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Maryjean and Steve, photo celebrating First Date Anniversary - Nov. 2011 (down ~ 70 Lbs)

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Maryjean and Steve, Wedding Anniversary, July 12, 2011: Down 50 pounds (MJ); & 30 pounds (Steve)

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Steve and Maryjean - Christmas 2012

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June 23, 2014. Well, I'm back again. Seems that I simply cannot keep--or even get-- my health act together without daily due diligence. And apparently, that includes tracking what I eat and regular postings! Since my sporadic returns to SparkPeople tracking in 2013, we have explored several eating plans that are "supposed" to be easy and healthy to see what works best for us. Sadly, we've also taken LONG stints off ANY good path back into the SAD that is so readily available and alluring for those of us with a lazy streak, and a carb addiction. These off-path stays have had the expected consequences: Weight gain. Not feeling well. Self-shame. Limited clothing options in my closet!!
During this time, we explored Paleo-Primal eating, which seemed to reduce the sweet-carb-junk food cravings, and eliminate the GERD and flatulence I so often experienced when eating grains and legumes. That led me to request gluten sensitivity and inflammatory testing at my annual check-up in March, and Yep: one of the tests indicated reaction to gluten. And active Skogren's, though other auto-immune titers are negative still. So. I've stayed diligently wheat/ rye/ barley/ free since then (have twice eaten organic corn items, so can't claim totally grain free.) Clearly, I DO really need to be 100% diligent.
Concurrently, I've narrowed my research focus (for dissertation) to the therapeutic uses of ketogenic diets. Learned lots, and the evidence is overwhelming that such a plan is beneficial for a myriad of health issues. (Not all issues: it is NOT a panacea for everything or everyone!!) And about 30 days ago, my husband and I committed and began that eating plan. This is a fairly hard transition for me: I like fruits and starchy veggies. And treats! Though I've lost only 10 pounds and experienced "low carb flu" for well over a week, this seems to be a good plan for me: Primal-Keto. Thus, I MUST accurately track intake to balance the macros properly -- adequate protein, not high; 20 grams net carbs, remaining calories in "good" fats (animal, dairy, avocado, coconut, some tree nuts, avoiding those awful processed seed oils that are EVERYWHERE in restaurant foods). Which brings me back to Spark People. Again. During this first 30 days, I didn't track while traveling, and I'm not yet a great estimator of net carbs!! So I believe my progress will improve now that I am home with my supportive and participating husband, have online access, and am actively posting/ participating in several online support & info groups via Facebook and SparkPeople.
Thank you, as always, for the most awesome encouragement I've ever found in an online community!

Jan 2013: After getting my weight down to 141 from a high of 220+ pounds by summer 2012, I insidiously let go of many of those healthy habits during fall semester 2012. And have regained 27 pounds since then. I'm saddened by this return of my health - destructive tendencies, and determined to change. Again. And make it stick. I considered deleting this page entirely, so that it would not detract from the many SparkPeople success stories! However, I am not. I am "facing the music" by admitting that I have failed dismally this past 3-4 months. And that I will use that failure to spur me forward towards reaching that final 123 pound goal rather than giving up completely.
Thanks - Maryjean G., Arlington, TX.

Jan 2011: Finally, I decided that I'm tired enough of being "twice the woman" I was in my early 40's to actually do something to change that. For us, that meant changing how we eat from my home-assembled- convenient Southern cooking style to all natural, mostly organic, mostly fresh, minimally processed/ no additives foods. AND returning to stricter portion controls and body-cues of "satisfied" versus "stuffed" -- just like we did years ago. So here's a hint: don't decide to take a decade "break" from consistently doing the healthy stuff. It's WAY not worth it from either a health or vanity perspective -- and I have the photos to prove it!

Member Since: 1/18/2011

Fitness Minutes: 1,557

My Goals:
2014: Lose the weight regained. Thank you, SparkPeople, that I'm not COMPLETELY back at my 2011 starting point!
2) Okay, this time,,, I'm REALLY going to start adding in exercise as well -- so I can actually use that SparkPeople fitness tracker at least a little.
3) Look less frumpy -- I don't want to look like I'm the Great-GREAT-GRANDMOTHER rather than a vibrant & healthy student-- wife- grandmother- nurse educator!
4) Become fit enough for IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) competitions.
5) Oh... and complete the PhD program I started in 2009-- which definitely was and is my own mid-life crisis/ insanity thing.

My Program:
2014: Discovered that paleo/ primal works for me by reducing food cravings and my constant eating. Now following a primal-ketogenic diet plan to lose weight, stay gluten free, and reduce inflammation. Current goal is 20 grams carb/ day; may increase if we see that we can maintain ketosis with slightly higher carb level.
May adjust to include Auto-Immune Protocol as needed for Skogren's
I really WANT to incorporate enough activity and strength training to be fit and strong, rather than tired and winded.
I WANT to stay the course, even with these recent failures and slides.
Glad to have another chance to get healthier and do better!

2011 - This was our Starting Point: (1) Rid the RV of all food products containing high fructose corn syrup, synthetic sweeteners, preservatives, chemical additives, , etc. (2) Replace with natural/ organic/ unprocessed foods. (3) Base our home-prepared menus on traditional "old- fashioned" food exchanges (Think ADA Diabetic diet

Personal Information:
This Tennessee gal is now in Texas to complete Texas Woman's University PhD nursing research program, after a seven-year stay in Baltimore area (with Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center) where I met and married the love-of-the-second-half of my life. The Lord has blessed us with 5 adult children & 4 great kids-in-law, and 4 grandbabies - plus one on the way.

Other Information:
Christian - personally forgiven, eternally saved, extremely blessed, & very grateful!

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  • v RX_2_RV
    How's the Paleo diet working out for you? I know a couple people doing it who feel great.

    Your status update mentions a new 30 day sleep and exercise challenge. Exercise has always been a bit of a struggle for me too. One thing that helped me is the exercise challenges here on SP. I like the structure and accountability. If your challenge doesn't have a specific routine you are supposed to follow, you might want to check them out. I find some of the videos easy and some very difficult...there is a real mix.(15 minute abs is a killer! I cringe when that one comes up on the rotation!) Once I get going, I can usually stick with it, but starting is a struggle.

    Good luck with your new 30 day challenge!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    2584 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/30/2014 10:11:25 AM
    Welcome to Team Keto!! So glad to have you join us!!

    2618 days ago
  • v SMARTIN77
    I loved your comment on 7 Simple Ways to Reclaim an Hour a Day: Finding Your 25th Hour. I've gone through seasons of letting go of the TV and find it's much more peaceful!

    Thanks for sharing about your faith and lifestyle choices!

    emoticon emoticon
    2911 days ago
  • v no profile image PIXIE-LICIOUS
    "Victories in life come through our ability to work around and over the obstacles that cross our path. We grow stronger as we climb our own mountains."
    ---Marvin Ashton
    emoticon emoticon
    Thank you for your comment on my blog, "The best F word is Forgiveness." Have a great week!
    3117 days ago
    Thanks for the kind words on my Spark page. emoticon Welcome back to the wonderful world of SP!
    3118 days ago
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