Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I have had to replace my clothes several times during the process of losing weight. It has been bitter sweet because while I like getting smaller sizes and wearing clothes that fit me right, the money part of it bugs me. I like quality things but I like to be frugal and find them on sale. Everything I have purchased has been on sale or came from TJ Maxx so it wasn't full price to begin with, but even then replacing a spring, summer, fall and winter wardrobe for casual clothes, gym clothes and dress clothes can add up even at clearance prices. Then my feet shrunk from 10's to 8.5's so I had to replace my shoes too. BUT I am not complaining!!! I would much rather have to replace my clothes and shoes then to still be bigger and unhealthy.

Just for some comparison, the jeans in the back were from last spring/summer and the black denim shorts currently fit me now, the jeans in the front with the holes in them are in my goal size. My youngest beagle was helping make sure the jeans didn't move. Notice he even brought his bunny with him..... he is a little pest, but so cute. :)

These are all of my pants and skirts that have gotten too big and fallen off since last fall.

Anyway I went to a 40% off sale and I was looking around but only found a couple of tops that I thought were worth getting. Then one of the sales girls asked if I was finding everything ok, after I turned around she said, "Oh Hi, I remember you" she had helped me once before about a year ago. She kinda looked at me a bit and said, "You have lost a lot of weight haven't you!" I smiled and said yep! I told her I was having trouble finding things because I didn't want to get stuff that would just be too big soon and trying not to spend too much. She told me to check out the clearance section in the back corner of the store and said most of the racks were $9.99 and then 40% off that!!!! The signs said "Clearance $9.99 and up" so the items that said $49.99 I thought were price as marked, but if they had a gold sticker then they were only $9.99. Like this, it was only $5.99 with all the discounts!

My youngest beagle inspecting all the bags.
They had about 8 racks full of $9.99 stuff and then the 40% off that. I found 22 items for $5.99 each. :) I came home with 4 bags full! I have never done that with clothes before ever!!!

All 22 of these items were $5.99 each.
I got 7 dresses, 6 of them in my goal size and one of them for now that ties around the middle so I can wear it longer, 2 pairs of jeans, a pair of capri's, 2 pairs of shorts, 2 skirts, a hoodie and matching pants and 2 other athletic pants, a dress shirt, a long sleeve v-neck, a sweater and a turtle neck sweater all in my goal size. I also got 4 tops, a nightshirt and a pair of pj's in my goal size that were not on clearance but they were still 40% off.

Here are some of the dresses, these are the ones that were originally $69.50 but ended up being $5.99!!!
Semi-Casual Dresses

Dressier Dresses and I almost bought this black one at full price once but decided to wait since I had one similar and didn't really need another one yet. I am so glad I waited and got it cheaper plus in a smaller size too. :)

Red Sweater, was the only color they had and it can go with the black skirt or over the black strappy dress.
My youngest beagle had to inspect everything and by the time I was done putting clothes away I found him like this......
Inspecting and approving all of the new things wore him out!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dehydration, Do you drink enough water?

We all know that we need to drink enough water or water based drinks like Crystal Light and that it helps vital organs, digestive system, muscle tissue and helps our body dissolve nutrients and get rid of toxins. But do we really drink enough? You can find calculators online based on body weight but some people claim they get too full or feel sick when they drink as much water as it says for them to drink. Others drink more then it says and feel bad if they don't drink more.  Personally I carry around a 32 ounce water bottle and I usually drink 3 of those a day, sometimes more. I even carry an extra water bottle and drink mix packets in my car in case I need them.
My favorite water bottle with Sugar Free Cran-Grape.

The extra water bottle and drink packets in my car.
Well.... the past week or so I have been busier then normal it seems and I am so use to drinking a lot but I guess I didn't even think about it. It was hotter today and I started feeling like I was getting a headache, I was really thirsty and I felt really hungry. Then my legs started feeling a bit crampy..... When I put it all together and I knew those were some of the signs of deyhdration.... I kinda thought really? me??? How could I be dehydrated when I drink so much??? Then I thought about how I have been thirsty but I would be busy and just keep working and not go get a drink until I was really really thirsty. I looked over at my water bottle and it was empty and I realized I had not filled it up since the gym. Then I realized that filling it up before the gym was the first time I had filled it up all day..... So I went and filled it up and I have sucked down 32 ounces of sugar free cran grape and still thirsty so I am working on my second one now. I did have two 24 ounce cups full of Diet Sunkist with dinner, but soda doesn't seem to help hydrate me as well. The Diet Sunkist was good though. :)

