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On spinning my wheels:

On November 26th I was 234.4.

On January 26th I'm still 234.4.

How ironic.

I didn't spend all this time standing still, I bounced down to 232 and back up to 240. Some weight has definitely stayed gone, so real fat has been lost, but my progress is weak at best. I'd love to fault the diet like I did a few nights ago in a huff, bu truthfully I departed from plan on Thanksgiving and Christmas, had a few small cheats around New Year, and many days where I think my calories may have just been too high despite my very low carb. It's depressing to have to eat super low carb AND keep my calories down in the 1800 range but that's how I lose. I don't lose when I don't do that.

Two months of spinning my wheels because I wasn't strict enough and dedicated enough is obnoxious. I was on plan, as a percent of both time AND food, 98% of the time. And yet those measly two percentage points shot me in the foot and nearly invalidated all my other effort. I could get away with it five or eight years ago when I first tried this. But my body now, with its assorted health problems and issues, can't tolerate those deviations anymore. I know how to maintain my weight which is what I've been doing lately, but to lose I'm really going to have to give it 100% effort. Okay, fine. I can work with that.

I've been on plan the last two days again with zero deviations. Well, one - I know I do better when I can have some salty sunflower seeds as a movie snack, but it's abou 1.5 grams of carbs and 70 calories so I allow it and it doesn't stall me. I'm still watching artificial sweeteners in everything but my coffee and trying to not overdo the protein, fasting part of the day, and getting in light exercise. I have to do all this while staying on less than 20 grams of net carbs (and less than 35 total carbs) and 1800-ish calories to see decent weight loss. Okay, fine. I can work with that.

My period is over and my weight is drifting downward again now that I'm not bloated which is cheering, but to get back below 234.4 and onward into the 220's I'm going to have to be perfect. Progress is okay but it doesn't advance the scale - the occasional cheat or high calories works for maintenance and is way better than throwing in the towel, but to actually lose its all in. All in *does* work for me and it's about all that I can do - an honest assessment of my habits and history over the last few months shows I can achieve slow weight loss if I am diligent on induction and move around. Maybe there will be no OWL for me this time. That's a mentally fatiguing thought that so is staying here obese again after several years of the good life with size 12-14 clothes, easy mobility, and energy. I loved being even smaller than that but 160 is still a better weight for me than 175, and 145 was fabulous.

I will never see that again if I insist on wheel spinning. Thus, today I'm planning another perfect day.

taryl | General | 26 January, 7:47pm | 24 comments

Just checking in. I've been on plan except thanksgiving day and a day on either side of it - I'd planned to get right back on but had weakness for that last slice of fruitcake. I'm back to 25 net carbs and watching my calories too, hoping to break past 232 where I have been stuck. My weight actually bounced higher and hasn't gone back down since thanksgiving but I'm not stressing, it will get there. So I'm down 10-12 pounds and have 90-ish to go. It's progress nonetheless.

Life is still crazy busy but improving with the kids being done with their co op. I'm in my final two weeks of classes and cannot wait to be done there, too! As my schedule frees us I'd like to commit to more activity as it was a huge fail this November. I need to be working out 4 days a week and I'm currently at 0! Whoops. It is part of what is slowing down my weight loss, I really need some activity to keep my metabolism from crawling. Little guy also weaned so I'm having to adjust my calories back downward since I don't have the extra burn from nursing helping out anymore.

Yesterday was completely, 100% on plan for carbs and calories. I'm doing the same today! Focusing on giving it my absolute best with nothing bending the rules. I'm allowing a protein shake if I can't have a proper breakfast but that's about it! I'll check in soon :)

taryl | General | 30 November, 6:28pm | 18 comments

For those who are familiar I had been in the middle of Marie Kondo's book and decluttering my house. It's not bad for being a shoebox with seven people living in it, but with all the school supplies, craft items, computer equipment, snow gear, etc, it's an ongoing challenge to keep things restful and functional. I'm one of those people who is mentally unsettled by clutter and needs a tidy space to work best. Not clean and neat as a pin, but everything needs to have a home.

I had worked through my clothing, shoes, makeup, and kitchen, then got so busy I had to stop for six weeks. Now I've been able to continue and tonight decluttered my craft stuff 90% of the way - I have two boxes left that I ran out of time to do. I also straightened and rearranged some things in the main living space to make them more functional.

Can I say how much lighter I feel?! It's such a good feeling of working hard and accomplishing things. My home feels better and works better for me. Yes - it needs remodeling badly and has been lived in hard for the twenty years it has been around. Not just our family but the two before us - it is showing wear and age and the value of it for living in AND selling will be improved by getting these projects done as money becomes available. But even spending NO money, but carefully decorating and tidying what we already have, makes such a big difference in how I feel about our space. I see the good things instead of just the things that bug me.

I'm looking forward to doing more tomorrow.

taryl | General | 8 November, 9:34am | 21 comments

So I had an issue today that looked a lot like a fail but was really me winning. I was eating the topping off a pizza slice and took a small bite of crust the cheese was stuck to. Then I felt that pull of temptation and took another bite.

