Starting to see change - also Low Carb Cheese Cake!

I was filtering through old pictures this morning when I came across one from April - when BJ and I first started walking at the complex down the street - and started eating Low Carb. I sat in front of my computer in shock. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I cried. It was both a cry out of humiliation for allowing myself to get so far off a healthy course, and a cry of happiness that I can finally see CHANGE in myself. And it's not just the physical, but everything about me is changing. My body, my mind, my emotional self, my outlook on life, and people. I cried. I was happy, happy that I knew I was doing something right - that I'm on the right path - that ** I ** accomplished this. Me. Not a surgery that altered my stomach and intestines. Not Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers. Me. My hard work, and dedication to MYSELF - it's paying off. And here is a side by side...

April 2015:

August 2015:

I immediately took to face book to share my astonishment... and this is what I posted:

Sunday 8-23 8:30am Holy shit... you know, I have been saying to BJ that I don't "feel" any different - but have noticed some changes since March that tell me we're doing things right. Like fitting into smaller bras - fitting into clothes that I haven't been able to wear in almost 2 years - fitting into a booth at a restaurant - wearing a choker that I bought in 1997 that I couldn't wear for nearly a decade because my neck got so fat I couldn't wear jewelry. Or the fact that I have virtually NO PAIN in my left knee anymore (the knee that went on me in March that landed me in the hospital) - the fact that I can sleep better, I can walk without limping - I can go up the stairs without needing to stop to catch my breath. But this... I was looking at pictures, and this was shocking to me. The first picture was taken in April on one of our walks at the complex - when we first started living Low Carb and exercising. The other is just a week or two ago. The difference in my face is astounding. You don't realize how far off the path you go until you can't walk, can't breathe, can't live. And this WAS my reality. It actually has me in tears to see this... because I've believed for so long that I was not worth saving, that I was not worth fighting for. But now I fight for myself. I fight because I AM worth it. And I am so much happier for it.

I. Did. This. And I'm not done. I have much, MUCH further to go - but I can get there. One day at a time. I'm not focused on the scale. I'm not stressing myself out because I occasionally slip up and have something I'm "not supposed to". I'm not perfect - I'm human. Sometimes you want something deep fried. The key is have that be a very rare exception - not the rule of every day eating.

When we first started - I was mortified to go to the gym. Yes, yes, Plant Fitness spouts that it is the "Judgment free zone" - but just as I am human - so is everyone else. Even I check out the other obese people at the gym. I also check out all the "fit" people at the gym. I look to see what other people are doing. I'm sure people look at me and wonder what it is I'm doing. I've gotten past that fear of public judgment. I go in - I do my thing - I go home. Or rather, limp to my truck and try to hoist my ass into the seat because I just spent 2 hours beating the hell out of every muscle in my body. But, I'm doing it. And I'm not ashamed of it. I'm not ashamed that my arms are hugely fat, and I could possibly lift off if I flap hard enough. I'm not ashamed that my thighs rub together, or that my legs bow slightly. I'm not ashamed that when I squat I can't get my ass down to my heels each time because - IT HURTS. I'm not ashamed that I still jiggle when I walk. I'm PROUD that I'm taking care of me. I'm proud that I can go in to that gym 4-5 days a week and know that I am doing something to benefit MYSELF. I'm not losing weight to impress others, or to make people like me. I'm not getting healthy because someone else told me to. *** I *** decided that I am worth fighting for. And God Damn it - I will fight for me.

I've spent far too long feeling like I wasn't worthy of saving - and I've finally come to a point in my life where I know that I am. And it's alarming that there are so many people who feel this same way - that they aren't worth fighting for. So what if you've over weight? Just do it. Get up, go - don't care what other people may or may not be thinking. What others think of us - it's not our business. What is our business is how we see ourselves - how we talk to ourselves. Don't believe everything that you think. Don't believe everything you say to yourself. You ARE worth fighting for. I AM worth fighting for. And we should be treating ourselves as such.

