Sunday, March 22, 2015

State of the state, turning 49 and feeling 29 - I choose this! Soap box rant included

Tide Pool selfie, La Jolla Shores, 2015
When I set out to lose weight, I never dreamed I would feel younger as I aged. Ever see the movie, Benjamin Button ?(Brad Pitt!) It's like aging in reverse.

Here's my state of the state at age 49

 I turn 49 this month. No, it's not all rainbow-kitty-unicorns that have wings (it's particularly hard to watch friends and family members, classmates have diseases and die.)

But, I'm better off over all. I've been self efficient at reducing my own risks.

 Have you read Dr. Berkeley's post about menopause and aging?    I'd recommend reading that post and her suggestions.

The first thing I did after I lost 70 pounds was go through menopause. In a way, it forced me into an eating/exercise/sleep plan that was very clear and purposeful for the next few years.

Quick, get out the soap box!
  
If you are setting up sustainability in your life template, don't forget to change when your body does.  Weight loss does not = weight maintenance. Ever. You'll have to change it up. Your age will change, your body will change.  Change, then sustain that! Until your body/life changes. Again. Because it will. So can't get too comfy.  Because that's life. Don't think that change management is not a part of it. Getting over not being 30 anymore is part of it. But it doesn't have to mean a sedentary, static life style.

Become a boss of your own life.Of your own change management. Less talk, more n=1, experiments, exploration. If I had chosen an old food template from my 30's, well, I would have regained my weight.

Yes, some things are genetic, or the result of things I did when I was the low fat, moderate all foods schemes.  I can't ignore having had an auto-immune disease or being a binge eater in recovery. But, I can make choices every day that have me feeling young.

I choose this!

What's working now:

1. Eating from a low inflammatory, lower carb (40-50 grams/day) higher natural fat Paleo-ish food template

2. Getting support for being in recovery for binge eating/food addiction

 3. Continued strength training (2x per week)and walking 5-6 miles per day, for bone health, stress, and  weight management

4. Using food and some supplementation to take care of things like my skin, headaches,  lid on binge eating.

5.  Using stress techniques and change management to sleep well. Including practicing my photography.

6.  Being mindful and being proactive at managing my prior chronic illnesses while being active about my normal age changes. So, so much is within my control. So much. Thoughts, food, actions, habits, beliefs. I'm as old as I think I am.

What  life was like back then: 
 
  My weight in my early 30's combined with my thyroid disease (Hashimotos in 1997) had me feeling like I was age 80.

  • My joint ached
  •  I was obese
  • I fell down a lot while walking
  • I had dry weird hair
An MD close to me told me "Karen, once you get your thyroid meds worked out and lose weight, you will feel younger in your 80's an 90's than you are feeling in your 30's with high TSH and the extra weight".  He was right.

  
My weight combined with of the binge eating. 2009 to early 2011.

  • My joints ached
  • I binged to numb out
  • I stopped doing the things I loved to do like photography and hiking.
  • I felt miserable on an hourly basis doing common things like driving, sitting, walking
  • I took 300-500 ibuprofen a year to deal with aches, pains, migraines
  • I bought a book "Diabetes for Dummies" because I was resolving to live well with what could have become pre-diabetes/diabetes. I was getting ready to "settle" with another chronic disease.

Dang. Some of it I did to myself. Eating cookies and cupcakes was just not sustainable. My cure is your disease. Not sorry.  Some of it was genetics combined with my moderation mentality. Grains, Dairy, Sugars. Life is a whole lot better now. Now that I got the heck out of my own way.

Here's do knowing what we can change, knowing what we can't change and the courage to change management as we age.

Oh, yeah, the cool critters came out to play on my walk. Dolphins, an osprey, cool tide pool creatures. Weird beach historic structures. rainbow-kitty- unicorns that have wings

My birthday celebration walk was as expected.  Eh, putting away the soap box for a little while...

La Jolla Shores, 2015

View under Scripps Pier,

Cool barnacle life under Scripps Peir



Always funny to see this structure on the beach.




Gliders, Scripps Pier, seagull and beach goers. Torrey Pines golf course in the upper left
 
The cats consider the possibility of  rainbow-kitty-unicorns that have wings. Not buying it for one second ,Tortitude

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Food Addiction, part 4 - from the book Food Junkies- Stopping the food- Wheat

Whole 13th chapter- folded over!
Food Addiction, part 4 - my thoughts on chapter 13 from the book Food Junkies, by Vera Tarman, MD.

