Friday, January 6, 2017

Reflecting on my Journey prior to 2017

Entering into 2017 has brought me to a place of sorrow, regret and overall personal pain, as I think about the years of dieting and attempting to lose weight. I can't help but feel like a failure, as I continue to grow heavier and heavier. 
Back in August 2013, I started the low carb journey (You Tube, Facebook Group and this Blog) thinking "This is IT!, I figured it out!". I lost 45 pounds with what seems like "ease", just to more easily gain back 55 pounds. 
I would go back into LCHF multiple times, before truly realizing the negative symptoms I was experiencing each and every time I was doing LCHF:
  • Irritation
  • Mood Swings
  • Overall unhappiness
  • Headaches
  • Lethargy
  • Very Low energy (maybe 1 day a week high energy)
  • and many more
A little research revealed that all of those symptoms were in fact what a lot of people that go too low carb experience.  The answer, eat higher carb.  Not high carb per se, but higher.  So I started a way of eating where I didn't eat carbs, but I did pay attention and attempted to maintain below 150g. 
Lo and behold - I lost weight at the exact same rate as eating a ketogenic diet.  Interesting, considering the keto community claims they lose weight faster.   And even better than that - I felt AWESOME!   Seriously, I went from one day a week of high energy (6 days low energy), to 6 days high energy (1 day low energy).  Additionally, all those sugar cravings, in-between meal hunger, etc. that the ketogenic diet claims to help with, was also gone with the less than 150g/day "diet". 
This was a phenomenal discovery for me.  I literally felt better eating higher carbs, experienced the same rate of weight loss, had no negative symptoms, and felt extremely high energy. 
I also experienced the following:
  • Increased "want/need" for exercise.  Had no problem going for an hour+ walk every day
  • Spontaneous exercise - Just suddenly turn on an exercise video and go, go, go
  • Woke up every morning WITHOUT a problem.  Suddenly the 8 hours of sleep I had always had every night, was actually more than enough!
  • Menstruations were lighter
  • PMS symptoms were 50% reduced
  • and many more I can't remember right now
Sounds great, right?  Well it is, or was.  The thing is, I have the exact same problem I had with LCHF.  I just can't stay away from the sugar.  
The truth is, sugar is my happy place. 

Sugar is my best friend, celebrating with me during those happy moments, and making me feel better during those sad, depressing, stressed out moments. 
The next major realization I have made - The type of "Diet" doesn't matter!  Here I was removing all carbs (and sugar) from my "diet", thinking that I would be so much healthier, which wasn't true. 
Side Note:  If you think removing sugar is the only way to reverse diabetes, you too are falling pray to the misinformation in the diet world.  There are just as many high carbers eating healthy and reversing diabetes as there are low carbers.  Seriously, google it!
As I was saying, over the past 3+ years I have thought it was a lower carb diet that would cure me, help me lose weight, make me healthy, help me live forever.  Nope. 
Instead, I have found these key items are all I need:

  • Self Respect.  If I respect myself, I won't engage in disrespecting activities against myself. 

  • Acceptance.  Accept me for me.  I have my faults.  And guess what? When I lose 100 pounds, I will still have my faults, they just won't weigh 100 pounds.  We are all sinners in the eye of our creator, and I will never be perfect, no matter how I look. 

  • Mindful Eating practices (Mindfulness):  Slow down, eat when hungry, stop when full, chew adequately. 

  • Exercise:  Who wants to eat unhealthy when you just conquered a 2 hour walk?  Seriously, exercise just makes me feel so much better mentally and physically.  And I'm not talking a 1 hour bootcamp.  I'm talking a light walk, a 15 minute kettlebell workout, etc.  Nothing too crazy.  Just enough to get the heart rate up, and a smile on my face.

  • Healthy food choices:  Choosing lots of veggies, whole foods.  If I want desserts, the healthiest are homemade with whole natural sugar sources (dates, fruit, etc.).  I have yet to overeat on a healthy homemade dessert.  They are just too filling. 

  • Say No to [processed] Sugar, Most of the time. 

