I just realized how long it’s been since I last posted, and well, that’s too long! Being back home in Texas is kind of boring, so I forget to post. Before, I had all those wonderful pictures of Ireland to share, as well as lots of adventures.
Here’s a little update on my weight loss journey:
Weight: 180 lb
This is a total loss of about 60 pounds (230 lb) from 6 years ago, when I first started trying to lose weight by giving up sugar and caffeine. I found out I was diabetic 3 years ago (2008), so in 2005 I had no idea what low carb meant. I just gave up eating junk food and sodas and tea and coffee. At the time I lost 30 pounds in 3 months. By the same time the next year, I’d gained it all back, plus 10 pounds. Oops. I started again, and eventually lost that 40 pounds, and it sort of stayed off. I attribute my going back to college and walking a lot more to being able to maintain that weight loss. Still, I weighed around 200-205 pounds.
When I was diagnosed with diabetes, I went low carb (around 90-100g/day) to try to manage it by myself. That only worked for about 6 months, then my blood sugars crept up and I found a doctor. I did not lose any weight during that time that I’m aware of (no scale), but I did feel better.
Over the next year, I went a little higher on the carbs (125-150g/day), then lower and lower carb, until I decided to try full-on Atkins in May 2010. Sticking religiously to my 20g/day, I lost 10 pounds. Then I gained 5 back, while still eating the same. As an experiment, I added back 20-40g of carbs/day and lost 8 pounds. Truly this made no sense to me, but I accepted it. So, over the next 6-8 months, I lost no more weight, but kept my carbs down to around 50g/day average. With time, my weight started creeping up—again. I went from 196 back to 202 pounds.
In February of this year, as you all know, I took off for Europe. All the walking helped me get in better shape, but I didn’t lose any weight that I’m aware of, and my carb count crept right back up to I’m sure over 100-150g/day. And so did my blood sugar, as I ran out of and stopped taking both my blood pressure medication and my Metformin.
On May 19, a year after trying Atkins and following the rules and not losing much weight, I gave up all grains and 90% of the sugars I was eating. Eating only meat, saturated fats, and a few vegetables, I lost 25 pounds in around 6 weeks. The best part was watching my big belly deflate. My clothes got looser and looser. The blouses that I used to be “poured into” were suddenly just right. I had to keep hitching up my pants, as they were slipping right off my hips. I was ecstatic, and my improved mood attracted more and more people to me.
As of now, I seem to be maintaining my weight loss, but not really losing. I’m not disheartened, though, as the skin on my upper arms has gotten quite floppy, and I’ve heard that a slower weight loss when you’re as large as I was helps the skin catch up and tone itself. Not sure if that’s true, but I’m so thrilled to be down this low, I just am happy to keep it off.
Foods I’m eating:
I’m still not eating any grains of any kind. That means no breads, no cakes, no power bars/low carb bars, no crackers. Just proteins and fats and non-starchy veggies.
I’ve discovered microwaved cheese ‘crackers’ that are so crispy and yummy that they truly satisfy my urge for crunchy chips. I can’t remember what lovely blogger told me about this, but all you need to do is microwave about a tablespoon of grated cheese (the blander the better, in my opinion) for 40 seconds on high. You must use parchment paper, or they stick, and doing one at a time is best. All the fat drains out of them (I didn’t like this part, but they are crispier without that liquid) and they are fabulous.
Oven-baked cheese ‘crackers.’ Thanks to George Stella and his cookbook Eating Stella Style, 2006 for this recipe. He uses two American Cheese slices and cuts them into a total of 32 little squares. He uses salt, chili and garlic powders to season them, then bakes them on parchment paper or silicon mats at 400ºF for about 7-7½ minutes, until they are crispy and brown. I have one caveat: I found 400º too hot, so I cook mine at 350-375ºF for about 8 minutes or so. My high-carb daughter loves these.
My daughter and I eat a lot of tuna salad, loaded with onion, celery, zesty dill spears (Vlasik), apple, mayo, pickle juice, and lemon. I eat mine with my cheese ‘crackers.’ I also add some extra sea salt.
A couple of nights ago I pan-fried a luscious rib-eye steak, and we had that with steamed broccoli and cauliflower, swimming in butter. We eat the steak with sour cream, and my daughter made herself some garlic bread. I didn’t need it.
Here are some pics of foods I’ve been eating, plus the latest picture of me. I can’t save a pic someone else posted on facebook that shows me ‘before,’ so go here.