Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Recap of the week - September 5, 2016

I just posted a new post HERE on my TransformingHollie blog! Please follow me over there!

It is my goal to start doing weekly updates!


Monday, August 1, 2016

Why Beachbody?

This blog is a duplicate from the one on TransformingHollie.com. If you're not already following me over there, please do!

As promised in my last post, I wanted to communicate WHY exactly I decided to sign on as a coach for Beachbody. It wasn't an impulse decision, but one that I've actually been pondering for quite a while.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I have absolutely no reservations about using products on this journey. Whenever I read someone who likes to brag about not using "pills, wraps or shakes" or having an "all natural" weight loss (meaning no surgery), I usually roll my eyes. One thing I've learned after many years on this journey is that the products or method you use only works if you do the work. So use whatever tools you want! You're only wasting your own hard earned money if you're not willing to do your part. I just want me and everyone else to be successful. What ever it takes.

Back to Beachbody.

My love affair with Beachbody started in 2007 when I ordered Slim in Six and completed the entire six week program. This was pre-blogging days, btw. I was captivated by the infomercial and decided to go for it. And it worked! Until the six weeks were up and I started binge-eating like crazy and gained all the weight back. This was WAY before I had accepted or even KNEW what food addiction was and that I had it.

Fast forward several years. To the days of social media. I started following someone's blog (Yum Yucky) and then someone else on IG (Erika at MessyMomHustle) that were both beach body coaches. Both had an amazing transformations. Erika and her hubby would do these at-home workouts together and it looked like so much fun! I also knew Tara from the blog world (wortheveryounce). And then I started following another person, and then another, and another and they all used Beachbody products. Someone even sent me a sample of Shakeology once. I thought it was SO nasty because it wan't sweet enough (now I'm rolling my eyes at myself).

But even though I saw the personal success (each of them!), the transformations AND the fact that they all had thriving businesses, I always looked at them and didn't believe I could actually pull that off.

So I continued to follow all of them on social media. And even several more! And I could see the continued personal results. But I could also see other things.

One person I follow QUIT HER JOB and offers Beachbody full time. Another person, a stay at home mom, was just able to buy a new home because she had earned so much with her business they paid off all their debt. I continuously saw weight loss and maintenance. I always saw success.

But what I didn't see is them SELLING anything at all.

Their posts never looked like an infomercial for a product. It was never pushy. It sincerely looked like these people were happy with their Shakeology and home workouts and sincerely wanted to help people with their own transformation.

About a year ago (when I started this blog as opposed to SkinnyHollie), I decided that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I felt like it was one of those things that had been calling me for a while, but fear just told me was unattainable. I could see myself working from home. I could see myself spending more time with my children and family. And honestly, more time at the beach! After starting my teaching assignment here in Florida, I knew I was burnt out. I needed a change.

I wanted to work at home. For myself. I signed up with Mary Kay in October and knew after a few months that wasn't it. I LOVE makeup, but it wasn't my passion.

What IS my passion?

I asked myself that a million times. And as I stated in my last blog post, at some point after finding success with Keto this year, and becoming more active on social media, and actually trying to teach and HELP people with the knowledge I'd acquired... my passion became evident.

It's serving. It's teaching. It's helping people become the best, most healthy version of themselves. It's allowing people to use me as a source of inspiration and motivation and accountability! Through helping others, I help myself. It makes me happy. It fills me in a way that I've never been filled before.

While typing this I just got an amazing text from someone I've met on social media (through my Like page) and that is also now doing keto. She has already lost a lot of weight and inches! It's such great news and I just had to smile from ear to ear. I helped her. I was an example for her. And now she is getting healthy and leading her family by example.

Yes, she is doing the hard work. But I feel so happy inside getting to watch her transformation!!!

A month or so ago, the whole stay-at-home-wife-and-entrepreneur-mom thing started rolling through my brain again. It's summer, and instead of staying home with my kids, I went out and got a summer job. Yes, it was easy and fun and the pay was great. But I missed the summer with my kids.

I only have two kids left at home. And they are turning into mini adults. Fast. Time is flying.

And it got me thinking...

What happened to my dreams? My plans of being a work from home mom? What could I do that would allow me to do something I'm passionate about AND make enough money that I could accomplishing that goal?

