Sunday, January 16, 2011

Well, here we go!

I'm excited!  My first blog, my first post about low carb life!

Want this to be a fun place for everyone to come read, share thoughts, and hang out!  I will post daily menus, recipes, weigh-in up dates, links to other blogs I follow, pictures of me, pictures of foods I'm excited to share...and more I'm sure! :)

Well, to get started, I want to list the reasons why I decided to start this blog in the first place.  I decided that to understand how I got to low carb, I needed to start from the the chunky kid growing up here we go!

I’ve been a dieter since I was around 11, I believe. I recall having a calorie counter book out, and I would keep track of what I ate in a notebook, add up the calories, and then decide how many laps around the block I needed to walk in order to burn some of it off. I wasn’t obese, but I was a chunky kid. Perhaps, THE chunky kid in my class.

I recall being made fun of, dreading stepping on the scale in gym class, and feared running “the mile” each year for fitness tests. Although I had a good amount of friends, I just always felt different, and different in a bad, flabby, sorta way.

I grew up in a home where “junk food” consisted of popcorn, pretzels, and occasionally diet soda. Not so “junk foodie” if you ask me, however, I also spent a good portion of my time at my loveingly awesome grandparents house where as you can guess, was fully stocked with Schwanns ice cream, doughnuts, chips, non diet soda, etc…you get the picture. Having two households I frequented being near polar opposites with food offerings, ignited the “bingeing” side of me. Once at my grandparents, I would eat all the sugary stuff I didn’t get at home, and once at home I would feel that constant craving for the foods I didn’t have available there. I had low self esteem because I was bigger, which caused me to eat more, which caused me to have low self esteem. The internal battles were never ending it seemed, and continued on. I knew I needed to eat better to feel better and do better in gym, but on the other hand, I was just a kid and all kids eat ice cream and pizza so why couldn’t I?

When I was 12, my father passed away from lung cancer after a long battle, ending with a month in a coma in a hospital, where I got to watch him slowly decline, and then let go. I can’t blame that experience on my weight problems directly, but I also can't dismiss that it didn't have an impact on my processing stress and emotions from that point on. 

I returned back to 6th grade after being gone a month, to find a shift in friendships. The friends I had up to this point decided, I guess, that since my dad died, I was different now, too different to be cool anymore.  I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the events that occured after returning to school, but kids are nasty and cruel, and I guess that's what I'll chaulk all that up to.  I don't think those girls will ever truely know how awful this made my already unstable life at that time, but it affected me deeply, and obviously still does. So, alone with no friends and upset about losing my dad I ran... I ran right to food. I eventually did start hanging out with different friends, and they turned out to be the ones that stuck with me through high school, and a few of them I still keep in touch with, they were and are great people!  I don't speak about those goings on with many, except for now obviously, but I realize it was a key moment in my life to shape me. It has also made a difference in how I feel about kids making fun of or bullying others.  I was made fun of for being chunky, and because my dad died and I hated every minute of it.  Any time I see that occuring with other children, or with my own daughter, the anger and hurt comes back and I will stand up for anyone that is put in that same position.  Don't mess with the baby bear if you don't want to deal with the momma! :)

From that point through junior high and into high school, my weight fluctuated. I remember being 145, then up to 204, then down to 135, then back up again. I tried excessive working out, bulimia, back to laziness and over eating, back to bulimia. The year after I graduated high school, I topped out at 209, and decided that was it! I moved away to college, broke up with my boyfriend I had dated all through high school, and just started over. I lost a bunch of weight in the stress of school and working, but didn’t actually feel “good”. In fact, I felt crappy. Lack of sleep, living off coffee, vending machine chex mix bags, and plain white rice was not the way to go. I lost the weight, but didn’t feel as good about it as I thought I would.

Several years would go by, with the same roller coaster gaining and losing, but I never let myself get back to that 209.

