That’s the Power of (Self) Love

Queue this being stuck in your head:

If you’re following me on Instagram, you’re probably more-than-aware that my journey in 2018 has truly been focused on self-love, whether it was intentional or not.

I’d heard it since I was a teenager: you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. You have to be true to you before you can be true to anyone else.

But I never GOT it before now. 

In January 2017, I went through a breakup that I refused to accept. I beat my head off the metaphorical wall of life until we were back together, even though that meant I sacrificed majorly important parts of who I was because I thought I HAD to be with this man (and I’m accepting full responsibility for that). Our relationship had so many issues it could’ve been NatGeo, but that didn’t deter me. I was convinced and emotionally train-wrecked and like I said, I refused to accept that our relationship was over. Fast forward to less-than-a-year later, and we’d bought a house together two hours away from where we were living, changed jobs, gotten engaged, and were planning to be married less than 1.5 years since our tumultuous breakup. My desire to be with him overruled everything, and I found myself constantly and consistently miserable. We’d have arguments over absolutely nothing that would turn into screaming matches and two days of uncomfortable miscommunication and lots and lots of me crying. It was SO unhealthy. When it finally came to an actual end (less than two months before our wedding date) the pain of the relationship ending didn’t last long (there was a lot of other bullshit, but when isn’t there in these situations?). It was over before it restarted, and accepting that made it easier to transition out of our relationship.

With the help of some really amazing people, I made the decision to really focus on weight loss and on goal-setting – what am I doing with my life? What do I want to be doing with my life? How do I get there? What things are holding me back and how do I eliminate those things? As SOON as I started to figure this shit out, my life began to improve. I did things I’d always wanted to do but never did because… why? I didn’t have a good reason. I could blame 100 things, but at the end of the day I wasn’t living for me and that was my own responsibility. I went country line dancing and recorded music with the band, I started a band and sang my heart out to people I love and people I’d never met before. I took a selfie and thought, for the first time that I can remember – holy shit, I’m beautiful.

As I started to make decisions for only myself (and to write about all the things somewhat incessantly), I subsequently started to realize what I had spent the last 14 years of my life doing: hoping that if I was whatever someone else wanted me to be, they’d love me. We can talk for days about where this stems from (being abused as a child, being raised in a religion in which a woman’s value was her ability to take care of a husband and children, societal pressure to be everything to everyone, a lot of defense mechanisms because I was scared of basically everything) but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. I needed to figure out how to move past all of that, past all of the reasons (excuses) and into a better place for myself. After all, you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. You have to be true to you before you can be true to anyone else. 

My dedication to my health and weight loss has been awesome – losing almost 50 lbs has really had a positive impact on my mental faculties. But what I’ve changed the most this year is how I treat myself. When the voice creeps into my head to tell me I’m [insert self-deprecation here, I don’t even want to cite an example because I don’t have time for that shit] I just shut it down. I literally say to myself, usually in my head, but whatevs if it’s out loud, “stop” or “that’s enough of that”. When I get dressed in the morning, I don’t pick apart every little thing about how I look in my outfit. I just smile at myself in the mirror and move on with my day. I’m working on not being obsessed with tight-fitting clothes – it’s okay for me to wear something loose or baggy, it doesn’t somehow take away from my weight loss progress. Instead of the normal golden rule of “treat others the way you want to be treated” I’m following the “golden rule of owning who you are and loving yourself”: treat yourself the way you want others to treat you. Be nice to YOU, be good to YOU. Learning to love yourself isn’t easy. It’s hard work and constant analysis of your thoughts and actions. It’s taking an intricately woven cloth that’s had so much outside influence (and that’s 31 years old, in this case) and unweaving it, strand by strand, until you can take all of your fibers and weave them back together with your own love and your own patience. It’s also big, big lessons in forgiveness. Because you’re going to fuck it up. And have regrets, and then spend time learning how to not regret a second because you appreciate where you’re at and where you’re going. It’s deep breathing and not taking a moment of your life for granted, because even though sometimes it feels like it’s dragging on, it can end at a moment’s notice.

If you’re still reading (sorry, so many words) and you’re feeling at ALL like you need to learn to love yourself, please please PLEASE start today. Start right now. Write down five things you like about yourself and read it 10 times before the day is over. Then read it again tomorrow. Read it every day for a week, then make a new list. It’s a simple start but it’ll change your life. That’s the power of (self) love.

