New year, new me?

I am still way behind mentally. I feel like it’s September, maybe October. I cannot believe that we are already a few DAYS into 2016.

I am not one for resolutions, though. I have never made a new year’s resolution in my life. I just don’t see the point in trying to do something to drastically improve my life after binge drinking into a coma. I also don’t drink very much. Maybe I just don’t have the hang of this whole New Year’s Eve thing…

I did, however, set a goal for myself. I made it down below 300 lbs. before the end of 2015. I actually did it a little before the end! Go me!

My goal for 2016 is to get below 200 lbs.

I know I will get there. It takes a lot of patience and dedication, though.

Over new year’s I made cupcakes using a box of cake mix and a can of lime flavored seltzer water then adding a marshmallow to the top for s’mores flavored cupcakes. They turned out tasty. I haven’t had chocolate in several months so maybe that’s why I liked them so much. I kept eating them.

We also bought a 4 lb. tub of Red Vines. Between the cupcakes which had a little canola oil in the mix and the licorice that was fat free so totally okay to indulge in I way overdid it this weekend.

I hit my lowest weight since I started the HCLF diet ever on the morning of the 1st. I was 295.8. I was so excited. But then, treats happened. Today I was up to 299.8!

I have been very diligent about paying attention to what I’m eating and am making deliberate choices to support myself since then. I am also being conscious of my movements. Today is the first day my Vivosmart has given me a goal of over 10,000 steps and I am already almost there. Another trip through the store and a walk with the dog should do it!

While I refuse to engage in the silly tradition of setting unrealistic standards for myself that I only intend to break within a few months, I do believe in goals as a direction. I need that kind of planning or compass in my life. I know that my behaviors today set up the successes or failures of the end of the year.

That is why it is so important for me to choose healthy patterns and thought processes.

It is not easy. Goodness knows how much I want to just stuff candy in my mouth! Or ice cream. I am just in a funky mood that sets me off craving fatty, carb-laden treats. But I know that I need to choose my health over old habits.

I guess this is a new me after all. 🙂

Beautiful Bounty

This is a few days late since I promised to share the recipe for that pumpkin pie I mentioned on Thursday. I will say this. That night, the two of us ate half the pie! Then we finished it the next day. There is noFat Free Vegan Impossible Pie real crust on this, so it is a bit different from a traditional pie. But it’s like the filling baked alone with a kind of crust that develops. In any case, it’s delicious! I have several cans of pumpkin in the cupboard and can see us eating one a week! 🙂 Here is where you can find the recipe. I used Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer and followed the directions for that amount plus water. I also was lazy and just went with pumpkin pie spice. Still, I highly recommend this recipe! The best part about it? It’s super easy!!! You stick some stuff into a blender. (We do not have a fancy, high powered blender. A regular one worked just fine.) Add a few more things and blend some more. Then pour into a pie plate and bake. Easy-peasy!

I also decided to make a full second Thanksgiving for my mom this past Saturday. She lives over an hour away so when I got home from work I ran around frantically throwing things into bags to take with us. The menu:
– Stuffed pumpkin
– Mashed potatoes
– Mashed sweet potatoes
– Dinner rolls
– Cranberry sauce
– Broccoli

On the way out, about half way, I realized I had forgotten the recipes. Oops! Luckily, I have Google on my phone. Crisis averted. I also realized I forgot the vegetable broth and oat milk I would need. So Saturday morning I woke M up and off we went to Sprouts. We got all the stuff we needed, plus a few other goodies. Once back at the house I started in the kitchen. Honestly, at this point I cannot even remember how I did everything. I just started things in pots and pans until the house smelled amazing.

I will be honest. I didn’t cook the broccoli. I know, for shame, right?

So we ate a fully plant based meal with no green vegetable except for the celery in the stuffing. As for the pumpkin, it was a very pretty presentation, but it was undercooked. I left in the oven for a full 2 hours, but it was hard Beautiful Bountyand stringy. Not the best. I would stuff a smaller squash again, maybe a sugar pie pumpkin or something in that size range. M and I also both prefer stuffing cooked in a pan so that there is more of the crispy top. Overall, though, a pretty amazing meal.

