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The Perfect Explanation

Posted by Amanda Reed on April 30, 2015 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Are you depressed, sick, tired, overweight, type 2 diabetic?? Do you have high triglycerides or blood pressure? Do you have a family history of cancer or alzheimers? If you say yes to ANY Of those things... you need to watch this video. Click the image to follow the link!

But.. what do I eat?

Posted by Amanda Reed on April 21, 2015 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

This morning I found a food list jpeg that had been passed around my low carb group on facebook. I downloaded it. I retyped it. And I edited the crap out of it. There were foods on the list that I knew were bad ideas. And there foods left off of the list that just make life easier for people like me who have to eat where we live, know what I mean?  Here's the revised list. I realize I still may have missed a few things. But I thought this was a good start! I hope this helps!

Mind Control

Posted by Amanda Reed on March 3, 2015 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

I've seen it from time to time in my facebook groups. I heard it regularly while I was doing Weight Watchers. And I have experienced it more times than I can count.  "I just can't get my head back in the game."  "My give a care is broken."   "My get up and go got up and left." "I know how to do this, but for some reason I just can't recommit!" 

Mind control. You've fallen victim to a timeless trap, a black hole in the space between your ears. It is no respector of persons, thin or thick, old or young, healthy or sick. It is the fear of every dieter who has ever lived and the great nemesis that continues to taunt the maintainence end of the journey. Your own worst enemy is YOU.

How can we hope to succeed in this battle to take back our health when our own thoughts continue to side swipe us? Some do great for a few days and then hit the weekend and think thoughts like, "I've earned this". Others start the morning renewed and confident only to be blasted out of the water left and right by donuts at work and free pizza at lunch.... a dinner out with a loved one to celebrate a birthday and "why shouldn't I have my cake and eat it, too? After all so-and-so only has a birthday once a year."

The next thing you know, you've slipped into this abyss. You cry out for help and hold out your hand, hoping that someone will reel you back in, but it doesn't work. It isn't their hand you need... it's your own.

Today I hit 80 lbs lost. I've been faithfully on this journey without relapse for about 8 1/2 months. How have I done this without falling off the wagon? I'm going to try to explain here.

I went deep... to the painful places.... to the forgotten hurts and sorrows... to the parts of my life that I never wanted to face. I found the WHY. You see, for many people gaining weight has as much to do with the battlefield of the mind as it does with food.  For me, eating things that hurt me was how I punished myself, because down deep inside I was convinced that I was bad and unloveable and a terrible person. I got to the why of that as well, and began to purge myself from it.  (A lot of prayer and crying and forgiving others and accepting God's forgiveness was involved in this!)  This is the first step. Free yourself from the core reason for why you got here in the first place. (This can be a lengthy and painful process. Find someone you trust that you can confide in if necessary, or journal about it if that will help. Just do it!)

From there, the next step is changing how you talk to yourself. By nature, I have always been pessimistic, but after I got that mental and emotional healing, I embraced optimism and positivity.  I began to think myself happy, so should you! It's time to start carving some new brain pathways!  Everytime you have a negative thought, you  need to combat it with something positive. Everytime you start to feel bad about something, count your blessings.  You've been telling yourself, "I can't do this!". It's time to say that you can.

What you eat can also help battle hopelessness. Did you know that there is actually a protein in wheat that causes depression and mania? Dr Davis of Wheat Belly talks about this.  It's the same protein that makes you crave wheat and gets you addicted to it. They put wheat in many things purely so that you'll eat more of it. Have you ever eaten just one Twizzler? That's right... wheat (plus sugar, a winning combination).  I urge you to ditch wheat completely if you want to feel better. Of course, the next step is to eat extremely high (healthy) fat and very low carb. Because fat is necessary to carry the happy hormones around your body, decreasing fat in the SAD (standard American diet) has led to insane numbers of people, including children, being put on antidepression medications. Simply increasing your fat intake is going to boost your mood.