It's kind of ironic that I get dehydrated after telling 3 or 4 people in the past week to make sure they are drinking enough water..... Perhaps I needed to listen to my own advice! When I was talking to my Mom about it she brought up drinking too much water and how she felt sick. Well, it is possible to drink too much water and get water intoxication and I guess it can be tricky to find the balance but apparently some people sweat more salt then others and if someone does not have enough sodium in their diet then they can't properly absorb the water and are more at risk for the water intoxication. So like if someone doesn't eat much sodium but they sweat a lot of sodium then it can be harder for them to drink more water. But if you have too much sodium in your diet then you can retain water.

So I guess you just kinda of have to look at how much sodium you normally get from food and other drinks and then see if your sweat is salty or not. I know someone who leaves white salt stains behind from their sweat. Come to think of it that person craves salty foods, maybe it's because they lose so much in their sweat and they tend to sweat a lot too. My sweat is not like that and I don't crave salt at all, apparently this is like everything else and everyone is different to a certain degree. A few weeks ago I was drinking some Powerade Zero's and I was very thirsty and they were cold and good and I chugged 4 of them in one evening. They are 32 ounces each and the next day I woke up 5 lbs. heavier! I lost all that water weight the next day, but I felt like I was in the ladies room way too much! lol. After that I checked the bottles again and while they did not have any calories or carbs, they did have 800 mg of sodium per bottle! and I had 4 of them..... One a day by it's self when I go to the gym would probably not be bad at all, but I won't ever have 4 of those in one day again. We do need some salt in our systems but I don't think I need an extra 3200 mg worth. lol

The more active you are and the hotter it is the more water you need. I am pretty active and it was hot today so I guess it makes sense. I have read that you should make sure to stay hydrated before exercising, during exercise and after exercise and that when you are exercising your body is losing a lot of water. I didn't drink much before and not as much as usual during and not much after either. The harder you are working, the more you sweat and the longer you workout, the more water you are losing. I need to remember to drink more before the gym and more after. I have always heard that you need to drink something even before you are thirsty, because by the time you feel thirsty then you are already starting to get dehydrated. Also you can feel hungry when you are really thirsty and so if you feel hungry you should drink something and then see if you are still really hungry or not. This can also help with weight loss because if you are not truly hungry then you shouldn't be eating, unless maybe your work schedule requires it or you won't get any food at all or you are sick and don't want to eat, but if that is the case you probably need to eat at least a little bit of food. But in most cases it is not a good idea to eat unless you are hungry.

Anyway I find it easier to drink more water if I use a Crystal Light type drink mix, there are a lot of varieties out there. Here is just the selection I have at home, the Ocean Spray Cran Grape is my favorite. Some people have trouble with artifical sweeteners but the drink mixes I use have not bothered me at all. There is one kind that bothers me, but it isn't in the drink mixes I use. I don't drink a lot of soda but I will drink Sprite Zero or Diet Sunkist or sometimes Diet Root Beer or a Diet Pepsi once in awhile.

 If you have trouble remembering to drink your water you might set reminders in your phone or your calendar at work and a google calendar at home. Just set it as a reoccurring event with a reminder "Drink Water" a few times a day that you might not think about drinking like between meals. The reminders can get annoying, but they work. :)  I knew a lady who would put rubber bands on her water bottle, one for each bottle of water she wanted to drink. When she finished the bottle she would remove a rubber band. It helped her not to lose count. I use to use the calendar reminders but stopped a few years ago, maybe I need to re-think that!

Did I mention that drinking enough water helps with weight loss??? As does getting enough sleep, which I am lacking in and have not been to bed yet. I am definitely not a good example to follow on sleeping habbits. >_>

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I wanted to post a bit more content today that might actually help someone, but well.... I am not feeling like it today. This is kinda personal, but I am gonna share it anyway.....

