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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Curly Hair Journey 2015-2017

When I first started this blog I had a gorgeous head of Zooey Deschanel-esque brown hair with thick bangs and natural waves down past my shoulders. It was my crowning glory and made me feel beautiful. 

Then I colored it red for a while and it looked like Jenny Lewis hair and I was in heaven.

My bipolar meds, however, had caused my hair to thin out and my body chemistry to change and it was getting harder and harder to take care of my thinning, sweaty hair.

Then I cut it all off and bleached it and it looked horrifying.

June 2015
So gold.  So frizzy. The worst. 

Sometimes it looked really good.  But that was if I had hours to do my hair.  Most of the time I did not and my bangs would take on a lumpen, stiff shape that did not look very natural.


Yeah mid-summer humidity would take what was a cute ponytail look and do this to it:


Oh how I hated this look.

Nine months later and I had finally toned down the brassy, obsessively flat ironed locks to a cooler brown.  One morning, forgoing the flat iron, I discovered baby waves.

March 2016

My hair had somehow done this all by itself without a comb or any hair tools. 

I began researching frizz-free ways to achieve wash-n-go hair.

I began to stop using towels and using cotton shirts or microfiber towels on my hair.  Here is my hair wrapped up in a shirt.  I used to do this for hours.


This time I tried a different technique involving scrunching and such and this happened:


Starting that April I decided to totally go for the curly girl method and switched to using exclusively Deva shampoos and conditioners on my hair which contain no silicones, sulfates, or parabens. I wanted my actual hair to begin healing from all the bleach and flat ironing of the past year and be open to moisture and proteins. I began using various custards and gels for hold.

By May I had trained my hair to do this:

By September it had become even curlier after my first curly cut in July had grown out a bit. 




I got my second curly cut around Halloween and just a few days ago I started experiencing bigger natural curls!

Photo Credit: Natalie Voytek, January 1, 2017


Sometimes I look at people with straight hair and bangs and miss my old look.

Photo Credit: David Weaver, October 31, 2012

It was a great look. But it involved washing and drying and curling and flat ironing and sometimes clip-in hair extensions and most of the time it did not turn out nice.  Plus even on days where I wanted to roll out of bed and leave, I had to spend time on my stupid bangs.

I woke up like this October 2015.  It took 45 minutes to get my damaged hair not to look this way with a flatiron.

With the wavy do this is my routine:

1. Shampoo roots with DevaCurl Low-Poo. (5 minutes)
2. Condition ends with DevaCurl One Condition (5 minutes)
3. Rinse hair upside down and form into wet curly sections. (1 minute)

4. Smooth every single section with hair product. On high dew point days I use DevaCurl Light Defining Gel. On lower dew point days I use DevaCurl Frizz Free Volumizing Foam. (1 minute)

5. Scrunch from tip to root. (5 minutes) 

Here is a video that shows off the smoothing and scrunching technique that I found super-helpful in the beginning. I just don't tend to need as much product as she does so it takes less time.



At this point you can either air dry, dry with a diffusing attachment like this girl does, or do what I do and sit beneath a hair dryer with a bonnet and relax (20 minutes)





Once hair is dry style it with your hands to gives it some semblance of order. (5 minutes).

Besides shampooing and conditioning, my hair now only takes about 35 minutes to do and only 15 minutes of that is hands-on. It used to be 45 minutes hands-on and sometimes 2 hours hands-on to get it straight, only to have it frizz out or flatten most of the time.  Now that I have no bangs or worries about every hair being in place I can run out of the house with third day hair and feel pretty confident that I look good.

Well that's my hair journey for the last two years.  Bye!




Saturday, December 31, 2016

65 lbs down, I beat Type II Diabetes and I want to document it here.

I used to look like this:

August 1, 2015, 250 lbs
And it didn't bother me because I didn't even know I was fat or anything. Actually I felt beautiful and just thought my husband was lame at taking photographs.  I thought maybe the camera was just wrong, or that perhaps my new shirt was a little unflattering, or perhaps I merely needed to try a different hairstyle. 

That's me in the green and glasses, five lbs down from first photo.  Boobs for days and did not care about weight whatsoever!
I did not notice that I no longer had a neck and that my face looked really different or that everything was about to change.

Actually, compared to now, I looked more beautiful then!

