******* BE ENCOURAGED ********

Friday, August 24, 2012

What in the WORLD are you DOING?!??!?!!!

It is so natural and common to see another person losing weight and having success and want to know exactly what they are doing.  I have done that a LOT of times in my life as well.  Sometimes I attempt their list of instructions but more often than not I feel the need to put MY twist on it so that it will fit MY life, etc.  AND then I wonder why I do not get the same results.  That brings about frustration and often a little anger.. and of course, a diet backslide.

So I am about to share with you what I have been doing to lose the weight.  Be careful in making the decision to “try” it.  Any “adjustments” for YOUR life may result in NO results.  One size does not fit all.  Jimmy Moore says it – You have to find what works for YOU and then do it! (See Jimmy's website HERE.)

Back when I started this blog I was all into a popular diet of the minute – Kimkins.  I STARVED myself down to 150 pounds (and briefly saw 148 for a few days).  My hair was thin; my body was cold; my skin was dry; .. all the symptoms of malnutrition (I wrote a blog about that later - Read that post HERE)).  I was determined to lose 50 pounds before I turned 50 and ended up losing almost 75 pounds.  Thus began “The Low Carb Cruise” (story of a different blog - that I have written about these past 6 years). 

Kimkins fell apart amid scam and scandal.  I was lost.  I wandered from forum to blog trying to find my way and “what worked for me”.  I was emotional (ate).  I was angry (ate).  I was lost (ate).  I would dive in with menu plans and a stocked fridge only to dive into a pizza at first opportunity.  Up and down.  Back and forth.  In it, out of it.  I continued to organize the cruise, slowly gaining weight  and getting more complacent.  I believed in the Low Carb life, but just could not seem to get back on the “freeway”.  I was stuck on the frontage road with NO on-ramp in sight.

BUT… I kept on.  I kept reading.  I kept listening.  I kept watching.  Perhaps I was not “doing” but by golly I was learning.  I sort of developed the mentality that "it works for everyone except me".

So… along comes the pivotal cruise of 2011.  I was back up to my heaviest I had been in a while (somewhere around 180 pounds).  
(Kristen Berglund and ME)

I saw pictures of myself and remembered how sad I felt.  They brought back memories of feeling embarrassed, sad, and just miserable.  AND of course there were hateful comments posted around on the web about the “fat” organizers of the low carb cruise.  I was “caught” eating French toast in the dining room, with “real syrup”. I guess they expected me to be more than what I could be.  I was not an “example”, but rather just like everyone else in the group – I needed help too!

So getting back home from the cruise in 2011 with all the “fat” comments, did I make a vow to start again?

No.  I had to wallow in self pity and carbage for a few more months.

Finally, Christmas, 2011 was the point of change.  I saw 205 on the scale.  I am only 5 feet tall and 225 was my highest weight ever (after my mom died in 2005).  I was only 20 pounds from that weight.  Oh my.  That woke me up.  December 27th, 2011, I crawled out of the pit.

I started doing standard Atkins Low Carb.  It was a typical menu of protein first, a vegetable, and sometimes a sugar free dessert.  I drank protein shakes and tampered with sugar free dessert recipes, etc.  I ate a LOT of splenda.  I enjoyed a LOT of cream – in my coffee and for cooking.  I put cheese on everything.  I ate a handful of nuts daily. 

I did NOT count carbs.  I did NOT count calories.  I did NOT weigh or measure my food.  I did NOT lose much, but by the end of February I was down to 195.  Ten pounds was good and I was feeling better, but still it was a hard battle and a struggle every single day.  I HATED obsessing about my diet.  I HATED that every day was about what I was going to eat, when was I going to eat it, and where was I going to eat.  However, I KNEW that the only way to conquer this was to get a routine going.

I do not exactly remember how I stumbled on her, but I found Dr. Mila MacManus from The Woodlands Institute of Health and Wellness (Click here for link).  I scraped money together to go and see her.  She tested me – lol, I mean literally!!! – hormones, thyroid, blood sugar, cholesterol, etc etc.   I was put on a plan and under her supervision I did a round of hCG (lost 15 pounds – so was at 180) and after that, a “Yeast Cleanse”.  It was a relief to follow a “plan” as opposed to the flying by the seat of my pants that I had been doing.  I had lists and charts.  I had “action”!!  I attended nutrition classes by one of her Nutritionists, Nancy Mehlert.  I was thrilled and elated that they were proponents of a low carb lifestyle (and good fats) and believed just like I did.  Hope was in my heart.  In addition to adjusting my thyroid meds and my bio-identical hormones, she put me on vitamin supplements.  I felt amazing… I had almost forgotten what “good health” felt like! 

