After than to Before.”

I now weigh 117 – 120 pounds (depending on the day), and standing at 5-foot 6-inches, that measurement means that After is very, very here. But, before you congratulate me, dear readers…if I have any…and dear friends and family who I know follow this blog… I have to come clean with you: I don’t feel like I’m at After. I’m terrified of being at After. And, I don’t like that After is here.

After5 2

The tagline of my blog is “uncovering myself one pound at a time.” For most of this blog, I’ve spoken strongly about how my relationship with food and myself was what caused my weight struggles. I stand by that. The thing is, the symptoms have resolved faster than I’ve been able to…

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Four Things Nobody Tells You About Successful Weight Loss

I know I just told someone that this way of eating was like a marathon but I was wrong (and Dick Talens was right). You need to read this article.

Four Things Nobody Tells You About Successful Weight Loss

Strong, Fluid, Pain-Free Movement

I’m still having issues with my shoulder. I do basic stretches ever day and my range of motion has improved a lot. The pain, well, that comes and goes. It usually comes the worst when I’ve slept wrong, though it’s not even remotely as bad as it was in the beginning of this saga (when I could not lift my arm without using my other hand to assist).

So, here is an article with various movements to help with troublesome areas. Some of the shoulder exercises I had not seen before, so I thought I would share this article with all of you. It helps me having him demonstrate the movements on video!

The Brutally Honest 6 Reasons You Are Still Overfat

See, this guy … this is what I like to see. He is the kind of guy who doesn’t look for a politically correct or sensitive way to say things. He just says it. The meme he includes in the post pretty much sums up his way of thinking:

You really should read this post!

50 Fat Torching Tricks for 2015

Most of the time, I don’t like lists like this but since this one was from, I thought I would give it a read.  I like it!  Obviously, there are some tips that don’t apply to those going low carb but too many of the others can help, especially if you have been low carbing for a while and/or exercising for a while.  We all can use a little variety in everything we do.  It keeps our journey fresh.

My favorite is #15: Add Some Caffeine but there really are too many great tips on here to list the ones I like (I will tell you this: I HATE green tea!  I’ve tried multiple times to like it but no matter how I prepare it, I can’t stand it.  So that one is definitely out for me).  There’s one tip that I think needs to be expanded on: #6: Start Your Day Off With A Balanced, Larger Breakfast. I really think this depends on you and your body. There are days when I’m fine with just my coffee until lunch time and others when I’m ravenous as soon as my feet touch the floor in the morning (these are the mornings when I’m thankful for the bacon I already cooked the day before or the salami all sliced up and waiting to be devoured).

Quick Update – Dead Scale

So, two days ago my scale died.  I don’t think it was due to shock but just before it went completely blank, it said (no, yelled) that I weighed 183 pounds.  So, according to it, since I cut back on smoking a week before, I had gained 11 more pounds!  I hope it was my scale going a bit crazy but I have no way to know for sure.  What I DO know is, for the first time in two years, I have been retaining water badly (as in my calves feel like they will burst if poked).  I upped my water intake and my lips do not feel like I’ve been injected with Botox but it’s disturbing.

I also went a bit crazy when I stumbled onto some videos of Callanetics.  I stole … I mean borrowed the original book from my mom but can’t stand working out from a book.  That’s when I found these videos and I’m tickled.  🙂  After the first day, my neck muscles were killing me, then my triceps, then my stomach muscles.  My stomach muscles took three days for me to stop wincing every time I stood up!  🙂

So, that’s it for now.  Time to have some more coffee!  Have a great day!

Secrets From Your Personal Trainer – Give It a Year to Lose Weight

This really is the secret to long-term success: give yourself time.  If you don’t see immediate progress, give it more time.  Some people (like I have mentioned before) see tons of weight come off immediately (or at least it seems that way) while others have bodies that are more stubborn than some.  See, my initial frustration at my lack of weight loss was why it was so easy for me to quit back in 2010.  Once I changed my focus from weight loss to better health, I developed the patience to persevere.  So, read this article for a bit of a true reality check.  🙂

It takes more than a few tries to get through these stressful interruptions while still exercising, still eating right and still taking care of yourself. You’ve got years, decades, maybe even a lifetime of ingrained habits to contend with. Think about how long you’ve been:

Cleaning your plate
Stress or emotional eating
Sleeping until the last possible moment, rather than getting up and exercising
Stopping for fast food on the way home because you’re too tired and too hungry to make dinner
Eating out because you don’t have anything to make for a healthy dinner
Not even knowing how to make healthy dinners
Sitting for hours a day, leaving you with a stiff, achy body that feels too much pain or discomfort to exercise
Dealing with fatigue or lack of energy with caffeine or energy drinks rather than physical movement

How Your Body Responds To Exercise – The Oatmeal

I have wasted … I mean thoroughly enjoyed this man’s comic strips!

Update: January 3, 2015

Well, before the recipe post-fest commences, I thought I would give everyone a proper update. My stats have been updated, reflecting my weight and size gains since August.

In case anyone is unaware, I injured my shoulder when I re-started this journey in August of 2013. I hadn’t lifted weights since high school and immediately envisioned myself becoming Arnold Schwarzenegger (wow … I spelled his last name correctly the first time) at his prime. I lifted too heavy, improperly, and tweaked my shoulder. I tried working around it but eventually (August of last year) it became so painful I could barely move my arm. So, as I always do, I self medicated. I stopped moving my arm as much as possible, took ibuprofen, and learned to knit (even knitting for extended periods of time was hurting the dang shoulder).

About a month ago, I realized I was no longer waking up every morning with shoulder pain (only roughly 4 times per week), so I started slowly trying to test the waters. That’s when I realized I had greatly decreased my range of motion. I could not lift my elbow to shoulder height and forget bringing my hand around to my back (I had switched to bras that hook in the front … tried wearing my old one and the pain in my shoulder was excruciating). So, I have spent the past month slowly working my shoulder. I move it just enough so I have mild pain, making sure I don’t go past that point (August was when I got frustrated and impatient so I just grabbed the pull up bar and hung from it, sending a shooting hot pain through my shoulder). As of yesterday, I have actually been able to lift some weights AND almost assume a full-blown push-up position with little discomfort!

So, this quite possibly will be a New Year for me! My weight machine has been so lonely. 🙂

Sciatica – “Old People Issue”

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Only old people get sciatica. Then, one day a few years ago, I got this shooting pain that started at my rear end and ran down my thigh. By the time it had gotten unbearable, I looked to Google. When I discovered what it was, I told my mom and she giggled, “You are getting old”. Well, I fought back. I found some stretches on my own that, a few weeks into them, relieved the pain. After about 6 weeks, the pain was gone completely and I never had an issue with it again. That is, until two weeks ago.

Just after I started exercising again, I noticed that if I sat too long, my lower legs would almost fall asleep (I didn’t realize that’s what it was … I was just not able to fully walk properly. Then, I felt my calf, and it was numb). I thought, maybe it’s just lack of circulation, so I started rotating my ankles, getting up more often, bouncing my legs up and down like I was nervous, hoping that keeping the blood flowing would rid me of this annoyance. Well, yesterday was a banner day. Instead of numbness, both legs were tingling, like they had been asleep but were waking back up. So, back to Google.

It turns out THIS is sciatica, too! I had thought sciatica was just the pain but no. There’s a muscle in your rear end called a piriformis (to read more about this check out this article: It runs from your tailbone across to your hip and if it gets tight, it can pinch the sciatic nerve and cause numbness. What the heck? So, I get to add another set of stretches to my ever-growing arsenal of stretches.

One that I used to do before … I don’t know if I came up with it on my own or saw it somewhere but I stand in front of a wall. I keep one leg straight, lift the other foot off the ground, then, using the wall, I turn my body, stretching my straight leg at the hip. Then I repeat for the other side.

The other one was standing with both feet on the ground, legs straight, then slowly push my hip out to the side just to the point where I feel tightness up the side of my hip, hold, then repeat on the other side.

