Commit and Succeed

You can’t actually click on this and get to my site, because I am not able, I guess, to place HTML code on my site, since it’s not actually my site. It’s a rental. And rentals don’t allow for repainting the walls, typically.

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The Weight Loss Begins!

So, this is day four or five of the ketosis push. That involves staying at 20 grams of carbohydrate a day. That includes any time you get up in the middle of the night to sleepwalk to the fridge. I don’t do that, but I know that some people do. However, those carb grams can be counted for the next day if it’s after midnight. 😉

I ran today. It was my usual plodding 10.7 minute mile, but I kept at it for a good 30 minutes, and I did intervals. 3 minutes at 5.0-5.5 mph, followed by 3 minutes at six mph, or more. Repeat that every three minute session until 30 minutes are up. I need to get faster, but my heartbeat is still hitting the target range.

Blogging. Maybe I will never be famous, and never make enough money to retire from this. I got that reality firmly into my head over this last year. I had to decide that those things were never truly the reason, and should not be the reason for blogging.

Did I share anything that people enjoyed? Did I share a good recipe? Did I inspire even one person to help meet their goals?

If so, then I truly have succeeded, whether I have 12 followers or 1200.

The weight loss: Well, generally, the first three pounds melt off seemingly overnight, and the elation flows. If one dropped the ketosis at this point, though, it would most likely be a mistake. I’ve accidentally gone over yesterday and today by 3-5 grams, and that will slow me down. Yeah, it’s that tight, that tough, that unbelievably important to keep to 20 or less. However, don’t throw in the towel. Keep it up. Keep exercising. It may feel much harder to get motivated to move during ketosis. Be sure to keep drinking a lot of water, and move anyway. Despite feelings or motivation, KEEP AT IT. Don’t cave in, and in time, more results will come.

It’s always a while for me before I can jump up to 26 grams. My weight loss stops at 25 grams, and I start to gain at around 32-35. I think the key to success this time, that I failed at before, was keeping my fats intake high in proportion to my protein. I was eating a lot of meat before, and now I am focusing more on things like sour cream, butter, and avocados.

I can’t tell you that I am going to drop these 7-10 pounds overnight. That’s not sensible, nor realistic. When I say ‘overnight”, I mean in less than a month. That’s a lot! But within three months, I feel this goal is attainable. It’s the little decisions every day that add up to a habit, and habits add up to a lifestyle. A lifestyle sets our course in life like a rudder sets the boat’s direction. Having my ‘map’, I also arm myself with positive affirmations, and recognize that my weight and my diet are just a PART of my life.

I am ready to let this new direction of health and fitness pull other aspects of health toward me. a HEALTHY MINDSET is also very important.

I AM GREAT AS I AM. I am AMAZING. I help others. I am growing. I know how to use emotional maturity. i choose to believe the best of others. I will give more of myself for the good of others. I will look for opportunities and seize them. I am worthy of love, acceptance, and a bright future. Age is just a number. I will not stop, I will not give up, and I will not go down without a fight!

These are the things I am telling myself. I am learning to be better about managing my time and resources. I am gaining friends and my career is about to take off in a positive direction! God loves me, my family loves me, and I bring joy to my work and to others.

So, that’s what I am feeding myself. In addition to salads and avocados. 🙂

What do you tell yourself?

Summer Cheat Days & Bouncing Back

As summer begins to come to a close, I am reflecting on my eating habits these past few months. There were a lot of changes in my life. Most days had me awake by 3 a.m. and out the door by 3:30. It took a few weeks, but I began to get very hungry by six or seven a.m. on those days. That’s fine, you say? Normal breakfast time, you think? OK. If only I wasn’t again hungry at ‘lunch’, which was at about 9 a.m. I was hungry again when I got off of work at one. Hungry for dinner at five. Hungry for a snack at 7. You see the issue? Perhaps if I had eaten those ‘small portions’, all would have been well. In total, I put on about five pounds. I didn’t know this, because the cats peed on our bathroom scale and fried it’s little wiry components forever. I got a new scale, but I really did know I had gained some. After all, my loosest pants are now snug. Not unwearable or ridiculously tight, just snug. The ridiculously tight ones were the ones that were already perfect before. Anyway, I gained five pounds. Not the end of the world. Within 48 hours, I watched my carbs more closely, AND portions, got on my new regular hours schedule at work, and was down to 131. So, after a year and a half, I have gained back five pounds of my 17 lb. loss. I consider that a victory. After all, I am not a perfect eater. If I were, I would not have needed to lose 17 pounds anyway.