My photoshoot at 60 lbs lost. I really don't see that big a difference even though I've lost 5 sizes because I'm wearing the same shirt and it looks the same on me.  I have a neck now and smaller thighs.

Want to know why I was happier in the fat photos?  Because that was the last time I was able to eat whatever I wanted without becoming disgustingly ill or almost dying. Ice cream, chips, bowls of fruit, cheesesteak and all the soda I could drink.  Sure I would have heartburn and sometimes an upset tummy, but that was all.   I just figured that I would be morbidly obese forever and I loved myself as I was, despite not being able to do anything but lay around and eat.

Mysterious Illness

About two months after the first photo I had lost a bit of weight, 10 lbs. This was because I no longer could digest anything without being in constant pain. A trip to the ER and I was diagnosed with fatty liver and GERD and sent home. 

But nobody said a word about my blood glucose being 160 mg/dl.  So I continued to suffer. 

But I also kept losing weight at a steadily slow pace. By my sister-in-law's baby shower in April 2016 I had lost almost 20 lbs.

That's me in the green and stripes. 18 lbs down and thankfully people had stopped asking me if I was pregnant at that point.

I was encouraged by my results on the scale and just accepted I felt terrible all the time because perhaps I was simply getting old.

Then the big bad sick came.

Two months later I came down with bronchitis and a few weeks after that almost died from a stomach bug that wouldn't go away. I also had a rash all over my underarm, was dying of thirst, having hot flashes, and had to pee all the time.

Despite never being told about my high blood sugar in the ER the year before I knew all of these signs pointed to a Type II Diabetes diagnosis.

I just never, ever realized how severe it had already gotten.

I looked amazing.  Who would have guessed that my blood glucose this day was almost 400 mg/dl?

I was on my way to a coma and I had no idea.

Diabetes, Anorexic Behaviors, and Binge Eating

I don't have a lot of photos of me as a teenager. This is because at 5' 5.5" and 115 lbs I hid from the camera and spent all of my time measuring my waist to see if I would allow myself to eat a meal. My parents spent their time and money for a very brief period trying to get me to eat, yelling at me, pleading with me to stop skipping meals. I didn't even look thin. People made fun of me in school and called me fat.  I was simply trying to stay in my ballet costumes. That is why I had the measuring tape in the first place.

After a couple sessions with a nutritionalist I gave up ballet which I was never very good at to begin with and focused on being healthy and strong. In high school I maintained a healthy but high weight of 150 lbs.

I stay out of the sun as well and therefore blend in with the walls. Also more neck than I know what to do with.

However I struggled with my old disordered thoughts and behaviors through the years and while sometimes that would lead me to starve myself other times it would lead me to binge eat. That is how I got to be 250 lbs in the first place.  I coped with my emotions through pizza delivery and Greek takeout.

I never felt particularly good about how I took care of myself whether I was starving, binge eating, or following a sensible nutrition plan. Seeing 368 dl/mg on a blood glucose monitor along with some life events that caused some stress unfortunately turned out to be a major trigger.

For about a week or two after seeing those blood glucose numbers I ate little more than salad and some chicken breast.  I was probably getting about 600 calories a day and I did not care. I was not hungry. I was terrified. I kept seeing out of control high numbers on that blood glucose monitor and I wept in fear that irreversible damage was being done to my internal organs.  

I was so terrified.  34 years old and stuck with something that only gets worse as you get older. I felt like my body had betrayed me and felt guilty that I had betrayed my body. No matter how little I ate I was still seeing numbers around 200 mg/dl.  I cried and cried. And I could no longer use food to cope.

Metformin and Nutrition Plan 

When I could finally get into the doctor and confirm my diagnosis it was such a relief. I was given a very positive prognosis, told that even with an A1c of 9.5 I could turn the whole thing around. My nutrition plan allowed for 100g-150g of carbohydrates per day broken up into small meals and snacks. I was given 1000 mg of Metformin to take daily and was told to see him again in three months.

Seeing the numbers decrease each morning on the blood glucose monitor allowed me to stop starving myself and begin using nutrition as the building blocks for creating a strong, healthy body. I no longer felt the fear of food since I only had to limit my carbohydrates to a reasonable amount and get 30 minutes a day of movement in. I no longer felt the desire to binge eat because I kept googling photos of diabetic feet to remind myself how I got here.

