Category Archives: weigh-in

Hitting another milestone!

30-lbs-30So, at today’s weigh-in I am officially down exactly 30 lbs. That was one of my milestones. Another milestone I hit last week was getting into the 170′s… Yay me!

This has been a slow journey for sure – 6 months to lose 30 lbs which averages out to only 5 lbs a month – but as I looked back at my weekly weight loss journal, I have lost weight practically every single week, even if it was just 0.2 lbs. What’s weird is since it hasn’t been drastic, it’s hard for me to physically see it on me – especially my face. I still feel like I look the same. I do get a few comments here and there but again, it’s been gradual and that’s OK.

Where I *am* noticing it is in my clothing. At my largest I was wearing 18 in pants, squeezing into some 16s. It was also hard to find those sizes and have them look consistently good on me. Nowadays I can try on a size 14 and it does consistently look good on me. They are not tight (some are even loose now) and I have even been able to buy a couple of 12s (still a tad tight & wearable but I anticipate they will fit fine within a month). I used to wear Large or even XL shirts (especially button down shirts) but now I have found that some Larges are too big. This past weekend I was even able to get a Medium in one of the shirts! Needless to say, shopping has become a little easier and clothes just fits me better than it used to at larger sizes. There are more options at size 12-14 including wearing skinny legged jeans and pants for the 1st time in my life and actually looking cute in them!

Besides sticking with the Paleo-Dairy diet, I do continue to go to Pilates twice a week. I feel good in class and can do the exercises confidently. I really enjoy the class atmosphere and my instructor and have increased my spring tensions on several of the exercises as I’ve gotten stronger. Since I won’t be able to go to class for 2 weeks while we are in Spain, I’ve asked my instructor to design a 15-20 minute routine I can do without equipment at our Airbnb. I’ll have a personal training session with her next week to see what she put together. I think we may use resistance bands in the routine since those are very easily packable and won’t take any space. I’ll share what I learn for those interested.

Well, thanks for reading this week and good luck on your wellness journey, whatever it may be!

What makes this journey different?

I know I am 0.8 lbs away from 30 so I won’t count it as a milestone yet but I did finally reach the 170s for the first time in a while – I weighed in at today’s official check-in at 179 lb!

I was curious though how long it had been since I had seen the 170s (2008 by the way) so I started digging through the archives of this blog since I actually have had this blog around for a while and keep track of my past attempts at losing weight in now hidden posts. Here’s a quick summary of my past journeys:

  • 2002ish – Lost ~25 lbs, from 160 lbs to 135 lb. I was 28 at the time. Not sure how long it took.shutterstock_85655215
  • 2008 – Lost ~22 lbs , from 182 to 160 lbs. I was 34. This took 7 months.
  • 2012 – Lost ~21 lbs, from 206 (my heaviest at the time) to 184. This was also over 7 months. I was 38.
  • 2016-17 – so far have lost 29.2 lbs, from 208.2 (my heaviest recorded weight) to 179. Again, 7 months. I am now 43.

So here we are, in 2017 and at a current total weight lost of almost 30 lbs over in 7 months (same time frame as 2008 & 2012) and it’s the most weight I’ve lost. Now, some people may get discouraged looking back at my history. Seems like I can consistently lose 20 lbs every few years. But why do I feel like this may be different this time? Well, let’s look at what I was doing the first three times.

I basically followed Weight Watcher rules. I didn’t enroll officially in the program the first time in 2002 but I got some WW books, read up on what to eat and what not to eat and unofficially “counted” my points. In 2008 and 2012 I did sign-up for the mobile app and more clearly “counted” my points, diligently recording everything I ate and drank every single day of those 7 months. Was it miserable? Not really. Was it tedious? Hell yes. So yes, Weight Watchers’ point system does work. But for me, it was not a sustainable model. I can’t live the rest of my life counting points and recording everything I eat. It did help me choose better and healthier options but it still let me treat myself with some bad stuff too easily (for example, if I starve myself most of the day, I’d have enough points for that donut) because technically, nothing is off limits in Weight Watchers as long as you have the points to eat it.

