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.






Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Slowing down blog posting for a few months Spring 2016- still food sober

Koala- San Diego Zoo April 2016
I'll be posting a little less often for a short time, although I'll still do my monthly updates.

I will hit my 5 year food abstaining mark on May 3, 2016. I'm celebrating by ordering a year of the iPhone app called Head Space. It's meditation based. I've had some great outcomes and I do credit the longer meditation times

As I spend my time relaxing a bit, I spend less time on the computer and TV.

Here's what's working: I'm still food sober. Really. Just clearing the way and concentrating my efforts. One thing I'm smart enough to have learned in 5 years of jumping off the binge eating routine is to keep my food sober food template. No matter what.

There is no break from the foods that keep me well and the habits that contribute to them. I prioritize that over the other things. Food sobriety makes life so, so much easier. I get paid back 10X the effort I put in to food prep, planning, dish washing, walking and the gym. Wait make that 1,000,000 X improvement. ;)

What didn't work in the past was not prioritizing myself and my health. I can't do anything about my genetics. I can effect what foods I put into my body so I get most of what I want for a health outcome. For sure.

Catch me over on

My commute time is my social media time.(only in the vanpool, when not driving) You can see what I'm reading, weight maintenance topics, and some of my walks and meals. Links to my accounts are also on my right hand sidebar.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Getting through this thing we call life... RIP Prince April 2016

Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today, 2 get through this thing we called life....

Rest in peace, Prince. I pray that addiction, that disease that takes people early, did not take Prince early.

As a high school and college graduate in the 1980's, I had to make one current event post.

And as the abstainers gather another day, please know that if you abstain from sugars, grains, and other addictive substances, you are not alone.

Here's to living food sober and other substance sober for another meal, another day, and another life in remission from the disease that takes people too soon.

You can bet that I have Purple Rain on my play list today.


Cuz' in this life, things are much harder in the after world, in this life, you are on your own.....

Sunday, April 17, 2016

4 years, 2 months in Long Term weight Maintenance, Carrying On and keeping off 63+ pounds

Starting weight: 187.4
Goal Range: 115-125
Current weight : 123.6 pounds
Keeping off 63.8 of 70 pounds
Time in maintenance: 4 years, 2 months!!!!!
Age 50
Menopause: 2+ years
Height 5'1"
Auto-Immune Hashimotos: 1997
Food Addict in recovery: 5th year

Ave glucose =78 over the last 30 days!!!
Current food template(s): Paleo, Low Carb Higher Natural Fat (LCHF), 
Ketosis most of the time 
modified AIP (no nuts, no dairy, I can eat tomatoes but not fennel or mustard-who knew?)
modified Wahl's Paleo Plus protocol ( I can eat eggs)

Yeah, I maintained this month. I had some sort of viral illness around April 1, 2016 and my weight shot up to the highest in 4 years. But the good news is I'm feeling better and I do plan on staying the 123's this month. 

Here's what's working

1. Daily weighing
2. Eating a LCHF, Paleo food template 
3. Abstaining from sugars, grains, and other inflammatory foods
4. Walking 11,000-15,000+ steps per day
5. At least twice weekly gym upper body workouts

What didn't work in the past

1. Avoiding the scale
2. Moderating the SAD diet.
3. Eating foods that did not work well with my genetics and promoted binge eating
4. Sitting most of the day, thinking 4-5,000 steps was "adequate"
5. Only going to the gym for hours of chronic cardio (didn't work)


Welcome to my new, local blog followers. Hit me up in comments or send home questions you might have about blogging, health blogging, or weight maintenance. :) Glad to share my story with you. 


















Saturday, April 2, 2016

Acting as if you have type 2 diabetes my favorite quotes from Barbara Berkeley, MD From Refuse to Regain, (part 1 in a series)

Act as if you have type 2 diabetes...

*Note, I'll be featuring my favorite obesity and diabetes resources over a series of posts periodically* Bravo to Dr. Berkeley for blogging, writing, and practicing obesity medicine in a way that promotes good outcomes. Three Cheers!!! 

** Edited to Add I refer to reversal via lower carbohydrate foods and lifestyle (sleep & stress management). I was able to reverse my personal risks without medications, so far. **

Karen's 2 cents
 I'm not a "bad person" for carrying type 2 diabetes genetic risks. I do however, have to face my genetic and medical risk factors so that I don't develop type 2 diabetes. What I choose to eat and how I live my life can keep my risk lower.

I have high risk, but I don't need to live the life of type 2 diabetes disease, symptoms, and diseases.



The articles that I'm linking to from Refuse to Regain- Barbara Berkeley, MD help me know that I'm not alone and that other US experts advice their patients to "act as if".  





My reality : I cannot escape my hard coded genetics. 
I certainly can employ great tools as a formerly morbid obese adult and obese child. I can control my food template. What I put in my body.
 (What works for me)
Daily weighing 5 yrs

1. Weight control in the normal or near normal weight range (hint daily weighing for the WIN)
2. Choosing and cooking foods  so that my blood glucose is normal- Paleo-ish, LCHF, and sometimes low level Ketosis. (see my regular foods here: I'm not starving or eating "diet" foods  Karen's Paleo Life- Instagram
3. Using other Primal methods- like better  sleep and stress control via meditation
4. Periodically monitoring fasting and post meal glucose levels via home testing.
5. Trending HA1c and fasting glucose over 5+ years using  employee based wellness screens.
6. Review my 23nMe genetic report for known diabetes risk factors.



