Friday, January 19, 2018

Winter Decorating

It is snowing again today. The temperatures have been so strange. For over a week it was below freezing... like way below and then the temperatures shot up to 60! Then the deep freeze returned. And, as I said, today it is snowing so I am home. That means I have to time to take a good look around, straighten and fuss a bit with things I've not had time for.

Christmas seems like it was so long ago! I had to be very pro-active about getting my decorations for the holiday put away. January 2nd we back into the swing of my baby's senior year of high school and I had two jobs that took we away from home so I knew that I would not have time to worry about Christmas decorations past January 1st.

There is a sadness that comes with taking out the decorations and I am usually left feeling like my home is naked. I know for some people there is a feeling of freshness... a little breathing room, if you will. Or maybe, it's like eating all the junk food around the holidays that leaves one really just craving a simple, well executed steak. Either way, I was not quite there. I decided to put away all the Christmas decorations except for those things that could just pass as "winter".

I left the greens out on the hutch top in the living room.

The ladder stays dressed with warm blankets that are ready to curl up with on a snowy day.

I cleaned up the buffet in the dining room.

And, redressed the table a bit...

Mister found these plates at Crate and Barrel. He likes to dabble in design stuff once in a while and if I can just let go of my ideas for things a bit he usually does pretty well. Dressed with my great-grandmother's silver and some crystal water glasses, the table is ready for dinner and guests.

I replaced some of the red dishes in the kitchen, left the greens and cocoa/coffee station.

I think I will grab a hot cup of cocoa and start planning some Valentine's decorating while I watch the snow fall. Thanks for stopping by... you're always welcome here.

Linking to parties:
The Dedicated House, Pieced Pastimes, Finding Silver Pennies, Nifty Thrifty Things, The Painted Hinge, Life On Lakeshore Drive. DIY Showoff, Create With Joy, Coastal Charm , I Should Be Mopping The Floor, Plucky's Second Thought, Celebrate & Decorate, Our Home Away From Home, Make It Pretty Monday, Cupcakes & Crinoline, A Stroll Thru Life, Savvy Southern Style, DIY By Design, Ducks N A Row, The Vintage Nest, Share Your Cup, A Delightsome Life, Katherine's Corner, Imparting Grace, The Pin Junkie, Our Hopeful Home, Up To Date Interiors, French Country Cottage, The Cottage Market, The DIY Village, Life With Lorelai, Olives & Okra, Follow The Yellow Brick Home

Sunday, January 7, 2018

I Have Lost It

Some of you may have seen the title and thought "We already knew that!" And, to some extent I can agree with you, though it is never easy to take an honest look at one's self in the mirror, metaphorically speaking.

And, sometimes it is hard to look at one's self in an actual mirror.

Easter 2017

No, this is not a New Year's Resolution post about losing weight... but it kinda is... sort of. I'm not writing about what I want to do but rather what we have done... and a bit about what we want to do.

I've tried several kinds of diets. I can't say I've tried all the diets out there because, honestly, I give up if it's too hard. I did learn that any diet, if followed, will produce results. Progress was always slow and steady and sometimes kept me motivated.... for a while. I hate the idea of spending money to loose weight. Sadly, I did spend money and told myself it would help to keep me motivated-the fact that I'd spent money on it. All the different diets produced some results but not lasting results. Dieting, alone, was not the answer.

Exercise! That's what I need, I resigned myself to this thought. I signed myself up at one of the $10 per month gyms and committed to going three days a week. I spent an hour walking on the treadmill and 15 minutes doing weights in the girl's room. I did this for over a year. All of this produced no, zilch, nada, zippo, nil results. I would waiver back and forth in a 5-10 pound range but nothing lasting and nothing motivating. I was 52 years old and not getting anywhere in my attempts to loose weight and had grown tired of fighting for it. Maybe I was supposed to be fluffy! My doctor did not agree. She said my cholesterol was borerline, put me on blood pressure meds and counseled me to start the DASH diet. Bleck!

