July 13, 2015

35 before 35: #12

#12: Release 35 pounds
One year ago and today.
When I stepped on the scale this morning, I saw a beautiful number: 169.0. That makes 35 pounds down since I started following Trim Healthy Mama and 37 pounds total. I am more than halfway to my goal of 140, but honestly, whether I get there or not isn't so important to me. What is important to me is that I feel good, and in order to do that, I've had to slow down the weight loss.

Let me explain.

When I started THM, the weight came off pretty easily. My rate of loss wasn't nearly as quick as many of the women posting in the THM Facebook groups, but for me, it was rapid. So I have no doubt that THM works. One of the basic principles of THM is separating your fats and carbs. If you're going to eat a meal with more fats (say, pot roast), then you severely limit your carbs. If you're going to eat a meal with more carbs (like chicken breast and brown rice), you severely limit your fat. And you eat every three hours. You can have a carb meal or a fat meal whenever you want, as long as you're waiting enough time between meals.

The problem for me was that I had a much easier time coming up with fat meals, so I hardly ever ate carbs. In essence, I was following Atkins by default. This was fine at first. I told my mom once that my body told me when I needed more carbs by making me crave them, and I think that was true at first. But in April, after getting slammed by the nastiest cold I've had in years, I started feeling pretty bad again. Not as bad as I felt before I went gluten free and found my endocrinologist who put me on a T3 medication in addition to the T4, but still pretty bad. (If you're not a thyroid patient, don't worry about the gobbledegook I just spewed forth. If you are, and you haven't checked into T3, do it! It's made a world of difference for me.)

I started doing thyroid research again, and I found several sources that talked about how Hashimoto's patients need good carbs. Then I did a little experiment and found that I feel much better if I have a good portion of carbs for lunch. (I also found that I feel better if I avoid carbs at breakfast--either having greek yogurt or eggs in some form.)

So here's how Trim Healthy Mama works for me. (I don't always follow this, but I feel better if I do.) I probably shouldn't even call it THM anymore ... but I don't have a better name for it.
  • I always have carbs with lunch. If I'm having a fat meal, like pork roast, I'll have a small portion of carbs. (I believe this puts it into S-Helper category for THM, but I could be wrong.) If I'm having a low-fat protein, then I'll have a larger portion of carbs.
  • I've stopped avoiding potatoes and white rice; I just monitor my portions. They're higher on the glycemic index, which is what makes them a THM no-no. 
  • I avoid refined sugar if at all possible.
  • The only non-caloric sweeteners I use are stevia (in very limited portions) and Splenda (which is in the delicious Breyer's Carb Smart ice cream I eat two or three times per week). Otherwise, I use coconut sugar, honey, and maple syrup in baked goods ... and I limit my portions to one piece (most of the time).
While I've been following this modified diet, I've still lost weight ... it's just that things are going slower. In the past two months, I've only lost seven pounds, but I feel a whole lot better, and that's what's important!

See all of my 35 before 35 posts, where you'll learn that I have a ways to go in 13 months!

July 8, 2015

a spectacular fourth!

I intended to post this yesterday, but then I got a speeding ticket and my day went to pot. Now on to happier things!

My mom and I just returned from a wonderful weekend in Indiana visiting my sister and brother-in-law. Val and Greg live in my college town, and it's always fun to go back, especially when we happen to be there on a Sunday and can go to the church I attended in college (which is also the church they attend).

We set out mid-morning on Thursday ... and it was just about the longest trip ever. From heavy rain to me not feeling well to my mom's shingles (which she came down with the week before), it felt like the trip that would never end! (This picture was obviously taken at the beginning of the trip.)

Finally, though, we made it. And we met this cutie:

Seriously, Miss Chloe is just about the cutest thing ever! Just like her "cousin" Skaara, she loves chasing pink fabric.

We slept in on Friday, and then we wandered around the shops in the Village at Winona for a while. We also hit the local T.J. Maxx, which is a bit, uh, classier than the one in Grand Island ... and there I bought some size 10 pants. Seriously? Size 10??? I haven't been a 10 since junior high! (I'm probably closer to a 12 normally, but the 10 of this particular brand is what fit.)

That evening, we ate at The Boathouse, where I longed to have my favorite dish, the chicken & bacon wrap ... but I was good, stuck to the gluten free thing, and had a cheeseburger with no bun. Then we girls saw Bye Bye Birdie at the Wagon Wheel Theatre. I'd heard all about the Wagon Wheel when I was at Grace, but this was the first show I saw there. It was fantastic! The acting was great, and the show was so fun. Bravo!