Here is the pumpkin: Stuffed Pumpkin

And dinner with a mound of dinner rolls. They were awesome!The full meal

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you enjoy the people you were with? Did you have two or more? How was the food? What is your favorite tradition?

4 months as a McDougaller

As of today I have been following the McDougall Program for 4 months. In that time I have lost more than 40 lbs. I have also regulated my periods. My skin looks amazing. I have digestive regularity. I eat whenever I am hungry (when I have food). And I never restrict anything I truly want. The funny thing is, though, since I switched to this way of eating I haven’t wanted anything off plan except pumpkin pie with my sister. So I had a piece. It took two days to eat it. And it was worth every bite. I tell people about my diet, but I am definitely not on a Diet. I intend to eat this way for the rest of my life. And I love it!

So what does this look like in a day? I almost always eat oatmeal for breakfast. I learned a great trick which is to put quick-cooking oats in a bowl and pour boiling water over them then cover for 10 minutes. Perfect! I usually just eyeball it to about half a bowl of oats, then add dried or freeze dried fruit like currants, blueberries, strawberries, or apples. I add enough water to fill the bowl then cover with a plate. While it steeps I do my hair and makeup for work or watch tv or take the dog for a walk. When I’m ready to eat I add a little brown sugar and sometimes cinnamon then stir it up and enjoy! I actually like to make it on the thicker side so I can eat it on my way to work. 🙂 What else are red lights for?

Lunch is often leftovers from dinner. I have also been enjoying Dr. McDougall’s soup cups. The chicken ramen is my favorite. I also went through a period where I ate a bag of frozen corn and a bag of mixed vegetables. Sometimes I bring plain potatoes and make sandwiches with some ketchup and a sprinkle of salt. Now there are brands of frozen steamed rice. Occasionally I’ll go out to eat. I like sushi (all vegetables) or pizza with no cheese or meat and lots of veggies.

I snack a lot during the day. I eat bread right out of the bag – usually Alvarado Street Bakery. Sometimes I treat myself to a loaf of sourdough bread, though, when I’m feeling indulgent. I also have been known to buy Red Vines. Once I even got some sugar snap peas and baby carrots! I also like the applesauce pouches for when my blood sugar feels very low.

Dinner is usually where I put the most effort. I like to cook with a range of flavors. I love Mexican because salsa adds so much flavor without much fat. I like to make other ethnic foods as well like the Kenyan food and fried rice I made awhile back. Ethnic foods are so great since they have so much flavor. Standard American fare tends to focus on meats and cheese-heavy dishes. So the variety of flavor offered from cuisines around the world is refreshing and, quite literally, enlightening. The biggest point I can make for dinner is to eat food that fills you up in a way that makes you feel healthy. That is my priority. I like to be filled up comfortably with warm food that fuels my life.

I also walk everyday with my dog and sometimes my husband. I wear a pedometer with a goal of 6000 steps a day. Most days I meet it, some days I far exceed it. I have discovered recently that I am taking fewer steps on the same walk. So the dog and I are going for longer and longer walks. He loves it! He knows when we are doing a longer walk based on which way we go at an intersection. I love how enthusiastic he is about our walks, too. Last weekend we went to a park I went to for day camp as a kid. We walked about 3 miles in a light drizzle. It was such a great walk! But we never push past where I am comfortable. I do not force myself to exercise when I don’t feel like it, unless I am home alone and the dog needs a walk. But then he is very understanding. 🙂 What a good boy! I love that I enjoy my daily walks and actually feel it in my legs when I am too sedentary. I used to be able to ignore the feeling and just keep sitting but now I get up and go for a quick stroll. At work I walk around the building, go to another business nearby for something, or just stand and work for a bit. At home I strap on the leash and we hit the pavement. Even 20 minutes refreshes me. The best part, though, is how good it feels. I WANT to walk.

