Ketosis and Thirst

I am on day seven of my new journey.  I chose to follow a ketogenic diet.  I will explain why as I go along.  I actually picked this diet for a scientific reason.  Through my research, this was the best choice for my nutritional type.

I feel GREAT on the diet so far.  I am following the newer Atkins diet that incorporates vegetables in the diet.  I haven’t had most of the side effects that are supposed to come with the diet like headaches and fatigue.  I actually feel way better.  I don’t have dips in energy.  I feel like I even sleep more efficiently.  Oh, and I’ve been fighting eczema on my hand for about 10 years.  It went away.  I love it.

On diets in the past, I dealt with side effects like crazy.  Now, I feel like I am in a happy zone.  The only major side effect that is getting me down is extreme thirst.

I am thirsty ALL THE TIME.  It’s a good thing I like water, because that is what I’ve been drinking.  (It has been my drink of choice forever.  Who gets fat drinking water all day?  Me, that’s who.)  I googled this phenomenon, and I guess this is completely normal.  And it goes away after induction.  THANK GOODNESS.  I feel like a camel.

Check out my blog tomorrow.  I am going to weigh in in the morning.  I know I’ve lost weight, and I’m curious to see how much.  I’m a little worried, though, because the solution to extreme thirst is to take in more sodium. Hopefully I don’t bloat over night!

Week 1: My First Vlog

So, I got my husband a smart phone mount for our tripod.  (Because in reality, we never use our fancy camera.  We always end up using our phones.)  Well, I got thinking that I could use it to make a video about my journey.

Yes, I’m starting again.  At 317 pounds.

I recorded this blog on Monday, but it took me a while to figure out how to upload it.  I plan to post on Mondays about my progress.

I really kinda dislike media on the web–I always find it much faster to read than to click through slideshows and watch videos, but there is something real about saying your goals out loud.  I plan to write my thoughts as well, but I want to log (video blog) once a week.

Here goes!

No Longer All By Myself

So, about 30 minutes after my last post, my husband comes down the stairs and says, “I changed my mind.  I’ll work out with you.  Sign me up.  I figure that if I can go cross country skiing and biking with my friends, I can work out with you.  I just like spending time with you.”  That statement, my friends, is what I would categorize as foreplay.

So, he’s moved from the dog house to the best husband ever.  Part of me wonders if he knows about this blog.  I’ve never told him about it, and he did just come out of the shower, so I’m pretty sure he decided on his own.  I would have made a note about the whole interaction on my last post, but he earned some extra special wife time, so I was a little busy.

Yay!  Now that he’s on board and I have a partner, I am much more excited about my journey. I just signed up for the OrangeTheory fitness challenge.  I may regret it later, but I have a plan!

All By Myself

I’m sitting here feeling sorry for myself.  I know that I need to do something to lose weight.  I am tired of finding excuses to not do things that I know that I am in no shape to do.  I really could use some support, but I asked my husband if he would join Orange Theory fitness with me, and he really kind of said no.  This is the guy who will do a 30 mile bike ride with his friend on a whim.  The guy who goes skiing hut to hut every year with his friends.  The guy who will hunt for days in the freezing cold, hiking miles in the snow.  He really kind of said no.

This is probably why I am still fat.  I really need a companion, but no one really wants to work out with me.  I used to workout daily with my father when he was self-employed, but he had to go and get a real job. (Thanks, Dad.)  Now, it’s just me.

So, I was sitting here thinking about how I was all alone in the world, but I needed to do this anyway, the song All By Myself playing over and over in my head.  Where is my grit and determination?  I am successfully in so many other areas of my life.  Why is this so hard?

Okay, so as I am writing this, I decided that I am going to sign up for the OrangeTheory weight loss challenge.  I have a friend that jumped started her weight loss using OT.  Maybe there is hope.  I think I just talked myself into signing up.  Maybe the competition will get me going.  Maybe.

Meanwhile, I leave you with this video that shows how I feel (except I don’t smoke):

I feel like I’m not doing anything well

“I feel like I’m not doing anything well.”

I was sitting in my advisor’s office at the University of Colorado.  It was late April, I was supposed to be close to finishing an annotated bibliography for my thesis. My son was struggling in school with hyperactivity, which involved lots of communication with school.  On top of that, he was bringing home lots of homework, which we spent hours completing every night.  My daughter was struggling, too.  Every once in a while, her teacher would call me and tell me she was behind on a bunch of assignments.  Sure, they were noted in the school system, but I was so focused on my son that I forgot to check.  Then, I would split my evening between the two, trying to catch up.  I felt like we were barely scraping by.  I am a bit of an overachiever, so this bothered me.