Ever have a moment when you realize something and you just want to scream, holler and do a little dance in the middle of wherever you are but you decide not to so you don't embarrass yourself??? I had one of those moments today. It is something that only a larger person would really understand......
I was on this treadmill at the gym (the pic is blurry cause I didn't wanna stop walking)



I realized that my thighs were not rubbing together!!!!!
A very small area still lightly brushes the other leg depending on how I am walking but it isn't very much and once the extra skin is removed they won't touch at all. I honestly do not remember the last time that my thighs didn't rub together..... Wow..... I really wanted to shake my booty in the middle of the gym but I controlled myself..... >_>

Maybe later I will post some useful content but for right now, WooooooooHooooooo!!!! and now that I am home, excuse me a moment while I do a little dance next to my computer.

Oh and if anyone wants to know I did 6.4k on the treadmill today, my workout was cut a bit short by the gym closing earlier on Sundays. But it is nice and quiet and peaceful with not many people so I like to go and relax on the treadmill. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Low Carb at Olive Garden

OK, I have to admit this was not as hard as I was expecting it to be! Someone wanted me to go to Olive Garden with them and I was dreading it thinking I would be craving the pasta and be tortured sitting there watching the person I was there with eating Chicken Alfredo and bread sticks. Well..... I already knew I was not going to touch the pasta or bread sticks, that was never a question or even an option that I was going to allow myself! But I thought the temptations would be harder to resist once I was there. I knew I wasn't gonna eat it, but I thought I would want it more, but I didn't want it at all. The pasta did smell good as we were walking by the other tables though. 

I knew they had a steak dish and chicken and fish so I looked for those on the menu right away. I found one that looked ok except for the potatoes so I was going to ask for veggies instead, most places are always willing to do that instead of fries, potatoes or rice. I noticed the bottom of the menu said to ask the server for nutrition information, so I did. They brought out a pamphlet called "The Garden Fare Guide" and it has options listed for substitution for lower fat or lower carb. I didn't have time to research this online before I went there as going to dinner was kind of a short notice thing.
 The Lower Carb section:

My Salad:
I used my bread plate to hold the unwanted croutons from the salad:

I got the "Mixed Grill" that has the broccoli substituted for the potatoes and I also asked if I could substitute broccoli for the grilled vegetables, the grilled veggies was squash and zucchini. You have to ask for it that way or else they will still bring the potatoes because it is a normal menu item. The description of "Mixed Grill" is skewers of grilled steak and chicken marinated in Italian herbs and extra-virgin olive oil. Served with roasted potatoes and grilled vegetables.

The Mixed Grill with 2 sides of Broccoli:

This was what was left and came home with me for later:

(Sent from my Droid, please excuse any typos!)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bacon and Sausage Omelet

Breakfast for Dinner.
Bacon and Sausage Omelet with a little bit of Bell Pepper, Onion and Monterey Jack Cheese. Just for portion reference this is a salad plate, not a dinner plate.

Hello People!

I think most of the set up process of this blog is done for now so I am opening it up for public viewing. That said, any of you who know me in person please don't mention anything like my last name or the town I live in. - Thanks!

Anyway, I will be posting more content as I go including food pictures and recipes. I might not post every day but I will try to post a few times a week at least, but probably at least every other day. But I can blog from my phone now, so you might end up hearing from me more then I think. We will see how it goes. :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bacon Cheeseburger with Broccoli

My Dinner, just testing out the mobile blogging feature on my phone. :)

(Sent from my Droid, please excuse any typos!)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I love going to the Gym!!!

I can't even begin to describe how much better I feel and my energy level has been amazing compared to what it was before. But I am finding myself slacking on my house cleaning....... I like a clean house, I don't like messes but it is so much more fun to run off to the gym instead of cleaning house! I <3 the gym!!! Maybe I need to come up with a fun kitchen workout, I sometimes dance in the kitchen and I dance around the house while swiffering the floors. (I can't believe I am admitting this on the internet!!! But yes I dance around my house like a crazy woman. lol) But I need to find something fun to make me stay home and clean instead of running off the the gym for 2-3 hours.

I use to hate the thought of exercising but now I am so thankful that I can actually exercise that I want to do even more. I feel soooo much better!!! I still have arthritis from the impact of the accident but fast forward a few years and 247 pounds lost later and I am up past 8k on the treadmill and my knees are not even bothering me until I speed up too fast and push myself too hard, then I will feel it. Getting the weight off has been amazing!!! I don't have to take my pain meds or even my anti-inflammatories very often anymore.