Good lord I hate my legs. 

Good lord I hate my legs.

I hate their translucence and I hate those damn dimples
Subcutaneous fat that’s worse than pimples
I hate the way they don’t fit together
And I hate that they’re hot from May to September

I hate that shorts come in several length styles
But none of them make my legs seem worthwhile
I hate that there is never a perfect-enough hem
But most of all, I hate that I hate them

They carry me everywhere my heart wants to go
Up mountains, down rivers, and to see the ice floe
They generally take 10,000 steps every day
So why do I continue to hate them this way?

It’s learned behavior and societal bullshit
Because of some cultural norms I won’t ever fit
Just like my uneven tits and the gap in my teeth
More ways I’m convinced that I’ll always be beneath

So I take them on walks and I take them on vacation
I try to believe that some day I’ll embrace them
I put them in a bikini and I try to ignore
All the people who stare when we go ‘down the shore

I ogle the photos I’ve posted while brave
And just keep believing I won’t always be a slave
To convention and believing that any of it matters
And just keep hoping that someday the “rules” shatter


Goddamn Sugar Free Pie

That goddamn sugar free pie

I just can’t seem to resist the buy

I know how delicious it is with some dairy

And ignore the knowledge that I should be wary

Just because it says sugar free

Doesn’t mean it’s not super-carby

And I need to cut it out of my life

Instead of continuing to cut it with a knife

-A poem by a very sad KetoDeb, who’s weight can’t deal with all those carbs.

Dat weigh-in, tho

So I know I mentioned on my Instagram that I weighed in on Monday and that I was not thrilled, but I didn’t really say why:

January 2nd, 2017. Weigh-in: 224.9

That’s two pounds higher than I was when I weighed in at this time last year. I did make a ton of progress last year, almost 40 pounds worth. Then in the last four months or so, I just let it go. Depression, pain, excuses… you name it. I wasn’t eating well and I wasn’t exercising, and I just let it go. So, here I am, starting again. And ya know what? That’s okay. I’m okay with it. I’m more okay with than I’ve ever been capable of being. And I truly hope that’s a good sign for me.

I asked L. to take some before pictures of me, so here those are:

Plus bonus cat, of course.

Size L Avia pants that my mom got me for Christmas (that I subsequently tore a hole in during a slide in volleyball) and my favorite t-shirt, from a mud race with my brother and his wife (men’s size medium). I could pick me apart for days, but instead I’m choosing to love me, and treat me the way I oughtta be treated, so I can accomplish my goals and bring myself joy. I got this–I fucking got this.

Whole30 Slow Cooker Chili!

Hi, friends!

One of my favorite things about Whole30 is that it really gets me cooking…I love to cook, but I usually make excuses about not having enough time to put in. On Whole30 you can’t just swing by Wawa and grab a hoagie bowl, so I’ve been spending a lot more time meal planning/prepping/executing.

There are only two of us, but we both work long-enough days that on Whole30, I prefer to make a week’s worth of lunches at a time. A few weeks ago I made a steak stew in the slow-cooker (brown the steak, throw in whatever veggies you want, add vegetable stock, cook 6-8 hours on low) and it was bangin’, but I really wanted some kick last week, so I made a chili!

I never ate chili growing up because I hated kidney beans with a fiery burning passion (minus the past tense… I still think they’re super-gross). Luckily for me, Whole30 is legume-less (and so is most of my keto intake) so chili is a perfect option. I’m also a big, big fan of using the slow-cooker all winter long, especially when I’m also spending my Sunday prepping a week’s worth of breakfast, two of the five dinners for the week, and trying to cram in as many episodes of Gilmore Girls that one Sunday will allow. Here’s what I came up with for our perfect Whole30 Slow Cooker Chili that serves two people five lunches each (in Rubbermaid LunchBox Sandwich Kit, Food Storage Container, Green (1806231), that I love!):


  • 2 1.75 lb packages of organic ground beef (here’s looking at you, Kirkland)
  • 2 cans of organic tomatoes and green chiles (our local grocery store has organic no-name-brand Ro*tel, basically)
  • 1 can of organic tomato sauce
  • 2 cans of organic diced tomatoes without added salt
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced (I hate raw celery, but it’s really good in this recipe!)
  • 4 medium zuchinni, diced (I halve them,  cut them into strips, then dice)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped and pressed for maximum flavor
  • 2-3 bell peppers of varying color, seeded and diced
  • Optional: 1 seeded, diced jalapeno pepper
  • Spices! I added a tablespoon-ish of the following: chili powder, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste, though I always end up adding salt and pepper after I heat it up for lunch, too


