Post Christmas Weigh-In

Well I don’t know about you guys, but I just had an awesome few days of Christmas. Spent them with the fam, had an absolutely hilarious time and ate some thoroughly good on-plan food. The other half and I stayed down at my parents house where I saw some of my cousins again and got to meet my brother’s girlfriend – who is absolutely adorable. She’s the kind of person who upon meeting her for the first time, made us feel as though we’d known her for ages and was just so lovely to hang out with. And whilst my little brother certainly doesn’t need my approval, his girlfriend definitely passes the ‘big sister test’, lol.

My parents are an absolute hoot and put on a proper spread of food, drink and warm welcome for everyone who descended upon their home over Christmas, so lots of fun was had by all. Not being someone who drinks, I got to laugh at everyone else’s hangovers, but still ended up absolutely worn out by the end of it. Staying on-plan was easy as there was just so much stuff I could still eat and not feel as though I was going without (although my mum did tell me she could have made a keto cake especially for me if I’d told her in advance, so I need to remember that for next year!) We even came home with a massive doggie-bag filled with meats, cheeses, nuts and some mince pies & cake (for the other half). I definitely ate more than I would normally, but nothing that wasn’t low-carb.

It’s always weird when Christmas is over and a couple of days later you suddenly realise that it’s all done with for another year. There’s this huge, extended period of festive-feelings leading up to it, then suddenly, it’s all over and we’re back to a semi-normal way of life again, waiting for New Year to happen. After that, it feels like we’re back at the bottom of the calendar again, ready to work our way back up the next Christmas period. At least that’s how I’ve always looked at it. Winter and autumn are the times of the year I enjoy and it feels like spring and summer are just two annoying seasons that I have to endure every year, in between the blissfully cooler months. Once the winter solstice passes and the days start to get longer again, I can’t help but feel a little sad, knowing that shorter nights, hotter days and increasingly intrusive daylight, are all on the way.

But now is not the time to dwell on the inevitable annoyance of the coming warmer months. Today is a good day. It’s cold and dark and lends itself perfectly to the ideal afternoon, spent cosily curled up on the sofa with a hot cup of coffee and a good book – which is how I intend to spend the rest of the day once I’ve finished up writing this post. But first, I need to update y’all with this week’s weigh-in.

So how do you think I did?

To be fair, this week was “Shark Week” for me, so staying on-plan wasn’t ever going to be any guarantee of my losing any weight. I knew that before I hopped onto the scale; hormonal bloat being the unmitigated pain in the arse that it always is. I was hoping to maintain at the very least, but in all honesty, seeing a brief “ghost gain” of a couple of pounds wasn’t going to upset me or leave me feeling disappointed. If these past 4 months have taught me anything, it’s that the human body is a weird and wonderful machine that really loves to hold onto its fat stores and rarely likes to do what we want it to.

But…we only went and dropped another 3lb this week, didn’t we?

Like, wut? I’m as surprised as the rest of you, trust me. I really wasn’t expecting anything more than a potential maintenance week, but a 3lb loss? Hell, I’ll happily take that result ANY day, lol. I have no idea why my body decided that this week was going to be a weight-loss week (like I said, it was “Shark Week” and I definitely ate more than usual) but I’m more than happy to be able to say that I managed to stay completely on-plan and lose weight during the week of Christmas festivities, whilst never having felt as though I was depriving myself of anything worth eating. I enjoyed my Christmas, ate A LOT and even had some nice Perlege sugar free chocolate which allowed me to feel like I was having a lovely little indulgence while everyone else was eating regular chocolate.

Seriously guys, if you’re looking for a sugar-free alternative to regular chocolate you really should try this brand out. I just found them on Amazon where they were £6.99 for 3 x 42g bars – and they’re worth EVERY penny! There’s no ‘artificial sweetener taste’ to them and they melt beautifully in the mouth like a nice Belgian chocolate. Each bar is divided into 6 chunks and I kept to having 3 pieces at a time with a cup of coffee. Of course, they’re not carb-free (3 chunks – half a bar – works out at about 5g carbohydrate) so depending on your own daily allowance, you will probably have to exercise a little self-control so as not to go off-plan, but they’re absolutely perfect to have as a little treat, consumed in moderation.

But yeah, back to the update: I’m extremely happy to have lost 3lb this past week and have had a really lovely Christmas spent enjoying the company of my family. Oh…and because I have now officially moved past the halfway point (-50lb) I also got my bottle of Tom Ford from the other half! So I’m now sat here in my pyjamas, with my hair looking like a bird’s nest, but smelling exquisitely expensive, lol. It feels great to be able to say that I’ve hit my halfway point and that I’m feeling so much lighter and healthier as a result of my efforts this year. I even had 2 family members tell me that I look a lot younger and livelier as a result of my weight-loss so far.

