Low Carb Friends

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AnnF 12-09-2012 09:20 AM

I have decided I need a place to ramble and rant about this process. I am now 15 pounds away from my goal weight and 38 pounds lighter than I was in July, 2012. I know the last ten to fifteen pounds are the hardest and that maintenance is even harder.

I've done this before. Twice. I want this to be my last time and I hope to keep myself motivated and on track with this journal.

When I look back I can see why this has been so hard. I was one of those annoying people who were just skinny for a lot of my life. Tall skinny kid, tall skinny teenager, tall and thin after three kids. As a teen I weighed about 130 pounds. Anything less and I looked unhealthy. As a young woman my weight settled in at about 135 to 138 and I looked great. In my late 30's I moved up to 140 and still looked pretty damned great. I was never into exercise of any kind-- always preferring to read or sew or cook. Looking back I can see that I was also a binge eater. I didn't know this at the time because there were no consequences-- I could eat an entire bag of chips and a bunch of sweets while watching a movie and never gain a pound. So I had terrible habits.

I stayed thin right up until I was about 46 years old. And then things started to change. I'm tall and have a big frame, so wasn't very noticeable. At first.

And then one day I had to buy bigger jeans. And then another day I was leaning over to put some boots on and noticed that I had trouble reaching over my belly.

"Hey!" I said to myself, "I'm FAT!"

Bought a scale and went on a diet. That first time I just cut calories. It worked like a charm and I lost 36 pounds, reaching 160. It was still heavier than I was used to, but my body decided that was it and after another three months of trying lose more I decided to accept "the new normal." It was in a healthy range for my frame and height and I was okay with that. In fact, I felt great! I bought lovely clothes and congratulated myself on a job well-done. Yeah, I gained it all back over the next five years.

I tried again about 18 months ago. By then I was solidly in menopause.. Same low calorie diet for nine months and lost maybe 5 pounds. So I tried low carb and got myself successfully to the same weight I am today. That was in October of 2011. And then the holidays happened and I lost my way and gained it all back plus some extra for an all-time high of 218 pounds.

Fast-forward to July of 2012. I was a mess. My feel hurt, my blood pressure soared, I couldn't climb the five flights of stairs to my apartment without panting and needing a rest every two flights, couldn't get into my boots, was wearing the same pair of size 16 pants every day, outweighed my partner by a significant amount, hated undressing in front of him, hated myself, and just generally felt terrible physically and emotionally. So I started again here at Low Carb Friends again and participate in a challenge group every month. My goal is only 15 pounds away.

Lesson finally learned? This is a life-long project. I will never be that girl with the freakishly fast metabolism again. I will likely never weigh less than 160 pounds, though I will give it a try once I reach my current goal of 165. Mostly though, I have finally learned that reaching a goal weight is just the beginning.

Sometimes you need to know something more than once to really know it. I hope I have gotten there this time.

GailyGail 12-09-2012 12:42 PM

Ann F. -- welcome back! You have a great story that alot of people can relate to in that you were born naturally thin and then your metabolism changed with age. Congratulations on losing so much weight since July. You goal is totally within your reach and I bet you will accomplish it in early 2013, by January or February.

We are all here to support you and cheer you on if you wish. I can totally related to having to learn this lesson over and over before it sticks!

Wishing you a truly happy and productive Sunday!

AnnF 12-09-2012 02:02 PM

Thanks, GailyGail! I still think of myself as that skinny person. I still love salty snacks (Red Hot Blues get thee behind me!). I miss baking. I was such a great baker. I don't ever think I will be able to say I don't miss the yummy carby way of eating, but I can say that I'm developing good habits.

I went to the store today to pick up some more butter and found myself looking at cookies and donuts, but I passed them by. I looked at chips, too. Walked away from all of it. I did buy a pack of spelt and flax seed cakes (3 carbs a pop) and one with a half teaspoon of sugar free peanut butter and a half teaspoon of sugar free apricot preserves. All in I think the treat was 5 carbs, which is high, but breakfast was 4, and lunch was 4. Dinner will be another 5. So I am under my 20 carb/day limit and feeling satisfied.