Happy dog
Happy dog

It is not all sugar and spice, though. I am struggling with how I look. I don’t see any change in the size of my belly. I understand that I have lost some size since I had to buy smaller pants, but what I see when I look down is the same that it has always been. That is a challenge. I also am having an issue with feeling vulnerable without the buffer of fat. I still have plenty, but almost everyone who hasn’t seen me in awhile tells me how great I look. It makes me feel very uncomfortable since I don’t think I look that different and I don’t think I looked that bad. Or maybe I never think I look that good. It’s hard to say which. In any case, I am not quite sure how to respond. I usually try to focus on how I feel and my health improvements instead of how I look.

I am also having a major struggle with the idea of conception. I am terrified to get pregnant right now since I am still so far from healthy. But I also am terrified about waiting any longer since I am now 33 1/2. What if I lose all the weight to get to a healthy BMI and still can’t get pregnant? What if there is some residual damage from being so obese for so much of my life? What if I am totally fertile and still can’t get pregnant? These thoughts are circling my consciousness these days. I want so much to go through the process of having a baby and raising my child. But what if it never happens? Will I always have this gnawing feeling? Will it always make me feel so left out when my friends talk about their kids? Will I ever accept that this could be it for me? I don’t know.

I will say that my PCOS is much better on this starch-based diet than it ever has been before. My periods used to be so painful I would have to take 800 mg of ibuprofen at a time to feel any relief at all. I also was glued to my heating pad and constantly shifting positions to keep the pain at bay enough that I wasn’t in tears. It didn’t always work. Now I often go through whole days with no medication at all. When I do need it, 200 to 400 mg is sufficient to manage my cramping. The improvement in my cystic acne is amazing as well! I currently get a few small pimples here and there and usually one cyst near my chin, but I don’t have a rash of pustules anymore! I can leave the house without any foundation and still feel okay about how I look. That is HUGE for me!

Obviously I am still a work in progress. But I’m okay with that. I just want to be the best me that I can be. As long as I continue to improve I am happy. And every day I continue to make choices that benefit me in the long run. So I’m doing well. All in all, I am confident in the fact that this is how I will be eating and exercising for a long time to come. 🙂

Moving moving moving

Life is very busy right now. I am so thrilled that last week on Tuesday I got to meet my nephew for the very first time. He is such a smooshy-face! He is charming and inquisitive and absolutely adorable. I know I’m biased, but he is a darned cute kid!

When they first arrived my brother-in-law was craving a milkshake so we walked to an ice cream parlor that was a few blocks away. I think it may be about a half mile or so. I was holding the baby – L – and my sister pulled out the carrier. I am still well over 300 lbs and much larger than I am truly comfortable being so I was very nervous that the belt wouldn’t reach around me. But it fit! And not even at the loosest setting! So I got to walk with the baby strapped to me. I loved the extra cuddle time and held his feet the whole way. He did great until he finally got so tired he let Momma carry him again while she worked to soothe him and get him ready for a nap.

That day between the walking around and the “baby bounce” I did more than 12,000 steps! I was so proud of myself.

Yesterday’s WW meeting topic was ways to fit fitness in. Lots of people talked about their structured workouts, which are great. I talked about that little love bug who kept me moving for hours! After the meeting I took a nap then took the dog for a walk. I had taken him on a shorter than normal walk before the meeting (since I go at 730 am) so I took him on a longer one for the afternoon. Right when we got home my mother-in-law invited me for a walk with her. I should have known that she would push me much further than I really wanted to go, but I did it anyway. We did about 5 miles in the Oakland Hills on some beautiful trails. I was huffing and puffing (and I will definitely be digging out my inhaler for future hikes), but I made up and down all of it. It was about 2 hours total. And I made it to over 16,000 steps yesterday!!!

I am working as hard as I can to feel strong in my body and this helps for sure. It is an amazing feeling to look down a steep hill and see the trail I just made it up. I didn’t take any pictures, but the views were amazing. And now I know that I CAN do that kind of trail. I am looking forward to the day that that is easy for me.

I also have been cooking up a bunch of new recipes. I found another great website for inspiration: http://fatfreevegan.com/

My father-in-law is so impressed with how much weight we have lost that he has decided to try it out for a week to see how he feels. I am going to print all of the McDougall info and possibly a few other recipe ideas for him. He enjoys cooking very much so I am curious to see how the transition to fat free cooking goes. But I am just happy that he sees something positive in us and wants to make a healthy change himself.

