Saturday, May 28, 2016

PaleoFx 2016 Livestream link (free)

PaleoFX 2015 Panel
Hello All,

PaleoFX is live streaming for free this year

Link: https://www.paleofx.com/livestream/

I'm a touch sad I could not attend this year, but I'll be purchasing a month's PaleoTV membership so I can catch up on my favorite topics this summer.

The free live streaming this weekend is the BulletProof stage only.



What's working for me:  Eating a Paleo, Low-Carb, Real foods template, walking, gym 2-3X weekly to lift heavier, good sleep, meditation, support within my tribe.

What didn't work in the past: High Carb, Low Fat, Processed packaged foods, watching the Biggest Loser while eating Skinny Cow Ice-cream on the couch, sleeping 5-6 hours a night, anxiety, support from moderate eater based groups.

Here's to a full, vibrant life off the couch and out in your family, community, and tribe. Onward!

Hope you are all enjoying Memorial Day 2016.  Off to some Primal play in the sun..... hopefully we will see some sun later today :)

Cardiff-by-the-Sea May 2016, Break from the May Gray

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

#3 Weight Maintenance Tool- Support in your current food template, and the ability to change support systems, as needed

Support from within your current food template is key in weight loss, but it's even a more powerful tool and more influential in weight maintenance. 

If you've not mastered this concept yet for long term maintenance- that's okay. Some of the ideas in this post might be hard to implement. That's okay. Sometimes I resisted changing because I did not want to leave those I thought were in my tribe who, well, just were not the best fit for my weight loss to long term weight maintenance plan. Nice people, but not effective for my best fit support. 

Weight maintenance support is a process. One that you have to change up as you progress, because long term weight maintenance can vary, so support may also vary.
Choosing the best support in your food & life template in weight maintenance is key

My #3 tool - Support from those in your current food template, habits,  and change it up,as needed

Here's my theory
If I hang out by choice or circumstance with my food enablers ,and  I go back to my obesity food template, then I am more likely to re-gain my weight. 

If the Biggest Loser people could have gotten matched to a genetically similar long term weight maintainer for life coaching within their biological required wellness template, then it may have changed their outcome. Weight regain is common, but some do not regain the weight. There are biological reasons why, and some have been able to get support for their genetics and environment. It's not easy, but very worth that work and that wisdom.

I've done this before- lost weight, unsustainable maintenance counting point and eating junk, so I know first hand. Been there, did that.  I yo-yo dieted for 40 years. A lot of the root of it was not getting the life AND eating support I needed in weight maintenance.

Going out there, getting support, then changing it up was key.

Here's what's working now:

1. I hang out in real life with either people who support me in my Paleo/Low Carb/Low Inflammatory food template. Think PaleoFx, NSNG meet ups, supportive friends and family who don't enable. 

With the Paleo/LCHF/Low Inflammatory foods people- they are my people. No explanations or hassles with them. There's variability within the groups. But we have the same, basic structure for the ex-obese. 

With family and friends:
What do you need now they ask? I might answer, take me to Trader Joe's, I just flew in and need to cook for myself (after a family death). What do you need now? I need you to watch my daughter so I can go out and take a walk, I'll feel better. (neighbor when I was a single Mom and my kid was pre-elementary) What do you need now? I need you to bake the cookies when I'm out hiking tomorrow. Thank you. (visiting relatives wanting to bake old family favorites)

2. Online: I have people I can contact in real life, and in other time zones if I feel like I want to binge eat (say after finding out a close friend or family member died). You know who you are. Someone who is going to tell me to STOP or DON'T eat my triggers. Or who will help me come back to my senses quick. No sugar coating, no head pats. Because, food sobriety requires someone else with grit and functional problem solving, and critical thinking. Think OA sponsors, think habit changing coaches, etc. Someone who is outside yourself.

Hint: On Facebook, you can see who is still online and message that person. Just saying..   Also, popping into a group of people who will support you 24/7 is key- IMO.

3. Changing it up: I've changed where and who I hang out with online, just for time management sake. The time to meditate had to come from somewhere. More Low Carb High Fat (natural fat). 