I paused while chewing, practically uttered "No, I won't do this to myself" aloud, and walked right over to the trash and spit it out. Then I finished my toppings, tossed the rest of the crust, and moved on. So technically I ate a bite of pizza, but you can see why I'm so happy with myself for halting that bus and turning it around before things got serious.

I know this intellectually but it was so clear in the moment that I wasn't cheating anyone but myself. A small part of me wanted all the pizza. But it was overwhelmingly drowned out by the part of me that is dying to be healthy and slender and remain free of cravings.

Over the past few days I've had a bite of cottage cheese and three bites of roasted carrot (herbs, salt, and duck fat). I didn't scrape the minute amount of ketchup off my bunless burger from a fast food joint, and had too much cream today because I had a second coffee. But other than these little life things I've been 100% on plan. Out at dinner last tonight, cooking for my family, stressed and on the road - I've done it. I am totally committed and even when I have an off plan moment like the pizza or checking the carrots I was going to feed my family, I just circle right back around on plan and keep going. I'm rereading the book again and have been struck by how much I am really ready to get back on the lifetime train I was on before this health nonsense. I thought I was getting what I wanted in eating icecream or fries but it gained me nothing but brief satisfaction and a whole lot of grief. I sincerely and deeply hope that this sticks with me this time. I've tasted the bottom end of my weight and the bitterness of giving that up - some my fault, some totally beyond my control. Now that I know I'm not invincible and it's really not worth it I'm committed to doing maintenance better this time and staying there for good. I'm totally driven.

I've been doing my hoedowns for a light workout and logging my food. My scale is still firmly put away until this scale challenge concludes. I'm all in, 100%, and I'm fighting for it this time - I let go of my hard work way too easily. I got tired. But I was deluded to think it was somehow rewarding to crush my own half decade of work and think I was doing myself a favor.

And every time I want to bite that pizza, I am going to remind myself of exactly what I'm fighting for.

taryl | General | 6 November, 8:57am | 18 comments

This is the intro I copied on my journal on the Atkins Diet bulletin board (ADBB). I decided to get more support on a journal community, but I'll copy and paste pertinent posts here as well, to preserve my intellectual property, if nothing else! It's also a great bookend to the previous journey. I've started again and been successful, finally. I'm going to be redoing my website soon and archiving all these older posts. So to catch back up from the beginning, here is a summary of where I am now and where I came from.

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Brief summary, I began losing weight in October 2008 at a high weight of 270, after my second child was born. It was a long, slow process with two other pregnancies in the middle but I ended up at a low weight of 145 in May 2014, when I conceived my fifth child.

Bam! Kaplow! Health collapse. The other babies, even the ones when I was morbidly obese, were never more than 20-35 pounds of weight gain. This kid was 70. I was 200 after he was born and subsequent allergies, medications, and hormonal issues bumped my up to 235 fairly quickly. Some of it was me - I had been losing my diet mojo for several years before that. You know the point - where you're not excited anymore but just doing it anyway, struggling with yourself. I ate a little off plan throughout the pregnancy. Normal and healthy according to my midwives, but I have to be low carb to keep weight off and I did the healthy carb nonsense instead. Not beyond 50-75 grams per day, but being so highly weight reduced and having (though I didn't know it at the time) totally crashed adrenals made that a recipe for disaster.

Baby is now ten months old. Allergies and major symptoms are under control again. And after months of trying and failing for a million reasons I'm back on plan, no excuses, doing an extended induction.

I've made a fair ways. I think I'm on day 16 or somewhere in that neighborhood. I've been bang on plan except exercise and am working that in from here on out as much as I can. It's tough with my issues since rest is paramount, but I can work in small things.

I restarted this first at 200, then again here at 242.5. Believe it or not I was mostly on plan the whole time. Allergies and steroids were the main culprit. But I think we have them under control. Last I weighed I was 234.8 or somewhere in there. That was over a week ago. I'm dying to weigh in but slightly concerned as I feel no difference (some of my pants are actually tighter, despite my face looking thinner). It's ridiculous. But I'm doing it even if it is slow. I'm so mad I can barely see straight, if I'm being honest. I worked SO hard for years and was normal. A size eight. Not quite to goal but surpassing all my original hopes and dreams. And I lost that within months. I'm back to where I was in 2009 and it's not even my fault. I became allergic to almost all the low carb care I'd eaten for several years prior. It was terrible. It all feels so unfair.

I've taken that anger and used it as motivation. I found my mojo again. I'm completely, 100% dedicated and will NOT be thwarted.

And that's the end of my introduction and the beginning of this journey. Again. Please oh please let it not take another five years!

taryl | General | 4 November, 12:21am | 17 comments

I can't weigh in, but I see wrinkly skin on my lower abdomen again. That always happens when I lose and it looks worse for dozens of pounds before it looks better (one of those things that didn't improve until 150 pounds or so).