Weekends are tough because I'm not so busy. And I find that I associate relaxing with eating (movie and some salty snacks, anyone?).

GailyGail 12-10-2012 03:41 AM

Yum, the sugar free snack you mentioned above sounds delicious. It must be tough not baking at this time of year when everyone bakes like crazy! Have you tried any of the low carb baking options? Linda Sue and Sheila Pike Pereya have lots of good low carb baking recipes that you might enjoy. I hear you on the salty snacks -- that is my bete noire and I really miss them. Lately I've been making flavored nuts -- either sweet with Splenda, cinnamon and nutmeg or savory with rosemary and sea salt. That helps with the cravings and they are fun to make too.

Look at it this way -- you are so close to your goal. Imagine how great you will feel and look when you get to goal. That will feel much better than the cookies, donuts, chips and Red Hot Blues will ever taste. Hope you have a great week!

AnnF 12-10-2012 04:24 AM

GailyGail, I've tried most of the low carb baking options, and I'm quite fond of the flax muffins, but I have found that they just trigger a desire for more and more and more while not really even satisfying me. So this time I am just staying away from all of that stuff. I now avoid the Recipe Help and Suggestions section because it is so heavy on wannabe carbs. I like my food to taste like what it really is (so salted nuts are an excellent replacement for chips-- crunchy, salty, satisfying. Low carb cheesecake not so much).

On to my ramblings: I am so glad itís Monday! I do much better during the work week.

Going to make sure I have lunch today. This going to see my chiropractor 3 days a week really messes things up. But Iíll pack half an avocado stuffed with chicken salad and make sure I eat it as close to noon as I can.

Been thinking about re-introducing yogurt. Love, love, love plain Greek yogurt! Itís like ice cream to me, with a little SF brown sugar cinnamon syrup on top. Trouble is, I canít be economical and buy the large containers because Iíll just pig out on it. Maybe Iíll wait until I get through the holidays before I start adding anything new. I suspect Iíll gain over Christmas and Iíll need to recover from that anyway.

RESOLVED! No yogurt.

AnnF 12-10-2012 03:44 PM

<whine> I am beat. I need to get up and go in the kitchen and make something healthy for dinner and I just don't want to get off the couch. I want to play with the spreadsheet Z sent me for weight tracking. Why do I not have a minion to make my meals for me? </whine>

Okay, I'm getting up now. But not before I mention that Z's file name for the spreadsheet is self-deprecatingly named "fat tracker." :)

AmplifiedHeart 12-10-2012 05:42 PM

Wow Ann! You have come a Long way and this WILL be your last time! Third times a charm! I'm rooting for you and I know that you can do this. You know that you can do this because you have done it before. And if I must say so myself, if that's you in your pic, you still look pretty damned good!!! Beautiful lady. Work it girl!:up:

Z 12-10-2012 10:54 PM


Originally Posted by AnnF (Post 16127576)
I've tried most of the low carb baking options, and I'm quite fond of the flax muffins, but I have found that they just trigger a desire for more and more and more while not really even satisfying me. So this time I am just staying away from all of that stuff. I now avoid the Recipe Help and Suggestions section because it is so heavy on wannabe carbs.

Wannabe carbs. I've been looking for a way to express exactly that sentiment, and you've nailed it. Not to belittle, demean, or otherwise besmirch those who are able to enjoy such things - but for me, so much of this battle is mental and behavioral. I can't be in the habit of eating breadlike foods - even if they're mathematically legal. For me, the behaviors that lead to eating candy (even sugar free) are every bit as bad as the sugar itself.

To stay within the strictures of my diet, I have had to treat carby (and carb-like) foods like a true addiction. For me, a slice of pizza is no different than a cigarette. I'll light those reward pathways in my brain up, and I'll be hooked all over again - I'd be able to quit again, but not without significant difficulty.

