STEPHLOKI's SparkPeople Blog STEPHLOKI's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Masai Mara - the Ol Chorro Conservancy This was another amazing trip, where we watched an epic battle between 2 lionesses with their cubs and 1 Lion, about 60 hyenas, 2 jackals and 1 marabou stork, who all wanted to get their share of the warthog the lionesses had hunted. <BR> <BR> Day 1: <BR> <img src=""> Tawny Eagle <BR> <img src=""> Lion, young male <BR> <img src="http:/... Mon, 27 Nov 2017 07:20:52 EST Chicago Adventures While in Chicago I took a little time to see some of the sights. Here are some photos <BR> First we took an architectural River Cruise <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> The famous new apple store, it had opened 2 days before <BR> <img src=... Mon, 27 Nov 2017 06:53:29 EST Resetting my goals again After my body finally got over the side effects of steroids and Cox 2 Inhibitors I maintained the new weight for 2 months. Then I got water in my knees from arthritis. Yes permanent damage is becoming a reality - and I am not giving up. This means once again that I have to adjust my lifestyle. I am still struggling with how to exercise without straining my knees and am concentrating currently on gentle walks and knee strengthening body weight exercise. Then I travelled to the US to attend 1... Sat, 11 Nov 2017 05:11:01 EST Struggling again With the steroid injection and the first disease modifying drug I gained 4kg in June. Now that I am on the other drug and feeling better and not craving carbs any more I thought I give myself 3 low carb days to shake up my system. Don't have the strength to go low carb fir a longer period. But I found 2 things happening: 1. I found myself cheating by having at least 1 sugary thing a day. 2. I didn't not loose any weight this week. We'll I guess maintaining is a success. But I was highly dis... Sun, 16 Jul 2017 00:20:37 EST Rheumatoid arthritis or not? I was diagnosed 13 years ago with rheumatoid arthritis. I am rheumatoid factor negative. Now on reviews the new rheumatologist thinks it might actually be nodular general osteo arthritis. Which is a milder form of autoimmune disease. Not sure of that however. Anyway am in the middle of a flare up and have been put on disease modifying drugs. Am on Hydrochloroquine now and NOT enjoying the side effects. Am feeling nauseated every time about 2 hrs after taking the drug. It seems to be manageab... Wed, 28 Jun 2017 23:37:32 EST Karura Forest <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <img src=""> Karura Forest is one of the amazing places in Nairobi. It has 2 different parts separated by a road. Today I finally went again for a walk there after almost 2 months. I love every minute I spend there Sat, 20 May 2017 14:48:12 EST Attitude <img src=""> <BR> So true! Sat, 20 May 2017 00:13:36 EST A wonderful time at the enchanting Fatuma's Tower <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src="http://photosaws.spar... Sat, 15 Apr 2017 00:17:36 EST Fatuma's Tower here I come I have gotten my leave approved and booked my mini vacation. On 9th of April I will be heading to Lamu for 3 days of relaxation. It is a yoga retreat with 1 free yoga session every afternoon. Am so exited. Have not done proper yoga before. But I do feel like I need real relaxation. This place is a restored harem building, named after the woman who lived there more than 100 years ago. Looks so beautiful with lush gardens near the ocean. Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:49:51 EST Craving coffee <img src=""> <BR> Am supposed to be off coffee. Fell of the wagon over the weekend and had 2 cappuccino. One on each day. Now the result is I am dreaming of coffee..... cravings galore Mon, 20 Mar 2017 11:12:36 EST Morning <img src=""> <BR> Another night of waking up several times..... Hope the gym will wake me up Thu, 2 Mar 2017 21:43:24 EST Going sugar free At the moment I am on Bioresonance treatment for fungus, which has been bugging me for years. This particular treatment requires you to go on a strict diet: Sugar free - only stevia allowed Gluten free No fruits apart from Papaya Certain vegetables not allowed No leavening agents No vinegar, no citric acid or any form of citrus No coffee, no fruit teas. Restrictions on dairy This makes you rethink what you eat znd read your labels. That is very enlightening. Especially living here in Kenya w... Wed, 1 Mar 2017 13:27:22 EST Another Hike. <img src=""> <BR> Thus time we went to basically climb the Great Rift Valley Escarpment twice from bottom to top over 2 hills: Kenton Hill & Nathan Hill. <BR> We had several very steep ascents and ended the hike with the longest steepest climb I have ever done. Now I sore but feeling very proud of myself. 