0042bdd88e05e5347cb12e43ccd8151cSo on this fourth round I’ve changed strategies. Paleo-Dairy is now how I eat and I only call it a diet in the strictest definition of a diet – not a weight loss process but a way of eating. No more points to track. No need to record what I eat. It’s great. It has helped immensely that my husband is eating this way as well (before he was not following Weight Watchers with me). Our pantry and fridge look completely different than they did a year ago and this is a good thing. It’s hard to “cheat” when all you have in the house is compliant and OK to eat. No need to hoard points to have stuff I like since my tastes have changed (and hell, I can still eat all the bacon I want). No need to look at restaurant menus before going out to figure out what I can eat within the number of points I have left for the day. Now I just check to make sure the menu has some options I can make paleo or close to paleo and 99% of them do so it’s not an issue even.

So it may have taken me 15 years but I hope I won’t be re-starting this blog in another 4 years at another 200 lb+ start point. Can I guarantee it? No. I have no idea what is in my future. All I can do is live in the here and now and at this moment, this Paleo-Diary lifestyle is offering me a delicious and satisfying way of losing weight and has helped create a healthier way of eating for me that I hope will last me the rest of my life.

The reality is that each time I’ve gone down the weight loss path, I was always optimistic and cheerful as I lost weight, just as I am now – but why didn’t I maintain it? It will be interesting to see if it was my method, not my motivation. Check back in 4 years. 🙂

Surviving the Holidays and NYC

Happy New Year everyone!

img_2305I’ve been kind of quiet on the weight loss/Paleo stuff because I’ve been busy but we are still following it for the most part. We got off track a bit during the holidays with all the treats that were floating around but it’s a new year and we are back to being stricter once again.

Despite the indulgences I didn’t fare too badly and have actually continued to lose weight week after week in very small amounts except for the 2nd week in December. Granted, the weekly losses are very, very small (0.2 lbs) but the number continues to go down so that’s what counts. Hopefully a re-set will make those weekly losses a little bigger again.

I went a bit crazy last week too as a final ‘hurrah’. It was a girls’ trip to the Big Apple with my best friend and part of the process of introducing her to New York was to also introduce her to some of the classic food like cheesecake and pizza.

The final damage from NYC? A loss of 0.2 lbs. I guess walking over 7 miles a day (one of those days through snow all day) counteracts all the non-Paleo food I ate like a mini scone, bagel bite, Mudslide, Chocolate Martini, various other cocktails, breakfast burrito, New York style pizza, cheesecake, tiramisu, Shake Shack burger and fries (oh, and a delicious Coke) and a daily Starbucks Holiday Spice Flat White (made with almond milk) (hey, it was cold out there!). I think only one breakfast and a couple of dinners were somewhat paleo friendly.

Suffice to say, better choices are in my future but it’s nice to know that I can indulge a bit while on vacation and still come out OK. Between this trip and my Las Vegas trip in the fall it seems that the added activity helps make up for the vacation treats and I don’t mess up my process too badly. The next big test will be our upcoming 10 day trip to Spain next month. We are traveling with our friends and Paleo buds, EJ & Sherry, so at least together as a group we can help each other make better choices.

So here’s to 2017 and continued success!

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25 lbs down and counting…

Sorry I haven’t been posting – I’m so busy during the holiday season!! We had a great Paleo Thanksgiving with Sherry & EJ – Sherry wrote a nice blog post on what we had. Sherry picked the recipes and Kenny made three of them – the cranberry sauce (which was declared the best tasting cranberry sauce he’d ever had), the green bean casserole (the cream of mushroom soup made as a base for the casserole was delicious on its own) and the sweet potato casserole. Everything was delicious and out of 9 adults attending, 6 of us are eating Paleo.

