stress

Monday Madness (publication #14)

Welcome back to another publication of Monday Madness. Not much madness here this Monday morning, but it’s another chance to have another great week. Last week was super busy, stressful and dis-heartening. So I have high hopes that this week will not be like that.

I really struggled last week and I am struggling writing this today. I wish that everything was 100% positive all the day and I could just share those moments, but that is not real. Life isn’t perfect and it is not always positive. I have been struggling to get my head above water and find that positivity. I even took a break from social media the majority of the weekend.

One thing that has been effecting me horribly is my sleep. I am just not sleep well at all. When I get stressed and life throws rocks at me my sleep suffers. I have learned that my optimal range of sleep is no less than 7 hours a night. I have not been getting anywhere close to that for the last 2 weeks, and it is taking it’s toll on me. I just feel ran down and tired, and I am almost positive that a big portion of that is due to cortisol spikes.

I have also been struggling with binge eating a lot in the past week. I wanted to find comfort so I turned toward my old friend food. Now I by no means went carb crazy or dove off the deep end, but I did eat way past my satiety level. A couple of times to the point that I gave myself a stomach ache. I am very depressed by the fact that I let this happen, but I also know it will help me heal to share with you and others that my struggles are very real.

It has also been almost a month since I have weighed and measured, and boy do I wish I would not have. I have gained four pounds and 6.25 inches back. That is a hard pill to digest when I was losing quite regularly and still have quiet a bit of a ways to go as far as loss is concerned. Now part of that gain could be muscle which is good. So I had to keep telling myself yesterday that the scale is evil and not to give up, because boy did I want to give up. I am glad to say I didn’t and while I did overeat yesterday, I am 20 hours into a fast today and feeling pretty good about it.

I’m battling a lot of inner demons right now in my personal life and it is just like all the flood gates came open at once and I’m drinking more water than I am treading. I have to take time for myself in the next few weeks and really start to learn how to better deal with my stresses. I also think I need to revisit what I am eating and how I am approaching things. I feel I am venturing too far away from my comfort and what makes me happy, what was working for me. I need to search for my bigger why.

No matter what my inner demons are doing to me I refuse to give up. I will never go back to a high carb lifestyle. I have cured too many things by giving up carbs. I just have to find the right things for me and the right people to keep me motivated toward my goals. Next week will be my one year Keto anniversary, and I plan to celebrate every pound I have lost and every disease I have cured. I promise to give my best self to all of you, but also promise to keep it real and show you there are struggles for all of us along the way. Until next time….Keep Ketoing On!

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Monday Madness (publication #13)

Welcome to another addition of Monday Madness! I hope everyone had a great weekend and had an opportunity to celebrate the wonderful women in their lives. I personally had a really nice mother’s day and enjoyed every minute of it. Looking forward to my crazy week ahead. I am beginning to think I run on chaos and caffeine!

Last week was a true testament to my inner strength. I had stress hitting me from all angles and did not handle it well at all. This just help plant the seed in my head that I really need to work harder on stress management. I need to make time everyday to start de-stressing. So I plan on coming up with a plan and a method and I am going to have stick to it. I have tried meditation in the past, but have not been very successful. My mind kicks into overdrive and usually end up more stressed than when I started. I also want to look at other forms of stress management such as grounding. Check in later for an update.

In addition to last week’s stress I got a message on Sunday while attending a church service that I want to share with everyone because they need to listen to it. “Ladies when you look into the mirror and you see a pinto, you are wrong you are a Lamborghini.” A friend of our family said this and I tell you what nothing has ever rang more true. We all too often don’t see what our true beauty is and we all need to work on changing that! We are all beautiful in our own ways and we all need to start seeing it and accepting it!

My diet continued to be 95% carnivore last week and the majority of the week I did one meal a day. I avoided dairy all week and felt great. I did allow myself some heavy whipping cream over the weekend. I also had a little splurge and made some Texas Twinkies for mother’s day. These are basically jalapeno poppers with brisket added in. All I can say is that they were worth every bite, but unfortunately the cream cheese revolted against my body. I even purchased a new brand with less ingredients. So while it is disappointing I more than likely will keep cream cheese out of my diet. I also discovered that our local Earth Fare grocery store had ground kobe beef this week, and I think I found the holy grail of burgers. This stuff was phenomenal! Generally I don’t partake much in ground beef because I don’t like the flavor. This stuff; however, tasted absolutely amazing. So flavorful and so juicy and all I seasoned it with was some Redmond’s Real Salt. Shockingly it wasn’t that pricey either.