So by the time of the cruise in 2012, I was back to 170.  My good friends Debbie Hubbs, Ailsa Washington, and Kim Eidson can attest to the struggles and tears, the victories and joys of this journey.  I felt good.  My clothes fit better.  I wasn’t embarrassed to stand up in front of the group.  I got my MOJO back!!!! 

(ME and Kim Eidson)

For THE first time, I ate completely low carb and sugar free on the cruise!  It helped having a cabin mate who was also determined, Thank you, KIM!!  Because I was the travel agent and group leader, every night the cruise line would bring in a plate of desserts to our stateroom.  They were beautiful works of art, hidden in my room with no “outside eyes” to see my sin.  What did I do?  I took photos.

What became of those nightly treats will remain our secret, but let’s just say, “They slept with the fishes.”

Returning home I have continued to focus on my goals.  As of this writing I am at 155, but I have a private goal in mind for the Low Carb Cruise in 2013.  I keep in touch with my doctor's office through their newsletters and emails.  I also read a LOT of the blogs of some of the best out there -- Jimmy Moore, Carb Tripper, Vanessa Romero (http://www.healthylivinghowto.com/), and many many more.  I have a great network of Low Carb / Paleo friends from the cruise and enjoy what they share on the Low Carb Cruise Group facebook page. 

I am just a regular person and I am amazed at my friends who can do all of the scientific research on themselves.  I am in awe of those who know the ratios and the pufas and the n=1’s and the ketones and all those wonderful tools that are out there.  HOWEVER, I am an artist type and numbers just do not stick in my head. Lol.  Let me paint a food portrait rather than graph my blood sugar.  That is just me – and I need it simple, plain, and straightforward.



I start every single morning with coffee.  Most of the time it is “Bulletproof” coffee, but sometimes just plain “my way” coffee.
Coffee (ok, I confess – I’m not a purist.  I have a mini-keurig so I use kcups)
Xylitol (2 tsps)
So Delicious Coconut Creamer OR Thai brand canned coconut cream
2 tbs kerrygold butter (from grassfed beef)
2 tbs MCT oil (refined coconut oil)

I bought an “aerolatte” whizzer gadget from Bed Bath and Beyond and this concoction foams up like the best starbucks latte you can buy.  Yummmmmm

BREAKFAST – My first thought is “fat”.  Sometimes it is only fat, sometimes it is mixed with protein.  It all depends on my mood and my time.  But here is a standard breakfast:

3 strips of bacon fried in 2 TBS butter
Add to that 1 or 2 eggs, fried
(I like the yolks thick but not done, sort of like the consistency of pudding)
I pour that, butter and all, into a bowl and enjoy.  (sometimes salt and pepper, but mostly not)

Those two things – egg bowl and coffee – will carry me through to 1 or 2 o’clock.  I am just not hungry.

LUNCH – fat and protein, maybe a small salad.. maybe, if I am in the mood.  (example: Small ribeye with butter sauce)
DINNER – fat and protein, maybe a veggie… maybe, if I am in the mood. (example:  Shrimp sauteed in butter with peppers and onions)
SNACKS – Dairy free, nut free fat bombs (basically just coconut oil, cocoa powder, powdered xylitol, vanilla extract, roasted coconut mixed together and poured into mini muffin cups) OR (and this is what I save my veggies for!) Raw cucumber slices, red bell pepper rings, etc.

I eat a LOT of beef.  I bought some grass-fed beef from a Texas farmer and there IS  difference in flavor!  Yummmmm

That is my typical day, but it is subject to change according to whim and schedule. Lol.

What I DO NOT eat anymore because of sensitivity and because my doctor said “do not” is:
Carbonated sodas
And then of course NONE of the following:
Grains (NO bread.. no bread substitutes, no grains period)
Starches (no starchy vegetables, potatoes, rice, corn, etc.. NONE)

Splenda was easy to give up because I had a couple of replacements recommended by my doctor – Stevia and Xylitol.  My grocery store sells both.

Dairy – ahhhhh, beautiful dairy – that was very very very very very hard… and I confess, it still is.  I grew up drinking milk with every meal.  I had cheese on everything.  I loved cream cheese, sour cream, and of course YOGURT!!  Yummmmmm  It was easy on a low carb diet to have an entire “dairy day”.  BUT the doctor said to lay it down so I did, skeptical, but I did it. (… and I confess, I did it in phases until I was totally off.  I looked for “replacements” first.)

