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.
Bacon and eggs, yum!
Leftover pork ‘salad’ with curried mayo dressing, raisins, and sliced almonds
uncooked bacon weaves for future pizzas
bacon weaves ready to eat