Week 3 & 4


Weeks 3 and 4 are in the books! My giving up has been going quite successfully, framing my mindset this way has worked out well for me so far. I truly believe we each have a different way of processing goals that will work most successfully for us and once you can trigger it, it is empowering.

The Bible verse I added, I read during one of my mornings where I have given up social media for an unplanned quiet time in the morning. It really spoke to me and it’s been my go to thought when I need to “reset” throughout my day. I have been “hoping for what I don’t have yet”….and it’s still 48 weeks out. In truth I don’t have any specifics about what the end result will be.

I’m giving up debt-but even though I have a ball park number, I have no idea what the final result will be, so I am “patient as I wait for it”.

I’m giving up my mornings from quick social media checks to have some quiet time with my Father, but I’m never sure how that time will go so I am “patient as I wait for it”.

I am giving up sugars and carbohydrates, except for an average of 25 net grams of carbs a day (this places my body into a “fat burning” mode instead of the standard “glucose/carb burning” mode). I have no “goal amount” of weight to lose. I don’t have a specific body fat number in mind. I’m just working out in the mornings after my quiet time, to whatever I (or my 14 month old daughter, if she wakes up that early) feel in the mood for that day and tracking my fat intake to make sure I’m getting enough. I weigh in once a week and I’m stepping back from needing to be a certain amount lost, or total amount lost by type mind set and just watching my body heal its cravings and find a natural new set point weight. Of course I’m hoping for what I don’t have yet – a stronghold on cravings and addictions to sugars/carbs, more muscle and less body fat, being able to slip into my wedding dress – but I’m learning to be “patient as I wait for it”. No quick fix, no promise to lose some crazy amount in a couple days but then returning to prior eating habits. This is an overhaul and I know it takes time, hope, and patience.

I’m giving up needing certain situations or reasons for writing. I’m hoping for what I don’t have yet – a comfortableness and a steadiness to the amount and frequency with which I write. I’m no where near where I want to be – but I am “patient as I wait for it”

I’m actually heading off to get my blood work done for my hypothyroid check up with my endocrinologist the first Monday in February. I’m interested in quite a few different outcomes from today – 1. Fasting. I ate my breakfast and coffee with coconut oil quite early (5 am) and the blood work is at 2:45 pm. On a carb based diet, I would not be able to go that long without becoming “hangry”, having a major headache, having to use a vast amount of willpower and just being miserable and then probably bingeing afterward. It’s about 1:30 pm right now and I’ve yet to feel the stirring of hunger pains. This is pretty standard for me now – I eat when I’m ready and when my body is moderately hungry, however I feel no need to snack or graze or eat throughout the day now. My “hangry” episodes have not occurred for close to 2 weeks now. No will power needed. No late night snack even thought about. 2. I’m curious how my results will come back – mostly in regards to my HDL/LDL ratios as well as my triglycerides (my doctor tests for more than just T3/T4 thyroid markers). 3. I’m curious how I will feel after giving blood – usually they give you juice (probably 3 days worth of carbohydrates for my current intake levels) when you are done if you feel out of it. I wonder if I will feel like I need it (of course I’ll take it if I do) or if I will feel any different at all.

Since I have an online account with my lab company, I’ll post some of the results from this session and prior sessions if I think there is anything worth seeing. I get my blood tested post pregnancy every 6 months now – so it will be very interesting to see the results 6 months versus 27 days in.

I also got my Keto Test Strips in – the strips I had at home kept giving me negative results and at first I just thought I wasn’t eating low carb enough and stopped even looking at them so I wouldn’t be discouraged. They aren’t extremely accurate anyhow and low carb / high fat is still healthy even if you aren’t completely in ketosis. Last week however, a thought occurred to me “I wonder if my strips were exposed to moisture and are not working anymore?” This can happen – especially if you leave them in the bathroom. So, I ordered another batch and tested for the first time since probably January 6 or so and not only was I in ketosis, but I had the highest level ketones in my body I have ever had since trying this type of lifestyle before. It was just this huge reminder to stop obsessing about outcomes and where I am and just keep going day in and out, even if it is only a small victory that day – the sum of those small victories – if you are “patient” will give you the results your are “hoping” for (see how I did that?)

