Social Pressures

Social influence is everywhere in our lives. Now days not only is social media a huge presence in most peoples live, social pressures from work, family and other things are also very present. So when it comes to our diets and health their are tons of positive and equally tons of negatives. So how do you deal with them? We all know stress raises are cortisol and increased cortisol effects many things like sleep and weight loss. So keeping stress reduced is key, but never easy, because face it life is stressful!

Step one for reducing your social pressures in your life. If you partake on social media, the majority of platforms have a delete and or block button. Get to know them very well! If someone is constantly being negative toward you and your choices you need to remove the negativity! Negative thoughts will seep in to your mind and then you start to doubt things. We all know what happens when the seed of doubt is sowed we start to second guess and we start to fail. Just stop it, if that person had respect for you they would support you even if they didn’t agree with your choices. Not all my friends are Keto and guess what I still love them all and support them in what they believe in.

Second step start following groups that have people that are similar to you and your beliefs. Find legitimate groups that show support and encouragement. I have joined tons and left tons because once I was in I realized it was not what I was looking for. Make sure your following sources that have good recommendations and reviews. You don’t have to stay as part of a group. If you ever feel uncomfortable just reach out to the group admins or simply leave. Done deal!

Next, very important, while someone may be doing something similar to what you are doing they do not have to do it exactly like you to be successful. My husband and I both do Keto, neither of us do it exactly the same way and we both have had amazing results. Their are dozens of ways to do Keto. Doesn’t mean my way is any better than anyone else’s. All it means is my way works for me! I have spent months fine tuning and listening to others and I am still adjusting daily what I think works best. When I first started I was probably very “dirty” Keto now I am more Whole Foods like I should have been. I know what macros work for me and my body, doesn’t mean they will work for your body. You have to be open and receptive to differences. You can always say what you are doing but never tell someone they are doing it wrong. Point them in the direction of someone that may be able to give them better information and congratulate them on trying and whatever amount of success they have had!

Family….that dreaded word! I hear it all too often I have a family get together, or holidays, or a birthday party and they don’t know how to stay on the path. Why they may not fully understand your choices they need to respect those choices and if they love you they will let you slide when it comes to that birthday cake. Pack a Keto friendly snack bar instead. Something my husband I do for company parties is either plan to eat before or after the event and we use it to socialize rather than eat. May be a little awkward the first couple times but it does get easier. Don’t put your body through extra stress to try and make someone else happy for a couple hours. Trust me you will regret it and feel miserable more than likely for a couple hours!

Eating out is another one that can cause social pressures and stresses. Almost, every restaurant has some sort of option that will fit your needs. I don’t care if your Keto, Carnivore, Vegan, Vegetarian, Low Fat, doesn’t matter most restaurants have an option on their menu for you. You just have to ask questions. I’ve even had a manager summoned to determine if a sauce had sugar in it….why…..because it was important to me. We eat at a local diner almost every Friday for a lunch date. We are talking huge plates of food of which 80% do not meet our diet. We order steak, eggs, and bacon and guess what after the first couple times they even quit asking about the toast or the home fries. They even adjust the price for us since we are not getting a meal per their menu. Many places also offer a la carte items, just ask! They are there to severe the customer and that is you. Don’t let your lifestyle hinder you enjoying a meal out!

Now with all that being said I don’t recommend you start Keto or any diet and then immediately run out to your favorite dining spot. In the beginning your cravings are very real and temptations you need not. It took me a good solid month not to panic when I though about eating out, because all I saw was things that looked amazing that I couldn’t eat anymore. I was fortunate to have my husband supporting me or I would have caved. Until you lose the cravings and understand what is working for you you have to decide what situations are best for you. Some people don’t have cravings, I envy you, but with time it gets better and easier. I don’t even pay attention to most food anymore because I am actually in a state of satiation and it’s not the center of my world anymore.

Don’t let society hold you back, and more importantly don’t hold yourself back. Find that someone or group of someone’s that will encourage and support. Don’t ever give up on what you want and what you need!

Until next time Keep Ketoing On!

Changing Keto Perception

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I have seen a lot of posts lately on social media asking the question: How do I convince someone to start doing Keto? Well it’s very simple actually, the answer is you CANNOT!

We all grow up in different setting and in different cultural situations, so to expect someone to just change their habits because you think they will be better for it doesn’t work. Just like many of us the day you decided to try Keto you decided it for yourself not for someone else. Some people succeed when they try, but many fail. The difference is those of us who want  to change will try and try again until we figure out how it works for us. I love Keto and what it has done for me, but it doesn’t give me some crazy ability to be able to make everyone give it a try. It does give me the ability to share my story and share my benefits. I would never not answer a question or give someone my opinion who is interested, but I also know that just because I share doesn’t mean they will follow my ways.