Check out the great recipes there! One that I made over the weekend was the Melty Pizza Cheese variation. I poured it over plain pasta at my company party and added sweet potatoes I brought with me. It was a little weird to bust out my little containers of food, but so nice to not be sick to my stomach in the morning! And the cheese sauce tasted great! I ate some more with left over sweet potatoes and green beans. An interesting blend of foods, but quite tasty.

One other thing that is challenging for me right now is my mom. She has a very bad back and was hoping to have a small fusion surgery this fall. When we went to the doctor for a consultation last week he made it clear that what she thought would help would probably not help and would most likely end up hurting her more. We were both devastated and sat in the car crying for about 10 minutes after the appointment. One thing he made clear was that her weight will hinder any recovery. I am planning on spending a week at her house with my sister and her family and asked if my mom would commit to following the McDougall program since I’ll be there cooking for myself anyway. She agreed. She has been increasing her starch consumption but still has dairy, eggs, and oils as a regular part of her diet. So for a week she’ll switch to tea for her caffeine and go strictly starch based for the rest! If she notices a difference in her arthritis, blood sugar, or weight and feels better then she can continue if she wants. I hope she does.

So that’s me for now. I am trying so hard to see the positive in myself. And I am doing all I can do right now. And I just keep moving.

Doctor appointment and my progress

I saw a fertility doctor in June who got a fire under my butt about my health. I honestly did not know the effects of estrogen dominance other than my cycle was always wonky. But that appointment was truly a turning point in my life. I am so grateful that I found how beneficial a starch-based diet is for anyone with excess estrogen in her body. I went for a follow up visit not long ago and this is where I am now.

My blood pressure was still elevated, but not as much. I know that a lot of it has to do with the stress of dealing with fertility issues and the guilt associated with losing two pregnancies while trying to move forward. I was also a little nervous about talking to my doctor about the diet I’m using since not all medical professionals appreciate the value of a very low fat, whole food, starch-based diet. Plus we were getting the results of my husband’s semen analysis so there was another thing to stress about. I know that my everyday blood pressure is fine. I can feel when it rises. I feel the thumping of my pulse and the tightness in my chest. I know when it goes up before a doctor visit. I work in a grocery store that has a blood pressure machine and think I’m going to start checking it, just to see. I also might buy a monitor for home use. I checked them out at Walgreens yesterday. Not right away, but a good investment in my health for sure.

My weight has dropped quite a bit. In the time between visits I lost 19.4 lbs at Weight Watchers, including losing over 5% of my starting weight. I am thrilled with that. One thing the doctor said in the initial visit was that even if the excess fat was not specifically causing adverse effects on my fertility it was still a good idea to lose as much weight as possible to have the healthiest pregnancy and least complicated delivery possible. As I have been learning about the health effects of obesity I can completely agree with that point. Excess adipose tissue takes up valuable space that the placenta and fetus need to grow into. I am crushing my organs with the fat built up in my chest and abdominal cavities. The best thing I can do for myself and my future child(ren) is lose as much of the extra weight as possible BEFORE I conceive. I also have been reading about the negative effects of toxic buildup released from fat cells as pregnant women burn through their fat stores. Knowing this I feel that much more strongly that I need to lose as much weight, specifically fat, as possible before I get pregnant. The good news is that as I lose weight and reduce the overall estrogen load on my body I will have a much easier time conceiving. I am completely optimistic about this process and know that I will be able to finally conceive a healthy baby that I carry to term and deliver without complications or interventions.

I told my doctor what I’m doing and why. I told her that I am walking everyday (about 20-25 minutes in the morning and 30-45 when I get home from work, longer on off days) and eating in a way to increase insulin sensitivity naturally. I also am making sure I get a lot of fiber to help reduce the estrogen currently in my system. She said that it is absolutely a healthy way to eat and that I am doing everything right. She also said that she wishes all her patients would do what I did. I love that she sees how seriously I take this process and that she sees the positive results as proof of increasing health. It was a great visit in terms of my progress.

