Welcome to My Weight Loss Blog!!!

Hi and welcome to my blog! My name is Ariel and I have been on a weight loss quest for oh….maybe my whole life. lol. That seems kind of depressing. But I know many of you out there can relate to that feeling.

I haven’t been overweight my whole life but I thought I was. I was convinced I was to the point that I never looked in mirrors and always wore baggy clothes. I compared myself to thinner friends and was always on some diet. I started gaining actual weight in my senior year of high school and really gained weight in college. Since then it has been a battle of yo-yo dieting and constant self hatred. In college I flirted with bulimia but I have always had to deal with disordered eating. I do not have a good relationship with food!!!

So why do I think this time will be different. For one I am finally dealing with why I use food as my number one coping mechanism for my emotions. All that childhood emotional baggage is going to be dealt with. That inner fat bitch that just wants to tell me I am not worthy of love and deserving of a healthy body will be talked back to. She is not getting any more Carl’s Jr Bacon Western Cheeseburgers and onion rings. But you know if I want one it will be on my say so not hers after some kind of emotional meltdown.

I am going to get really real here and very honest. We’re going to talk about all the nitty gritty about my weight loss including numbers and my emotional trauma. It’s getting all laid bare. I have bipolar disorder and I am often depressed. You know that plays into my weight loss and I will share that with you. My husband is very supportive and I want to share his pearls of wisdom with you as well. Lastly my daughter keeps me going. She is my inspiration and I so want to be able to have the energy to keep up with her. Also I want to be healthy enough to have a little sister or brother for her. So stay tuned for updates on that as well. My next post will be more focused on my starting weight loss stats with pictures.

Still Chugging Along…

So February was a difficult month for me. I didn’t really lose any weight and struggled a lot with binge eating. I was feeling some pretty intense emotions and fell back on all my addictions. I rationalized eating more and definitely eating more carbs because I was in pain and I didn’t know how else to treat it.

Hanging out at Volcan Winery

In March I decided I needed to make a change. First I went back to The Keto Road Coaching and I am working with Gormy on getting my macros set so I don’t constantly go from restricting to much to binging when I feel like it’s impossible to follow longterm. I told him I needed macros that were sustainable, that would work with my lifestyle and that would help me lose weight. So he’s on top of that and is helping me stay accountable.

My current weight. 64 pounds down from my highest weight

Secondly I found a new therapist I could trust. She recommended I read the book The Food and Feelings Workbook. It has been such a good decision. I didn’t realize I was carrying around so much guilt and shame that was unnecessary. All it was doing was leading me to eat. I am finally breaking the connection between experiencing negative emotions and binge eating. I love this book and suggest you read it as well if you suffer from disordered eating.

Lastly I realized for certain that I have premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder as well as Bipolar Disorder. My bipolar has been well controlled on meds and lifestyle changes but the PMDD was not. So I am receiving treatment for that and I have high hopes that it will help the mood instability I feel in my luteal phase.

So proud I can jog a mile!

Exercise wise I am just about ready to ramp things up. Today I challenged myself to jog a mile without stopping. At this point jogging and running practically mean the same thing. I only go at one speed when I’m not walking.

But I did it. I ran for a mile straight. 14 min is my best time in 5 years. My goal is to train in 1/2 mile intervals twice a day and get my mile time down to 12 min. That’s what I was capable of 5 years ago.

Noticing subtle changes!!

I notoriously have a hard time being consistent with a weight lifting routine. So we are starting again today when my husband gets home from work. I’ll go easy on legs since I already ran today but I will do a full body routine. I really want to see how my body changes with consistent lifting.

Only 85 more pounds to lose before we start trying for baby #2. Can’t wait!!.

Happy in love!!

Making Good on Promises

So….I finally started lifting weights! This was something I wanted to do since trying unsuccessfully to lose weight last year. Usually I would do a session here and there. And since I would get sore afterwards because my body wasn’t used to it I would stop and not continue.

Can’t wait to see what I will look like in 3 months.

My goal now is to complete a session 2-3 times a week. I want to be consistent for at least 3 months and reevaluate my progress then. I think once I see that I am slimmer and stronger I will want to continue.

Also waiting on seeing a loss on the scale is hard. It feels so arbitrary when I am down .5 one day and back up .4 the next. It can be incredibly frustrating. But I can more readily see gains when weightlifting because I will be able to do more reps and go up in weight when I’m making progress. I think it will help me focus less on the scale and more on how my body is getting fitter.

Day 1 stats

So I have a tendency to write off all the work I did last year because in comparison I have been better able to adhere to the keto lifestyle this year. This year I am losing weight at a good pace and I see the difference in my body and how I feel.

Last year in comparison feels like a train wreck. Every month for a few weeks I would be able to be consistent with eating keto and walking. But then my hormones would shift and I would become depressed, anxious and I would give in to carb cravings and binge eating. I would undo any weight loss I had achieved. It was so frustrating.