So, I have also restarted my regular running and calisthenics, which I have neglected for the past few months. I have rededicated myself to seeking out new recipes that are low-carb, and to reach out to a huge low-carb network that is out there, so I don’t feel all alone in this. It’s encouraging to see more people at least cutting back on the flour and sugar, even if they don’t agree with the all-the-fat-you-want approach.

I think that as people are becoming more and more sensitive to the glop and garbage and toxins in prepared foods; gluten being the one that comes to mind, options like low-carb finally get the recognition they deserve. Turns out, gluten comes with flour and flour-based foods. How do we get good nutrition while eliminating gluten? Why not amplify protein and vitamin/fiber rich vegetables and fruit?

I enjoy Chinese food, and when we go out, I love it when we go to the Mongolian Grill, because you pick all your own raw ingredients, and then bring them to the chef, who prepares them quickly right before your glistening eyes. I don’t want starches, m.s.g., rice and noodles, etc. This is the only way I can be sure I am not getting them. Surprisingly, fresh ingredients with oil and spice-based sauces and meat are just great without the addition of gloppy corn starch, corn syrup sauces, Americanized breaded meats, loads of pointless, non-nutritive noodles, etc. You can actually taste your food, and discern what you are eating.

I am pretty used to low-sugar by now, so it’s amazing how gloppy and sweet a fortune cookie tastes now. In my high carb life, it tasted like a bland, dry cracker. Now it’s a dessert! These days, I don’t feel like I have to eat it.

I am trying to convince my step-kids that french fries and chicken nuggets are not good food choices, nor are pancake dinners. One day they might understand. It’s not about weight gain for them. They are both fit athletes. It’s about choices that promote long-term health and lifelong habits. Someday they may not be able to simply exercise away all the calories, and weight gain might be an issue. But no, it’s about the cancer-fighting, life-promoting properties of good nutritious food. From vine to table, or field to table is better than field- to- factory- to- breading and sugar-coating, add preservatives, then to box. Finally a few months later, you buy it. I have my favorite prepared foods. Atkin’s bars are certainly a chemist’s creation. So I can’t preach too much on the virtues of organic and raw, much as I do like the concepts.

And it’s ok to have those things- in moderation, perhaps. I have come so far from the lifestyle I used to have, it’s not even funny. I still have some demons to kick out, like sugar free energy drinks and nicotine gum.

Meanwhile, let’s look at my old diet choices, back in the day… ( a bad day, happened about 3 out of my 5 working days if I ate like this) This was post-divorce stress eating style. Not recommended.

Breakfast: big bowl of Cheerios or Raisin Bran. Or nothing. 2 cups coffee. ( 7-8 a.m.) 2 cigarettes before/on way to work.

10:30. Hungry again. Cheese danish from vending machine. More coffee. Cigarette.

11:30: Shaking and trembling, hypoglycemia has kicked in. Must have water, juice, and banana just to stop the shakes and sweating. IF a kind co-worker can help. As soon as lunch hits, I head to Taco Bell.

12:15. Ingest 1 Taco Supreme and Large Diet soda. Smoke 2-3 cigarettes, fast.

3:00- Wow, snack sounds really good. Head to break room and get Fast Break Candy bar, another diet pop. Smoke another cigarette- last break.

Dinner: another bowl of cereal or eggs and bacon. I might have had soup. I was broke during this part of my life. I often skipped meals and just lived on diet pop, coffee, and smokes. I often ate a lot during the day, and very little at night. My weight stayed low. 118-120.

Previously: Family life before a divorce, and with young kids. (non- smoking then) This was the default pattern for YEARS.

Breakfast: Pancakes or muffins, eggs. Or cereal and fruit. Or yogurt. Donuts. OR ALL.

Late breakfast: More coffee, something junky like cake or cookies. I always had some bought or made in the house. Always.

Early lunch, because I would already be starved: Big sandwich, chips, water. Now for dessert.

Afternoon: All-day long snacking typical. Usually on junk. I did try to squeeze in salads and veggies, but only as they fit into my carbo-loaded diet. M&M’s, candy bars, ice cream, and of course, COOKIES.

Dinner: Heavy casseroles, rolls, roasts, chicken, etc. Always a rice or noodle was served with whatever meats, and eaten heartily.

