Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 122 Low Carb Living

Day 122 Low Carb

- Pork chop with just like stuffed baked potato and reduced sugar ketchup
- Cocoa roasted almonds (2-100 calorie packs)
- Hamburger with deluxe American cheese, mayo, onion, tomato and lettuce on an oopsie... dipped in reduced sugar ketchup
- Too many Low carb pancakes with no carb pancake syrup, two sausage patties and one egg with a slice of dexluxe American cheese
- 1.5 pieces peanut butter cheesecake with whipped cream

Most of the day today, I felt like I was just eating because I wanted to eat, not because I was hungry. Well, I was hungry for breakfast... but the rest of the day, I used food for other-than-sustenance reasons... Me acknowledging it means that I can change it. (Am I Dr. Phil yet?) Sometimes, I just feel like I want to eat, and that is crap. Food is fuel.... simply. When I first started this journey, I was very in-tune with my body and listening to my hunger, which is actually not that hard to do when you are eating low-carb. Before low-carb, controlling my hunger was laughable.... because I was mostly feeling those highs and lows of the sugar/startch crap.

Vadim, I feel much better now... energy-wise... mood-wise... and I find that with 46 less pounds on me, it's just easier to get around... but mind you - I'm still overweight and I'm close to halfway through my journey.

I no longer count on this thing dubbed "will power." There are days when I'm gung-ho about eating low carb, and honestly, other days, I do wonder if it's even worth it. (This is that little chubby fat girl inside me that wants her cake! I keep her mostly stifled and I'm slowly killing her off and getting her to like salad). I'm just being realistic because I want other people to know that it's natural not to be GUNG-HO *all* the time.

What is different now... is that I have a plan. On the days I want to just throw the towel in, I allow myself low carb "junk food" when I feel the need to cram my face with something sweet, loaded with fat, and high-calorie. Sometimes, I even binge. I'm FAR from perfect and I do not eat as "clean" as I should.... but this is about progress, not perfection... and making better choices each day.

Thanks so much for reading, but please, don't think that what I'm doing is a perfect example... Dr. Atkins would be rolling over in his grave at the amount of cheese I sometimes consume! I do find it VERY helpful to log what I do eat... because I tend to eat less when I do that... and also, mostly, to track what is working.... Oh, and mostly, so you guys can all kick my ass if I go off my plan!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day 121 Low Carbohydrate Plan

Day 121

- Mom's crazy cabbage made in crockpot
- Burger with deluxe American cheese, romaine lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo and reduced sugar ketchup on an oopsie roll
- Pork chop with reduced sugar ketchup with just like loaded baked potato*
- Half a piece of low carb peanut butter cheesecake with whipped cream

*I really like this side dish! I doubled the amount of cauliflower in this and omitted the bacon. If you are craving a loaded baked potato, this will definitely satisfy that craving for you! It really does taste like a baked potato... especially if you use a little dollop of sour cream on top. I opted for a little ketchup instead.

Day 120

Day 120 of my Low Carb Journey

- Two low carb pancakes with Walden's syrup, two sausage patties and two scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese
- Grilled pork chop with some Mom's crazy cabbage
- Cocoa roasted almonds
- Low carb spaghetti squash casserole
- Steak-um with mayo, swiss, tomato an an oopsie roll

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day 119 H20 is my friend

Day 119

- Spaghetti squash casserole with an oopsie made into cheesy-garlic bread
- Pancakes with zero carb syrup
- Cheeseburger on an oopsie roll with tomato, onion, mayo and ketchup
- Steak-um oopsie with grilled onions, mayo and swiss
- Two-100 calories packs of cocoa-roasted almonds
- Ten large glasses of water

I'm now tracking how many tall glasses of water I drink, with a goal of at least seven tall glasses per day. After about 5 glasses, I was just craving it. It was like my body was saying, "yes, please, MORE water!"

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day 118... trying to get more lean!