I grew up with the perception of well rounded meals, that you ate three times a day with snack between, and if you wanted to lose weight don’t eat the sweets. I had tried numerous methods to lose before Keto and until I really did a deep dive into Keto I was still following all the wrong things. I would listen to friends and listen to doctors and the same thing would happen, I would lose twenty and then gain it back. So why should I try something like Keto? For the simple facts that I researched for months and was seeing people with realistic results, and to be honest I felt like I could make the sacrifices that it required.

In the beginning it was just another diet to try and I didn’t even understand all the benefits that I would get from it, and I also didn’t quite understand exactly everything I would be giving up. The first month I saw amazing results and I figured I would give it at least one more before I made my mind up. The second month went as well as the first, and by the time I made it through my third month I woke up and realized it wasn’t a diet anymore but a way of eating and a new lifestyle for me.

So my advice to anyone trying to convince a friends or family member to follow in the Keto way of eating is EDUCATE! Give them as much information as they will allow, answer their curious questions, and let them see the results you are having. You could even try making them a couple yummy keto friendly dishes and see how they like them. If the disagree then that is their choice and you have to accept that and move on. It’s like the old phrase, you can lead a horse to water but not make it drink. Do your best to lead them, but accept that they may not want what you lead them too.

Until next time Keep Ketoing On!

My Weight Does Not Define Me

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I have struggled like so many others with my weight my entire life. I’ve never been at a single point that I have been happy with my weight. I blame that not on only an unrealistic body type that society reflects is acceptable, but more so on my inability to realize that I have beauty inside and out no matter my size. My lack of realizing my own beauty and worth comes from many years of being told I was “fat” and that no one would ever love me by someone who was controlling and hurt me. I am glad to say now days that I don’t have that same view on myself.

Even though my view of myself has never been the greatest and I am still working on me, I never have been one to judge someone based on their size. When I meet someone or see someone I don’t see their weight or size. I see their personality. There is a human being behind that physique. They can be 300 pounds or 90 pounds it doesn’t matter to me. I want to know the person and what they have to share in their mind.  Each individual out there has their own struggle and you have no clue what this is. Judging someone by their weight is quite simply shallow, and quite hateful to be honest.

photoshop.jpgThere are so many companies that photo-shop people to the point that we see an unrealistic image of them. So in our heads they are perfect, but in reality they have cellulite and wrinkles and may need to even lose 20 pounds. I hear all too often the phrases he/she is so fat and even he/she needs to eat a cheeseburger and gain some weight. These things anger me, it is so harmful to a person to hear this things because guess what they start to believe them. Instead I wish I could hear more phrases like: cute shirt, nice hair cut, or even have a great day! These people no matter what their size or circumstance deserve to be loved and happy just like anyone else!

I’ll be honest when I use to go out all the time I would sit and get depressed because I thought girls half of my size were prettier than me, and they got all the attention. They had all the sexier clothing and good-looking guys on their arms. At the same time I could see someone similar to my size and see that they were also so much more beautiful than I was. The problem I was having wasn’t that I was weight envious, I was personality envious! These women were appealing to me because they were happy and smiling and it made them beautiful inside and out. I didn’t have that I looked in the mirror and all I could see was a fat girl who would never be loved and was frumpy.

My self perception was so skewed from years of emotional abuse that I couldn’t even begin to fathom when I met my now husband how he could look at me with such love and intent and exclaim how beautiful I was. All I could think was this guy must be desperate or needs his eyes checked. Five years later I am slowly starting to get a slight glimpse in my life of what he has seen from day one. He has never looked at my weight as my beauty, he saw something in me that was beauty.

beauty

Today I can stand and say my weight does not define who I am. I am working on getting my weight where I would like to have it, but not because I am fat. I working on my weight to feel better and be healthier. I have a positive outlook on things and life for the first time in a very long time. I have a purpose and a passion that I have never had before. Keto started as a diet for me and has now changed my life and introduced me to so many new people who have turned me in a completely different direction. My new lifestyle is one of positivity and encouragement. One where I want to help anyone I can be a better them in any way!

