Wow

I haven’t had a day to myself in SO long!!!

I dropped my son off for fish camp this morning and I’m off work as well. So I have alone time, no kid, and no work. What a great day!!! I am watching Aquaman on HBO and thought I would drop you guys a note saying hello.

I am still at the weight of 150, I am doing so well. Lucky graduated from Advanced training last weekend and I’m planning a 2nd birthday party for him next month.

Lucky and Amber seem to really get along and even play with each other!

My coworker invited me to her 25th birthday celebration and we had fun.

I got a new vape and I am enjoying trying out new flavors with a monthly subscription box called Zamplebox. I haven’t had a cigarette in 7 and a half months and I’m so excited about that!

I work at the gym about 30 hours a week and with clients about 10 hours a week. I feel good although tired a lot even when I’m able to get 7-8 hours of sleep. I haven’t been dieting, just sticking to my daily calories to keep from gaining weight back. It works for me!

I hope y’all had a good summer. My son starts school on Monday and will be a freshman in high school (note the fish camp). I can’t believe my little baby is in high school. I will turn 50 years old when he graduates in 4 years. So I guess life really does start at 50!

I was not able to afford classes this semester but that’s okay. I’ll go back in the spring and take my 2nd Anatomy class.

That’s all I got today. Nice to catch y’all up! Hugs!

Just keeping it keto

2 days down. I have been craving sugar like crazy! SO, Atkins treats are a lifesaver!!!

I am doing something today I never do. I am sharing my food for the day. I do keto my own way, it works for me. I did not exercise, I have to get my food under control first. I ate 1560 calories today, that’s 100 calories over my goal according to MyFitnessPal. I had a total of 21 carbs which is almost perfect.

I had a client today. I took her to a doctor appointment and then we ran some errands. After I got her home, I came home and did all of the paperwork for my new job. She put my start date as Monday (I’m not complaining). I go tomorrow and start training. Yay!!!

I took this at the new job. I am so happy to be working a regular job again. I get a free gym membership with the job and I make more than minimum wage so I am NOT complaining and I am very excited!

Check out Oliver. Crazy cat! He was under me while I did my plank challenge for today. It was 3 minutes long! Plus I forgot yesterday so I had to do a 2:45 plank this morning as well! I did it though. 😀

Maybe someone can give me an idea. I have a paper to write this weekend (2 page single spaced). It has to be over a macronutrient disease. It can’t be kwashiorkor or marasmus or diabetes. One of my friends suggested maple syrup disease but I can’t find much on it for the paper (she wants peer reviewed articles). So any suggestions???

That’s it. Stay sweet! Have a great week and we will chat soon.

What a week!

I got a job! I start working at my gym next week. I will be at the front desk. I am pretty excited! It’s the first step to staying healthy for me. I go take my drug test today. I read that being around marijuana smoke (not actually smoking it) only stays in your system for a day or two so I should pass. It has been over a week since I was around it in Vegas!

I had my Anatomy lab exam on Wednesday and I think I did well. I have a nutrition exam this weekend and I am not ready for it. I’ll get it though. It’s over 10 chapters and I have completed 5. Eek!!! As soon as I am done working and after getting stuff done for my job, I will get on that!

I took some old board games to Half Price Books this morning and got $16 for them. So now I can get gas.

I realized yesterday that Cranky’s son hasn’t paid me in a month. I text him and only heard back that he will be paying hourly from now on. That’s fine but I still need to get paid for the past month so I can pay bills! I guess I am going to have to push for it. Sad.

I met my friend at a park and we walked for 30 minutes. Unfortunately, she walks at 3mph so it didn’t get my heart rate up enough to count as exercise. Plank challenge is still going and I am on top of it! Are you doing it?

I weighed in at 151.9 this morning. I’m not concerned. It will come right back off. It’s probably getting to be that time of the month plus my horrible eating yesterday (I ate Girl Scout cookies for breakfast and junk all day). No biggie.

That’s about all that’s going on here! I hope you had a great week and I will chat at you later!

Happy 2019!!!

Image by fotolia off google

What are you going to do this year? The same old thing? Better yourself? Find new work? Any new goal is better than staying the same, right?

