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“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Zig Ziglar 

Here goes nothin’…!

My problems with my weight began when I had my first child.  Surprise, surprise!  As with most women, I found that my post-baby body refused to let go of even a fraction of a pound.  I was never overweight before having kids, I was always in shape and my weight was spot on for my 5′ tall medium frame.  But after I became a mom, I would work my ass off for one, sometimes two if I didn’t get too overwhelmed, months to only loose 1 to 2 lbs. Then, I’d get frustrated, grant myself a cheat day, return to my normal eating habits, and gain 1 to 2 pounds plus several more right back in just one week.  All my weight that I accumulated over 4 pregnancies and failed dieting is all still here, just hanging on my body — seriously though, the fat on my abdomen is literally hanging, sagging with all my loose pregnant-belly-skin, and it hurts.  And it breaks out.  And I get yeast infections where the fat/skin rubs against my hips and tops of my legs.  It is the area of my body of which I am most self-conscious, and horribly ashamed.

I have tried nearly all diets that have come and gone since 2000, nothing has worked…UNTIL NOW.  I am sure I will encounter many opinions, criticism, negativity — and I am not prepared for any of it. I am a very sensitive person that takes everything extremely personal.  Try as I might, this is one characteristic about myself I have never been able to change, everything affects me on the inside…but I can cover it fairly well on the outside.  But I’m going to be brave anyways and tell you what has finally started working for me…

A while back, one of my best friends asked if anyone wanted to do a 10 day “shred” with her.  Just a little challenge for ourselves to see if we could stick it out and follow the rules for all 10 days.  What are the rules, you ask? No caffeine, no alcohol, no dairy, no gluten, no processed foods, no artificial or refined sugars, no eating after 6:00pm, tons of water, 7-8 hours of sleep a night, and exercise most days.

By day 3 of the challenge, I was full-on detoxing. I felt like absolute crap, like the day before a really bad cold is about to smack you in the face. I ached, I was tired, I had no appetite, I couldn’t even force myself to drink any extra water.  But on day 4, I woke up completely refreshed and revitalized, and the rest of that challenge was a piece of cake.  I ended up loosing 8 lbs in those 10 days!!!  Then, I was faced with the dilemma of how and what to start adding back in to my diet. Caffeine first, of course!  I added back my morning coffee.  Then, alcohol…hardly a big deal at all, as much as I enjoy my mixed drinks and wines, I drink maybe once every 1 to 2 weeks, so this had no affect on my every day diet. Over that first week post-shred, I continued to loose 2 lbs. Next, I added dairy and minimal sugars at the same time.  Weight loss slowed slightly, I was still loosing 1 lb a week for these next two weeks.

THEN IT HAPPENED.

I waited until last to add back the gluten, mainly just because I love my carbs and was afraid over overdoing it.  (I didn’t skip over the processed foods, by the way, I just don’t eat excessive amounts of them to begin with, so no change really.) A little side note, let me tell you how much I cannot stand those people who have taken it upon themselves to decide that gluten is an evil poison and putting it into your body is nothing short of suicide.  These people do not have Celiac’s disease, they’re are not diagnosed as having a gluten sensitivity, they are not medical or nutrition experts…no, I’m talking about the people who jump on whatever bandwagon is getting the most attention at the current time.  I don’t like them, and I do not want to become one of them. I will not become one of them!!! So, there I was, having the best weight loss success — THE ONLY WEIGHT LOSS SUCCESS — I have ever had in my adult life.  I put that damn gluten back in my diet, annnnnnnnd *record screech* the weight loss came to a dead stop.

I will take a quick moment to tell you all that I diligently used the My Fitness Pal app on my phone to track every bite of food and every drink I put in my body.  I needed to make sure that I was not depriving myself of any nutrients or cutting too many calories.  I have goals set on my app for quantities of nutrients, fat, calories, carbs, etc. Even when I added the gluten back in, I was still making sure I stayed within my strict guidelines I had set for myself on my daily carbohydrate intake.  So, simply adding the gluten back in did not mean at all that I was suddenly binging on an entire baguette with dinner or anything…although I could each a whole baguette with just a wheel of Delice de Bourgogne cheese (my favorite cheese in the whole world) with a glass or two of wine for dinner.  Don’t judge me, that cheese is THAT GOOD!

Anywho, back to to it… After one week back on the gluten, I did not loose any weight.  After the second week, I had started to gain weight.  I was devastated. I continued to slowly gain about 1 lb a week after that.  I made a decision when I had gained back 6 lbs: I was going to revisit the 10 day “shred”, but follow the post-shred program a little closer.  This means that post-shred, I will continue a no-dairy, no-gluten diet for an additional 20 days.  I will do as I did before and slowly add back in minimal amounts of caffeine, alcohol, and sugars.  Then, I can see where I stand at the end of the 20 days before I make any decisions on the horrors of gluten.

I am already full in to the “shred” right now. I am on day 8 and I have already lost 8 lbs, still 2 full days to go before my final weigh-in!  I am walking every day. Most days I walk 5K, but on days I’m running short on time or I just need a break, then I just do half of that.  I’m slowly incorporating more spurts of running into my walks, too.  The little bits of running are becoming easier as more weight comes off, and I’m sure I’m gaining muscle, too.

That’s all I’ll throw at you for tonight, folks! We’ve got a loooooong way to go on this weight loss journey, and plenty more to discuss along the way! Time for my nightly herbal tea and rubbing my feet down with some oils, nighty night 😴

~~ Amie

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