One morning a few weeks ago as I was pondering this on my way to work, I ran across a podcast by Chalene Johnson. If you don't know who she is, then shame on you. (I LOVE HER). But she is the instructor on several Beachbody programs (TurboJam, Piyo...). I had subscribed to her podcast back in May (I think) because she had someone on her show talking about a low carb, high fat diet and lifestyle. So on this day, I was searching for something to listen to on my long ride to work and came across one of her shows on personal branding that REALLY got me thinking.

The answer was in my face this whole time. Beachbody. It's a reputable company. EVERYONE knows about their products (duh, infomercials!) They are a leader in health and wellness. It's a brand I already trusted.

I came home that evening and started following Chalene. Then I started going back and stalking everyone I follow on social media that's affiliated with Beachbody. I contacted my own Beachbody coach and started hammering her with questions.

Her response... "Honey, you're already a coach. You just haven't made it official."

But I still wasn't ready.

So I dug out my PiYo dvd set that I'd ordered MONTHS earlier. After we moved, I knew I'd have space to workout at home and thought PiYo would be a good way to start. But it was more challenging than I expected. I did the first three days and it started collecting dust. I got busy and... all the other excuses. BUT, I was ready to give it another try.

After the first or second workout, Chalene started talking about Shakeology after a workout segment. The word "probiotic and digestive enzymes" got me curious so started researching it AGAIN. Since going keto, I've been plagued by chronic constipation and hair loss. The reviews stated that Shakeology helped with BOTH. Definitely higher in carbs than I would have liked, but it actually looked like a good meal replacement. I could pronounce all the ingredients and it was (in my opinion) clean! So I ordered a sample pack. 7 days worth.

So quietly, I tried it for a week. I only told a few people because LORD HAVE MERCY I didn't want the negativity. And guess what? I liked it. I adjusted my carbs (eliminating most of my dairy and my daily servings of pecans) so I could still keep my carbs around 25g daily. And within TWO days I was having daily bowel movements. AND my hair stopped shedding. Now, my hair had already decreased shedding significantly, but while drinking Shakeology it STOPPED.

And it wasn't a fluke. Because after being OFF Shakeology for three days I'm already back to not having BM's at all.

The Shakeo didn't make me bloat or have cravings. I was still able to maintain ketosis. My body liked them. And so did I.

So, after all the research on the company. And being a guinea pig for the product. And actually doing one of the workout programs and seeing progress, and being excited about doing a few more (Cize!) I was ready to pull the trigger.

But I was still scared.

Until on Saturday morning and I logged on to Instagram and saw this picture.

This is from Beachbody's annual conference, Summit, that was held in my hometown of Nashville last week and last weekend. This picture is 25,000 people doing a group workout on Broadway downtown.

I went to high school on Broadway. I know that area well. And to see THIS MANY PEOPLE working out, changing their lives, and so committed to a company... I just knew. This is where I'm supposed to be.

It will be with the help of this company that I get to earn a living doing what I love to do. And it will also be through this company that I will finally realize my own weight loss and fitness goals. With the combination of my own knowledge of the ketogenic and low carb diets, and with the training and resources that Beachbody provides on clean eating and portion control, I can help SO many people. And I can also participate in and offer fitness programs to fit ANYONE's style and needs. Fitness that can be done from the comfort of your own home (no more driving to the gym or packing a workout bag).

Someone commented on my last post that she hopes I don't turn my blog into just posts about product sales. Never have. Never will.

What you will continue to see is my progress. My workouts. More about my eating plan. And if you see something that interests you, you can contact me! I'm not a sales person and don't want to be one. But I will help you reach your goals. With or without you purchasing products from me. Because that's what I do. That's my passion. It's what I believe God put me here for.

All the starts and stops. All the struggle with gaining and losing weight. All the failures. All the damage I've done to my body. I see now that it was all part of a bigger plan.

I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. And now I'm doing what I'm supposed to do. My story, my testimony, will help others. I want us all to transform.


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Jumping off a Cliff

This is a duplicate of the post I just made at transforminghollie.com. Please follow me over there if you're not already. And don't miss my updates on Facebook and Instagram.

This an important post and I don't want anyone to miss it that might still be following me over here!

Just warning you... this post may be long. I've been procrastinating on writing this for a while. But it's time.

I want to share something that makes me scared. Because it opens me up to judgment. To ridicule. To cyber eye-rolling (and I know I get this from the GOMI trolls). 

I feel a little vulnerable. But my friend Tara tells me all the time that vulnerability is courage and brings connections. So here I am. Ready to jump off a cliff.