Well..... time to avoid my cleaning and run off to the gym again! I can clean tomorrow right??? :) 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Few Tips for Success (and a Food List)

I often get asked what kind of foods that I eat. Well it can kind of vary sometimes and it depends on if I am being super strict and I only want 10 carbs per day or if I am allowing myself my normal 20 carbs per day. Some people can not eat certain things or it might trigger you to have a craving you can not resist. This is where you have to use trial and error and do what is right for you. But this is a list of what I usually keep around. Set yourself up for Success not Failure. If you don't have low carb foods handy and all you have is carb loaded stuff then you are probably not going to do very well.

***A Few Tips for Success***
1. The first 2 weeks are the hardest, don't give up. (If going to 20 carbs or less per day is really really too hard for you to start with and you keep giving up and don't think you can do this and about ready to pull your hair out with frustration........ Then try to do 30 carbs but have those carbs be from veggies, cheese or if needed a low carb product. Don't let them come from sugar, rice, pasta or breads. You won't get the same results as doing induction properly but it is a start.)

2. Drink a lot of water and only eat when you are hungry. Don't be afraid to snack on a low carb item if needed, but if you feel hungry drink some water or crystal light first. Then wait a bit and see if you are still hungry. A lot of times we think we are hungry when we were really just thirsty. Be sensible, don't starve yourself but don't eat an entire pan full of bacon just because you can..... unless you are really hungry. I found I was more hungry to begin with and less hungry over time with the more weight I lost and the longer I had been low carb. If you feel dizzy or light headed then you may not be eating enough food or you might need more protein. Try a boiled egg or two, or a hamburger patty with ketchup or some cheese are good sources of protein and fairly easy to keep around. I you are still feeling dizzy or light headed then you should probably see your doctor just to make sure nothing else is wrong like an inner ear infection or something else.

3. Keep low carb snacks on hand, prepared and easy to access. I found it easier when I had carb friendly snacks prepared for myself ahead of time, so I could just grab something if I felt really hungry. Set yourself up for success not failure.

4. I moved all of the carb loaded stuff to a different shelf in the pantry and made myself a shelf with green beans, tuna, some low carb candy, crystal light, canned chicken breast, beef jerky and some gross tasting low carb bars that I don't buy anymore, but they helped me to transition to low carb.

5. If you do cheat, you are only cheating yourself. Don't go eat a bunch of carbs because you feel bad about cheating, just suck it up, drink a bunch of water and go right back to being strict on your next meal. Then be extra strict for the next few days and stick to mostly meat, eggs, cheese and veggies and not so many of the added low carb products if possible.

6. Make good choices and be honest with yourself. Ask yourself would you rather be unhealthy, unhappy and feel bad about eating the carbs or would you rather feel good that you took control over your eating and didn't eat the carbs and feel better in the long run? You control yourself, the food does NOT control you!

7. That said everyone is entitled to a bit of an "off" meal once in awhile. BUT this should never be during induction and it needs to be limited maybe to once a month, once a week, but certainly not every day. If you do decide to have an "off" meal just be smart about it, drink a lot of water and don't feel like you have to eat the entire plate full of food, get a to go box. Limit yourself to one carb item, for example don't have pasta and bread together. (I once went to IHOP and ate 1/4 of a waffle and brought some home and gave some away. That 1/4 of the waffle was all I needed to make the waffle craving go away. I had been ignoring it for almost 2 weeks before I went to get one.)

 8. I made my own area in the fridge and stocked it with:
Cooked Hamburger Patties
Boiled Eggs (some whole and some chopped up)
String Cheese
Monterey Jack and Cheddar Cheese cut into cubes
Baby Carrots
Hidden Valley Ranch
Hellman's Mayo and Mustard, low carb Ketchup and lower sugar BBQ sauce.
Sandwich Cheese, Lunch Meat (gotta watch the carb count, some has more then others, don't buy honey ham)
Oscar Meyer plain hot dogs
Shredded cheese (gotta check labels some brands have more carbs)
Dannon Carb Control yogurt (I like it more in the summer then the winter)
Low Carb Icecream like Breyer's Carb Smart
Lettuce, both a head of lettuce and shredded if you like it.
Pre-Cooked Bacon
Pepperoni Slices
Chorizo and Eggs