But whether a certain pair of pants feel tight or I'm having a fat day, I know that eating on plan and faithfully logging my food WILL work, however slowly. Even without the scale this is proof. So I'm happy about it for today :)

taryl | General | 4 November, 12:20am | 14 comments

I'm doing it. I am.

I'm in the zone, enjoying staying the course and working each day to be as on plan as possible. I've faced down numerous temptations that have felled me over the last year and beaten them.

I'll check in with my weight progress tomorrow, but I am very proud of myself and had to write about my victory. Ring doesn't fit yet, but I am closer every day.

taryl | General | 25 October, 8:29am | 16 comments

Well, this post implies I've been on plan since I last posted. Yes, I have. And no, I haven't. Good days and bad. But now I am finally getting my head around this again and really focusing on my reasons why.

In honor of that, my first goal is a reason why I'm losing weight. My resized, smaller wedding ring doesn't fit again. I had several days where I couldn't remove it at bedtime, and now cannot slip it on at all. So I'm wearing a cheap gold band in place of my beautiful, $27,000 custom made ring.

No. I refuse. I'm going to be perfectly on plan and meditate on each bite, I'm going to focus on my fish, my veggies, and my exercise. I'm doing my EFT (more details on that another day).

That damn ring WILL fit on again, and probably in under two weeks. And I'll post a picture when it does. I have a ring on, but I miss *my* ring. I will not let a damn brownie keep me from it.

taryl | General | 19 October, 7:45am | 17 comments

Hey everyone! I'm still here, still trying daily to succeed, and still fighting weight. My internist decided I wasn't crazy and prescribed me Metformin to sensitize my tissues to insulin again, because my blood sugar is good and my insulin is good but my appetite is through the roof and I'm still putting on weight. I'm sitting in the 230-232 range by the skin of my teeth because I've been working my butt off at adhering to my food journal.

I'm also having some really troubling symptoms like whole body aches and muscle weakness (can barely get up the stairs, can no longer lift a sewing machine easily, almost collapsed getting out of a booth, etc). Now, obviously gaining 90 pounds over my weight last year is contributing to some of the tiredness, but this is ridiculous. These symptoms can be indicative of issues with my cortisone dose and thyroid levels, so I'm thinking of getting them retested and having deeper investigations done by my primary care doctor. I've also been half-assing my diet, primarily from cravings - it's better than it was, but still needs improving.

Instead of poking at low carb and whole foods, I'm all in. If I crash and burn I'm right back on the horse the next day. I'm doing Atkins Induction without veggie limits until Christmas. No excuses. No breaks. And if I'm still above 200 pounds I will investigate weight loss surgery to manage this. I feel like I'm in a prison of fat again, and thankfully I'm not back at my high weight but it is just too much. Way, way too much.

Still aiming for fish every day and nearly succeeding, as well as dark leafiest. Exercise got lazy with my husband's hectic schedule but I'm back with that, too. If I'm not cycling I'm doing ttap. Current drug regimen is armour thyroid, hydrocortisone, metformin, low dose naltrexone, properly methylated B-12, iodine, and a bunch of other supplements I haven't been consistent enough at taking.

The only allowable modification I am doing with my Atkins is letting myself have a Gc control shake with breakfast, because it satisfies sweet cravings and fills me up when I'm in a hurry. That and hard boiled eggs are a fine breakfast.

I'm totally fed up. Done. I'm redoing other areas of my life too, between going back to college and Konmari-ing my clothes and other possessions. I am starting to have bizarre symptoms, still feel exhausted, am behind the ball, and getting fatter. I'm also fed up. *IF* I'm going to be battling these things I'm not going to let it be because my own basic daily dirt compliance is lacking. I need to remove that stumbling block because I have enough of a mess to worry about without it!

taryl | General | 10 August, 6:19am | 18 comments

As for me, I did well today! I had a bunless burger at Carls but did indulge in a few onion rings :) Everything else today was on plan and I got my whole checklist done! Leafy green for dinner (fried collard greens), fish for dinner (sardines with brown mustard, SO good), exercise (went on a nice bike ride and got my heart rate up for thirty minutes, but it wasn't insano like my previous ride).

Patting myself on the back today :)

I hope you ladies had a great one, too. Staying on plan is one good choice at a time, and a less health promoting choice doesn't undo every solid decision you make. Don't fall for the lie that if one tire is flat you must slash the other three - just get back on track and keep going.

taryl | General | 25 June, 6:12am | 20 comments

Green leafies: LC creamed spinach, check. Fish: tuna salad and salmon burgers, check. Fish for two meals! Exercise: An hour bike ride, about five miles, half of which was hills. It was pretty challenging and I ended up walking my bike the last hundred feet of a mile long steep incline, because my legs gave out. Check!