I am ready to make my passion my career.

I think everyone reading this blog today, or that follows me on social media, knows what my passion is. What sets my soul on fire.

I love helping people. I am passionate about weight loss and the many ways to achieve it. I am relentless in learning about how food can affect your body. I love spreading my new-found knowledge about diet and how to overcome obesity and food addiction. I get so much out of watching people transform as a result of hard work and discipline.

I have admitted to myself and those close to me in the past few weeks that this is it. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life. The feeling of helping someone reach their weight loss and health goals fills my soul in a way that is indescribable.

Over the last seven months, I am finding my place in my own weight loss journey. After almost EIGHT YEARS of blogging about my struggles, I feel like I have found success that is lasting. Permanent. Born of hard work and dedication instead of a quick fix diet. I have found a lifestyle that is just that... a LIFESTYLE. A way of eating that I don't have to deviate from for holidays or special occasions. A food template that will allow me to continue to heal internally, and that will most likely give me an even better quality of life as time goes on.

And there's nothing more I'd rather do that share this with those around me. And I have been.

For months now, I have been coaching friends and helping them "go keto". Through texts, phone calls, emails, and direct messages through social media, I have helped them with their eating plan, grocery lists, and even talked them out of cheats and situations that might hinder their success. And I've watched them lose weight! And claim non-scale victories as well! Smaller clothes, the ability to do things active with their children. 

And I love it. Helping others keeps me focused and accountable to my own journey. It makes me want to learn more about not only the ketogenic diet, but other ways of eating that are healthy and sustainable long term. Because let's face it... keto isn't for everyone. But there are other plans out there that can help people achieve their goals. I feel a need to know MORE. To do MORE.

But lately, I've had to face the fact that although helping others on their diet and weight loss journeys is something I truly enjoy doing, it's very TIME consuming. And it's also very emotional at times! Sometimes I invest a lot of time in people I've grown to care about and really want to help, but they aren't ready to really invest 100% in themselves. And that can be frustrating.

One evening after dinner, Clyde gave me a nudge. Well, it wasn't really a nudge. It was a push. He told me that since I spend so much time trying to help other people with their weight loss goals and healthy lifestyles, I really needed to make a business of it. Let my passion turn into a stream of income. At least, then, I could justify the TIME that I was investing.

To be honest, his suggestion, at first, PISSED ME OFF. How dare he suggest I do such a thing? Turn my passion into a... business? I couldn't do that. I don't have time, first of all. And who would want me, a weight loss FAILURE, to help them and actually PAY ME to do so?

But the seed was planted. And I begin to think of possibilities. I mean, I was already investing the TIME. I was already seeking the KNOWLEDGE. And I already have the heart of SERVICE. I sincerely want to help people.

One morning a week or so ago as I was driving into work, every idea that I'd ever had relating to making a business out of my passion came flooding into my brain. Because even though I was afraid to admit it, I had many times thought about "what if" I ever reach my goal weight and I could do "this or "that". So I pulled over and wrote everything down. All of those ideas that I'd squished all the way down. My secret dreams and wishes. That I would have never uttered out loud to anyone.

Because FEAR held me back. Fear of failure. Fear of being laughed at. Fear of someone telling me, "how can your fat ass help someone else lose weight?".

Fear that this time... THIS year... I might actually meet my own goals.

And then what?

You know, the story in our heads can REALLY mess us up sometimes. Even if everyone around you that loves and believes in you shows you something is totally possible, if you don't believe it that vision will never come to fruition.

But it was at that point that I KNEW. Just KNEW.

It's time. I can do this.

I will not let my fear of failure keep me from moving forward. I will not let vulnerability and self-doubt keep me from pursuing my passion and possibly turning it into a chance at entrepreneurship. I believe in myself. And I know I am capable of helping, teaching, and serving others. So why not allow myself to earn a secondary stream of income around my passion?

So what now?

Honestly, I don't know all the details. This is all in the development stages. But like everything else on my journey, I feel the need for 100% transparency before I move forward. I've been so scared. Terrified of saying these things "out loud" or putting it all out for the interwebs to see. It makes it real. It makes me feel vulnerable. So this is me, jumping off a cliff. Putting it all out here.

So now it's done! I am formally introducing TransformingYOU. 

I would actually love feedback about what YOU want from me? How can I best serve YOU? What tools and services would best allow me to help you transform?

