Tuesday, February 19, 2019

NaMoPaiMo update #2 and February vacation

I made a post very recently. Last Tuesday (a week ago) if I remember correctly. The fact that I am posting again might mean that I am crazy or we have entered a parallel universe. I guess either option is possible. Most likely though it is that I am happy, already had to be on the computer to print a class list for a show and I thought about doing it.

 This is Hugh Can Do It. He is a Hugh micro mini resin sculpted by Maggie Bennett and was painted by me for NaMoPaiMo. I have said to many people over the years that I am not a painter. I suck at painting. I have no desire to put in the work to try to be a good painter. Because that is what it takes to be good at anything, work. Practice. Lots of practice. I usually don't have the time, energy or motivation to work hard on painting. NaMoPaiMo gives me that energy and motivation every year. I WANT to paint "with" all those people. And I want to do as good of a job as I can. I had some time an motivation on Friday and Saturday and I finished up Hugh's shading and blending, fixed the blending that was not super and then I got his details done. 

 Is Hugh up to professional standards? Of course not. Is Hugh likely to win any prizes at a live show? Most likely not. Is Hugh an entirely respectable little horse and a really excellent palomino for a super beginner artist? Absolutely. Am I incredibly proud of him? Yes! I am very proud of him and I love looking at him. He is not perfect, not that perfection actually exists, but he is the best I have ever done and was a double challenge. One, he is super teeny tiny. I have painted a micro before but I worked harder on it this year. I have also never painted a palomino. If viewed at normal size, or even twice his size, he's fairly well done. Maybe I can talk myself into painting another horse before next February. 

 Other than this guy. I had the fancy rainbow Albicorn in my head and he needed to come out. I used the absolute cheapest craft paint ever on him and the yellow to green blending was just not happening. The rest of the blending went a bit better but cheap paint is not the best at... anything. Albicorn was also decorated with small flowers with Swarovski crystals at the center. So he's pretty fancy. I have no idea what I am going to do with him, but he wanted to get out of my head.

Part of my energy comes from my new way of eating and my weight loss. As of this morning I have lost a total of 47 pounds since the end of last March. I started with low carb eating around then and just tried to keep my overall day under 20 net carbs. Nothing fancy, just low carbs. I lost 37 pounds before school started up in September. But then I sort of stalled. For awhile. I would slowly...slowly...lose a bit more. Like ounces, not pounds. I can say though that I am one of a rare group of people that didn't gain weight over the holidays. This was our low carb traditional Thanksgiving feast.
 All of the foods were low carb versions of traditional Thanksgiving foods. Except the fried cabbage, that was just because we really love fried cabbage! But we had turkey and green bean casserole, mashed "potatoes" (cauliflower) and stuffing. I'm French so we have always made meat stuffing anyway. There was also pie for dessert with fresh whipped cream. A really excellent key lime pie and a French silk pie. Key lime is my favorite pie of all time so being able to eat that again was great. But I have to say, it is HARD to make. So many steps! Worth it, but I doubt that I will make it often. 