All in all, as I sip on my green tea, during my lunch at work – I feel so blessed for these four weeks of my life. I feel calm, centered, loved and blessed. I’m in a job that fits my personality style much more so than before, I’m being challenged financially, spiritually, physically and emotionally and loving it.


Till next week….




2 Weeks In

Good Morning!

Week number two is in the books and I’m here to gain some hindsight by going through my observations for the week. 

I feel so much more in control. 

It feels odd that giving up so much makes me feel so much more-and not less. 

The cravings I had, have significantly diminished-it takes 30-60 days to become “fat adapted” (not just in ketosis where I’m burning fat instead of carbs for fuel, but where my body has become efficient at it) and I know I will feel changes for another month or two to come. Yet, having donuts, pastries and cookies in the lounge all day and not really having to exert will power to pass them up- can I say “freeing”?! 

In terms of goal two-giving up my mornings to quiet time and having no connection with social media for the first part of my day-I’m two weeks in and just loving my mornings now. I used to have to force myself to wake up and start working out-now I look forward to that first part of my morning, quiet, coffee, my Bible reading plan and me. It’s made the wake up so much easier. One of the readings this week focused on being “pure in heart” or “completely sincere”:

“A key step to being pure in heart is allowing others to see us as we are-in all our brokenness and vulnerability. ‘You are blessed when you get your inside world-your mind and heart-put right’. (Matthew 5:8 MSG)”

This spoke to me so much, and I think that’s what I’ve been trying to get at with my “Giving Up to Gain More” journey-especially with my writing. Writing it down, even if it is mostly for my benefit-helps to let others start to see me, my thoughts and issues, in a real way. A byproduct of becoming more sincere in my daily life. Bible In One Year Reading Plan <—- here is the link for what I’ve been using daily. It’s been phenomenal. 

An update for my third area of giving up this year-debt…..

We had an amazing weekend using our house swap. We got to spend an awesome time together, alone, minus the hefty South Florida hotel bill. Also, our daughter had a blast staying at home with her Aunt and Grandma and a close family friend. We went down to Sunset Place in South Miami and hit up a lot of the spots we used to go to while dating. We actually made the call to eat our main dinner at Sports Grill after deciding we didn’t feel like blowing our entire budget on one restaurant. We had amazing chicken wings (thank goodness for those being Keto!) and an awesome time and our night wasn’t over in one place. We went to RA Sushi for Happy Hour Sake Bombs and also went to Bouginevilles and walked around quite a bit. It was such a fun night and we didn’t feel cheated one bit. Dave Ramsey is right-when you give yourself a budget, and every dollar has a name, you feel like you have gotten a raise. 

All in all it was a successful week. I even got to give up some time for my fourth goal-writing-so I’m on a roll.  🙂

Looking forward to my next post, where I should  be able to talk about giving up another one of our debts this coming weekend. Funny how excited I feel about it. 


My First Week

Ah…..my week is done. 

7 days down….358 days to go. 

I’ve been, for the most part pretty hush hush about my  anti resolutions for the year. My husbad knows, my best friend and one co worker. 

Since this is a daily, year long deal of giving up it just seemed right that it should be private for the most part (obviously this blog counteracts that) but in my day to day life, 90% of people I’m interacting with have no idea. 

And to be honest how the conversation would go down, without much of an explanation, comes off ridiculous in my mind-“What are your New Year Resolutions for 2017?” “Oh, who me? Well, I quit!” 

Lucky for my husband and best friend (Hey Venessa!) they got dragged in by default. My husband for getting on bored with Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball, and Venessa for being my accountability partner each Wednesday as we each discuss how our week went and my low carb, Keto “I gave up sugar, I’m insane” conversation. 