Day 118

- Low carb french vanilla protein shake with a scoop of french vanilla protein powder, 1 T natural peanut butter (chunky), half cup water, a few ice cubes, Sweetleaf Stevia, 1 heaping teaspoon sugar free butterscotch pudding mix, shredded unsweetened coconut, all blended with my stick blender
- 100 calorie pack (0.63 oz) cocoa roasted almonds = 2 carbs (portion control for the win!)
- Low carb pancakes with two sausage patties... all with Walden's pancake syrup
- Double cheeseburger on an oopsie roll with tomato, onions, mayo and reduced sugar ketchup

Nancy - I would say for the whole shake, it has about eight carbs or so maybe ten... I'm just estimating though... 3 carbs for the protein powder... 2 for the peanut butter, 2 for the pudding mix, and maybe 2 for the coconut... I love this shake! it tastes too good to be true. You could add heavy cream, but I don't that to my shakes because I'm trying to watch my dairy intake... I am a cheese-a-holic so I like to reserve lots of my dairy for that.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Suggestions, please!

Due to my newfound protein shake obsession... I will be buying more protein powders.

Does anybody have any suggestions on good flavors that are low-carb? I really love the french vanilla whey, so I'm sure I will get more of that... but is there any flavor that I just have to have?

Also, I usually shop netrition, so I will probably shop there... unless there is a far cheaper source? I know they usually have very good prices and quick and cheap shipping.

Please tell me which flavors and brands are the best... I'm a total protein-shake newbie!

By the way, for all you protein shake junkies and wannabes, check out this awesome list!

Day 117 - My new favorite low carb protein shake/smoothie

Day 117

- Chicken salad on an oopsie roll with onion
- Double whopper on an oopsie roll with lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo and reduced sugar ketchup
- Spaghetti squash casserole
- Half a piece of pound cake with whipped cream
- Low carb smoothie with a scoop of all-natural french vanilla whey protein powder, 3 ice cubes, half cup water, shredded coconut, a little Stevia, 1 tablespoon chunky natural peanut butter and 1 heaping teaspoon sugar free butterscotch pudding mix*

*This smoothie is soooo good! You have to try it out. Just a small amount of the pudding mix seems to go a long way, flavor-wise.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Low Carb Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Casserole

(This low carb recipe was inspired by this recipe for Italian spaghetti squash bake).

- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb sausage
- 1/3 cup onion, chopped
- 1 whole green pepper, chopped
- 4 oz can mushrooms
- 2 cups Sugar free spaghetti sauce (I used Hunt's sugar free spaghetti sauce)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar (I used colby-jack)
- 2 eggs
- Nonstick cooking spray

Cut squash in half and scrape out seeds. Bake, cut-side down, on a cookie sheet for about an hour at 375 degrees. In the meantime, brown ground beef, sausage, onions, green peppers and mushrooms in large skillet or soup kettle. Drain fat and stir in spaghetti sauce of your choice.

Let squash cool for about 20-30 mins and then scrape it out into long spaghetti strands, into a greased 9x12 casserole dished. Stir the eggs into the spaghetti squash. Mix squash together with your spaghetti sauce mixture and top with shredded cheddar and bake for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Wow, this is very good! My mom hates green peppers, but she loves this. I told her after she was raving about how good it was that I snuck a green pepper in.

Day 116 Low Carb

Day 116

- Low carb vanilla protein shake with 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter and 1/4 cup shredded coconut, sweetened with Sweetleaf Stevia
- Low carb vanilla protein shake with 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter, 2 T whole ground flax meal and 1/4 cup shredded coconut, sweetened with Sweetleaf Stevia*
- Chicken salad with tomato and onions on an oopsie roll
- Spaghetti Squash Casserole (recipe will be posted)

*Maybe I used too much flax meal in this shake, but I could not even finish the whole thing. I wasn't too crazy about the taste... At first, I loved the way it thickened it up, but by the end, it was a little too much. I know that it has great health benefits, so I will try to incorporate it in with my dinner instead of my protein shakes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 115 - Buffet mode - ugh!