All these stretches must be very gentle and you must ease yourself into them. So, my conclusion from all of this? I’m either really working my glutes deeply or I’m not positioning my feet correctly when performing my cable exercises. Either way, if I ever want to be able to sit for longer than 5 minutes stretches of time, I will be stretching every day. I need to finish reading the book, ”
Becoming A Supple Leopard“. My brain is so disjointed it’s like I don’t have enough time in the day for everything.

My Own You Tube Channel

It’s not pretty, nor is it filled to the rim with wonderful information or fantastic recipes but it’s only been in existence for less than an hour-ish. No more having to wade through my smaller government/prepping/crochet videos. This one is strictly low carb/ketogenic/fitness related (and where I’ll post any videos I make, if I ever make any more ~grin~). I’ll be switching links all over this blog and pages (haven’t finished that up yet) but here it is, in all its glory:

Atkins Keto Journey

Fitness Is A Skill article and another mini-update

So, after a month of inactivity and a week of stretching/strengthening my shoulder, I did my first weight training this morning. I feel great, though my muscles already are a bit upset that I did more than sit in the chair all day. My shoulder isn’t sore at all and I think that’s because I altered my training to cable/machine only. I’m putting all free weights aside until I’m sure my shoulder is fully recovered. I’ve updated my Physical Training page to reflect the cable versions of the exercises. My weight is up (I think … can’t remember what I logged last time) but I’m bound and determined to bring that back down. I’ve been a scarfing fool and, after really thinking about it, I think I would consider myself a binge eater. When I like something, that’s all I eat until it’s gone (or I want to puke just thinking about eating it again). Both hubby and I are that way. When we discovered Del Real Chile Verde, that’s all we ate for 4 days straight. That’s just one example. Another was pre-made hamburger patties. They were so easy and we could make our own Mc Doubles, so we did, they tasted great, and that’s pretty much what I lived on when I started this in August of last year. Now? I have 5 patties in the freezer, taunting me to eat them before they get freezer burn, but the thought turns my stomach! AND that’s where I come to Russel Stover Sugar-Free candies. I bought some because I wanted an occasional sweet treat. Well, as of yesterday, I was averaging 4-5 per day PLUS all my food. Of course, I didn’t log them in My Fitness Pal, because “I was only eating a few”. Well, that few sure totaled up! 110 calories and 13 total carbs EACH. So, obviously, if you multiply that by 4 or 5 then add that to all the other “real” food I was eating … I’m surprised I’ve only gained a few pounds! I’ll go grab the tape measure as soon as I post this and update my stats (since it’s been forever since I have). All I know is I weighed 172.2 this morning and size 14 jeans are still a little loose.

And that brings me to this article. Though he’s speaking of fitness and training, this also goes for what we choose to put in our mouths. It’s not about motivation or willpower. It’s me, sitting here, listening to the call of the candy (which is within arms reach) and telling it no. That’s a conscious decision I’ve made, since yesterday I started my day with willpower and became depressed and paced around the house like a caged lion until I binged on candy (and just about anything else I could get my hands on).

A Month Of No Training

It’s been approximately one month since I stopped all training (weight and otherwise). Once Spring sprung, it was like getting slammed into a wall. So, I had decided today was the day. Of course, I was up at 12:30 AM due to my allergies but I digress. I went back to bed with the intention of beginning fresh once I got some sleep. Well, one lift of the weights and my dang shoulder tweaked like anything. So, for at least a week, I’m solely focusing on my shoulder.

In addition to these movements, I stumbled onto two more videos today that I will incorporate into my daily routine. Hopefully, a week will be enough to regain some pain-free mobility in my shoulder.

Now, this one requires the use of an exercise band. I don’t have one but have quite a few heavy duty bungee cords.

And this one is simply stretches for the neck. As I was sitting here, watching the video and doing the stretches sitting up, there was slight discomfort, so I guess that means these need to be done also.

Although I’m happy I began this journey to better health, there are times I wish I would have done it sooner. Sometimes, I just feel like an old fart.

My Daily Training Schedule


O.k. Well, I guess I’ll be posting my training daily. Just so you know, I have been doing weights 3 days per week and (when I feel like it) cardio twice a week. Most of the time, this is Monday through Friday and I don’t do a dang thing on the weekends (this way you know when to expect these posts). They will be short and sweet with little embellishment. As I’ve stated numerous times, I log all my workouts into Fitocracy. I’ll do that first, then cut and paste into a post here.

That is what I have done already. All my training sessions since I signed up for Fitocracy on September 6, 2013 have been posted here (on the corresponding dates). Would you like to take a look at all of them? Well, you are in luck! I figured out some code and now there is a running list of all my training sessions at the bottom of my physical training page (I think the limit of the list is 100 so, when I surpass that, the posts are tagged “Training”). Guess what? It doesn’t look like I’ve been as much of a lazy ass as I occasionally tell myself! LOL!

Oh, and can you please send “good health” thoughts my way? Hubby’s coming down with something and I REALLY don’t need to get it (kinda hard to stay away from him).

New Weight Training Program

I’ve added a new weight training program to my Physical Training page. So, why am I doing this? Well, because I’m bored. I’m bored and tired of having to remove exercises from my training because of my shoulders. So, while I was trying to work myself into training mode this morning, I stumbled on an article posted on Fitocracy. I have enjoyed every article I have read on T Nation but this one got me really excited. Why? Well, let me tell you. 🙂

Bodybuilders have always held a special place in my heart. I have never sat there, looking at Arnold, thinking, “I want a man like that”. I have always thought, “I want to look like that!” Not really (I LIKE looking like a female) but I love muscles. I always have. I read Muscle and Fitness, watched Pumping Iron (and Pumping Iron 2), read up on supplements, etc. and that was all in high school, when women in the weight room were frowned upon by all those manly football/P.E. coaches (fast forward 30+ years and almost 100+ pounds and I finally began weight training). So, when I started seriously thinking (that’s the key term) about implementing weight training, I ran across Arnold’s book, “Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding” at a thrift store. What luck! I paid $4 for this massive book! I read it cover to cover, then wrote down all the exercises I needed to do, … that was in August of 2012 (remember, I didn’t actually start any weight training until August of 2013)!

In August of 2013, I took another look at the exercises and training schedule and knew I would burn myself out (or hurt myself) if I went from absolutely no movement whatsoever to that. That’s when I found Omar Isuf on You Tube. His basic program was perfect, and still is despite my shoulders. I am much stronger and more fit than I can remember being. Now I feel like I need to step it up a notch.

So, I found this article today: Reg Park’s Three Phase 5×5 Program. So, who is Reg Park, you may ask? Well, not only was he the hunky Hercules throughout the 1960’s (check out this picture from Hercules In The Haunted World from 1961)

BUT he was Arnold’s inspiration for becoming a bodybuilder. AND, if I can’t yet workout like Arnold, then why not work out like his mentor? So, beginning today, I am beginning Phase One of Reg Park’s Three Phase 5×5 Program (if you are interested in reading the article or checking out phases two and three, please visit this link).

Reg Park’s Three Phase 5×5 Program

Phase One

45-degree back extension 3×10
Back squat 5×5
Bench press 5×5
Deadlift 5×5

Rest 3-5 minutes between the last 3 sets of each exercise.

Train three days per week for three months.

The only special equipment I do not have is anything to do the 45-degree back extension on but I will! Remember that first video I posted regarding my shoulder stretches/exercises? Remember the stool he made? I will use that and hook my feet underneath either the drawers or bottom of the desk we have in the garage (It’s a big, metal, heavy 1960’s behemoth). So, now that I’ve spent the entire morning on this, it’s time to get busy! I’ll post updated stats tomorrow morning.

Shoulder Injuries

Well, I think I have to accept that my shoulder issues are not going to go away on their own.  As I mentioned before, this week’s second weight training session went fine, with normal muscular pain which morphed into tendon pain in my right shoulder, then (since my left shoulder felt left out) the pain switched to my left shoulder and is still there.  I’ve known for a while that it was tendonitis but thought that if I just went easy with my range of motion (don’t do anything heavy over my head, basically) that it would improve over time.  I was wrong, so now I have to do something about it if I ever want to gain the strength I envision.