I’ll be checking my ketone levels this weekend, see if I was able to “give up” enough carbs this week to hit ketosis. I’ve been tracking daily so far, and I feel great. There is something about my body using fat for fuel that helps me feel more in control in so many other areas of my life. I’ve added some photos as accountability to myself (honestly this blog is 99% for my own tracking of my journey and upping my writing game-so if you stumble upon it randomly, well then, welcome!) 

My morning times for meditation and devotions have been going great. Sometimes I have more time then others, but for the most part I’ve stumbled upon a great one year plan I’ve been keeping up with this far-and I’m still strong on doing that before checking any social media! 
Debt wise-we have checked off one medical bill and are on debt two now. All debts minus student loans should be paid off in six months. Our three year wedding anniversary is next week-our plan? Housing swap with my mom and sister, so we get some free baby sitting, and we get a free hotel too! It will be the first time we are away from Baby Lena (she’s 13 months) but I think it’s going to be great. Especially since she gets to stay at home (thanks Grandma and Tia!)
Till next week, 


Giving Up: The Anti-Resolutions

I talked in my last post about why I’ve decided to “give up” this year.

In essence, I’m “Giving Up to Gain More” in 2017 in four areas of my life.

Here we go-

Finances: I’m giving up $30,000 worth of debt. Which entails giving up quite a bit throughout the year to make this happen.  I’m giving up all but $50/month to spend on whatever I want. The rest? Attacking this debt a-la Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball. I’m going with “Gazelle Intensity” ya’ll.



Spirituality: I’m giving up the first 5-10 minutes of each morning. No agenda, no pressure, and no social media. Just me, Jesus and whatever is going on. Whether it’s quiet, making a bottle, or the perfect chaos of my mornings. “Whispers with Jesus before Shouts with the World”. I might just sit in quiet, maybe read through the 2017 devotional plan I found, maybe read a blog I stumble across.

Health/Wellness: I’m giving up all except 25 net grams of carbs a day (or whatever allows me to stay in ketosis). I’m done trying to moderate, to control something that I can’t and then feeling guilty about it. (This is by no means what I think anyone but I should do-by the way). For me, personally, this year, I decided to act as if I am an addict – abstain, not moderate. (I’ll delve more into this later – but I believe with a lot of things in life we can either moderate or abstain and it depends on how that works for you personally. I can moderate with a bottle of wine. I can keep it, have some one day, not the other and not really worry about it. However, I can’t moderate with most carbs. It takes constant willpower and wondering about when I can eat it again, if it is in the house I’m thinking about it on and off all day. This might not be the case for you).

Personal Growth: I’ve giving up the concept that there needs to be a right time, a right audience, a right situation to write. I’m just writing, for me, and giving up any other notion and expectation about it. Five minutes here, maybe ten minutes  there.




And there it is – What I’ve decided to give up this year.

Happy 2017!


The Year I Gave Up

I’ve spent a vast magority of my life wishing I had more. 

  • More degrees
  • More money
  • More willpower
  • More muscle
  • More stuff (ew-but true)

Each new year, my resolutions become to do more, be more and get more of one thing or another. 

I was driving to work last week, listening to two of my favorite podcasts, on autopilot, when I started thinking through my 2017 resolutions. Both podcasts I listened to that day dealt with subjects that hit home for me (Dave Ramsey-making goals in specific areas of my life, writing them down, making them measurable and realistic with someone to hold you accountable and Chalene Johnson – teaching yourself how to complete goals, not jumping into something that isn’t realistic for you, knowing when to give up) and it just came to me. 

What if I gave up this year? 

What would that be like – to do the comeplete opposite of what I do every year? 

What would I give up and why? 

Would giving up help me to gain more, eventually?

So, there it is. I’m giving up this year, in the following areas of my life:

  1. Finances
  2. Spirituality
  3. Health/Wellness
  4. Personal Groth

As I rang in 2017 last night, I had a pretty clear idea what I would be giving up. However, I wanted to take the first day to let it marinate and become more specific. I started by giving up having my vague and over generalized resolution spouted out without much thought when the clock struck midnight. 

Tomorrow I will write out my “anti-resolutions”. 

Let the Year of giving up begin!

-Sarah-Joy 🙂