Saturday, June 18, 2016

Why Am I So Obsessed with My Ketogenic Diet?

Okay.  I admit it.  I have been obsessed.  These many last months, maybe my "diet" related posts have seemed a bit over-the-top to some of my friends and family.  I don't know.  I do know this, if I didn't change I was going to die sooner rather than later.

You might think I am exaggerating but I am convinced I am not.  I have had diabetes issues these last few years.  My first pregnancy I was initially diagnosed as a gestational diabetic.  Then after a regular type II.  Things only got worse.  Both pregnancies I have had I had to take enormous amounts of insulin.  I had fatty liver (cat scan confirmed) and elevated liver enzymes.  I had terrible joint inflammation.  I had diabetic neuropathy in my hands.  While I didn't consider it related, I had frequent migraines.  I am also slightly hypothyroid.  My hormones were out of balances badly in several areas. I felt horrid on a level I can't explain.  Most people do not understand the pain of being 345 pounds.  Yes, I had ballooned that high for those who don't already know.

I had for a time been so dissatisfied with myself.  I admit, I was starting to hate myself.  I have always been of a positive natural disposition.  When thinking of myself I was so angry though.  I was angry at my apparent profound lack of self-discipline in many areas.  I often felt like a hideous homemaker.  It is mighty hard to be a decent one when you feel wretched all the time.  I felt like an awful wife and mother.  I know I was short changing my family by allowing myself to be in such poor health.  I know I was certainly falling short of the expectations I believe God had/has for my life.  I felt like I was destroying my life and my Christian witness one bite at a time.

I also know that in short order, if I didn't change, I would die.  I could feel my heart struggling to keep up with the most basic things.  I knew I was directly and solely responsible for "putting the knife to my throat" as the scripture says.  I know my gluttony is ultimately the root.  I know that while it wasn't every day, I also exhibited signs of having a clinical illness of "Binge Eating Disorder".  I would occasionally just privately binge to crazy levels.  I felt like I had no control and I couldn't stop.  I literally could recognize there seemed to be some sort of disconnect between my brain, my mouth, and my stomach.  I ate to enjoy food.  I ate my emotions.  I ate out of boredom.  I ate out of habit.  I ate until I looked like I ate the couch.

Last July (2015) I finally got fed up.  I watched my sweet big brother go outside and run and play with my young children.  He played in a way I could not.  He is a bit over 10 years older than I am.  However, he is one of the most self-disciplined individuals I have ever known.  He is so fit and healthy.  He gave my children such joy that day.  However, I pretty much felt like I was going to keel over just sitting nearby and watching it all.  I felt so sick and tired.  Every step, even to get a drink of water was pain.  In those moments, I was done.  I didn't have an epiphany.  It wasn't that I was shocked.  I didn't learn anything I didn't already know.  I was just done.  Plain pure done.  I decided it was my choice.  My own individual choice to act.  I could slowly eat myself into an early grave and leave my children motherless...or I could make better choices.  I am not all powerful, but God gives me each day, each meal, and each bite as a chance to make good decisions.  I knew I had to stop choosing my flesh and my pleasure.  I had to steel myself to try to live my life.  It was a choice to live.  A choice that no matter what I had to act.  My act was to say no to myself.  I had to stop saying "tomorrow" and say "NO!  You will do this NOW!"  Tomorrow was too late.  It HAD to be all choices from there out.

I choose my life.

Now as many of you know, I went with what works for me, especially as a person with diabetes history.  I studied about it until I was blue in the face.  I have had huge success with the ketogenic, very low carb, high fat diet.  It isn't recommended by the powers that be.  It is however, saving my life one bite at a time.  My diabetes is very well controlled, in remission, or resolved.  Whatever termonology you prefer.  I am not on medicine for that.  I am only on levothyroxin for my thyroid.  My blood numbers are all wonderful.  As of this writing, I have lost 92 pounds and counting.  Fatty liver is reversing, and my liver enzymes are normal.  Neuropathy is improved.  Migraines are oddly better.  Joing inflammation is about 80-90% less than preciously.