What changes I've made:

What didn't work in my past:

1. Support in real life by By Choice: I had to change from WW Lifetimer weigh in's due to that wall of freaking JUNK food, the  WW candy bars everywhere. Add in the verbal bullying in front of the whole meeting,  from one of the WW leaders about abstaining. Ugh! Tricky to find solid food sobriety in that room, though, surrounded by bars, crunchy snacks, and frozen WW coupons.

The members were nice, but I thought that leader was going to call the WW police.....;)  OMG- abstaining is not restrictive, it's self care for me. Is it too much to want to hop on a calibrated scale once and awhile? The ladies and a few guys, 10 deep  line line to purchase  snack boxes all stacked up..... I knew it was time for me to step away. I used to be them, and it just never helped me once I was in my mid-30's.

And, this was before Oprah was lovingly staring at bread loaves on Instagram like there were puppies in that box. LOL...gotta laugh about this. Oprah's done a lot of good, but to someone leaning out and maintaining weight, many find bread is not one of the tools  I found it too tricky to find solid food sobriety in that room, though, surrounded by bars, crunchy snacks, and frozen meal WW coupons.

No, it's a starchy S food. Not puppies. I'll spare you the photo, but click through the link if you are wondering...

NOTE: Not all WW leader and members are like this, I know, I had one that was likely a food addict in remission. She flat out told us she could not and would not eat pizza (her red light food she called it), her trigger food. One person asked- "how many points in one slice of cheese pizza at Costco?"The leader asked the person- "Once you start, can you stop?" The answer was "No, I binge eat". The leader replied, "Well then, you don't buy the slice. You don't even spend one minute looking for the points value, it's too much."  I miss that leader a lot.

If I eat, even one bite, my FTO/extra grhelin genes kick up (also theory since I haven't tested my insulin/ghrelin yet) and that opens the door to my life long binge eating. 1,000,000 NOPES. I learned from my past.

I'm not a bad person, I don't need to moderate or count points harder. Really. It's easier than that. Much easier, surrounded by people like me, who abstain when abstaining is required. For some, WW will be a great system, for about 40% of us who require some sort of abstention, we have to choose well. 

2. By Choice online :Also, I had to change  some of my Medifast buddies, blogger buddies, Facebook group support "I'm switching to moderation" friends. Moderation based programs are as damaging to my emotional wellness as food pushers with the item in my face physically.

Paleo banana bread, muffins, cookies. Franken food protein dessert items (Yeah, even Medifast processed foods) Ugh!!! Sugar, high carb is just that- it's not good for me to look at my key binge foods. Even high protein = joint pain.

 There is no health halo in food addiction recovery. Even Paleo Junk food pushers- buy my Paleo cookies/fudge/food plan/Whole Foods Gluten free  cupcake made by grass fed, local bakers with cute kids selling it at a farmer's market stand.  LORDY, no!  I walked away from the SAD to stay away from the SAD.

These are not bad people, but in different tribes. And that's okay.

I'm still friends with many online friends,but not all. I did not come all this way to keep the SAD in my Low Carb/Paleo/almost no processed food template. More NOPES. Not as many NOPES as the moderation crowd, maybe only 1000X NOPES. If it works for them, awesome! 


3. The ability to change up as needed. 

Just as I was easing into full blown Ketosis and found a great group of folks, my body changed a bit and now I need to ease up just a tiny bit on the very high fat percentage and aim for an alternate, mild, ketosis style. Some days really low carb <30, many days more of a 30-40 grams of carbs a day from veggies. I may go higher, too, if my glucose allows.  I'm still in that Facebook  group. It is what it is.

I've been keeping my fat high, but not as high- say in the 63-73% for my macros instead of the high 76-82 %. Don't worry, I've not gone back to "low fat". I like my health too much!

Who knows when or if the next 1-5 years will bring more changes.I've got to do what works, my body will tell me, then I may have to change up support as needed. 

I've come to understand, I'm stronger in my "tribe"
I used to think that "We are stronger together", but now I realize, we are stronger in our tribes. I would suspect that within our tribes, we have closer dietary food templates and tools. If you are finding yourself surrounded by a tribe that is enabling you to go back to your obesity and overweight habits, routines, and foods, think about that. 