I can't have something cake-like in my diet, because cake wasn't really the problem. It was my relationship with cake - and other non-nutritive foods. I am not a dog. Food is not a reward.

Do I enjoy food less now? YES! I know that sounds like a terrible thing, but it's the best thing that's ever happened to me, because I was enjoying food too much (which is why after 3 months I've still got 150 lbs to lose).

I don't want a substitute to allow me to continue my carbohydrate habit without the carbs - because it would only serve to re-ignite my addiction.

I'm really glad to see you've started one of these up! I look forward to following your progress.


AnnF 12-11-2012 04:15 AM

roszina, thank you! That picture is indeed me, but about 15 pounds lighter than I am now.

Z, totally agree with you on the substitute foods (wannabes!). I've never really understood that whole thing. If you stop eating meat why would you want fake sausage and bacon?

Had a lot of fun playing with your spreadsheet last night and I have the math tab all filled out except for the concrete adjusted column. Projections show me at goal in mid-February. Sadly the charts are not picking up my information, but I'll try to figure out how I broke it tonight.

AnnF 12-11-2012 07:20 PM

What a day. Terrible work day but I ate well and it's just about time to crawl into bed so I can do it all over again tomorrow. I would like to see another loss tomorrow morning. Just putting it out there.

GailyGail 12-12-2012 03:05 AM

Ugh, so sorry that you had a bad day. But congratulations for staying on track with your eating when you probably felt like giving into temptations. Let us know how your scale reading goes! Either way, there is good reason to be pleased with yourself as you continue to show great strength and resolve on this plan.

AnnF 12-12-2012 04:48 AM

Thanks, GailyGail. I'm down another pound this morning-- almost 5 pounds since Dec 1st, so that's good.

In other news, I had to go and buy a cocktail dress last night. I have a black tie dinner on the 26th in Scotland and realized that I can't quite get into any of the dresses I already own. Didn't want to hope for enough weight loss to make them work, so I decided to just buy something.

What an experience! I was looking for something by Tadashi because they are gorgeous and sized a little large and the size-range is not restricted to tiny stick people, but couldn't find anything I really loved. Then the very lovely woman helping me brought a range of dresses that you have to step into and pull up and into place. Very stretchy fabric with no zippers. I was doubtful because, well, women with lumps and bumps should not wear that sort of thing, right? We tried a 14 first and I was pretty surprised by how good it looked. My waist looked absolutely tiny! But it was a bit big on my hips and she insisted I try on 12, which I was sure would never work. Shock! It did! :jumpjoy:

They let me buy it on pre-sale, so I go back pick it up Thursday. I will also buy a strapless bra (dress has the sort of neckline that reveals straps) and some shape-wear. Not really looking forward to having to get that part figured out, but it's necessary. Need some new sheer black stockings, too, and will probably go for the very comfortable Wolford thigh-highs, as the idea of adding a tight waist band to the shape-wear sounds like recipe for suffering. Good thigh-highs are a miracle for those of us with extra flesh around the middle.

This is the first really good, beautiful, piece of clothing I've bought in years. I think it'll fit well even when I reach goal, given the stretch. All in all, I think I'll look amazing. Not so sure about sitting down in it for dinner, but I figure it'll keep me from eating too much! :lol:

GailyGail 12-12-2012 08:45 AM

Ann, this is FANTASTIC news -- you are a size 12! That is a great accomplishment and even better that it is a size 12 dress size because that means that overall you are a size 12! Congratulations!!! I bet you look gorgeous in your dress too! You deserve to buy a good, beautiful piece of clothing as you have totally earned it.

I totally agree with you about the thigh highs. I've had good luck with shapewear from Yummy Tummy and Spanx if that helps. I got a body shaper from Spanx that I LOVE and it was well worth the price tag. It makes me look two sizes smaller!

AnnF 12-12-2012 02:01 PM

GailyGirl, you are such a great cheer leader! Let's say I am a 12 in that dress. All the other dresses were slightly large in a 14 and too tight in 12. So I am between sizes, I think. Also, I have to assume there was some serious vanity sizing going on. I know I'm still a 14 at Ann Taylor.