I did not get the opportunity to weigh or measure this week, due to all the activities we had planned. So I am going to do my best to weigh and measure Sunday this week and I will give everyone and update on how it’s going. I am not too worried about what the scale says though because I still feel great and I am noticing my clothes getting bigger and bigger. I think for now I have entered a period of letting my body heal itself, and once that happens I feel more weight will just naturally come off.

I have started to pick up my activity level quite a bit also. I managed to get over 10,000 steps in at least three days last week. I hope to be able to grow that number to four days a week and then 5 days a week. It amazes me the amount of energy that I get after the walk, and I am also blessed to have a great walking trail right behind my house. I do need to get back on track with lifting to tone up my arms, but I’m not going to rush it.

I am looking forward to another great week and hope that all of you have a great week as well. Check back in this week as I will have some new material coming out. Until next time ….Keep Ketoing On!

Monday Madness (publication #10)

Good Monday Morning Everyone! I hope everyone that was celebrating the Easter holiday had a blessed weekend among family and/or friends. If you didn’t celebrate Easter I hope you still had an amazing weekend! I have lot’s to share with you from last week and my weekend.

So my April experiment of not eating after 2 PM pretty much was a failure and I decided it was not benefiting my body the way I wanted it to. I found myself even after having a very nice and well balanced lunch wanting to have some small snack in the evening when I got home. Since I am such a big advocate for listening to your body I didn’t deny my body what I wanted. So I think for optimization purposes for myself I need to have a larger meal around lunch and a small meal in the evening. I can say by only having a small snack in the evenings it has been easier to get myself into bed and sleep a little better without an overly full stomach. So my n=1 study at this time is inconclusive. Who knows I may try later in my journey again but I can’t say for certain.

Even though the experiment was a bust I was able to maintain my weight last week and I did lose 3″ in my waist/hip region. I will take inches over pounds any day of the week! I also was able to get into a size 14 dress!!!!! I have not seen a size 14 for over 13 years! So as far as I am concerned the scale can kiss off and I’ll keep adding up those inches lost!

I have been faithful to my 21 day arm sculpting challenge and finished day 21 yesterday. I have started to get a tiny bit of definition in my arms but I still have a very long road to get all the fat off my arms. I am 100% fine with that. So tomorrow I will start another 21 day challenge and up the amount of weight I am lifting as well as the amount of sets I am doing. Slow and steady will get me to where I want to be and I am good with that.

With any holiday comes temptations of non-Keto foods. I am proud to say that I did not stray from my carnivore diet this weekend as tempting as some of those sweets looked. I just kept telling myself that I choose not to put that into my body and I choose not to have the negative side effects of what it would do to me. I did indulge in a couple low carb beers and I am fine with that. I feel fine this morning and I will make sure that I hydrate well all day. I should add that in addition to a couple of those beers I also had over 100 ounces of water yesterday. It was also great to enjoy the holiday with friends that respected our diet choices and accommodated them so well. All in all I would consider my weekend another day of success in my journey.

I was also excited that over the weekend I got in my new business cards. I now have a card that I can leave in local shops to spread my blog and various other social media pages. If it helps me reach even one person it is worth it. My husband was also gracious enough to allow me to plaster a Charming Confessions bumper sticker to his car. I am working hard to share my messages and grow my brand.

This week I will have some added in stressors at work, but I am prepared to take them on. I have already came up with an after work meditation routine to relax myself and help keep my cortisol levels down. I am fairly new to meditating and I am trying to expand what works best for me and how I want to utilize it. Stress has been a huge factor of negativity in my life and I trying to turn that around and flood my life with as much positivity as possible. I even took the weekend off away from my blog and most of my social media and just tried to enjoy life and what was around me for a change. It was definitely worth it.