I'm awake in bed for some unknown reason after being so tired I needed a mid afternoon nap. Maybe I have to be careful about exercising too close to bedtime? Either way, it is a route I'll definitrly do again as it is close to home and fairly varied terrain. Off to try sleeping (with the grunting, kicking baby not cooperating in his crib).

taryl | General | 22 June, 9:28am | 16 comments

It deserves reporting. I was on plan earlier in the week, had a day where I slipped up and ate too many graham crackers and peanuts, and then went right back on plan today. I'm still not perfect - I really need to get very close to Atkins Induction to quickly take off this weight that is sapping my self confidence and energy, too, but I am working my way there a little at a time. Low carb food choices and minimizing treats is my goal right now, and I made it.

I'm going to do it again tomorrow.

In other good news my husband reconditioned my bike and put new tubes on. I went on a bike ride for the first time in three years yesterday. It was nine o clock at night and I still did a few miles and several good hills. My butt was killing me today, but I did it.

My goal, which I will keep, is to never go more than a day without exercise of some sort. Swimming, cycling, or Ttap. Today I meant to go and ended up staying home with my husband. Fine, that's one day. That means tomorrow is non negotiable for activity. Same with diet - that's how I kept the weight down and maintained for so many years. If I went off plan I was right back on the very next day, no excuses. From pregnancy onward I made too many exceptions, too many excuses, just plain put my head in the sand and didn't care. That factor I could control, combined with all the health problems I couldnt, was the death knell for my weight. My health is what it is, but my food and activity are MINE. It might be slow going at times, but I a, reclaiming those for me and my children.

I've had my break and indulged all my cravings for months. I've had my medically restricted diets and food avoidances. I still have a crazy list of low carb foods I simply cannot have, and must rotate regularly, because of my allergies and intolerances. Okay, I'll work with that. I have to.

Another positive goal I am setting, non negotiably, is green leafy veggies for lunch or dinner. I like them and try to eat them anyway, but getting in a big serving at one meal is so good for my body which needs nutrients badly. It also fills me up and is hard to overeat. I can do one per day, and that goal being easy and one I've attained frequently even to this point helps to make me feel successful.

Another positive habit I want to form is eating fish for one meal per day. I'm sensitive to dairy, nuts and eggs, and outright allergic to shellfish. I'm mildly allergic to beef, chicken, pork, and turkey, but my allergist okayed me for adding those back in carefully and seeing if I have any reactions. So far I've had chicken and seem to be feeling fine, but pork might be dicey. Either way, to limit my consumption of those potential problem foods I eat lots of fish, but must be SUPER careful of cross contact and contamination with shellfish so I don't need epinephrine. I've had a few previously safe fish brands that I've ended up reacting to. But fortunately with sardines and frozen fillers of mahi mahi, salmon, trout, tilapia, and halibut the cross contact potential is very low. I eat a lot of sardines, but my goal is to expand my regularly consumed fish to more frozen recipes to diversify what I'm eating and lower the chance of me gaining allergy or sensitivity issues to sardines. Not to mention, fish is kind of awesome for me. I'm aiming to have fish, and mores hopes than just sardines, at either lunch or dinner. This is another easy goal I'm already hitting most days, but I'm making a concerted effort to do it EVERY day.

These positive habits are ones I want to keep regardless of what the rest of my diet or activity looks like. Baby steps and building blocks to set me up for success. I got complacent and dropped so many of my home court habits (a la Summer Tomato, Darya is bang on correct on this point) it's high time to start cultivatjng them again as part of a lasting healthy lifestyle change. It won't solve all my healthy problems and diets issues, but it will go a long way to mitigating the effecfs and halting them in their tracks. It's also crucial to the recipe of reversing them down the road.

I still have failing, damaged adrenal signalling. I still have hyperpermeable intestines. I still have hypothyroid. I still have immense allergies and food sensitivities. But I'm going to work with those things and regain as much of my health as I can. That means activity to help my energy and insulin sensitivity, and a diet that helps nourish my sick body so it can heal, and drops the excess weight in the process.

I have done it before, albeit with less barriers. I can do it again. I already am. High five, self.

taryl | General | 21 June, 7:58am | 21 comments

So it's been awhile. And my life has changed forever in the meantime.

On the plus side, I had that baby and he surprised everyone by being shockingly early (I tend to go overdue) at 37 weeks on the dot. Jonathan Shane G. was 6 lbs 10 oz and 20 inches long, and is now a beautiful, cheerful six month old. He was born December 23rd, 2014. He is my worst sleeper, but still a charming, happy baby. Just one that loves eating. A lot.

The weight gain continued and so did the fatigue. I'm sitting around 225 pounds right now, and it's awful. It's not entirely my fault though.

You see, I never gained my energy back from the pregnancy. It turns out I have severe adrenal fatigue. Not to failure, yet, but I'm supplementing with cortisone treatments because my endogenous levels are laughable low.