 Chapter 13, Stopping the Food.  Wheat

This post is dedicated to those who are afraid of not eating a "food group". Because I was terrified of it. Until tried it. n =1 . If you can eat wheat, grains, your precious oatmeal in a mason jar...yayyyy you. Some of us cannot. That is okay.  Do what makes you feel good.

When I have a paperback book and something really pops off the page, I fold over the corner.

(Yes, I know that bugs some people, get over it, my book, -  my DEAL, ;)  LOL!)

Quotes from the book: Food Junkies- chapter 13

"..The first step in recovery is to eliminate the drug causing the addiction"

"The first task is to identify which foods spark the addictive path ways. Sugar leads the list"

"... people are less likely to identify  flour, especially in its "healthy" disguises, such as whole-wheat pasta or multi-grain breads, as a danger. "


My story: I'll never forget the moment I finally accepted wheat was a trigger. 

When I went through my 70 pound weight loss in May 2011, I accepted sugar as a trigger. And yes, I would have to stop eating it. I knew it deep inside.  No problem.

It took 6-8 weeks off sugar for the brain clarity to come back. Early July 2011, I was making a cauliflower pizza crust as part of my lean and green meal. (*TSFL- Medifast protocol- hey, paleo peeps, I  had to start somewhere!)

 It took a clear brain and a lot of honesty.

So is it the pasta sauce?  No.
 The cheese? No, I did binge on cheese, but this time around, it wasn't triggering.
The toppings? No, I did binge on pepperoni, but it was not triggering this time around.
The crust... was it the sugar? Maybe, heck, I binged a lot on bread, every.single.time.
The crust... was it the wheat. Oh! 

The counselor told me sugar AND WHEAT were like allergies to me. Winner, Winner, Pizza dinner!
Moderating grains and sugars (Left), No Grains No Sugars (right)


Yeah, so I grabbed the kitchen counter, all my past binge memories flew around in my head and I nearly passed out. I got the cauliflower pizza crust in the oven. Happy, sad, acceptance, glad to be out of my own way. Whew!   *I traded up all my gluten containing Medifast packets and bars that week.

 * Note, I transitioned off the Medifast in 2012 to 2013 and onto a Paleo/ Modified AIP for long term food sobriety.*

Better late than never. I'm still standing. I had to forgive myself for not listening to my counselors advice. 8 years prior. "Sugars and grains are like allergies for you. You may want to stop eating them. Many people eliminate wheat and sugars and are fine"



Here's what's working for me now:

0. The wisdom to do what I need to do for myself
1. Not eating any grains
2. Not eating processed sugars
3. Accepting that those foods are like an allergy or drug for me.
4.  Eating from a Paleo-ish , low carb, higher natural fat, food template for good gut and brain health
5. Not blaming myself, but finding what keeps my blood work the best. hs-CRP, glucose

Here's what didn't work in the past:

0. Letting fear rule and doing what worked for other people, following lemmings over a cliff.
1. Eating lots and lots of whole grains: toaster waffles, kashi cereal, oatmeal(!), Fiber One (aka- colon blow!) See the video : Colon Blow from Saturday Night Live
2. Eating lots of candy, but only in 1 or 2 WW point quantities ( binge trigger always- 10- 20 points!)
3. Not accepting that it's a brain chemistry thing,that I was born this way.
4. Eating lots of WW, Lean Cuisine, and Healthy Choice meals. Oh, me. Low fat, high carb.
5. Blaming myself for not points counting hard or well enough.

Who knew that getting rid of a few foods would lead to such great results. People are so afraid of "eliminating a food group".  I know, I was one of them, packing back those healthy whole grains and afraid I'd binge if I abstained. Right!  Have another look at the colon blow video......

I was queen of the binge eating grains!!! I did end up apologizing to my family for scaring them that I was going to wind up eating myself to death. Sigh. Better late than never. What didn't kill me made me stronger.

 Good thing I got out of my own faulty thinking on that one. 

Super glad that Dr. Tarman wrote about grains in her book.  I suspect I'm not alone. I feel so much better now. 