I plan to be adding a couple new pages to the site in the upcoming weeks as well. Some of you may know and others not but in addition to writing I’m a painter. I have decided to start sharing my art work on my site as it is special to me and a piece of me I want to share with everyone. I also am working on some coaching plans and meal plans that I will be offering in the near future. It’s a pleasure to be able to grown in the presence of my readers.

That is about it for my crazy week last week, and a little peak into my upcoming week. So until next time….Keep Ketoing On!

Holiday Survival

Hello fellow readers and Happy Tuesday! Today I wanted to take some time and write about something I think a lot of people, no matter their diet choice, struggle with. Holiday meals with family and friends. I personally believe that holiday meals de-rail more people than any other temptation. I made it through Thanksgiving , Christmas, New Years and the super bowl (yes that’s a holiday to some) and never once strayed from my Keto lifestyle. So with Easter weekend fast approaching I thought I would give you some pointers on surviving the holidays and not jumping off the deep end!

First of all keep in mind that holiday’s are supposed to be about family and spending time together not the food you are consuming! I have found that holidays and social events are actually more enjoyable because I am not consumed by the thought of food. Instead I more interested in what Uncle Joe has been up to or what gossip Grandma Betty recently heard. So take a deep breath, relax, put down the phone, and actually spend some time getting to know the people in your family. Who knows you may learn something new.

Second, unless you are preparing every single food item yourself their is a highly likely probability that you will encounter food that will look tempting and not fit into your way of eating. News flash…..your an adult and “YOU” can choose what goes into your body! If you want to eat a spoonful of stuffing no one can stop you besides yourself. The issue is how is that spoonful of stuffing going to make you feel, is eating off your plan worth the discomfort that may follow. So stick to basics and keep it simple. You don’t have to be dramatic and walk around and say well I can’t eat that and that’s bad for me, simply look for whole healthy foods. Almost every meal has a protein and some sort of veg, you can’t go wrong with that.

Also, take the extra incentive and make a couple dishes that you know you can have and bring them with you. You can always say you really wanted to help and it will be appreciated and who knows someone else may fall in love with your Keto recipe. I think this is especially helpful if you are an individual who has a sweet tooth. Make some keto treats to munch on so your not tempted to dive head first into that pie. You just have to take the time to be conscious about your choices and let it come naturally to you. If you do happen to eat that spoonful of stuffing I mentioned earlier it won’t be the end of the world either. Jump back on the wagon the next day and you can even do some intermittent fasting to get back on track quicker.

Fasting….well now that will kill your holiday hopes and dreams in a heartbeat. Guess what? Letting your fasting regiment go away for one day will not kill you nor impede your progress! Instead perhaps plan doing a longer than normal fast to reset after the holiday. Believe me you will be able to get back into your routine fairly quickly.

Alcohol is another part of a lot of holiday celebrations, and while alcohol in itself is a poison to your body, we all have to face the reality that often as adults in holiday situations we want to enjoy an adult beverage (also known to help in handling family stresses). So do your research and try to choose alcohol that meets your dietary requirements. Many pure liquors are keto friendly and can be mixed with flavored sparkling water for a treat. There are also many lower carb beers and wines on the market now days. Just read your labels (bring your own if you need to), know your stuff, and enjoy in moderation. Make sure you also hydrate well as the alcohol can dehydrate you and you will want to flush the toxins from your system if you partook in drinking. Just as a note here, you can 100% have a good time without alcohol try it sometime you might like it!

My last piece of advice to make it through the holiday is try to relax and enjoy the time. Being stressed is just going to raise your cortisol level and in return probably cause more damage than a spoonful of stuffing. Take time to mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead and the challenges that you may come into. Remember only you can control you and only you are responsible for your choices and the consequences they lead to. I hope everyone has a wonderfully blessed Easter and until next time Keep Ketoing On!

Stress…is it as bad as they say?

Hello fellow readers, hope our having a wonderfully witty Wednesday! I have been hard at studying most of my day and decided I need a break. So here I am sharing with you my opinions and experiences with stress.

Face it we all have stress in many different forms on almost everyday of our lives. Something broke, work is going bad, a kid got in trouble, you forgot a bill, your hair won’t curl, and so on and so on. So many things can be stressful to so many people, and the kicker is it doesn’t have to be major to make your body balance off. That’s right folks stress messes with you body in so many ways that are unhealthy. De-stressing is super important and vital to being healthy.