So while millions of people the world over will be making new year’s resolutions to “go on a diet”, change their eating habits and attempt to lose weight, I will simply be carrying on eating the same way I have been doing since August 31st and enjoying the continued benefits that come from doing so. I don’t like new year’s resolutions; they’re almost always doomed to failure. But anyone can make positive changes to their life at any time of year. You’ve just got to want it enough and be prepared to put in the hard work. Understand your “why”, formulate a plan, make it something you can adhere to for the long run and never lose sight of your goal. If I can do it, anyone can.

Until next time folks

Blue

Weigh-In Day / Down, Down, Down

It’s that time of the week again folks…WEIGH IN DAY! Technically it’s only been 6 days since the last one, but last week I weighed in a day late because I wanted to sync up the results with my 100 days milestone. I’m kinda wedded to the idea of Monday being the official weigh-in day each week on here though, so this week we’re just going to go with whatever I’ve lost in the last 6 days and get these weigh-in Monday’s back on track.

It’s been a good week for me overall. No fibro flare-ups, just a little bit of joint stiffness along with the usual pain levels (I’m always in pain…but some days / weeks / months are worse than others.) I’ve had 2 epic snooze-a-thons this week that both came in at just under 24hrs a piece, but that’s just the norm for me. I get real exhausted real easily and I probably got a little too cocky strolling around town listening to all the Christmas music.

I absolutely love the Christmas season because (tacky lights and music included) things feel a bit…magical! Not in the vile Disney way that seems to permeate a lot of sentiments, but just in the way that everyone is looking for things to bring joy to other people. Be it food, presents, office parties, arranging transport for Christmas Day, or just meeting up with a friend they rarely see for a quick cup of cocoa in a cute little café, there is a definite sense of Christmas spirit in the air as we all get closer to the 25th. Add to that the gorgeous frostiness in the air and I’m completely in my element. I just have to remind myself sometimes that the extra spring in my step will actually come at a price if I don’t reign it in a little bit, lol.

So anyway, the weigh-in. Well, I’m more than happy to announce that today’s scale reading showed me currently weighing in at 15 stone 12lbs (222lbs). Which is….*insert drum roll*… a 4lb loss! Whoop! I’m now in the 15 stone and some change bracket! That’s ANOTHER milestone! In my last weigh-in-day post which can be found here, I mentioned that I was 3lb away from getting under the 16 stone mark; a weight I hadn’t seen or even been anywhere near, since my early 20’s. Well, this week I’ve smashed through that milestone with a 4lb loss, which now also means that I am 2lb away from hitting the half-way point of 50lb (100lb loss being my first goal weight – subsequent further targets may be added at a later date; watch this space!)

I have to admit: as much as I have always had faith in my ability to do this, I’m still pleasantly surprised every time the scale moves down closer to my goal; every time I hit a milestone it makes me feel incredibly proud of myself. I’m really doing this. Of course, things are going to slow down a lot more, the closer I get to my goal, but I’m still hugely motivated. And I plan to keep on topping up those reserves of motivation, through dedication, focus, intent, self discipline and with the help of all the positive elements of good food, healthy snacks, motivational reading material and the kind of good feeling that only comes from continuous improvements to ones health.

(This quote was actually shared with me by my friend Jeff who has his own blog where he cooks up some amazing low-carb meals that are perfect to serve to everyone, regardless of whether or not they’re following a low-carb WOE. Check out ‘Dinner Time With Jeff’ get some awesome recipe ideas and leave him a comment if you try any of them out. I thought it was just the perfect motivational quote to include here today.)

Next week we’ll probably see me maintain again, which is fine by me. The 4lb loss of this week will even out to a 2lb loss each week for the fortnight, meaning I’m exactly here I should be at this point in time. The week after that is possibly “Shark Week” again? I’m not sure, I gotta go check the dates for that, but if it is then I won’t be at all surprised to see a brief “ghost-gain” as “Aunt Flo” does her worst. But that’s just the way the female body works. Success at weight loss is never linear, with pauses, fits, starts, ups and downs along the way. But as long as the trend tends to be downwards overall, I am a happy woman.

So have a wonderful week y’all.

May the scales be forever in your favour.

Blue

All I Want For Christmas

It’s coming folks. Whether you celebrate it or not, Christmas Day is just around the corner and I’ve been thinking about what that’s going to mean to me, now that I no longer eat sugar/carbohydrate heavy foods. Every year I go down to my parents’ house on Christmas day, stay overnight and come home at the end of Boxing Day after spending the 2 days with various family members who drop in to celebrate with us. My mum is an amazing cook. I know, I know, everyone thinks that their mother is the best cook ever, but my mum is the real deal!

I grew up eating almost exclusively home cooked meals, and over the years my mum has expanded her already fantastic repertoire of recipes by travelling all over the world, getting inspired by various local cuisines and bringing home a multitude of ideas and experiences to incorporate in her home cooking. And at Christmas, she always likes to include a little something from one of her many trips away, in the vast cornucopia of foods she serves up on Christmas and Boxing Day.