None of this would be so, if I had not made the decision to take control NOW.  Every moment, every bite!  Every choice, they all add up.  My life is worth it to me.  God gives us ONE precious life to use to His glory.

Yes it is hard some days!  Yes, I miss the pleasure of certain foods.  I can honestly say, never did any of the binges on food that I had make me feel better.  I always thought I would feel better.  I always, without fail, felt worse.  Physically and mentally.  The moments pleasure of the taste of food is not worth my life.  It is not worth robbing my family of a wife and mother.

A ketogenic diet can make things easier in a way.  It is an awesome tool.  However, like any tool, it doesn't work unless the person picks it up and uses it.  That part is, and always will be a choice.

I am not perfect.  I mess up in many things often.  I have made a lot of mistakes.  I can not pick up this tool I speak of without God the Father.  He helps and guides me though this long road daily.  I am excited about the changes I have had.  I am blessed greatly by them.  I also know that it is far too easy to stumble and stop making the right choices.

So, am I obsessed?.....yes.....I guess.  However, I am trying to think of it as learning a self-discipline that I desperately needed.  It is on my mind all of the time.  I am clawing, and fighting for health.  I am fighting to live.  I am fighting to be here as long as the Good Lord wills it.  Each bite, each day at a time.

Monday, March 28, 2016

A VERY Basic Low Carb Ketogenic / LCHF 101 .

So folks are asking me what I am doing to lose weight and reverse my diabetes.  As mentioned before I have been eating a very low carb, ketogenic diet.  It is also known as LCHF (low carb, high fat).

Before listening to me....I highly recommend researching ketogenic eating on google, and listening to various lectures on youtube about it.  Dr Jason Fung, Dr. Westman, Dr. Phinney, Dr. Sarah Hallberg, Dr. Michael Eades, and Jeff Volek are a some off of the top of my head.  Also Gary Taubes is worth hearing out.  Finally, for people to learn from.... I highly recommend searching for a video called Butter Makes Your Pants fall off by Bob Briggs.  Watch it, and everything else on that sweet mans channel.  It is worth your time as he explains things so well.  He has a website as well. 

These are some of people who have taught me and I am only passing along bits and pieces of what I have learned from them and others like them.  One day soon I will make a page of resources linking to things like the above.  For now, please take the time to learn from these excellent resources.

Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor and this article/blog is no substitute for medical advice.  Anything you do is at your own risk and I recommend doing your own research.  Research for yourself and see what you feel is safe to do.  Below is my personal opinion after my own research.

What is a "Ketogenic diet"? 

First let me say it is NOT a fad.  It has been around since the mid 1800's at least, technically a lot longer.  It is a diet or 'way of eating' that cause you to go into ketosis (NOT diabetic ketoacidosis).  Ketosis is simply when your body changes from burning sugars/carbs from your food, to making the little tiny bit of glucose it needs from it's stores of body fat.  Your body can actually survive without carbs.  However, if you can get your carb intake from your food low enough (20g or less usually) then your body will make this conversion.  God made our bodies in amazing ways!  The point of this is to get your body to start to burn it's own fat for energy.  It also does a HUGE thing and can reverse Type II diabetes, fatty liver, PCOS, etc. 

If you don't eat sugar/carbs/starchy foods, your body doesn't have to release ever increasing amounts insulin(which is a fat storage hormone).  Type II diabetes is a condition where you are insulin resistant.  Your body isn't using it's own insulin well.  It resists it literally.  It needs greater and greater quantities to battle the carbs you eat.  The only way to really pull the rug out from under diabetes and reverse it, is to lay off the carbs.  So it is NOT just about weight loss.  It is about stopping deadly diabetes and metabolic syndrome(and other issues too).

Now for my meager attempt at basic advice.  Each of these points I could say a lot more about, but I want to keep this as basic as possible.

