My name is Amanda and today I’m starting my 5th weight-loss phase since January 2011. Through this whole journey I’ve learned a lot about myself, my health, and my determination. Most of all, I have learned that I am worth the whole process- every second at the gym, every delicious cupcake I’ve turned down- in order to be healthy and confident.
I haven’t started a blog until now, because I just really haven’t had the time for it. But, I know from two years of experience that encouragement from people can be really helpful and that others can really be inspired by my progress. It’ll be great to have one place to record how I feel so I can look back and remember what it took to get where I end up.
Even though I lost 65 pounds total and am super proud of myself for it, I still struggle with the things that made me overweight to begin with. Really this is about my inability to control what I eat if I’m not recording every calorie. I believe it’s partially exacerbated by the fact that if I’m not writing down what I eat, I feel like I should eat as much of those yummy high fat/high carb foods as I can, since I can’t eat as much when I’m trying to limit myself to a certain number of calories. The tastiness of food also allows me to eat way past the point of being full. That… or I have an eating disorder? Who knows.
Since the holidays I gained back 19 pounds and I think it has a lot to do with how good I feel digestive-wise when I eat more “unhealthy” foods. During my previous weight loss phases I ate a lot of veggies and cut out pastas, breads, and fruit juices. This really wasn’t a problem for me because there aren’t many foods I don’t like, and the amount of fun I had trying out recipes with the foods I could eat definitely overpowered any cravings of the ones I was avoiding. Despite the great success I was having, I constantly felt bloated and was having major digestive issues the ENTIRE TIME! Finally my GI doctor suggested I was eating too many fruits and vegetables. I know exactly what you’re thinking. Every time I’d tell a friend or family member this, the response was always the same: “What??! How can you eat too many vegetables?!?” However, as soon as I cut them out, I felt wonderful!
I believe this is the main reason I wasn’t able to keep the weight off between weight-loss phases this time– I ate way more breads, granola bars, and sugary foods to replace the vegetables. And eating them made me feel good… so I kept on and kept on. 19 pounds is a lot… and I’m up two sizes from where I left off. Even though my insides feel better, my outsides don’t… and mentally it’s just so depressing to see how I’ve regressed.
My goal this time is to figure out what I can eat to not only look great, but also feel great physically too. As much as I love them, I know my body can’t handle some vegetables, so I need to figure out which ones it is, and whether certain methods of cooking them allow me to tolerate them better.
Another goal of mine is to reduce my body fat so that I can get a flat tummy. I’ve been working with Dr. Volek’s group as part of a collaboration on how gut microbes change in response to diet, and their science shows that eating a high-fat/low-carb diet (vs. high-carb/low-fat) allows the body to break down fat as a fuel source. Aside from all the other health benefits that HF/LC diets have, they reduce the body’s addiction to sugar and make you feel satisfied without eating as much. This might be the best way for me to reduce body fat without compromising lean muscle mass or slowing down my metabolism by too much calorie restriction.
I requested the Atkins Diet free starter kit and just got it in the mail last week. I don’t plan on following it verbatim (I’ll probably get less than the recommended net carbs from vegetables), but I’m going to try to use it as a guide and to help keep me mindful of how different vegetables affect me.
I finished eating the amazing Valentine’s Day cake that my fiance lovingly made for me last week and today was as good a time as any to start phase 5. I feel like I’m beginning to have the “induction flu” symptoms already.. but maybe I’m just more aware because I’m expecting them. So far it’s been some inability to concentrate and mild headache. Nothing I’d take any pain relievers for. As of now, my macronutrient percents (of calories) are ~3% carbs, ~20% protein, and ~77% fat. I ended up eating a serving of raw baby spinach for lunch with my ridiculously fatty tuna salad, and am unfortunately bloated… but there’s one veggie already discovered.
All in all, I’m really excited to make it through keto-adaptation. I have lots of support from my fiance, and I definitely believe in myself. As long as it takes me to get back to a healthy weight… and eventually my vanity weight, I know that I am worth it!