I have been asked several times for a food plan, so I am in the beginning stages of developing that right now. I will test it out on myself starting August 1. This food plan will be ketogenic and just a guideline to get you started. I didn't realize how overwhelmed some people feel when trying to learn about this lifestyle. So while you are learning, this food plan should get you started until you're able to feel comfortable enough to do it for yourself.

I am also thinking about developing an easy, go-to recipe guide. I share SO many recipes. Yes, they are all available online. But I know some would prefer to have them in an easily accessible format. Sometimes I even get tired of hunting through posts and screenshots to find what I want! Maybe this will help someone.

I will begin to offer coaching. And it will not be one size fits all. Some need accountability and encouragement that a Facebook group can provide. Some need more personal interaction via texts and messaging. And some need a person that will walk them through the entire process. I am working with a friend right now that has no idea where to start. Who has type 2 diabetes, and so does her husband. This sweet friend knows that she and her husband need help for themselves and their two children immediately because it's life and death.

And I'm going to help her. Because I believe this is what I'm called to do. As someone commented on an Instagram post yesterday, "...this is where God wants (me) to be."

My story...my journey... can help people. It has already helped and it WILL continue to help people. I might only have a small platform, but from now on I will use it to not only continue to save myself, but to also help transform others..Transform YOU. We can all succeed. We can all lead healthy lives. Together, we can do it.

I have also decided to invest in another way of earning income while helping others. I am officially (as of today) a Beachbody coach. I have been doing PiYo for almost two weeks, and have also subscribed to Beachbody on Demand (you can stream many of their workouts instead of buying all the DVDs). I HAVE to make a bigger effort to include fitness in my journey, and I will achieve this goal with at-home workouts. Signing up as a coach for the discount alone just makes sense. There are a few more programs I really want.

I will do another post soon on exactly HOW I came to this decision (it's basically another one of those things I've been too scared to do). But after watching so many people that I follow on social media post about their experience at Summit this year (Beachbody's annual conference), I am soooooo excited about the opportunity. I believe this business fits into my goals and plans perfectly. It's another way I can help people. Beachbody has been a market leader in fitness for a LONG time. It's not something I have to SELL (because we all know I suck as a sales person) so don't automatically assume I'm going to turn into a spammer or a pushy salesperson. I'm just going to ask that if you are interested in a Beachbody product, you please buy it from me!

I want to end this post by thanking everyone who has stood beside me on this journey. I have made so many real life friends through my blog and through social media. For every negative person or comment I've received through my blog or social media, I've received 10-20 positive, uplifting, or encouraging ones. I am grateful for the support this community has to offer.

I know this is what I'm meant to do. I am a coach. I am a friend. I am a support system and someone who can mentor and encourage people who are on the same journey I am on.

Together, we will continue to do great things. I am excited about the future!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Vlog #1... Transparency about cheating


Check out my very first vlog. Maybe vlogging will be a new outlet for me. I have so much to say sometimes and not enough time to write!

Friday, June 10, 2016

What I eat on the Ketogenic Diet

If I'm asked anything more than what is and how to get started on the Ketogenic diet, it's,

"What do you eat?"

Well... let me start from the beginning.

I think when anyone goes low carb, they begin by eating a lot of eggs. And bacon. And cheese. These three things were staples when I first started. If all else failed, bacon and eggs for the win.

Eggs are so versatile. You can boil, fry, scramble, make them into an omelette. But soon, I got sick of eggs. Now I eat them on occasion.

I eat all meats. I don't particularly care for beef, but since going keto I have started to enjoy a burgers without the bun. I have also discovered that chicken drumsticks and thighs WITH the skin are yummy when baked or fried and the skin is crispy. And I eat LOTS of chicken wings. Chicken wings drenched in ranch or blue cheese are my a favorite. And now I can eat this with NO GUILT AT ALL. It's part of my plan!

I have never been a HUGE veggie eater, but keto has actually introduced me to some veggies I'd never had before. Like Brussels sprouts. I eat LOTS of cauliflower because it's WAY more versatile than I'd ever imagined (think twice baked cauliflower, mashed cauliflower, roasted cauliflower, cauliflower breadsticks or pizza crust). I love roasted broccoli. I still eat salads on occasion, only with delicious FULL FAT dressing (blue cheese and ranch... the real stuff in the salad section... only has 1 carb per serving most times).