Day 115

- Low carb all-natural vanilla protein shake with 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter, 1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut and Sweetleaf Stevia to taste
- Salad with eggs, cheese, raw mushrooms, bacon bits and ranch dressing
- Salisbury steak with gravy and mushrooms, green beans, cooked cabbage, sausage link with green pepper, roast beef with reduced sugar ketchup (yes - I bring my own), deep fried chicken breast (skin peeled off) dipped in ranch dressing

WOW! Old Country Buffet sure has a lot of options for eating healthy. Now, I'm sure a lot of it has hidden carbs... you really never know what you are getting sometimes. Unfortunately, I was sooo hungry when we arrived there today so I ate and ate and ate and ate some more! I ate five hours ago and I'm still soooo not hungry. I was famished and in buffet-mode... but thank goodness that I stayed away from ALL of the carb-laden crap. I'm sure the gravy was not the best choice and I only had a tad of it... I tried to get a piece with not much on it.

Day 114 Low Carb

Day 114

- Three egg omelet with ham, bacon, sausage and hot pepper jack cheese with ketchup
- Grilled pork chop with ketchup
- Roast beef with sauteed mushrooms and onions, mayo and swiss on an oopsie roll

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day 113

DAY 113

- Low carb all-natural vanilla protein shake with shredded unsweetened coconut, Sweetleaf Liquid Stevia and 1 tbs natural chunky peanut butter
- Two grilled hot dogs on an oopsie roll with onions, mustard and reduced sugar ketchup
- Grilled pork chop with ketchup
- Small serving of broccoli, zucchini, roasted red peppers, onions and mushrooms in homemade alfredo sauce with ground beef
- French toast made from an oopsie roll with zero calorie-zero carb pancake syrup and two sausage patties

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day 112

Day 112

- Assorted cheese slices (smoked cheddar, hot pepper and sharp colby)
- Roast beef with mushrooms, onions, swiss and mayo on an oopsie roll
- Jalapeno poppers
- Broccoli, zucchini, roasted red peppers, onions and mushrooms in homemade alfredo sauce with ground beef
- Grilled pork chop with ketchup
- Two hot dogs on oopsies with mustard, reduced sugar ketchup and diced onions

Had end-of-summer bonfire today... complete with s'mores! I know that it looks like I ate too much today, and I surely did... but guess what? I skipped all of the yummy desserts people brought and did not even have a roasted marshmallow. I don't think I've ever turned down a s'more in my life... but If I want to lose s'more weight... I certainly will. In the past, throwing a party or even attending one was DEFINITELY a reason to veer off my plan.

Day 111

Day 111

- Cheeseburger on an oopsie roll with tomato, onions, mayo, mustard and reduced sugar ketchup on an oopsie roll
- Pound cake made with liquid splenda with whipped cream
- Cheeseburger on an oopsie roll with tomato, onions, mayo, mustard and reduced sugar ketchup on an oopsie roll
- Cheeseburger on an oopsie roll with tomato, onions, mayo, mustard and reduced sugar ketchup on an oopsie roll

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 110 Low Carb

Day 110

- Josie's spaghetti squash monterey
- Double cheeseburger with tomato, romaine lettuce, onion, mustard, reduced sugar ketchup and mayo on an oopsie roll
- Half a piece of pound cake
- Two 2-carb sugar free creamsicles
- Cheese sticks with ranch dressing
- Low carb chicken nuggets with ranch dressing

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day 109 Low Carb Daily

Day 109

- Low carb vanilla protein shake with shredded coconut, natural peanut butter and stevia
- Taco bake with salsa and sour cream
- Swiss cheeseburger on an oopsie roll with tomato, onion, mayo, mustard and reduced sugar ketchup
- Macaroons
- Josie's Spaghetti squash monterey
- Bologna and smoked cheddar cheese an an oopsie with mayo