I would cook scrambled eggs with bacon and cheese and put it into little containers for quick breakfasts. Also I cooked omelets with cheese, bacon and a little bit of bell pepper and froze them, it was so easy to nuke one of those in the morning. I cook grilled chicken breast and could make a lettuce wrap or a salad or just eat one with green beans. I also cook hamburger patties and chopped up hamburger meat, some plain just with black pepper and some with taco seasoning to made tacos salads with. The plain hamburger I will eat with mayo, cheese and lettuce like a salad. If you like Chorizo and Eggs cook some of that too, just don't eat the tortillas and then once you are off induction you can have a low carb tortilla.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Why I got serious about Weight Loss.

1. I didn't want to die when I was in my 20's.....
2. I was sick of being 525 lbs (and then 430 lbs after I gained weight back from the accident)
3. I was tired of being on soma and hydrocodone from the pain.
4. I didn't want to be stuck riding the granny carts at the stores anymore.
5. I didn't like the doctors telling me I would never recover from my auto accident.
6. I didn't like the idea of giving up and being bed ridden.
7. I didn't want my dogs to become homeless because they outlived me.
8. I wanted to be able to go to the gym and do normal every day activities again.
9. I wanted to be able to touch my hands behind my back to put a normal bra on again.
9. I wanted to be able to bend over and tie my shoes again.
10. I wanted to be able to change my shoes in the car.
11. I wanted to be able to see my lap again instead of a huge belly.
12. I wanted my belly not to rub on my car steering wheel anymore.
13. I wanted to be able to fit into a restaurant booth again.
14. I wanted to fit into an airplane seatbelt and be able to put the tray down.
15. I wanted to fit into a stadium seat
16. I was sick of the stares and rude comments from strangers and sadly a few people who knew me too......
17. I was tired of being treated like less of a human because of my size.
18. I was tired of kids saying, "Look at that big fat lady!"
19. I was tired of being the biggest, fattest person in a public place.
20. I was afraid of being called, "Morbidly Obese"
21. I wanted to be able to comfortably take my dogs for a walk.
22. I wanted to participate in a walk for charity.
23. I was sick of having to mail order all of my clothes in a size 6x/7x (or larger)
24. I didn't want my Parents to have to bury me.
25. Most importantly I did it for me, because I deserved a better quality of life then I had at 525 lbs. and because I'm worth it!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Goal

I am 5'8" with a large frame and my doctor told me not to get under 215-220 or I would be too thin. My scale with the electron stuff in it that measures bone density, muscle mass, water weight and body fat agrees and says between 217 and 220. My doctor thinks that I have at least 40 lbs worth of excess skin that needs to be removed so that makes me 20 lbs away from my goal. I am in the process of getting approval for the surgery to remove the excess skin so I will adjust my final goal based on how I feel after surgery when I find out just how much skin they really remove and what size clothing I fit into. Muscle weighs more then fat so I was more focused on a size range rather then a number. I want to be healthy and curvy, not skinny and stick like.

I wanted to be a 14/16 again and had often looked at a picture of myself from when I was 14 years old and wanted to get back to that size. Well.... today I was looking at that picture again and I realized something....... I looked kinda similar now. So I found clothes in the same size as the picture, tried them on and they were snug, but they went on. I was shocked, then I took a picture and compared it to my old picture and was even more shocked. In the pic on the right I was 14 yrs old, the shirt was an XL and the shorts were a size16. Well.... this black shirt is an XL and the black shorts are a 14/16...... I have basically reached my goal once the extra skin is removed. I want to keep working on toning and shaping but the bulk of the weight loss is done now. This last 20 lbs is being stubborn, but I am not stressing about it because I want to see what is left after surgery. 
Black Shirt is today, White shirt was 14 years old.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Before Pictures

The black shirt was from March and the purple shirt was from my biggest. That is a full size bed just for size reference.

The white shirt was from last summer.

This is me wearing the black shirt in March, that skirt falls off me now and I liked it so that kinda makes me a little bit sad, but not too much. :)

The pics on the left were from November 2003 and the ones on the right from May 2010

And then the picture I have in my header right now.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Do it for YOU!