The only dairy I really eat is cheese and sour cream and heavy cream. Milk is high in carbs, and I don't drink milk anyway (gross). Some people on keto like cottage cheese. I was going to try it, although I've always thought it LOOKED to disgusting to eat. But when I checked the label it looked high in carbs so I gleefully skipped it. Someone I follow on Instagram says the Daisy brand is lowest in carbs, though.

Ok, lets talk about FAT. Ketogenic is high in dietary fat. If you're not willing to increase your fat, this is not the diet for you. But hear me out... fat is satisfying. It keeps you full, and it makes you happy while you are eliminating carbs. I use lots of coconut oil. Lots. I fry my foods in it. I also put it in my coffee (more on that shortly). If you don't like the taste of coconuts, get the refined kind. It's tasteless. I use both. I also use TONS of butter. REAL butter, not margarine.

If you are still using margarine... please stop. It's a chemical shit storm. It's fake and full of harmful fats. Just pay a little extra for the real stuff.

Once you add in cheese, leave the skin on your chicken, and add a few eggs here an there, getting a high percentage of good fat isn't hard. If you like avocados, eat those, too. (I do not like them). Don't be afraid. Your body will respond well to fat if you're cutting the carbs.

The most important part of the ketogenic way of eating, besides high fat and very low carbs, is to EAT. REAL. FOOD.

Skip the Quest bars and protein shakes. Skip the Adkins crap with all the sugar alcohols. If it's labeled, "low-carb" just skip it. Some people still love to eat this stuff, and can lose weight while doing so. But it's not all that good for you. And aren't we doing this for overall health, not just weight loss? Yes, I still have sugar free pancake syrup and some sugar-free coffee syrup on occasion. And Coke Zero is still my favorite. But I've cut WAY down on this stuff.

Eat real food.

I also want to add that eating out on keto is super easy. Only ONCE in six months have I ever NOT been able to find something to eat at a restaurant. And that is when we went to a Caribbean restaurant on Valentine's Day and they refused to make me anything without rice or plantains. I sipped a diet soda and refused to go off my plan!

Usually when eating out I'll have wings or a burger with no bun, add bacon and cheese! Lots of fast food chains offer lettuce wrapped burgers, or burgers in a bowl. Salads are a good option without all that extra stuff. Cobb salads or ceasar salads are usually compliant. The important thing when eating out is to ASK for what you want. Restaurants usually are very accommodating. They will happily bring you a side salad instead of fries.

But be always mindful that sugar is hidden in EVERYTHING. Since being keto, I've found hidden sugar in so many products, even those labeled with zero carbs! For example, the heavy whipped cream in the can. I was enjoying this on sugar-free jello in the beginning (I've since ditched the SF Jell-0 because the sweetener in it triggers cravings). It said zero carbs on the can, but the second ingredient was sugar! WTH? Um, no. So, my advice is to look at the ingredients, not just the nutrition label.

It is also my advice to you to count TOTAL carbs for everything except for vegetables. For vegetables, net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) is okay. People in my keto group mostly agree that they lose better when following this rule of thumb. See, there really isn't a 'real' thing as net carbs. In my opinion, the manufacturers made that crap up to market stuff 'low-carb'. But again, every one is different. Some can subtract fiber and sugar alcohols and still lose weight counting net carbs. My body doesn't.

Things to avoid:
All grains.
All fruit.
All legumes.
All starchy vegetables.
All sugar.

Some people on the ketogenic diet do eat berries. I have had strawberries on occasion and been ok. But fruit is frowned upon for the most part.

I'm gonna wrap this post up with another disclaimer... I'm not a keto expert. My knowledge comes from being on this way of eating for almost 6 months. I've researched. I've used trial and error. I've Googled. Spent hours on Pinterest looking for recipes. My purpose for providing this information is to help spread the word. This diet just might be what someone needs to FINALLY get off the diet roller-coaster. This is a way of eating... something that does not have an end date for me. I've found a food template that I can do for the rest of my life and be happy. I hope this will be that for you, too.

If you think you want a full-fledged keto coach, please visit ketovangelist.com and check out the monthly coaching programs. I've followed Brian, Mary, and Katrina from the beginning. They know what they are doing. 

(and for the blog trolls that talk shit about me on GOMI, I have not been paid or asked to endorse this service)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

A ketogenic diet, also known as keto, very low carb, or LCHF (low carb, high fat), is where you force your body to produce ketones in the liver to be used as energy. On a high carbohydrate diet, your body produces glucose and insulin. Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy, so if available, your body will choose it over any other energy source. Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your blood by taking it around your body. Since the glucose is used by your body as it's primary energy source, your fat is not needed and stored instead.

