Monday, August 29, 2016

My Dirty Little Secret; Time to Air the Laundry

Welp, I missed my post last week.  Bet you thought I quit?  Well I wanted to.  I have been super busy and not much has settled down yet.  Work, Hubbz, Kiddos... the cycle is a never ending but fulfilling one. 

Had to drive my oldest down to Galveston, TX.  She left for the Bahamas Saturday.  Turns out Carnival re-routed them to Mexico and Jamaica because of storms.  I am so happy for her.  She used no money of ours AND no money of hers outside her gratuities and spending money.  Pretty amazing for a 20 year old kid who just finished up her summer working at Six Flags.  

Had to go to the Doctor.  Have a nagging non-stop pain in my heels.  Most likely bone spurs.  The pain on the left side has grown into more then I can bear.  HOWEVER, it lead to one of the best feelings I have had in a long time.  By the Doctor's scale (the one I count as official mentally)...I have lost 43 lbs.  

Back in November 2015, I found myself disgusted. So I searched out a DR. who specializes in weight loss surgery and medical weight loss.  See, only a select few know I had a gastric bypass about 14 years ago.  It's been so long I no longer remember the specifics.  I can't even remember my Dr. The procedure I had was the older Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass.  At that time I was my heaviest at 411 lbs.  I did lose weight. I lost 100 lbs.  But I bottomed out with the lowest being around 302. From then until November 2015, I would gain and lose. My heaviest being 336 and never really getting under 300 lbs.  

What I do not want is more surgeryYou see, my dirty little secret is I have tried twice.  I succumbed to my wanting an easy change and had not one--BUT two revisions.  But God will not let me cut corners.  I am not blaming the surgery. Weight loss surgery is only a tool.  If it is not accompanied by lifestyle changes; it does not work. Here I am the poster child to that testament! That's why I started this blog.  Time to be accountable for everything I say and do. 

Its obvious, I did not re-start this blog back in November. If I had, you would understand how big of a day this particular weigh in was for me.  Truth is, I doubted if I would really make an effort.  I have started and stopped more times then I can count.  But this 43 lbs. represents my struggle and my dedication.  I am in the process of ordering my medical records.  It is time to really document everything.  These months have not been smooth sailing.  Just like life, there have been downs (loss), ups (gains), and downs again....

Speaking of which... I have two updates on my weight since I missed last week.  I am down to the last two weeks of this HCG round.  I am really questioning if HCG is helping me.  I seem to be losing normal.  We will use the 6 weeks after I stop this session to measure whether or not it made a difference.
Drum Roll please.....
Today's statistics are:
WEEK 1 Round 2 298 lbs.
WEEK 2 Round 2 293 lbs.
WEEK 3 Round 2 296 lbs.

WEEK 4 Round 2 292 lbs. (gain is gone... Yessss!!)
WEEK 5 Round 2 293 lbs. (hmmm... Thanks TOM... this better be temporary.

~~See you next week...with a smile from above it will be with a 10lbs lost pic.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Escape From Obesity..... OMG BEST Low Carb Meatloaf ** Recipe Alert** Week 3

Escape From Obesity
... I love this title!  It belongs to a blog I ran across.  All I have to say is this is one amazing chica!  Lyn just embodies everything that this lifelong battle has been for me.  She has had amazing success!  Gained it back, and is determined to take it off again.  I hope me and my pom-poms encourage her the way she has me.  I see this week she is injured~~been there done that... and it is a major bummer!  Prayerfully there is a speedy recovery and healing IN JESUS Name. 

Truth be told, I bet our story resonates with many others.  Start and stop again.  I believe I finally have a real understanding of where I have been going wrong.  AFTERALL we are a people of quitters.  Sorry if that sounds harsh.  But I am standing tall as one of them!  We focus our attention on results.  We want immediate gratification.  Yes, I am in that group too.  Immediate gratification feels good.  Hard as it can be to admit, we all want to feel good.  

Beginning of each New Year we are all gung-ho to make change; REAL CHANGE.  By the second week our mantra has swiftly changed and the next year promises to be the bigger and better, the best yet.  Or, we start on Monday and do what we want all weekend.... by that Friday, we are having free days again.  One of mentors stated it best... "Focus on the disciplines instead of the result!"

I am sure I have heard that before; however this time it has resonated with me.  This really applies to every area of my life.  Even more specifically with this journey.  The discipline of keeping my eating cleaned up and exercising will produce results.  You can't get up and eat well and move around and not have results.  

It is NO different than the discipline in taking notes and studying improves your test score.  Just like the discipline of reporting to work daily and on time demonstrates dependability.  Just like the discipline of praying and reading my bible allows my spirit to grow.  I am sure you can relate and give your own examples! 