You gotta do it for YOU, because YOU want to do it. You can't do it for anyone else or it just won't work long term. For me it was an easy choice, eat carbs and stay over 500 lbs and likely die in my 20's/30's or don't eat carbs, lose weight and live longer. I like life so I gave up the carbs.

You might not have as much to lose or be in as bad of physical shape as I was but whatever your goal is, YOU can do it, because YOU are worth it. You will be happier, healthier and feel better in the long run. It is amazing how good you can feel even getting an extra 10 or 20 lbs off, especially if you have any joint pain or back problems.

"You have to get healthy for yourself, because YOU want to do it for YOU. You can't do it for anyone else or it won't work long term. YOU can do it, because YOU are worth it and you will be happier in the long run." - CJ

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Beginning Workout

After being told I would never be able to go to the gym again..... I have been going to the gym again since September 2009. It wasn't really the most effecient workout, it probably wasn't the best planning or the best exercises, but I did what I could do and skipped the machines that hurt me too much. I wasn't able to walk a lot and standing a lot was still hurting me so I was using the resistance machines to build some strength and then ended up using them for cardio as well. This was not ideal, but I did what I could do and that was all I could do at the time. As I got stronger I wasn't increasing the weight I started increasing the reps and was doing low weights with a lot of reps. I mostly used the hip abduction (30 or 40lbs resistance) and adduction (20 or 30 lbs) machines (inner and outer thighs) and the leg press (50 to 75 lbs), it was not uncommon for me to do 200 reps on those machines. I should have kept the reps down and upped the weight but I was afraid of using too much weight and hurting myself. I also used a couple of the ab machines and a couple arm machines, but I was afraid of most of the arm machines because they hurt my shoulder. 

Walking was hard for me, the walk to the mail box seemed soooo long..... taking the dogs to the back of the 2 acre lot seemed like a long ways too. I couldn't stand very long without feeling dizzy and light headed, especially if I was hot. I had to just go very slow and stay close to home in case I got tired, so I mostly just walked around the yard with the dogs. I would also lay on my bed and do kind of a modified palliates because I couldn't do them standing up and getting on the floor use to hurt me. Swimming wasn't an option unless I wanted to pay $160 a month for an over priced local gym or pay a physical therapy center $100 a month.  It wasn't until I got more weight off that I could really do more and my knee stopped hurting as much, as did my back and hips. Exercise is important, but sometimes you just can't really do it until you get some of the weight off first, which makes staying on track with low carb even that much more important.

Once I felt better and lost more weight then I was pushing myself too hard and started using the treadmill and I was not always eating before the gym because I wasn't hungry. I was pushing my heart rate too high for too long and when I would stop then I felt dizzy, even though it felt ok while I was doing it. It was then that I asked the personal trainer a question and his head kind of exploded when he found out that I was working out that much and not eating carbs and being THAT low carb (under 10 a day). He agreed with the low carb concept, but he was trying to get me to eat fruit before my workout. He said he wanted to do some research before he suggested things but told me to keep my heart rate down and slow down in the mean time. It helped and I started making sure I had eaten before going to the gym and I stopped getting dizzy.

I never thought about workouts being different for low carb people... but since we don't eat carbs if we stay at the upper heart range then we are depleting all the carbs we do have so we need to stay in the lower range so that we burn the fat instead. He told me that I needed to keep my heart rate in 120-130 range during my workout and it was in the 150's and 160's at that time. When I first started using the treadmill even slowly walking at the 1.6 speed would put my heart rate at 170/180. I also learned that the monitors on the machines can be wrong so I got a heart monitor watch and started monitoring my heart rate more and more. I had already been using it before talking to the trainer and reading up on it, but I never knew about the lack of carbs effecting the range you should be in, but it makes sense.

He told me that I can go faster for a few minutes and raise my heart rate to 150/160 but then slow back down and bring it back to 120/130. The more I exercise and the more time I spend on the treadmill and the more often I do it the lower my heart rate gets and the more endurance I am building up, increasing my distance and lowering my times. I also have to watch my asthma too, it's been ok, but it will act up if I try to run as will my knee...... I want to run, but I am not ready for it yet. I just wanna go... I don't want to slow down... I feel good and have energy for the first time in a long time, I don't want anyone telling me to slow down.... *pouts* lol. But I listened to him anyway and it has helped a lot.