Change it up! Enabling can become a tribe all it's own" I can't and you can't either, so let's eat together, YOLO!" Life is not found in the middle of a cinnamon bun.

 Whoa! I've seen it and lived it. Not the greatest outcomes for my health. 

We are stronger in our weight maintenance tribes. Here's to choosing and changing to meet your needs. #wearestrongerinourweightmaintenancetribes

Your food template will choose you, then you can choose your support. Onward. Anyone else have to change support in weight maintenance? Here's to choosing the best fit.


I'll watch for hawks if you want to dig....meerkats, not puppies



Sunday, May 15, 2016

A bouquet of flowers to the Paleo Fire Fighter - We are stronger in our Tribe #1




















A bouquet of flowers to one of "my tribe"- The Paleo Fire Fighter

  the @paleofirefighter on Instagram.


  • great coffee photos
  • great paleo meals
  • great example of a very active person keeping balance- fire fighter, paramedic, gardener
  • great example of a first responder keeping a food template that will keep him well
  • No doubt an influencer with his co-workers
  • great community member , helps his family organic  farm in Maine Wildfirefarm1

I've got to say that the Paleo Fire inspires me to brew coffee by hand and try different methods.

 If ever I feel down about fake food, the state of younger people only eating fast food, my faith is restored again after a few minutes checking out his instagram feed.

Bravo. We are stronger in our tribe. Kudos and please follow the Paleo Firefighter on instagram, and his family farm, too.

I've got a huge list of my personal favorite Paleo, primal, and real foods, and some weight maintainers, too. (lower on the real foods or paleo junk foods and less commercial) people that I plan to feature once a week or so. 

#wearestrongerinourtribe




Saturday, May 14, 2016

My #2 weight maintenance tool, daily weighing for the WIN! Because my insurance bills are high and I want my discount!

**Discaimer*** This post is about daily weighing, because it helps ME. So if that makes you mad, or is triggering, skip this post. Daily weighing is an awesome tool for me, even during weight gain, data is king.

For other people, daily weighing may kick up their eating disorders. It's your perfect right not to weigh at all and skip my blog all together. Stick with your tribe.

For me, daily weighing is my #2 tool in weigh maintenance I'm able to keep my body weight in the normal range. Daily weighing for me is is quick, and recommended by Barbara Berkeley, MD in the Refuse to Regain book as a tough rule to adopt. (I'd quote the book chapter, but I gave my  book to a friend... LOL)

My health insurance will charge me an $40 extra a month to be above a BMI of 25!!! I get weighed and  waist measured and my lab work for glucose and HA1c tested for metabolic syndrome annually. Want to pay my insurance bills???....... I hear crickets. I'll take that as a NO.....

 ... Just kidding, as a single parent, I manage my weight and my bills like a fully adult like person who strives to keep my family financially solvent.. So I prioritize weight maintenance like a BOSS! I like to take the extra money and use it for travel with my daughter and for other things. Money does not buy happiness. But it does make life easier. For sure. I get $40 per month to not smoke, too. That one is easier with my childhood asthma. I'd be in the ER daily if I smoked.

And,daily weighing helps me with daily or weekly, small adjustments in food template and movement. Does my current food template and do my current movement patterns help me lose, maintain or gain? Fast data feed back. It takes longer to sit and watch patterns emerge. Having a cool, data crunching approach to weight maintenance is required for me.

So does a lower body fat, it does contribute to my day-to-day wellness. Less pain- emotional and physical. Lower cancer and diabetes risks. I have a handle on my body weight  and what I call food addiction after 40 years of yo-yo dieting. Sweet!!! Weight maintenance ties in closely to my life plan and goals.

NEWS FLASH- weight gain in weight maintenance can and does happen. Don't lose your cool about it.... but do adopt tools that keep you working on weight maintenance.

The current  scoop on my daily weighing!!! Learning to weigh in and not lose my cool is a skill.
Not once have I returned to binge eating over a gain on the scale since early 2011. I've had a 4-8 lb gain over late 2014 until now, mid 2016. My regular readers know this, since I post my weight graphs every month.