Get over being afraid of fat
First before your start....forget fearing saturated fat.  A ketogenic diet is going to be high fat.  Fat is something that has been falsely feared for years.  Don't fear the fat unless it is hydrogenated trans fats.  Run from those!  Use butter, coconut oil, lard, tallow, olive oil, etc.  Fat is your friend.  Fat will help you feel satiated.  It may be more calorie dense, but it can help control your appetite with shocking power.  Higher fat, means better appetite control.  It is a tool that helps that elusive willpower most people struggle to find.

DO NOT skip the salt

Also forget fearing salt.  DO NOT try this way of eating and with intentions of going easy on salt.  You will just feel awful.  You will have terrible headaches, and even heart palpitations.  Embrace salt.

Keep a Food Journal
Track your food!!  You don't HAVE to, but I have personally found I can't do very well without doing this.  Use myfitnesspal or whatever website you like.  Use a notebook and pencil.  It doesn't matter.  Keeping track of your food intake helps so much.  If you do it with even a little accuracy, it stops you from lying to yourself about how much you are eating.  Believe me, you WILL lie to yourself if you don't track.  I guarantee it.  If you can not make yourself do a food journal, then you need to stick to a food list of safe very low carb foods.  Search Ketogenic Food List. 

Carbs are what you MUST watch

When tracking watch carbohydrates more than about anything else.  Yes, people get technical with 'macros' and getting percentages right. Typically it is be a high fat, moderate protein, very low carb diet.  Ultimately, whatever you do, keep those carbs down!!!  I recommend 20 or less.  Even if you start at 30-50, it is a place to start, but you might not hit ketosis and the benefits from it.  However going with 20 works for most people, and it will put you into ketosis in a reasonable amount of time.  I personally say, go cold turkey and do it.

Keep Electrolytes Balanced <--pretty much same point as not being afraid of salt, it is that important

As mentioned above you need salt.  The process of going into ketosis is likely to make you drop a lot of water weight fast initially.  When in ketosis your body doesn't hang on to as much water.  This can cause temporary and/or intermittent electrolyte imbalances.  You might feel sluggish and have headaches for a few days.  It is often termed 'keto flu'.  Hang in there!  Some of it is also plain pure 'carb withdrawal' too.  But you can help solve the keto flu by eating plenty of salt.  Many like to supplement Magnesium (magnesium malate is a good one that won't cause bathroom issues).  Also supplementing or making sure you eat foods with potassium is good.  You can certainly get these things in your foods, just be aware few people get enough of them.  Salt is the biggie.  You just plain need more salt when you eat this way.  Many find a bouillon cube or two for quick broth is adequate to get you the salt boost you need.  Lite salt is a great cheap source of extra potassium.  I don't care if my salt is lite of course, but I do use that in addition to regular salt for that potassium.  Works beautifully.  For salt, I am partial to pink salt crystals, but anything can work. 

Consider at least Light Exercise

You don't absolutely have to exercise, but it is surely helpful.  Exercises reduces inflammation and makes you more insulin sensitive, which in turn will also help you lose weight and have better blood sugar control.  (yes I am still working on this too)

Calories Do have a Limited Place

Calories do matter.  You can eat very low carb and still be off the charts on calories.  While calories don't matter as much as carbs do, they are still worth keeping an eye on especially when trying to lose weight. 

Summary of most important things
Track your food. 
Eat 20 carbs or less. 
Eat your salt. 
Don't be afraid of fat.

There are other points I could discuss like your ratios of fat/protein/carbs.  I could talk about killing processed foods.  I could go into artificial sweeteners.  A big one I didn't touch on is Intermittant Fasting.  I won't go into that now, but it is worth googling.

Above is the most basic things to get started, in my opinion.  Keep in mind, I am still learning and capable of mistakes too.  But this is where I am right now.

I hope that helps.


PS  I also can't emphasizes enough, you have to keep up with this.  It has to be a lifelong change in eating and habits.  Believe me, if you add back in the carb monsters....weight and diabetes(or other problems) will come back faster than the blink of an eye.  If you make these wonderful changes, KEEP THEM UP for the sake of your health. Health is precious, never give up on it!

