Less

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Fuji X-T20 | Lens (mm): 56 | ISO: 100 | Aperture: 1.2 | Shutter: 1/1250

I’m not really one for New Year’s Resolutions or a yearly theme word, but last year, I felt God challenge me to be more generous so that became my theme word for 2018. It turned out to be a great anchor for my year. Whenever I would question whether or not to be generous – with my time, gifts, money, etc – the answer was always yes.

As I was thinking about writing this blog post, the original title I had in mine was “What I Lost,” because I want to share about my recent weight loss. But I didn’t want people to think I had suffered a sad loss, so I pondered my title some more.

That’s when it hit me – Less. I weigh less, and that’s been great, but I’ve been feeling a deep burden to do less, work less, spend less, have less, and be less in order to have more. I want more time with family and friends, more rest, more riding, more of God (that’s the being less part – more of Him, less of me).

I think what this means is that I get rid of a lot of excess stuff in my life (time to purge the closets!), excess time wasters like social media and TV, and most of all, excessive working.

When you own your business like I do, it’s really hard to say no, especially when you love what you do. But I’m learning that I need to let go of the good and find the great in order to have some margin in my life so I can actually enjoy having a personal life and not just work constantly.

So back to my weight loss…I’m down almost 20 lbs since the beginning of October. I feel great, my clothes fit again (some are now too big!) and it wasn’t that hard. I’ve lost the weight all with dietary changes. I kid you not…I’ve been to the gym once since I started!

Do you want to know how I did it? I promise you I’m not selling you anything. I didn’t join a program, buy a product or hire a coach (not that these are bad things, they just aren’t for me).

It started when I heard this podcast episode with Rachel Hollis and Kelly Leveque: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/science-hunger-body-love-celebrity-nutritionist-kelly/id1245763628?i=1000409033061&mt=2

Then I read Kelly’s book “Body Love”: https://www.amazon.com/Body-Love-Balance-Yourself-Forever-ebook/dp/B01M0WRLTD/ (hint – it’s only $1.99 for the Kindle version right now!)

Let me bottom line it for you – leveling off your blood sugar by mostly eliminating sugar and carbs while eating protein, healthy fat, fiber, and greens at each meal turns off your hunger hormones so you eat less.

It’s that easy. Except, the first few weeks weren’t that easy – detoxing from sugar and carbs (which break down to sugar) means fatigue, headaches, cravings, and general crabbiness. But once my blood sugar leveled off, it got a lot easier.

Do I miss carbs and sugar? Not really. I make foods to satisfy my mental sugar cravings using healthy sugar substitutes like stevia and monk fruit. I still have a few carbs here and there (Kelly says to think of them as your +1 – no more than 1/4 cup per meal), but once I learned that my body didn’t need them, I realized I could live without them.

One key is that I start each day with a protein smoothie. I use this protein, which Kelly recommended. I love the taste and my nails and hair are growing like crazy: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071ZG164V/. She has a bunch of smoothie recipes in her book, but I mostly do the one with spinach, blueberries, flax seed, almond butter, and almond milk.

I did eat some carbs and sugar at holiday meals, but then I went right back to healthy eating the next day. I truly feel that I can sustain this way of eating for the rest of my life.

So there you have it. I’m not done losing, there’s still too much fat clinging to my body, especially my mid-section, which is what was getting out of control when I realized it was time to do something. I’m an apple shape, which is the worst shape as far as health risks when you are carrying extra weight. I would love to lose 15-20 more, and I do plan to do more intentional exercise in the new year for overall health.

Gratitude: I’m thankful for the wisdom that Kelly shares in her book. It makes sense to me on an intellectual level, which really helps me when making food choices on a daily basis.

ps. About the photo – I don’t have a good background to take a full-length photo indoors, so I got my little Fuji camera all set up for a self-portrait and ventured outside where it was 7 degrees with a wind chill somewhere in the negative digits. I was originally planning to ditch the coat but realized I didn’t want to die of exposure, so this is what I ended up with. I like that my cat Casey decided he wanted to be part of it too. 😸

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