 A slow, steady gain. My doc says menopause combined with a post morbid obesity.   Stress could be contributing, too. I think of it as my old fat cell metabolism wanting to come back and live in my body.  Combine in post auto immune thyroid disease, and 2+ years of menopause, more of a desk assignment lately at work. Boom- It is what it is.

Losing my cool is NOT an effective tool for my goals.  Or my family finances. Truth!
Karen P's 5 year weight graph 2011-2016



I've been making small changes here and there and I'm holding steady in weight maintenance. I've even had a 1.5 pound loss over the month thanks to some small adjustments. We'll see if I can sustain it or not. Time will tell. My weight data and how my clothes fit will give me some feedback.

I've learned not to get overly happy or overly sad about the data.

Karen P's Monthly weight data 4-14-2016 to 5-14-2016  
Hey, I'm 5'1" and weighed in today (May 14,2016)  at 122.8 lbs. That's solid weight maintenance for me, no complaints. Am I more fluffy (subcutaneous hip and thigh fat, not abdominal fat so much) than I was early in menopause (2013-2014)? Yes. Is this a fail? No!  It's real weight maintenance after 4 years. It's real life.

I cannot change what I cannot measure. I promise you I would gain a lot more with less frequent weighing and open the door to the food addiction that will always be in remission. It stays there , one bite away... No cure, but remission is totally possible with work.

The future:
I would like to drop 3-4 pounds of FAT for overall wellness and optimal clothes fit, but not the extra 2-3lbs of MUSCLE, because I am more muscular, so 119 may be optimal for me rather than 116 at this point. I have a super nice plateau at 119 lbs.  I'll know when or if I get there. I won't compromise my muscle strength for a number on the scale.


Here's how daily weighing works for me:
1. Every morning: Hop on , hop off, record the data in My Fitness Pal and  move on no matter what. It's not good, it's not bad, it's just a data set.

2.  Weekly I'll look at trends and shift 1-2 times per week, then make dietary or even some movement adjustments. Mostly , food effects the scale the most.

3. Monthly I put my weight graphs here, on the blog. That goes a long, long way to put a stop on my slippery slope thinking. For sure!

4. How I handle away from home situations. I'll take a break if I cannot find a scale at the travel location or if I'll wake up my traveling partners or family. I won't, I'll skip a day. No big deal for me.

I've weighed in on a cruise ship, on vacations, and at PaleoFX 2015. I was determined that if anyone hassled me about weighing myself at PaleoFx I'd tell them to buzz off, really.... no one did because Paleo Peeps are generally pretty laid back about bio-hacking and n=1 data gathering.

Mark Sisson and Chris Kresser stayed at my hotel. I saw them every morning chatting about stuff at breakfast. Nobody said boo about anything about what I did or ate. In fact, one speaker even talked about daily weighing as a tool for weight maintenance and used my example in a  talk presented at PaleoFX '15 (Dean Dwyer) That's my tribe!!! Chilling with the n=1.

No need to take away my Paleo Card for daily weighing. Bio-hacking , the n=1 is accepted and encouraged within the space.  Really, the scale is one tool. It' doesn't measure my upper body strength, my flexibility, or my sleep or my attitude or intentions. It measures my total body weight on that date. DATA. not good, not bad, just one number.

It is what it is. Small price to pay post almost eating myself to death. Big benefits to me. Plus the extra money. Hey! I'll show you vacation pics later... LOL.

Here's what didn't work in the past

1. Avoiding the scale because I binged on low points WW foods and low fat foods- because I thought dietary fat made me fat ( it was the sugar and carbs)

2. Weekly knowing I had gained weight from binge eating and as a symptom of food addiction, but not doing one dang thing to stop it.

3. Maybe, maybe weighing monthly and thinking, well, I'll start on Monday, so last supper on Sat-Sunday. Oh, and Wed I have to teach a class to my peers so I might as well medicate with candy...

4. Letting other people decide what habits were best. Really, its okay if  you don't like it. Find a group of people doing what you do and embrace what works for you. We are stronger in our tribes.