I need a shaper that sits right below my bra and goes over my hips. I'm worried it will try to roll down all night. Have you had that problem? And yeah, thigh highs are the BEST!

I can tell you one thing... I leave for London on the 21st and this dinner is not until the 26th. There is no way I am going to chance going off plan and finding myself unable to get into it! No scones for me (though I will find a way to scarf down some clotted cream)!

GailyGail 12-12-2012 02:18 PM

Ann, check out Spanx. They have a product called the Higher Power brief that slims you right under the bra area and goes over the hips. It is genius! I wore it with a size 10 St. John knit dress and I looked much smaller than I really am. Seriously, this product hides a multitude of sins (not that you have to worry about that -- but I did!).

Z 12-12-2012 08:22 PM


Originally Posted by AnnF (Post 16129578)
roszina, thank you! That picture is indeed me, but about 15 pounds lighter than I am now.

Z, totally agree with you on the substitute foods (wannabes!). I've never really understood that whole thing. If you stop eating meat why would you want fake sausage and bacon?

Had a lot of fun playing with your spreadsheet last night and I have the math tab all filled out except for the concrete adjusted column. Projections show me at goal in mid-February. Sadly the charts are not picking up my information, but I'll try to figure out how I broke it tonight.

Sorry, I meant to reply to this sooner...

If I remember correctly, I set the axis on the left hand side to a fixed position so that my weight range would display well. So unless you are between 300 and 350, your numbers won't even register on that chart...

first single click to select that left axis (the weight numbers), and then right click in the same place. In the context menu that comes up, select "Format axis...". At the top of the axis format dialog, on the right hand side, click auto for both minimum and maximum. Then click close - that should do the trick ;)

AnnF 12-13-2012 05:12 AM

GailyGail, I will do that when I go in to pick up the dress!

Z, oh, thanks so much for that. I hadn't had a chance to mess with it yet, but will report back!

13 pounds from goal this morning.

I was remarking in another thread about those people who seem to find reasons for us to go off plan. It's always couched as well-meaning, "You deserve to indulge yourself once in a while!" or "It's a special occasion!" But what I hear is, "Join me on the dark side... mwahahahahahahahahaha!"

Sadly the biggest offender in my life is my partner. It's a tough situation as we live apart most of the time these days (long story)-- me in NYC and he in London. So when we're together he naturally wants the old me to reappear and go to great restaurants, have tasting menus, cook complicated rich carby meals. I get it. One of the many things we have in common is a love of food and drink and we've visited a lot of the very finest restaurants in the world. We used to write a food blog together. We love long nights listening to music and drinking wine. He drinks wine with every meal. But I just can't do those things anymore.

It's frustrating to try to explain (over and over) that "this once" isn't as innocent as it sounds. That there is always a price. That I will have to see a jump on the scale, wait three days to lose the water weight, struggled with diminished resolve, and feel generally annoyed with myself. And his "just this once" moments are frequent. I am okay with planning a "just this once" moment, but I am not okay with being cajoled into one. I need a way to make this clear to him. Because it's hard to cope with and I find myself weakening. Part of it is wanting to let him have the old me back for a little while and part of it is my own desire to be the old me.

Since July I've planned for and allowed the "old me" to come out and play at least once each time we have been together. And since July I have lost almost 40 pounds. So it's workable. I have the ability to bring that person, the "old me" out, and then put her away again and continue on with eating clean and healthy. I don't mind this when it's in my control and I usually make a point of planning an evening out for the two of us because I know it makes him happy. For the most-part this actually works out pretty well because, as I said, I am here and he is there and he doesn't have to live with my woe most of the time. He just gets to see the results. He loves the smaller me, but not the lifestyle required to make it happen.

What I find so hard to cope with is that my offered compromise of a planned evening out or a dinner party is not enough for him. This is when the little comments start up. "Just this once." He just doesn't get it. When he feels like he's gotten a bit overweight he goes to the gym more often and the weight comes off. He truly believes it's purely about calories in and calories out and for him it seems to be true.