When you fell off the wagon, I'll bet it wasn't to eat more eggs and sausage... it was likely for some sort of naughty baked good and there was wheat flour in it. It's like quitting drugs and getting clean and then thinking you could go back and have one more for old times' sake. Suddenly you're more addicted than you ever were before. How I wish I'd understood that years ago!!  My philosophy here is to never deprive yourself, instead make swaps.  Eat indulgently. Whipped heavy cream with some stevia or splenda or Swerve and some cocoa powder is a completely safe dessert, with lots of scrumptious fat, that will remind you why ditching wheat and sugar is totally worth it. Have that extra bacon... dip it in a melted Lily's chocolate bar if you want!!  Feed yourself so much healthful delicious fat that you feel satisfied and the cravings are kept at bay.

When you get to those places where there's donuts and pizza and cake, be prepared. Don't be sideswiped without backup!  There are hundreds of alternatives that are just as good, if not better, than their wheaty cousins. Maybe some keto donuts in your cooler will be just the ticket. Have some nuts or a string cheese in your bag. But even more than that, have positive thoughts in your arsenal.

Instead of "I can't have that":

  • I don't want that.
  • I don't need that.
  • I deserve better than that.
  • That will make me feel terrible. When I get home, I'll make myself an OMM and it'll be way tastier than that carbage!

Instead of "That looks good":

  • That would look terrible on my hips.
  • What I'm having for lunch looks better. (And make sure it does.. you eat with your eyes first.)

What do you need to replace in your internal diaglogue?

Arm yourself!! In this battle of the bulge, the bulge is in your brain. :lol:
Never go into a battle of whits unprepared. Always have a snappy comeback! Don't be your own worst enemy anymore.
And remember, this is the rest of your life so mistakes are bound to happen. They don't have to be the end of the world, but that decision is up to you.

I did what?

Posted by Amanda Reed on February 18, 2015 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (1)

Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by! :) I just wanted to take a moment to let you in on something really cool. When I started my journey at 320 lbs, I was wearing a size 5X.  Recently, I ordered a T-shirt from one of my favorite low carb guys, Butter Bob Briggs. (Have you watched his video Butter Makes Your Pants Fall Off? I linked in my "How" blog. Go watch!)  I ordered the Tee in a size L. Why would I do that? Well, because I'm now between a 1X and a 2X and I figured I'd aim to get into that size L by the time the warm weather comes back to Northern Michigan. But guess what I did when it came? I decided to try it on. Crazy!!!! And the wildest thing happened.

It. Went. On.

No joke, folks. My kids and hubby all said it looked good, too! What the what? :lol:  I totally got into a size large shirt. For real and for true. It was a bit snug for my taste, so I did put it away to try on again in 10 lbs or so. But I'm extremely happy to say that my body has changed so much in the last 7 or 8 months that I went from a 5XL dress to a snug Large shirt (and an 18 on bottom down from a 32)!!  Crazy. Mind = blown! I'll post pics as soon as it fits a little more loosly. I promise!

Here's a pic!!! 

We won!!

Posted by Amanda Reed on January 24, 2015 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

My friends, I have to apologize for not updating our weight loss chart in so long. We have been hanging a calendar in our bathroom which we mark our weights on every Tuesday when we weigh in. I often forget to grab the calendar when I sit down at my computer. Then my blog hosting site changed some things up and making my grid became more difficult. So I'm not going to update every single weigh in from the last time to this time, but I'll update our most recent weigh ins. :)

I have been losing weight pretty steadily every single week with less than a handful of times when I was up a little bit or stayed the same. I'm down 73 lbs now!! DH hit his goal long ago but continues to weigh in as he adjusts his carb intake to find his perfect level for maintanence. Blondie is still working on her weight as well. She had a small gain over Christmas, likely from indulging in too many nuts. We stayed true to Keto all the way through the holidays with no trouble at all.

