BLOG ARCHIVE

How I Survive Special Occasions

With so many things happening right now and in the upcoming months, I thought I would address the biggest question on everyone’s mind. How do I survive ________? Whether it’s a birthday, a holiday, an anniversary, or just a regular old party, there can be constant challenges thrown your way that you have to figure out how to navigate. There will be two parts to my recommendations, one for complete beginners and one for everyone else. These recommendations come with the stipulation that this is what works for ME and my husband. It may not work for YOU. Make decisions that feel right for YOU always. Don’t take my word as the gospel truth cause lord knows I am far from perfect.

FOR BEGINNERS

When I first started a ketogenic diet immediately following Thanksgiving 2017, I had to deal with navigating Christmas, then Valentine’s Day and my husband’s birthday. We have traditions of baking Christmas cookies and for my husband’s birthday, I make macaroni and cheese and a red wine chocolate cake. Neither of those fit into a ketogenic diet in their traditional forms. I sought help and the suggestion to find ways to celebrate without food came up several times. That was not an option for us, and I’d wager it’s not an option for many people. So I searched the ole Google and found a cookie recipe that used almond flour and sugar substitutes so that I could make cookies that fit my new way of eating (WOE). For the macaroni and cheese and red wine cake, I did the same thing. I found low carb pasta that although we do not eat every day or every month, we save for special occasions. I ended up settling on a red wine brownie instead of cake using Gooddee’s brownie mix and Chris loved every bite. We found ways to incorporate our favorite traditional foods without compromising our health. There are so many low-carb versions of your favorite foods if you just google them! (But at the same time, don’t feel obligated to try everything, or go broke buying all the special ingredients or products. When in doubt, eat some steak and butter.) This was key to our success in the beginning while we were still becoming fat adapted. Which brings me to my advice for everyone else…

FOR EVERYONE ELSE (FAT-ADAPTED)

As we approach our health anniversary, Chris and I have evolved our approach to handling special occasions. Now we are intentional about our choices to eat things that are not promoted on a ketogenic diet. We are able to do this because we are fat-adapted, broke our addiction to sugar, and are mentally able to say NO to food. Basically, we are in control or what goes into our mouth, and that was not the case a year ago. So now, when presented with free food at a party, or during work events, etc, I by and large choose options that fit into a ketogenic diet. But I also don’t fret when I have something that doesn’t. I don’t make it a habit to eat those foods every day or week or even month. If I don’t want the food, I bring my own, or I abstain. It took me several months to get to the point where I felt I could handle it though. You have to figure that out for yourself. For our anniversary trip recently we ate so many carbs. But each meal was intentional. And we stretched our time between meals into intermittent fasts to account for the extra carbs and calories. Being fat adapted, that was easy for us to do. As I enter my birthday festivities, I’ve indulged in carbs because they were free and I was hungry. But I stopped when I was full and recognized that I was full even though my brain was telling me to eat more. I was in control. You may never get that control. Some people never develop it. But if you can get to that point, you’ve achieved food freedom. Beyond free food, when I pay for carbs, it’s extremely important to me to choose wisely. Over our anniversary weekend, we ate ice cream and desserts that were local and homemade. It was an artisan experience that couldn’t be enjoyed any time we wanted. This weekend I’ll enjoy a sourdough donut made in front of me by a local Mennonite family. It’s not Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme.

I hope this has been helpful and answers some questions you have about getting through special occasions. If I missed anything or you want me to expand on something, please let me know!

Skinny April Dreams

Being FAT sucks. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve lived in a fat body since I hit puberty roughly 15 years ago and I love my body. It’s done amazing things, even with the extra person I’ve been carrying around. But there are things I can’t do anymore that I want to do again. So I made a list of all the reasons I need to free Skinny April (the girl trapped inside of me).

I want to…

  • find myself attractive again (this is loaded but won’t be unpacked today)
  • fit in an airplane seat comfortably and without needing an extender (no spillage onto the next seat, with the armrest down and NOT digging into my flesh, maybe even with *gasp* room to spare on the seat!)
  • fit on any rollercoaster in the world
  • sit in any chair without worrying about my damn hips fitting
  • walk briskly uphill without getting winded
  • run a 5k, then a half-marathon, then a marathon
  • bike 100 miles in a single day
  • bike up a steep hill without needing to stop
  • walk into any women’s clothing store and find things that fit my body
  • wear boots that aren’t wide calf
  • be light enough that my husband can easily pick me up and carry me a few feet
  • be able to cross my legs while sitting
  • see my collarbones again
  • be able to wrap a standard size towel around my body without any gapping
  • remove FAT as a descriptor of my body
  • live a long and healthy life
  • solve world hunger

NBD.

Fighting Fat with Fat

{ Important Dates to Remember }

  • Keto soft start @ 327.8 lbs - Nov 27
  • McD Breakdown - Nov 28
  • Committed - Nov 30
  • 302 lbs - Dec 27

This past month has been fucking amazing. Why? Because KETO is FUCKING amazing. If you noticed the important dates listed above, you’d see that I’ve lost 25.8 pounds in 30 days. With no exercise. I call that efficient. If you don’t know what keto is, stop living under a rock and google it! Or go to r/keto. I’m not here to school you although I may write about my food choices at a later point.

I’m creating this blog and writing this post because I have all the feels and I need to get them down and birth them into the universe. There is magnificent power in sending your energy into the unknown, and I want this all to stick. It’s on the internet which means it will last forever! I’ll try to make it all organized but forgive me if I’m all over.

Walking down memory lane…

So cliche.

The last time I attempted to “get fit! eat right! be healthy!” during February of 2015, I went from about 330 lbs to 288 lbs in 4 months. 288 is my first goal on keto, obvs. (More on goals later) That was using the SAD (Standard American Diet) diet approach meaning healthy carbs lots of fruits and vegetables and low fat. My husband even did it with me and lost about the same as I did! I also worked out, doing HITT, walking a lot, running, biking, and jumping around in my damn living room like a fool. TLDR; I worked my ass off for that weight loss.

I was so proud though because the last time I weighed less than 300 (barely) was because I stopped eating solid food as I mourned through my divorce. Not exactly the healthiest way to lose weight and it was extremely easy to toss it right back on. But then summer hit and the humidity made me lazy so I didn’t exercise anymore but I did manage to maintain my high 200s weight until this summer. I was fired from my first “real” job, and that’s all she wrote. As a recovering bulimic I binged on my feelings, and the weight quickly jumped back up to 330 lbs by the time I found employment again in October.

Unsatisfied with my pudgier body, I circled back to keto. It wasn’t a new concept for me. I don’t remember when exactly I learned of this low carb high-fat miracle, but at the time my sugar addiction controlled my decision to skip that WOE. After watching the Fathead documentary, I was convinced. Thanksgiving was fast approaching, so I hemmed and hawed about when I would start. After Thanksgiving, and the subsequent bloat, I quietly did a soft start to eating keto friendly foods. The next day, in a moment of hungry weakness due to being unprepared, I hit McD’s on the way home and gorged myself. I felt disgusting, but it was just the push I needed to commit wholeheartedly on November 30.

I’m never looking back!