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:

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!