Dessert: Too much and almost always.

Weight: 145-155.

Now: Breakfast. I think about it first. I don’t just rush in and grab anything. This takes thought and consideration, because I want high nutrition and low carbs. I choose either egg and cheese on a low-carb tortilla, or 1/2 cup Greek Gods plain yogurt with a bit of fruit on top, sweetened with Stevia liquid. I’ve started using this more than Splenda.

Snack: Don’t usually need one, but if I do, a hunk of Muenster or string cheese, or maybe a hard boiled egg. I am counting carbs, so I portion control. The protein leaves me mostly satisfied. I’ve learned to tell true hunger from desire for a sweet taste, and I don’t beat myself up for it, I just try to feed the hunger first, the desire last. Turns out that sugar free products help a lot then. Maybe an Atkin’s bar, maybe a nectarine.

Lunch: At this point I know I need greens and meat. I really like tuna or chicken salad over greens, with plenty of veggies. I don’t skimp. I want the salad large, so it will take care of my hunger, provide a lot of fiber, and satisfy. Bring on the dressing. If I have any kind of nuts or seeds, I like to throw some on top. And yes, cheese, please.

Afternoon snacks: Sometimes I don’t really want anything. Sometimes I do. I might have an iced coffee. I might enjoy a low carb tortilla with peanut butter. I might have a weak moment and shove a handful of chocolate chips in my mouth or eat too many sugar free Oreos. They taste just like the real thing, but each 2 has 6 grams of net carb, so eating 8 cookies is more than I really needed… so I try not to do this daily. Besides, they will fill me up with enough gas to provide our home with electricity for several hours. If only…

Dinner: No rice, noodles, or bread. Meat and veggie stir fry is a fave. Omelettes. Meat topped salads, etc. If I haven’t already had 2 low-carb tortillas on a particular day, now is a good time for one. I love Mexican food, so I can have every bit of yummy dinner as my taco eating family by simply substituting my tortillas for the regular, and I go lightly on the beans, if I eat them at all. I allow myself 6-10 tortilla CHIPS if there is a good guacamole to go with.

Dessert: Don’t always have any! Don’t feel I have to! WOW! This is a new me! If I do, I want my go-to sugar-free pudding, or something creamy. When the family grabs their giant ice cream bowls and my envy gets the best of me, I will hopefully have Greek yogurt in the fridge. I keep things like fruit and s.f. caramel in the fridge a lot. Not always. Some of my specialty items cost more. The yogurt is pricy, too, but I am worth it! How much are donuts and Haagen Das? Anyway. Goal for most days if maintaining- 25-30 grams carbs. Losing- 20-26. Probably going to gain if it lasts for more than a few days- over 35 grams. I have discovered my set point. I can still have a cheat day every couple of weeks or once a month and be OK. Beyond that, I have to be careful.

So that’s what I know. Feel free to share your thoughts with me, as well. I love comments, especially when they disagree with me! About the pictures: The salad is ‘Baby /field Greens’ type, I added pico de gallo, a hard boiled egg, shredded Mexican cheese, snap peas, the canned chicken. (first and last time on that cheap junk) NOT the mayo after all, and dressing.

The dish on the paper plate is Pulled pork nachos. I know each tortilla chip has 1 gr. carb, so I counted them out. If you are on Atkin’s or other phase-based low-carb plans, this wouldn’t work for phase 1, and maybe not 2.  I also followed a recipe that calls for Dr. Pepper and chipotles in adobo sauce to cook the pork roast in. Whereas most of the liquid is drained, there isn’t a lot of residual sugar in the meat, but be advised that some will be there. Yummy recipe, by the way ,and very easy.  From Pioneer Woman.

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Low-Carb Weight Maintenance Stats – Induction Notes

Beginning Induction Weight- ( 1/2012) 142-145

Lowest Weight ( 2/2013, approx) 123

Current Weight- 126-128

Exercise: Running about 2-3 days per week, inconsistent at times. Strength about 2 times per week, plus very active job – 8 hrs daily of speed- walking, bending, stooping, climbing, stretching. pushing a heavy cart around corners. (core work 🙂 )

So, induction was the hardest. It requires strict diligence and adherence to the plan- staying at 20 grams of carbohydrate intake per 24- hour period, and this needs to come mostly from salad and other vegetables. So, there pokes a hole in the myth that Atkin’s is all about bacon and steak. I’ll tell you that in those early days, you do eat a goodly amount of meat, eggs, and cheese, because there’s only so far salad greens will go in fueling the body. And, it’s almost free food, because you are getting almost no carb content in those items.