Disclaimer: This doesn’t surprise me, though it does irritate me.  I am, after all, 45 years old and have pretty much lived in front of a computer since I purchased my first one in 1998 (well, before that, when I would do whatever I could to learn about them.  Heck, I learned typing on the first incarnation of a Macintosh computer).

So, now, I’m sitting here, with my horrible desk posture, trying to figure out how to fix this NOW (I wish it could be that quick).  Before today’s workout, I did this stretch.  Now, I didn’t have the stool setup so I just leaned over the arm of the couch (the bungee cords were in the garage, where my weights are).  They all just about killed my shoulder!  I lifted my arms above my head as far as I could without excruciating pain.  So, I’ll either hold off on doing this or just NOT raise my arms so high.

I’m going to do these every day (they suggest two times a day to start with).  These are the best stretches I’ve seen for shoulder pain yet (and I’ve been looking off and on for about 4 months).

I’m not sure if I’ll wait to add this (depends on how I deal with these stretches) or do these in conjunction with the stretches.  These are basic exercises to correct posture.  The way I’m looking at my shoulder pain is that my entire upper body is the problem, not just the shoulders.

And then I’m going to throw this one in, since bad posture includes my neck.

Since I was able to get my entire weight training in today, I know I didn’t do anything to aggravate my shoulder (good thing) so I SHOULD be able to continue working out while doing all these stretches/exercises too.

Ask Yourself About Your Progress

I have seen so many people who truly expect the miraculous when it comes to diet and exercise.  That WAS me back in 2010.  And, occasionally, I find myself with a slight tinge of … envy(?) when I see someone who weighed about the same as I did this go around (August) who, in just two months has lost 30 pounds (or some other number that is much higher than mine).  The only thing that keeps me grounded, sane, and on-plan is to remind myself this isn’t about weight.  My journey began (and always will be) about focusing on my health and well-being.

Ask Yourself About Your Progress

6 Habits of Highly Effective Lifters from Muscle and Fitness

Most of the time, I toss these things aside (well, I read them first, say to myself, “Yeah, right” then forget them). This one, I actually agree with (all of it). They even talk about the benefits of fat in your diet! The first slide talks about carrying exercises. I am no fitness guru so I had to look some of the exercises up (thank you, Google). One was called a farmer’s walk. It showed the guy with special handles on barbells that you lift, then carry around. My first thought was, “Heck. Load up a wheel barrow with concrete blocks or bricks!” (which is what I was doing for the first few months after we moved in here). AND for all you who have been shoveling snow, you’ve all been getting quite a workout with no extra equipment required!

BUT what struck me was the carb cycling. I think that is what has changed my weight loss/fitness for the better. Since I finally got back on track (after the great Christmas cookie binge of 2013), I haven’t been consistent with my carbohydrate intake. One day I might get in 10 (at the most … I refuse to give up my dairy in my coffee) and the next I’m right there around 20.

I’ve also started basically doing this with my exercise. I’m adding a little more weight until I can’t handle it, then dropping it down so I can complete my sets. Also, swapping my standard cardio for digging in the dirt (after the second day, I was amazed at how much my stomach, shoulders and biceps hurt from throwing those shovels of dirt) has actually lengthened my cardio times. I went from doing 20 minutes, then dying, to 30 to 40 minutes before my muscles give out BEFORE my lungs. I’m loving that aside from my added strength, I’m seeing physical progress in my yard. I know I have a before picture of that stupid mound of dirt somewhere … I’ll find it then do a video or just take an after picture when I’m ready to build the raised bed.

Anyway, take a look at their suggestions. I’m so surprised!

January 10, 2014 Update

Well, now that we are over a week into the new year, I figured it was time for me to take a look back at my progress since August of 2013. As much whining as I have done, to see the numbers in black and white is uplifting, especially on a day when I have to rest (very sore muscles and a cough coming on … I sure hope it’s just allergies). I’ve recently reconnected with some Atkins friends who I met back in 2010, at the birth of my blog. It’s so lovely seeing how everyone else is doing and to know that these struggles are not uniquely mine. I want to thank anyone who reads my entries. The Lord knows I’m not expert on anything so I appreciate you reading of my struggles and stumbles all these years.

One change I have implemented over the past week is focusing more on net carbs instead of total carbs. I think my body is finally able to properly deal with them (since, for dinner last night we made chicken fajitas and I ate 2 of the Sol Del Oro tortillas and my morning blood sugar was 83 (and I have had no intestinal discomfort).

So, here are the totals (and this is one reason why I have been so thankful I have been so determined to keep records all this time):

Weight: Down 27.2 pounds (based on my weigh in of 211 at the end of July 2013 at the doctor’s office)
Chest: Down 2 inches
Waist: Down 3 inches
Hips: Down 3 inches
Upper Arm: Down 2.5 inches
Thigh: Down 4.5 inches
Upper Belly Roll: Down 7 inches
Total Inches lost: 22
Morning Blood Sugar: Down 90!

I’m truly amazed (and thankful) with the difference I feel both mentally and physically. It shows what a slippery slope it is for me to NOT keep track of everything. Without some sort of accountability, I will cheat like a kid who hid their Halloween candy from their parents.

For you Atkins friends who may be reading this, the changes since 2010 are astounding!

Weight: Down 36.2
Chest: Down 7
Waist: Down 11
Hips: Down 9.5
Upper Arm: Down 3.5
Thigh: Down 7.5
Total Inches Lost: 38.5
Morning Blood Sugar: Down 322 (I was 405 on my first day)

January 4, 2014 Update

This week has been good but kinda “meh”. Hubby worked Monday and was off the rest of the week, so I let exercise slide a bit. I didn’t have set “cardio” days (usually Tuesday and Thursday). The weather here … I usually don’t talk about it this time of year because everyone else is freezing (I’m in Central California) so on my weight days, I’ve been heading out into the yard and digging. See, the person who lived in this house before us “redesigned” the back yard. During the redesign process, he built up a mound of dirt. I always wondered if he did that to add a landscape feature until we began tearing it down (I want to grow food out there and it’s kinda hard to do on a hill). That’s when we discovered he built the mound of dirt as his mini-landfill. Every piece of garbage he found around the property he buried there, including the concrete slab he broke up. To say we were angry is an understatement. We dug down about 4 feet below grade and still were finding crap. So, we decided we were going to level that out and build a raised bed on that spot. That’s about the time I found out my blood sugars were out of what (got sick) and began my Keto journey. I refuse to let another year go by without growing any food, so my cardio this week has been flinging shovels of dirt across the yard and moving (even more) chunks of concrete. As of this moment (since I’m still angry and we don’t have a truck) those chunks of concrete are bordering the fence line. I want to say they look like pavers but in reality they look like chunks of concrete someone threw there. At this point, I don’t care but I will get this done! If I have to completely forgo my meringue dancing, I will if that means we can grow food this year. I have some heirloom Cherokee tomato seeds that have been calling to me for a year!

Other than that, my blood sugars have been fantastic! I posted yesterday about those low carb tortillas. I only had that one and threatened my sons life if he touches them (grin). I also made that first batch of tortillas I made into chips and he helped me finish those off, so either today (probably not) or tomorrow I’ll start work on figuring out how to make a corn tortilla that has less carbs than standard ones and does not have eggs in it. I’ve always hated the idea of the many tortilla/wrap recipes I have seen because they are little more than stiff crepes and, as I said yesterday, I am a tortilla snob. If I want an omelet, I’ll make an omelet. If I want a tortilla and can’t have one, then I will do without.

I’ve posted my stats and there aren’t any dramatic changes but there are enough changes to make me happy. My weight training is going well (as long as the neighbors aren’t burning something toxic in their fireplace). I’ve been able to add more weights to some of the exercises and even been able to do some shoulder work (tendonitis). I have also noticed that my allergies are less severe. When this all began (2010) I had to stop using everything that had any kind of scent, most body care products that had ingredients I couldn’t pronounce (I tried some face cream by Clinique and immediately got welt on my face) and had to wear a mask in public due to the extreme amounts of perfume women feel the need to drown themselves in. Well, the other day, I didn’t even smell/react to a perfume cloud we walked through in the store! I really hope this means I’ve turned a corner.