I also developed new life threatening allergies postpartum. Anaphylaxis to shellfish. Moderate allergies to beef, chicken, pork, and turkey. Intolerances to dozens of other foods. Low carb hasn't been going well when my body attacks animal protein. The cause of the allergies appears to be linked to the adrenal fatigue - it gave me hyperpermeable intestines and the particles of food that are getting through are being attacked by my immune system. So I'm doing supplementing, elimination diets, and fermenting to try and heal it. It's very, very slow going.

Due to the anaphylaxis issues I've been on and off prednisone. That, plus the hydrocortisone, aren't helping the weight gain. It bothers me, but fixing it with my diet and food and energy issues has been so hard. I'm praying and trying to be graceful about being eighty pounds heavier this May than last, but it is a struggle. Physically, yes, but emotionally too.

I've become a sick person. With the adrenal fatigue I have to avoid all stress - emotional, menta, physiological. I am not really supposed to have more babies, or at least to give it 3-5 years (this was devastating). I have to sleep more, and better. I have to eat plenty and regularly. If I push too hard my body crashes and I get nauseous, dizzy, a migraine, and have to spend the rest of the day and the next in bed to try and regain some semblance of normal function. I snap a lot at the kids, because my stress tolerance is almost zero. When my body gets stressed, it cannot cope and shuts down.

We have had a bummer of a year. Our business with friends just closed doors a few days ago, and we aren't sure if we can reopen. That's hanging in the balance. We are massively in debt from that, the baby birth, and then nexpected extra 10k in medical bills since he was born due to adrenal crashes, allergies, intolerances, depressed immune system, oh, and I have a genetic defect related to MTHFR that has required special treatment, too. Super, eh?

Through all of this, I've let everything slip. Still no exercise, because sleep is more important right now (trying to change this). Crappy diet, because chips and rice are safe but a steak could kill me. Lazy routine with my bible study and self care. Bad attitude. Marriage is okay but not great. I have a lot to repent for right now, and my walk with God has been in a dry season, too. Which really stinks because I need him now more than ever before and I'm just finding my heart aching and distant instead.

There are bright spots - I'm processing the health stuff and doing what I can. Working on the routine. Speaking sweetly to my kids. Helping the husband as much as I can, though he has spent much of the last six months helping ME instead. I need spiritual growth so badly right now, and God is growing us through these trials. I admit I kind of prefer the easier times.

We need to be better stewards of everything - body, family, home, finances, relationships, you name it. I'm still here, I haven't given up, and though this is a hard time for me and my life has been a depressing whirlwind I am still going to take one step at a time to get on track and out of this hole. I need to keep myself accountable here and just do one thing at a time, without ragging on myself over my failures. Weight is secondary at this point, health and heart come first.

taryl | General | 12 June, 6:50am | 22 comments

I'm not dead, as I professed before. Still here, still trying hard with my weight and health, meeting a lot of resistance and issues. I've been sick pretty much perpetually for upwards of two months now, which hasn't helped things. My husband and I are extremely busy with work (him) and homeschool obligations (me). It is also apparent that if I follow the 'common sense' low carb recommendations for pregnancy I gain weight like crazy. I have to be strict, or my body just stashes it all. The scale is pretty ridiculous right now, but I'm working every day at staying on top of solid nutrition, solid sleep, and not giving into tempting junk. I failed on that last point every week or two for August and September and have paid for it. Boo!

Baby looks great - healthy, active, all bits and parts where they should be. My thyroid is still not quite right and I never did get over the exhaustion and fatigue this pregnancy. No second trimester boost, and now I'm nearly in the home stretch. I think some of this is metabolic and some is just a difficult pregnancy, but after four easy ones I suppose it was time for me to struggle a bit. And I'm definitely not looking forward to labor, but my placenta moved and I am off bed rest and on track another home birth at this point, so that's a blessing.

As for homeschooling, this needs to be chronicled here so I don't forget it. This blog post is awesome and inspirationally true: http://jennwinsocal.blogspot.com/2010/05/about-those-dreaded-gaps.html

We are implementing a new school organizational system with work boxes (actually, work folders right now due to space issues) with huge success. The kids love it and we are getting to fun stuff and lighter subjects that frequently got pushed off or dropped due to time constraints in prior years. It is also helping with independence in the students, which I appreciate and needs. More on that as I tweak and tune it.

Hopefully I will prioritize blogging a bit more, and I'm going to have to do so postpartum for accountability in getting this pregnancy's gains back off. But the break was needed and good, and didn't spell catastrophe in any particular way. I'm just very, very busy, was quite sick, and struggling with prenatal depression and diet issues (neither of which have fully resolved but I'm trying my best!).

I hope to post the next blog sooner than ten weeks from now ;)

taryl | General | 11 October, 9:26pm | 31 comments

I was commenting on someone else's blog and realized I'd been neglecting my own. Not for cause or fear, things are going pretty well despite some pregnancy complications (a bleed and placenta previa we're praying is moving up). Baby is healthy and has looked great on the ultrasounds, my energy is in the pits but I have almost no nausea now, we began a new slot car racing business with some of our best friends, and I've been doing summer school with the kids. Busy is really the issue.