By using lowering your intake of carbs (preferably to under 20 grams), the body is put in ketosis. Ketosis is a natural process where the body produces ketones from the breakdown of fats in the liver. The end goal of a ketogenic diet is to force your body into the metabolic state known as ketosis. You don't have to starve to get here, but you do have to be VERY low carb. But if you take away the carbs and increase your fat, your body will burn ketones as the main energy source.

I guess the next question I always get is... What do I eat?

Ideally, your macronutrient ratios should be around 5% carbs, 20-25% protein, and 70-75% dietary fat. This is really what works for you. Some are successful with 80-85% fat. Some eat up to 10% carbs. Some advocate for higher protein. But the graphic below, in my opinion, is the sweet spot.

Your carbs should mostly come from vegetables, nuts, and dairy. DO NOT eat wheat (breads, pasta, cereals), starch (potatoes, beans, legumes) or fruit (berries are ok on occasion). Dark and leafy greens are best choice. Fatty cuts of meat are great (leave the skin on the chicken!). Put grass-fed butter on meat and veggies. In the beginning if you need a snack, eat cheese or almonds. But the longer you are keto, the less you need to snack. You're simply not hungry as often as you used to be. The high fat curbs your appetite and keeps you so satisfied.

Now, some get very caught up in macros and tracking. There are some sites that will provide calorie calculators (ruledme.com has a great one) and some people track religiously. I did at first. But with keto, you really don't HAVE to track calories or macros. Many people who have been super successful do not. But in the beginning, I think it's helpful until you have a grasp on WHAT to eat and how much. Overeating is overeating. You want to get to a point where you are eating when you are hungry, and stopping when you are full. Eventually, calories won't matter. Your metabolism will be burning strong despite low calories (more info on that another day).

Just eat lots of GOOD fat. Keep your protein moderate. And stay under 20 g of carbs. You'll be good.

There is endless diet dogma and misconceptions about being keto or very low carb. Don't listen to the negativity or bad information. Even from doctors. They are studies that were published 30+ years ago that show high amounts of fat and low carbs are good. It's high fat and high carbs that are bad for your body. And the low fat/high carb recommendations are just bad information that has led us into an obesity epidemic. Don't believe the hype. Educate yourself on this lifestyle and you might even teach your doctor a thing or two. If you have Type 1 diabetes or pre-existing kidney problems, DO get in touch with your doctor before starting keto because in these cases it may put a strain on your kidneys. But don't worry about high cholesterol or heart disease... keto (and any high fat, low carb diet) has been well known and documented to help improve these conditions.

Benefits of a Keto Diet

  • Cholesterol. A keto diet has shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup.
  • Weight Loss. As your body is burning fat as the main source of energy, you will essentially be using your fat stores as an energy source while in a fasting state.
  • Blood Sugar. Many studies show the decrease of LDL cholesterol over time and have shown to eliminate ailments such as type 2 diabetes.
  • Energy. By giving your body a better and more reliable energy source, you will feel more energized during the day. Fats are shown to be the most effective molecule to burn as fuel.
  • Hunger. Fat is naturally more satisfying and ends up leaving us in a satiated (“full”) state for longer.
  • Acne. Recent studies have shown a drop in acne lesions and skin inflammation over 12 weeks.
When you first begin a keto diet, get ready for the dreaded "keto flu". Your body is used to using carbs as energy, so when you take them away your body is unhappy at first. But as you get adjusted to a ketogenic state, your body will use up all the glucose and transition into burning ketones. This makes you generally feel like crap for a few days. Get ready for headaches, brain fog, and flu-like symptoms. Many say that increasing sodium helps to replenish electrolytes and makes it better. But it will go away in a few days regardless. Just ride it out.

Another wonderful thing about the ketogenic diet is that once that keto flu and initial week of feeling like crap is over, you feel GREAT. Your cravings lessen each week, you suddenly get all this energy, and the aches and pains go away (due to reduction in inflammation). And the stomach fat/bloat goes first, so your pants are loose and you almost instantly feel the inches going away. It's been my experience that your body changes are way more dramatic than the numbers on the scale. You really have two ways to measure your success. I used to weigh almost daily, but now I could care less what the scale says. I feel fabulous.