I had many strategies to keep me on track:

1. The Plate Method
I found counting carbs at first to be a daunting task, especially when eating at diners and having a life, so being able to visualize how a healthy meals was supposed to look allowed me live my life without reporting everything on MyFitnessPal.

2. Bumblebee Tuna Snack On The Run!

A convenient 300 calorie meal under 30 carbs that I can add veggies and fruit to?  Don't mind if I do!

3. Climbing Stairs
I used exercise to deal with my blood sugar and stress levels. Too hot to go for a walk? Climb stairs for a couple of minutes. Angry at coworker's annoying ways?  Take it out on the stairwell! Feeling sorry for yourself? Act out It's The Hard Knock Life on the stairwell like in Annie!



Narcotics Anonymous World Services has a daily reading on their website. I have always found that literature to be helpful in any struggle I am facing. As an agnostic the idea of a God of my understanding is a comforting way to let go of things that I need to let go of and give them to a higher power whether that higher power is a deity, nature, or just my cat.


Benefits
Had I known how great life would be once my blood sugar was managed I would have been more insistent about my health.

I had stopped blogging here because I felt depressed and hated myself. I turned to food for comfort and quickly lost all my energy.  All I wanted to do was sleep all the time and lay around.  Soon that was all I could do without being winded.  Even when I was really trying to lose weight it was slow going and I felt exhausted and terrible.

The week I went on Metformin I felt an immediate change in how I felt.  I had spring in my step. I could do stairs.  I could run stairs. I felt like dancing. I could breathe easy and I felt young again. Where my bloodstream previously felt like cement I now felt it pulsing through me. I felt good.

I honestly don't think I could have done this without Metformin.  I was too exhausted and my blood sugar was too high.

Over the next three months I watched my stomach and chest shrink, my pants fall off, my body get stronger, and my numbers resume to normal.

And I watched the scale drop below 200.

September 2016

And on a cold night in late November 2016, after spending two days fainting and having my organs begin to shut down I was taken off of my diabetes medicine for good.  

A month later and my numbers continue to be in the normal range. I have plateaued at 185 lbs, 33 lbs higher than what is considered healthy. I don't care. I have my health back, something I hope to never, ever take for granted.

Monday, October 6, 2014

How to Get Your Feet All Gross and Look Chic In Time For Halloween

It's October, that wonderful time of year of apple cider wishes and pumpkin spice dreams. It is beginning to become chilly enough that I begin to have seasonal, heart-warming thoughts such as, "How long can I get away with wearing cardigans and circle scarves before I have to squeeze into my coat that I am too fat for?" And then I panic. This year isn't any different. This year the fear is especially prescient as I have never been this fat before in my life and do not trust that I am going to continue to lose weight in time. 

I really want to be that person who says these things don't matter. For instance, I don't care if my best friends fit into their coats or whether they analyze the roll of back fat that hangs over their backside in the mirror when they dry off after their showers. The length of their necks does not matter to me, nor do I go counting their chins when we go out, and I do not analyze their scalps to see if they're losing hair at the rate that I am losing my hair.  I do all these things to myself, however, because I want to fit into my coat, I want to have less back fat, I want my neck to look longer, I want a youthful jawline, and there should be no scalp showing through my ponytail.  The nerve.

Therefore, just when the weather stops being disgustingly humid, the air starts biting my limbs and I whine to my husband, "I'm cold."

"I know!" he says, sighing the blissful sigh of someone whose chest never looks awkward stuffed in a jacket, "I love it!"

"I don't."  

I don't tell him why because I keep telling myself that I will be thin enough by November to fit back into my winter coat. Not my fat, heavy coat that I hate lugging everywhere but my light fleece lined coat that used to be my mother's and smells like her shampoo.

So last night I dragged him out at 8pm on a Sunday night to Target to purchase a FitBit, because Aussa Lorens has one and I am a mindless sheep I want to have a cool pedometer.

As soon as I got it home I regretted it.  I couldn't get it on my wrist.


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I finally got this fucker on.



After three hours of charging and one hour of struggling to get the damned clasp snapped around my dainty wrist, it was 1am and I was in the mood to murder things.  



But according to the sensor, after that I slept like a baby. So there's that.

I have a lot of fitness goals to meet this month besides hoping I will be thin enough to fit in the coats I already own. 

