Be sure to check out Part 1 of this series if you missed it the first time.
Thank you for all of the kind words after reading Part 1! I know the suspense is killing you so I will get right into Part 2.
Where I’m at today:
Weight Loss and Health: At some point I reached a plateau and my usual diet wasn’t working anymore. Over the last 4 months I have been trying all kinds of things to find out what works. My weight fluctuates over the same 5-6 lbs and I haven’t been able to get passed it. I’m still working at it and at the very least maintaining what I have already lost. I’m not giving up! The good news is that my blood pressure and cholesterol is well controlled and have been getting great lab results.
Running: After my last 5k in March, I haven’t really been able to run like I used to. I was mentally psyching myself out and having breathing problems. I didn’t give up completely, but I didn’t push hard either. The inspiration of other low carbers and also the Red Faced Runners 5k Challenge has brought new life to my running. I plan to participate in the challenge and my plan is to restart the Couch to 5k program to build my running back to where it was.
Other Exercise: I’ve recently started going to Zumba and other cardio classes at the gym. I needed something different and something to excite me again about exercising. So far so good! I’m also doing daily strength training and core workouts. I really like the results when I stay consistent with my strength training.
Photography: I’ve recently started getting into photography and I’m working to improve my food pictures. It takes time to develop these skills which doesn’t always work when I’m so inpatient, but I really enjoy it and it pairs so nicely with food blogging. If only I could improve my food styling, but that’s a whole other monster.
Other: I blog from sunny South Carolina and I’m engaged to the most wonderful guy! I’ll really be getting into wedding planning soon once we set a date so please forgive me if I’m MIA sometimes or rambling on about wedding stuff. I work full time as an engineer and I’m going to school for my MBA. This time next year I will be DONE! I stay pretty busy, but I love it that way. And living low carb gives me the energy I need!This content will be shown after all post
BEFORE and NOW Pictures:
The “Before” picture is from December 2010. I may have been heavier than this at my highest weight, but this is close. I am down 85 lbs in the “Now” picture (after 1 year back on low carb) and still working to lose another 20 lbs.
I’m going to end this post with a few questions from my facebook page:
Q: Do you eat low carb for weight control? Diabetes? Etc.
A: I eat low carb for weight control, but also to improve my blood pressure/cholesterol issues. I also love how I feel on low carb and it is good fit for me.
Q: What do you not like about eating low carb?
A: Hmmm….that’s a tough one. The part I don’t like is how different almond flour and coconut flour are in baked goods. I used to love baking more than cooking, so it’s frustrating sometimes to have to find the perfect balance of flour and liquid to make those same baked goods.
Q: How do you keep motivated & stick to it so long?
A: What keeps me motivated is remembering where I came from and not wanting to go back to the way I was. I want to be healthy and set a good example for the children I hope to have some day. Honetly, the support from the low carb community helps motivate me. There are good days and bad days. No one one is perfect, but it’s how you handle yourself after the imperfections that make it a lifestyle change. You have to dust yourself off and move on. You can’t focus on the food you can’t eat while eating low carb. You have to focus on what you can have and the many options available. It’s not always convient, but with some planning it is quite enjoyable.
Q: Are carbs your only concern or do you also consider cholesterol, sodium, etc? What was your reason for adopting the low carb lifestyle? How do you stay motivated? What have these changes done for you? 🙂
A: Carbs are my main concern and the only thing I really keep track of. I like to reduce my sodium as much as I can (that goes back to my high blood pressure days), but it isn’t really necessary at this point (except for that pesky water weight). See Part 1 for why I started low carb and see the question above for how I stay motivated. The changes I’ve made have allowed me to lose 85 lbs and counting as well as improve my blood pressure and cholesterol. Also, my energy levels and general outlook on life have improved.
Q: Do you miss the carbs or crave them? If so how do you conquer it all
A: I don’t really crave high carb foods and it doesn’t really bother me when other people eat them in front of me. This is much different than the other times I did low carb and I would still crave those foods and often “cheated” at gatherings. I think this time I look at it as a lifestyle and not a diet. I’m not missing out…I’m doing what is best for me. You have to be strong in your commitment and not let others stray you off your path. Also, BE PREPARED. I always bring food that I can eat to parties because eating before hand doesn’t always work. I plan out my meals for the week (including breakfast, lunch, and snacks) to stay prepared. I love to plan, write to do lists, make spreadsheets, etc. so this works for me, but I realized not everyone likes to plan. Do the best you can to have low carb food available to you. Make some extra chicken in the crockpot on Sunday so you can eat it throughout the week as needed. Have low carb snacks on hand and carry them with you. No I’m not always perfect, but now when I “cheat” I have a little too much almond butter or too many servings of a low carb dessert. I like where I’m at because it really feels like I can continue to live this way without feeling deprived.
Q: How do you handle attending social events?
A: See the question above this one. What’s funny is what my cousin said to me at the last family function: “When I eat carbs it feels like I’m drinking in front of someone going through AA.” And oddly enough, it is pretty similar. I was addicted to carbs and it was hurting my health. Stay prepared and don’t put yourself in situations that set yourself up for failure.
Q: How much weight have you lost? Did you lose lbs immediately or just inches ?
A: 85 lbs and counting. I only tracked pounds at first so I’m not really sure about the inches. It took a few months before people started to notice a difference. I track inches occasionally now, but that’s just so I can have some positive reinforcement when the scale won’t move.
Q: What do you eat or do to calm a crazy carb craving?
A: I do crave sweets at night, but sugar free candy, frozen whipped cream, or almond butter usually satisfy the craving. I don’t allow myself “cheat” days because it seems like the cycle has to be broken every time you have a lot of carbs. I tried to break that cycle and it appears to be working. Drinking water can help calm cravings. Also, keep busy. Do something to take your mind off of your craving. It should pass in time.
Thanks everyone for the support and reading the blog! I look forward to continuing on this low carb journey with all of you!