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 108 and feeling great

Day 108

- Double cheeseburger with romaine lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, mustard and reduced sugar ketchup on an oopsie roll
- Josie's spaghetti squash monterey
- Macaroons
- Taco bake with salsa and sour cream

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day 107 Low Carb: Morbidly Obese Teens on Tyra

Day 107

- Low carb peanut butter vanilla protein shake with shredded coconut and stevia
- Low carb macaroons
- Swiss grilled cheeseburger with tomato, onion, mayo, mustard and reduced sugar ketchup on an oopsie roll
- Josie's spaghetti squash monterey *
- Taco bake with salsa and sour cream

*I've never made this before, but it's YUMMY. It's definitely a keeper. I used hot pepper jack cheese.

Finally, I heard some great advice on television! I love the Tyra show... she is so real. She has obese teens on her show today... All of the female teens are at least one hundred, in some cases two hundred pounds overweight... I really expected them to put these girls on low-fat diets.... just because that is what I've come to expect from TV. Guess what! The nutritionist who came out told them that they will not be counting calories or weighing themselves.... I was hopeful.

"The only thing you will be counting," Jorge Cruise told the hopeful girls, "is sugar and carbohydrates..." Sweet success! Finally, giving the super morbidly obese a plan that they can stick to... and will work! Go Tyra for highlighting a plan that works!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 106 Low Carb for LIFE!

DAY 106

- Swiss cheeseburger off the grill with romaine lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo and reduced sugar ketchup, all on an oopsie roll
- Low carb pancakes with Walden's pancakes syrup
- Low carb macaroons made with zero carb sweetener
- Low carb pancakes with zero carb pancake syrup with two sausage patties

Check out my weight update! Yippeeeeeee!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Day 105 Low Carbohydrate Food List

DAY 105 of my Low Carb Life

- Low carb natural vanilla protein shake with natural peanut butter, shredded coconut and stevia
- Zucchini, coated in egg and Parmesan cheese - pan fried in butter
- Grilled pork chop, dipped in ketchup
- No bake low carb peanut butter cheesecake with whipped cream
- Swiss cheeseburger on an oopsie roll with tomatoes, onions, mayo, mustard and reduced sugar ketchup
- 1 oz smoked cheddar cheese

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day 104 Low Carb Journey

Day 104 Low Carb

- French vanilla protein shake with shredded coconut and stevia
- Shrimp dipped in low carb cocktail sauce
- Broccoli stuffed baked chicken breast
- Side salad with purple onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheddar and ranch dressing
- Hamburger with lettuce, tomato, onions, mayo and ketchup on an oopsie roll
- Two pancakes with zero carb pancake syrup and two sausage patties

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day 103 - Low Carb Daily

DAY 103

- Meatballs and swiss on an oopsie with a little sugar free spaghetti sauce
- Broccoli-stuffed baked chicken breast
- Buttered steamed broccoli and cauliflower
- Meatballs and swiss on an oopsie with a little sugar free spaghetti sauce

I can't believe it's been 103 days already. These days would have passed whether I decided to do anything about my weight or not, so I'm glad that I'm making good decisions. If I could say I've learned one thing in 27 years, it's that life is transitory. Everything is fleeting... It's so exciting and exhausting all at the same time! Don't blink or you'll miss it!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day 102 Low-Carb Daily

Day 102 Low Carb

- Low-carb coconut vanilla protein shake (a scoop of natural whey protein powder, a few ice cubes, a half cup of water, 1/3 cup shredded coconut, 8 drops stevia, and 1 tsp peanut butter)*
- Swiss cheeseburger with tomato, onions, mayo, mustard and reduced sugar ketchup on an oopsie roll
- Broccoli-cauliflower gratin
- A piece of peanut butter cheesecake
- Meatballs in sugar free marinara sauce, served over spaghetti squash
- Sugar-free Creamsicle (2 net carbs)

*I usually use more peanut butter than this... but with the two peanut butter cheesecakes I've made recently... I'm out of natural peanut butter! Thanks to Harry for the protein shake idea!