At the end of December, we entered a contest on called Healthy Transformation and we won first place! Our family has now lost around 190 lbs together and reversed some pretty serious medical issues. We feel fantastic! If you want to know more about that, I did an entire blog on exactly how we got started

I want to thank everyone who helped us win! I will post pictures of my prizes once they arrive, but my most exciting prize is a Kitchenaid stand mixer!!! I've wanted one for years and it should be here next week. Very exciting! And it will definitely help us out as we continue eating keto style.

Hey, let me know if there is something specific you'd like me to blog about, ok? I often forget to blog if there isn't something major going on in our lives.  BTW, you can follow me on facebook  I try to make any posts concerning our WOE public, so my followers can see them, too. :)

Thanks so much for following along with us and drop me a message or a comment to let me know you're there!

We're in a contest!

Posted by Amanda Reed on January 1, 2015 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Hello my friends! We've entered our family in a healthy transformation contest over at

Here is the link to go vote!

We have lost over 170 lbs and have inspired several of you to join us in this WOE. If you would lend us your vote, we'd greatly appreciate it. The others are all deserving candidates as well, I'll admit it! :) But I can't help thinking about the wonderful protein breads I can make with that kitchen aide mixer! Will you vote and share? We are number 5, Amanda Family!

How? What are you eating/doing? Details!! Specifications!

Posted by Amanda Reed on December 19, 2014 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (1)

Of late, I've been getting private messages on FB about every other day, sometimes more than one, from people --friends, family, and even strangers-- asking me how my family is losing the weight. I'm thrilled that people are asking because I'm in love with this WOE (way of eating) and I want to share! So I'm going to put down here all kinds of deets (details) so that I can just paste one link when people ask. :) I do not mind answering questions one tiny iota!

So first off, the way we are eating is called Keto or LCHF, which stands for Low Carb, High Fat. It sounds so counterintuitive to eat high fat to lose weight and be healthy, but it works!! Our body needs the fat! When the low fat movement hit, heart disease and rampant obesity sky rocketed. The fast food industry got blamed. But it's just not the case.

First thing I did was to watch Fathead, The Movie. I watched it on Amazon Prime for free. But if you don't have Amazon Prime, you can also watch it for free here on youtube. It's well over an hour long, about an hour and 45 minutes. But luckily, it's funny. And it puts things into layman's terms. I literally have watched it 3 times. That's how I got comfortable with the idea of high fat.

Next, I watched this presentation by Dr William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, also free to watch on youtube. Life altering. It explains so well why trying to eat low carb and eating "low carb" breads and tortillas just doesn't work. I never stopped having cravings in my entire life until I cut wheat completely. It used to be a healthy grain, but it's been botched. I urge you watch it.

So then I went to the Atkins website and joined, again for free, and checked out the food lists for "induction" or start up, and "OWL" or ongoing weight loss. They are also known as phase 1 and phase 2.  I decided to skip induction completely because I didn't feel like I could stick to such a restrictive plan. It didn't stop me one bit from getting into the state of ketosis, where your body burns fat for energy instead of sugar. 

Everything in a nutshell:

I eat foods that are on the atkins induction list and the ongoing weight loss list (phase 1 and 2 on their website). I cut out all grains, no "low carb" tortillas or breads. I eat very little convenience food. I eat as much fat as I can. Butter, coconut oil, olive oil, mayonnaise, bacon and bacon fat, fatty cuts of meat, eggs, heavy cream, the skin on the chicken, creamy dressings like ranch and ceasar (as long as they don't have a lot of sugar, usually just a couple of carbs per serving).

Once I was in ketosis, my body started telling me again when I was hungry and full. I didn't have that at all before while I was eating carbs.

A typical day for me is: a large cup of coffee with a few tablespoons of heavy cream and some splenda for breakfast; midmorning I'll have a couple of eggs cooked in butter with some breakfast meat of some kind. Then I'm usually good until around 2. I'll have some cheese and lunch meat around then, maybe some veggies and ranch. Dinner is some sort of low carb recipe off the internet ( has a lot of very simple ones) with a salad. Later that evening, we normally make some sort of dessert. One of our favorites is to whipped heavy cream with some cocoa powder and sweetener to make a mousse.