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and you know you’ll hear from me soon! lol

December 27, 2013 Update

Well, good Friday morning, everyone!  Yes, I’m amazed I actually remembered to post my update this week!  AND just because it was Christmas two days ago, I didn’t fall off the rails in any way!  We did it up on Thanksgiving (all that food and it was just the two of us) so, since we were alone again on Christmas, we just ate normal.

As you know from my whining, my body has been out of whack since I got sick in October and I just made things worse with my carb binge a couple of weeks ago.  So, yesterday, instead of doing my cardio workout, I slept.  Imagine my surprise when FINALLY I lost 2 more pounds of bloat!  I no longer have cankles!  I’m down to 186, just one pound away from my lowest in memory and I’m thrilled!  I’ve also lost a total of an inch since my last measurements!  1/2 and inch from my waist and 1/2 and inch from my hips!  I’m surprised my thighs are the same measurement because my hamstrings are still sore from Wednesday.

I forgot to take my morning blood sugar, so when you look at my stats, you’ll see I just put a zero there.  I was so focused on getting my food in so I can do my weight training soon that I completely forgot.

I’m going to be adding a different twist to my weight training.  Double-Pause Deadlifts.  I really suck at deadlifts.  I don’t have the best posture on a normal day (while I’m typing this, I kinda look like Smeagol, squatting in my chair with my feet up on a foot stool) so when my back started hurting, my son happened to be watching me deadlift and pointed out how rounded my back was.  I’ve been trying to fix that (no back pain since I began working out again) but this method may help me to properly focus on my posture and bar positioning (all this and I can’t remember if I do deadlifts today or not … I have the three workouts written on the freezer door in the garage).

For any who are interested, in addition to my My Fitness Pal and Fitocracy links on the left side of the page, I’m posting my playlist on You Tube for fitness.  They include my 3 day weight training routine, an updated version of my cardio routine, and other basic exercises that I like.

O.k.  Time to get busy!  It’s almost time to train and I need to make some more almond flour (this time I’ll try to get a finer flour … my last try was more like meal).  Good Friday and I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Merry Christmas!

From one sexy beast to another, I would like to wish everyone a safe, happy, and yummy Merry Christmas!

Me at 188.2
Me at 188.2 Christmas 2013 in my oh, so sexy working-out-in-the-cold-garage outfit!

November 22, 2013 Stats

Well, good Friday afternoon! This week has been a struggle to eat enough calories. I’ve been busy with my hands (either crocheting or playing a video game or looking up new crafty things to do). I haven’t been planning out my meals (like I usually do) so by the time dinner rolls around and I’m getting 800 calories for the day, I desperately find something to shove in my mouth (lately, beef jerky has been my “go to” food for extra calories and energy). I realized (too late into this illness) that I had to adjust my caloric intake due to being so damn sedentary. It’s so low that most of the time I can’t even throw in a protein shake because that will bring my protein grams too high.

The good news is, despite the fact that I was up again at 2 am coughing, I am determined to begin exercising again next week. I’ll start small. Doing weights will be fun. They are out in the garage (thankfully, this garage doesn’t leak or allow water to seep under the walls like the last one) and the mornings are getting pretty chilly for central California (can’t complain too much about that since some of my friends around the country are dealing with below freezing temperatures). So, I might be rocking my burnt orange sweatshirt instead of my girly tank top for lifting! lol Now that I’m thinking about it, I should embellish them so I feel a bit more feminine (I mostly wear men’s clothes). I never wear them in public, so why not?

Anyway, I’ve updated my stats. No change at all regarding measurements (did not do morning blood sugar since I was sucking down coffee at 2 am) BUT I now weigh 188! I have now lost 23 pounds! I can’t begin to tell you how happy that makes me, especially since most of my clothes are trying to slide off. I know once I start lifting again, the weight loss may slow down but my clothes will keep getting bigger and that’s all that matters to me! I hope you have a fantastic weekend (turkey’s already in the fridge because we have a super cold freezer and it takes more time). I can’t wait to try that sugar free pumpkin pie recipe! 🙂

Biggest loser damage…. and mini journal entry.

This is a great post from “Living Atkins Every Day” about the influence of the Biggest Loser on our mental health and weight loss. I can’t agree more. When I hear of people who first start Atkins (or any low carb way of eating) and they lose massive amounts quickly, I’m happy, envious, and furious with my body for not doing the same thing. When I quit in 2011 due to hubby’s health issues, I wasn’t too sad about it. I was hardly losing any weight. I started at 220 pounds March 22, 2010 and ended at 200 on September 23, 2011. It took me that long to lose 20 pounds! All the while, I was on the Atkins discussion boards, watching the weight fly off of everyone else. Right now, I’m happy with the pace of my weight loss. I now know what my body likes to do. I know if a loss lasts more than two days, it will stick. If not, then it will eventually. Then I will stall for about a week or so, until my body figures out I’m not starving it and it’s o.k. to let go! I’m also hoping beyond hope that my slow weight loss will allow time for my skin to tighten up a bit so I don’t end up looking like a flattened water balloon once I’ve reached my goal. I actually had one person in October who, after I told her I had lost 15 pounds since the beginning of August, respond with shock and exclaim, “That long?”. Yes, that long! That’s how long it took me to work with my body and rid my diet of everything that was elevating my blood sugar (unlike her, who is an insulin-dependent type 2 diabetic who had just ordered chicken fried steak with biscuits and gravy).

Speaking of goals, I don’t think I’ve ever discussed my weight goals. I don’t have a clue. I figure 150 is a safe weight goal but it’s not really about weight. I want to be (and look) fit. The one woman I had pictures of when I was in high school was Rachel McLish. Google her. She won Ms. Olympia in 1980. What I love about her is she was able to get muscular but still remain feminine. That was before the push for women to lose so much body fat (for muscle definition) that they stopped having menstrual cycles.

O.k. Here’s the link to the article:

Altering Clothes As We Get Smaller

So, I think I’ve mentioned it before but hubby is losing inches along with me. It’s so bad (good) that our favorite shorts (yes, we both wear the same kind) are completely falling off of him and mine will once I lose a little more lower belly/hip. I love these shorts! They are cargo shorts we bought at Costco, so we’ll just have to hope and pray they carry them again next year so we can get some smaller ones. We both hate (and I mean HATE) wearing belts. So, I’ve been wracking my brain since yesterday to figure out how to fix these shorts so we can continue to wear them. I refuse to purchase all new clothes. To be brutally honest, it wouldn’t cost me that much. My clothing, like my actual menu, is very dull. I wear a handful of T-shirts, tank tops, shorts, and bounce between two pair of pants. But all of this got me thinking about how to properly alter all our clothing so we don’t HAVE to purchase new until we are ready for it.

For our shorts/pants, I turned to my favorite pair of pants: BDUs. While I don’t mind “cargo pants”, official BDUs have always been my favorite pants to wear. The pockets are roomy, they hardly shrink at all, and the fit is perfect if you are in any way curvy. Standard BDUs have adjustable waists due to the fact that it’s easier to make one pant that will fit multiple sizes than each individual size (and we all know that once a person finishes basic training, they tend to have lost weight). I have always hated tucking my shirts into my pants … always. I was going to pull up a picture of when I was little to show the one time that I did but even then, none of my shirts were tucked in. See? Dang … aside from some bangs my hair is the same!


Anyway, if you have never seen a BDU waistband, this is how the waist is adjusted:


It’s just a strip of heavy duty grosgrain ribbon threaded through a belt loop. I don’t have any idea if I can get those belt loops at the fabric store or not (anyone know?). I don’t think it’s unsightly in any way but while Googling I found more stylish options.

On this page they discuss the style pictured and one that has an actual belt buckle. All three of these options require one waist adjuster on each side of the pant.

There’s also this option, using button hole elastic and buttons inside the waist band but the idea of have buttons gouging into my waist all day doesn’t make me jump for joy:

Now, take a look at these Levi jeans:

It’s one adjuster, in the back. I bet that would add a little volume to the posterior if you are lucky enough to have a flat behind (like me).