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.... It's about learning to dance in the rain! ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day 101 Low-carb: Still having fun

Day 101 Low Carb Daily

- LC peanut butter protein shake with coconut*
- Broccoli - cauliflower gratin
- Meatballs with Hunt's sugar free marinara sauce over spaghetti squash with an oopsie on side
- 1 oz raw almonds/walnuts mixed
- Two chicken breast tenders, coated in Parmesan cheese
- Swiss cheeseburger with tomato, onions, ketchup, mustard and mayo on an oopsie roll

This peanut butter/coconut shake is incredible! I swear, with the addition of the coconut, this filled me up for a long time. The coconut makes it so much thicker.... Thanks to the Healthy Fellow for the awesome recipe!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day 100 Yay! Virutal cocktail party with shrimp....

DAY 100 - If I can get to day 100, anybody can....

- Cottage cheese from Cracker Barrel
- Half pound bacon cheeseburger with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, ketchup and mayo on an oopsie from Cracker Barrel
- A piece of peanut butter cheesecake
- 1 oz raw almonds/walnuts mix
- A small grilled pork rib with reduced sugar ketchup
- Four jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese
- Shrimp dipped in low carb cocktail sauce*

To make this cocktail sauce, I just mixed Heinz reduced sugar ketchup with some Horseradish. It turned out so good! I learned this easy recipe when I worked at this deli. Start out by just adding a little bit of horseradish and slowly add more, tasting it as you go. I use at least a couple teaspoons per half cup... at least. Every day when we would have deep fried shrimp for the special, I would be in charge of whipping this easy two-ingredient cocktail sauce.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Day 99: Back in the right frame of mind

Day 99

-1 oz ham lunch meat
- Assorted cheese cubes (hot pepper jack and cheddar)
- Buttered broccoli
- Two grilled hot dogs, rolled up in oopsie buns, with diced onions, mustard and reduced sugar Heinz ketchup
- Two grilled pork ribs
- Broccoli/Cauliflower Gratin with ketchup

This morning, when woke up on day 100, I was back to my Day 80 weight. Now, this is still roughly 40 lbs down from my weight 100 days ago, which really is phenomenal. Still, this is a 2.6 lb gain in the last 10 days. I was shocked and dismayed! I really just need to start eating better quality food, with less sodium... and less of it. There are times when I do feel satisfied and I will keep on eating, just because it's on my plate. I looked at my menu for day 99 and wow, I ate salty foods all day. Still, I've been doing a lot of entertaining lately and I haven't eaten any bad carbs - so this is an accomplishment for me.

Now, I've also been exercising, so I am hoping that some of that gain is muscle. Also, my waist size is smaller than my last weigh-in ... I feel like I should point that out. Plus, the last 100 days, I've done better on my weight loss than my whole life! Soo... I can't let the "mental stuff" get to me here... because everybody knows - when you quit believing in yourself is when everything goes to shit. (Right?)

I'm going to move more, eat less... eat better quality.... By the way, I still believe in myself and low-carb and I'm in it for the long haul!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Day 98

DAY 98 Low Carb

- Grilled pork steak with ketchup
- Peanut butter cheesecake
- 1.5 oz raw almonds/walnuts mixed
- Three cream cheese-stuffed jalapenos
- Broccoli-Cauliflower Gratin
- Double cheeseburger with hot pepper cheese, garden tomato, onions, mayo, mustard, ketchup on an oopsie roll
- Sugar Free Creamsicle (2 net carbs)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Shirt Surprise

Okay... So I know I've lost over forty pounds so far... but I guess that I really didn't notice that it HAS had a huge effect on how I look... and what I fit into.

Before I started my journey, you may remember that I was quite upset because women's size 3x shirts were even very tight on me. I'm still wearing some of the 3x and 2x shirts... and I've noticed that they are getting a little roomier. This morning, I was going through a pile of donations that we are sending to Goodwill... and I came across a shirt that my mom is donating with the tags still on it. It is size 16/18 (XL). I wondered if I should dare try it on. I don't even remember ever wearing this size... I took a deep breath and tried it on. IT FIT!! I thought, no freaking way! I checked the size again and sure enough... it was from the regular section of the store! Not the "Plus" size! I can't believe how monumental this feels for me. I fit into a shirt from the regular women's department! I have never even thought about shopping in a regular section in a store. This is HUGE!