When I got to my advisor’s office, I was SO behind.  I was teaching, too, and I spent all of the time that I did have working on my class.  We also own a family business that pay my bills, so when there was an emergency, I had to carve time out for that, too.

I have too many irons in the fire. How in the world am I supposed to focus on losing weight, too?  You know what’s ironic in this whole situation?  My thesis is on fat blogging.  I am researching how weight loss bloggers use their blogs to support their goals.  I have been reading about other people losing weight, yet I am drowning so much that I cannot even make a goal for myself.

I recently picked up the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown.  His book makes the case that if we are busy doing too many things, we can’t put our best effort into anything.  I feel this on a daily basis.  This drawing from the book, which I borrowed from glennstovall.com really stuck out to me:

essentialism

Before I read Essentialism, I knew that I need to get rid of some of the ways I was spending my energy.  I actually quit my job not long after that meeting.  I felt like my children were getting the short end of the stick.  Sure, I was spending lots of time with them in the evenings, but it wasn’t the best time I could spend with them.  I still haven’t figured out to make my own weight loss a priority.  I saw a TED talk that got me thinking about how I want to change things, but I will save that for another blog.

I am slowly changing things.  I am tired of not doing anything well.  I am ready to focus my energy in a way that will produce results.

Every day I am married to you is the most stressful day of my life

When I first started this blog, I embarked on a journey to cut sugar and other carbs out of my diet.  I was doing well until I started teaching for the Spring semester.  Teaching takes a lot of energy and pulled a lot of my focus away from my dieting.  I wish that teaching was the only thing I had to deal with.  The past year has been a hard roller coaster.

As I started preparing for the college English class I teach, my kids also returned to school.  I’m pretty sure that I never mentioned this before, but this was a really rough school year for my kids.  My first grade son was having a hard time focusing in class, which caused him to not get much done in the classroom, which caused us to spend hours working on homework at home.  I never had problems getting him to finish the school work, but it took SO MUCH time.  My fourth grade daughter was struggling, too.  She wasn’t getting her homework done, and she was making a lot of careless mistakes.  She would procrastinate on homework, so when I wasn’t working with her brother, I was pushing her to finish her work.  That would make her go to bed late, and it would be hard for her to get up in the morning.  Every morning seemed to involved frustration and some yelling just to get everyone out the door.  Basically, I was starting the mornings stressed out and spending the afternoons stressed out.  During the days that I taught, I was rushing to get everything put together.  On my days off I was trying to get all the stuff done that I couldn’t do at night. Needless to say, my eating plan was the last thing that I could focus on.

I read an article in the past six months that said that willpower takes energy, and we really only have the ability to focus on one or two big goals at a time.  For me, I was trying to do well at teaching and help my kids out at the same time.   And the situation with my kids took a lot of energy.  At one point, we did a full evaluation on my son, and I spent a lot of time talking to the school occupational therapist, speech pathologist, learning specialist, and counselor.  We had a “spirited” meeting about the course of action that we were going to take for my son.  I was not crazy about what they wanted to do with him, so I was spending a lot of time researching options and visiting different schools.  Finally, I decided to homeschool him.  I pulled his sister out of school, too, who was not having as hard of a time, but she was still struggling.  Did I mention that I am the office manager for the family business?

Juggling.  That’s what I was doing.  I had a lot of balls in the air.  I was disappointed when I gained back my weight.  I knew why, too.  When I was stressed, I would absentmindedly eat the treats at the office.  I work between a Starbucks and an Einstein Bagels.  I would go and eat terrible, sugary foods for breakfast and lunch.  I did it without thinking.  So much was on my mind.

I was grateful for the summer.  I thought it had to get easier.  It turns out that my son had ADHD.  When I was talking to the clinical psychologist, and she described the types of ADHD, I realized that my daughter has the non-hyper kind.  And so does my husband–he was just never diagnosed.  Now, instead of studying for my class, I have been studying up on ADHD, which is hereditary.  If one spouse has it, the children have a 50% chance of getting it.  If both spouses have it, the chance is 100%.  I have been living with it all 16 years that I have been married.  I just thought my husband was disorganized, so I would pick up the slack.  That is why I always feel that it falls on my shoulders to accomplish things.  That is why I am the office manager for the business, and when I’m not present, things fall apart.  That is why I spend a huge amount of time looking for my husband’s keys, my daughter’s shoes, my husband’s wallet, my daughter’s school papers.  That is why I don’t have enough time left over to concentrate on my own self.