Somewhere around week two, you might cave-in, gorge on pizza and ice cream, and never go back.

But if you’re one of the determined few, who have decided that if you’ve committed to something, you will stick it out until you see results, by the middle of the third week, and especially if you’re new to Atkins’s  the weight seems to just fall off. Pants are looser, your face looks thinner. True, some of it is water. Your body simply becomes more efficient and less bloated at this stage.

By now, temptation may really hit hard. You’ve been so good, you’re losing weight- how about a night off of the old diet? You could take a free day at this point, but it will either stall your weight loss, or make it just that much harder to ‘get back on the horse’, but assuming you are very strong, you could have your night, and get back on the plan, none the worse for wear. It’s just that the night off needs to be very rare. Better to keep on with the plan, slowly increasing the amount of carb content by a mere five grams of carbs; assuming you are still losing weight. My body was tough this time around! It took me three MONTHS of induction to get to the point where I had lost just seven pounds. The first time I seriously did induction, it took only ten or twelve days.

The next stage is almost as hard. You’re allowed some of the phase 1-2 bars, shakes and meals now, but there’s still a huge emphasis on eggs, cheese, meats, and salads, veggies, and just berries. All other fruit is too full of sugars- and while they are natural, they are still sugars.

At this point, at about two to three months in, a lot of people just can’t take the lack of bagels and pasta anymore. They get tired of their normal weight friends and family who are scarfing pizza and bread sticks and who are eating ice cream looking at them like they are crazy. “Look at me. I’m not overweight. I eat what I want. Why are you doing this?” “What, you’re not eating whole wheat bread but you eat extra bacon?? What kind of diet is this? Your heart is going to clog up and fall out!” So, you try not to roll your eyes, sigh, and try to explain the science. Their eyes glaze over as they chew the pizza crust, and smirk at you.

“Just eat less of everything, and don’t stuff yourself. You’ll be fine”. I’m sure there is a lot of truth to that. But what if sugar and carbs act like a drug to some of us? What if not overeating these kinds of foods is harder for me then giving up smoking was? What if staying away completely until I beat this ‘addiction’, both chemical and psychological, is the most effective thing for me right now? what if I told you that I eat more vegetables and fiber now than I ever did when I ate smaller portions of only what I wanted?

My previous life of ‘eat what you want, just less…maybe”

Breakfast: Leftover huge hunk of carrot cake, or huge bowl of cereal. Neither stick with you long, so I was starving way before lunch

Lunch: Big sandwich, maybe even a sub, and all that bread. Chips, diet pop- ha ha, and two big cookies, or a similar treat. Always had dessert after lunch. If not, then a one-two hour later ‘treat’, like a candy bar. Invariably. Also, if there were any other dessert type foods offered in the break room at work, I would eat that, too.

Dinner: Huge rib-eye, side salad, two crescent rolls.

Dessert- big bowl of ice cream with Hershey’s on top.

Now, no- I didn’t eat like this every day. But way too often, it was something very similar to this. Any time I would look at what I’d eaten that day, I would be disgusted with how many calories I’d racked up, and moreover, I’d be amazed at the fact that I always still felt I could eat more!

Bio chemistry, blood sugar balance, and habit:

Perhaps there is a test that could tell us that some of us are more sensitive to the effects of high glycemic foods than other people are. Perhaps there is a test already. Maybe it’s the same test used to test diabetics. How soon after subject A eats this glazed doughnut ( or icky cup of orange syrup at the doctor’s office) on an empty stomach does the blood sugar level peak? How high is that peak? How long does it last? When it comes down, how quickly and to what level does it adjust to?

I can tell you that a breakfast of coffee and doughnuts is a disaster. Maybe not for most people, but for me, yes. I suffered tremendously with low-blood sugar- hypoglycemia, any time I lived on my carrot cake or cereal breakfasts. Why? After the rise, there is always a fall. Why doesn’t that happen to everyone? I don’t know. Why do only certain people get diabetes, or Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s? Everyone is different, with a realm of expected possibilities. Parkinson’s is possible, growing a third eye, not so much.