Guess I'll keep on keeping on because I have a long way to go... but I'm getting there!

Day 97 Low Carb Food Log

DAY 97

- "The 2x2x2" Two low-carb pancakes with sugar free syrup, two cheesy scrambled eggs and two sausage patties
- Turkey and swiss with tomato and mayo on an oopsie roll
- No bake peanut butter cheesecake with whipped cream
- A slice of pizza on cauliflower pizza crust* with Hunt's sugar free sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, ham and mushrooms
- Two coconut-crusted chicken breast tenders

34 mins on Recumbent Bike

*This pizza crust freezes very nicely.

"The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours - it is an amazing journey - and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins." ~Bob Moawad

Friday, September 4, 2009

Day 96 Low Carb Daily

DAY 96 Low Carb Menu

- "The 2 x 2" (two pancakes with LC pancake syrup and two sausage patties... with a little more syrup)
- A piece of no bake peanut butter cheesecake with whipped cream
- Parmesan cheese crusted baked chicken breast
- Broccoli mushroom casserole
- Grilled burger with swiss cheese, garden tomatoes, lettuce, onions, mustard, mayo and reduced sugar ketchup on an oopsie roll
- Two slices deluxe American cheese

32 minutes on recumbent bike - I'm rewatching all of the episodes of Sex and the City while I do my bike... and I'm loving it!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day 95: Alive, Alive!

Day 95 Low Carb Foods

- Grilled hamburger with colby jack cheese, romaine lettuce, tomato, onions, mayo, mustard and reduced sugar ketchup - on an oopsie roll
- Broccoli mushroom casserole
- 3 low carb pancakes with Walden's sugar free pancake syrup and a sausage patty
- Grilled hamburger with swiss with lettuce, tomato, onion, mustard, mayo, ketchup on an oopsie

1 mile brisk walk

I went to the park with my 4 year old niece and her baby brother. She is like, 4 going on 20 with her vocabulary. She has recently been quoted as saying, "There are lots of fun activities in pre-kindergarten." My niece is so cute. You would think she would call me "Aunt Angela..." but she prefers to shorten it to simply "Aunt." She learned several months ago that I just love it when she calls me "her silly little aunt." What I really love is her calling me little!! Nobody has called me that! We had a lot of fun at the park. My nephew could not stop grinning when I was swinging him in the park's baby swing. The whole point of this journey is being able to live more. The "baby" is almost not even a baby anymore... How time flies when you are having fun!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

When there is no finish line

I've been exercising daily.... and it feels incredible. Like I have control over my body... It sounds bizarre, but before I started this program, it was like I had no control over my eating habits. I would literally "find" myself driving to McDonald's with huge orders, acting like the food was not all for me. This would always leave me feeling sick and tired... yet the addiction was so strong... it didn't matter. I was so unhappy with my body that I could not even look in the mirror. Nobody should have to live like that. Yet, I would turn around and cope more with food... creating a very vicious cycle. Food addiction is real.

Each night, walking to the bathroom, I would wonder why I ate so much that day. It was like I just knew I was going to mess up. I never really held myself to any kind of standard with sticking to a plan, so I just gave up trying.

I still think about food a lot, but at least it's to the degree that I can control my eating. I was actually considering weight loss surgery (and had the BMI to do so). I'm extremely happy that I did not make this decision... but really, I considered it and thought it was the only way "out" of my morbidly obese body.

My brother, who is an RN, really did not think that surgery was a good option for me, as he has personally seen the struggles one goes through with an option like this. This is not about weight loss surgery... I actually commend and admire those courageous enough to take this desperate step to regain their health. For many, it IS necessary. My ex boyfriend at the time was also against it. He performs sleep studies and said that I was "not big enough" for surgery... as he gives sleep studies to people before they have it. He also told me something that I still hold with me to this day.

