What's Going On?

A few weeks ago I posted that I was sure that I had gained weight...but when I got on the scale I was pleasantly surprised that I had lost a few pounds! This morning I was absolutely sure that I would see a drop on the scale. My jeans were feeling slightly looser, I was noticing a definite difference in my lower tummy (the baby pooch, I call it), I had been adhering to Atkins really well, and...nothing. Well actually not just nothing, I was up a pound! 203.1. Grrrrr.

On the Atkins message boards I see lots of people posting that they try not to look at the scale, but focus on their shape and how their clothes fit. But I just don't get it. If my clothes are feeling looser and the baby pooch is definitely flatter, then why wouldn't a difference show on the scale? Is it simply water retention? But if so, where is the water parking itself on me? Or pooling itself on me, I should say.

So I took an update photo, just to convince myself that I'm not going crazy. I can surely see …

Family Dinners

Growing up, my family did not sit down to family dinners. Ever. My parents' marriage was basically over from the time I was pretty young, and the only reason they stayed together was for me. Lots of people do that, and it may or may not be good for their kids. Let's just say it was not good for are not stupid, and I knew their marriage was kablooey from the time I was in 5th grade.

Anyway, we never sat down to family meals because my parents rarely talked to each other. They never fought, just didn't talk. If we were to have dinners together, that would require actual conversation! My dinners were usually spent eating by myself in my room, watching TV.

Needless to say, it was a silent, uncomfortable, lonely way to grow up. My friends didn't like coming over very often, because they thought it was creepy and called it "The House of Silence." I would go over to their houses instead.

Going into parenthood, I was determined NOT to do it that way. Study a…

Birthdays on a Diet

My baby boys turned 13 on Sunday. I'm the Mom of three teenagers! And six teenagers, including my wonderful stepchildren!
Anyway, this is not a post to talk about how ancient I've's about how I handled my diet on the day of the birthday. I always make my kids a yummy cake: flavor, icing, and topping of their choice. Since the twins are spring babies, they usually go for fresh strawberries which are in season. This year was no different, so I made a chocolate double layer cake with vanilla frosting and a double layer of strawberries.
Now with Atkins this time around, sweet treats have not been a problem for me. I used to have much more of a sweet tooth, but after the twins were born, my sweet tooth inexplicably vanished. Poof! Our bodies can do some crazy things after childbirth, but that one was unexpected. And welcome, actually! It has made Atkins just that much easier. 
However, I'm a bit superstitious. I feel that it's bad luck to not have a bite of…

Divorce, Kids, and Custody

I intended this blog to be an honest journal about the good, the bad, and the ugly, mostly about my weight loss journey. But since I threw "Motherhood" into the description as well, I think I can get my thoughts out about what went down yesterday. This blog has been helping to clear my mind, which was one of my goals with it.

One of my twins, I'll call him JR, has been having a lot of difficulties with my ex. JR is 12, turning 13 next month. Their personalities just seem to clash.
JR is now saying that he doesn't want to live with his dad anymore. My ex and I share 50-50 custody. Yesterday, as I was dropping JR off at his dad's house, JR refused to get out of the car. Apparently the night before, his dad's girlfriend told his dad (who was not there at the time) that JR "disrespected" her by slamming a door. JN, JR's twin, witnessed it and said that JR did not slam any doors and did not disrespect her. But, their dad went on to tell JR that if he…

Aging and Wrinkles in My 40s

Do I look old now, or just fat? Or does being fat make me look old?

Before I started to gain all of this weight, which was about 10 years ago, people were always surprised when I told them my age. They usually assumed I was at least 5-7 years younger.

I grew up in the hot desert southwest in the 1980s, where tans were ubiquitous (and almost socially mandatory) for teen girls. I, however, had pale Scottish skin, strawberry blond hair, and blue eyes. I didn't tan. So while I got a few sunburns in the quest to fit in with my tan friends, I eventually threw in the towel and heeded the guidance of my Mother: wear sunscreen. I wore sunscreen religiously on my face from the time I was 16. I credit my wise and wonderful Mom for my lack of wrinkles today.

I look at pictures of myself when the twins were little, before I started to gain weight, and I still looked like a hot mama! Has the weight gain aged my looks, or will I still look middle-aged when I lose the weight? My skin is largely w…

This Was Unexpected!

I had convinced myself that I had gained weight. My adherence to Atkins was, I felt, not committed enough, and the trip to Austin was a C+ on the Diet-O-Meter. My clothes felt like they were tighter, not looser. I hadn't gotten on the scale for a while out of dread for what I would see.

However, when I mustered up the courage and stepped on the scale this morning, I had to do a double take. 202.2!

Since I wasn't strictly following Atkins over the past month, I had to stop and think about my eating and exercise patterns. What had I done differently that caused the weight loss? I have been under a rather high amount of stress lately, and I think my appetite went down. I haven't been keeping a food diary so I didn't really pay attention to that. Also, I've been conscious of incorporating more movement into my day, whether it be actual exercise or more passive things, like standing instead of sitting.

Whatever the reason, I'll take it!

So these photos are taken abo…

I Give Myself a C+

I didn't fail the Texas diet test, but I didn't pass with flying colors, either. My vegetable consumption was pretty low, save for a big salad for lunch one day and collard greens with every BBQ meal. About the lord! Melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

I'm sure if I actually lived in Austin my diet would be more or less the same as it is here in Northern California. Austin is the birthplace of Whole Foods, after all. But eating at restaurants every day and wanting to sample all of Austin's cultural and culinary delights don't make for a diet-friendly trip! But I did the best I could.

Here's a photo of one of the BBQ pits at the Salt Lick in Driftwood, just out side of Austin. (drooling...)

A Big Test Is Coming Up!

Next week my husband, my oldest son, and I are heading to Austin. Specifically, we're taking my son (I'll call him JS, since I'm still doing this blog anonymously!) to visit the University of Texas. My hubby went to graduate school there, and his description to JS of what an incredible experience it was has brought UT Austin to the top 5 of JS's college choices.

JS has a lot of potential options for universities. He has a stellar GPA, takes honors and AP courses, and plays multiple sports. Can you tell I'm a proud Mama? But one of the main things he's looking for in addition to a top-notch academic program is a school that is within a city which has a lot going, food, festivals, sports, etc. Austin appears to fit the bill.

However this "test" to which I referred in the title of this post is not for JS and his college admissions, but a big test for me! I know that a trip to Austin is, for many, considered to be a culinary adventure. I'm …

Because St. Patrick's Day Comes Only Once a Year...


Back in the Saddle

So I didn't completely fall off the wagon. I was so discouraged by my weight gain that I went off Atkins for a week or so, but I did not go hog wild with the carbs (unlike past times). I continued to eat healthfully, but did not follow any specific diet.

In my frustration I seriously considered trying something else. I looked into the Lose It app, thought about Weight Watchers, researched the Kaiser weight loss program, etc. But nothing seemed to provide the structure that Atkins does while minimizing that sense of deprivation that has derailed me so many times.

During this time off Atkins, I really looked at the foods I gravitated towards. They were definitely not vegetables. I really do eat more vegetables while on Atkins, and I possibly eat more of them than I should...veggies do have carbs, after all. But when I'm left to my own devices, I can go all day without even thinking about a vegetable.

One of the intentions of my "reset" was to look at the long-term gain…