First, I am training for the 2014 November 15th Annual Color Run in Baltimore, my first fun run. Haha, I don't run. I ran before I got really fat on Depakote, but after that I just slept a lot and now I've forgotten how to run. It's in less than six weeks so I'm probably fucked, but I figured I could get some walking in and at least get some exercise before the event.

I want to start exercising two hours a day. I know that seems excessive, but it's not if I want to fit in a cute little coat.   I can get in an hour easily at work now that it's cold out by walking on my two fifteen minute breaks and walking during my lunch break. I need a pair of galoshes for those days when it is raining and perhaps a rain jacket, but other than that I think I'll be good to go.

For the additional hour I have my twice a week Zumba classes, I have access to some area gyms, I have DVDs and Youtube videos, and I can walk outside some more. But what I would ideally like to see me do is 30 minutes of strength training on a daily basis followed by 30 minutes of walking. 

Now here is my issue -- I have no idea what I am talking about whatsoever when it comes to 30 minutes of strength training. I don't know what to do in those 30 minutes and I don't know how to divide the time fairly and safely to all my muscles to make sure I'm not injuring myself. 

Then I remembered that I have this amazing DVD at home for strength training called Ten Minute Solutions - Target Toning.

I wonder if I can find that elsewhere because I'm too damned lazy to use the DVD? (What?)


SO! In short I will be a-movin' and a-groovin' (ew) this whole month out of sheer vanity. And I know I'll lose ten pounds by the end of October.  How do I know this?  Because I will bleed out from all of the blisters on my feet, which will have turned into nubs from all the walking.

Monday, September 29, 2014

CHEESE IS GOOD

Hi Blog!

I'm going to do a thing where I write whatever the fuck I want here and if you read it, cool.  Because otherwise I'm going to keep forgetting I can do that.  Sometimes we just have to remind ourselves!

I remember back when I was nineteen I still had my shitty computer from 1996 that was all big and bulky.  I did all my LiveJournal updating from a desk in a quiet room.  I updated mornings, evenings, and when I wasn't at home I updated in between classes and sometimes I would sneak on at work to update.

I was really lonely! And I was really worried that I was fat whether I was 135 lbs or 185 lbs.

Speaking of which ...

HOW IS THE DIET GOING?

On September 7th when I came home from Ocean City, I weighed 236.8 lbs. That was my highest weight ever.

And I wouldn't have minded. My boobs were looking pretty good, that's for damn sure. 

Alas, I had to make a change. I was suffering from various health problems and energy issues. I had severe acid reflux attacks, I could not walk without having to stop to rest, and my walk was more waddle than walk. To be fair, I had just returned from living on a diet of funnel cake, pizza, and ice cream in a frenzied last hurrah. Still, I could no longer get away with having a diet with little to no vegetables in it while laying around and sleeping all my evenings away. Cheetos are not a vegetable, not when you're managing bipolar disorder with Depakote.

So I went on the Atkins diet, lost a quick 9 lbs, and felt a little bit better in my clothes. Bye bye, daily Cheeto fix!  Bye bye cookies for breakfast!  Bye bye pizza delivery guy assuming all the orders in our building were for my address! (Try next door, buddy!)

How have I been since then?

For the last 20 days I've been eating an excess of vegetables (at least a bag of salad a day along with a few cups of broccoli and some tomatoes) with adding some lean protein, full-fat cheeses, saturated and healthy fats to my diet.  Most people when they think of Atkins think bacon. I've had some bacon, but not vast amounts.  I've eaten way more broccoli than bacon.

HAVE YOU BEEN TEMPTED TO CHEAT ON THE DIET?

I think the only thing about what I've been eating that is probably terrible is that I use artificial sweeteners. It's something I need to ween myself off of slowly. I use them in moderation, but I should probably not being using them at all since they seem to lead me to want to eat things like cake. 

It started innocently enough. I like a packet of Stevia in my cream cheese pancake batter.  I also drink the occasional Diet Rite, which has sucralose--which for some people with certain sensitive gut bacteria can stall weight loss.  I also have been enjoying sugar-free candy, two pieces a day, but they give me the bubble guts.

Then I made a huge mistake!

One thing I swore I would not resort to on this diet was relying on Atkins bars. Last week I had jury duty. 

Can I say right now that jury duty is the worst and my personal nightmare?  They trap you for six hours in a room with 250 other people and you're not allowed to go outside except for your lunch break.  NO THANKS.