Anyway I ended up working with the trainer and he evaluated my strengths and weaknesses and made a workout for me and it has been very helpful. I am no longer afraid of the cabled, bowflex type machines and the free weights and I am using the treadmill a lot more. I now keep my main strength workout separate from my cardio like it should be. He was very cautious of my injuries and nothing that he has me doing hurts my shoulder, back, knees or hips. Your form is also important, even slight adjustments can make a big difference. Anyone who has any kind of health concerns or injuries should talk to their doctor about exercising and then work with a personal trainer at least for a few sessions. It is so worth it! I have lost 3" off my middle since doing my new strength workout. :)

*Note heart rate is different for everyone and you need to know your resting heart rate too!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The day that changed my life forever.

I will never forget that day in December of 2003..... my wonderful sister-inlaw, who I will always be grateful to, decided to open up and share her experiences with me about being low carb. She didn't know I had PCOS until my Mom mentioned it, but come to find out doing low carb was seriously helping ladies with PCOS when the medicine wasn't helping. I had been on the medicine for 2 years and it only made me feel even more sick then I did before the medicine. They had given me Metformin a mild diabetic medicine but I am not diabetic. It resulted in morning sickness every morning for 2 years..... I tried different doses, different times of day and nothing helped. I was told by my doctor that I have a severe case of PCOS and not everyone has the symptoms as bad as what I did. I won't go into the gross details but let's just say it was pretty bad and I was anemic because of it.

I lived on carbs, I craved carbs, I was a carboholic and craved the carbs like an alcoholic craves alcohol. I was afraid of trying low carb, but I was more afraid of dieing. I cringed because my favorite foods were potatoes, pasta and bread..... but I told myself I had to try it, because I wasn't ready to die. I was 525 lbs and luckily no high blood pressure or heart trouble, but it was only a matter of time at the rate I was going. Earlier in the month I had watched my Mother bury my Grandfather and I didn't want to be next. I am very close with my Mother and I could see the pain in her eyes when she looked at me, she would smile and try to be happy, but I could tell what she was thinking whenever the subject of health came up. My Grandfather lived to be 92 (3 days shy of his 93rd birthday) and I didn't want to die in my 20's. I was pretty active for my size and I wouldn't admit it then but I would wear out easily and have shortness of breath and basically push myself beyond exhaustion just to keep up with all of the things I did.

I had tried just about every diet out there and nothing had worked for me. I was skeptical but I went and bought both the Atkins New Diet Revolution book and the South Beach book. I HATE reading books but I read them both cover to cover. The first two weeks were hardest and within 4 months time I had lost 108 lbs. There was no question at that point, I felt so much better and my doctors were shocked! The more weight I lost the easier it was to avoid the carbs and turn down the things that were not good for me. This isn't just a diet, it is a lifestyle. I stopped taking my medicine when I went low carb too, because I didn't want my blood sugar to go too low being on a diabetic medicine when I was NOT diabetic. If you are on any medicines, make sure to talk to your doctor first!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

As I mentioned before, I have a medical condition(PCOS) that my body just can't process carbs correctly so it stores them instead of burning them. It makes me crave carbs and feel light headed, dizzy, sick to my tummy, no energy and feel awful and be even more hungry. I was gaining weight like crazy and no one knew why. I was given Metformin/Glucaphage, it wasn't the XR it was the normal stuff. This was back in 2001-2003. I took it for 2 years and it made me horribly sick, I had morning sickness every morning yet, I wasn't pregnant. It wasn't helping my cycles, it wasn't helping me to lose weight, it just made me sick. That was when I found out that going low carb could help ladies with PCOS, so I stopped taking the Metformin and started low carb. I had been over 500 lbs, gaining weight like crazy and the doctors didn't know why...  It wasn't until a few years later when I was reading an article in Woman's Day on PCOS and I had every symptom they listed except for high blood pressure and heart trouble. I took the article to my doctor and she said, "Oh yeah I have heard this mentioned at a conference before, let's test you for it." Sure enough, that was what I had. Too bad I was already 525 lbs before they figured it out.