Around 2002, I ended a relationship that had been going downhill for quite some time. Towards the end of it, I felt depressed and began the uphill battle with the scale. The more we fought, the more depressed I got, the more I turned to food, the more I gained, the more I felt bad about myself, the more we fought, you get it…
Once that relationship was declared over, I moved out, started a different job, and decided that it was then I needed to do something different. This was during the huge upswing in low carb popularity, where you heard about it everywhere. I decided that I’d give it a shot, and went to the library to check out the 1992 version of Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution. I remember reading each page, and just thinking how much SENSE this all makes, burning fat while eating fat, skipping the refined carbs that we all know are bad for us anyway…duh! It sounded simple, long term, exciting, and proof surfaced when I stuck to the Atkins way of eating and lost 40 lbs in 3 months, plus, I felt great! My co-worker at the time, and now long time friend started low carbing with me, and she dropped weight just as I did.  We were so stoked, and felt great!  Such a difference from the other times I had lost weight, and my cholesterol had dropped in points signifcantly! I was also able to keep it off, and I loved every minute of it.

I was a faithful and sometimes radical low carb follower(ask friends and family!) until I became pregnant with my daughter in 2005. I had decided that low carb wasn’t a great way of eating for a pregnant lady, so I opted to ease up a bit, but still forego pastas, breads, and rice. Wasn’t too hard in the beginning because I suffered from extreme morning sickness, but then once my second trimester began, I rekindled my love for food. And what I mean is, stuff I craved, like hot dog jalepeno quesadillias(weird, I know, but sooo tasty!), tator tot caserrole, nachos, and ice cream. I mentally gave myself the go ahead because I was pregnant, and I had endured 3 months of vomiting hell, but all that got me in the end was gaining a large amount of weight, and maxing out at 234. I ate plenty of fruit and veggies too, but there was no dispute that the cravings of food were not controlled, and they ruled my weight gain. I was shocked that final time I stepped on the scale at my OB/GYN office. I knew in days I would be delivering this baby, and then after I was given the go ahead at my 6 week post partum check up, I would have to get my ass in gear and lose this weight!

However, what I didn’t know was what lay ahead…colic, allergies, asthma, acid reflux, constantly changing formula, in the doctors office, teething with constant 104 degree temps, off work due to a sick child and my employer becoming increasingly irritated, and a now ex husband who wasn't as willing to help out as much as I needed him to, which lead to growing apart, anger, resentment, and him drinking more. It was a rough, rough, time, but I did end up losing all my baby weight, plus some, but not in a good way. Even though I was still foregoing pasta, breads, and rice, I lost weight mainly due to stress induced anorexia and just not having the time to sit down and actually eat. I had once again lost the weight, but wasn’t feeling good about it. 

Shortly after my daughter's 1st birthday, she was doing remarkedly better with all her newborn issues, and my then husband had reached his peak of pushing me to my boundry of tolerance, when I decided it was time for us to leave. So we did. We moved out into an apartment, and life began again.

To sum up that wonderful time between moving out and now, I’d have to say it was full of stress going through a divorce, stress of trying to co-parent with someone who couldn't always be counted on, and stress of making ends meet, but it was still wonderful. I really felt like it was FINALLY time to get serious with low carbing again now that I could focus on me a little more. What I found out was that it was SOOOO much harder with a little one, why? Because when it was only me in the house, I could handle just buying meat, cheese, and veggies, but now I was also buying carby things for my daughter to eat, so it was just there, in the house, available, and I had no will power. None. If she didn’t finish her mashed potatoes or graham crackers, I did, because I hate to waste. Ugh! Stuck again! Stuck because my willpower couldn’t say no, once again.

Well, here I am, 2.5 years down the road, with the same ups and downs, and this time, I WANT to seriously do this.

I have the tools, the knowledge, the knowing it WILL WORK if I put my mind to it, and the want to finally be thin AND feel good.

I want others to join me in doing this too, which is why I created this blog. A public place to laugh, cry, post pictures, be honest, be accountable, share milestones, and regroup…whatever just to get back to the low carb way of life to be healthy and feel good!

So let's get started!!


  1. Great intro, manda! What a ride this thing is we call life. You are an amazing, strong person and I know you can do this. I know I can do it, too! I love the blog!

  2. Ditto!! Great beginning. Some of it I knew, some I didn't.. You are an inspiration and I'm going to fully enjoy following your success! <3

  3. I'd hate to over-inflate you're ego, but I thought it was an awesome start too! ;-)

    I'm happy to have been right there with you for the last...what has it been five or six years? You can do this!!

  4. Thanks guys! *tear* :)

    Love you guys so much...we've been a group for so long now, it's crazy! Yup, Stac, like 5 or 6 years! I love my Stallbreaker ladies! You guys are the best. Seriously :)