Hi Friends!!!

I feel like it’s been FOREVER since I’ve talked with you when in reality it’s been about three weeks. Ok … that … is. .. forever! Let’s see … where should I begin …

First, let me tell you that I have not fallen off the wagon nor have I been immersing myself in potato chips. I’ve been sticking with my low carb options and enjoying some French fries on occasion. After 3 months of sticking hard to the low carb diet I needed to take a step back for a few weeks and mentally rest. Now you may have noticed that I just used the word diet instead of lifestyle and that was intentional. To be honest, when I got started it was more of a diet at first but now that I’m “finished” with the 90 day challenge I can honestly say that it has become a lifestyle. It is a way of life for me now. I can’t go into a restaurant and just decide to order whatever I want without any thought to the carb count. Without even thinking about it, I find myself reading the nutritional information on the back of every box, jar, carton and bag of food in the grocery store! If I do choose to pick up fast food and decide to eat the bun or get fries then I’m mentally calculating what the rest of the day needs to look like food wise. No longer do I eat without a thought of the consequences. I like that.

Secondly, I met with Kristin, my awesome wellness counselor, to discuss my 3 month follow up labs at the end of the challenge. Thankfully, we saw a difference in the areas of concern. Here’s an idea … [table “6” not found /]

Now the changes weren’t drastic but they are headed in the right direction. My LDL might raise a few questions because it went up instead of decreasing. Kristin did explain to me that “in some people we see the LDL cholesterol go up in the acute weight loss period as the belly fat breaks down, the byproducts can temporarily raise the LDL. We almost always see this normalize 6-9 months after weight maintenance is reached.” I can live with that. One result that is unrelated to weight loss but has made a huge impact on how I feel is my Vitamin D level. In September, it was 21.0 – which is a HUGE reason why I felt awful all the time. The “normal” range is 30.0-100.0. I started taking a daily dose of Vitamin D. And in February my level is now 43.5!! Whoo hoo!!  So what do these results tell me? Well the results tell me that this lifestyle change is working but that I’ve still got work to do. Losing weight isn’t simply about wanting to look good it’s about doing my part to redirect my path away from diabetes which is where I am heading. By God’s grace, I have great blood pressure (even after being stuck in traffic. We’ve checked before!) but hypertension runs in my family. And don’t even get me started on the heart disease issues. We all need to take a moment to look in the “health mirror” and get a true glimpse of reality and not the fantasy that we are living in. I have the pictures to prove that I have been living in a fantasy world of “I carry my weight well. I’m not that big.” Sadly, the measurements that were taken when I started my challenge were lost. But I know I’ve lost inches … you can ask my coworkers and my mother!! 😉

Thirdly, having seen my labs results and taking a short break it’s time to get back to the basics. For the next few weeks, I’m going to get back to journaling and being consistent with my carb count. We have increased my daily carb count to 40-50 a day. I have done well with only 40 but some days I feel limited by 40 and that is usually when I blow it. Plus, I need to make sure I am providing myself with enough energy for working out. So my goals for the next 3 months (I like 3 month increments! They are very manageable.) is to focus on working out. I have a solid grip on the food but now it’s time to get my body in gear. Spring has almost sprung and it just calls you to get outside to play! I want to play!! Plus, I have those typical summer events planned … you know … vacation and weddings to attend. I want to look good but more importantly I want to feel good. I want to know that what I am doing is going to benefit me for the rest of my life. In order to get to that place it’s going to take exercising consistently … so here we go!

Question: What do you do for exercise? What is one form of exercise that you love and miss it if you don’t do it at some point during the week?

Looking forward to hearing back from you!!

Blessings …

– Melody