For Example:  There are instances when my son would share his organic cane sugar jelly beans with me, and I could eat 20 of them, and never think about sugar again.  When I was in ketosis, if I ate those 20 jelly beans, I would finish off a tub of Ben and Jerry's and just start again on Monday.  I just could not handle even the slightest sweet flavor in my mouth. 

So there it is, my own personal key to health.  Seems easy right?  Well, once I get started and past the sugar withdrawals, it is always easy.  The hard part for me is when I reach a highly stressed out situation.  Since I was a very little girl (grade school), I turned to sugar to make me feel better.  I am trying to break a highly addictive habitual behavior that I have had for over 28 years. 

Wow!   I just realized I have turned to my sugar friend for 28 years.  That is a long time.  No wonder this is so hard! 

With that being said, I do not know how much longer I will continue the Facebook Group or even this Blog, as both of them are in disagreement with my current life values. 

I am very thankful for the people I have met through this journey, and although some may not agree with my post, rest assured knowing that I still appreciate everyone that helped me get to this point.  And even if you disagree with me and my personal beliefs today, doesn't mean we cannot support eachother.

I would like to continue writing and sharing my journey, as I believe it is healthy for me, as well as possible helpful to others. 

Until next time, Peace

- Jenny


Monday, March 7, 2016

Lowest Point in my Life - Little India Singapore

As I gather my things for another haul across the world for business meetings, I can't help but remember the lowest point in my life, just a few short months ago.  As you will see from the below, I hit rock bottom, on the other side of the world, in a town that spoke no English. 

I am forever grateful for that moment, as it propelled me into doing something more positive for myself.  I captured the moment, so that when I am feeling down, I can remember how far I have come. 

Below was originally written on Sunday, December 6, 2015 while I was in Singapore (Little India) hotel...

"I am writing this out of necessity.  I want to forever remember this moment, now called "The Lowest Point in My Life". 

Shortly before coming to Singapore, I quickly realized that I am only a few pounds shy of my highest weight, and therefore would not have an easy trip.  The last time I weighed this much was in 2011 when I travelled to Thailand.  I barely fit in the airplane seat, could hardly stand the excessive walking, all resulting in excessive sweating [especially compared to my teammates], and chaffing in unexpected areas.  That trip was wonderful and painful at the same time. 

After that initial trip to Thailand, I lost 45 pounds and travelled two more times to Thailand and once to Israel.  Walking around and sitting on the place were much more tolerable during those trips.

Fast forward to just a week ago, when I realized I weighed much more and did not expect an easy trip.  I believe my stomach is much larger since the 2011 Thailand trip, due to excessive consumption of sugar, and high levels of stress (key word = cortisol).

I left for Singapore on 27 November (day after Thanksgiving).  The flight was mildly uncomfortable, especially when I had to get in and out of my seat.  I'm way too large for the seats, especially when trying to get in and out.

Upon landing here, it was very apparent how uncomftable the heat and humidity would feel.  By the time I sat in the taxi, I was sweating and ready for a cold shower.  Keep in mind, the sun asn't even out, and its 1:30am. 

The first full day of our trip (Sunday), we spent walking around and sightseeing.  We walked all around, but due to the heat and our jet lag, we settled on a taxi to return to the hotel.  The next three days were mostly meetings with some evening walking and sweating.

The next four days (to include today), have consisted of a ridiculous amount of walking and sightseeing.  I do not know the number of miles walked each day [turns out to be more than 10], but I would say somewhere between five and seven miles a day.  If you are reading this, I know you are thinking that is not much, so let me put this in perspective.  Singapore is about 90 degrees F with 95% humidity, and I'm lugging an extra 100 pounds around, not to forget my book bag.  Within 10 minutes of being outside, I am sweating, and I do not sweat easily. 