I have been taking the Provera (progesterone) following the directions on the bottle. The directions are to take one pill a day for 10 days each month. Given those directions I have been taking the medication on the same day of the month, every month. I was not entirely sure that was correct since it could have been on the same day of my cycle. But she confirmed that I am taking it correctly and that soon I should start to regulate when I get my period which will give us a better idea of where ovulation should be.

We also talked about M’s test results and what we are going to do going forward. He just started Chantix to quit smoking cigarettes (he’s been smoking for over 2 decades). He also is starting a new job with regular hours on Monday so we’ll have much more financial stability. With that stability we hope to buy a second car since now he drives a motorcycle as his primary means of transportation. With both of those changes she said the best thing to do is give it 3-4 months then do another test and come back to see where we are before we start Clomid to induce ovulation. I am hoping that in the next 4 months I can lose enough weigh to be below 300 lbs. I am feeling confident about that as well.

I have been only weighing myself at WW and the doctor, but that left me with days at a time when I had no idea what was happening. So last week we bought a scale. Since Monday morning I have lost 2.8 lbs. I am still going to use my WW weight as my official weight until I stop, which will be when my prepaid time is up, next month. But I am so excited to weigh myself every morning and see the scale continuing to go down. I know I am doing the best thing for myself by following Dr. McDougall’s recommendations. I even bought his book specifically for women. I am in chapter 5 now and know for sure that I am finally supporting my body in the healthiest way possible.

It’s been a month and here’s where I am.

I actually started incorporating the principles laid out in The Starch Solution right after the 4th of July. It is now the second week in August and I thought it would be a good time for a check in. Warning: this post will be talking in detail about my body’s reactions to the program I am following including digestion and menstrual changes. Read at your discretion. 🙂

First of all, the weight loss. Before I started this I had lost 3.2 lbs in three weeks on WW following the Points Plus program. Not phenomenal, but still a step in the right direction. As of this past Sunday which was the next five weeks that I have been basing my diet on starches I have lost 18.8 lbs and 5% of my starting weight. So in five weeks I lost 15.6 lbs. Not too shabby, if you ask me! That’s an average of over 3 lbs per week! While this is faster than the generally accepted speed of weight loss, I feel great, I eat when I am hungry and never try to limit how much I eat, and I feel like my body is just letting go of the excess it doesn’t need. There is no forcing it, I am not fighting myself, and I am not punishing my body with insane workouts that leave me in tears. And yet the weight is coming off easily! I am so happy about that. I can already see changes in how big my belly is. My clothes are already fitting differently. I am so excited!

There are also other physical changes that are worth mentioning. The first is my skin. I have historically had very dry hands. My hands get rough like sand paper and often crack and bleed. It is incredibly painful. I use lotion several times a day and have tried most designed specifically for very dry hands and still nothing. I even had to take my wedding ring off months ago because the skin was so irritated by it I couldn’t tolerate it. But a few days ago I noticed that my hands are not super dry. I still use lotion regularly, but much less often. And it only takes a little squirt to fully soften and hydrate my hands. So I put my ring back on. 🙂 It is amazing to be able to wear my wedding ring again after having it off for so long. And the skin around it is fine!

I also have adult acne. It’s embarrassing to say the least. 33 is not an age that most people have to deal with giant, cystic pimples. But I do. Often the break out is around my period and several days before. I thought for a very long time that it was just hormonal and there was nothing I could do about it. But I got my period last week with only one or two tiny whiteheads beforehand. Saturday night we got Indian takeout. I ordered it with as little oil as possible and I think I irritated the woman taking my order by being so picky because everything was drenched in oil, even the plain rice. I ate anyway since it was dinner time and I was definitely hungry, but I felt sick right away. My entire digestive track was upset with the amount of fat in that meal. I watched a video of a set of twins who cleared their acne using Dr. McDougall’s dietary recommendations and their biggest trigger was fat. So I started paying attention and lo and behold I have been breaking out since that meal. I had two large, deep pimples on the side of my chin and I am still dealing with some smaller ones around my whole face. It’s interesting to see the effects of my diet on my skin. Before I saw that video I would have just blamed my period, even though it had all but stopped by that point. But still, the hormones, you know? Now I can see that my body is still clearing the excess oil out of my system. And I can see the effect of eating so low fat in healing the pimples that did erupt.