  1. Brown the ground beef in a sautee pan, drain the excess fat, and add it to your slow-cooker. Turn the slow cooker onto low.
  2. Add in literally everything else. In regard to the spices–use your best judgement. I’m not a fan of measuring in general, but especially with spices. I dump and stir, and periodically taste to make sure it’s as bangin’ as it can be.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring periodically. Wipe up the tears you cried when you diced the onion/watched Season 5 Episode 22 of Gilmore Girls.

That’s it! You made chili! Eat it every day! 🙂

**I made this before I went back to my long-lost-love LoseIt and started counting calories, so I don’t know about the caloric content. You can definitely add all of this to a Recipe, though, and divide by ten to get a good idea of calories/serving.

WholeLottaDays – Another Round of Whole30+

My brain needs a reset. My depression has been so, so bad…and what have I done to help myself? Eat crap, make excuses about it, and then deal with the rollercoaster of guilt. I know that how I treat my body plays a huge role in my mental health, so enough is enough. I work really well within the limits of Whole30, and Luke prefers a whole food diet, so we are going to WholeTheRestofTheYear (with exceptions for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and some product reviews I have committed to). We kept our Whole30 fairly Keto last time, so I’m planning meals to do that again. Today is grocery shopping day, and tomorrow is kick off. 

Here’s our current grocery list for today:

I don’t bother indicating “organic” “gluten free” or anything else of that nature, because I’m familiar enough with Whole30 rules (and if not, I just google away til I find an answer). And we already have 3 dozen eggs, or those would be on this list, too. 

We’ll be going to Costco first to get the things that provide a substantial cost savings, but then we’ll be heading to our local market (Frecon Farms) and local organic grocer (Kimberton Whole Foods) for the rest. 

Anyone else Whole30’ing right now/soon? I’d love the support and some new Pinterest boards to follow!

So, I Ran a Half Marathon Yesterday

And holy CRAP my legs hurt! Seriously, though. That’s a really long way to haul this body. I’m so proud of my feet, and my legs, and my core… They worked hard to haul this 210-ish (I’ve been on vacation for a week, eating ALL the things) pound person up 13.1 miles of hills (they said it was all downhill, but they lied). I tried to take a selfie during a super-slow mile, but I failed:

Well, technically I didn’t fail at the selfie part, just the “open your eyes and try not to grimace” part. 

So, here’s how it went down:

7:40: we arrive 15 minutes before race start, but there are 1,000 people here, so the lines for the bathroom are super, super long. I decide to pee inside, and eventually end up in line for the men’s restroom because, well, it has two extra bathroom stalls and I can just turn my back while the fellas use the urinals (even though it’s hard not to look when someone pees for like, 56 seconds! Dude, you’re definitely hydrated, my good lord). 

8:01: I’m finally out of the bathroom and the gun has already sounded and we actually have to run to get in line with our pacer…okay, we’re off! I’m feeling good… I peed away my pre-nerves, I’m listening to some Sia, and my bird is next to me. Hell yes, half-marathon is about to get crossed off the Live Your Life List.

8:45ish: The first three miles are done already? Also, why I don’t drink more Gatorade? That shit is delicious! Oh, sugar. Right. Okay, well. We’re practically down to single digits left already. Bangin’. 

IDFK, mile 6: Dude. Whyyyy am I doing this. I’m already in pain! And I have to keep pulling my shirt down, because running whilst having a, uh, big butt (like I was ever going to sensor that) means that unless you’re in a plain cotton tee, your shirt is going to ride up. This mile is super stupid and I hate it. In fact, I am starting to hate everything. UGH.

I(still)DFK, mile 10: okay, other than the incredible pain in my left foot, I’m totally killing this. Like, really. And bird is being so supportive, sticking with me the entire time even though he could finish so much faster if he left me, he doesn’t. Wait, why did my watch just vibrate? Omg, my race tracker just SHUT OFF. IN MORE THAN THE MIDDLE OF A HALF FUCKING MARATHON GODDAMNIT. Okay, breathe, Deb. We can do this. Just restart the thing and keep thinging. #sogrumpy

11:00, 3 hours in, Mile 12.25ish: so I’m in a lot of pain, but I’m about to be done. About to check it off. Cross the finish line, earn the medal, mmph. So uh, why can’t I see the finish line?! ERMAGHERD. 