23 torturous km. <BR> <BR> Here are more pictures <BR> <img src=" Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:14:45 EST Have been overdoing things Hmmmm. Thus week I was on leave. I played golf 4 days and went to the gym today. Was hoping to loose some of the 1.5kg I had gained over Christmas. But then I was endulging too much. Let's see I had pizza and I had cake. I ate chocolate. ...not good. Have been overdoing the sugary things. But I have also been overdoing things on the exercise side. As much as golf feels like a gentler exercise i still need to remember that I have RA. When I was thinking if I should play golf today a light ... Fri, 27 Jan 2017 05:42:56 EST More for you armchair travelers - Day trip & hike to Ngare Ndare Forest Trust This was a short hike - about 10km but a lot of fun. Ngare Ndare has been created as a wildlife corridor between Lewa Conservancy & Mt Kenya National Park to allow for wildlife migration. <BR> <BR> It is an amazing place with beautiful gnarly old trees. We were in a very big group, so of course we did not meet much wildlife, but the waterfalls, ice cold natural pools and the Canopy Walk are a lot of fun. Definitely going back there.... <BR> <img src=" Wed, 18 Jan 2017 04:02:27 EST Outing to the Sheldrick Trust Elephant Orphanage Great outing. <BR> <BR> They take in orphaned elephant babies and raise them, then re-introduce them to the wild. <BR> Amazing place. But let the pictures speak <BR> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=" Tue, 3 Jan 2017 05:56:15 EST I need to relax and enjoy my weightloss achievement <img src=""> <BR> All over the holiday period I find myself feeling guilty and really scared of failure. I really need to relax. Yes I ate too many starches and too much sugary stuff. But as of yesterday morning I was basically maintaining. 1 kg over the lowest I had 1 month ago. But that makes it 3 months of maintaining. Yes yesterday and today I definitely ate too much. But I was visiting friends and having f... Thu, 29 Dec 2016 14:17:25 EST Went for Bra fitting today I had realized that my bras, especially the sports bras are too loose now. But decided to wait a bit before I go for fitting. Now I have maintained for 2 months and so i went for fitting today. Hip hip hurray! I am down from 36d to 34d on the sports bra! Mon, 19 Dec 2016 12:40:31 EST Sleeping Warrior and Ugali Hill hike <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeop... Sun, 4 Dec 2016 14:04:41 EST Emotional rollercoaster These last week's of refeeding have been an emotional rollercoaster. After last year's experience I have been living under the constant fear of failing and regaining weight quickly again. I did fine for the first 3 weeks of refeeding and kept the weight. But the daily weigh-in that you need to do is driving me crazy. Am putting myself under way too much pressure. You need to weigh daily since it helps you recognise which of the food you try out makes you gain weight. Those are the ones you ne... Fri, 2 Dec 2016 23:25:12 EST 2 weeks of maintenance refeeding done Yes I have now finished 2 weeks of maintenance refeeding and I have maintained! I was really worried I'd gain again. During the re-feed you slowly reintroduce starch and the vegetables and fruits you had not been eating one by one and watch. The daily weighing will show you which are your problem foods and you will need to go slow on them in future. I gave now maintained weight for 1 month! The re-feed program runs for another 4 weeks. So by Christmas I will be on normal food Sat, 19 Nov 2016 00:50:20 EST Final stages of fat loss lab adventure <img src=""> <BR> Now that I gave done 4 months with fat loss lab and have decided - and started - to end the weightloss phase it is time to talk about it again. How was the adventure? Hmm interesting, tiring, tough, fun, successful and educational. Yes all of these. The first 2 months went well. Then I travelled to Ghana and went consciously on a lighter version