O.k. Now that I’ve went on and on about pants, here are a few links that discuss how to alter the rest of your wardrobe (Warning: you will need to know how to actually sew to do these):

At this link, a little over half way down, the user tcsewhat was a tailor and offers some suggestions:

This one goes into a little more detail about how to alter clothing (without tearing the whole item apart):

And this one (starting about 1/4 of the way down) does discuss tearing the whole item apart:

I hope this will help you to continue on your weight loss journey without getting clothing-inspired depression.

The Roll of Low Calorie Sweeteners in Weight Management

I can’t tell you how many times throughout the years that I have heard (read) that studies have shown a blood sugar spike when low calorie sweeteners are used.  Most of the time, I didn’t read the studies cited because, to be brutally honest, they were too long, too technical for my state of mind at the time, and frankly, I didn’t really care (obviously, this was pre-diagnosis).  Well, no, that’s not true.  Before I discovered I had type 2, I refused to use any artificial sweeteners (added chemicals, you know).  I figured it was better to use as much natural ingredients as I could.  I used mostly honey and unsulfured molasses (with cane sugar thrown in for good measure).  Then, today, I read this:

The researchers found that GLP-1 secretion was increased by 43% with the LCS-sweetened beverage compared with the carbonated water in those with type 1, but not type 2 diabetes.

Did you read that? Type 1, not type 2 diabetes! I did not see any differentiation in any of the headlines (or paragraphs) I have read all these years. Now, I know that certain types of artificial sweeteners CAN have a negative blood sugar response in some people (sugar alcohols) but it’s nice to know that (despite the observations of my own blood sugar reactions to Splenda and the occasional Aspartame consumption) that I should have read the dang studies all those years ago!

Maria Kang and the “What’s Your Excuse?” Controversy

I, as you can see, tend to have a strong opinion. This “controversy” that is sweeping through the local (and now national) news is a disturbing example of what is wrong with this country. People (mostly women) are up in arms over this photo.

And what is wrong with this photo?  Women are viewing her as being judgmental.  Does this photo REALLY show that?  I don’t think so!  I think this photo shows what can be accomplished with determination and the proper nutritional and fitness education designed for your body.  This photo was originally included on this page from her website.  Apparently, the controversy began last year and has since resurfaced.

Maria Kang recently posted her non-apology for this photo on Facebook:

I’ve been getting an influx of new followers, emails and comments (on my profile pic) recently. Some saying I’m a bully, I’m fat-shaming and I need to apologize for the hurt I’ve caused women. I get it. SO here’s my First and Final Apology:

I’m sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won’t go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two business’, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. I won’t even mention how I didn’t give into cravings for ice cream, french fries or chocolate while pregnant or use my growing belly as an excuse to be inactive.

What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It’s Yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn’t create them. You created them. So if you want to continue ‘hating’ this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life. You can either blame, complain or obtain a new level of thought by challenging the negative words that come out of your own brain.

With that said, obesity and those who struggle with health-related diseases is literally a ‘bigger’ issue than this photo. Maybe it’s time we stop tip-toeing around people’s feelings and get to the point. So What’s Your Excuse? – Maria Kang

And THAT is what is wrong with this country. There is an ingrained lack of personal responsibility that is disgustingly prevalent throughout most age ranges. This isn’t reserved for the young or those in their 30’s. I see it in people who are much older than I am and it makes me sick. Do I blame my Buddha belly or type 2 Diabetes on genetics or age or anyone else? No, I blame it on my lazy eating and lack of physical activity. Did you see that? It was my thoughts and actions that brought me to the point where food was killing me. It wasn’t the massive amounts of advertising geared toward children when I was young. It wasn’t the fact that I preferred to play video games than exercise (yes, I was awesome at Pong!).  It wasn’t the fact that I, too, would routinely eat just french fries for lunch in high school because it was the cheapest “meal” there. It was all me, baby! I decided my body was god-like and I could do whatever I wanted to it without any repercussions. The result was ultimately being over 100 pounds above my ideal weight, developing too-numerous-to-list allergies, asthma, type 2 Diabetes, sciatica, tendonitis, and issues with my ankles, knees and hips.  All this and I’ll only be 45 this year.  I’m telling you, when I decide to do something, I do it right!  Well, August was my wake-up call and I’m taking charge (and responsibility) for my body and my mind.  I will not now, nor ever, blame anyone else for my actions or lack of action.  My health, happiness and future are in my hands.  I refuse to give up control to any other entity and neither should you.  So, stop with the excuses and the blame game.  Take action or shut the hell up and let those of us who want to improve our lives get on with it.

Thanksgiving And An Awesome Man

I know, it isn’t Halloween yet but it was just Thanksgiving in Canada and one of my friends posted about his Keto Thanksgiving meal.  Actually, I think I originally found him on reddit (/r/keto) and he was generous enough to “friend” me on My Fitness Pal.  My mouth started to water when he mentioned green bean casserole (aside from candied yams, which are definitely out, is my all-time favorite holiday recipe) but at the bottom of his post he included a picture of himself 1 year ago.  You know, when I see every day that he is “this close” to losing 80 pounds since April of this year, I am excited for him but nothing compares to seeing the difference 80 pounds can make!  He looks like a much happier, healthier, completely different person!

Fun Drug for the Plague :)

I just have to share. I have a cold (yes, I’m still whining about it). Last night was the first night I slept over 2 hours in close to two weeks and THIS is how I did it. Nectar of the gods! LOL!

So, Who Am I and Why Am I Here?

I am a married 40 something over-weight type 2 diabetic who intends to remain med free. That is pretty much all those pages up there, rolled into one sentence. Of course, if you want more information, just click on the pages above. I’m brutally honest about myself. I’ve been heavy as far back as I can remember (my first double chin was in 4th grade). I was resigned to remain that way until 2010, when I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes. I began Atkins, lost 10 pounds (got off my meds though my doctor didn’t know about it), thought my blood sugars were under control since I wasn’t gaining any weight, so I fell off the wagon. At the beginning of August 2013, I went back to the doctor. I was wrong. So, I embarked on Atkins again but this time I could not control my blood sugars (amazing what happens when you continue to test yourself, huh?). While desperately searching for the cause of my blood sugar swings, I stumbled upon the nutritional Ketogenic diet. It has been a life saver (literally).  So, check out the pages above (see some awful pictures of me) for more information. On my stats page, you wil find my weight, measurements, and fasting blood glucose reading for the day and here you can find my physical training schedule.  I recently update the About 1972 Atkins page to include a snippet about the first week (Level 1) AND the menu included in the original book.

Low Carb Chicken Broth

If you don’t know how to cook (or didn’t grow up with the “use everything more than once” principle) this recipe is for you.  Well, it’s not really a recipe.  It’s more like instructions.  I woke up with a chest cold (it’s been REALLY windy here lately so I was hoping it was allergies … nope!) and pulled a gallon Ziploc bag of this out of the freezer.  My favorite broth is to use the bones from a rotisserie chicken.  I don’t have to doctor up the broth so much that way.  Otherwise, when I de-bone the chicken thighs, I just throw the bones in the freezer (usually in sandwich bags) until I have enough to make a broth.  Now, I usually make enough for an army (well, almost).  I have a 10-quart stock pot I make my broth in.  I don’t add any veggies, since if I want to make soup with this I can always add veggies then (btw, kale is FANTASTIC in soup).  And the best thing about this over bouillon is the chicken fat is still in there.  Just season this with whatever you like (garlic, black pepper, red pepper flakes, turmeric, etc.).  I’ve gotten pretty lazy over the years, though.  I usually end up seasoning the broth with dried bouillon or paste soup base.  Just read your labels!  I have found too many paste soup bases that contain sugar.  The last time I was sick to my stomach, the only thing I needed was this (my usual before was saltines).  I just simmer until the water has reduced by at least 1/3, strain, then once cool, pour into gallon Ziploc freezer bags and toss in the freezer. 

September 27, 2013 Stats

Well, good Friday morning everyone!  I think, after what seems like forever (actually, I consider September 16, 2013 my starting date on Keto since I have officially been in Ketosis since then), my body has officially adjusted to the Keto diet.  My blood sugars have only been over 100 twice: Once after eating some bell peppers with dinner (chicken fajita) and last night after eating some avocado yet both of those readings were around 110!