I treated myself to some honey cider but I did skip the Paleo desserts Sherry made. All in all, it was delicious and just as satisfying as any traditional Thanksgiving meal. And even better, I still stayed on track with my weight loss!
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Speaking of weight loss. I had a few weeks of negligible weight loss. I wasn’t getting discouraged but was eager to keep losing weight of course. Due to a crisis at work, the team I am on had to put in some extra hours. The project lead was feeding us but one day it was pizza. I gave in and had 2 slices of pizza – the first I had had since July. I even caved under the stress and had a donut and a kolache. I thought I had doomed my weight loss for the week but I in fact I still lost weight. In fact, I think it helped bump me from the virtual standstill because in the weeks since my transgressions I lost almost 3 lbs. and reached another milestone of mine – losing 25 lbs.

So, I am encouraged once again and feel good that the Paleo diet is still working for me. That despite not meal planning like I should be due to the holiday craziness (and eating out more than I should), I am still on track and losing weight at a steady and healthy rate. I have minimal cravings and I am thrilled that I have been able to keep some dairy (mostly cheese) in my diet without adverse effects. I look forward to maybe being in the 170s for our holiday party this weekend and I can’t wait to wear a cute a fitted dress that shows off my 27+ lbs lost! It’s a nice way to start my 43rd year (my birthday is next week).

I’ve lost 2 1/2 Radars!

This is my rescued chihuahua Radar. img_1142Radar weighs around 10 lbs (give or take an ounce or two).

So, to have some fun with this weight loss journey, I decided to visually document my total weight loss with Radars. 🙂 My wonderful co-worker (who is a graphic designer) created cute little icons – each “whole” Radar reflects 10 lbs list, while of course the 1/2 Radar counts for 5 lbs. lost.

I’m almost at 25 lbs so I am currently down  2 and a half Radars!

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The Radar icons can be found over there in the right-hand column and I’ll be updating them as needed.

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20 lbs down! Woohoo!

keep-calm-i-lost-20-lbsI did it – I hit my 20 lbs down mark – I made it before Halloween (which was my unofficial date in my head) and I am now in the 180s! Yay!

I think we are finding our stride with this paleo diet. I meal plan one week but then get lazy the next. It works though because we have found some easy to prepare paleo meals (baked fish, grilled sausages, Instant Pot meals, egg frittatas) so when I don’t meal plan we can whip something together. I’ve figured out what we do eat and what we don’t and with that in mind keep some recipe staples in the pantry and fridge, even if I have not done any meal-planning, I keep these items on hand:

  • sweet potatoes, a variety of onions (pre-chopped and whole), butternut and/or spaghetti squash, plantains, Brussels sprouts or asparagus
  • bacon (sugar-free), sausage, ground beef (grass fed), pork roast, fish filets and chicken (organic if possible)
  • apples (eaten with almond  butter), raspberries and grapes for snacking and lemons for cooking with
  • pre-boiled & peeled eggs for a quick breakfast to-go
  • almond milk
  • eggs
  • cans of flavored sparkling water, cold brew coffee we make ourselves, unsweet tea

I’m cooking more than I ever have in the past and now feel comfortable making meals on my own without Kenny’s help (although we do work together on most recipes). I’m snacking a little less than I used to so that is also good and just not having tempting non-paleo foods in the house makes it easy to stay on track. If I get hungry and Kenny is not around, I can cook up a quick meal of bacon and fried eggs or sausages and a quick side of some sort. For the occasional sweet cravings, we keep a couple of pints of paleo-friendly Coconut Bliss ice cream and we always have some sort of berries on hand to snack on. I’ve limited trying to bake paleo sweets since they may be compliant but they too still have to be eaten in moderation. And one of the bigger changes is that I went from eating out every day at work to bringing my lunch almost every day. Now I only eat out at work about once a week on average and even then, I still eat paleo. It helps that most recipes have more than two servings so most meals we cook for dinner have enough for leftovers for several days after. That means we really only have to cook about 3 major meals a week. We can live the rest of the week off of leftovers, quick small meals and eating out (typically on the weekend when we are out running errands).