I also am seeing a major difference in my hair! My hair is a major source of stress for me. It’s growing out from a terrible haircut, I heat style it often, and I get dandruff from shampoo. My roots are constantly oily and my ends are dry. It gets frizzy. The wave pattern is all over the place. And I can break a brush just by brushing it out. Since I switched to starches, my hair has more shine all the way down. It also isn’t as oily at the roots. The ends don’t feel as dry. I have not changed my products or my styling routine, just my diet. It doesn’t tangle as easily, unless we drive with the windows down. Since it’s longish I try not to do that often. But it is looking better all the time and I find myself liking it more and more. Major bonus!!!

Now for the internal stuff. I am very gassy. I have always been super gassy at night, but now it is much more so. That said, even though it’s loud and embarrassing, it doesn’t have much of an odor. So I’m okay with it. As long as it doesn’t happen at work! Haha! The solids are moving through much more easily, too. There is so much fiber in my diet now that everything just goes right through. I wish things were a little more firm than they are, but I’m more glad that they are not hanging around inside my gut. So I’ll take it how it is.

I also just finished my period over the weekend. In the past few years my cycle has been incredibly irregular. I could go for six weeks with nothing and once I went for eight weeks with blood every single day. It was miserable. I also often have a very heavy flow with large clots of tissue that are very painful to pass. I take a ton of ibuprofen, pushing the limits of safety, just so I can function. I live with a heating pad on my belly and always try to stay in a position that creates less pain. It is terrible. I am also taking progesterone to clear out excess endometrial tissue that has built up from lack of ovulation. The first cycle my period was miserable as usual. I could barely tolerate it. But this time I spotted for a few days then I had a light day, a medium day, then a half of a light day and it was over. I only took two Advil the whole time! I could not believe the difference between the two cycles. I know for certain that what I am doing with my diet is allowing my body a chance to breathe and heal. I am so thrilled with this change!

I also have hope. I feel so good physically and mentally. I am starting to believe that I can actually and finally lose this weight. I am starting to believe that at some point I will get pregnant naturally, I will carry to term, and I will deliver without complication. Given my history it is easy to see why this hope is such a big deal for me. And the best part is that I am not at all stressed about it. I know that I can just keep eating potatoes, rice, bread and corn and I will keep moving toward true health for possibly the first time in my life. Needless to say, my month long experiment has left me a firm supporter of starch!

Small signs of big changes

I work inside a grocery store. I am currently not eating probably 90% of the foods sold in this store. There is a deli that serves hot foods and a soup bar, both of which are very fragrant. When I go to the bakery section I have to walk past these plus the cheese cooler. You know the cheese cooler. It is full of every imaginable kind of cheese from all over the world. I love(d) cheese. So it’s been a bit of a challenge for me to be comfortable with my current eating program with all of these “bad” foods around me. Not that they are bad for everyone. Or maybe they are. It’s not my place to make dietary decisions for the world at large. I can say with certainty that fats and animal foods are bad for my body. Since cutting them out a month ago I have lost over 10 lbs. I have less acne. I am experiencing less hormonal disruptions with my cycle. I have been reading about diet and hormones and firmly believe that everything I have done in the past to “get healthy” ended up hurting me even more. So I am delighted to finally feel good!

Back to my original idea, I just took a walk around the store since it’s a bit chilly in here and I wanted to warm up. I walked past all kinds of things that in the past have felt like they were calling out to me. Today they just sat there quietly. I felt great but a little leery as I rounded the last corner toward the deli and cheese section. I got hit with the cheese smell first and was pleasantly disgusted. It smelled like soured milk! Which is what it is, but the deliciousness was no longer there. That’s amazing! Then the hot foods smell. That didn’t smell good either! I have loved chicken strips for most of my life. Today they smelled greasy and old. Not at all appealing. Wow!!! For me this is huge!