Anyway I totally cheated. During my week of jury duty I broke down and ate some Atkins bars because I was afraid everyone would complain if I whipped out my packet of tuna. I was okay eating my vegetables, but I needed something more substantial and I ended eating three Atkins bars while waiting for them to dismiss us for lunch. Earlier that week I had already cheated on my diet by eating a big bowl of cereal as well as having the wrong kind of sauce on my hot wings. Oh, and I had a handful of Cheetos. By the end of the week I was almost back up to 230, but I quickly got back on track by adding more salads as snacks. Today I'm 227.1 and losing. 

HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO LIVE WITHOUT BREAD AND AREN'T YOU TIRED OF COOKING?

I can't believe how easy to make some of the shit I get to eat is. Basically every recipe I like involves eggs. Beat some eggs and add rando ingredients to it like cream or cheese and eventually you can have pizza crust, crepes, quiche, whatever the fuck you want, apparently, I don't care. And it doesn't even taste like an omelet is the baffling part. You'd think that cream cheese mixed with eggs to make a crepe would taste like an omelet, but it tastes like a crepe.  Makes no sense to me either. It's a damned miracle.

Parmesan Broccoli Egg Muffins/Mini Quiches

Thin Egg/Cheese Crust Pizza/Quiche

Cream Cheese Crepes
Thank you Pinterest! I basically would just be gnawing off of a rotisserie chicken in the fridge if it wasn't for that website.

LOOK IT'S GREAT THAT YOU'RE DOING SOMETHING DIFFERENT, BUT WHAT OTHER RESULTS ARE YOU SEEING?

Amazingly, for the first time in a long time I feel like my old self. I still walk a little slow, but I go to Zumba class twice a week and I try to get in some activity the other days of the week. Some days I've gone outside for a short recreational walk, and the other night I went out with friends and danced a bunch. I also like to play with my cat, which often involves chasing her around the house with a feather stick that she likes to destroy.

I have a lot more energy now for the first time since my manic episode ended back in May. And thankfully it's not the talkative, nervous, noisy brain energy that mania brings.  It's just enough energy to do the things I need to do, plus a little extra to do fun things like exercise and do basic chores.

This is only the beginning.  We shall see what the next month brings. I'll be spending mine eating a lot of cheese and not a lot of Cheetos.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Nothing to see here.

I took a break from blogging in the last week.  I was not sure how to put into words all of the things going on. By 8pm tonight it will have been more than a week since Scott, my childhood friend's little brother, passed away unexpectedly.

In case you were wondering which friend, it's this friend's brother:

Diana has been a part of my life for twenty years. I have to say that I am not a good friend. I don't really know how to be.  I stopped knowing what is expected of a friend a long time ago. Right now, I'm still getting used to the fact that I decided to stay alive.

However one time we were really amazing friends. There used to be a time where we called each other every night and stayed on the phone for hours. We went to each other's birthday parties.

We even fought over some of the same guys, but somehow we got over that. After high school this changed a little as our taste in men began to differ--just like our personalities. She considered herself to be country and at the time I had my eyes on escaping our home town somehow. By age 21 we had slowly drifted apart. Sure, we kept in touch with social media but somehow I went from giggling with her in the middle of the night pigging out and reading junk magazines to never seeing her again.

She will always have a huge place in my heart. Throughout all my drama, she stuck with me the longest. Her family stuck with me the longest too. Having her little brother die last week felt like having a neighbor die. It almost felt like having a brother of my own die. Not quite. I hope never to know the difference.

I have a habit of skipping funerals. There have been more than a dozen deaths in my high school class, including one death from the other school I went to. My paternal grandparents have passed, my Aunt Charlene has passed, even my coworkers passed away in the last several years. I have managed to skip funerals like crazy.

Here is what I do at a funeral.

1.  Spend all my waking moments planning what to wear to the funeral only to have the outfit not be appropriate somehow. At my stepmother's funeral I wore a maxi skirt and black blouse. My roots were showing so I put red mascara in them. My father never said anything to me but apparently everyone asked him why my forehead was bleeding and why I did not have something more appropriate to wear.

2. Avoid the body as much as possible. I have no desire to really see the embalmed version of someone I used to know.  The face is always shocking. Oh, no, they're dead, they're really dead. Then when you get close up to get a good look there's always too much makeup on the hands or their head is tucked into their neck at an odd position. And I think you're supposed to pray or have a moment of silence, which for me feels super uncomfortable. So I just say goodbye.