Here are some great articles from Dr. Berkeley that have, in my opinion, sound advice;

My favorite quotes from the article:

a1  Because all elevated blood sugars indicate a problem with the insulin system
a2 When your blood sugar exceeds 100 fasting, there IS a problem, an active one.
a3 There is no reason why a healthy person should wake up with an elevated blood sugar
a4. Should we be waiting until a blood sugar of 126 before alerting people to the fact that they have a serious problem brewing?
a.5 A huge number of overweight people have elevated fasting blood sugar.  If you are one of them, it is my suggestion that you act as if you had been given the diagnosis of diabetes.  
a.6 A huge number of overweight people have elevated fasting blood sugar.  If you are one of them, it is my suggestion that you act as if you had been given the diagnosis of diabetes.  (Karen's note- best advise I could ever implement for my weight management)

My Favorite quotes from the article

b1 Perhaps we should stop thinking about weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol and triglycerides as problems that affect someone else.

b2 Nevertheless, I am part of the human race and, for most of my life, I ate the modern diet. That means that I fall somewhere in the Unibetes continuum. Lower blood sugar and elevated good cholesterol are good things for me too. 

My Favorite Quotes from the article

c1 Let's get real.  First and foremost, we medical types should stop using the term pre-diabetes.
Just as you can't be a little bit pregnant, you can't be a little bit diabetic.  You either have a problem with your insulin system or you don't.

c2. It's my guess that we are becoming diabetic so rapidly because of a perfect storm.  That storm would likely include two conditions : a change in our susceptibility to the disease and an environment that promoted development of the disease.  

c3. If we assume that we are susceptible to insulin dysfunction and that this susceptibility is COMMON then it becomes the height of foolishness to eat a diet that is dominated by foods that require the body to make insulin.  Just for the new readers to this blog, those foods include:  sugar, honey, high fructose corn syrup, other syrups, molasses, grain (including whole grain), things made from flour (including pasta, breads, and baked goods), cereals both hot and cold, popped grains like popcorn and popped rice, crackers, chips, tacos, tortillas, and potatoes.    (Karen's note- this is my favorite of favorite quotes)


During my "height of foolishness" I did things that did not work

1. Moderating Sugars, Grains, cereals, bars, low fat sugar free products, and high processed foods
2. Eating high glycemic fruits my ancestors would NOT have had access too, because fruits were "free" at WW.
3. Thinking I could be a happy pre-diabetic and use medications to control my blood glucose.
4. Not monitoring my fasting and 2 hr post glucose reading at home, more often.
5. Staying off the scale and growing massive visceral fat via the moderating ALL THE FOODS. 
6. Thinking calories in calories out would result in great health. 


Okay, who over the last 5 years has changed what they eat and why due to type 2 diabetes risks? Share in the comments.

Example of better fasting blood glucose post obesity using a Paleo-ish food template









Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter and Spring 2016

Food Sober Easter 2016
Here's to celebrating Easter or Spring in your chosen food template.

Here's to being tough, not moderate so you strengthen your body, mind, and life.

Choose food sobriety.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

I woke up yesterday in a wash of memories of Binge Easter past.... 5th food sober Easter

Lordy! I woke up yesterday, Good Friday, awash in memories of Easters past. Binges past.

** Please note I do NOT have details of past binges of years past in the post below*** Food addicts in recovery know that's a red flag and for those who are actively binge eating, you are living it it.

My past behavior: Easter was a prime binge holiday for me. First my Valentine's Day, then my birthday in March, then Easter in March or April. Like El Nino rain storms, my binge triggers were all  lined up one after another.

Root causes: I think the week of food sober birthday celebrations, and some candy I was handed, combined with some junk TV, too late at night were all contributors.

I still get strong binge urges at Christmas and Easter, some days. Probably old memories. 40 years is a long time of conditional binge eating. I let the feeling come in, feel it for a minute or two, then let it go back out again. It's NOT a sign to moderate sugar, that is for SURE!!!

Corrective Actions: I threw the candy out, had fun with  the lottery scratcher card , got to bed earlier and I'm totally fine today. The old me would have soothed with a variety of Easter Candy. The new me takes non-food approaches.



  • Meditations, 
  • Brining Primal/Paleo food to the Easter Celebration, 
  • Long  outdoor walks with my camera 
This will be my 5th food sober Easter. Onward and it's not too late to make this your first food sober (food sober as you define it) if you find yourself in the middle of an Easter Candy binge. Here's to stepping away from the sugar filled cycle that the Standard American Diet has made tradition.

Onward and here's to stepping off the binge, repent, repeat cycle. Happy Easter to those who celebrate.

Sand Verbena and Swallow Tail butterfly- Torrey Pines March 2016