If you don't weigh daily or do, that's okay. Once you hit 50, you give fewer cares about ineffective methods or what others think. And that's a good thing.

Here's what didn't work in the past while counting WW points  and calorie counting and intuitive eating- so painful for me, so ineffective. Ugh. Weight gain. Easy to see from the graph. You can see I lost weight when I weighed in daily or weekly.


 Karen P's Weight Gain While counting calories, WW points, and other ineffective methods
WHUT? These two cats are the only two that care if I stop to weigh-in before breakfast 



Saturday, May 7, 2016

4 years and 3 months of long term weight maintenance- Holding Steady after a stressful month, meditation for the win


Starting weight 187.4 lbs
Goal Range 115-125 lbs
Current Weight 124.0 lbs
Keeping off 63.4 lbs
Time in maintenance 4 years, 3 months
Age 50
Menopause 2+ years
Height 5'1"
Auto-Immune Hashimotos 1997
Food Addict in Recovery: 5th year

I'm holding steady. 123's and 124's.
No binge urges, no slippery slope thinking

Very stressful month with work stuff. It happens. Stress at work or at home happens. It's what I do about it -Meditate (or don't do anymore- like sooth with junk food).

What's working this month,
1. Low Carb, Paleo-ish, abstaining from trigger foods template. 98% of my food is prepared at home, with largely unprocessed items.

2. Head Space app meditation package 10-20 mins

3. Prioritizing sleep over blogging and reading.

4. Walking 14-15,000 steps per day. 2 gym sessions per week.

Maslow's triangle. The prioritization of your habits will be a huge, huge tool in weight maintenance.

Read more about that here: Wiki Maslows Hierarchy of needs


I used to be a re-gainer, just like the Biggest Loser contestants. Until I got to my root causes, got some counseling about putting myself first and working on the basics, then working on the complex.  For those who already have the basics of the triangle, there's much work to be done for finding  root causes and getting personalized treatment of obesity.

When I'm stressed out, I prioritize sleep above all else. Blogging can wait. It's a hobby. Blogging is at the tip top of the life triangle. It's a privilege and will take a back seat to the basics.

What didn't work in the past-  item #1 has a food trigger warning

1. Low fat, high carbs from WW frozen meals and Skinny Cow - used to be 2 points now 5 points- ice-cream sandwiches. Because they fit into my points for the day, but ignoring the fact I was eating them and morbidly obese and I really could not stop. The extra hunger hormone, the insulin, the glucose- perfect metabolic storm.   I can't even with my prior food template.... painful.... physically and mentally. Food addiction sucks. Because you know what you can do with 1 point of M&Ms, stick them on the side of a Skinny Cow, and there's LOW FAT chocolate syrup and BOOM y'all I have a low points sundae. Lordy!!!

2. I did not take time out to quiet my mind. TV, eating the Skinny cows because I deserved them while watching the Biggest Loser. My daughter recalls this memory the most from my morbid obesity days. Oh my..... It's always better late than never. Now, I can laugh about it.

3. I thought I was running with the effective professionals by only sleeping 5-6 hours a night.  I used to think I could get caught up on the weekends. I was very wrong.

4. I used to think 4-5,000 steps was "a lot" for the day. I still walked when I was obese, but it was a lot harder and my joints really hurt a lot. That inflammatory food and the extra weight. I don't miss it.

Next up, tool #2 for weight maintenance- one EVERYONE hates, but has been an essential daily habit for me and my slippery slope thinking.....  Guess below....

Anymore thoughts on the Biggest Loser article?  Good life coaches, shrinks, and a genetic match to a food template would go far for all of us, in my opinion.

Meditation by the beach is awesome! San Clemente, CA


Cat #2 wondering if I will unpack my suitcase, read Steve Jobs or go to bed

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Keeping the weight off is not impossible, but you'll need the right for you tools.... Refuse to Regain

I'm short, and I'm short on time, so my 4 year, 3 month up date for weight maintenance will be soon.

Dr. Berkeley, MD has great points, as usual.  If you yourself are losing weight or have friends or family members who struggle with weight maintenance, please share Dr. Berkeley's book

Refuse To Regain

Here's a link to her blog and most recent post about the Biggest Loser news.