Now, for the bigger news (for exact numbers, check out my stats page).  I am down to 200.  Yeah, I know I’ve been there before a couple of times the past three years but this time is different.  I’ve been 200 for 2 days in a row!  As long as I’m not stupid (get dehydrated, eat flax meal) I should stay this weight for a few days (then hopefully get lower … that’s only happened once since 2010).

AND I’ve lost more inches (some spots that haven’t moved since this last round started in late July).  Overall, I’ve lost 3 inches since last week and I can SEE the difference (even though my hubby’s pants fall right off while I still have too much rear end for that to happen).  And I have yet to have a sugar low.  No desperate grab for anything to raise my blood sugar since September 16!

Exercise: I’ve made huge milestones on that front too!  Yesterday, I did my cardio (Core Rhythms Merengue Madness which I have been doing since the first week) and I lasted 43 minutes!  The only reason I stopped was because the muscles in my legs were angry, not because it felt like my lungs would explode!  Just to refresh memories, when I started doing cardio I lasted 10 to 15 minutes.

Before I end this post, I would like to tell you I added a very basic About Keto page.  Yes, it’s very basic.  But I would also like to point you to a resource that has been wonderful: Reddit (actually it’s /r/keto).  Yes, I know it’s been around quite a while but I’m a little slow on the uptick.  So, this is my go-to place for questions/rants/whatever.  It’s amazing seeing the progress so many people have made!  Maybe I’ll have hubby take some current pictures when we get back from Fry’s (he gets to finish building his computer today).  This time, I’m taking beef jerky, some pork rinds, and LOTS of water!  😀  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Texas man gets drunk on food

Check this out! Another reason to consider a low carb way of eating?

“Turns out his own stomach was brewing booze thanks to a build up of a common yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. When he ate or drank starch heavy food, the yeast in his stomach fermented the sugar into ethanol.”

When You Think You “Can’t”, Read This

I’ve constantly fought my “I can’t do that” demons.  What a wimp I’ve been!  Check out Barbie Thomas’ story:–abc-news-health.html

Doctor, Low Carb, Weights, Anger

I need to find a new doctor.  I started seeing him because he was there for the birth of my husband (yeah, he’s that old).  The whole family goes to him.  But after today, I need to find a doctor that will support the changes I’ve made in my life.

So, the first words out of his mouth are, “Your blood sugar is out of control”.  Me: “I thought I was doing so much better than when I was here in July!”.  Him: “Well, your average is in the 160s.”  Me: “What does that mean?  Is it lower than it was last time?”  He looks … “Yes but we need to put you on medication.”  Me: “Oh, man.” Him: “Well, you don’t have to do anything if you want to go blind and lose limbs!”

I explained that I had been doing so good, read off my morning and evening blood glucose readings for the last few weeks and didn’t understand how my a1c could still be so high still.  I told him my exercise schedule (2 days cardio, 3 days weights) and he snapped, “Why are you lifting weights?  Have you ever seen a skinny weight lifter?”  Me: “But I’ve lost 8 pounds in 6 weeks!” Him: “Oh.” Now comes diet.

I told him I started on Atkins, then switched.  Before I could even tell him anything else, “So, what do you eat for breakfast?” Me: “A couple of eggs with some cheese”.  Him: “And lunch?”  I think for a minute … Him: “Is it really that hard for you to tell me what you eat for lunch?”  Me: “I’m down to about 20 carbs per day.” Him: “What? Do you eat potatoes, rice, oats, bread?” Me: “No.”  Him: “Well, we need to get you on a 2000 calorie/day diabetic diet.”

This is the third time he’s tried this one.  Let me show you just the two sample breakfasts they give:

Sample One:

2/3 cup Apple Juice (Apple Juice – 100 % Apple Juice- No Sugar Added – 29 g carb)
1/2 cup oatmeal (Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oatmeal – Hot Oatmeal – 27 g carb)
2 slices Toast (Ezekial – Sprouted Grain & Seed Bread – 30 g carb)
1 soft-boiled egg
2 t. margarine (NEVER!)
1 cup 2% milk (Borden – 2% Reduced Fat Milk (8 Oz) – 12 g carb)

Sample Two

1 cup Orange Juice (Florida’s Natural – Premium Orange Juice Most Pulp No Sugar Added – 11 g carb)
3/4 cup Corn Flakes (Kellog’s – Corn Flakes Original – 18 g carb)
2 slices Toast (Ezekial – Sprouted Grain & Seed Bread – 30 g carb)
1 poached egg
2 t. margarine (NEVER!)
1 cup 2% milk (Borden – 2% Reduced Fat Milk (8 Oz) – 12 g carb)

So, he actually thinks it healthier for me to either have 98 grams (Sample One) or 71 grams (Sample Two) carbohydrates in a single meal than to continue with the way of eating that has already showed an improvement in my daily blood sugar readings?

That was it. He handed me two boxes of Januvia samples and wants me to come back in 3 months. I left sobbing. It’s not like I expected him to grab my hand and tell me what a good girl I’ve been but I did expect some kind of acknowledgement that I had worked hard and improved my health. Once I got home, I called the office back to find out what my a1c numbers were. July was 8.3 and last week’s was 7.5. That still didn’t make sense until that word average popped out on my computer screen. Average … so what was it really? I don’t give a shit about the average … I want to know what the actual number was last week (She couldn’t see any other numbers on the report). I want to know exactly how much of an improvement I made in 6 weeks. I guess I could do some Algebra but that will just irritate me. HA! I did it. So, my true a1c from last week was 6.7 … a 1.7 decrease in 6 weeks and he wants me to fundamentally change everything that has worked?

I am upset, sad, and angry.

What is Wrong With “Normal” Foods?

I may not be the most “natural” eater (I do use supplements and Whey protein, after all) but I don’t understand some of the ingredients that are “must haves”. I’ve been reading (yes, mostly reading since I’m so out of shape) about health and fitness for most of my life (We recently started watching “The Shield” from the beginning of the series and right there in the 3rd or 4th season was Cory Everson and I just about died. I looked at my husband and exclaimed, “Wait until I show you who that is!”. Then I dragged him to the computer and showed him her Ms. Olympia-era pictures.) So, that proves how long I’ve been reading! Anyway, it seems like every two to three years, a magical, miracle food shows up with claims that it will revolutionize your fat loss, your muscle gains, your health and wellness, or some other claim. Most of them I either wanted desperately (who wouldn’t want an easy, no exercise needed fat loss supplement?) or totally discounted because the claims were just too outlandish.

One of my favorite pieces in Muscle and Fitness magazine (I truly hated “Muscle and Fitness Hers”) was just inside the back cover when they would bash themselves for the stories published in the past about everything from exercise, food/supplements, and clothing fads. Who doesn’t still giggle at the brightly colored spandex, headbands, and mullets?

Well, now that so many people are either going low carbohydrate in one way or another (or gluten free), I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes with the latest miracle foods: flax, quinoa and chia seeds. I typically just bypass those recipes just because they include the “it” foods of the day (yeah, I’m such a rebel).

While I have done my best to include flax in my diet (I can’t pass up the Omega fatty acids since I am unable to eat any seafood). I hate it. I tolerate it as long as I can’t really taste it. The first full-blown recipes I tried were MIMs – Muffin In a Minute. The first one was a cinnamon muffin. It was awful! I hated the flavor and boy, did it bound me up! The next one I tried was a chocolate muffin. That one tasted great and, since I had that intestinal issue with the first one, I sliced it and didn’t scarf the entire muffin in one sitting. My mouth’s initial reaction: What flax meal? BUT if you are on a low carbohydrate diet, have you looked at the nutritional breakdown of the basic muffin? Whether you do net carbs or not, one muffin contains 12.7 grams (9.3 grams fiber). If you are limiting your carbohydrate intake to 20 grams per day, you just blew most of them on one muffin! I think I’ll stick with adding it to my protein powder shake. Plus, with it adding only 3 grams carbohydrates (3 grams fiber) and 3 grams of protein in two tablespoons per day, that’s not bad!