If you find that eating a high carb diet; that is- one with a lot of refined flour product, bread, sweets, chips, french fries, battered and fried foods, sugars and syrups, and you always feel hungry, you sometimes get light headed and clammy/sweaty between meals, and you can’t seem to turn down a junky snack, you’re a junkie. You’re hooked, and your body is running on cheap, adulterated food. It’s not good for you for many reasons.

When I was a sugar junkie, I had horrible mood swings, manic highs and low lows, skin troubles, scalp issues, anger management issues, and more. Besides that, I was overweight and miserable. I couldn’t seem to figure out why I was always ready for candies, cakes, and ice cream, no matter how much I’d eaten. Turning it down was torture. If I said no to dessert, I’d scarf a quick breakfast just to feel better about eating the ice cream at ten a.m. The next morning! Does this not sound like an addiction? Insert the words “Martini” wherever I used “dessert”, “junk food” , ‘candy’ or ‘ice cream”, and you might see my point.

“But food is just food. It can’t be addiction. It’s all in your mind”. Sure, addiction is largely in the mind. This is why taking the physical chemical imbalance out of the equation is only half the battle. But, it’s very helpful and important. Drug addiction is largely psychological, too, but we have to give up the drug, not just talk to our minds about it. If it helps, think of it not so much as addiction, but rather habituation. We are creatures of habit. We tend to want what we are used to . This is both a blessing and a curse, depending on what we are feeding ourselves. The physical aspect of this manifests itself, in terms of sugar and carbs, in a spike in our blood sugar levels when we eat the offending foods. We feel satisfied. It’s only a matter of time, though, before the blood sugar level crashes and we want to poke it back up to where it was. So we eat the Little Debbie snack cakes or grandma’s fudge, or a can of Pringles. We feel better, but maybe guilty, and like crap again when the crash comes, and so the cycle starts again. The body doesn’t get what it actually needs, good nutrition, and we’ve basically put sugar in our gas tanks.

I believe that people who have maintained a balanced diet over their lifetimes and who do not have a weight problem, intuitively know what their bodies need and listen to that rather than their cravings. They don’t get up in the morning and become tempted by carrot cake. They eat eggs or cereal, and they’re perfectly fine, running smoothly until lunch, which they eat in balanced fashion, probably not caring one way or another about a cookie or two, or a candy bar. I never see my husband go out of his way for a snack after lunch, nor does he usually consume cookies with it. On the other hand, he can eat a giant poppyseed muffin for breakfast and not go mad with hunger prior to lunch. I would. Why?

Insulin resistance: Here’s a great post by Suzanne Robin:http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/can-produce-much-insulin-2833.html

Hypogycemia? All About it: http://www.naturalways.com/sugar.htm

I am not a scientist, so best to get the facts here. Again, balance is an ideal. A great concept, and eventually able to be maintained. If you have had success with  balancing your diet and maintaining your weight without removing certain foods from your diet, why are you reading this post?

Yes, it can be done, but if you are way out of balance, you may need to take serious steps to get back into it.

Best Health and Wishes,

Lee

LCC is Right- and also Not Correct- about Low-Carb Cheat Days

Low-Carb-Confidential posted a very moving quote (from himself? A famous author? I don’t know) that spoke a lot of wisdom in regard to relationships. I have been pondering it, with gratitude.

As to the eating of high-carb foods and the theory that it’s OK to splurge and then come back to low-carb, I both agree and disagree. I agree that a religious OCD mentality about dieting is not only unhealthy but also impossible to maintain long term. It can alienate those who feel insecure about their own eating habits, and confound those who eat normal diets, complete with all types of carbohydrates, who maintain their weight.

Where I disagree with ‘a little won’t hurt’, is where some addiction theory begins. As I have referenced in my previous posts, there is increasing science to support the idea that certain foods trigger unnatural eating behavior in some people. (Watch Super Size Me for another supporting theory). There are certain foods that have been especially crafted to cause us to crave them. Others just do so not so much by clever conspiracy, but rather chemical makeup.

For those of us who are unaware, or prone to addictive tendencies, food is a powerful force that goes beyond simple enjoyable nutrition, but becomes a genuine addiction, but it is rarely acknowledged as such. Changing one’s diet and exercise regimen  might be the catalyst for weight loss, but if it is so easy, why does America alone spend over 33 billion dollars a year on weight loss products and services? (MSN.com)

The answer is simple. Many of us simply need to cut down on portions. Many more simply need to make a few small changes to the daily routine, and add a little regular exercise. Then there are those of us with a unhealthy relationship with food. Some might call it gluttony, idolatry, addiction, or abuse. It is when we have let our appetite for the feelings that certain foods or eating patterns bring us control our behavior. It is no more amusing, nor less dangerous, than an alcoholic’s dilemma. We already are aware of what America’s increasing love affair with food is doing to our health- both emotionally and physically.

