Friday, January 6, 2012

Why I'm Doing This

Headaches. Deprivation? Cotton mouth. Fuzzy thinking. Why would I do such a thing to my body? Isn't this a quick fix that won't last? Isn't this just another fad diet? Am I crazy for doing this?

Maybe you've wondered why I'm doing this whole low carb thing. Or even thought, "She'll be off of it by the end of the month."

So I wanted to take just a little time to explain my reasons. Why I do what I do.

First, let me just say up front that if I could live off pizza, soft pretzels, homemade bread, beer, pasta, brownies, cake (maybe I should stop because my mouth is starting to water) I would do it in a heartbeat. But I can't. I was diagnosed with a nasty case of insulin resistance, PCOS, low thyroid, low vitamin D, elevated testosterone and high blood pressure. I took some nasty tests then took more tests 6 months later. It was all confirmed.

Insulin resistance means when I eat a piece of delicious cinnamon sugar pretzel, my pancreas releases insulin to signal to my cells to get it (the glucose that it has become) out of my blood stream. But my cells don't listen! So I send out more insulin. Finally they listen and I have a LOT of insulin in my bloodstream. Most of my carbs are stored as fat around my belly. And this whole thing causes so many other problems. It's all linked. Eventually my pancreas will become exhausted and it'll stop producing the insulin which means I'll have type 2 diabetes. I don't want that.

My doctor told me to start eating low carb or suffer the consequences. I hate being told what to do. I hate being "different." I want to eat pasta and pizza with all the cool kids! But nooooooo. I'm the nerdy kid who has to eat steak and bacon. So I resisted off and on all year. When I ate like I was supposed to the weight came off effortlessly. Then I'd want to play with the cool kids again and decided those crazy doctors don't know what they are talking about. And I suffered the consequences each time. Lethargy, anxiety, depression, elevated blood pressure, and elevated weight!

This is not a fad diet for me. It's my way of life. I have to accept it and stop fighting it. Oh sure, I'll still have a splurge meal. Maybe once a week? I don't know. But I have to be careful.

I'm going to be totally honest with you. During December I gained about 16 pounds. Can you believe it?! I ate what I wanted and drank what I wanted. And by the end of it I felt tired and big and just generally lethargic. I knew I had to change.

Getting back on the low carb wagon hasn't been a picnic. I'm following the Induction Phase of Atkins to give myself a boost in the right direction. A quick boost. I'll do this for two weeks. Not everyone does this. It's what I chose to do and it's temporary.

Yes, I have had some side effects from doing it. They're not pleasant but I know it will go away. I have had some dramatic weight loss in the past couple of days but that will slow down as I start to add more carbs to my diet.

My body reacts pretty dramatically to carbs. My doctor said it's one of the worst cases he had seen and he believed the only thing that had saved me from diabetes so far was my exercise. He also said given the numbers from my test he would have expected me to be huge! It's been a struggle, let me tell you! But at least I now know why.

I have the tools to do what I need to do to be healthy. I realize that a high fat diet causes concerns about cholesterol. I had a check up last year and my blood results improved when I ate low carb. My blood pressure improved. Everything improved! Fat has gotten a bad rap. There are plenty of articles out there to prove it. My own blood tests prove it to me. Same with Chuck because what momma cooks the family eats! ;) And his blood tests improved as well. He's always had a problem with triglycerides and they improved as well.

My weight loss for the past two days has been 4.6 pounds. Most of that is water weight. I admit it. But it sure is nice to see that number drop. I fully expect the weight loss to slow down after the first week. We'll see.

As you can see, I don't really have an option here. It's what I have to do. And you know what? The food is good!!! The kids have no idea that we're eating lower carb. They're just enjoying their food. Rachel did make a comment tonight that she feels good after she eats. She said she had been feeling very sluggish after dinners but hasn't lately.

So I'm not crazy. This isn't a fad diet or lose-weight-quick scheme. It has to be my life. I have to stop fighting it and just embrace it.

Thursday my headache was much better. Oh, it still hurt somewhat but it was nothing like Wednesday. Things are getting better. I even had a little more energy!