I don’t do resolutions. I make goals. 2018 was my year to lose weight and start exercising more and I accomplished my goals better than I ever thought I could! 2019 will be even better!

Let’s talk about 2018 for a minute. Here is where I started.

Here are all of the stats from this past year.

I did my final weigh in and measurements today. I cannot believe how far I went this last year! I am amazed at how I stuck to my guns too. I started with low fat last January. Because of my podiatrist, I went keto in April. I continued keto through October when I hit my goal weight of 150. Since then, I have still tracked my calories but slowed down losing because I am not trying to lose any more weight. I am so happy at 150!

As you can see, I am happy today! Happy that in 2019, I am starting my next goals and I will do great at these too.

1. Be a non smoker

As of tomorrow, I am a non smoker. Not “I will quit smoking this year.” I am a non smoker. I am ready. When I met with my son’s psychologist, he told me that it will be okay. I only smoke about half a pack of cigarettes each day so it’s not like it is for heavy smokers and I can do this. He advised me to get some coffee stirrers to chew on so I’m not munching on food all the time. That’s what I was truly worried about – I refuse to gain weight again! So I got the stirrers and I am ready to go. I also printed out this sheet and stuck it on my closet door so I will see it every day. I will check it off daily that I did not smoke.

2. Quit caffeine

Oh this is a toughie! I am quitting caffeine but I am ready to do it. I got too hooked on Bang and Zevia this past year and I want to be free of chemicals in my body. Therefore, the first step is getting myself off caffeine. I will still have soda at first, just caffeine free. I am so used to having caffeine when I wake up and before bed so I got some Caffeine free Diet Pepsi to hopefully make myself think I am still doing the normal thing each day.

3. Pay off credit card debt.

This will be more tough since I was using my cards for everything other than bills this past year. I’m in a HUGE financial hole but I am going to get myself out. I am not going to ruin my credit by going through a consolidation place or claiming bankruptcy. I am going to use Dave Ramsey’s snowball idea. I am using this to help me. I have put this on my closet door as well.

4. Budget and spend less

This kind of goes with number 3. I put a list on my closet and will put up a new one each week. I have it also for my son to see what he’s spending money on. My son loves Starbucks and I am hoping that if he sees exactly what he’s spending there, it will help to stop him from asking if he can go (sometimes 3 times a week!).

I also put a calendar up there so he can see who I’m with each day or if either one of us has an appointment.

I also put a yearly calendar up there to keep track of my weight to make sure I am not gaining as I don’t smoke anymore (as of tomorrow the 1st).

What do y’all think? I am letting you guys know my goals for this year to help keep me accountable. I think that will over 1000 people checking on me, I am more likely to get my crap done!

If I can stick to keto and lose 70 pounds in a year, I can quit smoking and drinking caffeine. Plus that will save me money already! I was spending $110 each month on cigarettes and $150 a month on Bang and Zevia. That’s a savings of $260 in the first month! I got this!

You can do whatever you set your mind to. You just have to remind yourself the what, the why, and the how. You may have to do it more than once a day but you can do this just like I can!

My story

Hi. My name is Julie and this is my story.

I was born in 1973 in Houston TX. I was 9.6 pounds and 19 inches long. Since my birth mother was only 16  and was forced to give me up for adoption, I was adopted at 9 days old. My adoptive parents always loved me and supported me which I greatly appreciate.

I was always tall for my age when I was young. I don’t know how much I weighed when I was a child. Looking back at old pictures, I did not start gaining weight until I was 12 and in 7th grade. I wore glasses from the age of 6 and was always a little chunky so was made fun of a lot in grade school.

As I went through puberty and gained weight, I was forced to be on every popular fad diet throughout junior high and high school. A few of the ones I was put on were the grapefruit diet, the cabbage soup diet, the Oprah Winfrey liquid diet, Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers. After all the yo-yo dieting, by the time I graduated high school, I weighed over 300 pounds. With yet another diet, I was able to lose some and get down to 250 by the time I went off to college in 1991. After coming back home after a year away at school, I did whatever I wanted food wise and quickly gained weight.

By 1994, I was about 350 pounds. I was working odd jobs, drinking, and doing drugs and of course I kept gaining weight. I was able to get a better job in the travel industry with insurance in 1996 as well as quit using drugs. Due to sitting at a desk for hours a day and still eating what I wanted, I got up to 400 pounds by January 1998.