3. Hug as many people as possible. This is why I go to a funeral. I don't really go to say goodbye or to show off my stupid outfit. I don't even go for closure or to mourn. I go to hug other people who are really sad.  I go there to get my sad on. To be honest, it is kind of embarrassing. It's hugging the most important people of my life that brings me some kind of peace.  We're in this loss together. The more people I know at a funeral, the better. It makes me feel like we're protecting each other.

I don't like to mourn at funerals.

Here is how I mourn.

Step 1. Take off all my clothes. 

Step 2. Get package of cheese from refrigerator. 

Step 3. Lay on couch and eat cheese while not wearing clothes. 

Step 4. Continue process until all the good cheese is gone/scheduled to go back to work. I mean, when I'm scheduled to go back to work. Who knows when the cheese is scheduled to go to work.  If I eat enough cheese, there might be no work at all.

I still mourn after that, but the really bad mourning is dulled. Today I may have screwed up my diet with some lemon pepper wings (that sauce had sugar) and then a bowl of cereal (because fuck it) but cheese is usually my true go-to.

Before I mourn I do the whole, "I'm so shocked" thing which involved a lot of crying in the mirror, sometimes while singing. I would include that in the steps but I mean I've already admitted I eat cheese off of my chest while my butt is perched on the sofa. I've also made a constipation reference in what was supposed to be an explanation of why I haven't been around--Scott died. Why can't I be respectful?

I think in the last week I sat crying at my desk a lot too. There were a lot of wonderful memories throughout the week on Scott's memorial page such as his boy scout photos and stories about how sweet he was and how he liked to aggravate people. 

Just when I felt like I've said my goodbye I remember the living. 

I remember my friend, Diana. 

And I know I can't do this anymore. I cannot just comment on Facebook and blog posts or Twitter mentions and tell myself that is enough. 

There will come a time one of us isn't there to hug the other one.

Thinking about that makes me never want to write another word.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week Two: I Lost Eight Pounds

Welp, it's been a week since I went on the Atkins diet and so far I have lost eight pounds. That's an insane amount of weight to lose in merely a week.  Most of that weight was lost in the last few days too, so I'm having trouble believing it's all water weight.

I have a couple anxieties I'm going to address here.

I'm probably doing it wrong!
My biggest fear about doing Atkins is that I'm doing it wrong and that the magical weight loss will stop happening. But of course this is a dumb fear. First, Atkins is highly customizable. When choosing to increase your carbohydrates from 20g to 25g and up the Ongoing Weight Loss ladder to eventually 50g net carbohydrates, it's all about adjusting it to a pace that works for you.  That means I can go at my own pace, reintroducing certain foods with a higher glycemic index as slowly or as quickly as I need to depending on how my body reacts.  All in all, I'm searching for that sweet spot where I know what foods my body needs and what foods my body is sensitive to.

There is so much misinformation about Atkins and it's confusing!
However, because it is highly customizable there are many forums where people bicker over someone who chooses to stay at 20g of carbohydrates for months on end. Whenever guidelines to eating are fast and loose people get very controlling. I was on MyFitnessPal this weekend trying to find some tips and tricks and I mostly found people spreading the old rumor that Dr. Atkins died obese of a heart attack (truth: he slipped and fell on ice and complications from that fall lead to his death. He was never obese until after the fall when days before his death there was fluid build up that almost doubled his weight.), and people sharing stories of how their uncle ate nothing but bacon and eggs and drank no water and ended up with a heart attack and a giant kidney stone. What a waste of time.  Here I am, trying to get 12-15g of net carbohydrates worth of lettuce, green beans, tomato, and pumpkin, and people are going around slobbering on 3 lbs bacon every morning and thinking it's OK.

I'm not ready to move on from Induction until I get better at tracking my carbs.
I think it makes sense for me to stay in induction for a while but not for the reasons other people stay in this phase. It's mostly that I am getting used to trying to figure out just how many vegetables I'm allowed to have. At first I thought the vegetables had more net carbs than I realized.  I was eating five grape tomatoes thinking I was getting five net carbs when really I could have had twenty grape tomatoes. And I'm not exactly missing eating the other food yet. Ask me again in six weeks, but so far on this diet I can have salads, ground beef, pancakes, whipped cream, pizza, you name it. I just have to be creative.  There are so many ways to use egg and cheese to fool me into thinking I'm having bread instead.