But I put together the comparison photo below and I can definitely see progress from last year. I have to recognize that during my postpartum depression I gained 20 pounds and ballooned up to 298 lbs. I ended the year solidly at 275. That’s not bad. You have to consider I was seriously depressed for half the year and I was figuring out a medication regimen that was effective. Plus the last 4 months of the year I successfully dealt with my developmental trauma. I no longer feel empty inside. I have a life worth living. And that’s while still being morbidly obese. That time spent with therapists and reading self help books was priceless. I wasn’t able to prioritize weight loss and physical health until I managed my mental health.

Not much difference from the front.
I lost a roll of fat from my back!

I am going camping this week in the desert and we are keeping it keto. They will be more refeed days than calorie restricted. Mostly so I can enjoy my vacation without going off the rails. A confounding factor is that I am premenstrual and that time is always tricky for food cravings and overeating. I’mma do my best.

Have a great weekend!

The Great Mood Experiment

Feeling great!

So I have now been on keto for a month. I have seen great results when it came to my weight loss. From Dec 27th to January 29th I lost 14 lbs!! I feel so much better and I fit better in my clothes. Biggest non-scale victory has been going from a size 3X in scrubs to a size 2X bottom, XL top. I actually had to order new pants because I had no size 2Xs in my closet.

Work in progress

I have decided to add a psychological goal to my year long challenge. I have bipolar disorder which is somewhat well managed on Latuda and Viibryd. I experience depression when I PMS. Symptoms of PMS including binging are usually worse than normal.

I have seen good results eating keto and balancing my moods and improving my hormones. I am for the most part consistently happy every day. So I would like to take the next year to taper off my already low doses of meds and see if I can control my condition with diet alone. The last time I was off medication was during the 3rd trimester of my pregnancy. My mood was being supported by hornones alone.. We have plans to get pregnant again next year and it would be great if I could be med free for the whole pregnancy.

This is just an experiment and it will be well supervised by my doctors. But I have to see if being med free on a keto diet is possible. There have been only a few studies done on using a keto diet to control bipolar disorder and the results are mixed. But anecdotally there is strong support in the keto community that this way of eating does wonders for mood stabilization.

Bipolar disorder and epilepsy have some connection. Very often antiepileptics are given to increase mood stabilization for people with bipolar disorder. And the keto diet is prescribed to treat certain kinds of epilepsy. So it stands to reason that they share some kind of similar disease pathway in the brain. When you regulate brain function either through meds or diet then these conditions improve.

Clothes are fitting better

I am hoping to that my mood will continue to be stable without my meds if I stay strictly keto. I understand that deviating from this and eating carbs will jeopardize all of this. But it would continue the huge progress I have made with my disorder. Years ago, in my twenties, I was effectively disabled. I couldn’t work or go to school because I was so chronically depressed. I ate and ate and ate to control and suppress my feelings. I ballooned up to over 320 lbs. I was miserable and had no control over my life.

Overweight, unhappy and out of control

But I slowly got control of my life through the proper meds, therapy and a solid effort at controlling my eating back in 2015. I got down to 235 lbs, got a stable job and a boyfriend who would become my husband.

Since then it’s just been a matter of fine tuning to achieve the results I want. I honestly believe that a ketogenic lifestyle will give me that. Happiness, stability and sustained weight loss. Is it a magic pill. No but it’s pretty damn close.

Happy with keto

I’m back and it’s a new year!

So it’s 2021. Mid January in fact. Just before this month started I committed myself to changing my unhealthy habits. This was primarily binge eating to cope with emotional stuff. I would just eat junk when I felt depressed, anxious, bored or overwhelmed. I did this frequently enough that it was sabotaging any progress I made with my weight loss. Diet and exercise had nothing on the amount of calories and carbs I would eat in a binge.

To solve this problem I sought professional help from a therapist. I realized I was binge eating to fill the hole that emotional neglect from my parents left. My parents are good people and good parents but they never related to me on an emotional level. I was never encouraged to talk about my feelings. There was just no place for them in our family. That’s mostly because they grew up in similar environments. They didn’t know any better.

After that realization and the healing that followed I was better able to stick with a healthy way of eating. After doing a lot of research I committed to following the ketogenic diet. And I have been eating that way every day for almost a month now. Besides losing weight (13 lbs so far) I feel so much better emotionally, mentally and physically. I am less tired all the time. I don’t feel a crash after I eat. I sleep well at night. My moods are more even and I have been less prone to depression. I’m glad I switched to keto. I think it is the best lifestyle for me.

My face after losing 13 lbs. Almost one month on keto.

So the diet has now come easily for me. I created a rule that I only eat when I’m hungry. If I’m not physically hungry but I’m craving something really bad then I acknowledge that I am experiencing emotional hunger. It’s not real and for my health I cannot indulge it. So I walk away and distract myself until the feeling passes. This was very hard at first because giving in to my cravings was automatic. If I had a craving I ate it. I didn’t pause to think about it. Now I am giving my brain time to process what im eating.