Next is quinoa. I have not tried it and probably will not (no, I take that back. I tried an ancient grain tortilla with quinoa, amaranth, flax and other grains I can’t remember. It was alright but the carbohydrate count was still too high for me). Quinoa is the magical Andean grain that will give you everything you need to stay healthy, right? Well, yes, as long as that’s pretty much all you eat. If you look into the diet of those who have been eating it the longest, you will see this is a staple of their diet (little meat, whatever vegetables they can get, and quinoa). Well, it was until it was more expensive for them to eat it than to sell it. Now, their health is beginning to suffer because this miracle grain is a “must-have” for those who are in with the in-crowd. Another thing to consider is the nutritional content of quinoa. Yes, it has 8 grams of protein per cup of cooked quinoa but in that cup of quinoa is also 39 grams of carbohydrates.

The next is chia seeds. Every single time I see this in a recipe, the song from the Chia Pet commercial goes through my head. I had never considered this a food because of those dang commercials. I thought it was interesting, but that was it. That is, until I began reading about it. I’m intrigued, especially since this (and the flax) I can grow here (which is always a bonus for me). I tried growing maca but I guess everything about my region is wrong (I’m in Central California). I really like plants that have more than one purpose (more edible/medicinal parts) and all I’ve been able to find on leaf usage is as a medicinal tea. If anyone has any more information, I would love to see it. From what I read, it’s suggested that you only consume 2 to 3 Tablespoons per day but it gives a powerful nutritional punch! In two Tablespoons, there are 12 grams carbohydrate (10 grams fiber) and 4.7 grams of protein. It seems hefty on the carbohydrates but with all the other nutritional benefits, this one just may be worth it! Here’s a great article on the health benefits: I haven’t quite jumped on the band wagon but it can’t hurt to buy a chia pet if it’s majorly on sale! 🙂

After writing all of this (and second guessing myself on chia seeds) I really think it’s important to get as much of our macros (protein, carbohydrate, fat) from as much whole food as possible and make the wisest choices for ourselves. If I could eat seafood, you can bet your bottom dollar I would rather have salmon over this stuff any day of the week!

Can You Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?

This article supports the answer I got when I asked if type 2 can be cured.  The answer I received was, “My suspicion is that it is like high blood pressure.  When you’re heavier, your BP may cross into abnormal ranges but be normal at lighter weights.  I believe type 2 diabetes is similar in its action.  In survival situations, many type 2, especially if it occurred late in life, will be improved simply due to dietary restrictions and increased activities of daily survival.  The word “cure”, however, is too strong.  If you gain weight or become a couch potato, it will come right back.”

September 13, 2013 Stats

So, I was 200 pounds for about a minute!  LOL!  I had hoped all this week that it was leftovers from Saturday.  See, we decided (pretty much on a whim) to take a 2 hour round trip to buy some computer parts.  See, we (through osmosis, since it’s really my husband) are building a computer and looking at towers on a computer screen doesn’t compare to being able to touch it.  So, we took off … at 1 pm on a 100+ degree day (with no air conditioning) without thinking.  We bought our legal crack (1 Rockstar each) and didn’t stop for anything.  30 minutes into the drive, my lips were already chapped.  As soon as we got there (Fry’s Electronics, what heaven looks like to computer geeks), I downed a small bottle of water and that was the last bit of liquid I had until we got home.  Since then, I’ve been averaging 132 ounces of water per day (and actually enjoying it) trying to make up for that awful mistake.  AND since that day I’ve been gaining a pound a day (well, it feels like it).

I did my normal weight workout on Monday, was sore and feeling awful so did nothing on Tuesday, then Wednesday’s workout I pushed myself.  I actually managed to increase the weight (as in add actual weights to the barbell) on all but two of the exercises!  I felt great and very proud of myself!  Then, yesterday was a bust.  I went in for my blood work (in preparation for my return trip to the doctor next week).  I swear, getting poked and prodded by an inept phlebotomist should be considered cardio!  She ended up taking the blood out of the top of my hand (first time in my life).  I think it’s time to find a different lab (the last time a different woman popped my vein).  Then, I had to go get my prescription for my test strips.

By the time I got to the pharmacy, I was starving!  I figured I would just grab an Atkins bar to tide me over.  Then, I looked at the carbs.  23!  I’ve been averaging 20 for an entire day!  I couldn’t believe it.  So, beef jerky to the rescue (yes, I grabbed the bag and started eating while waiting for my prescription).  Only 3 grams of carbs!  Once my shaking stopped I was a happy camper!  Once I got home, I gave up on exercising (I know I could have but I was in a particularly stubborn mood).

Anyway, my stats page has been updated. I’ve also added my blood sugar numbers since I began this journey again (last month).  As you can see, they have improved immensely.  As for my measurements, I’ve actually lost a little more since last week (an inch off my upper belly roll and half an inch on my thigh)!  I’m so excited about that!  One more thing!  My double chin is almost completely gone!  I see so much more change than I (obviously) can measure.  Thank you for sharing this journey with me!  OH!  I’ve added two links to the left side of my page: 1) My Fitness Pal profile, and 2) My Fitocracy profile.  I really didn’t like how My Fitness Pal adds more calories I can eat for every second of cardio I do.

September 6, 2013 Stats

Well, I have hit the big 200 mark!  That translates into an 11 pound loss since August 10th! I’ve lost a little on my measurements (from last week) and if you look at my thigh measurement, don’t jump up and down.  I didn’t realize I should have been measuring half way between my knee and my hip (instead of the thickest part of my thigh, which is at the top.  We’ll see if THAT shows a difference next week (since I can actually see the fat separating from the muscle instead of one solid chunk of flesh).

I’m still struggling with adjusting my food intake (protein vs. fat vs. carbs) but I think I’m pretty much there.  My blood sugars went a little higher over the past two days (two days ago it averaged 100 between morning fast and after dinner) and last night my after dinner BS reading was 124!  This morning? 89!  According to My Fitness Pal, I was 29 calories above my goal, ate 19 carbs, was 10 over on my fats and 31 under for my protein even though I had three scoops of protein powder yesterday (at least I still got in 169 grams).  Now, I need to figure out how to up my protein without feeling like a bloated pig by the end of the day!  LOL!

As for food, we had the Burmese Pork Curry and I love it. Hubby? Not so much.  He can’t pinpoint why (though it may have a little to do with the fact that I didn’t even realize the recipe didn’t call for any salt until I served it OR he just might not be a curry person).  I’m going to try the Spicy Chicken Masala Curry Recipe and if he doesn’t like that one either, then I’ll know it’s curry (I refuse to make separate foods just for me.  Either he likes it too or I make something else).  I know it took me a long time to “force” myself to like anything curry because I was not accustomed to the flavor.  Heck, I grew up on Chef Boyardee pizza and fake Mexican food.  The only time I had anything different was when a neighbor would give us some dolmades they had made from the grape leaves they harvested from my grandma’s property.  I think that’s why I’m always searching for something new to try (though my current basics are so dull).  Heck, on an episode of Bizarre Foods when he was in Indonesia and he had fried tarantula.  As soon as he said it tasted like crab, I was in!  I want to try it (I miss seafood so much).  Of course, I would probably do better if it’s already made because I would end up doing the spider dance if I had to deal with them alive!

Have a great weekend, everyone!  I’m off to eat so I can do my girly-man weight training (took yesterday off completely … pathetically out of shape so I was SORE from Wednesday’s weight training).

Low Carb, Exercise and Diabetes

I have put off REALLY exercising until now.  I wanted to make sure my diet would support it without becoming cannibalistic.  After calculating how much protein, carbs, and fat I need for a normal day (and how to compensate for added exercise, especially weight training), I have a set schedule that I want out in the world.  This will make me even more accountable.  So, here it is.

Mondays: Ab Doer (which burns about 4 calories per minute), plus this routine: BEST Beginner Muscle Building/Strength Program: Day 1 Full Body plus cool-down walking (basically back and forth in my driveway) for 20 minutes.

Tuesdays: Ab Doer plus Cardio (I’m currently rotating between Core Rhythms Latin Dance, and three different Tae Bo videos) for as long as I can (got up to 18 minutes yesterday but working up to at least 30 minutes).

