diet

Take Aways

Thank you all for the comments and feedback on my Diet Culture post. I think it resonated with a lot of people and more and more I am seeing things on social media about people kind of being “over it.” Over the constant “THINKING” about food and calories and portions and dieting. An instagram friend I’ve followed for years posted recently that she was burned out on it and has been doing Weight Watchers since like the 5th grade. One comment on my post, from Beth, said keto “consumed a lot of brain space” and that is exactly how it felt.

What have I been doing since I quit? A lot of stuff actually. I’m back to just counting calories and watching my portions but not going crazy. I’m not tracking carbs, not worrying about carbs too much. Just doing what worked before.

One thing I did, was I un-synched my Garmin to MyFitnessPal. I think part of my problem has been *thinking* I was doing good creating a deficit but not really doing it. I’d see that I had all these “Extra” calories in my app for the day and I’d think, It’s okay to eat a little bit more. So unpairing the two apps means I don’t see the calories I burn. And now my focus is just on keeping in my range (1400-1500 calories a day).

This has helped me a lot. When I reach that number for the day, I’m done. There are days I eat more. But I don’t worry about it. I’m not hungry. I do not feel like I am starving myself. I do not have intense cravings because I am depriving myself any foods. On days I AM a little extra hungry, I just eat a snack! And it’s ok.

The other thing that has happened is that I no longer associate exercise with “I need to work off ___ food”. Not that I thought of exercise as punishment. I love exercising, it’s a good stress reliever for me and makes me feel good. But there are definitely days when I am not feeling it but did anyways because of eating ____. I think we’ve all been there. Anyways, now I just exercise because I want to, when I want to.

One of the other take aways from doing keto, that is NOT negative, is that Fat Is Good. Eating healthy fats like avocado, nuts (my favorites are cashews, macadamia nuts and walnuts), olive and avocado oil, olives, etc. That stuff is good for your body, good for your brain AND makes you feel fuller.

But the more I think about it, the older I get, the more stressful life gets in general, the more 2020 throws at us…the less mental space I have for all of that stuff. Is it important? I don’t know. I am trying to be healthy. I am trying to keep my portions in control. I am still exercising. I just don’t want my entire LIFE consumed by how many calories I can eat, how many carbs I’ve had, calculating NET CARBS all day long. It is just not healthy for my mental health.

Am I happy with my current weight and body? Nope. But I am trying to make peace with it, work on it, keep doing what I am doing.

I’ve been following a lot of body positive, positive eating, sustainability, eco-positive people on Instagram recently and it’s been giving me a lot to think about. (If you guys are interested, I can provide links and names for some of my favorites.)

It’s really made me wonder how much of my journey was healthy? I lost weight in the healthiest way possible. I didn’t crash diet, I changed my lifestyle, I retrained my brain and eating habits and chose healthier options. I maintained my weight for over 10 years doing healthy things. But was it 100% healthy? Or were there things that were a little questionable? Like being so strict with my workout schedule, never deviating, feeling stressed if I was injured or sick and had to take time off. Was I healthy if I was doing keto and being super restrictive? Did I mess up metabolism for good by limiting my calories for so long? I have a lot of questions. Lots and lots of questions…

Pandemic 10

How’s everyone doing?

Pandemic update: Oregon has been slowly opening. My county is in Phase 1. The county I work in, recently applied for phase 1 but we’ve been seeing upticks in coronavirus cases as things open up, as predicted. Less and less people are wearing masks. I still wear my mask when I go to stores and stuff. {shrug}

I am still working from home. We are not sure yet how it will look returning to work, or when it will happen. As I said, we aren’t in Phase 1 yet for work. My employer is talking about plans: staggered schedules, still working from home, doing shifts, 25-50% of staff in the office only, etc etc. Time will tell.

As for me, this year has been hard. Even pre-pandemic. There was some life drama (that I don’t really want to get into here) right after we got back from Hawaii. Which SUCKED and was super stressful. It was about a month and a half of major life stress. It’s been resolved but it screwed up a lot of our life plans going forward. Then covid-19. Then Michael lost his job. Then then then…it feels like it’s been one thing after another.

Last fall I tried to go off my medication to lose some weight. Prozac works well for me, but it’s very much dose dependent. I gained about 15 or so pounds on it at 20mg. It was really frustrating. I went back down to 10mg and tried and struggled and slowly lost some weight. But I was still struggling. Going off the meds turned out to be a bad idea. I went back. My doctor suggested we try 15mg. It worked well for me mentally. In the middle of the pandemic, Michael asked me why I wasn’t freaking out. I said “I’m medicated.” And it was the truth. It was really helping my anxiety a lot. BUT…you guessed it. The weight started ticking up.

So my doctor suggested a try a new drug. He suggested two, the one I ended up trying was Viibryd. I’d never heard of it before. I gave it a try and immediately started having negative side effects. First was the insomnia. I was taking I think 10mg to start. It was like I had shots of espresso. I was amped up during the day–which was NICE because I wasn’t feeling fatigued. But at night? I couldn’t physically close my eyes. I laid in bed like I did shots of coffee right before I laid down. It was brutal. I was also having some mania/hyper focus.

So we cut the dose to 5mg for a few days and I felt better and then went back up to 10mg and the insomnia issues went away. Good, right? Yes. But…then I started having insane hunger. My doctor told me that weight gain was not a side effect of Viibryd. So why was I suddenly so famished?! And it was CARBS and SUGAR. That’s all I wanted. And I felt like the thing in my brain that says YOU ARE FULL was broken.

I started doing googling and found some chat groups talking about it and a lot of people seemed to have a similar side effect: hunger, weight gain. Huh. Ok. I wonder why the claim is no weight gain but so many people are having hunger issues?

So since the beginning of February (I did not gain any weight in Hawaii! MIRACULOUS!) I’ve gained about 10 pounds.

I can’t necessarily blame that all on pandemic. Some was stress eating and drinking at the beginning of the pandemic. But that was just 2 weeks and I then I pulled my shit together. Some of it is not going to the gym. BUT I am still working out 5 days a week the best I can. It’s not the same workout I can do at the gym, but I am doing my best.

It sucks when medication causes your body to just go haywire.

What am I doing?

Doing Low Carb/Keto (not strict keto, but low carb for sure)

Stopped Drinking completely (it’s something I can control calorie wise)

Trying to drink more water (not very good at this yet)

Drinking tea on a regular basis (every night I have some chamomile tea, which is nice)

Working out 5 days a week (it’s a lot of cardio right now, but doing the best I can)

Switched my medication

Not having sweets in the house (Other than atkins brand)

I’ve lost about 3 or 4 pounds in two weeks so far. The new medication I’m trying is Lamictal. A friend took it for years and liked it a lot and said it was “weight neutral” so that is promising. We will see.

My new favorite drink: fake mojito! The previous owner of our house planted mint in the garden and it’s gone nuts (in case you didn’t know, mint is better in a pot or it will take over!). So I am trying to use it up! I do 1 packet of stevia, fresh lime juice, sparkling lime water, mint and ice.

I will do another post in a week or two about the weight and stuff but I wanted to give a quick update on all of this stuff to start out.