All of my focus, my energy, my willpower is depleted by the end of the day.  At least I know what I’m dealing with now.  I feel like I am at the bottom of a mountain, but the only way to go from here is up.  I have to find a way to lose weight, but how?  That is what I need to figure out next.

An Inspirational Story

Here is a story that I want to share from my other blog:

http://motherphd.com/2014/04/24/an-inspirational-story/

I’ve been busy, but the semester is almost over and I will be back!

Cheers.

Diet: Take 2

I had eggs this morning

I saw this meme, and I realized how much it describes my life.  I was going strong on my new eating plan until major stress hit me.  Then, I couldn’t fight the barrage of sugary treats offered to me on a regular basis.  I haven’t gained all of my weight back, but I have gained enough.

I am a pretty positive, optimistic person, but now I realize that some of my extreme optimism shows in my pant size.  When I am stressed, I comfort myself with food.  My husband does, too, but he has a great metabolism.  Me?  I think about sugar and gain 5 pounds.

I know that I need to find another outlet for stress.  I love playing music, but I medicate my stress at night, and I can’t just break out a flute at 10:00 pm.  Maybe I need to build a sound absorbing room onto my house.  That could work, right?

I know that I feel better after a workout, but no gym is open (except 24 Hour Fitness) at 10:00 at night.  I already have to pay for our local gym.  It pains me to pay for a different gym.

You might be thinking, Wow.  She just listed a lot of excuses.  If you were thinking this, you are completely right, but these are some of the reasons that I am still struggling to lose weight.  I need to find a new way to mitigate stress.  I don’t need more judgment; I need solutions.  I am already my own worst judge.

Ideas would be appreciated!  Help.

 

Plus-sized insecurities

I hate going to work events with my husband. I have never told him this. I usually go with him anyway.

My lack of desire to go to work events with him has nothing to do with him. My husband loves introducing me to his friends. He often can’t wait to show me off. That is because he loves me so much. He is a great husband.

I don’t like going because I know that when people first meet me, they are going to be shocked at my size. You see, my husband is at his ideal weight. Plus, he is a plumbing contractor, so he is well-defined from lifting heavy materials, as well. Even though we balance each other well and get along well, I know that when people that know him first meet me, they are assessing how different we look. Specifically, they are trying to figure out how in the world we ended up together.

For the most part, I don’t worry about size anymore. This one insecurity, however, has stayed with me. Yesterday we went to a work conference together, and I found myself worried about this whole situation.

My husband is totally clueless. He is always excited to show me off. He is cuddly when we are sitting next to each other. Still, it is times like these that I just don’t feel worthy. I know it’s ridiculous. I have pushed him to be his best, and he recognizes this. Why, then would I be so worried about my outer appearance?

I guess my acceptance of my weight is not as complete as I thought. Maybe I can use this to motivate me. Honestly, though, it just seems to drag me down, instead.  Even unconditional acceptance has its issues.

Me and hubby

Blogging does matter

Blogging does matter.

I haven’t mentioned this before, but I am writing a thesis for my masters degree. My thesis involves researching how people talk about obesity. That is actually what inspired me to blog about my weight. I was skeptical, but curious about why people blog. In the process, I discovered something: blogging really is quite cathartic.

I like blogging about weight, because I can say all of the things that I am normally thinking. Instead of keeping my thoughts to myself (like I’m supposed to), I can release all of the pent up feelings I have about weight loss.

The more I blog, the more I want to blog. But I have a problem. I am also a teacher–a writing teacher at that–, and being a writing teacher requires a huge amount of time. Top that with a thesis to write and four kids and a family business. What do I get? No time to blog.

The less I blog, the less mindful I am about the positive changes I want to make to my lifestyle. In fact, I was getting a little frustrated about the whole situation until yesterday. Yesterday I had a breakthrough–an epiphany, if you will.

You see, my husband and I went to a marriage conference to keep our marriage fresh and to keep us mindful of any issues that we might have. We do this on a regular basis. That’s probably why we get along so well after 15 years. Anyway, that night I decided that I would wear something cute to bed. Cute usually means uncomfortable when you are plus sized. Well, I grabbed an outfit that was too tight (but I refused to get a bigger size because of denial), and I braced myself to squeeze into it. But do you know what happened? It fit. Perfectly.

So, as I stood in front of the mirror in my totally comfortable outfit, I realized that what I was doing did matter. I knew that I needed to make time to blog, because it is making a difference in my life, and I didn’t realize it.

It did matter.  Now I just have to make room in my schedule to do it.