On my next post, I will tell you all about the specific foods I eat on the keto diet.

*** Most of the information from this post was taken from Ruledme.com, which is an EXCELLENT source for beginners. And as mentioned earlier, it has a keto calculator on there if you need an idea of exact calories and macronutrients. The other information is MY OPINION and advice based on what I have learned. I am not a doctor or nutritionist or an expert.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Ketogenic Diet

Over the past several weeks I have had countless people email, text, or message me on social media asking if I can help them or give them information about the diet that I'm on. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know that since the end of January I have been following a ketogenic diet plan. It's really not a diet... more like a way of eating. High fat (70-80%). Moderate protein (20-25%). Very low carb. And by very low carb, I mean that I typically eat less than 20 total carbs daily.

This is where I lose most people.

"How in the world can you eat less than 20 carbs!" (it's easy)
"Don't you eat fruit and vegetables?" (veggies, no fruit)
"I can't live without my carbs." (in that case, continue to eat them)
"Doesn't all that fat make you fat?" (absolutely not)

I have to admit, I started out in January with the same "diet" mindset that most of America had and just REALLY wanted to lose weight. I was back up to 316.4 lbs. My feet, knees and back HURT EVERY DAY. I was sad. I was out of breath. I had no energy. I was miserable in my skin. I had to do something. But after 3 weeks of trying to lower carbs and make good choices, I was struggling. The food addiction was still so real. So I just knew... the carbs had to go. Completely.

So on January 30 I just made the jump. I was going to try Keto one last time. But this time I REALLY did my research. I got into a great support group on Facebook (Ketogenic Success). I read. I read, And I read some more. I counted my macros and made sure to stay in the prescribed ranges. And guess what? I started losing. Steadily. Pretty much every week for the first 90 or so days.

But even more important is that I STOPPED dieting.

Somewhere along the line eating this way stopped being a diet. It didn't feel like restriction. I lost the desire to cheat. I was full, satisfied, and happy. Finally... peace with food! And the pain was gone. My feet, back, and knees were no longer painful. My energy is through the roof. My mental clarity is back.

Oh, and as of May 25, 2016 in officially down 50 lbs.

It's amazing.

So, in the keto community, there is a thing called "ketovangelizing". It's where we've learned this totally new "way" of eating, and we feel the need to share it with anyone that is also on a diet struggle. Especially if it involves Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes (because this diet makes it practically vanish). I have been ketovangelizing to many, and so many around me (both in person and online) are now trying this way of eating.

And guess what? THEY ARE LOSING WEIGHT. I had a co-worker just tell me last week she has lost 21 lbs in a MONTH. People who try it love it.

I've decided to start blogging about this lifestyle. Giving some basic information about this way of eating to hopefully help get someone started if they want to.

This isn't about products. This isn't about spending a ton of money on groceries or impossible ingredients (you'll actually save money). No gimmicks. Just real food.

And peace with food. Recovery from food addiction. Freedom from calorie counting or obsessing about macros.

It's truly a lifestyle. And I love it.

So over the next few days I'm going to give some information on the ketogenic diet. I am also going to share a little about what I've learned about the lies that have been fed to us (excuse the pun) by the diet industry that have made us fat and unsuccessful at diets. I might also touch on intermittent fasting (something new that I'm learning about that goes along with the keto way of eating). If you're interested, please read. You may learn something new. If you are unable or unwilling to CONSIDER there might be another way, or that fat is not the enemy, please keep scrolling through the inter-web.

Knowledge is power. Sharing is caring.

Monday, May 16, 2016

I'm honored... AGAIN!

In the past week, my little bloggy has been honored with TWO top spots!

One from HealthListed.com where I'm ranked number FOUR and got this groovy badge...

I also got selected from ptpioneer.com as number SIX in the top 50 Weight Loss Bloggers.

I'm so honored that after almost 8 years people still read and find me inspiring!

Please stay tuned... I have some big news coming up. If you're not already, please follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook for frequent (daily) updates.



Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

Today is such a bittersweet day for me... The first Easter without my mom. Every year, we go to Missouri to spend this holiday with my sister and her family and my mom. 

No matter what my diet is like, Easter is a food-filled holiday. My family COOKS. And we bake. Because desserts are an essential part of who we are. 

And honestly, for me, those desserts fed the emotional void I always felt when around my mom during her sickness. I would often have good intentions, holidays with my family always ended with a food coma and weight gain.