of the diet plan. I was hoping it would help m... Sun, 13 Nov 2016 01:26:40 EST Great Rift Valley Golf Resort <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src="http://photosaws.spar... Mon, 24 Oct 2016 00:09:15 EST Getting compliments! I have lost about 22 pounds. Now only 10 pounds to go! And in the last 1 week I have been getting multiple compliments. I am excited about this! Because I have been feeling fat a blubbery because of slight water retention - now in second week. The compliments help me get out of ghd hole. Really hoping to get below the 80kg barrier (176pounds) this week which seems like the great Wall of China. I really want to start refeeding carbs by end of this month..... Thu, 13 Oct 2016 13:56:38 EST Fat loss diet 3 months done <img src=""> <BR> I need to focus on the bright side here. There journey has had its ups and downs and will continue to do so. 1. I have lost about 10kg 2. I have lost inches, and in places where I did not lose them last year 3. My hormones are much ore stable now - 💃💃 happy dance 4. Even though BMI is still in overweight range it is at the lower end. Yes I am not where I would like to be and lost much less weig... Sat, 1 Oct 2016 23:20:51 EST Struggling but getting there <img src=""> <BR> Yes since my trip to Ghana I have been struggling. But you know what? The scale has started moving again. Now at 81.3kg. Was 82.5 before the trip. My BMI is in the lower overweight range. It is 27.1 So I am making progress. When I reach 77kg (2kg above goal weight) we will start introducing higher carbs again. Looking forward to that. With the current trend I should be able to reach there in 6 ... Fri, 23 Sep 2016 00:24:31 EST Another bad week over and done with This week I struggled. I did attend a wedding (lots of bad food choices and pigged out on dessert buffet). Helped cook at BF's birthday party (ate too much cake). The whole week I struggled with low carb and suddenly seem to have an aversion to fish. I ate a lot of sausage, which is actually not part of my diet plan. The whole low carb thing was not achieved all week. Result: I did NOT loose weight and am having daily headaches. I think the headaches might have to do with the preservatives i... Sat, 17 Sep 2016 00:49:03 EST Out exploring <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> Today we decided with BF to go try out a quaint coffee shop I had been reading about. It is called the Tin Roof Cafe. It is a great place! Even found some gluten free chocolate cake made with dark chocolate. Wonderful tasting of cocoa and not very sweet. Just the way I like it! Sat, 10 Sep 2016 13:57:50 EST Side effect of hormone balancing that I did not expect Here I am 49 years old in year 6 of perimenopause. Since this year I had gone without my periods for 5 months I actually thought I am finally getting to the end of perimenopause. After all my hormone check last year showed the hormone levels in the Menopause range. Also every medical book I own - remember I am a nurse - tells me perimenopause takes 3-5 years on average. Since I started the fat loss diet to balance my hormones I suddenly have been getting my periods again and regular. Nit am... Thu, 8 Sep 2016 00:25:41 EST Week 7 of Fatloss diet - tiny victory <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> This week was a struggle had to pay for going off the diet on the weekend and combined with cravings from periods that unexpectedly came. But with all that I still list .2kg. Not much but I take it as a victory since during periods I would usually gain, since i started perimenopause. Not just water retent... Sun, 21 Aug 2016 01:24:54 EST Why am I putting myself down? Yes by end of next week I had hoped to be 10kg down. But I have done well. I am 6.7kg down in 7 weeks. Hey that is an average of almost 1kg a week, or 2 pounds! At the same time I have battled another boil and had a minor surgery. Still can't go to the gym, but am playing 9 holes of golf once in a while. Yes I can be proud of myself! All my trousers feel lose and I can fit comfortably into tops I was avoiding a few weeks ago Tue, 16 Aug 2016 14:36:14 EST Need to focus again I did loose 1 pound last week. But still struggling with the wound healing so slowly and am only working half day. Can't sit longer than that. I have exhausted my fully paid sick days. Not sure yet if they will deduct from my