I have a dinner date with a friend later this week. We’re going to a sushi place near our work. She’s not a huge fan of sushi and I’ve never tried the restaurant before, but I already scoped the menu and feel like there are enough choices I’ll be okay. I’m just happy that I don’t need to worry about “temptations” like I have in the past. They just don’t tempt me right now. That said, I did eat quite a few Red Vines last night. They have no fat and are not a regular part of my diet so I think they are totally acceptable. We also went to a block party last night as part of the National Night Out. I brought a veggie tray and snacked on my way home. I was not at all hungry when we got there. M didn’t want to eat anything since he’s actually been pretty careful with his food choices lately, too. But after probably 20 minutes of talking he was finally hungry. I think he ate two or three plates of food. It all looked great and I was pleased to see him choosing more starches and veggies than meat dishes. He also passed on the cookies and brownies since he filled up on those on Sunday at another party. Silly guy! Everything smelled great but I didn’t have any desire to eat the foods there. Afterward, we walked our dog then I had rice and veggies leftover from my lunch. Simple, easy, and tasty.

I am also noticing that my clothes are starting to fit differently. I have a pair of black pants I wear quite often. They ride up a lot and I constantly have to rub my legs to pull them down. Yesterday I noticed that they aren’t riding up much anymore. I am also wearing a peasant style blouse today that often shows my belly due to it’s bright solid color. Today I noticed that my belly doesn’t stick out as much. These are small changes, for sure. But I am feeling great from it. I love that food is not in control of me. And I don’t have to be in control of it, either. I just eat foods that are not hurting me and when I’m full I stop. I have a ton of containers in varying sizes so nothing goes to waste. I just pack it up and eat it later. There is so much freedom in this. I have been looking for a way to create a healthy relationship with food for most of my life. Who knew all it took was cutting out added fats and animal foods?

Did you participate in National Night Out? Have you even heard of it? You can find more info here. Basically it’s a chance for neighbors to meet and get to know each other to build community and strengthen the neighborhood watch. It’s nice to get to know the people I say hi to when walking the dog. And it’s also good to know who you can turn to if you ever need help. So make sure you find out about your local block party for next year and get to know your neighbors!

Three weeks done!

I am starting my 4th week following a cross between the regular McDougall program outlined in The Starch Solution and the one for Maximum Weight Loss. I am still eating some bread, tortillas and pastas. But most of my meals are whole foods. I eat very little fats and only occasionally. I never eat isolated fats (with the exception of a tablespoon of some vegan ranch dressing I added to a bowl of bulgur and pinto beans). I eat a lot of potatoes and various grains. Tonight I am making plantains.

So how is it going so far? Well, I feel great! I have a lot of energy, I am breaking out less, and my clothes are all getting looser. I have lost 10.6 lbs in 3 weeks which I am very proud of. If I maintain this average by the end of the year I will have lost at least 75 lbs. That number seems out of reach right now, but not unattainable. I am NOT trying to rush my weight loss. I am just trying to eat the foods that make me feel the best. And I am not in any way trying to restrict how much I eat. If I am hungry, I eat. No issue.

I will be seeing my doctor again next month and will go over all my health changes and reevaluate my medications. I would love to stop some or all of them! But that will be a decision between me and my doctor, not me and a book. 🙂 I just am feeling great about my health these days. I still have one more week for this experiment but I can say that three weeks in and I still love what I’m doing.

I also recently found some videos on YouTube about women with PCOS using this kind of diet to help with their imbalances. That gave me some hope as well. I am almost finished reading the Maximum Weight Loss book and got to a section on hormones and diet that reinforced my belief that I am doing the best thing possible for my health by avoiding animal products or added fats. I have so much body fat that as I metabolize it I know all of my needs are being met. I also still have some oil on my face and hair coming out from the inside. I am looking forward to when that clears up.

So that’s where I’m at for now. 🙂 Have you made any changes to your diet or lifestyle recently that are working well? What is helping you feel healthy and supported? What could use some tweaking? Share in the comments below!