I used my insurance and had weight loss surgery, gastro-plasty, in January 1998. Gastro-plasty was a stomach surgery done back then that has a band with staples underneath to keep the band in place. The surgeon cut me open to do the surgery and also removed my gallbladder which was full of stones. After surgery, I had 3 weeks on a liquid only diet, 3 weeks of soft solid foods (mashed potatoes, etc), and then could slowly introduce regular foods back into my diet. In the first 9 months, I lost about 130 pounds. I stayed around 280 pounds and fluctuated my weight between 250-280 for many years.

I moved to Colorado a year after surgery thinking that being closer to outdoor activities I enjoy would make me more active so I could drop the rest of my weight. I usually just would be working or stayed in my apartment although I did go visit the sites around the state. I moved back to Texas in 2000 to be closer to and to help my family. I lost about 10 pounds each year over the next 5 years and was 240 pounds when I got pregnant with my son in 2004. I was 280 pounds again when he was born but soon lost the baby weight and got into the 230’s within 6 months. I stayed between 230 and 250 pounds throughout the past 12 years.

I was very depressed last year when my father died at the age of 75. My son and I moved in with my mother in October to help her and in November 2017, I decided I was done being overweight, heavy, depressed, and hating how I looked. I started watching my calories and eating a low-fat diet as well as exercising by walking at least 5 days a week. I went from 221 to 200 pounds between November and April of 2018. In April, I was experiencing numbness and pain in my feet. I went to a podiatrist and was diagnosed with foot neuropathy. He started treatment and told me that I needed to follow a specific diet plan called the keto diet. The keto diet is a low carb, high fat diet. When I first started the eating plan, I wasn’t sure of what to eat so I had a lot of cheese, bacon, eggs, and ground beef. After getting tired of the same foods, I bought some protein bars for snacks and started cooking keto recipes I would find on Pinterest and Google which made this kind of eating easier for me. I cut all sugar from my diet and now eat between 20-40 net carbs a day. The diet help me not have problems with my feet during exercise just like the doctor had said.

The side effect of the eating plan is the amazing amount of weight loss I had.  I was exactly 200 pounds in April 2018 and as of October 2018, I weigh 154 pounds and can fit into a size medium shirt and size 8 jeans which is what size I wore in sixth grade and have never fit into since, until now. That’s 45 pounds in 6 months! When I got my weight down to 170, I started having pain in my outer hip. Since arthritis is in the inner hip area, my doctor advised me that it was probably my excess skin hanging down past my belly that was making it hurt to jump, run, and dance. This is the first procedure I want to have done so I can feel normal again.

My future plan is to stick to the keto diet to make sure the neuropathy doesn’t affect my exercising as well as learning to maintain my current weight. I still need to lose 5 pounds in my opinion but it will come in time. With skin removal surgery, I expect to lose anywhere from 5-10 more pounds as well. I am much happier and even went back to college to get my 2nd bachelors degree, this time in nutrition. I want to work for a weight loss surgeon to help their clients lose the weight they are required to before they are approved for surgery or to help them realize they can lose weight on their own and change their eating habits. I believe with my past surgery, combined with my total weight loss of over 250 pounds, I can help other people realize that it is possible and show them that I have faith in them and will help them all I can in their journey.

I have excess skin everywhere. I have had many people tell me what I should try in order to get rid of all the skin. If a person has lost weight quickly like I did after my stomach surgery, the skin does not have time to “catch up” with the body and it will stay stretched. Also, the older a person gets, the skin just doesn’t bounce back like it did when they were younger and at the age of 45, I definitely can see that. It does not matter how much exercise a person gets or how many products they try, the excess skin will still be there waiting to be removed by a surgeon.

My story is also on Instagram under @juliehcares although not with this much detail. I am going to start a GoFundMe after I meet with a surgeon and am hoping to have the first surgery in July of 2019. I will make a blog about it when I post on GoFundMe as well. When I have the surgery done, I will be posting right before surgery as well as all of my recovery for anyone to watch the progress, see what was done, and how it feels on Instagram.

Thank you for reading my story!