My Personal Salvation Testimony

I have been questioned about my salvation a few times, one last week.  I thought it was probably overdue time to share this.  I know it long.  I know it is emotional.  Listen if you are led. 

Please do not message me to debate doctrine or semantics of words I may have chosen to use in this video.  I am not looking for debate, just want to share my experience and events of my faith.  Hopefully it can be of help or an encouragement to someone.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Weight Loss Journey Update

I truly had no idea it has been so long since I updated.  Wow.  How time gets away!!  I recently updated the weight loss journey on youtube, so I wanted to link to that for those who follow that subject.

I also created a new group for Christian Keto on Facebook.  I am in other facebook groups that involve a LCHF 'diet' or 'way of eating', but I wanted one that was a little safer for incorporating faith and prayer.
If you have trouble with the link just search Christian Keto ( LCHF ) on Facebook.

So if you are interested in or currently following a Ketogenic Diet feel free to join there.  It is not a place to debate the way of eating, but it is okay to join to learn about it.

Here is my most recent progress picture.  As it is marked, it is absolutely not for reproduction for any dietary product.  Please do not use or share without permission.  I know I still have a long way to go, but yet I realize I have come a long way too.  I admit I hate sharing my own pictures, but I do so in hopes to encourage those of you desperately trying to lose weight too.  With God all things are possible!

I have quite a few things I think I want to write along the dietary topic.  Hopefully that doesn't bore followers.  I know I probably have more blog followers for the topic of faith related, or sewing related reason.... not weight loss related probably.  But this blog is a mixed thing, just like life.   :-)

I do have some faith based things bubbling on my heart.  I might end up doing video, we will see as I have time.  For now, I figured I should link to these two new things.

Blessings in Christ!!

Friday, February 27, 2015

A book recommendation

Y'all, I know I have neglected the blog a bit lately.  I have never one to write or do videos just because it is 'time to'.  However, even when I have wanted to lately I haven't made the time like I should have.  Many of my priorities on time have not been what they should have been lately.  I have been running scatterbrained and wasteful with time.  Time is too precious to do that.

Today I wanted to share a book with my sisters.  I just finished it and I have to say I am most impressed and challenged.  One of the better books I have read in a while.  I bought mine on ebay for about $5, but here is an Amazon link.

It is Women Living Well, by Courtney Joseph.

She has a blog by the same title I have occasionally read on and enjoyed.

The book was just very good for me.  Spot on what my heart needed.  Challenging especially in the area of digging into the Word better and guarding our time better as wives and Mamas.  I just wanted to share for those who haven't read it.  It is definitely a keeper and probably a re-read of at least once for me.  I seen she published a little study guide for free on her site.  I normally don't get into that sort of thing.  I might actually go through this one as it seems to be mostly about challenging oneself to better and organize those thoughts of how to do so.

Anyway...this is a short post overall.  I will try to be more faithful and diligent with my own time, and perhaps that will allow me to be more fruitful with sharing my heart here and on youtube.  If any of you all have any really good books to recommend, please share in the comments! Especially ones on homemaking and striving to be a better wife and mama.

Blessings in Christ!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

You Are Not Your Own Redeemer

Sometimes it is easy to get really frustrated with the world around us.  For those of us that are believers....even the other believers around us sometimes we want to throw cold water at 'em or something.  LOL

It is absolutely important to encourage one another along the narrow path.  Please remember as we do so, take care to not fall into the sin of pride.  "There but for the grace of God, go I."  It is such a true statement.  I often think of it when I remember what a wretched person I can be without Christ.  Me in of myself, I am nothing.  I am wretched.  

We have nothing to be prideful for!  Nothing.  It is only God's grace and mercy that as saved us by faith.  There is nothing we could have done to earn it, thus we have no reason for pride.  Christ gave the prideful pharisees some of the harshest rebukes.