I make sure to drink a ton of water, and the more I drink it the more I want it. We do eat some sugar free candies like Atkins candy and Russel Stovers, but they can cause some gas (or worse) so you have to be careful how many you eat. We limit the diet soda because aspartame is a jerk and makes us feel like crap.

If you need some help with menus, has menus for several weeks including a kickstart menu.

Watch this, too, he's so plain and simple to understand.  It's only 29 minutes long and Bob has a great accent, so he's fun to listen to.

My favorite blogs to get recipes:

Pinterest is fantastic, too. There are tons of LCHF bloggers with recipes coming out their ears!

Here is a list of the "weird" ingredients I keep stocked in my house.
Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour (I order 5 lb bags from Amazon)
Swerve Sweetener in both granular and powdered (it's a natural sweetener that is healthy; available at Meijer, some health stores and online)
Stevia Glycerite (I use Now brand)
Psyllium Husks (whole and powdered; This is just fiber, and is found in metamucil.)
Whey Protein Powder (I use Bob's Red Mill brand; online or at Oleson's so far)
Golden Flax Meal (Don't use regular.. it's gross. Just use golden. I get it at Meijer. It's cheap)
Coconut flour (Bob's Red Mill is decent; online or most stores)
Flaked unsweetened coconut (I get it at Tom's)
Xanthan Gum (Hodgson's Mill brand sells small red packets by the gluten free food at Walmart, it's a thickener that is non-starchy)

Other than that stock up on:
Heavy Whipping Cream
Coconut oil
Cream Cheese
Full fat cheese of any variety you like
Mozzerella (The part skim stuff is fine, you'll be amazed how you use this. Like here...)
Skin on chicken
Almond Breeze, original, unsweetened almond milk (it has 1 carb, and 1 fiber, per serving. This makes it 0 net carbs)
Pork Rinds, even if you don't like them, they come in very handy for recipes


Weight loss is like peeling an onion

Posted by Amanda Reed on December 7, 2014 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (3)

Something I've found about doing a journey like this is that, for those of us who have always had a weight problem, we tend to bury past hurts and emotions in our fat layers. It may sound a little nutty, but I really think it's true. There were times as the weight was coming off when I was doing WW that I'd hit plateaus where memories and emotions from my past would come flooding back. Self-sabotage wasn't far behind. When I finally hit a place where I really needed to dive in and face things I never wanted to face, I fell completely off the wagon. Of course, there were other factors as well, definite problems with the WW program.... But a big part of any journey is healing, and I was in desperate need of some. I lost hope and faith and started finding the weight.

Some people, like my husband, and my daughter, just need a program that works for them. They get on that program and the weight comes off, and it's no big deal to stick to it. But if you are like I was, and you need more than a good program, you feel like a light breeze could knock you off course, it's time to start digging. Something has happened to you, or you've done something, or someone's done something to you. There was a turning point in your life where eating stopped being about hunger and became something else.  For one person I've spoken to, it was about control. It was the only thing they had control over when something in their childhood was spiraling out of control. For me, it was a punishment. I ate until it hurt, because I felt like I was undeserving of feeling well, due to abuse I endured before the age of 5.

So how do we deal with these things? Head on... and frankly, with God's help. I don't know how others do it without Him. if you need help that doesn't involve the Lord, you're on the wrong blog site. I threw myself at His feet, and through much tears and wailing, I found forgiveness. Forgiveness for others and forgiveness for myself. I learned a very important lesson from a wonderful, Godly lady. She said that there is nothing in the Bible that says we need to forgive ourselves, and that when we can't forgive ourselves, it's a form of doubting God's authority to grant forgiveness! Wow.. what an awakening.  So in accepting God's forgiveness and love, truly, and being able to honestly say that I don't want my abusers to have my abuses held to their charge, I found freedom. (And happiness, and healing, and amazing joy.... patience, and love, too.) 