On top of that, my parents also have a fruit & vegetable garden, in which they grow fresh produce along with a bunch of stuff that my mum then turns into chutneys, jams, pickles and liqueurs. As part of our Christmas gifts, she always presents us with a little bundle of these amazingly flavourful little jars, containing whatever items she decides to make the most of this year. (Her blackcurrant jam, cassis, rhubarb vodka and chilli salsa are particularly excellent.)

So as you can see, food plays a really big part in the way the family show love and celebrate this time of the year when we’re all together in one place. Over the years I have been incredibly lucky to be able to experience the fruits of my parents’ labours; both literally and metaphorically. So, it is with a heavy heart, that I finally made the decision I’m here to talk about today: to indulge in carbohydrate heavy foods, or not?

And I’ve decided that this year, I’m not going to be taking any “time off” from my low-carb WOE. There will be no “cheat days”, no “just one bite” capitulations and no excuses. I just don’t see any real point in going back to the way of eating that made me so overweight and unhealthy in the first place, just for a couple of days, only to have to work hard to get myself back on track and into ketosis after Boxing Day. Those first 3 days on Atkins induction were HARD. Withdrawal from sugar was NOT pleasant and I really don’t want to have to put myself through that again. Not without good reason – and my mother’s home cooking, as amazing as it it, just isn’t a good enough reason.

I know she’ll be cooking at least 3 different types of meat for Christmas day, along with 4 or 5 types of vegetable, so it’s not like I’m going to go hungry. There will be plenty of on-plan foods I can still eat and I already weird my family out (my mum is Scottish) by not drinking any alcohol – I’m pretty much entirely teetotal these days. Booze just ends up making me feel like crap the next day, so I don’t bother with it anymore. I’m sure that if they managed to get over me refusing the finest Champagne, wine and home-made liqueurs, they should also get over me not wanting to indulge in most of the sugary, carb-laden foods they serve up.

And besides, this is my heath we’re talking about here. My parents are incredibly intelligent, reasonable people; I know they’ll understand me wanting to do something that will improve my health and quality of life in the long run, because like all good parents, they only ever want what’s best for me. So I’m not worried about telling them that I won’t be indulging in everything they be serving up. But I do feel a little sad that I won’t be partaking in all the goodies on offer. Not because I want to eat foods that aren’t good for me, but because I know how much time and effort goes into their Christmas meal preparation…and it’ll be the first time ever that I won’t just be consuming as much as I can fit into me, with gratuitous abandon.

But I made a decision to take my health into my own hands when I switched over to the low-carb WOE. I decided that losing weight and feeling better, were far more important to me in the long run, than whatever fleeting enjoyment I may experience from eating sugary foods. And I remain committed to that decision. I hear from a lot of people about how if this is something they are going to stick with permanently, then they need to be able to give themselves the occasional “free pass” to “fall off the wagon” every so often. But it’s not “falling off the wagon” as far as I’m concerned: it’s making a conscious decision to disembark and wander off on the detour or set-back of their choice.

Everything we do comes down to us making choices, be they good or bad, at every step throughout our lives. I’ve already lived a lifetime making bad choices and I’m reaping the consequences of those bad choices today. I don’t want to keep making bad choices and then making excuses for them. I want to be healthy. I want to live long and live well and I can’t do that if I continue to make bad choices when it comes to food. Every time a person on a low-carb eating plan goes back to high-carb, sugar consumption, it doesn’t just cause us to gain weight, it puts our endocrine system and entire metabolism under strain as it struggles to deal with the huge amounts of sugar suddenly flooding our bodies again.

Then of course is the struggle to get back on plan. I read so many stories by people who veer off plan (for whatever reason they tell themselves) only to find what they intended to be a brief break, has turned into an extended binge and they’re struggling to get back into the low-carb WOE. All too many seem to end up falling by the wayside for weeks, months or even years…turning up back on the forum some time later with introductory posts titled something like “Back Again”, “Here I Go Again” or “Been Down This Road Before”.

And I’m not into that way of existing. I don’t want to live with myself knowing that I made a conscious decision to fuck up. I enjoy the feeling I get from being good to myself and staying the course. I want that feeling to continue. And it will do, as long as I keep making good choices. So my good choice this coming Yuletide season, is to put my health first. Tasty foods be damned; because I’ve got a much bigger reward in the forefront of my mind.

Yule is the Celtic/Pagan festival around the winter solstice. It is a time for coming together with our loved ones during the darkest months, looking back upon the past year and reflecting upon our blessings before the days start growing longer in the spring. That is what I will be focusing on this Christmas: the good people I have in my life, the love that I receive on a daily basis, and all of the blessings that surround me. THAT is what makes my life worth living.

Not a bloody mince pie. (Yes, even my mother’s mince pies!)

Make good choices y’all,

Blue