Always tell others the truth.  Yes! Avoid sin!  Encourage all to do so as well. However, never forget to have love and charity.  Don't look on others from a high place with a stench of pride.  Never take pride in your own righteousness.  Pride wins no one.  Christ is our only redemption.


1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,b but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What do you want to reflect?

DISCLAIMER!  This video does have some language it I would rather not post.  So please don't listen with young ones in the room and with discernment.  I would rather not post it, but yet I think the lessons drawn from it are worth it.  So I am hope that outweighs my choice to post this.

I came across this on CNN today.  I linked directly to the youtube video here.  The person created this video by having someone walk in front of her with a camera in their backpack and then she carried a couple microphones in her hand.  Then she walked around the city for a hours.  They want to bring attention to the street harassment women go through.

I admit, I was really surprised by how many called out to her.  Also by the sleazy nature of the call outs.  When I went to copy the link to embed the video in this post I also seen some of the comments on it.  Many were arguing that they fellows were just being nice and friendly??  Really?  Comments like "how else do you expect men to meet women?".  They chastised her for not speaking back and bring friendly.  Yet, I suspect if she did, then she would have been accused of flirting.  Many of the comments were loaded with rough language so I don't recommend reading them.  My brief glance was bad enough.

Anyway...I have some observations.  They may not be popular.  First, I am in no way condoning any of the actions of the men in this video.  That fellow who walked right beside her for 5 minutes, that was just creepy behavior and it gave me the chills and thoughts of self defense classes.  I really felt bad for her there.  I think these men are not "just being men".  Such behavior shouldn't be excused or dismissed casually.

I am absolutely all for manliness in it's own right.  I enjoy seeing the difference in how God made men versus women.  I know men are different.   That is okay.  The behavior in this video, to me, is not okay.  You can tell a lady "polite hello".  You don't have to be catty about it.  In her defense, she is walking through there with no eye contact.  She is not looking to be friendly.  She is not looking to chat.  There is no reason to call out.  If she had been making eye contact and smiling at them all, it might be different.  But she wasn't.   The 'tone' of the many call outs says everything.  Clearly, they are 'cat calls' as folks call it.  There is a difference between being a man who is friendly versus a man who is being forward.  These men have to answer to God for their ungentlemanly behavior.  I am not their authority.  I only mention as if I don't, folks might assume I condone their actions.  I do not.  This blog is not written to men.  It is to my sisters in Christ.

So that said...  What can we sisters learn from this?  What is within OUR control?  What can we change or do differently?  What areas can we improve?  Let's look at a couple things here.  Demeanor, such as eye contact, smiles, gestures.  Also, let's look at attire.  I do think for the most part I didn't see much of anything "wrong" in her demeanor.  If anything, she was what folks around here would find cold.  She did not seem to be trying to get attention with her actions.  

I am used to at least giving a half smile and nodding when someone acknowledges my presence or eyes happen to meet.  I don't intentionally seek out to be forward.  I will say, I have never experienced the level of attention she did.  Even in my thin days and with very different attire.  The area I live in just isn't like this.  I have never seen that many men be so ungentlemanly in those kinds of numbers.

Now I have experienced Muslim men being forward with me when I have accidentally made eye contact and innocently smiled.  To me, growing up in the foothills of the Appalachians, it is just normal to look someone in the eye, smile and say good morning!  How ya doing today?!  Nothing is meant by it other than simple polite manners.

However, up in where in the city I currently live, I learned to be  more careful as other folks have different customs and my eye contact and smile have different meanings.  Add to it the veil I wear, which I guess piques the curiosity....I have been approached by multiple Muslim men over the years.  I have leaned to look down or away if I think a man might be Muslim.  I don't want to take chances.  I don't mean to offensive to anyone.  I just do not wish to ever have anyone think, even for a second, that I am being inappropriately forward.