While walking through the Marina Bay Sands Hotel (the host of this year's Para Olympics), I noticed all the competitors in their wheelchairs and uniforms.  All of them were smiling and laughing.  I couldn't help to compare myself to them.  We both have a type of disability, except mine is chosen, or self-inflicted.  They appear much happier than I ever feel.  They are all strong, while I am weak.  They are literally doing the best they possibly can, with what they have.  I am doing the worst I possibly could.  I could not help but wonder.  Do they think I am wasting a good functioning body?  Here I am with a body capable of doing whatever I want, and I have chosen to treat it so badly that it can barely function.  It is apparent to me that I am more disabled mentally than they are physically.  How sad is that?

That brings me to the point of this writing, at 2:26pm, laying in my cool air conditioned hotel room.  The past few days have been physically miserable.  The skin of my upper/inner thighs is so raw from chaffing, it is purpose colored and feels like deep bleeding wounds with every step I take.  My entire body from shoulders to the bottom of my feet are sore, and even feels bruised in some spots. 

I am embarrassed, depressed, and extremely saddened.  I have never wanted a different body more than I do right now.  My colleague is 55 years old, 21 years older than me, and can do circles around me!  We both have cubicle jobs, so there really is no excuse for me.  She is out sightseeing while I am stuck in my hotel room, grieving over what I wish I had.

As I walk the streets of Singapore (and Thailand), I see the people looking at me as if I am some type of freak. 

So as you can see, I have found my "rock bottom".  I now have to chose my direction - either below the rocks, or high above them.  I cannot and will not have another bad experience like this again."

I hope the above diary like entry helps you, as I know it will continue to help me in my future. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Better late than Never Update

This is soooo long overdue.  I was too afraid to make this video, but I finally did it!

I apologize the video cut out early, but here it is!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

10 Step Health Plan

Long Time and NO posts.  I have no excuse.  I have felt like a failure and the 45 pounds I initially lost eating LCHF, has found its way back onto my body.  OUCH! 
I have found it extremely hard to get back on track.  The lure of sugar wins day in and day out.  When I finally do find motivation, I am overwhelmed, knowing how I will feel for a week or two as I detox from the sugar. 
You see, I've always been an all or nothing kind of girl - You know, the one that has to quit ALL sugar and start Monday morning.  I'm pretty sure that is the real "Hell week", not the one the US Navy Seals endure.  So you can imagine why I have dreaded quitting sugar - Who wants to choose that feeling?  Sadly enough, its easier to choose eating sugar and all the negative side effects that come along.  So sad. 

Everyday, I yearn for a healthy lifestyle that comes natural as a habit, not a constant thought every waking moment.  Something everyone wants, right?
Just recently, I read Gretchin Rubin's book, "Better than Before", and I now have a better understanding of the methods that work for me to create a new habit.  You see, I love lists.  I love checking off the completed items and seeing how far I have gone.  This may have something to do with one of the many nicknames my husband calls me = "List Girl!".  I am pretty sure he is working on a theme song too.   
So I thought, what if I tried easing into Low Carb?  I've done this before, without thinking about it (eating Gary Taubes Books have a tendency to make you think twice about consuming sugar). 
What if I not only tried easing into low carb, but I created a checklist, where I would be able to see my progress.  Slow and steady wins the race, right?
So below are the snapshots of two documents I created:


If you are like me and you like to see check boxes, this may be helpful for you too.  If you want the files emailed to you, please email me. 

I would love any feedback or suggestions you may have. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Lesson Learned: Intuitive Eating

For over a week, I have made significant progress in my eating habits resulting in significant weight loss (over 6 pounds).  I have taken the multitude of information I have learned from podcasts, blogs, and videos, and decided to do something about it, and apply it to my own life.  I have increased my carb intake and applied intuitive eating habits - both with great results.  All it took was one meal (yesterday’s lunch) to go back to my old habits, and I noticed an immediate negative effect.  I will first explain the habits I have changed, and then what I did wrong to obtain negative results.

I have heard many podcast interviews and read multiple blog posts indicating the potential requirement for some people to consume more carbohydrates than others.   The idea that some people could eat more than 20 to 50 grams per day, and still lose weight, seemed far-fetched to me.  Wouldn’t they have sugar cravings?  Wouldn’t they spike their insulin?  I knew that I would typically eat 20g/day up to 50g/day, without any negative side effects.  But I could never go beyond those limits.  I just KNEW I would gain weight immediately. 