With food I've vascillated between awful and awesome. It's been a struggle, but over the last few weeks I've clawed my way back to mostly low carb without so many bites/licks/tastes of off plan things. I'm focusing on one meal at a time on plan and keeping that going. I feel tired and pudgy, though much of that is pregnancy and heat related and not dietary, necessarily. Unfortunately I've also been downed with several colds and assorted maladies that have just made the time crawl unpleasantly. But time has indeed passed and I'm beginning to feel more human, and looking forward to getting back on a more normal schedule sooner than not.

So not dead, not buried in icecream, not otherwise MIA. Just busy!

taryl | General | 22 July, 9:00pm | 207 comments

Hello all! I'm still here and doing well, despite what the scale says. It's been going precipitously up but my eating has been on target for quite awhile, so I'm trying my best not to sweat the shocking hormonal weight gain with this kid. It's hard, though, even during a pregnancy. I'm just programmed to deal with the scale and it doesn't work the same way when you're growing a baby human or two.

Cool things I didn't expect the last week - I have a Doppler and went baby spelunking with it on a lark. This is about the earliest you can hear a heartbeat and I'm not rail thin, so it makes the likelihood even lower. But after half an hour with the Doppler I caught a heartbeat that disappeared quickly, and then I chased it down again a few seconds later. Unmistakeable sound and so, so cool. I admit it also puts my mind at ease a bit, that the baby is healthy and growing.

The entire last week I was sicker than a dog with combo pregnancy ills and a nasty cold. The congestion was unreal (and of course I couldn't take anything for it) and it just kept getting worse. It also quite compounded the exhaustion of the first trimester to the point I was pretty much nonfunctional. Blessedly my morning sickness was okay for most of the week because the few times that kicked up with everything else going on, I kept wishing for unconsciousness. But after a week things improved and this week I've been much, much better. Now it's just back to baby ickiness, which I can deal with.

My online friend Melissa posted about a deflated balloon and body issues with weight loss, regains and relosing, etc. It made me do some reflecting and I identified a few other issues I hadn't hit upon at the time that contributed to my quick regain after hitting such a low. I'm just going to copy and paste it here and think about it a bit more.

You know that was one of those things that freaked me out during my last bout of weight loss from 165-170 down to 145. I looked deflated and wrinkly as I had lost significant subcutaneous fat. My bras were half empty, my thighs had a gap, my upper arms were crepey. Not surprising, given that I have fairly inelastic skin to begin with, had been 270 pounds, and had four children. But it messed with my brain it ways I couldn't even identify at the time. I thought I had it down, after so much time losing and maintaining. I was good. I had a system. I'd dealt with my demons. And I'd still say most of that is true, but it never ends or completely goes away. I lost the ability for a few months to feel myself in and manage my health and I paid for it with a huge regain. Some was hormonal with this pregnancy at 150, and now I'm up to 172 shockingly early (it's mostly hormonal and my husband keeps joking about twins, but some of it is that residual I-don't-care at the end of the day, too). It's been very sobering and helped me feel myself in again, so I can lose some of this excess fat and grow another healthy baby.

I'd like to say for this next losing phase, postpartum, that I'm ready to see 150 or 145 again. It looked gooooood on me! But truthfully anything below 160 was comfortable for the rest of my life and that's my goal right now. It's a process, I can't ever lose sight of that. And neither can you. Whether we're deflated balloons and regaining maintainers or not, it's NEVER too late as long as we breathe, to get this under control and keep trying. We might stumble or fall, but quitting entirely isn't an option when husbands and children depend on us.

taryl | General | 13 June, 1:23am | 48 comments

I was asked about where I am at on weight loss/hCG on my TTap forum. And the answer was thought provoking and useful, so I'm copying it here to kick myself when I need it. And to remember that I'm actually a success story, even when I feel like a bit of a failure for not being perfect (ha).

hCG was and continued to be a huge blessing to me and others who follow the original protocol by the letter.

For me, I began my weight loss after the birth of my second child, and the first time I looked at the scale was after several weeks on plan and I was 257. My highest weight during pregnancy was 270. As it stands now after two (and now three, I'm expecting another baby in January) subsequent pregnancies and continuing to work on my weight loss and maintenance, I am sitting in the 160 pound range, which was my original goal weight.

The protocol rules, when followed in loss AND maintenance, work wonderfully. But as a caution, let me tell you that for the first time I did a round this past January without having my head in the game and cheated during the protocol, and the overboard in the maintenance stages and didn't correct immediately. I lost down to 147 as my last dose weight in March, and was up to 158-160 by the time I became pregnant. That was a big bounce in two months, and NO fault of the hCG. But it was proof that maintaining a large weight loss (I was 120-130 pounds down at that point) takes diligence and effort every day, and hCG doesn't fix that. What it is is a tool for losing when nothing else works. And it does that BEAUTIFULLY. But it isn't a silver bullet or permanent solution for weight and health, and nothing is (including surgery).