So, paleo has become just another part of our daily routine. Is it a little more tedious than lazily eating like we used to? Sure it is but not so tedious and difficult that it was hard to integrate into our current lifestyle once we got into the swing of things. The key to making it work for us I think is having some flexibility and like I said above, finding some quick meals for the inevitable times when we were tired or had a busy week. The food is also tasty and filling and I am enjoying the benefits. I look forward to seeing more results in the future too. I have my annual physical exam next week and I hope my doctor is happily surprised with the weight loss!

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Maintaining

Hi img_0048everyone! Sorry it’s been a few weeks since my last check in! I am still doing well. I hit a 20 lb weight loss but I don’t want to count it as official yet since I can’t seem to stay at that weight – I keep stubbornly hovering around 189-191 (188 would be 20 lbs). The pic to the left though was taken a couple of weeks ago as I shopped for new exercise pants. I was happy to be able to purchase Large instead of XL!

Either way, I still feel good and am still eating paleo* as much as possible. I don’t meal plan as much as I should be but I’ve been stocking the pantry and fridge with enough paleo staples that we can whip together a good meal without too much issue. All of our meals at home are paleo and I am still bringing my paleo lunch to work 4 times a week most weeks (I try to go out once a week with a co-worker but then I still pick paleo lunch options). I am also still going to my Pilates class twice a week.

This past week I have gone more off-paleo than normal (maybe even more than when we were in Vegas?) because I really didn’t have any options and I was hungry. I had a lady finger and a biscuit at a garden club meeting (we were tasting teas and it was part of the experience) and at a work luncheon yesterday the chicken meal they offered had a risotto side that I ate about 2/3rds of. I also ate the berries off of the dessert with a little bit of whipped cream and some type of syrup. So yea, those have been my worst non-paleo choices and to be honest, I was still moderate about those.

Oh – and does ONE candy corn count too? :O

Despite that – and I know it sounds like I was being nit-picky about those minor transgressions – I know these choices will not derail me. The “bad” choices were pretty darn small when 97% of everything else I am eating is compliant *.

I also wanted to share some of these “quickly whipped together meals” we have had when we didn’t meal plan:

    • sausage with Brussels sprouts & bacon
    • scallops cooked in butter with cauliflower au gratin side dish (non paleo recipe I made with paleo ingredients)
    • spaghetti squash spaghetti using sugar-free compliant bottled pasta sauce & ground beef

I have a bunch of posts sitting in draft mode because I do have lots of thoughts to share so please be patient with me. Upcoming topics will be about paleo shopping at Costco, paleo recipe substitutions, eating out while paleo, thoughts on Pilates, paleo pantry staples, more info on our version of paleo (see note below) and even another recipe or two. I will work on getting them out of draft mode and actually make them published entries!

* I wanted to take a moment here to define our version of paleo: potatoes are allowed but are limited; cheese is also allowed as a garnish but it too is limited and we choose artisanal cheeses while avoiding the more processed cheeses. We use honey and maple syrup. We use store-bought unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I pick a brand that has the least amount of additives) in moderation. We also do still drink alcohol at social occasions but choose red wines and sugar-free ciders if we do decide to drink.

More progress

I’m not quite there yet – but I’m so close to the 180’s!! So close!!! When I do that will be 18 lbs down. My next goal is 20 lbs down by Halloween which should be completely doable. After missing Pilates while I was traveling in Las Vegas and then missing my first class back because I was sick, I am back at it.

Nothing much new to report here but did want to share a few recipes I’ve enjoyed making recently…

Luby’s Baked Almondine Fishimg_5650

  • If you are from Texas or live in Texas, you might recognize the name Luby’s. It’s a regional cafeteria chain and if you know me in person, you know my very personal connection to it,. This is a paleo version of one of their more popular fish dishes so I had to try it,
  • This was tastier than I had expected.
  •  I didn’t have sliced almonds so I had to pick out whole almonds from a nut mix I had. I will use almond slices next time. 🙂
  • I used fish that I already had in the freezer which was tilapia. I know this is not the best fish so I have bought arctic cod for my next attempt.
  • The lemon zest gave it great flavor.