I honestly believe he has no idea of how difficult this is for me. I honestly believe there is no malice on his part. He just does not get it. And I don't seem to be able to explain it well enough to put it to rest. And now I have a long interval in London and Scotland coming up and the cycle starts again.

GailyGail 12-13-2012 06:41 AM

Ann, that is a tough situation and I feel for you. Your life partner truly loves you and spending time enjoying food and drink with you -- but he cannot quite 100% accept your low carb lifestyle. Is there any way to compromise with him while you are in London and Scotland? I wonder if you can find some lovely high end restaurants that have low carb options for you to enjoy?

Maybe you can also show him some of the science behind low carb -- like some of the articles by Gary Taubes --- which clearly explain why the "just this once" cheat approach can sabotage us?

I know this is TMI and I apologize for this but here is what I do with Tony -- who does low carb with me but does not have nearly as much weight to lose as I do. Sometimes he will say "oh lets treat ourselves with a pizza -- we have been good all week." And I say this "once I am thin and down at my fighting weight, we will have sex more often." And that usually shuts him right up about the pizza or any other treats! LOL!

Sorry -- that was gross but I find that men respond best when their own needs are met by something -- self-interest is a very powerful thing!

AnnF 12-13-2012 07:36 AM

GailyGail, LOL! I pretty much make the same point! My response is "do you want me to be able to stop wearing those granny pants (his description for my fat undies) you hate or not?"

I do always try to choose the right options when we go out. I think I just want him to stop making me feel as if I have taken something away from him, you know? I plan to bring this up when I get there. ESPECIALLY because I have to fit into The Dress on the 26th! :)

AnnF 12-14-2012 07:19 PM

Having a hungry night. I think I'll have some hot chicken broth and then go to bed.

GailyGail 12-15-2012 08:42 AM

Hot chicken broth is a good idea. When I get the hungry horrors at night, I make myself a decaf coffee with a spalsh of half and half or a hot spiced tea. Somehow that feels comforting and takes the focus off of food! Hope you have a great day today, Ann. It is sunny and not too cold here in Boston so I imagine NYC is glorious today!

AnnF 12-15-2012 09:04 AM

GailyGail, it's about 45 F here-- not too bad. Enjoy the Boston weather! My youngest daughter lives in Cambridge and is no doubt running around buying supplies, as she is having a 21st birthday party bash this evening. I suspect her priority is finding someone to buy beer and wine for her as she won't actually be 21 until midnight. :)

Off to have brunch with a friend. Looks like I'm having eggs and a side salad. Possibly some sausage. It's pretty out, so I'll walk. Also have to drop some laundry and dry-cleaning off on the way. The good news is that as I am washing my usual pair of jeans I had to go through my long-neglected collection of smaller jeans to see if any of them fit. I am pleased to report that I managed to squeeze into a pair. And I do mean squeeze. But a few months ago they wouldn't pull up over my thighs, so I'll take the progress point!

I've had a nice morning wrapping Christmas presents and getting generally organized. I bought myself a Smash Book this week and have really had fun starting to collect items I'll be adding to it over Christmas-- maps of the drive we will do from Glasgow to our hotel in Argyll, photos of the hotel, little cards and stickers and stamps to use along the way. I also treated myself to an Instax 25 instant camera. I really like the idea of being able to take a photo and add it to the travel journal immediately. I think I could get hooked on this.

Tomorrow I am off in search of a good strapless bra. I think I'll go the Town Shop, which is where I had my first professional fitting. These women are amazing and I know I'll walk out with the perfect item for my cocktail dress.

AnnF 12-15-2012 05:14 PM

It's official. Weekends are not great for me with this woe. Without the work-week routine I tend to put off breakfast or skip lunch or even both. Then I'm raging hungry in the evenings-- and not for lc foods. Fortunately there is nothing very dangerous in the house for me to get into. The trouble is that I am bored with my usual rotation. I have perfectly good supplies in and none of it appeals to me. I'm hungry, but not for anything I can easily whip up.