11:12: omg, there it is! And they’re playing music! It’s… It’s.. Mambo Number 5?! What the bloody HELL, Ron?! Okay, just keep running. Oh, there are cheers and people with signs.. woohoo! Now I’m flying!

11:12:43.3: I crossed the finish line! Woop!!!! 

Commence chugging water, stretching, and taking a selfie with my bird:

And then we asked a nice stranger to take a nice photo, which still took a few tries because we were all somewhat delirious:

And for the first time since I got my phone, I have a new background photo that isn’t a nebula 😍 

11:20ish: we started the trek to the food (which was about a half mile away, wtf) when I realized I was limping (the aforementioned left foot) so we went to the medical tent. The back of my left shoe was filled with blood 😕 I peeled my sock off of my sore foot, and the fella managing the tent cleaned my heel, bandaged me up, and sent us on our way. 

11:45ish: we made it to the food. The wine was mediocre. The beer was alright. But I had the BEST peanut butter cookie EVER. It was so fantastic. Keep in mind that I’ve been eating junk food for a week, so it isn’t the lack of sugar. It was just a bangin’ cookie. Oh, and I got my picture taken with a donkey:

And yes, I’m still wearing my hydration belt, because it always collects a giant band of sweat, and it looks gross. We were sitting at a table shortly after this when we both hit a WALL of tired. I somehow managed to drive us home and took a nap. 

Today, I’m totally having trouble walking, haha. But we keep being like, oh hey, we ran a half marathon yesterday. It’s a really awesome feeling.


It’s May: The Best Month of the Year

Hi, friends!

May is my favorite month for a few reasons, primarily that everything is finally turning 1000’s of shades of green and that the 15th is my birthday (and this year the 15th is also the ChesCo Half and 5k!). I set monthly goals each month, but I think it’d do me good to make them public, so here goes:

Monthly Goals – May Edition

Blog More

I have a tendency to overbook myself–I write in my paper planner at the beginning of every week and it’s always jam-packed. Instead of hoping for a chance to blog, I’m going to treat blogging like any other appointment: schedule it, do it, feel good.

Keto On

In case you haven’t been keeping up with my Instagram, I’m freaking KILLIN’ it right meow. I was down 8.6 lbs in April, which is so unreal for me. Since restarting my weight loss journey post-car accident, I rarely lose more than 4 lbs in a month. I know it’s a combination of things, so I’m going to keep on keepin’ on with adjusted keto (50-ish carbs a day), working out (lifting + running + volleyball + disc golf), getting in my steps on my Fitbit Blaze, and counting calories on weekdays (with my friends at LoseIt). I’m finally back to having lost 100 lbs, and it just feel so good.


Work on my Scale Addiction

I’ve always had an issue weighing myself too much. In the last few years, I’ve gotten really good at weighing myself daily, but only “counting it” on weigh-in day, and even better at not losing my shit if the scale is way up (especially if I recently had a cheat meal or what have you). Since getting my Fitbit Aria scale, though, I’m struggling a bit. The scale logs your weight for you every single day, and that’s been making me struggle a bit with regular fluctuations. And by “struggle a bit”, I mean weighing myself like, 900 times in a row. Not healthy; must stop.

Run, Forrest, Run!

Yet another goal where I feel like I’m killin’ it is running. My first 5k of the year is on my birthday, May 15th. We joined the Slyfox Track Club, too, so that we could have access to some fun races at a discounted rate, all while supporting the local running community. It’s so nice having Bird (current nickname for boyfriend) to join me on all of these goals. He isn’t interested in weight loss (he doesn’t need to be, lol) but he’s on board anyways, and that support is so vital to my success. For this goal, I’d like to get three more races scheduled for the next three months.

In non-weight-loss-related-goals, I’m working on:

1. Reading more. I have 8983937058205 books that I have yet to read. I love reading, and I need to be better at making a time commitment to reading instead of Netflix.
2. Volunteering/Chartiable events. We’ve only volunteered once so far this year, and that’s silly. A lot of our volunteering events happen in summer, so it isn’t as though it’s unacceptable, but I’d like to make sure we don’t miss too many opportunities to affect change 🙂

That’s probably more than enough for one month 😉

What kind of goals are you working on this month? Let me know below, then let’s kick some butt together!