Hey, is Katie still reading this blog? Because my cats seem to think that books are interesting, too. Sometimes the tortitude gets to be too much at my house. ;)

Folded down book pages & tortoiseshell cats







Monday, March 16, 2015

Food Addiction posts- kudos to Marion and Jane -March 2015


 I wanted to send this virtual bouquet of spring flowers from my garden to my blog friends Marion and Jane. (see links below).

I have to give big thanks and kudos to both bloggers. For their honesty,  and for blogging about food addiction.

 Marion's post 

  • For blogging about eating specific foods, in specific amounts
  •  For blogging about there being no cure
  • For it not being easy

and

Jane's post

  • For blogging about needing support themselves, every day
  • For being one bite away
  • For  having  a choice

 I can fully relate to both posts. I eat from my food template. I'll never be cured, but I consider myself in remission.

I've got more support now than when I did in weight loss. One  weight support group, one around Food Addiction.  Getting support is as important as giving. Indeed.

One bite away. Always.  Moderation schemes are a dime-a-dozen. Finding support and your own food template, abstinence plan (everyone's abstinent plan will vary- for very good reasons) is much harder, in my opinion.

I used the mantra "I choose this" when I got off sugars and grains. It stops me cold every single time today, when my slippery slope thinking starts into the old habits and behaviors.

Today, I choose food sobriety. I'm glad I'm not alone. We are stronger together.

What works for me:
1. Not eating processed sugar, no grains, dairy, nuts, legumes
2. Getting support, as needed. Knowing I'm not alone.
3. Rinsing and repeating every single meal, and between each meal.
4. Realizing that the line between food sober and food addiction is tissue paper thin

What did not work in the past:

1. Moderate eating everything, because I wanted to believe I would binge eat if I could not eat all the things.
2. Not getting abstinence based support, thinking I was the only one.
3. Going off my food plan when traveling or for "special occasions".
4. Not understanding how grains and sugars effected my brain and that going back and forth was a lot harder than just staying on one side.

All right. Head over and read Marion and Jane's perspective. Blogging about food addiction is really hard for me. Being honest can be difficult,but also rewarding.   Onward.









Saturday, March 14, 2015

3 years, 1 month - weight maintenance check-in March 2015

I have before and after photos, weight graphs, I abstain from foods that don't work for me.

If this bothers you, please, there are other great blogs to read. I turn 49 this month. Too many of people I know in real life are falling ill or are dying. Food Addiction sucks. Life is short, so am I. Find a way that works for you and love it. Leave the rest.

PS- edited to add:  I celebrate Pi Day 3/14/15 by not putting crap food in my Pie Hole. Gotta laugh, cause I sure have cried about my weight in the past. No more.

Starting weight : 187.4
Todays' weight : 117.0
Highest weight this month -yesterday 119.2
Goal weight range: 113-119
Age: 48
Height 5'1"
Menopause: 2+ years
Abstaining from sugar and flour 3 years 10 months


This month was a lesson in patience.  My weight was up, down, and all around. I didn't binge eat, so that is good.  I still have foods that don't agree with me.

Dental inflammation is finally resolving

Face swelling from fennel bulb is finally resolving , I learned I cannot just pick fennel out of a prepared dish,( people in real life are already joking with me about - "Hey I'll bet you don't want this recipe for fennel bulb salad. LOL!) Those fennel bubs at Trader Joe's looked so cute....

Drinking caffeine after 3 pm is finally resolved.

 Whatever, I'm still standing and abstaining from most sugar, all grains. The rest is negotiable. It's not all rainbows. It is constant vigilance. My obesity and food addiction would love to come back to live in all kinds of excuses.

My jeans still fit and I'm food sober. My heart goes out to people I know in real life who are dealing with cancer, chemo. At almost 49, I know way too many people in real life who are getting treatment. Sadness!  

Life is short. Spend time doing things that matter, that are positive. Keep those things you love around you. Leave the rest.

What's working for me:

1. Eating from a Paleo-ish style food template, NSNG (no sugars, no grains), LCHF (tastes great!)
2.  Daily weighing, even when you have weight gain.
3. Taking action when a food just doesn't agree with you
4. Drinking coffee before 1-2 pm.
5. Staying away from fennel. There is no food Switzerland for me.