I am ignoring the thoughts of bagels. Or a baked potato. Or creamed corn. Or, lord, creamed corn poured on a baked potato. Don't have them anyway, so I will go into the kitchen and pull something healthy together.

Tomorrow morning I will make breakfast before 8:00 AM. I will have a salad for lunch. And I know the evening and dinner will be much better for it.

GailyGail 12-16-2012 05:12 AM

Ann, I feel your pain. You have a good plan for today though and that is excellent. Have you tried the low carb buns and bagels from Carb Krunchers? Tony loves them and still loses weight on them. The sesame bagels are very good. They can be a savior during those times when your appetite and taste buds feel finicky.

Let us know how today goes!

AnnF 12-16-2012 07:09 AM

GailyGail, you are such a great friend! I have a recipe for stir-fried chicken and broccoli that I ate just about everyday for three months. It's really delicious and super simple (three ingredients!), but I burned out on it. I should try it again. As for lc buns/bagels/and any other lc baked good-- I stay away from them. No portion control at all. The only remotely carby thing in my cupboard are those spelt/flaxseed cakes.

I did not quite stick to making breakfast before 8:00, as I lounged in bed with my iPad and got engrossed in LCF and other sites. But I am now up and dressed and having my own variation on bullet-proof coffee (whirl 2 eggs with some sf syrup in the blender and add about 5 - 6 ounces of hot coffee in which you have melted 1 t butter while the blender is still going).

I have a lot to do today, so as soon as I am done with the coffee it's into high gear. I'll put some music on and start tidying up the apartment. My method is finish a room, take a 15 minute break to do whatever (probably check in here on the boards), finish the next room, take a break and so on. Then it's off for the bra fitting (and shapewear!).

My son and youngest daughter are coming to see me tomorrow night and I am so excited! I think we'll go out to dinner, as we all have different diets-- son eats everything and loves meat, daughter is vegetarian and I am what I am. I know a restaurant that offers stuff we can all be happy with. We'll also celebrate daughter's 21st birthday. I can't believe my youngest is 21! But then I also can't believe my son is 30!

AnnF 12-16-2012 04:21 PM

Well, I got the house clean and I ate a good lunch. Didn't get to the shop as it started to pour and it's a long walk to the subway. Guess I'll have to do it this week if I can get away from work or in the evening.

Tonight I was feeling the same "food boredom" so I ordered a Philly steak and cheese for delivery. Tossed the roll right in the trash and scarfed down the filling. Yum!

AnnF 12-18-2012 05:20 AM

Argh. This week is killing me. Last night I was out to dinner with two of my kids. I ordered wisely-- oysters to start and then a steak and salad. BUT. I also had tastes of the carby food my kids ordered. I had 4 fries, a bit of each of their desserts, and then because we stopped into a bar, two bourbons.

Tonight I take my team out to dinner. Tomorrow night is drinks with an old friend.

Gotta toughen up here!

GailyGail 12-18-2012 04:04 PM

Ann, you did really well. Four fries, a few bites of dessert and two bourbons is really not that much at all. I think you handled it beautifully. You will be strong tonight. Alcohol should not make you gain unless you drank something ungodly sugary like white russians. Straight up alcohol (vodka, bourbon, whiskey, scotch, gin, rum) has no carbs. Let us know how everything goes!!!

AnnF 12-20-2012 12:28 PM

Thanks, Gail. Had another not so good day yesterday, too. Barely ate at all and had two martinis. I am worried about how I will do while I am away next week. Oh, Christmas, you make it so hard...

GailyGail 12-20-2012 12:31 PM

Oh gosh, it is hard to stay away from martinis during this time of year! I think you will be okay while you are away though. First, you will be getting plenty of exercise, walking around Scotland and London. Second, you are good about finding low carb options while traveling. And lastly, you are in the home stretch and very close to maintenance, Ann. You are NOT going to blow this. You are going to do really, really well.

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