This is really disgusting but ...
The only thing that is really bothering me is my stinky "keto-breath."  Since I'm burning fat for energy this process generates acetone which is released into the air whenever I decide to exhale. I basically smell like eggs and nail polish remover whenever I breathe or pee. This just means I need to drink more water.  Drinking water is crucial to prevent odor as well as kidney stones. Pretty much anyone on any diet is at risk for kidney stones if they're dehydrated all the time.

Would it be great if I lost a pound a day for six months? I could be at my goal weight in no time! 
Alas, that is just wishful thinking. I know I'm not going to continue losing eight pounds a week because human bodies were not meant for that kind of drastic weight loss. Google every weight loss statistic ever and you'll read that safe weight loss is 1-2 lbs a week. This includes weight loss on the Atkins diet. I'm absolutely fine with losing 1-2 lbs a week after this. I'm just glad to be out of the 230's and I hope I stay out!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

TL;DR I stabbed my thumb and danced like a stripper and felt like Beyoncé.

In my last post I mentioned that I started doing the Atkins diet.  That was two days ago and already I've lost 2.4 lbs of water weight. I'm not seeing any results yet, but I do feel stronger as I'm also doing Zumba twice a week and trying to get in a walk four times a week. Also, those horrible feelings that come with first starting the diet are all gone now. No more headaches or exhaustion.

Hi!
I'm still trying to get used to the diet plan.  I haven't yet had a leafy green salad which you're supposed to do twice a day I think, but instead I've been counting my carbs with other types of vegetables such as grape tomatoes and green beans. Four grape tomatoes and four green beans is four net carbs and then I drench them in 1 oz bleu cheese which is 1 carb.  I try to have five carbs a meal, four meals a day. After three meals I dedicate the rest of my carbs to cheese because it is my lover.

I've had other foods be my lover. True story, I once had an orgasm in a seafood restaurant over plain cheesecake. This happened in front of my grandmother and mother and everyone. It must have been so annoying for everyone to witness the stupid eighteen year old moaning like Meg Ryan at the dinner table.  I felt so dirty, but no regrets whatsoever. That was a damn fine cheesecake.

I also had ... feelings eating a Twix straight from the freezer after eating nothing but clean food for weeks. Maybe I have a problem?  Or maybe I'm just amazing.

You know what else is amazing? Cheese. Last night I whipped up an egg and cheese "pizza crust" I saw on the internet.  Unfortunately I did not use any cooking spray and it stuck right to the pizza pan. That was dumb.  I ended up scraping off the top layer anyway and eating it because cheese. I can always buy another pizza pan and not be a dumbass about cooking. Plus, I stabbed my thumb with a fork trying to get that crap off the pizza pan so it's a lost cause.

When I announced that I was going low-carb, some of my fitness enthusiast friends had many questions.  I was interrogated about my choices.  All I can say is that the best thing I can do for myself is stick to it. In two weeks I can have peanut butter and in three weeks I can have low-glycemic fruit, as long as I keep losing weight. Right now I can have tomatoes, 4 oz. cheese a day, and I can eat cream cheese.

I just had a shiver at the thought of cream cheese.

I suppose food becomes so much more exciting when you're a little more focused on it.

I cannot stop pinning recipes.  This is ridiculous.

***

So I went to Zumba on Monday night.  This was my very first floor Zumba class. Previously I took Aqua Zumba at my local swim center back in 2011, but school got in the way of my fitness and I quit going to the swim center.

School got in the way of my Atkins diet as well! I went from eating mostly kale to mostly Atkins bars. I've decided to not eat Atkins bars at all this time unless I can learn to bake them myself.

Anyway my first Zumba class was hilarious. Our teacher looks like a cross between Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep with Madonna's body. She wore one of those belly dancing sarongs with the tiny bells over her workout clothes. I was front row center since this was my first time and I wanted a lot of room to knock around clumsily.

My favorite part of the class was that she was trying to teach a group of mostly geriatrics to do body wave and she described it as a "stripper pole" move. Much of our class was spent trying to perfect that dip of the chest into our rib cage, that squat, that flip of the hair.

I felt like Beyoncé.

The next class is tonight and supposedly she might bring sarongs for the rest of us. I have no ass to hang it on, so we'll see how that works out.