This Easter will be very different. First of all, we are in Florida now. So traveling to MO isn't really realistic. My older kids are staying in TN, so it's just me and Clyde and the kids. We don't go to church. So it's sort of like any other Sunday.

I decided yesterday I will make dinner, but I always do on Sunday. But it will be a little more special and I will make dessert for the first time since Christmas. I got really good deals on a ham and turkey breast yesterday so I will make that for dinner and have leftovers for meal prep this week. Sides will include bacon wrapped asparagus, cabbage, and mac and cheese for the mister and kids. I will make a low carb cheesecake for dessert and I will have a piece. 

Our family traditions have changed so much lately, and I know they will continue to change over the coming years. And it's ok. Change is good. 

For anyone who isn't following me on Facecook or Instagram, I'm still following the Ketogenic way of life and it's still great! I'm still losing weigh, although for the last month it's been slow. And I'm ok with that. My exercise has been almost non existent but my food choices are good! Still no cheats at all for over 2 months now. 

And no matter what emotions happen, or how sad I get about my mom, today will be no different. 

Happy Easter! 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Top 100 Weight Loss Bloggers... Number ONE!

What an honor!!!

weight loss blogs

Feedspot.com listed my blog as one of the top 100 weight loss blogs! Not only am I in the top 100, I'm listed first! I think this is a huge honor! I'm so thankful to everyone who has stuck with me from day one. Through ups and downs and highs and lows.

And thank you to everyone who is following me on my new blog, Transforming Hollie. I appreciate all the support!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Why I've chosen Keto

(This post was actually meant for my new blog, Transforming Hollie. But I accidentally typed it out on this page from the Blogger app. So I'm leaving it here. But I still want you to come see me over THERE. XOXO)

Today is my first day of doing the Keto (ketogenic) diet again. I have been slowly weaning off carbs since the beginning of the year so that I could start Feb 1. Well, I'm a couple of days early. But according to my test strips, I'm already in Ketosis so just lowering carbs to 15% got me there. 

I have chosen this way of eating for several reasons.

1. It restores my sanity surrounding food. My cravings and hunger are gone. Eating this way helps me stay in control of what I eat.

2. I've successfully lost weight on this plan before.

3. Sugar makes me crazy, and I need to eliminate it from my diet totally if I'm ever going to be food sober.

4. Keto allows me to make this a lifestyle. There doesn't have to be an endgame. I CAN eat this way forever.

I have NO appetite. I haven't been hungry in days. Now, this may have a little to do with the fact I'm back on my Advocare supplements (I'm still in my 24-day Challenge). Or it may be because I'm already in Ketosis. 

I was going to check today just to see how close I was but I'm already there. I've been at about 15-20% carbs for the past week or so, and I'm guessing that was low enough. 

Today I made a big breakfast (that I couldn't finish 😳). I did our taxes this morning (which was very stressful btw) and afterwards I NEEDED the gym. I worked out, did a little shopping, and got a pedicure. It was while I was in the pedicure chair that I realized... I forgot to eat lunch before I left the house. 

I got home around 4:30 and put my soup in the microwave and proceeded to start dinner. Around 6 pm when Clyde got home, I went to the kitchen to check on the chicken in the oven and realized I FORGOT TO EAT THE SOUP AGAIN.

I ate a few bites, but I just didn't want it.  And I just decided to wait and eat dinner. And I was fine. No headache. No hunger. I was ok.

And it felt significant. That I was able to have a Saturday with no hunger, no cravings. Feeling totally satisfied. All I had to focus on was drinking my water quota.

This is how I want things to be. I'm tired of the struggle. This feels much easier.

My goal is to stick with this way of eating until my birthday on May 26. It's a big one. 40. I will give this my all because I desperately want to have some success with food recovery and weight loss before I turn 40. I want to reach my goal weight this year.

So Keto it is until then and I will reevaluate. But something tells me there will be no birthday cake involved! And that will be the ultimate victory.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

About the scale...

New blog post! 


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Ending the binge cycle... and cake.

I just posted a new blog at Transforming Hollie. It is one of the most therapeutic blogs that I've written in a while. Check it out!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year

Happy new year everyone! I wanted to pop in and say hello, and also remind everyone I am now blogging about my journey at TransformingHollie.com. I am also on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) using my new name. See ya in the new year!

Don't forget...