Mister stumbled across some diet information with scientific explanations as to why it worked. We were watching videos and wrestling with the changes it would mean for us and trying to decide whether or not it would work for us. Meanwhile; I was watching a friend of mine loosing weight and fast. She and her husband had set their minds to loosing some weight for an upcoming family event. When I asked her what it was she told us it was the same program we had been looking at. Hmmm....

So, "what is it" are you asking? Keto. Have you heard of this? Essentially it is a low carb/high protein diet but we added a bit of a twist. We threw in intermittant fasting with it. You eat dinner and then do not eat again until 16 hours later. So, finish dinner at 6PM and your next meal is 10AM. It is important to read about this if you are a woman of child bearing age!

Intermittent fasting allows for your morning coffee (necessary for the survival of my family members) but no sugar and if you're using cream make sure you are not consuming more than 50 calories during that fasting period.

We, Read. A. Lot. Ruled Me is a great source! If you are considering this diet read everything you can. Information is your friend in all this.

After several days of detoxifying our bodies from sugars (carbohydrates) we both felt a bit sluggish and like we were walking around in a fog. This is affectionately known as the Keto Flu. It lasted 2-3 days. Zucchini noodles replaced spaghetti, cheese and high fat cream replaced traditional low-fat products. Veggies baked and roasted in butter and covered in parmesan replaced steamed broccoli and carrot sticks. The high fat content and protein leaves you walking away from the table satisfied.

For us, getting started, we had to determine how many grams of carbs, proteins, and fat we needed to be taking in to optimize weight loss and I set a goal for myself to weigh 145 pounds. We used this calculator. (+Another calculator you can try: KetoDomain but I have not tried this one.) We knew we had no clue about what the numbers were on the foods we ate or how to judge it by eye so we took advantage of free online counters. I used My Fitness Pal. Mister used an app called Stupid Simple. These are vital! Do not skip this part! You need to weigh your food and keep track! On My Fitness Pal you can also monitor your water intake, exercise and progress. For me, absolutely necessary. I also continued to attend my gym three days per week.

What was the results of all this, you may ask. Well, I started my program with a starting weight of 178 pounds for my 5'4" frame. We started the beginning of May 2017. By October 1st, 2017 I was down to 145 ponds! I reached my goal! That is 32 pounds in 5 months!!!! I went from an Large to a Medium; a size 16 to a size 10/12 (depending on the clothing).  Mister lost 45lbs! (In my opinion, men always loose faster than women-frustrating!) I am not taking blood pressure medications any longer and I did not have to succumb to the tasteless diets. My doctor said "Whatever you're doing, keep doing it." Yippee!

Not gonna lie, giving up carbs was hard. Mister is way better at it than I am. I need a piece of chocolate now and then. You can do that with Keto; the higher cocoa content the better- seriously! Just make sure you document it in your tracker. Christmas and the holidays were hard. I really had to pick and choose the things that were "worth it". I didn't count anything for the last two months but was mindful of my choices. All in all I did put on a couple pounds over the holidays.

Now we are past all that and Mister and I are back on the keto wagon. I have a new goal set. If I reach it I will actually weigh less than I did after my first child was born 32 years ago. It's not a crazy goal; we're talking another 12-15lbs. I know it means I have to recommit and maybe use the tracker again for a while. Hopefully, letting you all know will help keep me accountable, too.

We have come to realization that in order to keep a handle on this we will need to keep a keto frame of mind as a lifestyle-not a temporal diet. And so, not a resolution but committed. I will keep you posted on my progress.

I have pinned recipes, calculators, ect on my Pinterest page. You can visit there and find help and info. Yes, I have lost it. I have lost weight, I have lost a dependency on sugar that so much of our American diet incorporates. I have lost inflammation in my knee joints. I have lost a few clothing sizes! I have lost my old wardrobe and it is so much fun shopping for new clothing. I am actually looking forward to swimsuit shopping this summer! How long has it been since I said that?!''

Oh, and just as a side note: my friend who was doing this five months before us has lost over 100 pounds!

August 2017

** We are not doctors, we are NOT endorsing this officially or suggesting you should jump on the band-wagon. I am just saying this is what we have done and it has worked for us. If you think you may want to try this please do your homework.

+ Posted updated 5/7/18