Not the body’s enemy

As you probably know if you read my blog, I have been on a keto diet since April when my doctor told me it would help the neuropathy in my feet.

When you spend most of your life trying to lose weight, you tend to hear, read, and live your life based on what is supposed to be good and bad for you.

I was 406 pounds at the age of 24. I had stomach surgery (a band and staples) in 1998. I did lose weight with the surgery but remained heavy for many years after (although never went back over 300 pounds thankfully). In 2017, I decided enough was enough. I wanted to do something about my weight and health before I ended up getting sick. I started counting calories. I still drank a LOT of calories, mostly energy drinks and Mountain Dew daily in addition to eating Oreos and whatever else I wanted as long as I stayed within my calories for the day. I was hungry all the time and had so many cravings it was difficult to stick with it.

I did lose a little weight doing this. I went from 212 in November 2017 to 200 in April. I kept telling myself that losing slow is better and that would keep the weight off.

In April 2018 when my doctor put me on the keto life, I learned better. Sugar was causing me to not lose the weight. Eating everything low fat was helping my body to keep the weight on. I wasn’t losing many inches until I started this plan. When I stopped consuming sugarand cut down the amount of carbs daily, the weight just started falling off of me. I lost 40 pounds in 5 months. And I don’t have a problem keeping it off. I eat between 1200-1500 calories a day, only exercise about twice a week at the moment, and have not gained a pound back. I attribute this to not have processed sugars in my diet.

I do have a treat every once in a while, don’t get me wrong! I sometimes eat MANY carbs in a day (I think my highest carb day since April has been about 80 carbs). Before keto, I was consuming over 300 carbs a day and most of those carbs were from simple sugars. There was a day recently where I ate a Twix candy bar. A day where I had fried fish from the local cafeteria. Enchiladas, quesadillas, a burger, lots of carbs. I just make it only about once a week or so that I do that. If I do it every day, my feet are tingly and numb for days after. Like when I ate too many carbs for like 5 days in a row a couple of weeks ago. It took me forever to get the numbness out of my feet again. It’s what I live with having neuropathy.

I am NOT telling you that keto is the “best” diet nor am I saying you have to do this and it’s the only way. This is what worked for me and has gotten me to 159 pounds so far. I still want to get 9 more pounds of fat off my body. I will too. I’ve said this before and I will say it again. If I get stuck at this weight for the rest of my life, I am perfectly happy with it. I look at old photos and know that I have done the right thing for the first time in my life.

The reason for this particular post is to show you that carbohydrates and natural sugars are NOT the enemy. First pictures are carbs in vegetables and fruits. Yes, they are naturally in foods we have grown up being told that we need to eat a lot of every day! Carbohydrates are found naturally in lots of good, healthy foods, and our body does need some carbs daily.

The next photos are the natural sugars found in these healthful foods. Real natural sugar is not the enemy that it’s made out to be. What’s your favorite fruit? Did you know it had carbs and sugar in it? Would you ever stop eating it just because of a little natural sweetener?

The enemy for our bodies is processed foods and foods that are high in complex sugars. Fruits and vegetables have simple sugars that our body can break down into nutrients that keep us going. They are not to be feared or shunned. My suggestion is to keep track of how much you consume so you can tell how it affects you.

I started making my own bread so I can still have it but not deal with the bad stuff. I make my own shredded cheese from block cheese because when the companies shred their cheese, they have to add chemicals to keep it from going bad. I have learned how to make whatever I want to eat to keep my body happier and healthier.

Soda: have you seen this photo?

Look at all the sugar in a 12 ounce can of Coke and a bottle of tea. Why? Why do companies add so much sugar? I can tell you. We become addicted to it and crave it when we take it away. That’s how they keep you drinking it. I love my soda, do not get me wrong! When I started this new lifestyle, I switched to Bang energy drinks (made with sucralose) and Zevia (made with Stevia). Mostly I drink water. At least 67 ounces of water a day. That’s only 2 liters or 4 standard bottles a day. If you can drink 3 or 4 sodas a day, you can drink that much water. It is doable. It’s a mindset. You have to change the way your brain works. It takes time. Don’t expect to be able to jump in and have everything perfect. You didn’t get to be overweight, have diabetes, or whatever the problem is overnight so it won’t be fixed overnight.