What didn't work for me in the past.
1. Eating everything in moderation. Everyone else did. Buying the moderation myth hook line and sinker. My binge brain loved it. My health suffered from it.

2. Weighing monthly, or quarterly. Do you know how much sanctioned binge eating you can do in 1 week or one month or 3 months. I do. 5-10 pound gains over 3 month. Yep! I lived it.

3. Taking action and getting out certain foods (dairy) But getting off them long enough to know that daily exposure was a problem. That's what I didn't do.

4. Drinking coffee late in the afternoon and thinking I could get good sleep. Even though I'm an intermediate metabolizer of caffeine.

5. I ate everything and anything. 








Sunday, March 8, 2015

Meeting Michelle Tam - Nom-Nom Paleo Cook book author and blogger March 2015

Karen and Michelle- bucket list photo
 I had the pleasure of meeting Michelle Tam, aka- Nom-Nom Paleo book author, blogger, Mom, and all around good chef.  She was signing books at the Newport Beach Whole Foods.

Michelle chatted a lot, she signed our cook book and gave Jr. Family Member  and I both Nom-Nom Paleo figurines. It was an awesome day!

Meeting Michelle in person was on my bucket list. Here's why: Way back in 2012, when I decided to adopt a Paleo-ish food template for long term weight management, there were only a few women talking about Paleo. Michelle was one of them.
 
The recipes in her cookbook and blog (for my daughter, bacon sammies) For me, chicken stock, cooking with grass-fed beef fat and coconut oil. The cookbook itself lends me to discussions about real food with my daughter. The comic book style, the great photographs. We were picking out recipes that we haven't tried yet while we were in line for the signing.

The concept of umami. I grew up in central Indiana. There was no umami,but there were a lot of jello molds, cool whip, church casseroles and corn on the cob.  There was also a lot of Crisco, Tang, and Snackwells - it was the 1970's and 80's. Unami, full fat, spice mixes, better late than never I was so scared! Of the pressure cooker, of the fat in the fat, about keeping my health.

Eating proteins, veggies, some fruits and dark chocolate. Natural Fat!!! Plus cooking most meals at home. Via Michelle's blog Nom-Nom Paleo I could read how she balanced working night shift at a hospital with cooking meals for her kids. And yes, I was reading when Michelle had spicy language, and I thought it was hilarious. Now cleaned up, I still miss the original blog style, but family oriented is good, too.

I could also see how energetic and over all healthy and strong her whole family was.  Yeah. If cutting out a food group resulted in energy and health, I wanted some of that! I knew the rate of weight maintainers was low; for me I had only maintained my weight for 5 months during a prior loss.  It was easier for me to take the leap of faith knowing that people were eating this way and looking and feeling great!

March is my birthday month, so the trip up to see Michelle, get the book signed, (and some shopping in the OC) was definitely 49th birthday gift I won't forget. I can't wait to cook some more Nom-Nom inspired recipes.  I may have to go all out and get a sousvide supreme for my 50th next year. ;) A big thank you to Michelle for everything.
So fun!
Signed cook book
OMG- I'll save you Nom-Nom Paleo!












Saturday, March 7, 2015

New Paleo-ish Inspired Instagram Account- weight maintenance does not have to be dull!

 I think a Paleo-ish food template is underused in good health, weight maintenance, and for post auto-immune disease.

I want to use my photography skills to show case the absolutely delicious and filling Paleo-ish style meals that I eat while maintaining my 70 pound weight loss. 

I made a new Instagram Account: karenspaleolife




 I've got to blame THANK Bill Staley from  Primal Palate  *(note: I cannot follow the main feed at Bill and Haley's site due to the high number of my trigger food photos, but I do admire and respect Bill's mad photo skills. And, I thank  Tony Federico from Paleo Radio podcast from 3/4/2015 for the inspiration. I look forward to meeting both Bill and Tony at Paleofx 2015.

Win-Win: My almost 800 followers on my Southern California photo walking account, family and friends probably don't want to be spammed up with Paleo inspired photos.


PS- you can still follow me over at my original Instagram Account: gardengirl_kp to see awesome Southern California Photos.