With those changes, my weight began to go down.  The scale became my friend again.  I will mention that I do not like to exercise.  (Hate is such a strong word).  I joined Curves for women – the ultimate diva, girly-girl, air conditioned gym for the “not so sweaty” inclined. :D  Even for the 2-3 days a week that I go, it keeps me loose and limber and doing “something” as opposed to “nothing”.  Do not dis my Curves!!!  (Because of recent bladder surgery I have not been able to go.  I still have another month of recovery.)

To be totally honest I will confess that I have eaten carby foods a few times this year.  I have not been 100% perfect …. Only 99%.  I have gone out to eat with family and eaten a few chips with my salsa.  I ate the hand-made corn tortilla on my fish taco.  I had fresh pineapple in Hawaii.  BUT those occasions do NOT turn into a weekend binge.  Those indulgences do NOT derail my focus.  They are NOT excuses to just keep plowing that ditch the next day.  I wake up, make a plan, and get right back on the freeway.  I betcha I could count on ONE hand those special occasions this year. 

I said I did not “count” what I eat, but I recently added “MyFitnessPal” app to my iphone and ipad to just SEE how I was doing.  I was curious about how I “stacked” up to what is recommended.  Was my eating “intuition” on target or not?  On a typical day, these are my stats:

(I totally ignore the 55%/30%/15% that they recommend.  They obviously don't know my body or my friends! lol)

I do not believe that MY way of eating will work for everyone.  It only works for women over 50, who are dairy sensitive, hormone depleted, thyroid deficient, sedentary emotional/boredom eaters.  If you fit that category, then this could be your answer! Hahaha

The absolute, positive, main, number ONE thing that I believe and that has followed me through all these years of this blog is this –



"Between you and every goal that you wish to achieve, there is a series of obstacles, and the bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles. Your decision to be, have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties and challenges that are out of the ordinary as well. Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else."
~ Brian Tracy

Interested in the 2013 Low Carb Cruise? 

Hear guest speakers:

Robb Wolf - author of "The Paleo Solution"

Dave Asprey - The Bulletproof Executive



Vanessa said...

Look at you Becky! Beautiful! Healthy! Happy! Congrats on your success. I've been known to feed the fishies as well! ;)

Becky Gandy said...

hahaha... Thanks Vanessa. (I didn't want the room stewart to find those works of art in the trash, so... I did what I had to do!)

Lisa Coker said...

Thanks for sharing your downs as well as ups. You are an inspiration and one lovely lady!

Margareta said...

Thanks for sharing Becky, in my eyes you have always been beautiful, but you surprised me this year. You're my hope and inspiration at the moment.

Becky Gandy said...

Thanks Lisa. I know the feeling of helplessness that comes with trying to find your "diet way" and hope that I can help someone over the hurdle.

Margareta Lundström said...

Thanks for sharing Becky, in my eyes you have always been beautiful, but you surprised me this year. You're my hope and inspiration at the moment.

Becky Gandy said...

Hang in there, Margareta!! Let me know if you need anything! My first advise is to try "No Dairy" for 2 weeks and see if it makes a difference. It might not, but... it just might.

Anne H said...

YOU, my dear, look absolutely wonderful.
Onward and downward!

MargieAnne said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I have been stuck for 2 months with very little weight loss and have been wondering how to go about tweaking my eating plan.

At 73 years old I have had remarkable success with loa carb and this year I cut out wheat entirely and lost about 50 pounds in the first six months of 2012.

I've been reading a lot about increasing fats and keeping carbs lower but I certainly could not drink your kind of coffee. I prefer mine black and unsweetened. *smiles*

Today I discussed where I am with my husband and am going to do a dairy free experiment for the next week, stretching it out to 4 weeks and maybe forever.

Your eating plan template looks a little like the way I prefer to eat and I really do not want to weigh, measure and count so today begins my dairy free plan.


scall0way said...

Becky, you look totally awesome. Way to go girl. I totally won't have xylitol in the house since it's so DEADLY for dogs, and I'm a dog owner. But other than that your food looks yummy. Though going dairy-free sure would be tough for me! I love me my dairy.

Nickie Cochran said...

Becky, your story is so inspirational! I am so looking forward to see you again on the next cruise (lol, maybe I'll have to do a double-take by then???) Keep up the good work!

Nickie Cochran said...

Becky, your story is so inspirational! I am so looking forward to see you again on the next cruise (lol, maybe I'll have to do a double-take by then???) Keep up the good work!

JoAnn P said...

Great post. very impressed with your sacrifices to Neptune. I had a hard enough time resisting the nightly bed chocolates!