So it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? A quick update…
Recently I celebrated my seventh anniversary of eating a Zero-Carb diet, so I celebrated with a big slice of pie. (Kidding!!) But I was inspired to wipe the dust off of my little blog for an update.
It’s been more than a year since I last made an entry, something that led to numerous emails asking if I stopped writing because I had abandoned the diet or perhaps died of high cholesterol.
Neither, actually. (But thanks to those who were concerned!)
I’m still living my life without carbs, somehow free from scurvy, kidney disease, heart attacks, constipation, and other maladies that much of the general public assumes I suffer due to eating a meat-based diet. Fear not, carb-free friends, I’ve simply had a bad case of writer’s block.
Well that, and I’ve also been quite occupied. Since writing my last post, I found out I was pregnant, followed a zero-carb diet throughout the pregnancy, delivered a healthy baby girl, and have continued on with my life without carbs while teaching school and mothering three young children.
Life has been busy, but all is quite well.
Some folks have asked if I’ve lost all of the baby-weight, and no, I haven’t. I don’t know how much weight I’ve kept, though, because I stopped weighing myself about a year ago. Without stepping on the scales, I am guessing that I’ve kept about 20 pounds. But I’m not panicking.
Plateaus and weight gain aren’t new to me, as most of you know. But I’m confident if I continue to avoid carbs my body will find a perfectly suitable weight, and honestly, I’m fairly satisfied with my size right now. I’m a little curvier than before, but I’m okay with that for the moment.
I’m enjoying the freedom from worrying about daily “bounces in ounces” and from letting the scale determine my mood. Let’s face it–there are more interesting ways to ruin a day than finding out how heavy your body is at any given moment. Also, I’m currently breastfeeding a six month old baby, and I probably need a little extra weight in order to keep my hungry girl happy. (She’s a CHUNK, so my body is doing its job fabulously, by the way!)
(The picture above is a before/after–the after shot is from October 2016)
What am I eating these days?
About a year ago you read that I was eating burgers topped with bacon grease. I’m still eating burgers but have dropped the extra fat. For some reason, it just doesn’t sound appealing lately. My recent eating habits have included eating at around eight quarter-pound beef patties every day, and if I’m still hungry, I’ll have some eggs, bacon, roast beef, or whatever meat I have on hand.
If I ever start craving fat again, I’ll go back to adding it, but my body just doesn’t want extra fat at the moment. I think adding fat is a very meal-by-meal and person-by-person decision. If I desire more fat, I have it! If leaner meats appeal to me, then lean it is. I don’t calculate micros or try to force anything. As long as I’m just eating from the animal kingdom (mostly meat with some eggs and a little dairy), I know I’ll be fine.
Yes, I was zero-carb during my third pregnancy.
I’ve written about my first two pregnancies before, but wanted to share that my third pregnancy was a smooth one. I had some food aversions and nausea in my first trimester, but I just ate the meats that appealed to me and avoided the ones that made me gag. (Chicken wings. *barf* What was wrong with me?)
I mostly ate burgers covered in cheese, mayonnaise, bacon, and mustard. My favorite pregnancy meal was a bunless Monster Thickburger from Hardee’s, which is why you may have noticed an increase in their stock prices. (The Hardee’s drive-thru people recognized my minivan and knew my order by heart. At three locations.)
So I kinda eat at McDonald’s every day.
Life with three kids is super-busy, and since ThickBurgers are pricey, these days I mostly eat burger patties from McDonald’s.
Every day I order eight quarter pound beef patties, just the meat. That gives me two pounds of beef for $8.00 (prices vary from store to store; I live in North Carolina), meaning that I can get my patties for $4/pound. I can barely get raw meat in the grocery store for less than that! I also love hitting the drive-thru daily because my kids take naps in the minivan while I’m fixing my breakfast/lunch/dinner. Multitasking at its finest.
And I don’t really exercise.
I Mommy-cise. I crawl around on the floor with the baby, chase my older two kids, carry baskets of laundry, and walk the grocery store, but I don’t go to the gym or bother the poor elliptical machine downstairs. I even stopped wearing my Fitbit, in part because it wasn’t convinced that I was actually alive. I was only getting about 4,000 steps per day, anyway, without going out of my way to get any more exercise than I have to. After nursing a baby all night, every night, the gym has no appeal for me at all. I have plenty of energy to do what is needed, but not a lot of excess, nervous energy that I need to work off.
I should also point out that working as an elementary school teacher is sort of a workout on its own.
My take on exercise is like my take on eating. If I feel like moving, I MOVE. If I want a walk, I take one! If my body is requesting rest, I rest. I trust my body and follow its lead. And lately, my body has enjoyed low-key things like slow walks and floor-play. And my couch with a side of Family Feud and some bacon.
But I almost lost an organ this summer.
The only bad news I can think to report is that I had some gallbladder trouble when our youngest was a few months old. I started having abdominal pain along with severe nausea, so my doctor did some tests and determined that my gallbladder was low-functioning. I honestly panicked when my doctor mentioned surgery. I was so afraid that my high-fat diet would cause trouble if I had to have my gallbladder removed. I definitely had my name added to the church prayer list.
My doctor said that gallbladder issues are incredibly common for new moms and said that the more babies you have, the more likely you are to need it removed. Gee thanks, kids.
It was a truly miserable few weeks. I couldn’t stomach the idea of eating burgers or even steak, so I mostly drank broth and ate lean meats like chicken breast and deli meat. When my gallbladder first started acting up, we were on vacation at the beach, and I noticed I felt better when I only ate shrimp. I certainly didn’t want to live like that forever. This lioness cannot live on broth and shrimp alone.
Then, just before my appointment with the surgeon, I suddenly got better.
Just like that.
The nausea went away. The pain went away. I was able to eat anything I wanted without any symptoms. The surgeon is a Christian man and said that prayer works and that I should thank God. He also said that my zero carb diet was perfect for correcting gall-bladder troubles. (Which was ironic to me, because most people had assumed that my diet was why I was having trouble in the first place. Apparently not.)
Bottom line, I’ve had no trouble in about two months now and pray that I will continue feeling great. I’ve returned to my regular diet of burgers without any further issues.
I’m at a fabulously happy place right now. I feel very at peace about how I eat. In every way I can think of, life is good and I feel great.
Now, for the fun part: Send me your Zero-Carb Stories!
Over the past year, hundreds of you have taken the time to email me to ask questions or share stories or just talk. I haven’t been able to respond to all of your comments and questions, but please know those stories are truly inspiring, and I’m so proud of what you’re accomplishing in your life.
But it occurred to me that, while my own zero-carb life is plugging along without much news to share, your stories are remarkable and deserve an audience.
So share them with me!
Email your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org — tell me about your journey, about your struggles and successes. I’ll try to pick a few to post here.
In the meantime, friends, eat well! Eat meat! Enjoy the zero-carb life!