My boudoir journey: Eat & get moving

I’ve decided to do my 6th boudoir photoshoot, and using that as motivation (plus pain, tiredness, feeling old and not fitting into clothes) to get into better physical condition. I set goals to lose 5 inches off of my waist and 4 inches off of my hips so I’m in a US size 10/12, to reduce my bra size from a 40F to a 36D, and to reward myself with some kick-ass lingerie that doesn’t come in my current size.

#1 post in the series

#2 post in the series

Eating & getting moving to prep for my boudoir photoshoot

I’ve screwed up my metabolism from years of binge eating and purging with exercise … or just binge eating. That means I hit plateaus about every 5 pounds and I’m constantly HANGRY when I try to lose weight. You name it, I’ve tried it. Whole30, Paleo, South Beach, Mediterranean … Atkins. Ugh.

One of the clients who inspired me to eat better and get moving told me about the Ketogenic diet. It’s similar to Atkins in that it’s low carb, but there are several (cultish) versions out there.  The idea across all of them is that you count macros (grams of protein, fat and carbs) instead of calories. Your life revolves around meal planning and prepping. In my research, I found that this way of eating seemed to really work for people like me–high blood sugar, hypothyroidism, hormonal imbalances, female, older. I decided to give it a try.

Step 2: A dietary exploration of the Ketogenic Diet, take 1

Photo of a typical high protein keto breakfast

A typical high-protein keto diet: 3 eggs + 46g egg beaters with 1 tablespoon salsa and 2oz day-old guac, 1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese, and a big glass of keto-ade. I also had a cup of coffee, black. Also known as blech.

In the first Facebook group, called Ketogenic Dieters, the philosophy is to eat fewer than 20g of carbs daily with zero sugars, fewer than 100g of fat a day, and high protein. It’s also calorie restrictive. Your macros are set using a chart based on your height. (It essentially goes by your ideal lean body mass for your height). I followed this version of the diet strictly with zero cheating, meeting my macros (totaling 1344 calories) for 5 weeks. I lost 9 pounds in the first week, then 4 more over the next four weeks.

Progress toward Goal #1: My high waist measurement shrunk from 37 inches to 35 inches, and my belly button measurement from 39 to 37.5 inches. My hips shrunk from 46 inches to 45 inches. So far so good. I may fit into those luxury lingerie brands for my boudoir photoshoot after all!

Progress toward Goal #2: I’m down 2 inches on my band size and back into my DD bras (!!)

But then … I felt really dizzy. I was a complete bitch (no, really, even I couldn’t stand myself). I developed insomnia. Oh, the constipation. And then my hair started falling out. Thank god I have a lot of it.

Even worse, by the end of week 4, I found myself obsessing about counting all of the macros, pulling single curds of no-fat cottage cheese out of my bowl to get to EXACTLY 56 grams, taking 4 hours to do a meal plan that met my macros exactly. I think being HANGRY made me incredibly focused.

And then one morning when I “over-ate” by 5 grams of carbs, I got on my exercise bike and tore myself to shreds. Aka, that bulimia I had in my 20s and 30s started rearing it’s ugly head again.

Um, no. So much no. I was surprised that stuff still lived inside my brain. So I had a huge binge on sweets and felt SO MUCH BETTER.

Apparently my brain needs more than 1344 calories and 20 grams of carbs each day.

Step 2: Keto, take 2

Photo of a high-fat keto meal.

This was lunch yesterday: 138g of salmon that was panfried in coconut oil (which makes the skin so f-ing delicious), topped with 1 tablespoon of full-fat veggie cream cheese. Steamed broccoli with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. A “vanilla fat bomb shake.” I also had tea with 3 decadent tablespoons of heavy whipping cream.

I decided to look for the OTHER kind of Keto diets, which focuses on high fat, moderate protein and low carbs. I found another Facebook group (Common Sense Keto). I liked that the philosophy centers on eating enough calories to fuel your lean body mass when you’re at your goal weight. For me, that is 1978 calories. But I don’t like that it permanently restricts carbs to 20 grams a day, and protein to 50 grams a day. So mostly you’re eating fat. Which tastes kind of gross and makes me feel a bit ill.

I decided to make up my own version of this, raising the limit on protein (70 grams from 50) and carbs (40 grams from 20) than this group espouses. I also decided on Wednesdays to have double the healthy carbs, such as adding in a sweet potato, a small apple and/or half of a dark chocolate bar on that day. A female blogger who has similar medical issues as I do recommends this “carb re-feeding” to help women with hormone balance and stop plateaus.

And you know what? It’s working even better! I haven’t lost another pound yet, but when I checked in on February 5, I saw some progress. That’s one week in

Progress toward Goal #1: My high waist measurement shrunk from 35 inches to 34.5 inches, and my belly button measurement from 37 to 36.5 inches.  My hips also shrunk from 44.75 to 44.5 inches.

Progress toward Goal #2: I’m now on the tightest band clasp for all of my 38DD bras, so I could probably shop right now for a 36DD.

Also, my hair stopped falling out, I’m pooping again and I’m sleeping so much better. It’s tricky to get all of that fat in without racking up the protein. I do confess that having heavy whipping cream in my coffee and tea is fucking delicious. So delicious I have to say fucking.  We’ll see how this version sticks. Since I’m not concerned by the numbers on the scale, but rather the numbers on my measuring tape, I’m hopeful.

Let’s build some muscle and endurance, too

Woman post HIIT workout

Me, red-faced and still breathing heavy, post workout at Fit36 in Lowry. I have the windows rolled down, and it was 27 degrees out. And it was also only 745 am. This workout is so fun I actually get up early to do it.

The only thing I like to do exercise-wise is salsa dancing, Zumba or yoga. Unfortunately, the classes I’ve found are at inconvenient times, are far from my house and are expensive. I joined a cheap gym and didn’t wind up going because I got bored, and I had no accountability outside of me. (Hear all of the excuses?) Then I found Fit36.

Fit36 is a small gym franchise based around High Intensity Interval Training. Each class is 36 minutes long–2 circuits of 12 exercises. You do one exercise for a minute, then take a 30 second break as you move to the next station. It’s a group class with a “coach” who keeps you motivated. And I wear a heart rate monitor, which displays my stats on a central TV. There are 3 versions of the class: push, pull and pulse, so I can go multiple times a week and not be bored. The circuits change every two weeks, too.

Since I joined in December, I’ve made it at least once a week, and since January 8, I’ve done 2-3 times a week. Go Lynn. I’m already noticing a change in my endurance, and I can actually do REAL burpees (with a knee pushup … I’ll get there). Most of all, my left knee is getting stronger and hurts less. KT tape also helps.

I’m hoping that as I continue to lose fat, I’ll be able to see my muscles more in my boudoir photoshoot pictures. I tend to build fast, so I’m optimistic.

I already feel sexier

At the end of 2017, I didn’t feel sexy or connected to my body. I didn’t feel physically connected to my husband because for the first time in forever, I wondered if I was even attractive to him. (He insisted that I was … and that I am.) Yes, I’ve already seen some great results in finding a new way of eating and working out again.

But what I’m really noticing is feeling reconnected with my body. I feel like I’m living in it, instead of living in my head. And being present in that way not only makes life feel better, but it will make my April boudoir photoshoot that much sexier.

Lynn Clark looking frumpy vs looking sexy

Photo on the left: Me in March 2017, frumping around because I was so disconnected. I don’t want to feel this way ever again. Photo on the right: Me at my goal weight/size in my first boudoir shoot, August 2009. I want to feel this way every day.

What do I want to know now?

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