Let’s get this week's results in.   I have a gain this week.  Most likely from the tasting I did when I baked those RED Velvet Cakes.  I swear. I sent them out without one slice.  Looks like I hit the spoon/bowl combo more than I thought I did.  

On the plus side, I have had a major boost in physical activity and I cannot wait to share!--
Next week!
Drum Roll please.....
Today's statistics are:
WEEK 1 Round 2 298 lbs.
WEEK 2 Round 2 293 lbs.
WEEK 3 Round 2 296 lbs. 
Still no changes here at all :p

Body Fat 60% 
Muscle 25%
My female friend on this journey decided to end early.--The male counterpart forges ahead...

(My portion is minus the shrimp and about 1/3 of that prime rib.  Men can eat like that... we cannot! LOL) 

Along with inspiration; my visit to Escape from Obesity also produced the BEST MEATLOAF I have ever tasted.  You

know I would not give that accolade unless it really impressed me.  It is moist and delicious!  The only thing I changed is I used 1 lb. of ground chicken with 1 lb. of ground beef.  I also made this really amazing Low Carb Ketchup for a topping because let’s face it.... I like pretty food. Pretty food is good.  LOL  I also really enjoy her bike rides. She lives in Oregon and the scenery is breathtaking. 

Low Carb Ketchup/Meatloaf Topping
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons white vinegar
Water as needed to correct consistency
4 packets Splenda or sweetener of choice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
Combine all of the ingredients.  Simmer covered for 1 hour. Cool then chill before serving. Keep refrigerated.

Since I was topping my meatloaf, I did not simmer.  I simply spread on the meatloaf and allowed it to bake on the meatloaf.  Comfort food at its best!  Try some steamed broccoli of asparagus for a satisfying side.  I decided on some sautéed spinach with onion and garlic.  

I see you successful!  and I will see you next week.  ~~Jennifer

Monday, August 8, 2016

Victory Lap-5lbs. lost I will take that....Week2 Round2 (Recipe Alert)

Good morning everyone!

Today starts week 2 and I am feeling pretty amazing.  Not because I had a big loss.  Not because my body fat changed.  (God Lord... it has not moved!) But today I realized that I have been consistently walking 3 miles at once.  This is pretty big for me!-- Because as I look back over my life I honestly do not remember a time when I have ever been able to do that!  Sure I move around.  I grab a mile here and there several times a day.  But I did not believe that I could
                                                                                    actually walk for 60 minutes non-stop.

I CAN and Will do ALL things through Christ Who gives me the strength.
NOT only can I do it... I KEEP doing it.  Honestly, I wanted to quit this morning.  30 minutes in all I could do is watch the clock.  PARTIALLY because the random playlist I was listening to was horrible and partly because I was feeling every step in my calves, thighs, core, and lower back.  I should note here I no longer use the hand rails that are on the treadmill.   "Holding" them makes it just a little easier.  I am so balance challenged that this is a real struggle for me!  SRSLY reminded of  a childhood toy... "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down"....HizRib wobbles but she WON'T fall down. (At least that is what I am telling myself!!!)

I simply refused to give in.  I had this thought.  The God that created everything gave me the Son that makes all things possible.  This is no different.  If the Son who gives the strength to do anything... lives in me... then why do I not have the strength to finish?

Today's statistics are:
WEEK 1 Round 2 298 lbs.
WEEK 2 Round 2 293 lbs.
Body Fat 60%
Muscle 25%         Will start BEFORE and AFTER photos for every
                             10lbs lost.-- As much as I dislike full body photos!

So here is a sample of what I am eating.... I have to be honest.  I can not do boring, bland, or the same thing every single day, every single meal.

Go Ahead..ENLARGE to see the detail!
Over the weekend, I smoked some Chicken Breast.  These are 6 oz. breasts but that's ok.  How you pair your meals is where you win the battles. My go to sides for this chicken would normally be Potato Salad and BBQ beans.  I am not swearing them off forever.  Just using moderation.  I decided on a Taylor Farms bagged salad; Southwest Style and a REFRESHING cucumber salad.  Cucumbers have many benefits. The one I was looking for was filling up the plate WITHOUT adding a ton of unwanted calories.  NEVER have I made a salad like this without OLIVE OIL.  Now don't get me wrong.  OLIVE OIL in moderation is good for you.  IN--FACT my Italian blood demands it!  Poppy stop groaning! This weekend I discovered that the salad lost NO FLAVOR whatsoever when I decided to skip it.  I made this choice because I used the dressing for the Southwest Salad that came with it.  NO need to double up.  (Livestrong does an excellent job of explaining the benefits of eating cucumbers including weight loss.  Recipe below.)  SO finger-licking good... I shared with the work chicas.  Best compliment tho?  Cucumber salad looks like it was store bought.  I love a great presentation.