Monday Madness

happy coffee

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Monday….my least favorite day of the week. The day I always seem to have trouble getting myself re-centered and re-focused on the work week ahead. So I thought I would take today and give everyone an update of my crazy last week and weekend. I am fortunate to have today off so I have some time to reflect; however, that means my Tuesday will be more like my typical Monday.

Flu season….or as I like to call it around here….everyone is sick and no one has the same thing! Sickness has been spreading like wild-fire in the schools here in Chattanooga, TN and Friday last week they actually closed the schools down to do a thorough deep cleaning. Luckily for me only one of my children actually got the flu so far this year and she is back on the road to recovery and it was a rather mild bout of this time. She is the one kid in the world that could get a flu shot and still get the flu. My son on the other hand had no flu thank goodness but his allergies flared up. So two sick kids left for a very tired mom, oh who by the way has been to the doctor and is having an allergy flare up herself. Good News….everyone is on the mend… Bad News… the tress are budding and blooming now which means pollen hell for the next few weeks for me!

Even with all my allergy woes I feel that my diet has made it much more bearable than it usually is. I still have great amounts of energy and have been sleeping well also. Keto has changed my life so much, and now I am trying to adjust and see what works better for me. So for the last 18 days I have been experimenting with the Carnivore diet. Which in my opinion as well as others is just a subset of Keto. So how has it been so far..great. I don’t really miss my veggies much, and I have started to notice significant changes in my digestion for the better. I also am starting to notice I am not as hungry as I was when I first started the experiment. My blood sugar levels have increased some and my ketone levels have decreased some, but I am still in Ketosis and everything remains within the normal range. My blood sugar also has no spikes it has pretty much been the same fasting and post-fasting consistently.

One thing I am working on getting in check from last week is my stress. Stress is a huge impact on your body and health. Let’s just say with sickness and three teenagers and a little drama thrown in there., my stress was higher this past week than it has been in a very long time, and I can tell. So this week I will probably throw in some focused meditations in order to try to bring my cortisol levels back down. I plan on also starting to focus in on whether I am eating lunch everyday because I am hungry or because it is a habit hard-wired into my brain. There are some days I know without a doubt I am hungry, but others I think I eat out of habit and not hunger.

This weekend I made my first batch of bone broth, and I think it turned out pretty good. I am looking forward to trying it this week. Lessons learned: I need a better method of straining, possibly a funnel, and I may add some more seasoning for a better developed flavor next time. On a side note my two fur babies Sampson and Delilah enjoyed licking up the spilled broth before I mopped!

Keep an eye out for new blogs this week with some new topics, and until then Keep Ketoing On!

 

Listen to Your Body

Today’s topic is something that I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. Not only struggled with but never really understood. I’ve heard it time and time again what does your body want, do what makes you feel good. How do you know what your body wants and what will really make it feel good? Well let me tell you it involves giving yourself and no one your undivided attention for a little while.

If you would have asked me what my body wanted a year ago I would have given you an answer that said something along the lines of more medication, extra vitamins, more sleep, and better diet, etc.. Well out of all of those there were only two of those I really needed: Sleep and Better Diet. On average I slept around 3 hours a night, no human being can operate at a satisfactory flow on that kind of sleep. It causes all kinds of problems, and I was getting the negative effects from it. My diet wasn’t a diet at all, it was I will eat what I want when I want and how much of it I want. So those two things in themselves had my body in a tug of war with itself.

So I did the logical thing, I went to my doctor for help and guidance, good idea….not at that point in my life! My doctor at that time threw a slew of sleeping pills at me for my insomnia, and he solution to diet was calories in calories out, get a gym membership, and limit my food. Simple enough, except most of the sleeping pills had awful side effects and trying to get a sleep deprived, depressed, anxious, obese women to go to the gym is like herding a cat into the bathtub….protective gear required! I really did try what she wanted but I would succeed for a week or two, then fall off the wagon and dive deeper into my troubles….aka a gallon of my favorite ice cream.

What changed this and made me learn to listen to my body? Number 1…I found a new doctor that actually listened to me and cared!!!! I cannot stress this enough, find a doctor who wants to help you not harm you. Even if you have to drive a couple hours its worth it, trust me! Number 2….I had to start taking ten minutes a day (somedays longer) to start to really clear my head and see how I was feeling. What was really hurting, how did I really feel, what did I need? Problem solved right? Wrong! It took me several months to start to be able to realize problems and what they were and signals my body was giving me.

As I dove deeper into my Keto journey I started getting this odd reactions as I was eliminating specific items from my diet. I started to notice when I ate certain foods within an hour my belly didn’t full good, or my energy levels would change. I began to truly understand what feeling full was like for the first time and didn’t have to force food into my already full body.