Saturday was super relaxing. I read this book for a while, we played Rummy (I lost ... but it wasn't a massacre like it sometimes is), and Greg grilled burgers for supper. Also, Val and Mom conspired to kill me--Val prayed for our meal, and she tacked on a quick "and please help us get good seats for the concert" onto the end. Mom proceeded to mock her, and I couldn't help but laugh ... with a mouthful of water. Basically, I ended up choking--I absolutely could not breathe. I did eventually recover :-)

Then we went down to Winona Lake for the Masterworks Patriotic Pops Concert and fireworks.

Lots of people were already there when we arrived, so we ended up sitting to the side of the orchestra. Val decided that, since we couldn't see very well anyway, we should face the lake, as that's where the fireworks after the concert would be.

So Mom spent the concert like this:
Something about her discomfort at being turned a different direction than everyone else was hilarious to Val and me. And when you think about it, Val's reasoning didn't make any sense, but we all went along with it.

Then, when it was time for fireworks, we moved--so Mom's discomfort was for nothing!

On Sunday, we went to Christ's Covenant (it's always so great to be back, even though I really don't know anyone there anymore) before heading to Fort Wayne for the afternoon: lunch at Granite City, shopping at Target, and watching Jurassic World.

We had to say goodbye to Greg, Val, and Chloe and head back to real life on Monday. This drive didn't feel quite as long as the first, though. Maybe because we stopped for lunch at Cracker Barrel, and then we meandered through several stores at the Tanger Outlets in Iowa. Mom even found a deeply discounted dress and ridiculously cheap dress pants (something like $7)! And we had to get coffee and chocolate at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory before getting back on the road. (My selfie skills were not on point ...)

Really, we made great time! And then I came home to this:

It's not pretty; it's a $35 stove I got off a garage sale. It's not my dream stove by any means...but it is a GAS stove. For someone who learned to cook on gas and hasn't had a gas stove since moving out of her parents' house 10 years ago, this is a big deal! My dad, who stayed home to work on a variety of projects, made running a gas line and hooking up the stove one of those projects. Thanks, Dad! It's very much appreciated :-)

Overall, it was a fantastic way to spend the Fourth of July. I just wish the vacation could have lasted longer ...

July 7, 2015

a little perspective

After my fantastic weekend in Indiana (really, a post is coming--I promise!), I returned to reality today. And boy did it strike with a vengeance!

I went back to work this morning--which isn't a bad thing, but I would have liked to have a longer vacation. Then, at 11:30, I left for lunch. That's when things fell apart.

I was headed back into town on the road I take every day, a road where the speed limit drops rapidly and virtually no one follows the posted speed limit. I had just hit the 35 mph zone when I noticed the cop parked off the road up ahead. You guessed it: I was not yet down to 35 mph. I braked, passed the cop, and kept driving. He turned around and followed me for a couple blocks (maybe to see if I'd commit any other infractions?) before flipping on his lights.

And I got my first-ever speeding ticket.

Did I deserve the ticket? Absolutely. I am 100% sure I was not going 35 when I got to the 35 mph sign. (Was I going as fast as the cop said? Highly unlikely. But I absolutely was speeding.) And in my 19 years of driving, I've probably sped way more than I've followed the speed limit. Many times I only go over by 1 or 2 mph, but speeding is speeding. So I'm pretty fortunate to have only this one ticket.

Still, though, I'm upset. As I said to my mom, "I know I was wrong. I know I deserve it. But I'm still mad about it!"

And isn't that the way we humans are? We want to do what we want, when we want, with whomever we want. We don't want to submit to authority; we want to be our own authority. And when we get called on it, we get mad.

The officer could have chosen to show me mercy today, but he didn't. And as I thought about that this afternoon, it made me grateful for a God who did choose to show me mercy. I deserve so much more than a $123 speeding ticket, which is miniscule in the grand scheme of things--I deserve hell for all eternity.

So thank you, Officer I'm-sorry-I-can't-remember-your-name-and-your-signature-was-illegible. Though I'm sure this was not your intent when you gave me that ticket, thank you for reminding me of my sin nature and for pointing me back to Christ.

As I drove home from work tonight, I was careful to observe the speed limit the entire way. Judging by how slow the drive felt, I was never remotely close to following the law in the past. Lesson learned.

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