20,000-24,999 SparkPoints 21,096

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

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

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 HUZZAH39
    Stop by my blog. Read about my Top Ten today and PLEASE share your top 10 things that you liked about YOUR day!!! Would love to hear from you! : )

    Hugs, Christine emoticon
    2101 days ago
    Hi, thanks for adding me as a Sparkfriend. I saw your response on the Organic blog. I like being connected to others who share some of my concerns. Your weight loss is inspirational. My schedule is pretty tight because I am a "late in life mommie" and I work full time, but I try at least a couple times a week to check out my Sparkfriends pages, blogs, etc. Best wishes on continued success :D

    2115 days ago
  • v HUZZAH39
    Thank you for responding and praying with and for me! That means a lot!

    Blessings, Christine
    2126 days ago
    Hello! Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday and commenting. Yes, there are 12 reasons--they are all in the article I linked to. I didn't copy/paste the entire article as I think SP gets funny about that sort of thing. Here's the address again:


    2134 days ago
  • v _RAMONA
    LOL! Save away, Maryjean!

    And THANK YOU so very much for the supportive comment! I was really steamed when I started writing... I can't stand it when people sort of try something and then reject it outright and publically as though they actually undertand it. It was a great exercise to write and realize just how much I have actually absorbed and can articulate.

    I, too, think it's sad that people need a lot of letters after their name for people to listen... I so admire you for taking on this particular agenda. I've been watching my parents for years now get sicker while in the midst of treatment (statins, high blood pressure meds) for their SAD induced illnesses. I've been watching people get fatter on low/no fat food. I'm had my own scary experience with metformin. I've never bought into the conventional wisdom, but it has taken me a long time to find the answers for which I've been looking.

    As an aside... I really wish you'd blog, my dear! I think you've got a lot to offer!

    May your week be blessed beyond measure, my friend!
    2176 days ago
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