On October 10th, 2013, my husband (referred to on this here blog as “Canadian Bacon”) and I started down a path that would change our lives: we went keto. As I explained last year, I saw amazing progress pix on Imgur that led us to the keto subreddit, where we devoured the FAQs and decided to take control of our health. It’s been a helluva ride.
As of today, both CB and I have lost approximately 200lbs. He lost more, but has put some back on; I’ve lost just under 100. I’m not going to lie, I was desperately hoping to reach 199 (termed “Onederland”) and the -101 mark before this second Ketoversary, but it just didn’t happen. That’s okay. It will soon.
This has been a tough second year. CB doesn’t really eat keto anymore. He’s still low carb, definitely less than the Standard American Diet, sitting somewhere between 50-100g. He started a physical job early this year, and packs a sandwich, fruit, and protein bars for breakfast/lunch. While he has put some weight back on, I think he’s dropped his body fat percentage some because he seems to be more vascular. But, he hasn’t really been able to lift. The appendectomy still gives him issues (his abs aren’t fully recovered) and we cancelled our gym membership this spring when it became clear that he wouldn’t be able to use it for some time. The surgeon told us that, due to the severity of the surgery, that this would be his normal for about a year. We plan to buy our own power rack and begin lifting at home by the time the holidays hit.
I still eat keto about 80% of the time. The rest of the time, well, I just follow calories in versus calories out. I don’t think I will ever be able to “eat intuitively.” If I’m confronted with a platter of cookies, I won’t stop at one – I’ll eat the whole damn platter. Maybe I need therapy for this. I don’t know. I have to count calories to lose weight. I also don’t like completely restricting myself. I really enjoy french fries and chips and salsa. And, being Southern, food is such an ingrained part of my heritage. We have family recipes that go back for generations that I love to eat. When my Meemaw makes her apple pie, I want to be able to eat a piece – so I do, and I don’t worry about being kicked out of ketosis. As long as I continue to eat at a caloric deficit, I know I will lose weight. I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those people who have the mindset that “food is just fuel.” I enjoy eating too much.
That being said, I know I definitely lose weight faster when I am in ketosis. I fight cravings less, and I do better. So I’m going to keep on trucking going into Year Three. I have somewhere between 30-50lbs of fat left to lose. Once I hit 200lbs, I will no longer be Obese. I will be Overweight. My doctor has told me she will be happy with that, because my risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, everything drops dramatically at that point. But I will not be happy – I’m going for Normal. On the BMI scale, Normal for me happens at 170. So that’s 35 more pounds. My plan is to get there and have a DEXA scan done to see my body fat percentage. Ultimately, I want to have an “athletic” or “fit” body fat percent, which is somewhere between 14-24% for women.
However, I am beginning to think that I have issues with losing weight while working out. I lose weight in spurts and wooshes. I have been very careful to document my daily trends this year, and inevitably I drop weight massively when I am not working out. As soon as we stopped daily lifting, BAM, massive drop in weight. I bought a bike and began cycling daily – that’s my new hobby and love, btw, and I owe you guys a big, long post on it – and when I was out sick for a week, BAM, massive drop in weight. I don’t know if it’s because my muscles just retain water, or if exercising is increasing my levels of cortisol, or what… but I definitely do not lose as well when I work out.
It is incredibly frustrating because I am now at a point where I *enjoy* working out. I love going on daily bike rides and riding for hours, but I’ve been stalled out at 205 for almost two months now because of that. I’ll ride for five days in a row, my weight will spike up, I’ll take two rest days and it will drop back down to 205, then rinse and repeat. I am very carefully counting calories, weighing everything, eating at a deficit, so I know I’m overdue for a woosh. I wake up expecting any day now to see the scale starting with a 1. I’ll be damned if I give up cycling because my body is being crazy.
Anyway, ranting about that is just pissing me off. Let’s talk stats! I am going to post some pictures here that are probably NSFW – me in shorts/bikini bottoms and bras. You’ve been warned. They’re pretty ugly. There’s saggy skin and cellulite everywhere. But I promised last year that I’d share at 100lbs down, and I’m close enough to that goal that I’m going to cough them up. I think it’s important to share realistic body images during weight loss. I have all sorts of complicated feelings about how I look. Basically, however, it breaks down to this:
Damn, I look good when I’m covered in clothing!
Shit, I look horrible when I’m naked!
Ladies, can you relate?! I bet you can. I bet even some of you guys out there (if there are indeed guys reading this, which I sometimes doubt) can relate. Basically, if I can cover it up or Spanx it, it’s looking pretty good. If I can’t, ugh. The worst offender here is my arms. They were always disproportionately large in my opinion, and now they’ve finally started to shrink, but they’re kind of looking like deflated balloons. There’s a lot of saggy skin and I desperately want a brachioplasty, or arm lift. I know I need to lose more weight first, though, and I definitely need to save some money to afford it because insurance will not cover that.