salary or use next year's annual leave. Over the weekend I went to visit D. And the kids. I made a conscious decision to go off the diet for the weekend since I needed a break from all. But now I am struggling to go back onto the diet. I ate ok throughout the first ha... Mon, 15 Aug 2016 14:05:40 EST Week 6 of fat loss lab diet I am still on daily dressings and sick-off, but finally my leg is feeling better. Even though I ate something that I should not every day I have lost 1kg. So something seems to be going right. Sat, 6 Aug 2016 01:37:48 EST Week 5 on Fatloss diet It has been a tumultuous week and a half since my last blog. My body has finally settled in and I do not feel hungry any more. But I developed boils again. Not worried about the small ones. Those I am used to But there is that big one that got worse when travelling over the weekend. When I got back I went straight to the hospital and they kept me for I&D under GA. It was done over night and I was discharged the next afternoon. Now am on 1 week sick-off and going for daily dressings. It w... Wed, 3 Aug 2016 01:54:58 EST Week 3 of Fatloss diet <img src=""> <BR> Another week of struggle. This week the hunger feeling and cravings went down. Still there but much less. Now I struggled with constipation. Even though I drink about 3 liters of water a day. Well used fiber powder and fiber capsules. The Fatloss Lab Lady says this is all normal. Has to do with the hormones slowly settling into normal. I certainly did not enjoy this week. Then weighed myself an... Sat, 23 Jul 2016 09:05:47 EST Week 2 with Fatloss Lab diet I am actually shocked how hungry I still feel on some days. Also had another migraine and promptly slipped up for 2 days. New strategy: on days I go to the gym I will have 1/2 glass of apple juice. Topped up with water before and same after the gym. And no, eating roasted white corn is not acceptable when you are on low carb...... on Wednesday I went outside and bought 1/3 ear because I was craving carbs. Should have gone to buy coke zero instead... Still I lost about 1 pound. Sat, 16 Jul 2016 02:25:03 EST 1 week into the new diet Well week 1 is done and dusted. Last night I totally overate. I was at an Indian cook-out and it was difficult to find good choices. I think my choices were the best under the circumstances but just too much. Problem is that food gets finished at different times and plates are passed around. Am still also struggling on days I go to the gym. I end up feeling VERY hungry. Am trying to get through the sugar cravings with coke zero and sugar free gum ( both are allowed within limit ) but am wond... Sat, 9 Jul 2016 01:19:12 EST Day 5 of the new diet Day 4 went much better. Actually felt nice and full even after 2 hrs of golf. Did have a hiccup with me confusing the measurements and eating a bit (about 20gm) more meat than I should have. I used the measurement for chicken on beef. But now I know and will not do it again. Looks like a warm and sunny day ahead. Getting ready for the next day on my adventures Wed, 6 Jul 2016 00:20:21 EST Day 3 on the new diet Here I am on day 3. Saturday was hard yesterday was ok. Today I went to the gym and felt HUNGRY the whole day. I know part of it is my body having to get used to low carb again. In the afternoon I had the weird mixture of sugar cravings and nausea from a migraine. This is actually expected, I just need to get myself through the first couple of days. I am using the fat loss lab diet. You have blood tests done and send the results in. Then a team of Doctors developes the diet for you based ... Mon, 4 Jul 2016 15:21:31 EST Yesterday at Eldoret Club <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> I love the quaint accommodation at the club. Sun, 26 Jun 2016 00:11:16 EST Letter to my hormones Dear Hormones My whole life I have suffered thanks to you. As a teenager I had the strongest periods with cramps weight gain mood swings - the works - for 10 - 12 days every months. Thanks to the pill I managed to reduce this to 7 days, but the other symptoms remained. In my late 30s I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome and realized I would never have the children I dreamed of. From the year I turned 40 I have been battling the bulge and since weight is going up in leaps the week... Mon, 13 Jun 2016 12:45:34 EST After a long time - a new blog <img