For me, I maintain very well at 158-163, which was my last dose weight of my hCG round before this disastrous one, in June 2012. But I became pregnant with my fourth child and ended that round early. Still, even during nursing and weaning my weight returned to that set point very well, and I maintained there without too much adieu. I do believe I can go lower, but this time I have learned the hard way why I must not cheat or modify the protocol. When I do it by the letter it works, when I don't it doesn't. I've always preached this, but now I've lived that hard lesson ;)

i havent been on the TTap forums much lately but I am still tapping, though I've been lazy the last few months I'm working on becoming consistent again. That has also been huge for my physical wellness, flexibility, back pain, and yes, my body shape. I maintain in between hCG rounds with what is essentially P3, the maintenance phase of hCG. It's Atkins induction and the lower rungs and works beautifully for me. The upside of this is that I can correct more easily, up do it while pregnant and nursing, etc etc.

This doesn't mean I don't struggle - after many months of successful maintenance I was in a funk at the beginning of this year and gained five pounds over my maintenance range. I mistakenly thought doing an hCG round would fix it, but without dealing with the head issues and discipline problems that had cropped up the diet was nothing but a temporary solution and the issues remained. I firmly believe this is my 'secret', if there is any to maintenance - recognizing this is a lifelong health issue that requires daily management, never giving up, realizing there are good seasons and bad, and that the mind is where the battle is won and lost and the scale/tape measure is a lagging indicator of what is going on in your brain.

taryl | General | 17 May, 6:16am | 46 comments

The scale says I'm officially a fat cow. Between travel, holidays, and hormones I am up TWENTY FIVE POUNDS since the middle of March. Some of that is water retention, sure, but a good fifteen of that is honest gain. I had a mental freak out and bounced right back up after my last weight loss round, to about the place I was at before (which was my original goal). The rest seems to be baby related.

So. Cake is done, I'm back on plan. It might be too much to ask for here as I'm exhausted and nauseous but I'm going to work at getting back down to my original goal (155-160) before earnest pregnancy gains begin. I'm not going to keep my calories artificially low if I'm hungry or having a blood sugar drop (a because that makes morning sickness ten times worse) but I'm sticking to my low carb food lists I usually maintain on and we'll see what comes of it. 1800-ish calories and 35 net carbs of whole food should help me slowly but surely drop the subcutaneous fat gain, even if the scale stays the same because of added baby weight.

I was successful with this the last pregnancy, including getting off an overindulgent early pregnancy gain, so I'm basically rinsing and repeating.

Last night was crazy, as I had to prepare my notebook and end of year report for my contact teacher. It's a lot of paperwork but I'm always glad to have the record when I'm done, and the meeting today went very well.

Our state just implemented a STAR reading assessment for k-3 that is mandatory for all children, so my two oldest girls did that. The kindergartener scored quite well as an emerging reader and I found the assessment pegged her right where I did in terms of skill, which was encouraging both for me and the accuracy of the test. My first grader tested a smidge low compared to her reading ability, but her comprehension isn't nearly as advanced as her decoding skills. Still, she was firmly in the probable reading category and almost near the top of the assessment range, which isn't too bad since she's only seven. I'm glad to have that hurdle out of the way and know where they're at in terms of the range of their skills, though, as I don't have much of a standard of comparison besides my own curriculum goals for the kiddos.

The littler two didn't eat the puzzles or burn the office down, so they had a good day as well. We only had one diaper blowout on the way out the door and still weren't late, which is a HUGE victory

Goals for today include storing away the winter gear, washing all my maternity clothes, and reading several chapters in a book I'm working through called "The Heart of Anger" by Lou Priolo. It is AWESOME. If, for some reason, I end up with LOTS of time on my hands I need to get a shawl off my knitting needles, too, as it is about two years late for the original date of receipt. Whoops.

We'll see how the list goes. I hate putting clothes away seasonally as we have zero storage space, but it's a necessary evil and I'll be glad when it is done.

taryl | General | 14 May, 9:15pm | 33 comments

Okay, not really, but it feels that way sometimes! My husband says I'm five kids old, and that trumps the fact that I was born in 1986 and most of my peers still live with mommy and daddy and are perpetual students ;)

Yesterday was my birthday and insanely busy - we had weekly baking and school, then a trip to the water park during the discount homeschooling day. I left in the middle of that to go to my piano lesson and then came back and picked up the kids while Peter acquired my cake. We were so exhausted by the end we all got into bed two hours late. So I started today off with sleeping in, a light school day, and now I'm sitting outside watching Holly try to eat gravel and Seth drinking icky water from an old ball.

Gross and fun.

I have chores to do, but watching the kids play seemed more important.

