Just last night I challenged one of my oldest friends K (old as in we’ve known each other since junior high!), and my husband D, to a year long challenge. We each want to improve our health and fitness. But we each are at very different places, and we each have different goals. But the plan is to set a goal, and encourage each other to stick with it for this next year. So, starting this morning, October 4th 2014 until October 4th 2015 we will work to inspire, support, challenge and encourage each other to reach our goals!
My goal, simply put, is to adopt an eating lifestyle that will put my body into a state of Ketosis (burning fat for energy rather than sugar), and complete next years Harvest Half Marathon.
In regards to the running, I am not a runner. I was forced to run back in college for a degree I was working towards in Outdoor Leadership and Recreation. They wanted us to complete a ten km run in an hour. Little did we know that on run day we had to accomplish that feat after swimming 40 lengths in an Olympic sized pool, and it was snowing outside…. I didn’t make it after training harder than I ever had before to build up to that distance, and then within that time frame. It was kind of upsetting. I didn’t run again until I started training for a race I completed five months after having my first son. A five km Color Me Rad run. My second run was this past summer, a ten km run while 5 months pregnant. I am currently due with our daughter in 5 weeks 3 days! So the goal once again is to do a run the summer after having this baby. But, in order to not put my kegal muscles under too much strain I have chosen a half marathon in October. I, so far, do not enjoy running. But I do enjoy setting athletic goals and working towards them. Even though running is hard for me, I feel so accomplished afterwards.
Now the Ketosis way of eating is something I am almost entirely new to. My whole life I have been overweight. Then after high school I was obese (as soon as I stopped playing on the volleyball and basketball teams). Then after college I reached the next level of obesity. Thank goodness I am tall. Most people would not look at me and realize how much I weigh, or call me obese. But clinically I am. I have always felt fat, and have struggled like so many women with the cycle of feeling fat so I eat, then getting heavier, and downward spiraling mentally.
When I was pregnant with our very first son K I discovered Paleo. Started it, loved it, then lost him two weeks later at 20 weeks pregnant. Unknown to me at the time I had developed hypothyroidism which for me, only happened when I became pregnant and my thyroid was unable to handle the extra hormones; so it simply decided to stop working. I gained more weight after loosing him, and within two months became pregnant again with our son C. My hypothyroidism hadn’t had time to sort itself out yet and continued into this second pregnancy. It wasn’t until 15 weeks that my new doctor correctly diagnosed me, and I started medication. The medication straightened out my thyroid and thanks be to God I delivered a healthy baby boy. But a side effect of the medication was weight gain. I gained at least 90 pounds during that pregnancy (now, I can`t blame all the weight gain on the medication, lack of physical exercise, unstable diet, and lots of stress were also factors). I say at least because I stopped weighing myself once that number reached fifty, and did not weigh myself again until two weeks after delivery and I was still up 80lbs. Thanks to breast feeding and a healthier lifestyle I lost that 80lbs by the time C was 8 months.
I decided as soon as I became pregnant again that I would not let this pregnancy effect my body in the same way. Gaining so much weight so quickly, and even losing it again so quickly takes its toll! So I watched what I ate, but soon realized I needed to do much more than “be careful“. I have the worst will power ever, I needed a plan. I signed up for the ten km race, which kept me training. And I opened my heart up to my Aunt about the mental struggles I was having with not wanting to gain weight again this pregnancy, but wanting to make sure I achieved that in a healthy way. She then directed me to an amazing woman on FB named Maria Emmerich. She is a huge Keto advocate, with wisdom galore, a fantastic blog herself, and tons of cook books. I had done a diet a few years before called Matol, which basically stopped you from eating all carbohydrates, fruit, and dairy (so all I ate was protein and vegetables), and had you take like 4 of their supplemental meals a day (mainly a soy product, usually in powder form that turned into chili sauce or soups, or juices). I did fantastic on that diet, lost 40lbs in 3 months and kept it off for a year. But this time I wanted to do a nutrition plan that used only real foods. Foods I had to shop for, clean, prep, and cook myself. I wanted to start learning to cook in a way my son and this new baby would see and hopefully adopt as they grew up.
That! That is exactly why this is so much more important to me than “being the skinny friend“. Sure, losing weight, looking better in clothes, not being so self conscious when I enter the room and often notice that I am the heaviest female in it are all motivating factors. But this is about legacy. This is about raising children who have a healthy relationship with food. This is about giving them good immune systems from the very get go. This is about a new way of looking at, thinking about, and eating food. For my health, my mind, and most importantly my future with my children.
I have successfully finished day 1. Went to a friend`s daughter`s birthday party and said no. Then came home and made my very own grain free tortilla shells. I am scared about how hard this will be. I am already wondering what I will do for Thanksgiving, my son`s birthday party, my daughter`s baby shower and Christmas dinner. But hopefully, with my friend K and my hubby D supporting and encouraging me all the way, I will reach my goal. And in one year from today, I will be glad I didn`t wait until New Year`s Day to start 🙂