 Continuing on the low carb eating, for New Years we made a variety of pizza and calzones. How do you make pizza and calzones low carb? Fathead crust, mostly. Which is made out of almond flour, cheese and a few other things. We did try a chicken crust and it was good, but not awesome. I also did the math on it and I have to say, it was one of the most expensive pizza crusts ever. Not super for something that was just OK. Anyway, even my non-low carb daughter and her boyfriend we impressed with the low carb pizza night.
 6 weeks ago I entered a weight loss competition at school. It's a "friendly" (mostly friendly) competition that is supposed to motivate us to drop those holiday pounds. I did not gain any holiday pounds but I was stuck in a plateau for months. Maybe this was just what I needed to restart my losing. I asked Ethan to plan proper keto meals for me because I hate calculating macros which is why I never did it before. He got me started and then told me to do it. What??? I can't do this! But yes, it turns out I CAN do it. Ethan is amazing and he will push me in ways other people are not willing to. Yes, he absolutely did it for me at the beginning. But then he pushed me to do it myself but would check my daily menus for me. Now I am to the point where I can do it, I know I can do it, and it's not insanely hard to do it anymore. So I don't even need to ask for help. He pushes me to do better and it is wonderful. Now though I am in another challenge, with myself. I have never been able to do a real pushup. Ever. So I am working on it. Ethan is coming up with ideas to help me work up to it and so far I am doing slightly better, though I am not there yet. Maybe tomorrow. But I get a little bit better at it every day. Maybe soon I will stop falling on my face.
 So the competition at school was becoming frustrating. I was losing only 1/2 pound a week if I was lucky. I was eating only exactly what was on my daily menus, no extras, even measuring and weighing things (not everything, but a lot of things). I was working out every day and walking all over the school before school, during lunch and any time I had time to do it. And I was frustrated. Ethan said that my head was getting in my way (which I am sure he was right) and the stress I was putting on myself with the competition and wanting to win with likely what was holding me back. I can't drop out but I can change my thinking. So I tweaked my calories (dropped 50 per day) and I changed my mindset. I am going to go back to celebrating everything positive. I lost any weight at all? Great job! I dropped from an XL to a medium? That is super! I actually have energy to do things? That is the greatest thing ever!
I am also going to go back to having more fun with food. Keto is not a boring way to eat. I have heard so many of the people I am losing with complain about their food or always being hungry or missing things. I miss stuff too. And I was to the point of obsessing over things. I really want a cookie. Not even a real cookie, but one of the delicious low carb shortbread cookies I have in my freezer. I made them at Christmas-time and they are dipped in dark chocolate and have shaved white chocolate on them. And they are amazing and I love them. But I was being super pure on everything because I wanted to win. Now I want to be happy. Happiness is having fun with food. So I looked up several recipes for low carb egg noodles and I made "real" spaghetti  the other night. One of Travis's favorite foods is spaghetti. And we have only had zoodles in the past year. I am sure he missed spaghetti. Another wonderful thing is we are all doing low carb eating here. Ethan started it and he found some research that says that low carb eating might be helpful to the symptoms of autism. We didn't have miraculous results with Travis, but we had noticeable results. So we continue. It also makes it SO much easier since we all eat the same way. Anyway, the egg noodles were amazing, not exactly like traditional pasta but close enough to be really fun. Travis scarfed them up and asked for more. It makes me incredibly happy to be able to make spaghetti for him again. 
    I also have been on the hunt for a tortilla recipe that works. I have tried a couple that didn't work up at all and ended up in the trash. But I found one the other day which can be a flatbread, naan, tortilla or a couple of other things I have never heard of. If you roll it thin enough you have basically a tortilla. Different texture than a flour tortilla, but still good. I had a ham wrap with one yesterday and it was very good. 
    Ethan found a recipe for some pork rind tortillas so I figured I would try those out yesterday. I thinned them out a lot and they ended up looking and acting, just like a thin pancake. So I gave them to Travis like pancakes with butter. That guy doesn't even really like pancakes but he ate them and liked them a lot. Ethan tried some as thin breads for a breakfast sandwich. He said they were amazing, though he couldn't speak on their flavor on their own. But he said they were excellent as breakfast bread. I haven't tried them myself yet because they didn't fit into my macros yesterday. Today though, today I will try them. Maybe I will report back on what I think of them. I am going to try making them again today too I think. I won't thin them as much. Ethan was saying if they could be thicker, like English muffin thick, that would be nice. So I am aiming for that today. The basic idea though is I am having fun with food again. I am trying out new recipes and finding things that are easy to make and make eating fun again. THIS is why I think I can win the competition. I am not going to get bored with my eating. Not unless I let myself. 

     So in about 6 weeks I will turn 40. My goal is to lose that full 50 pounds by then. Since I only have 3 pounds to go I know I can do it. But I will start with that as my goal. Originally I was thinking I will skip any treats on my birthday because of this competition. But I have decided that is ridiculous and not fun at all. I am only going to turn 40 once and I want it to be fun. I will plan out whatever meal will be delicious and interesting and I will plan in a treat or two. I don't know if I want to make a cake, but maybe. I have a great recipe for chocolate caramel brownie cupcakes and I have only made them once. Maybe I will make those again. And I could have a cupcake and a bit of ice cream. The ice cream we eat is Enlightened and is made with erythritol, so we can eat it. It is so far one of the only ice creams I have found that is made without artificial sweeteners or sugar. Because there is a difference between alternative and artificial. I haven't totally figured out my birthday plan yet. but I have time. 
     Anyway, I know people usually come here to hear about dolls but I don't have much to say on those other than I have been really productive lately. I have a show coming up the beginning of March and I will try to post a show report then. I am going to continue to work on my weight loss and fitness and find ways to make eating fun. I doubt anyone came here for advice but I am going to give some anyway. If you are trying something and it is not working out the way you want, keep trying, don't give up. Whether it is painting a horse or trying a new way of eating or a fitness challenge or whatever. Give it your best effort and push yourself to keep going.

Recipes for some of the low carb foods pictured:
Key lime pie
coconut flour biscuits I have not tried these yet
almond flour biscuits
chocolate silk pie
Low carb egg noodles
Low carb flatbread/naan/tortillas
fathead pizza crust

1 comment:

timaru star ii said...

Oh this is so awesome. Thank you for sharing.