The OFF Project

My LCHF Lifestyle

LCHF = Low Carb, High Fat

I have gotten a couple of PMs about getting into LCHF and thought I would share with everyone.  Getting into the the LCHF lifestyle has been simultaneously extremely difficult and rewarding at the same time.  It took me at least half a dozen attempts to get into this way of eating before it actually “stuck.”  I would get to day 3 or 4, get a screaming headache +/- monster cravings and cave in…usually with either a snickers bar (or 3) or a slice of cake (or 2).  Finally, I decided I had to get through this when I stepped on a scale that read 146lbs, which is the heaviest I have been outside of pregnancy.  My BMI technically placed me in the overweight category.  And it was the final impetus I needed to kick off The OFF Project.  I want to hit 40 and be, well…fabulous.

I had to take away any chance of failure, so I ate the same thing everyday for the first 7 days, to kick in the process of ketosis. For breakfast, I drank a Venti Americano with Half & Half and no sugar.  Lunch was a romaine lettuce salad with grilled chicken, red cabbage, shredded cheddar cheese, one boiled egg, walnut pieces, cucumbers and ranch dressing.  Dinner was salmon (baked with a bit of olive oil drizzled over the top, and lemon pepper seasoning) along with broccoli or cauliflower and another salad.  Twice, I substituted seared tuna steak for salmon.  I got into ketosis around day 5 and was in deep ketosis (the dark, dark purple reading) by the end of the week.  My goal was to eat no more than 20g of net carbs per day (Total carbohydrates minus fiber).  Depending on the contents of my salad, staying below 20 wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.

That being said, my energy level was crap in the beginning.  I didn’t understand why, so I researched, read and stalked just about every LCHF blog and forum out there.  The reason I always felt like I was getting run over by a truck everyday?  I wasn’t getting enough fat.  The key to weight loss on any ketogenic diet is making sure you are getting enough quality, healthy fat.  You have to eat fat to burn fat in the absence of carbohydrates and moderate protein.  Another key: moderate protein.  If you do low carb with high protein, you might as well be eating the very carbs you are trying to avoid.  And if you eat too little protein, the body will start to break down lean muscle which is far worse, in my opinion.  I currently keep my protein intake to around 75g per day.  I drink my own version of bulletproof coffee (made with grassed butter, coconut oil and a tad bit of vanilla extract) which has helped with my fat intake (along with some yummy bacon for breakfast from time-to-time).

I wasn’t going to do this, but I feel like transparency is a great tool to understanding.  So…here are my before and after stats.  Keep in mind that I am 5’4″ (64 inches) tall:

  • Weight: 146 –> 129
  • BMI: 25.1 (Overweight) –>22.1 (Normal)
  • Chest: 34.5 –> 32
  • Hips: 38 –> 35
  • Waist: 31 –> 28
  • Arm: 11.5 –> 10.8
  • Leg: 23 –> 21.5

I am at a point where I don’t necessarily want to lose any more weight – I just want to minimize my body fat % and build lean muscle which, in reality, will likely lead to weight gain.  I don’t have the courage (yet!) to post pictures, but I will…in my own time.  This journey has been just as much about building self-esteem and confidence as it has been about “hitting numbers”.  Let me know if you have any further questions!  I am happy to answer what I can, and point you in the direction of all the resources I have used to this point!

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The OFF Project

I will be 38 in September.  40 is ever so right-around-the-corner.

10 years ago (when I was approaching 30) I just knew I was leaving behind my good years…my years of fun, being carefree and independent.  I couldn’t imagine the joy that would come from this decade in my 30s.  And now, I am close to moving on to the next decade.  Even as recent as a year or two ago, this placed fear in my heart.  This was about the age that people started reporting health issues: high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, arthritis and chronic pain, osteoporosis, anxiety and depression, weight gain, hormonal shifts…sigh.  The list is frightening.  I have been healthy to this point.  But for a moment, I started wondering, “Should I just prepare myself for the worst?”  Absolutely not.

Rather than fear the big 4-0, I have made a commitment to myself to become the healthiest I have ever been in life…mentally, physically and spiritually.  It’s a large reason why I made the shift to a ketogenic lifestyle.  I was 145 lbs with a BMI of 24.9, and half a chocolate roll away from being overweight according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.  I had to do something.  The first thing I did was change my eating habits.  I have been in ketosis for 5 weeks, and I think I am close to being keto-adapted.  In 5 weeks, I have lost 14lbs and now have a BMI of 22.5, which is well within the normal range.  I just started working on my fitness level, and I shall outline that at another time.  Back to The OFF Project.

OFF stands for Operation Forty and Fit.

Like I said, I want to be in the best shape possible mentally, physically and spiritually when I hit 40.  What I have learned about true, long-standing change is that it does not happen overnight.  I am dedicating the next two years to improving my well-being in every way possible.  I want to be a better person, a better mother, a better wife.  I want to improve my social-consciousness.  I want to augment my spiritual relationship with God.

The acronym for Operation Forty and Fit (OFF) is apropos, as attaining these personal goals requires the removal of all negativity and obstacles that can block these achievements.  Over the next 2 years, I will share what I am doing to be the best me I have ever been.

Is there anyone else out there approaching 40 with some goals they would like to achieve?  What do you want to take OFF?  What do you want to remove from your life that will allow you to be a better (fill in the blank)?  Has 40 come and gone and you have some words of wisdom you would like to share?  Come take this journey with me…or at least leave a comment along the way!