Just as the recovered alcoholic need not usually be too careful with the dash of cooking wine in food, or the accidental ingestion of alcohol- if that could ever really happen- the sugar addict need not worry much about the hidden sugar they accidentally ingested in some food they thought sugar-free, or the one bite of cracker. But to boldly walk into the proverbial lion’s den and purposely choose those old favorite treats to eat with abandon might be for many, akin to the recovered alcoholic going to the bar for ‘just one margarita” . Some people can, perhaps go back to a life of moderation, still enjoying treats as exactly that- treats. But there may be some of us who can never ‘go back’. So, as I contemplate my birthday, I anticipate one of the following possibilities. First, I will eat what I want, not gain weight for a one-day splurge, and feel confident. I will continue to want the pizza and chocolate, and my healthy fear will be diminished. Perhaps the next splurge will be that much easier…and I begin the slide down the slippery slope. The next possibility is that I enjoy my birthday treat, laugh, love, and be merry, and go right back to low-carb the next day, none the worse for wear.

I know myself. And instead of dinking around and playing with the fat-burning furnace I worked so hard to create, I’ve decided to keep the splurge to a modest enjoyment- I will eat a few of my favorite things, but I will not focus on food for my birthday, as if it is a reward for ‘good behavior’. I am living the reward, and the nay-sayers, like some of my family, be damned. I mean that with love, of course.

It’s Not Dieting- it’s about Self-Mastery

Taking myself too seriously has been a lifelong hobby of mine. Most importantly, I hate being a slave. But I have been a slave to many things. Cigarettes, sugar, and the tendency to go all or nothing with beer, with smoking when I did, and now with nicotine gum. I have always been this way. That’s why moderation scares me. I know it’s the right way, but it’s so much harder for me than all-or-nothing. At the end of the day, I want to be able to enjoy my food in moderation, and without restrictions. I want to be able to enjoy food, even pasta and bread, potatoes and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but not to be obsessed with any of it. I do believe that I will achieve that goal, and the TRUE test of ‘self-mastery’ is to be able to partake of all that life has to offer (no, not illegal drugs, etc.,) without being possessed or controlled by the craving for it.

Why do we crave food when we aren’t hungry? Why does a junkie need a fix? More importantly, why do we have the need to escape?  Is this a reflection of our high-stress lives? The modern world? Could it be our own dysfunction that we can’t deal with? There are probably more questions than answers, but I subscribe to a simple theory that much of the dysfunction is just bad habit that’s been ingrained. We can learn new ways to respond to the challenges life throws at us. We can rise up, or we can suck lollipops. We can go to the gym, or we can go for the quick-endorphin producing bowl of ice cream. There’s nothing wrong with ice cream, eaten and enjoyed. The problem begins when ice cream, or any other thing, becomes our crutch, our reason for living. I have an inner glutton that will never be satisfied by any of the materials I try to stuff into myself. The hunger I am seeking to fill comes from learning to be content in the moment, without one more thing added. I have everything I need to lead a productive, happy life, already inside of me. Giving and receiving love, in all the many ways that manifests itself, comes right under having my “Maslov’s Hierarchy of Needs” met. Chocolate donuts are not necessary for my happiness.

Giving and receiving love. Releasing others from the perceived hurts and pains they have caused us, laughing with abandon, tossing away worry and fret- these are the freedom and peace bringers. Think about it, we all only have a brief span of years, in the grand scheme of things. If we are here to learn, serve, and love, there isn’t enough time for anger, worry, and numbing ourselves to our own ugliness and pain. It won’t work- the bowl of ice cream-to fix the buried memories of rejection, abuse, fears, pains, and loneliness. The meth won’t make us more productive at work, and the heroin won’t transport us to another, better reality. Beer buzzes don’t bring me to an enlightened state of being.

So, low-carb dieting is much more for me than fitting into smaller clothes, or looking better. It’s even more important than health, and feeling great. It’s truly about kicking false idols to the curb. I haven’t completed that journey, but at least I am on the road.