You don't have to regain the weight, but you will have to do a lot of work to experiment. Experiment of yourself- AKA n=1. Once I adapted Dr. Berkeley's 12 rules to my own body (I can't have lactose, for example, but I can be grain and legumes, I can weigh daily) well, after 40 years, 4 decades, I have had great success.

Please know you are not alone in the process to weight maintain. Please know that it's likely possible. Uncover your root causes. That will keep you practicing corrective and preventive actions.

Life is easier, less emotional and physical pain because I adapted Dr. Berkeley's 12 rules. You'll need to adapt the rules to your genetics and your life. Be king or queen of your weight maintenance.

It's so worth the effort, you are worth it. We are all worth it.

May 2011 and May 2016- I refused to regain!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The switch is off for binge eating for me- 5th year , #1 tool abstaining from sugars and grains for the WIN

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My binge eating switch is OFF! On that one day, May 3 2011, I got off the sugar and grain train almost 5 years ago.

My legal drug- sugars and grains, yet my top addictive substances. My #1 root trigger for  the disease of obesity.

I'm fortunate to have ID'ed my major root causes. Anything with multiple roots is going to be a long, tough corrective action process.

There are multiple root causes of obesity, I can only speak for my own. Top of the top tool, and I have to use all five of my top tools everyday. I don't even get an hour off, a 50th birthday off. And that's okay.

My theory is simple: If I go back to my old habits that are obesity root causes, then I will be obese. I choose not to go back. The moment I decided to hop off the yo-yo dieting cycle is the moment I became responsible for my outcomes, accepting of foods addictive properties for me, clear thinking, with obesity management being top priority in what I could control in my life.

I can't control my given genetics. I can control what I choose to put into my body. I became a survivor, not a victim- even at my top weight. Poor me, I can't eat frosting any more... once I realized that nobody cared but me, I could get to the real work.

# 1 Top Tool:  Abstaining from sugars, grains, and starchy "S" foods and emulsifiers keeps my binge switch  OFF.  

Yeah, that easy, and that hard. Easy concept, harder to implement in a moderate, junk filled, hyper-platable eating world.

Sugars, all grains, guar gum, xnatham gum all trigger binge eating for me. Should I wait until science catches up to tell me emulsifiers can be binge triggers for me? All we have is a mouse study right now. 

No way!  Abstaining from trigger foods for the WIN!!!!! You couldn't pay me to go back to moderating. The feeling and life of food sobriety is priceless. 

What is working now:

1. Abstaining from grains, sugars, starchy foods, and emulsifiers.
2. Quick course correction if I get exposed to something that flips the binge eating switch, inadvertently. With guar gum in many processed foods, eating out or at others homes is more likely to trigger me than not, so I approach those exposure risks carefully.
3. Surrounding myself with other abstainers for support.

What did not work in the past

1. Moderating WW (think WW packaged foods)  and Paleo junk foods (think Lara Bars and anything with lots of dried fruit- sugar-is-sugar-is-sugar). Those things are high carb, high sugar , those things were my addictive drug like substance. Guar Gum, Xanthan gum are used widely. Check labels.

2. Thinking I could do a calories in calories out or points counting or a Paleo/Primal 80/20 rule and be food sober. No, nope, no dice. The 70's and 80's called and wanted their obesity science back.. LOL. It worked when I was in my 20's and early 30's but I did not have great health markers and I constantly fought binge urges and well, I binged a lot.

3. Expecting that moderate eaters would think my abstaining methods would be awesome. Nope, no, it's better to surround yourself with abstainers if you are one. Turns out I'm stronger in my own tribe that out there in the moderation support systems.

For my readers, what do you do to keep your binge eating under control and the disease of obesity in remission? If you moderate, that's okay. But 40% of us cannot. There's great wisdom in abstaining from your personal trigger foods, and knowing if you are in the 40%. There's equally great stuff in the 60%.

It's past time for the 40% stories to be told, IMO.

I am the 40%. Abstaining makes my life, post morbid obesity easier. It's both easy and hard to think outside the traditional box or bag.