The research seemed to point in the other direction – that not everyone experiences insulin spikes and weight gain when they increase their carbs to 100 to 125g/day.  The articles explained that some people eat very low carb (<25g/day) and experience moodiness, lack of energy/drive, and even sometimes weight gain.  Hey wait, that’s me!   Except for the weight gain and since going very low carb, I had experienced extreme moodiness and my energy levels were not much better than when eating sugar.  Don’t get me wrong, I still felt better than when I ate sugar, but not as much as I should -at least not as much as the people around me eating a normal Standard American Diet.  Here I am eating healthy and feeling like crap all the time, while everyone around me either eats like crap or eats the same diet as me and feels much better.  Every now and then I would experience a surge in energy, but it wouldn’t last more than a few hours, and it was weeks in between these experiences. 

So with all the information from professionals and my own experiences, I finally seen the big picture and decided that I never tried eating higher carbs, so I couldn’t very well rule it out.  So I took the plunge and decided I would allow myself lower glycemic fruit and starch, no more than 2x a day (3x on rare occasions).  For a snack I would allow strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, wineberries and for dinner I would have a sweet potato, potato, beets, plantains, etc.  I have even had post workout fruit and veggie smoothies (with fat!) and post dinner fruits to include dried figs, mango or dates.  Moderation was now the key to my success.  And you know what?  I have continually stayed in ketosis, without missing a beat, while increasing my carb allowance for the day, and losing weight.  Boo ya! 

In addition to increasing my carb intake, I have also been practicing intuitive eating.  Intuitive eating has been one of those things that most people have heard about, maybe even understand, but really never take the time to apply to their own life.  I was one of them – guilty as charged!  According to, the definition is “Intuitive eating is an approach that teaches you how to create a healthy relationship with your food, mind, and body--where you ultimately become the expert of your own body. You learn how to distinguish between physical and emotional feelings, and gain a sense of body wisdom.”  I have come up with my own rules to try and establish better eating patterns, and they are as follows:

-          Only eat when hungry

-          Eat Slowly

-          Take smaller bites

-          Chew until there is nothing left to chew

-          Think about how the food tastes, feels and smells

-          Stop eating when full

Applying these thoughts while eating has allowed me to successfully stop eating when full, enjoy my food even more than I thought possible, avoid overeating, and even notice a difference in bowel movements. 

I have applied these two mentalities for over a week now, with amazing success, until yesterday’s lunch.  This is when I screwed up big time; but not without consequence.  I didn’t apply any of my intuitive eating patterns at all and in fact rushed through my lunch like a sprinter.  I ate rapidly; not paying attention to how the food tasted, smelled, felt on my tongue; nor did I eat slow, or even chew properly.  All in all, I had completely reverted back to my old habits. 

And the consequence?  Good and Bad!

Within an hour I was sluggish, mentally fogged, and felt completely drained.  I wanted to go home and go to bed.  I had no energy to get through the day, which is not good considering I ate at 11:30am and don’t leave work until 4:00pm.  And even then, I still had a workout session to attend.  Feeling completely exhausted, I instantly started in on the cravings.  I wanted sugars and sweets galore.  It’s all I could think about.  Not once for over a week and through eating lunch did I have one craving.  NOT ONE CRAVING!  But I overeat and WHAM!   They are back with a full vengeance. 

The worst part – I woke up this morning with a 1.4 pound gain.  I suppose this is what I deserve.  Part of me is very upset that I let myself slip and revert back to my old habits.  But the other part of me is ever so grateful for the experience.  How would I really have known that my new regiment of consuming higher carbs and intuitive eating is actually working? 

So yeah, it’s official.  I can eat higher carbs (no more than 100g/day), but I cannot go a meal without my intuitive eating patterns.  No way, no how!

Thank you for listening.  If this information helps you in anyway, please feel free to share.