If you don’t take anything else out of this post, just please remember that natural carbs and sugars are fine no matter what diet you decide to live by whether it be no diet or an extreme diet. As much as you can do, stay away from processed foods like complex sugars and added chemicals. Read your nutrition labels! If you don’t know how, here’s a helpful way to read them.

Picture from the FDA.

Please feel free to comment or email me any questions you have! This is why I am studying nutrition, I want to help you!

It’s the weekend!

Let me get this out of the way first. I gained .2 pounds again. I am 160.2. That’s 72.665 in kilograms and 11.4 stones. I had 29 net carbs yesterday and a total carbs was 60. Yes, you read that right. I had a lot of fiber and too many carbs. I was hungry! I ate 3 carb smart Breyer’s almond ice cream bars. I was having cramps. I couldn’t get full. Oh well. Here’s the thing – I’m OKAY with 160.2! Come on…last year I was 260 so why would I complain? I know why I gained again and I know how to fix it. And it wasn’t 2 pounds, it was POINT 2. So I just cut back to normal today, no biggie. I refuse to let one bad day get to me. Maybe that’s why this works for me. I am always back on track the next meal or next day. Anyone can do it. I promise! I’m here to help and support you guys!

I took Styled to get her hair and nails done yesterday. I came home and studied Anatomy for a while. Then I watched Netflix and I figured who would win The Great British Bake Off but the other 2 finalists I wasn’t expecting. I also watched Young and Hungry. I should have been studying more. Too late. I’ll have to study that much more today.

Today is a busy day.

9-11am: community service at a clothing shop with my new school group. I earn points for each event I go to. This actually lasts until noon but since I have a kid, I asked if I could leave early and still get my points and was told yes. I wonder what I am supposed to wear to this thing! I have my group t-shirt but do I wear shorts, workout pants, tennis shoes? Heels? Okay, I’d never wear heels. Lol

12-1pm: my sons therapy which is why I have to leave my group early. I told his psychologist everything that’s happened in the past 2 weeks so he has a inkling of what to talk about. My son doesn’t want to talk to me at all anymore about this kind of stuff. It’s so weird since just last year, we could talk about anything. Teenagers can be confusing!

1-5pm: study Anatomy (with Netflix breaks in between). I have a TON to study! I am hoping that by the end of tomorrow, I will know every tiny part of the cell and what they do. That’s mostly what my test is on I’m guessing. That’s what most of the lectures have been on anyway. That and the chemical makeup of the cell.

6-8pm: go to my sons godparents house to study math. My wonderful friend will help me get the homework and quizzes done. Then it will be up to me to do 100 more problems on my own to prepare more and get a better understanding of everything. While she and I do that, her wonderful husband is going to figure out why my back brakes are making so much noise and hopefully fix them. He was a mechanic in the army and until they had kids, ran a shop full time. He also helps me out when I have major issues with my car since he knows I’m broke (broke college student – that’s normal, right?).

I will probably be in bed by 10pm since I was up at 4:30 this morning for some odd reason. At least I hope so. I didn’t go to sleep until 11pm last night and was up early on my own so who knows!

Whew! It might be a long day!

Gardening update:

We have sprouts!!! It’s only been a few days and there are already sprouts of lettuce that have popped up! Either the organic soil my mom got is that awesome, talking to them works, or they just were really ready to grow.

That’s the Tom Thumb lettuce. I can’t believe how quick this was! I probably put too many seeds in one container but I thought that it could be possible that some seeds wouldn’t grow and also that these pots are bigger so there would be room. All of my gardening friends, do I need to replant or let these grow as they are for now?

The farmers market blend, black seeded simpson, and the salad bowl blend lettuces ALL have sprouts! The spices haven’t sprouted yet. And that’s normal, at least I think it is. So I must be doing something right.

I hope you all have a fantastic Saturday and go have some fun for me! I’ll be checking my Instagram throughout the day to see what everyone is up to.

Instagram: juliehcares

Snapchat: JulieH Cares

Twitter: I am NEVER on it but I have one under juliehcares

Facebook I don’t use but there is a juliehcares that I made and haven’t gotten on since.

Twinbody: juliehcares (great people all trying to make themselves better on this app!)

Any other social media that I should be on?