Breakfast: two fried eggs and two slices of bacon (I know it looks like 4 slice but I halved the slices)
 Snack: a cheese stick
 Lunch: leftover Italian pork roast and a large portion of creamed spinach
 Snack: boiled egg
 Dinner: I made a new recipe called Taco Bake. First I had to make up a batch of taco seasoning.
 This is what the taco bake looks like when it comes out of the oven. It makes six large servings. Each with only 4 grams of carbs each.
 I topped mine with salsa, a bunch of lettuce and sour cream. It was incredibly good. I was surprised! And even the kids liked it. Definitely something to make again in the future. Tasty.
 I got the recipe from Low Carbing Among Friends but you can also find it HERE.

Dessert: low carb ice cream bar 5 grams net carbs. This probably isn't Induction friendly but I don't care. I want my freakin' ice cream bar.
Total carbs today was 20.1 grams. Approximately.  I'm happy with that.

It's a great day. I'm feeling more like myself and more energetic and maybe a bit feisty. ready to tackle some stuff. As soon as this headache is completely gone I'm going for a run!

Life is good. :)


  1. I hope you can run. My guess is your legs are going to be mad at you about the carbs lol! Mine certainly feel the difference.

    You know low carb does not have to mean high fat meats. I think Atkins can be done with lower fat meats and good added fats like olive oil plus good veggies, no problem. It's just that many people think "woo hoo, now I'm gonna eat meat!" And by meat they mean steak, steak, steak - and not even filet but something like all Porterhouse all the time.

    Glad you've had such good results - keep on taking those meds and following your plan!

  2. I think you're doing great. Embracing what your doctor says is going to go a long way, not just for you, but for all of us. Shoot, I'm down seven pounds today.
    Going against the grain is never easy, but the proof is shown on the scale and in how you feel - even how your daughter feels. You've no need to explain anything to anyone; except maybe the police or a judge.

    Keep up the good work. Go, baby, go!

  3. I'm right there with you, Kelly. I put on 19 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas because of all the carbs I was eating. I'm doing Atkins too and have lost about 7 pounds so far. I'm hoping to get back to my goal weight by Easter. I will be reading your blog watching for good recipes. You always have such wonderful looking food on your blog. I get tired of the same old choices. Good for you for being proactive with your insulin issues. Hugs.

  4. I'm with what Helen said - it doesn't have to be all high fat content protein but I know you already know that...
    You are doing great Kelly - we are all here with ya! I'm glad we are heading in the right direction together. It is nice to read posts that I can 100% relate to, find solace in that some of us have experienced a slight a setback by some choices we made but now we are working on getting rid of the pounds, get the good habits set again, and exercising (you know how to ROCK this one).
    You are my inspiration Kelly - I'm proud of you, and I'm proud of myself (today :). We are a lot alike me thinks....

  5. Kelly, just the fact that you gained so much weight in such a short time really shows how badly carbs affect you - I'm glad, for your heath, that you're back doing what your body NEEDS. I had no idea that your pancreas could stop working completely...that scares me. We want our Happy Texan friend around for a long time - I hate to think that you might end up with diabetes and the complications that go along with that. Get healthy and STAY healthy, my friend!

  6. I hope you aren't feeling judged by anyone for your dietary lifestyle. There are many ways to lose weight and many factors that diet play on various conditions. You do what you and your doctors say you got to do...and as a vegan I'll be jealous of your steaks!

  7. Day 36 of Atkins for me...I am currently at about 25 carbs a day...was thinking of going up to 30 starting today, but will wait another week and so how I feel.

    I am off all my blood pressure meds, and another med and I feel SO MUCH BETTER!!!

    The Boss joined in with me, he still eats fruit, but he already lost 10 pounds...his comments "Atkins might kill us, but it's worth it!"


  8. I'm with you Girl! I have started Medifast to try and help myself get the urges under control. I will see where that leads me, but I know I MUST stop fighting this, and face the fact I love carbs, but they sure as hell don't love me. Keep posting pics of your food!

  9. Go Kelly Go. Good for you for doing what is right for your body!! Take care.

  10. Kelly - I don't think you have to explain to anyone why you do what you do. Everyone is different and there is a right way of eating for each person and what is right for one is not for another. You just go on doing what you need to.

  11. My only judgement would be that you are fabulous!

  12. What you're doing makes a lot of sense to me.

  13. I'm totally there with you. This blog post has opened my eyes so much. I'm just in this weird place where I'm trying to figure out how to low carb AND be a vegetarian. The best thing is that I've dropped the sugar intake big time and my old pants fit better. I'm aiming for no more than 100g of carbs each day this week to see what my blood sugars do... I'm still experimenting with this all!

    Keep rocking on, girl! I'm cheering for you constantly!


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