If you are in a place in your weight loss journey or in any sort of journey of self-discovery, and you keep getting tripped up at the smallest of events, it's time for some reflection and meditation. There's likely some pain inside of you that you have never fully released. The fat layers are possibly protecting your heart, or a shield around you, defenses of some kind that you are afraid of letting down.  There may well be a reason they are there, and you need to find that reason, and heal.

We're doing fantastic!

Posted by Amanda Reed on November 10, 2014 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Hello my friends and family and anyone else who has stopped by, hereby making you my friend automatically! lol :D

I wanted to do an update because it's been months since I posted. We have NOT fallen off the wagon. I've just had a lot on my mind. See my best friend, whom is also my little sister, had a baby!! So for a couple of months, I was planning and crafting for a baby shower and then as she got close to the end, and so uncomfy, I spent a lot of time with her. Then baby came into the world! She's gorgeous and perfect and we are so happy.

But I just happened to remember that I have a blog that I have NOT been keeping up with. I haven't been posting our weigh ins, even though we've been having amazing results. So I need to get back to this, so you all don't worry about it.

The fact is, my husband is almost to his goal already. I'm down around 55 lbs.  Blondie is down close to 30 and doing so much better in school. She's sleeping better, she no longer exhibits any signs of adhd, and is able to concentrate in school. Her grades are up. She's experiencing a drastic reduction in sleep apnea, and we think it will resolve itself completely the closer she gets to a healthy weight. My DH is actually sleeping without his cpap now. So goodbye apnea!

I have a very long way to go yet, but I've made such FAST progress that I can't complain. I know that my goal will be here so much faster than it would have if I was still using a low fat approach. It took me a year to lose on WW what it's only taken me 5 months to lose eating low carb, high fat. I'm hoping to get back to where I was before the weight started coming back by the new year. I just need to get below 242 to break through to an all time new low adult weight.

By the way, DH had a physical recently, with blood work! He had repaired his high blood pressure AND his cholesterol (which is doctor called "perfect") and his doctor was thrilled. :) So he only has another 5-8 lbs to lose. Now he's begun working on toning. We haven't exercised at all ... AT ALL. But we are about to add it back in. We've been meaning to get back to the gym. :P

Anyway, that's the update at the moment. I'm planning a decarbified Thanksgiving feast and we simply cannot wait. We've made it through 3 birthdays (another one next week) and Halloween with no troubles sticking to this WOE. We are so happy!

Summer Holidays

Posted by Amanda Reed on August 20, 2014 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Dh was on vacation this past week and it was so wonderful to have him home. We celebrated his 38th birthday with an amazing LC cheesecake (recipe link on my recipe page) and a going to see Guardians of the Galaxy, just the two of us. It was a wonderful date. We had a great time. We also celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary! 15 years! That's huge...  so a note to all of you who are around the 5-8 year mark who are struggling and feeling like it's not worth it, buck up, work hard, make the decision together that this is worth it, and you'll be so glad you did.

For our anniversary dinner, I marinated porterhouse steaks for 24 hours and then grilled them to perfection. I also mashed turnips with garlic and cream cheese, they were fantastic, and we had salad with homemade ranch. We sent the kids off with my sister for a few hours and lit some candles. It was really wonderful.

While he was off work, he suggested we take the kids miniature golfing. That was so fantastic. What a great time we had. It took us a full 2 hours to make it through 18 holes! And our scores were pretty atrocious, but it was so much fun. After, we went to Wendys and then grocery shopping. i was on my feet for hours! And it was so worth the aches the next day.

Through all of these events, we stayed on our low carb, high fat WOE (way of eating). That makes 2 birthdays, an anniversary and a mini vacation that we have nad no trouble staying on plan through. If we can do it, so can you. 8)