Gluten Free Shepherd’s Pie

  • I topped it with sweet potatoes instead of potatoes. It was good but the amount of butter in the original recipe was too much for the sweet potatoes so I will use less next time.
  •  I also added chopped celery (2 stalks) since we had some. I thought it was a great addition.
  • The recipe was not difficult but it took a lot of time – not counting the prep time, sauteing and browning time, it needs 40 minutes to simmer and another 20 minutes in the oven. This was tasty enough to make again but I think I’ll do it on the weekend instead of after work. Buying pre-chopped onions did help a little.

Hopefully next time I report in I’ll be at another milestone! Till then…

I survived Vegas!

We just got back from our first vacation since starting eating paleo and I was a bit worried. We went to Las Vegas and rules were broken several times… The first couple of days were for a work conference and the lunches brought in were not paleo friendly. But, I did the best I could. I resisted the pizza and the mid-day snacks (all sugar heavy candy bars, protein bars, cookies and rice crispies), I took apart the sandwich, burger and hot dog to avoid the bread and buns, I skipped on the pasta salad, and I avoided soda. Breakfast was the only course where I had no issues – I readily enjoyed the scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and fresh fruit.

Once the work aspect was done, I still worked on choosing as best as I could. Here are some of our meals:

  • Had an exceptionally good Parmesan crusted pork loin and crispy Brussels sprouts & potatoes appetizer (malt vinegar aioli dipping sauce was not paleo but was yummy) at the Yard House.
  • Had a great wild mushroom & goat cheese omelet (the mushrooms were cooked in truffle butter) with breakfast potatoes in downtown Vegas at a place called Glutton (with an amazing seasonal watermelon salad)
  • Enjoyed escargot (with a slice of dinner bread), French onion soup, filet mignon and french fries at Mon Ami Gabi
  • Had a yummy bacon appetizer and another great filet mignon with roasted asparagus at HEXX
  • Enjoyed a delicious mushroom soup and grilled salmon at Mercato della Pescheria in The Venetian.
  • I focused on the seafood at Rio’s Carnival World Buffet – but cheated with a taste of some creme brulee & some delicious mango gelato

Alcohol – here is where I just cheated. I chose ciders or wine more often but did give in to a few cocktails like something called a Blue Envy, a margarita from the Flamingo and the Alexxa at HEXX.

Additional cheats – we were hungry so we had a fruit-only smoothie at Jamba Juice and I did pick a couple of chocolates at the Jean Philippe Patisserie in the Aria. But those were bite-sized and were all dark chocolate so I don’t even count them as cheats.

So what was the damage? Believe it not, I actually lost weight! I am 0.4 lbs lighter than when I left on vacation! Woohoo! But how?

Well – we walked. A lot. Like my Apple Watch usually only tracks about 2500 steps for me on a regular day and it tracked between 8500 to as much as over 18,000 steps one day. That is over 3-4 times more activity a day than average. Just walking to the parking garage was about 1/2 a mile. We spent one afternoon at Valley of the Fire State Park, another day visiting Hoover Dam and walking between casinos and up and down the Strip can add up.

So even though we had some cheat meals and we did drink, the extra activity helped ensure that the cheats did not hit me too hard. And I’ve learned that even though I still have to make some good dining choices, the extra activity inherent in vacationing that involves sight-seeing helps keep those cheats off the weight scale.

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15 lbs down!

So, aftimageer a few weeks of stalling on the weight loss despite no major changes on how I ate, something happened and I started losing again which resulted in reaching my 3rd goal of 15lb. lost. Woohoo! Clothes is noticeably looser too.

Tomorrow though, I leave for my 1st trip/vacation since we started eating paleo and my first week away from home-cooked meals. For the next six days, meals we have to be eaten at restaurants, in Vegas much less. It is a much needed vacation and I will be having a cocktail or two but I hope to not go too crazy and will work to pick the best entrees possible – I’m thinking steaks and seafood. Hopefully walking around more than usual will help too. The first couple of days will actually be for a work conference so it should be interesting to see what they will offer for lunch. I may have to give in and have a sandwich if that is my only option.

Wish me lunch and I’ll check back in when we get back and share how things go!