"Angela, I won't love you any more if you have this surgery," is what he said. I didn't realize until he said this that maybe that was what I was after... anyway. Thankfully, I lost my dad's incredible health insurance when I got my Bachelor's degree, so no surgery for me.

I've been "big" since as long as I can remember. From my school pictures, first grade seems to be the year that I really started to balloon. I must mention, in kindergarten, my dad would pick me up from school and we would (always) stop and get a Happy Meal. He never would get anything... he would just come back home and sleep while I munched my meal down. See, he worked third shift at the prison and so he slept during the day while my three older brothers were at school and my mom was at work. Sometimes, after my "happy" meal... I would find myself "hungry" (read: craving carbs), so I would snack on plain white Wonder bread. That year started my carbohydrate addiction. My parents soon divorced, and I turned to food for comfort.

I tried low-fat (unsuccessfully) several times in high school, consuming white bread with jelly for breakfast and whole bowls of minute rice with fat-free butter, thinking I was doing "good." I liked the idea of low-fat because I was never much of a meat eater anyway... and bread was my FAVORITE. I was entirely convinced that low-fat was the way to go... but I knew that for some reason, I could not stick to it. Now, I understand that my body was not getting the nutrition it needed, which left me constantly hungry for real food.

I just want you to know, my food addiction was serious. My legs could literally not support my growing, large body. In sixth grade, I had such severe knock-knees that they required surgery. Experimental surgery, we later found out. I had both knees operated on over the next year... My doctor performed my left knee surgery too early, resulting in an over-correction my leg. It swung too far the other way. Luckily, he operated on my right knee just at the right time (miraculously). See, my surgeon (and I'm using that term loosely) did not have any clue I would grow to be 5'10,'' so he did my left knee surgery too early.

After this orthopaedic pediatric surgeon was done, I was left with an arthritic, degenerative knee and a one-inch leg length discrepancy, which has caused major issues with my back and will surely cause hip issues. Thankfully, I have an amazing chiropractor who beats me up when I need it. I have issues with this orthopaedic pediatric surgeon (again, using this term very loosely), clearly, but it was really a surgery I needed. I just wish he would have done the proper wrist x-ray to see how long my growth portion was. It's a simple chart. Of course, most people don't grow so tall, but my whole family is tall!

The reason for my surgery was knock-knees... but really, the reason was obesity. What caused my obesity was my large consumption of carbohydrates. I'm just saying, this disease/ailment/whatever you want to call it... obesity... has taken enough of my health and beaten up my body enough. I will not be a victim of it anymore. Being a victim may be fun at time time, but it gives you no power and ultimately... screws you over.

I've already had a botched surgery (weight-related)... so I'm not really the type to think of surgery as a way to fix anything. I know it does work, and I know I need a lot more... but it really just freaks me out. During my second surgery, I actually woke up on the operating table... I do not have any memory of this, but the anesthesiologist had all kinds of questions for me when I woke up, like do I sleepwalk. Why, yes, I do... He said that my body does not go into paralysis when it should. They told me I ripped my IV's out and was kicking and screaming... I do NOT remember this, but I'm sure it was horrific. I woke up with my IV in a different place, and I asked about it.

Anyway, I can't look back. I do not feel sorry for myself. In fact, I feel such little knee pain now. I went to a surgeon when I was 21, six years ago, and I was shocked at the x-rays. The doctor who screwed up my left knee in the first place did not even tell me that when he went to take out my staples in my knee, he did not even get them out. Might have been nice to mention that. Imagine my surprise when I saw my x-rays with all the staples! I'm sure he charged the insurance company properly to remove them... Can you tell I'm bitter?