Knowing when I was truly full has been one of the hardest things. I was raised that you eat what is on your plate, and generally what was on that plate was a protein, a veg, and a starch. That was my entire life growing up and I thought was just the correct way to do it when I was an adult. Guess what? So completely wrong. You can leave food on your plate and save it for later, and you don’t need all that variety on your plate either. If your eating high quality whole foods you learn you are getting exactly what you need, and your body will start giving you signals that enough is enough.

One key thing I learned to do to figure out when I was truly full was listen to my stomach. If my stomach felt full but my mind said keep eating, I would take a ten minute break and just sip some water and talk to the kids. If after that ten minutes I felt like my stomach wasn’t full I would eat a little more. If it felt full I would put it up and eat it at another time. The second thing I noticed is that as you get satiated you can start to notice subtle changes in taste. When your full food doesn’t taste as appealing anymore.

Once my diet started to come more into focus the sleep improvement soon followed. My body was now using fat for fuel and not sugar so my body wanted more sleep to digest and recover itself. Before I would have fought feelings of tiredness or let my mind run wild in thoughts. Now when I start to feel tired I listen to my body and go to bed. I may take a little while to fall asleep but I just try to relax and rest my body. I now sleep an average of 7 hours a night which is a huge improvement!

You really have to start listening to your body and paying attention to what different things in your environment do to it. Eliminate things for at least 21 days if you think they are the cause. See what makes you feel truly amazing and makes your body happy. Your body is super intelligent on it’s own so take the time to learn from it and listen to what its telling you!

Keto “Friendly” Products

Okay, so today is a little bit of a rant! I fully believe that Keto is a way of eating that can be tweaked to fit everyone’s needs. With that being said you really need to know what you need for it to be beneficial. I don’t care what your goals are with Keto and what you think you need it to do for you, I do care that your wasting your money on products and items that you don’t need that may be hurting you more than helping you!

I am guilty of buying several keto “friendly” products. Most of these were purchased when I first started the WOE (way of eating) and I didn’t have the education I needed. Don’t get wrong there are some of them that taste amazing, but the ingredients are total crap! Now on that note there are keto “friendly” products out there that are useful but you need to do your homework and research the ingredients. Look for companies that have individuals behind them that partake in Keto as a WOE and are not behind a large corporation. A great company with good products is Keto Chow. If you think you have found a good product but are not sure, email the company!!!!! Believe me they will respond.

No matter if the product is keto friendly or not, you have to realize there is no magical product that is going to give you results overnight. You are going to have to work at it.  You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to be successful at Keto. Just buy real food! Protein, veggies (leafy green ones…potatoes are not veggies) and some healthy fat is all you need. Those combined with time and determination will get you to the place you need to be.

READ YOUR LABELS!!!!! If it has more ingredients than you want to read through and you can’t even pronounce half of them, put it down! If it has a total carb count that is high, TOTAL NOT NET, put it down!!!! If ingredient number one is a grain…put it down! You don’t need that kind of negativity in your personal journey! Spend the extra money you are going to save by avoiding these products on a nice steak instead!  Most importantly don’t give up and keep Ketoing on! 

So why the coffee cup?

So when I was branding my blog I wanted it to be a place of comfort and place of transparency. So I took a lot of time to decide what I wanted to represent me. Well in a nut shell coffee represents me in a lot of ways so that is why I chose it. In additona I’ve always been charming (ok 80% of the time) and I’m here to confess to everyone and anyone who wants to listen.

One of my fondest memories of child hood was going with my mother to numerous neighbor houses on different days of the week. One of the perks of living in a small neighborhood. What did we do on those visits? My mother and her friends sat around the kitchen table drinking coffee and talking about anything and everything. I don’t remember a time that conversations didn’t involve a pot of coffee or two.

As I grew older that same type of expereince became my thing as well. The only difference the kitchen table of a close neighbor became a local copy shop, firehouse, or even a living room sofa. I enjoy coffee and for me it’s always brought me closer to people, even those who I am just getting to know. It’s never too early or too late to have a cup and sit and talk in my opinion.

Cofee is my get up and go and at the same time can be my relax and reflect. I want my blog space to be all those things for all my followers and readers. I want you to feel welcome and be motivated by what I share.

So I invite you in to Charming Confessions, a place where I will always be honest with you and share with you. I’m always open to questions and I’m always willing to just listen, even if you don’t like coffee! The more the marrier!

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