Back to the video.  Her attire really isn't too bad in comparison to most of the world's standards.  A majority would probably say her attire is fairly "normal" I think.  A fitted tee shirt and jeans.  To me that is pretty tight, but there wasn't a lot of skin showing as some women do.  I would have a lot less sympathy if the top was low cut paired with a short skirt or something.  All in all she was dressed normal.

It 'normal' for the world okay by God's standards?  I don't believe God has a uniform for us.  Some people seem to think I believe that, but I do not.  He gives us a lot of freedom in our clothing!  He tells us back in the Old Testament that men should dress as men, and women as women.  He also tells us to be MODEST in our attire.  How modesty is defined is a highly subjective topic.  What many find modest, I may not.  He does require that his people be set apart from the world.  In the world, but not of it.  I don't think this is just actions, but in ALL things including clothing.

The thing I have encouraged sisters to do is DIG INTO THE WORD.  Don't look at my idea of modesty...look at God's!  What constitutes nakedness in the scriptures?  What level of decoration is appropriate?  How are Godly women described?  How are unGodly ones described?  Look it up and pray over it.  Talk to your husband.  Seek out his thoughts, wishes, and directives.

As I once heard Mrs. Michelle Duggar phrase it, "dress to draw attention to your countenance".  I liked that way she said it.  Dress so the eye goes upward to one's face.  Not to anything below the neck.  No you don't have to put on sackcloth as I have heard accused.  But as a believer in Christ, you are require to examine yourself in all things!  You are required to be modest!  It is a very black and white command.  How you carry it out is between you, your husband, and God.

Now, the big question here....... could the woman in the video have lessened the 'cat calls' by wearing different more loose fitting attire?  Ultimately, that is between her and God of course.  I am not here to call her out.  I don't even know her of course.  She is trying to raise money to bring attention to this.  (no comment on that part)  But I am glad she done the video, as I found it enlightening on many levels.  I truly had no idea it reaches this level.

But since the video is out there, I think it serves as a good example to use for our personal guidelines.  I think there is room for improvement.  Why?  Because I, like many women, who changed to modest loose long dresses, long skirts and tops and I found quite a difference in how I was treated out in public.   I have many times experienced men giving a respectful kind nod, and being sure to open doors or be extra polite.  In my case, I realize people see me and think "religious freakazoid", frumpy, ugly, fat, out of style, Mennonite, Amish, Pentecostal or whatever pops in their brain.  Shucks I have also been asked if I was a nurse or Covenant Nun.  I try to be feminine, modest, plain, and comfortable as best as I know how.  I do realize that I am in no way 'in style' or anything like that.  I stopped caring about fashion quite a while back.  I dress in a way my husband and I are both at peace with it.  Other may not find beauty in it.  While most of the world doesn't find it appealing or appealing my husband does.  It is old fashioned, yes.  So what.  There is actually a lot of freedom in tossing off the worries of 'fitting in' or 'being in style'.  Yes, I wear tennis shoes with dresses.  You know what, it's awesome!  You might carry out the same Biblical directives a bit differently than I do. That's fine.  The point is to carry them out.

Finally to end this, I know some will want to chastise me that men are responsible for themselves and they should keep their eyes to themselves and their mouths closed.  There is truth in that.  However, we are responsible for what we put on.  The Bible even says we are not to be a stumblingblock to others.  Dressing immodestly is a stumblingblock to men.

If you are getting 'cat calls' especially on the level witnessed in that video, I would suggest you take time to study the Word and see if you can find ways and areas to improve in.  You might be the most modest lady ever when it comes to attire.  Your actions and demeanor may be where you need to be more ladylike?  I don't know.  I know sometimes I still struggle with my own actions and have to take extra care.  I know it the past I wore some things that by my current standards were extremely immodest.  I blush to think of it.  Again, as in many things, I am thankful for His grace and mercy as I have tried to figure things out.

The point is to examine our hearts to see where we can each improve to be the best witness for Christ and not make our brothers stumble.   Your heart is far more important that what is on the outside.  Clothing is just clothing.  It is a reflection of what is on the inside though.  What do you want to reflect?