To get on with it, the second surgeon had no idea about what to do... he was talking about taking out wedge of a bone here and there to make my legs the same length. I told him that I was not as worried about the length of my legs (as I have a one inch lift on my shoe anyway), but I was more worried about the functionality of my knee. He even told me he was clueless and wanted to consult a friend of his... I actually appreciated that.

"What if I don't get surgery at all?" I asked.

"Well, then you won't have a knee at all," he chuckled. Now, I'm just as sarcastic as the next person, but this guy's sense of humor left a lot to be desired.

He told me that I would be looking at a knee replacement when I turn 40, so I asked him, why not replace it now? He told me that my knee was too deformed for a knee replacement and I would need several surgeries just to prepare for that. I ran out of that office and haven't looked back. I was not even in (any) pain six years ago... so why was he wanting to cut me up? Oh yeah... you only go to a surgeon for surgery.... just like you go to the barber shop for a haircut!

Since my mother is an amputee, I see first-hand that our limbs are not immortal. Anyway, I did take one piece of his advice seriously.

"If you really want to help yourself, lose weight," he said bluntly and disappeared.

By then I knew I was a carbohydrate addict, and I went on a plan called the Carbohydrate Addict's Diet, where I lost 65 lbs in 8 months. However, I basically just binged every night and it was not healthy for me. I really wasn't following it properly because I never ate salad with dinner like they recommend. Needless to say, since it was not a lifestyle change, I just eventually gained (nearly) every pound back.

This is why I no longer even really care how long it takes me to lose my weight. I mean, there is to end to low-carb for me. When people ask me how long it will take them to lose x amount of pounds doing Atkins, I just have to laugh... because if you want to maintain any kind of weight loss... then there is no finish line.

In the past six years, I've restarted Atkins, sometimes several times per week. I think of all those false attempts as learning experiences where I learned great recipes, great tips, etc. I just wasn't ready yet. Oh, and it's all psychological for me, despite me going on and on about my physical symptoms of obesity. I just want you to know that no matter how desperate of a situation you are in... it can be turned around. I'm 19.4 lbs away from my lowest adult weight and I can't wait!

It totally breaks my heart to see youngsters with knock knees like I had. I saw this Tyra show where this one 13 year old girl reminded me of myself... with her knock-knees... and it was very upsetting. Parents need to get real and quit abusing their children with food, acting like they are "treating" them to something. To quote Jackie Guerra, "[The parents] are sentencing their children to a lifetime in fat prison for a crime they didn't commit. "

Do I personally blame my parents? Goodness, no. My mom fed us grilled food every night... She just didn't realize how horrible the Rice a Roni and bread was for us... and I always ate seconds if not thirds of these options. In fact, many nights, I would skip the meat altogether.

So, if you wonder why I'm so serious about this... I have a lot at stake. The good news is, I'm turning it all around. I would say, see you at the finish line... but we all know there is none. So, let's enjoy this marathon together!

Day 94

Day 94 Low Carbohydrate Food Log

- Three low carb pancakes* with Walden's zero carb pancake syrup and two sausage patties
- Cheesy tuna casserole
- Swiss cheeseburger off the grill with romaine lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, mustard and mayo on an oopsie roll
- Broccoli mushroom casserole

1 mile brisk walk

*This is the first time I've made these pancakes. WOW, they sure are rich! They have the actual texture of real pancakes. These are absolutely incredible. I used vanilla whey protein powder in place of the soy plain protein powder, so maybe that is part of the reason mine taste so "rich." If you are a pancake eater, you are sure to love these.... and they will keep you full for a long time because they are loaded with protein. Maybe next time, I will just make half the batch... because now I have lots of leftovers. Pancakes, anyone?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day 93 Every day, I feel more FREE!

DAY 93 Low Carb Food Log

- Cheesy tuna casserole
- Swiss cheeseburger with onion, lettuce, mustard mayo and ketchup on an oopsie
- Half a piece of peanut butter cheesecake with whipped cream
- Tostada on a cauliflower taco shell with taco meat, lettuce, salsa, cheddar cheese and sour cream

48 minutes on the recumbent bike