When I started this - it was so daunting. I thought - how am I ever going to reach my goal? BJ has far less to lose than I do. But you know what? I decided - I'm just going to do what I can do. So, I walked. I walked every night with BJ. We walked for a half hour to start, then 45 minutes - then it was over an hour. We'd kick around a plastic ball and chase it in the parking lot. We'd throw around a Frisbee. We MOVED. And the more I moved - the more I wanted to move. The more I wanted to move - the more I looked forward to getting home so I could go walking with my husband. It's relaxing, and freeing, and it gave us a chance to not only work on ourselves - but built a stronger relationship together. I have his back, he has mine. We lift each other up. We both have days when we feel like this is never going to amount to anything. But we always have each other to keep us on course.

We have a very strong marriage. Not a perfect marriage - but a strong one. It's important to have you time, but it's equally important to do things in a partnership. BJ really pushes himself at the gym. He is always researching new techniques and ways to work different muscle groups. I've been TERRIFIED to attempt decline presses. I was scared that I would fall off the decline bench and my big fat butt would be rolling around on the floor at the gym trying to regain balance. That "fear of judgment" took over my desire to keep pushing forward. Saturday - I MADE myself do it. I was terrified. I didn't think my ab muscles would be strong enough to pull myself back up into a sitting position. Hell, I didn't think my legs would be strong enough to hold my ass in place. But you know what? I am stronger than I think, and I proved that to myself. I declined benched 50 lbs 3 sets 5 reps. It's a start. And I'm proud of that. BJ does these new things, and he knows that I'll eventually get frustrated that he's doing something new without me, and I'll force myself to do it, too. He doesn't push me - he knows that with time - I will get the courage to do it too. I am braver than I think.

We love doing things that inspires the other. It helps to keep us pushing forward. And like with all things - we love to cook together. We invent new recipes. We discover new foods and new ingredients. This weekend was no different. We did our shopping Saturday night - and today we spent our recovery day prepping our food for the week. One thing that we really haven't had in a very long time is anything "Sweet". Everything has been mainly protein based. But this weekend we wanted a treat. So we decided to wing it with a low carb sugar free cheese cake.

Drooling yet? I can't describe in mere words how ridiculously good this is. And very low carb. In fact, our recipe comes to 2 net carbs per slice - and this makes 8 slices. With all the research we've been doing, we've accumulated many ingredients that we've bought both at specialty stores and on line - with little or zero idea what to do with them. Ok, so we're hoarders. But we figured - why can't we substitute all the "Bad" things for low carb and sugar free options?

So, while we were at dinner at Vino's Italian Grill last night (I had lemon butter salmon - omg so good) we wrote down a recipe together to try that night. We had no idea until today whether the recipe turned out or not. Honestly, when it came out of the oven I had little hope. It puffed up like a soufflé and I was sure it was going to taste that way.

It. Is. Divine. Good grief, I never expected it to be so good. And this is how we did it:

3 Packages Philadelphia "Bakers edition" cream cheese - 12 net carbs
2 Eggs - 1 carb
1/4 cup sugar free maple flavor syrup - 1 net carb
2 TBSP sugar free caramel coffee syrup - 0 carbs
3 TBSP Swerve sweetener - 0 carbs
1 TBSP Vanilla - 2 net carbs
Total net carbs: 16 net carbs between 8 slices = 2 net carbs per slice.

We didn't feel the need to have a crust. So we just sprayed a glass baking dish, poured the batter in - put it in a 325 degree oven for 45 minutes - and VOILA! Cheese cake.

Now, the carb count does go up if you use the strawberry topping and whipped cream. The whipped cream is 1 carb for 1 TBSP - and the berries are sliced, and put in a pot with 1 TBSPN Truvia sugar - and boiled for about 10 minutes until it makes a thicker syrup. That will be another 2 Carbs per TBSPN. But good grief... it sure does make it naughty. And delicious.

So, even while eating healthy, eating clean, exercising, and taking care of my mental self - we have time for cheese cake. You can eat well, and healthy, if you're willing to put the time and effort (trial & error!) into it. You get out of life what you put into your life. Use the best ingredients, and you'll be pleasantly surprised with the finished product.

Bon appetite!

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