New Year, New Adventures! (AKA KetoDeb Does Whole30!)

Hi, friends!

If you follow me on Instagram, you’re probably already aware that today was our first day of Whole30. It’s been quite the adventure already, getting my brain to understand that Whole30 allows for consumption of carbs. Like, I had potatoes today. WEIRD. Moving forward, you can safely assume that everything I’ve listed for consumption is organic/grass-fed/local food.

I was disgusted with myself at my weigh-in this morning. I let the holidays (ya know, two weeks+) serve as an excuse to eat garbage for several additional days, resulting in an 11 lb weight gain (which, ya know, practically takes my progress for 2015 down by half! I know, I know, water weight yada yada). It was extremely frustrating for so many reasons, but mostly because I felt like a letdown to myself. Anyways, enough with the self-pity. I weighed in, took measurements and photos*, and got to work. Gym at 5AM and an entirely Whole30 compliant day, right down to drinking some Throat Coat as I get ready for bed.

Here’s what we ate today:

Pre-workout: cold-pressed coffee using this recipe (which is admittedly quite snobbish… skip the hubbub and go straight to the how-to-make-cold-pressed-coffee-in-a-french-press). It was AMAZING! So very good, so smooth, and I didn’t miss the dairy in it at all.

Post-workout: Sweet Potato Egg Cups. Holy moly these are good. Not very different from keto eggs cups that I make, just add sweet potato and you’re good to go. Normally post-workout we have a protein shake (GNC Wheybolic, frozen strawberries, almond milk) but practically none of it is compliant, so we had to find a substitute. These are very filling and taste amazing.

Breakfast: Bulletproof Coffee (Whole30  rules would rather you don’t drink your meals, but I’m never giving up BPC, it’s just too good to me) made with homemade ghee (I used Alton Brown’s recipe with Kerrygold Unsalted Butter) and coconut oil.

Lunch: Rosemary Dijon Chicken and Red Potatoes. I made this in the crockpot yesterday with enough servings for us to each it for lunch Monday-Friday this week. The chicken was wonderfully tender and the rosemary flavor stayed throughout (even though I used dried rosemary, not fresh). I also had a small Pink Lady apple and 9 blackberries.

I got home late from physical therapy, so we split a Lara Bar (pecan pie) while I made spinach and garlic burgers (mash all the raw things together, grill), sweet potato fries (with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder), and bacon aioli (I used this recipe and just skipped the sugar) to smother it all in. It was quite the process, but totally worth it:IMG_20160104_193523.jpg

Alright. I need to get some sleep so I can wake up tomorrow and happily repeat 🙂 If you’re interested in Whole30, feel free to follow along on our journey via my Instagram or this blog. I look forward to sharing with you!

*I’ll post my before photos/measurements either as a separate post, or wait until Whole30 is complete to post them (there is no weighing/measuring allowed during the program!).

Recipe Review: Low Carb Onion Rings

Edit: OMG YOU GUYS. I scheduled this and it never posted–so sorry I teased it on IG and never posted it! Forgive me, please?

Two recipe reviews in a week…. what am I, a cooking machine?!

Well, kinda. But no, no. I am just having mad cravings and I’m sitting here (having just eaten lunch, mind you) dying for onion rings! I figured I might as well put my cravings to good use and make sure you all have access to this SLAM-BANGIN’ recipe from I Breathe I’m Hungry for Low Carb Onion Rings. This is one of those recipes that I pinned a long long time ago, but I never actually made it until the lovely +Stephanie Hetrick sent me a message telling me how amazing they were that I put in the effort (and I repinned it to the top in case you’d like to pin it for yourself!).

I had a hard time corroborating the listings for this that were already in MFP, so this is the info from IBIH’s website: Serves 4; Approximate nutrition information per serving: 175 calories, 16g fat, 4g net carbs, 3g protein

This photo is also from IBIH… she’s amazing at all the things 🙂

Using coconut flour in this recipe is key–it soaks up the perfect amount of the egg mixture and creates a perfect consistency for frying. If you can manage not to annihilate these the second they come out of the oil, I highly recommend using them to dip in various low-carb dips and dressings and putting them on burgers. Good lord, low-carb onion rings on low-carb burgers. It’s a match made in low-carb heaven.

Have you made these before? Do you have any other favorite fried low-carb foods? Share in the comments below!