Not much difference visually but I feel thinner in the 2nd picture

The hardest part now is getting myself to exercise. I do not like feeling uncomfortable. I don’t like moving my body. But my goal is not just to approach a healthy weight it’s to be fit. I want to be active so I can keep up with my husband and daughter. So tomorrow I have vowed to wake up early before work and lift weights. I have already incorporated walking into my routine but I need to build strength as well. I will check back in when I have accomplished that.

Weight Update and Doing the Emotional Work

Hello! Just a quick weight update. So far on weight watchers I have lost about 10 lbs. I am so excited for that. I love eating on purple plan. I love the food freedom. Overall I am just making better choices. I don’t feel so compelled to overeat or eat junk food. I’m thinking that the topamax is helping to reduce the urges to binge eat which is good. Even though it makes me feel like a bimbo. I frequently forget what I want to say. Hopefully it gets better.

In order to facilitate my weight loss I am doing 2 things; I am finally dealing with my developmental trauma and I am letting go of the emotional weight that holds me back.

I grew up with parents that worked a lot. My dad was in the Navy and was gone out to see for 6 months at a time. He would come back a stranger each time. When he got out of the Navy he became a firefighter and was on a one day on one day off schedule. My mom often worked opposite him. So I saw one parent on one day and the other parent on the other day. I rarely saw them together. Before that my mom only got 6 weeks with me on maternity leave before going back to work. I basically grew up with an more babysitters than I can remember. I never had a secure attachment to my parents and that led to never having secure attachments as an adult.

I downplay this as an adult. That this isn’t real trauma. My parents are still together. I live with them currently. I had everything I needed. I didn’t want financially. But emotionally there is a hole. There is a severe disconnect between my reality and my emotions. I live my life thinking I’m a fraud. I live my life without trust. I use food as my ultimate coping mechanism to cover the hurt. I have come to realize that I have always used food to stuff down those feelings of emotional neglect and make myself feel better.

But I want to change. I want to live my life confidently. I want to address the hurts and feelings of neglect of that little girl inside of me. She needs to be heard. I need to make peace with that. Without doing that I don’t think I will ever move on from emotional eating. I don’t think I will permanently lose the weight. I don’t think I will be a good role model for Alice if I can’t address this.

How Much My Daughter Appreciates My Elaborate Lunches…

I love my daughter, I really do. But at 11 months it is painfully obvious she does not appreciate the care I put into my cooking. Today I didn’t overcook the shrimp. Today I sautéed them in butter, lemon zest and fresh garlic.

My yummy purple plan 💜 lunch. 7 points.

The beans are a recipe of my Puerto Rican Grandma’s, straight from my childhood. I wanted to cook them so I didn’t forget the recipe. I wanted to cook them to pass down that little bit of food tradition since she’s not here anymore and she never got to meet my daughter. I have been irritable and on edge all day just ready to lash out at any provocation. I nearly did already when the cats and dog got under my feet.

But I had been holding back when it came to Alice. She was having a bad day too. She woke up cranky and was on and off crying all day. Maybe it was her diaper rash that was causing her so much discomfort. I’m not sure.

She was in a good mood when I set the plate with the cut up shrimp and ancient grains and beans in front of her. But quickly it just became a game to her. She upended the plate and began flicking the rice off her high chair.

Baby’s gotta do what a baby’s gotta do

I couldn’t get mad. I couldn’t get frustrated with her and I definitely couldn’t take my irritation out on her. So I just let her know that we don’t do that with our lunches and I took the plate away. I finished my lunch without losing my temper and I’m quite proud of that. All day I had been waiting to just lose it and it didn’t come. And you know what. It doesn’t have to. I choose how I react in a situation. I have that control. Amazing isn’t it.

The best thing is that she sees that I’m in control of my emotions and how I react. I’m modeling appropriate behavior for her. I never thought I would be a more mature parent than my own parents.

First Week On WW…A Success!!

Yo, yo, yo…what’s up? I have been on WW for a week now and I started at 285 lbs and I weighed in today at 278.4 for a total of 6.6 lbs lost. I do admit that right now I weigh myself every day on my renpho scale. I think that’s ok to do. My husband keeps telling me just look at the weekly average and my coach tells me to look at the lowest number for the week but I’mma do what I want. As long as I don’t get too depressed looking at the number or if I see a gain and say fuck it and binge eat I’ll keep weighing myself every day and make sure I log the number for sure for my weekly weigh ins on monday.

I wanted to share with you my starting pictures and basic starting stats:

Starting Weight: 285 lbs

Height: 5 ft 5inches

abdomen circumfernce: 55 inches

Bust: 51 inches

Hips: 58 inches

Clothing Size: 22 or 3X

I am not making a weight or clothing goal in x amount of days. I simply want to be below 200 lbs in time to safely get pregnant again. Even more than that I want to conquer the beast of emotional eating and live a fantastically joyous life with my husband and baby.