EASY Cucumber Salad

Serves 12
4 Cucumbers
6 Roma Tomatoes (they contain less seeds)
1 Purple Onion (can omit; but I LOVE them)
2 Dry Package of Italian Salad Dressing Mix
2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar

Slice or dice cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion in a large storage bowl.  I love using my food processor for this part.  The little cubes are so pretty when plated.  Add salad dressing mixes and apple cider vinegar.  Stir well.  Chill at least 30 minutes for flavors to meld before serving.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Back to Basics.... Week 1 the Load. (Recipe Alert)

Or should I call it the pile, oversupply, gorge, indulgent, consistent flood of food over 3 days? This in itself is not hard outside of; many people report it being hard to eat.  Basically, you can eat what you like.  You are encouraged to enjoy full fat and rich foods while starting the HCG.  The reason we do this is so that hunger is minimal as we adjust to the VLC days.  You can read more about it in the actual protocol; Pounds and Inches by Dr. Simeon.  HCG Chica recommends to refrain from simple carbs and sugars because by her experience it helps with the initial withdrawal,  This was the original plan--but did not end up being the reality.

So here is where we start...
Today's statistics are:
WEEK 1 Round 2 298 lbs.
Body Fat 60% or 179 lbs.
Muscle 25% or 75 lbs.

So here we see a gain. This WILL not be the weight I use to measure this round.  I will be using the weight from last week before the loading days.  The gain is a good thing. It shows that I have ate enough to prevent hunger during the first few days of VLC.  Second, it is a temporary gain and therefore not part of the actual measurements.  I expect it to be back to where I was in the morning.  Body Composition percentages have stayed the same.  I hope to really see some changes in those numbers.

By the picture; I have not been avoiding carbs.  I am neutral for keytones and the object here is to
progress toward the darker markers.  This will indicate the state where my body is stored fat as energy.  Previously I have never really progressed passed the middle marker.  There is a ton of information out there regarding the science and I am no professional.  It is also said that these strips are not the most accurate.  However, they are still used by doctors to monitor diabetic patients for ketoacidosis.  Therefore, for at least the time being I am comfortable using them as a tool.

I am using the HCG as a sublingual drops.  This previous post contains the instructions for mixing.  I also talked more about Ketosis and linked information there. Round 2 will again follow the HCG 2.0 protocol with my daily allowances capped at 800 calories.  I know from previous rounds that the lower my net carb intake the better.  My goal here is under 40. It is pretty normal in this house to eat the same thing for lunch and dinner.  Mainly because we are not a real big fan of left overs.  Today's meal came
                                                                                    in around 9 net carbs!--

This round I have been joined by friends and hopefully we will encourage one another!  This diet does not have to be boring.  Today's main meal is one full of flavor and appeasing to the eye.  For me, this is very important because I am visual as well as mentally satisfied.  I used this simple chicken breast recipe from Tablespoon to met my needs.  The Yogurt and Parmesan provide a full and satisfying flavor. Then I sauteed some green beans.  Turned out so well, it was meant to be with the shared!  So I did with the WORKCHICAS.  Since they are not on VCL, I added a bagged salad.  It only added another 75 calories.  Unbelievable that 300 calories could taste so good and be fulfilling!

In the interest of transparency.... I do exercise.  I walk at least 6 days a week and achieve at least 10k in steps.  It is a slow and steady pace.  Many people have stated they did not need to exercise while on HCG and I can believe that is true.
For me, I need the movement.  And this is HILARIOUS right?!!!!  The app says "Running".  I don't think 20 min. per mile is considered running.  In the coming weeks I will share what I have done to really motivate myself in this area.  For now tho--off to have a great week!
--See you next week.
Green Beans
1lb. fresh green beans(washed and prepped)
2 TBSP Yummy Seasoned Butter
1/2 purple onion diced
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice (half a lemon will do)
1 tsp. Herbs de Provence or herb of choice
Salt Pepper to TASTE (because I use my seasoned butter I do not add additional salt.)
Melt butter in heavy skillet.  Saute onion until translucent. 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic and saute about a a minute longer until fragrant.  Add green beans and herbs.  Saute and stir occasionally.  I used a lid to help at the end to get them to the correct crisp tenderness.  This varies by preference and for me it was right around 10 minutes.  Add lemon juice and saute for just a minute longer.  Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.