Here's what's working for me:

I love photography
I love eating from a Paleo-ish food template
I love maintaining 70+ pound weight loss
I love eating low inflammatory for post auto-immune Hashimotos
I love feeling strong and lean at age 49
I love feeling full
I love having freedom from Food Addiction
I love eating real food
I love Instagram

Here's what didn't work for me

Not practicing my photography, keeping photos to myself
Eating the Standard American Diet  (SAD) and moderating sugars and grains
Yo-yo dieting for 40 years, while eating the SAD
Eating grains, sugars and dairy post Hashimotos disease
Not very muscular age 20-early 40's
I was hungry, 80% of the time and binge eating
I ate to numb out and avoid life
I ate low WW points packaged food, diet food, process bars, baked potato chips! junk food
Life before Instagram (joking!!)

All righty. Follow me if you are Instagram inclined. :)  Karen  I still have to eat, but I don't eat junk!

PS- you will not find paelo-fied junk food on my new IG account. That's how I roll.

Southern California, Carlsbad Feb 2015

Friday, March 6, 2015

Food Addiction- part 3 - Abstaining vs Moderation(Chapter 9- food junkies book)

Looking another direction- abstaining vs moderating sugar and grains
Food Addiction- part 3- Moderation vs Abstaining- the big gap

 I'm going to talk about food addiction. As it relates to the book Food Junkies by Vera Tarman, MD. Have you read that book? Please, read that book.

 Skip this post all together if your sanity is moderation. Although if you seek to understand why people abstain from triggers, then maybe this post is for you. Do what works. Just don't tell a food addict - recovered or not- to eat a cookie or normalize all food. Thanks!


Chapter 9- Here's what really popped out off the pages in the Food Junkie book.



1. Eating Disorder professionals who agree about food addictions but still go on to recommend moderation and portion control. The lack of suggestion to remove the trigger food.


2. The statistics from a Yale Rudd study that 50% of obese may be food addicted (from How Prevalent is 'Food Addiction'?- Meule-Adrian Frontiers in Psychiatry.   Additionally 20-30 % of overweight, and up to 10% of normal weight. Dr. Tarman believes that up to 10 % of underweight may be food addicted.

This is all my experience. Highly anecdotal. Your mileage may vary

Karen's take away -Intuitively I knew I needed to stop eating sugar and grains

1.  Yeah, I did not go see a eating disorder specialist because I knew I'd be told to moderate Skinny Cow ice-cream.

  • In real life, I was told to stop eating grains and sugars because they are like allergies to me by a licensed counselor in 2002
  • In real life, it took me getting dangerously obese and finally coming to terms with it in 2011-2012
  • I'm still standing
  • Science is catching up, I'm happy and hope the eating disorder specialists will get continuing education
Karen's take away
2. There is a GRAND CANYON Sized gap between the advise to moderate and abstain

  • The number of times I've been told to moderate all the things makes me sad
  • I'm still standing. 
  • What didn't kill me made me stronger.
Alright. That's it for today. I accidentally hit post before I was done writing. So if you see a half baked post, please refresh your reader. Sorry. It happens. :)

What works for me today

1. I abstain from sugars and grains using a Paleo-ish food template of my own making. The OA, FA, and Cognitive Behavioral practices match with my own experience. Grains and sugars being like allergies fit with my genetic expression super well. Hoping for the day that the additional research can offer this option to more treatment plans.

2. I'm tough, not moderate. I abstain and feel freedom, happiness and life away from food addiction. Finally, after 40 years. Feels awesome.


What did not work for me in the past:

1.  Moderating skinny cow ice-cream, sugars and grains. Even oatmeal. I did use oatmeal and frozen yogurt to justify eating my sugar drug!  Oh boy. 100's of binges. Hundreds.... if not thousands. I binge ate for 40 years.

2. The day I got tough is the day I got well. Not eating grains and sugars is tough from a withdrawal stand point. Glad I stopped telling myself that I would "die" without my binge food. I was pretty physically sick with it. Much more so. Ah well, better late than never.

Get this book! I covered up the doughnuts. Food photos can still really trigger me. 



Okay, thoughts, comments, your experience? It's okay to have a different opinion. Plenty of people moderate sugars and grains and are happy in weight maintenance. Everyone is different. There is no one answer, but there are probably 2-3 ways that will fit better to your genetics.