A side note on the Metformin/Glucaphage, it does work for some ladies so don't totally rule it out. One thing about PCOS is the symptoms can vary a lot from person to person and some have it mild or some have it worse like I do. A few of the lucky ones can have it and don't gain much weight at all but most ladies who have it gain weight from it and a lot of us gain massive amounts of weight. Anyway if you have PCOS and doing low carb and currently taking Metformin I would make sure that your doctor knows. I was advised not to take the Metformin once I went low carb, but everyone is different.

When I was taking it my doctor kept telling me just give it time and you will adjust, I never adjusted to it and felt sooo much better once I stopped taking it and after a few weeks of being low carb. Just make sure to talk with your doctor so the medicine doesn't make your blood sugar levels go too low. I am not diabetic at all and my levels were always on the low end and leaning more towards hypoglycemic so they didn't want to take a chance with it and I simply didn't need the medicine, so why take it? But if it helps you and works for you then by all means take it. You gotta do what works for you. :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Story

Hi, my name is CJ and I have lost 247 lbs, no surgery, no pills, just low carb, sensible portions and exercise. I have been low carb since December 2003, but went back on induction in July of 2009.

I have a medical condition(PCOS) that my body just can't process carbs correctly so it stores them instead of burning them. It makes me crave carbs, makes me sick and makes me gain weight like crazy. Since going low carb I feel great, have a lot more energy and I am not starving all the time. I also eat a lot less and feel fuller a lot easier. I was able to shrink my stomach capacity on my own, without any surgery. I wasn't as hungry and over time ate less and less until I was back to normal portion sizes. I have done all of this just from having a low carb lifestyle and exercising.

Cutting out the carbs was NOT easy for me at first. The PCOS makes me crave carbs like an alcoholic craves alcohol. It was very hard the first two weeks but then it got easier and the more I lost the more I realized that this was indeed a lifestyle change and not just some diet that I would only do for a short time. This is truly the way of eating that my body needs. Within the first 4 months I had lost 108 lbs and my doctors were shocked. Then I lost 200 lbs. total, maintained it for over a year, was in a car accident on bed rest for 6 months gained 130 lbs. back.... I lost 40 lbs. of it slowly over a couple years. Then since July 2009 I have lost 116 lbs and feeling better and back to the gym and normal activities. I had been told that I would never be able to go to the gym again after my accident and that was just pretty hard to swallow at 27 years old.....I didn't want to give up, I decided I just couldn't accept that and I had to try harder.

It took a few years to recover from that accident and I have been going to the gym again since September 2009. At first my workout's were shorter and I was using low weight on the resistance machines just to be able to do something since I could not really do any cardio.Then I added more reps over time and then in March I started walking more and then in May I got on the treadmill. I signed up to do a 5k walk/run in September and I wasn't sure if I could make it or not, but I told myself I was going to do it, I had to do it.

I was worried for awhile but then I made it to 3k, 4k, 5k and the first time I made it to 5k it took me an hour and 45 minutes and I was worn out! Now I am consistently doing 5k in an hour and I have made it up to 8k on the treadmill and 10k with additional walking around in stores after the gym. I still have a pinched nerve in my shoulder and if I push myself too hard then my knees, hips and back will bother me too, but I have strengthened my core a lot so that helps. I will get sore muscles but the only real pain I have felt with my current workout is my knees if I push myself too hard or increase my speed too fast. I go to the gym and work out at home as well 4 to 6 times a week.

My Stats as of 8/4/2010 were:

245.8 total lbs lost
Body Fat down 33%
253.3 lbs of fat lost
12.3 lbs of muscle gained
My resting heart rate is down 45 beats per minute from 110 to 65.

Total inches lost:
Neck is down -8"
Left Arm is down -15"
Left Forearm is down -3.5"
Bust is down -29" (Mostly off my back)
Under Bust(Band) is down -22"
Abs are down -44"
Waist is down -38"
Hips are down -37"
Left Thigh is down - 19"
Left Calf is down -5.5"

I have shared my story with friends and family and some people I didn't even know on a low carb health and nutrition forum and I had lots of requests for additional information on what I was doing and the feedback has been amazing. I decided to go ahead and make this more public and share with  more people so I made this blog. If it ends up helping even one more person then the effort it took to make it will have been worth it. :)