I’ve listened to doctors and therapist both tell me for a very long time that I needed to reduce my stress. They told me it was impacting my sleep patterns, my hormones, my anxiety and depression, and my weight loss. Even though I was hearing what they were saying I wasn’t really listening as I never really thought that stress in itself would impact my health like they were saying. Well ladies and gentleman I have proof now that for me stress is impacting my health.

Since switching my lifestyle to Keto the changes have been amazing to say the least. One of the biggest changes has been enhancements in better mood and better sleep. As I have many times said before being able to understand my body better has been a blessing as well. So this is how I discovered stress impacts me so negatively. Last week I had some personal matters all hit the fan at once. I found myself with a mountain of personal/financial/work/and life problems all coming to a head at once. The end result was 3 hours of sleep (my average on a good night is 7.5) and a very angry evening that left me emotionally drained and even more stressed than I was. The results… a fasting blood sugar of 110 and blood ketones of 0.5.

Now most of you reading this think big deal those are in the normal range. They are in a normal range but not my normal range. My normal for fasting is a blood sugar of 68 and blood ketones of 2.5. It was very obvious that the stress and lack of sleep impacted my body quite significantly. Both of these factors more than likely spiked my cortisol levels and in turn I got the results that I did. It took me three days to de-stress and recover my numbers and not once did I stray from my diet. So I am now making more of a conscious effort to de-stress before I get to a point like a did before and also have tried to make more time in my schedule for ample sleep.

I’m not sure what else this crazy stress caused my body to go through but I am sure it is even more than I noticed, and more than I had the capability to test. It just shows me that stress really is bad for you and you need to make an active effort to keep it reduced. There are also some recent studies out that show 20-30 minutes in nature can naturally reduce cortisol levels quicker than anything else. So now that the weather is getting nicer, get outdoors and enjoy it. Put your phone away and just relax and enjoy nature at it’s finest. Until next time…Keep Ketoing On!

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!

 

Calories to Count Them or Not

For years and years, even long before my time, we have been taught that if you want to lose weight you have to count how many calories you are taking in and how many calories your burning out. Better known now as CICO (calories in calories out). I started with this method when I was in my twenties and I found that as long as I was diligently calculating I would indeed lose weight. The issue is that the second I would get a little slack I would gain back what I lost and then some. It was a vicious cycle that I fell in and out of from the age of 21 until the age of 35. So what changed when I turned 36? I realized that I was focusing all my energy on calories and none of the other important nutrients that I needed. I also found myself chasing an endless cycle of hunger, as well as being constantly discouraged because I was following the “rules” and they were not helping.

Enter controversy…. STOP counting calories. I haven’t counted a single calorie since May 29, 2018 and I have now lost 65.7 pounds and over 97 inches off my body. I found that after my initial adaptation period to my new way of eating that I did not need to focus on my calories due to the fact that by the time I focused on the macronutrients I needed each day I was full! I actually felt full and satisfied and not left craving more! There are days that I know I went over my calories and there were days when I know was under the calories, as far as a standard suggested calorie intake was concerned. It didn’t matter I started to listen to my body and I simply stopped eating when I was full.

It is not easy to take on a new way of eating no matter what it is, and I see so many people struggle because they make it so much harder on themselves than they should. There comes a point where you become obsessed with every detail of every food and exercise and you find yourself not living but only functioning to achieve one goal. I spent a few weeks at best learning what I needed and what worked for me and then I just did it and I’m living while I do it. I don’t stress out when something comes out and I have to change my eating plans because I know it will be okay. If I was focused on CICO it can become super stressful when you have to go off plan. Guess what stress causes cortisol levels to spike, and high cortisol levels will prohibit weight loss. So less worry about calories, could mean less stress, which means less cortisol, which means better chances of losing weight.

I’m not by any means saying that if you want to count calories you shouldn’t. I think you should do what works for you and if counting calories makes you happy then continue. All I am is saying that it is something that is not longer important to me because I’ve learned my body and know what it needs. It’s been months since I’ve over eaten anything and it feels amazing. Happy NOT counting to those who feel this way, and happy counting to those who don’t.