src=""> <img src=""> After a long time I am blogging again. I am just plotting along. Not really loosing weight but trying to make good choices. In April I decided to try core Balance diet. I ended up feeling much better but by evening I was usually so hungry I ate everything in sight. I think this thing of having added carbs onl... Thu, 9 Jun 2016 12:16:12 EST Another Boil I got another boil and like the previous ones I have been getting the last 8 months it has been slow to ripen and resolve. Have gone for thorough check-up to figure out what is causing them. First we thought it was the detox. But now I have not been detoxing in a while. Got some lab results which are all basically normal. Now am going for the culture and thyroid results today. Hope we can figure out what is causing these boils. Sat, 16 Jan 2016 03:11:10 EST Frustrating! !!! I was so happy that I maintained over Christmas. Then TOM came and went and left me with 1.6kg extra.... aaaarrgh. Not funny. But at least it is not like last year where it could be up to 4kg extra. And that is after water retention is gone. I will be so happy when perimenopause is over. I so do not enjoy it.... Well will stay focused and concentrate on what I am eating. Will also try to get as much exercise in as my joints allow Mon, 11 Jan 2016 08:27:33 EST Looks like I am on the downward spiral again After a tough week I had a tough weekend, which started with a girlfriend abusing me throwing all kinds of accusations at me and when I blew my top and told her off it all somehow became my fault. <BR> <BR> I thought I had rested after this, had a nice & quiet weekend slept a lot, spend quality time with BF who is traveling for 1 month tomorrow. <BR> <BR> But then this evening some emails I got overthrew all the hard work I had put in the PMI Africa Sponsorship in the last few months and I... Sun, 13 Dec 2015 13:57:15 EST slight progress Well I don't feel like I made progress, but I actually have I have lost 2 pounds and now I have staid there for a couple of days. And that despite sugar cravings and some mindless eating. <BR> I was doing very well with eating only fruits for breakfast for many months, but now I feel like if I don't eat enough starch & protein in earlier parts of the day I tend to binge eat when I get home from work. <BR> <BR> I am sure it has to do with stress as well. But it is frustrating me. <BR> <BR> I... Sat, 28 Nov 2015 10:10:21 EST Frustrations - but I won't give up Now that TOM seems to be back regular again I am struggling again. During the last TOM I gained 3kg that did not come off. <BR> But I think part might be due to another problem. I was having a really bad cold and it turned bacterial. So I was put on antibiotics. I think those caused constipation, since I was not emptying out properly. So I took first fiber capsules, then an Indian fiber power. Both usually work well on me. Nothing much happened. Then I took Epsom salt, and it also worked only... Thu, 19 Nov 2015 01:01:38 EST Monday Morning blues After a weekend that was restful but once again felt too short I am trying to motivate myself for work. I am currently putting so much into my work I feel drained. This working every Saturday for 5hours cuts the weekend so short I feel like I am missing out on life. Got some thinking to do Sun, 25 Oct 2015 23:42:57 EST Wonderful Holiday in South Africa I know this blog is way overdue, since I came back 1 month ago. <BR> <BR> But I have been so busy since that on weekends or in the evenings I could simply not bring myself to open the computer.... <BR> <BR> My 3 days in Capetown had been planned through before I went, since I wanted to make the most of it. I was also extremely lucky with the weather. August is the end of winter in SA and it is still often cloudy, raining, cold & Table Mountain had been closed the week before several times d... Sat, 3 Oct 2015 04:50:28 EST Update I guess I haven't blogged in a while... <BR> <BR> I did get under 80kg for about 10 days. And I did buy myself that Immersion Blender. I use it almost daily. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The last de-tox was the hardest and I couldn't keep it up. I guess a bit of de-tox fatigue.... So I went back to a more normal diet. the 4 month program is over anyway. <BR> <BR> Now I first regained 2kg, which I then maintained,... Sat, 8 Aug 2015 03:15:48 EST