Wednesday: Ab Doer plus this routine: BEST Beginner Muscle Building/Strength Program: Day 2 Full Body plus cool-down walking for 20 minutes.

Thursday: Ab Doer plus Cardio (I’m currently rotating between Core Rhythms Latin Dance, and three different Tae Bo videos) for as long as I can.

Friday: Ab Doer plus this routine: BEST Beginner Muscle Building/Strength Program: Day 3 Full Body plus cool-down walking for 20 minutes.

Saturday: Ab Doer

Sunday: Not a dang thing.

Now, because I had to make room in the garage (it’s a functional single-car garage, so had to move the rototiller, various tools and mower out of the way), I didn’t start my weight training on Monday.  I figure I’ll do this setup for at least two weeks, then switch the muscle building routines around so I don’t get bored.  I currently only have a barbell, 2 7.5 pound weights and 4 25 pound weights.  My eyes were opened wide when I tried using the 7.5 pound weights and I couldn’t do it.  So, today I did this strictly with the barbell.  What an eye opener!  The inner-me is a manly man but it turns out I’m a weakling.  I can’t wait to change that!

Due to my really low carbohydrate intake, it was recommended adding carbohydrates 30 minutes to an hour prior to exercise (to feed the muscles).  I’ve been looking online for sugar free pre-exercise foods and there is a lot more research I need to do.  Today, I just had breakfast (leftover mushroom pizzas) and worked out 30 minutes after eating.  Then, I had a scoop of protein powder (I bought a 5 pound container Twin Labs sugar free Vanilla protein powder in 2010 … yup, still have about half and that came in handy last night when I realized I had not had enough protein).  Since all I lifted was 10 pounds, I figured I didn’t tax myself enough to need any more.

If anyone’s interested, I’ve started using My Fitness Pal.  Until I get a really good nutrient content book, this was the only way for me to really see what I was doing right (and wrong).  I’m putting everything I eat and drink in there (forgot about Rockstars … need to fix that) and will be putting all my exercise in there too.

August 30, 2013 Stats

It’s funny.  I’ve been fretting, moaning, and groaning all week because I weighed 207 pounds most of the week.  I hopped on the scale this morning and lost two pounds just to realize now, I’m exactly the same as I was last week!  LOL!  Anyway, I have updated my stats.

My blood sugar numbers have been all over the place (all within normal parameters) but with no extra carb intake, it’s been a little disturbing.  So, I’ve been reading (I’m in the process of reading The Ketogenic Diet).  I can’t give any opinion on the book yet, since I just started reading it about an hour ago.  I think (just think … have yet to test it out) that I am actually eating too much protein!  I never thought that excess protein could be converted into glucose for fuel.  So, I need to eat more fat?  How the heck do I do that without trying to eat spoonfuls of coconut oil or butter (doesn’t that just sound nasty?).  It’s not like I’ve lowered my fat intake by doing Atkins again (heck, lately my favorite fat for frying is lard) but … ~sigh~.  I don’t expect answers from you or really anyone else.  I’ll keep reading then test out this theory and let you know (probably next week).  But a quick search just now sent me to  One more website to add to my home page!  I will read everything I can get my hands on first.

As for exercise, I’ve discovered that it’s not good to use the Ab Doer BEFORE doing my Tae Bo!  Man, did it irritate my hips!  That’s all for now.  Happy Friday (and holiday weekend) to everyone!

August 23, 2013 Stats

So, as you can see from various postings throughout the week, I’ve been focused on trying to add variety to my menu and life.  And now, after two weeks tomorrow and not really seeing a movement of my measurements I really need to exercise.  I have so many excuses (like now, with all the wildfires, there’s a lot of smoke in the air) but with every week I come up with a new excuse (my shoulder hurts or intestinal discomfort or whatever).  My life currently revolves around this computer (will be my son’s laptop as soon as his new hard drive arrives) and food (figuring out what to have for meals).  That’s pretty much it.  I think I mentioned using the gifted-to-me Ab Doer.  Well, it hurt my shoulder so I whined myself into not using until it’s healed (which was about 2 weeks ago but I still haven’t touched it).  The whine going through my head is: “I don’t want to” with an image of a little kid crossing his arms.  That has to stop if I ever want to be healthy.  It’s not like I can go work out in the yard for exercise (the smoke really is an issue there).  So, today (because I have it), is Billy Blanks’ Tae Bo.  I like that I don’t have to roll around on the ground (hard wood floors and no exercise mats of any kind).

The Health and Fitness Industry Is Dead (And That Includes You, Paleo).

I have not checked out the rest of this guy’s website but this article hit home. This last time I went to the doctor, he (again) recommended the South Beach Diet.  I read about it and saw so many comments about how it is nothing like Atkins (but it is).  The same goes with Paleo, when you really look at the basics of it.  When Paleo first came out, it was the Caveman diet (though I don’t see many making those comparisons).  It was “eating as our caveman ancestors did”, aka hunter/gatherers.  It WAS hardcore, only eating what grows without agricultural influence (basically, row crops).  One thing that was eliminated when Paleo came about was grains.  Wild grains had been harvested for thousands (millions?) of years, and consumed by cavemen.  Rice, wheat, and oats have grown (and still are) in the wild.  Even cultivated corn originates from a wild plant.  My point is, though I would love for the pounds to melt off my body by simply changing my eating, I need to focus on health (physical and mental) or this will happen to me again.  This is really a great article.

Back Full Bore

After two years of thinking as long as I’m not gaining weight I’m doing good (in other words, being lazy), I got slapped in the face Wednesday.  My blood sugars were off at my yearly physical (which I haven’t had in three years).  I tried one day of only removing the extra garbage I had added lately but they were still too high.  So, yesterday, I’m once again on Phase 1 Atkins.  My fasting blood sugar was 222.  This morning, it’s 173 (normal is below 160).  It’s been easier than three years ago (when all I was doing was living off of sugar and getting the shakes when I couldn’t eat Cheez-Itz) but this time, hubby is along for the ride.  I gave him the option (you don’t have to do it with me) but for some reason he’s blaming himself for my culinary downfall.  I’ll post my stats on the Stats page but my weight on August 7, 2013 was 211 and as of this morning I’m at 208.  I’m taking the same vitamins but added chromium picolinate earlier this year.  I’m very emotional this morning … hoping that’s just leftover feeling-sorry-for-myself emotions.   The funny thing is my hubby said none of this would have happened if I hadn’t gone to the doctor!  LOL!  I’m not planning to add any new exercise (like I do it that often) but what I have been doing is an Abdoer.  My mom got this but it hurt her shoulders.  I’ve done it a few times over the past couple of weeks and it really does target just the abdominals!  After the first time, I hurt from one side of my stomach to the other and from my rib cage down to my pelvis.  I would recommend this to anyone who has any type of shoulder problems or is already pretty fit but this is great for someone like me who can’t do a situp to save their life.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

This last week has been a trying one.  After getting my tooth pulled, I had two fillings, a deep gum cleaning, plus a standard cleaning.  Over a week without real solid food and I jumped off the wagon and scarfed any food I could get my hands on AND chew.  Thursday, one day before official weigh-in, I was up to 206.  I know most of that was water retention because most of what I ate was crackers in my soup.  Friday, I was down to 203.4.  I was originally scheduled to have two more teeth pulled on Friday but I rescheduled for October 27th.  I need real food and need to get myself back on track.  I feel bloated, my skin has dried out, and this time of year is always a difficult time for me to get my fluids in (changing from cold liquids to warm due to me being so cold).

I was whining all week and just wanted to give up.  Then yesterday, at Costco, I saw what I would look like if I were to go back to the way I was eating.  SO MANY morbidly obese women and the things they were buying … the things I used to buy.  It made me sick to my stomach.

This morning, my sister helped me more than she could ever know.  I had asked her if she had any fat pictures of me.  She came through.  Take a look at the top picture here:

That’s what I will look like if I ever throw this way of eating out the door.  I refuse to do that!  I will not allow myself to 1. get another perm, and 2. let myself get become that unhealthy again!

Life itself is the proper binge