Anyway, I’ve included three sets of pictures: before, one year, and this year. Here are my measurements from my start date versus today:
- Waist: 43.5″ to 35″
- Hips: 54.5″ to 46.5″
- Forearm: 14.5″ to 12.25″
- Upper Arm: 23″ to 19.5″
- Underbust: 39.25″ to 35″
- Bust: 47″ to 40.25″
- Neck: 16.25″ to 14.25″
- Wrist: 7.5″ to 6.5″
Those aren’t necessarily taken at the traditional locations, either – for instance, waist is at the smallest location, whereas hips is the widest (over my bum + fupa). I also didn’t take my calf and thigh measurements before, but today my calf is 17.75″. I can actually wear tall boots for the first time in my life!!! I have got to get a pair this winter!
Other differences I’ve noticed: my wedding rings were a size 10. They have now been sized down to a 7.25 as of a few months ago, and they need to be sized down again. My fingers are definitely shrinking majorly still. I’ve always worn size 10 wide shoes, and even last year I bought a pair of 10 wide flats for a wedding and they rubbed/hurt some, but when I wore them to my cousin’s wedding last week they were a little loose!
Oh, and my boobs are definitely deflating. I don’t know what bra size I properly wore before. I just bought whatever from Cacique (the Lane Bryant lingerie shop). A 42DD without underwire felt comfortable, but didn’t provide much support (that’s what I’m wearing in that first picture below). Several months ago, Nordstrom sized me in a 36E with underwire, and it’s the best bra I’ve ever worn in my life. Now, though, it’s getting loose even on the tightest hooks, which makes sense if my underbust today is 35″. I need to get resized again. Shit. Bras are expensive.
Okay. I’ve been stalling long enough. Here are some cringe-worthy progress pictures from the past three years. Oh lord, I can’t believe I’m putting these out here. Please note this is not my real head.
Last year I got kind of depressed because I had a hard time seeing changes in these pictures. This year, however, I can see a ton of them! First off – the pants. Those green shorts got donated because they literally would not stay on me. They would fall straight to the floor. Woot! My calves are smaller. There is still a good deal of fat on them, but they have shrunk considerably. My arms are the same way. They were massive. They still are, but you can see how they’re hanging all deflated now. It’s more obvious from the back picture you’ll see next.
Check out my collarbones! I have some now. It’s pretty awesome. My stomach is hanging a bit more in the front now because the sides are receding. Sorry notsorry I didn’t include a picture of my fupa. It used to be one solid spare tire. Now, it’s drawn up in the middle so it’s got like two hanging bits. I think it’s trying to suck itself back in. You go, fupa! Get on back in there!
Oh, and you can’t tell from these pictures, but I have hip bones now. I mean, I always did, but now I can feel them. It’s interesting and it also kind of sucks. I’m a huge klutz and I keep knocking them into things. The other day when we were shopping, I turned and rammed my hip bone into the grocery cart. Holy shit, that hurt! But still, super cool at the same time. I’ll take it.
Immediately you can tell that I lost about 10lbs of hair. Ha! Seriously though, I always thought “fat girls can’t have short hair” and that is a load of crock. I went full pixie a few months ago and best damn decision ever I will never have long hair again I LOVE MY SHORT HAIR. It is so flattering and so easy to take care of and I can’t believe I was terrified of it my whole life. Ladies, if you’re on the fence, DO IT!!!
So you can totally see what I mean about my arms here. Solid loads of fat in the first picture. Shrinking a bit in the second. Third picture… you can see where my actual muscle is up top as opposed to where just fat and skin are hanging below. There is definite definition. Look how much my ass has shrunk. I used to have this massive donk. It was like a shelf that I could rest beverages upon. Now days I’m starting to get somewhat of a flat ass. I worriedly asked my husband the other day, “Do you think I will wind up with a pancake butt?” I never thought my ass would disappear but it is certainly going away. He reassured me that squats are always an option. I’m able to put my legs much closer together now, too. My “problem areas” are my fupa, arms, and thighs – that’s where the fat is clinging. I mean, I’m still fat all over, but that’s where the largest deposits are hanging out.
All my life, I’ve thought I was “big-boned.” People used to tell me that, or that I was “built like a linebacker.” I think maybe they’d tell me that to make me feel better about myself. I’ve thought I was super “curvy,” with “big, child-bearing hips.” Once, when I was being measured for my Best Woman dress for my guy bff’s wedding, the lady fitting me told me that she’d be afraid to run into me in a dark alley because I was built like a football player. You know what?
All of those things are a lie.
I have recently started going to physical therapy for cubital tunnel syndrome. My therapist palpated my elbow on the first day and told me in surprise that I have some of the smallest bones she’s ever palpated. I think I may actually be built petite. I know I have a short inseam. I don’t think my shoulders are really as broad as family and friends have told me all of these years. I am very comfortably wearing size 11 in junior’s clothing, and sometimes petites fit me better than ladies. I think I may actually be small and slim hidden under all this fat.
I’m pretty excited to see what I’ll look like in another year.