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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jennifer's Before and After Pics

10 years ago .............................................. Now
The LHS photo was taken in 2002, at age 45. The RHS photo was taken today, 11th October, 2011 - I'll be turning 55 soon. 1,000's of recipes later, I guess I've earned the right to say: "the proof of the diet pudding is in the eating?" (as long as it's Low-Carbing, that is)  By the way I've had no cosmetic procedures done either; not saying I won't ever but up until now, I have not.  Eating all that fat on a low-carb diet plumps up the skin and makes one look younger.

For the curious, you can find all my "before/during/after" photos here:  http://low-carb.us/BeforeAfter.shtml

I know I have not posted a new photo of myself on my blog for several years.  Some of you might be wondering why.   I have photos of me but usually they are with other people in the photo.  I have not actually posed for any photos in a long while.  Ian took so very many photos of me through the years but I sort of lost interest when the newer photos would always disappear into his computer.  I preferred the days when we got photos developed the old fashioned way. :)

The first pic is a photo taken at a restaurant in Banff, Alberta just before we left Bearspaw, Calgary to go and live in Burlington, Ontario.  I had just finished my 2 Splendid Desserts cookbooks - plenty of white flour in those books - all low-fat desserts according to the traditional diabetic diet.  Hmm, I looked pretty chubby and also at that point I had an undiagnosed thyroid condition.  I was also depressed as I was literally leaving the province and my beautiful new dream home to get away from my parents who were putting undue pressure on me and our family.  I had just been disowned by my mother.  :(   Long story and Jonathan, our son, has written part of our story in 2 novels.   Ironically, that stint in Ontario only lasted 2 years and Ian was laid off from Petro Canada. He was one of the very last people to be laid off and he was asked if he would choose that and choose a handsome severance package and he took that happily.  He actually wanted to retire early and be there for the boys whom we were homeschooling.

We then moved to our beautiful, but inexpensive (in those days) custom-built Chalet Rose in the Okanagan Valley overlooking Lake Okanagan and the mountains - very pretty there but scary in the summer due to frequent forest fires in the surrounding areas.  We lived through the terrible Kelowna fire when hundreds of people lost their beautiful homes.  Unreal time and the sky was filled with smoke, blotting out the sun.  That summer I had suitcases packed to flee at any moment.  Ian bought a little trailer and filled it with stuff too. The second pic is a photo of us standing in our living room of Chalet rose with the snow on the deck outside.  Our late dog, Happy, loved the snow and he would bounce/swim out there and he would jump high in the air to try and catch snowballs.  How I miss him!  I still wonder if it is the right thing to do to euthanize a pet that is suffering.  My husband was so scarred by the whole thing and does not want to ever go through something like that again.  However, Happy was suffering and the vet said he was days away from dying an awful death of suffocating.  :(   What does one do?  What is ethical?  I cannot say.  I am so confused.  I still cry over Happy to this day and I dread the day that our adopted doggie, Smiley, must leave us.

Where I am sitting with the boys holding up my new book (at the time), More Splendid Low-Carbing, I was actually quite ill with Hashi's and had just been diagnosed.  This was just before our trip to visit Ian's parents in South Africa.  I went on suppressive doses of thyroid meds for several years and then many, many years later went on doxycycline to suppress possible mycoplasma infection in the thyroid and that is what helped me reduce my meds to a titch (30 mcg natural thyroid hormone) every morning.  My TSH is a 4 which says I am hopelessly hypothyroid, but whenever I add more thyroid hormone, I get hyper and horribly hot - so I go by feel and not by my TSH.

The last pic - a photo Ian took of me today, Oct. 11, 2011.  Remember I just finished another (my 8th) cookbook. I want to lose 5 to 7 lbs and then I'll be satisfied; not anywhere close to the weight of my twenties but I'm not in my twenties anymore - the reality is that I'm almost 55!   

18 comments:

Vanessa@Healthy Living How Ti said...

:-) you look great!

Jennifer said...

Thank you, Vanessa. So do you by the way.

Ann said...

You look FABULOUS! Congratulations on your new cookbook!

RVcook said...

Love your new photo Jen and your story is inspiring. I agree with Vanessa...you look great!

Jennifer said...

Thanks, sweet Ann.

Jennifer said...

Donna, I hope my story is inspiring to follow a low-carb diet. Thank you for pointing that out.

It's not like, you know, a story where I was extremely overweight (although for me, I was very heavy) and lost all the weight. Those stories to me are incredibly inspiring, however, this is a different sort of success story and I'm glad that you think it is inspiring. As always your input is so thoughtful. Thanks for your kind words.

Kate from Scratch said...

You look fantastic!

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Kate. :) I am so happy you got the house! Yay! I'm doing the happy dance for you.

Ginny said...

Love your story Jen, and thanks for sharing the pictures! You look fabulous! Definitely an inspiration to many.

The 50's came and are going so fast for me. I just turned 57! EEKS! That's so close to 60!

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Ginny (you look fabulous as well) - oh well, that's me in 2 years' time too. Gosh, where on earth have the years flown? I agree the 50's are racing by far quicker than my 40's. Eeks is right! LOL I don't feel all that different (just some days I feel my age) and even although I have aged some (which is completely normal, of course), I'm still "me."

rede4nw said...

Hey, Jen! What an awesome commentary, not only on your journey but also on the benefits of your life choices! It is great to have a current photo---and your stories give us a glimpse of the beautiful woman on the inside as well!
Insofar as turning 55, I always say age is just a number--it is what we have done with those years and yet will do, whom we influence in a positive way--all of which you could not have done without your life experience--so Well Done!! and keep up your fine work--we value your contributions to our lives so much!

Nancy said...

Oh my goodness, first let me say thank you for even posting and sharing so much of your life, of where you live, and pictures of you. You look stunning! Thank you for continuing to share your recipes. I keep going back to all of your cookbooks. What an interesting life you are having and a great looking family! Funny but on this LC way of eating, (I am 7/10th of a pound from goal) people say I am so much thinner than when I lost from WW's. I was never able to even get down this low and this is without having to go to meetings. All with the support and recipes of various blogs (yours!) and forums. LOVING IT and thanks again.

Patrick @ Appetite for Good said...

GREAT JOB!!!!!!!!!!

Jennifer said...

Rede4nw - that's a good way to look at things. I liked your comment as you obviously have a deep understanding of these things. Most times we are who we are because of our particular life script. It's so true and it's also true that our choices in life make a huge difference to the outcome.

Thank you for your thoughtful comment and kind words.

Jennifer said...

7/10th of a pound, Nancy - wow! That's amazing!! - you are probably at goal this morning or will be tomorrow or the next day. Congratulations! What an achievement! I am very excited for you. I love it when my recipes and my work help people achieve their weight goals and health goals; just an awesome feeling I get when I hear things like that. It keeps me going and gives my work significance.

I think on a low-carb diet one often achieves a leaner look because we eat enough protein and fat to spare the muscle as we're losing weight. :)

My sons are body builders and they like the lower carb lifestyle in body building. They go through strict phases and not-so-strict phases, but at least they now understand why their mother made the switch years ago. It was not embraced by them at the time and I cannot say they were overjoyed. I'm not saying low-fat diets don't work for many people; indeed they do - just didn't work for me as I gravitated towards too many refined carbohydrates.

Jennifer said...

Thank you, Patrick.

Ali said...

10yrs and you haven't changed a bit. You look great, such an inspiring post :)

Jennifer said...

Thank you, Ali. :)