And that's the ramble update for today.

taryl | General | 13 May, 9:51pm | 30 comments

I love babies, and I'm happy to have symptoms (I cannot tell you have nerve wracking my few pregnancies of zero early symptoms were, after miscarriage issues) but I barely ate dinner and the little bit I did eat has made me so nauseous. My coffee seems to have set it off. I ate a hardboiled egg, some sausage, and a little peanut butter. And I'm sipping on lemon water and sparkling mineral water. But I'm still having major indigestion and nothing is sitting quite right. Oh well!

Ongoing insurance issues also suck - our new coverage, thanks to getting bumped off our old coverage by Obamacare, begins July 1st. But I'm being treated for my thyroid right now, and I guarantee they want to run a million panels before issuing me another refill prescription, since I am pregnant. But we cannot afford them until the new insurance begins, which is around 11 weeks into pregnancy for me. The rub is that I'm going to need a refill before then. So do I just call for a refill and schedule an appointment in July? Do I omit the fact that I'm pregnant, which feels an awful lot like deceiving them? They are an OB/midwifery group, but not the one I'm using for this birth. And I have my first appointment with my midwives on June 25th. But again, I'm going to need to keep going on my thyroid stuff, especially in early pregnancy. So I'm between a rock and a hard place, because I cannot pay for the tests needed before the insurance kicks in, but I need them prior to that, and even having them bill it later doesn't help because the date of service isn't applicable to the new coverage.

Being on a budget sucks sometimes.

taryl | General | 10 May, 7:21am | 35 comments

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Skinny Dreaming
Blogging 2 Lose Weight
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Chibi Jeebs
Lynns Weigh
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Third Times A Charm!

Weekly Weight Loss

Weekly Weightloss

11/7/11: 199.6

10/19/11: 199.2

9/27/11: 197.4

9/20/11: 197.6

9/13/11: 194.6

8/30/11: 196.6

8/16/11: 194.2

8/9/11: 196.0

8/2/11: 196.6

7/12/11: 190.6

6/27/11: 192.6

6/13/11: 194.0

6/7/11: 194.2

5/30/11: 195.4

5/24/11: 195.2

5/17/11: 197.4

5/9/11: 196.8

5/2/11: 197.6

4/18/11: 195.2

4/11/11: 198.8

4/4/11: 203.6

3/21/11: 201.4

3/14/11: 199.0

3/8/11: 199.6

ONEDERLAND! 3/3/10: 198.8

2/28/11: 202.0

2/21/11: 201.2

2/14/11: 200.8

1/31/11: 202.6

1/25/11: 201.8

1/18/11: 204.2

1/10/11: 205.0

1/3/11: 206.6

12/28/10: 207.4

12/20/10: 208.0

12/14/10: 206.6

12/6/10: 207.8

11/29/19: 211.4

11/22/10: 210.4

11/15/10: 211.4

11/8/10: 215.6

11/1/10: 216.8

10/25/10: 215.0

10/18/10: 212.2

10/10/10: Baby born!

10/4/10: 232.8 - DUE DATE!

9/27/10: 229.8

9/21/10: 231.0

9/13/10: 228.4

9/6/10: 226.6

8/31/10: 226.6

8/23/10: 223.2

8/16/10: 223.4

8/10/10: 223.0

8/3/10: 224.2

7/25/10: 223.8

7/19/10: 221.8

7/12/10: 219.6

7/5/10: 219.8

6/29/10: 219.4

6/21/10: 218.8

6/14/10: 216.8

6/7/10: 218.0

5/30/10: 216.6

5/25/10: 215.6

5/17/10: 215.2

5/9/10: 215.8

5/4/10: 215.8

4/25/10: 214.2

4/19/10: 213.6

3/28/10: 211.8

3/23/10: 212.2

3/15/10: 212.0

3/8/10: 211.6

3/1/10: 214.2

2/15/10: 213.8

2/8/10: 214.0

2/1/10: 214.8

PREGNANT!

1/18/10: 210.0

1/11/10: 211.6

1/4/10: 211.6

12/28/09: 213.0

12/21/09: 212.0

11/30/09: 208.8

11/23/09: 209.4

11/16/09: 211.6

11/9/09: 211.8

11/3/09: 214.8

10/26/09: 214.8

10/18/09: 214.6

10/11/09: 214.8

10/5/09: 218.4

9/28/09: 218.4

9/21/09: 219.8

9/14/09: 220.2

9/7/09: 223.2

8/31/09: 225.0

8/24/09: 225.4

8/17/09: 227.2

8/7/09: 227.6

8/2/09: 228.4

7/28/09: 229.0

7/19/09: 231.6

7/13/09: 233.6

7/6/09: 235.0

6/29/09: 232.4

6/22/09: 236.8

6/15/09: 238.0

6/6/09: 237.6

5/31/09: 240.4

5/24/09: 240.6

5/18/09: 243.6

5/3/09: 246.2

4/26/09: 246.2

4/19/09: 248.8

4/12/09: 251.2

4/5/09: 247.6

3/29/09: 251

3/22/09: 251

3/1/09: 252

Highest weight: 257-260