Saturday, November 30, 2013

2014 January Jeans Club (Affection for Fitness)

I almost forgot, I'm in the  2014 January Jeans Club from my bloggy friend- Marion at Affection for Fitness.

Why: - AKA What works:

1. I always do best in a structured situation like a challenge
2. I choose to eat on plan to keep emotional/binge eating away.
3. I really like the health benefits eating to maintain my weight brings.
4. I am over the moon happy not having to have many clothing sizes to have as "back up" after eating over the holidays. I'm planning to maintain, not gain over the holidays.

Black Friday-after caving in to not shopping!
What did not work in past holidays:
1. Not putting structure into place and eating way, way off any sort of plan
2. Letting my emotions and food run wild, based on what was set out at any certain party or dropped off on my desk or at my door step.
3. I had higher blood pressure, less energy, and more colds and flu when I was at my higher weight.
4. Lots of stacks of jeans in my closet of different sizes, like I was planning to gain over the holidays.

Okay, I confess, I may buy new jeans but the same size so that I don't look like I'm fighting the floods or something. Short girl problems in petite jeans that shrink.

PS- still rocking the Dansko clogs and getting my geek on, and I love it! LOL.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013 checking in for the Keep It Up David T-Day Pledge

 Okay, David at "Keep It Up David" had a Thanksgiving Day Pledge.  I'm happy to report in that I kept my pledge.

1. Not going back for seconds.  Easy since we ate out.
2. Photographing all the food for the meal. (See below)
3. No grazing. There was a lot of food sitting out earlier in the day after our walk, and I ate only on template foods (broccoli slaw sauteed in coconut oil, asparagus and some roasted chicken)
4. Exercise- (see above, 1 beach walk, 1 coastal trail, and I'll be walking around the block once I hit publish to get 10,000 steps).

Thanks for the challenge, David!

coffee and water at dinner
Fantastic NY strip steak-ate 2/3rds  and veggies

More coffee and 85% Chocolate, Yum!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013- three years wheat free, 2 years abstaining from junk, very thankful!

King of the Turkey Vultures!

 Thanksgiving 2013

  • Three years gluten free
  • Two years grain free
  • One year (almost) dairy free

This leaves me free to live the life I was meant live. Long walks at the coast, fun times with family and friends, handle stress at home and work, carry on through tough times and fun times. More time to volunteer my time and funds, more time to get out into my community.

Free from most emotional eating now that I'm in remission.

More chances to share my given talents.

Removing grains, processed sugar and sticking to a mainly Paleo templates has added more than I could ever imagine to my life.

If you are abstaining from grain, sugar, processed foods this Thanksgiving, I salute you to adding more to your life than you remove.

Thanks to all my regular and new readers and stay food sober this Thanksgiving. Catch me on Instagram and Twitter and give me a shout out if you need some inspiration. :)  We are stronger together.

What works:
1. Sticking to my meal plan.
2. Walking 10,000 plus even on vacation
3. Staying in remission from emotional eating using steps 1-2
4. Wisdom to know.

What didn't work in the past
1. Eating out of candy bowls, nut bowls,  and not planning
2. Dropping my walking routine while on vacation.
3. Relapsing from progress that I had made by having sugary foods (and wheat)
4. Food to numb

There's no better way to connect to the place you are than to have a walk around, in my opinion. Here are some photos from a recent walk.

What Fall looks like in Orange County- sycamore leaves on the reclaimed water box!

Always thankful for the November sunsets in California

Monday, November 25, 2013

An iPhone and Android App to use "Before I Eat" - love this customizable app

Before I Eat App to Help Stop Binge Eating
Before I Eat

*FCC disclosure. The app developer gave me a code for a free app. And, I totally spaced it and paid a whole $0.99 for this app. My opinions are my own.

I've been an emotional  since I was 6. I'm now 47. Even though I'm at goal weight, I can still get hit pretty hard with an emotional urge to eat to solve problems, reduce stress, and sooth myself. The urge can come out of nowhere, although, stopping to consider the root of it usually reveals being tired or over stressed for me.

I LOVE this app. I've interacted with Alen Standish on and off since he interviewed me for a podcast earlier this year and I told my own story. Through those interactions, my own recovery has been strengthened from a support side. I also got to hear updates and see the initial idea for the app grow.

1. First check it out yourself here: Description, screen shots.

2. Here's the Youtube video

What works for me to stop an emotional urge to eat.

1. Using the HALT-B method to stop emotional eating
2. Stop and asking myself : What do I really need when I'm food seeking.
3. Actually doing the self care step: Hint usually it's to go and sleep if it's after 9pm.
4. Ask for help and support when the emotion is strong (death of a loved one, stressful event)

Here's what I like about the "Before I Eat" app, this works for me:

1.  Just the act of opening the act takes my mind into a "stop mode"
2. I can custom pick from the HALT-B list that I've chosen as my "favorites"
3. I can listen to Alen's soothing and positive voice recording.
4. I can pre-record my own voice or that of my daughter saying positive things and listen to a positive "loop"
5. I can make notes in the journal so that I can see progress and make connections to events and triggers.
6. I can stop myself BEFORE I EAT.

All for $0.99.

Here's what didn't work in the past before I had a handle on the emotional eating:
 1. I just quickly ate some sugary (mini-candy bars) or wheat thing (toast with fake margarine and cinnamon) to sooth myself, or believing I was soothing. Trust me, it was not effective and I was 60-70 pounds overweight for 3-4 years.

2. I did not think about tools or choosing effective processes. I was hooked into the sugar/wheat from a biological perspective. What I thought was soothing was fueling the behavior/habits.

3. I had a negative sound track in my head. This makes me tear up to this day ever once and a while .... Essential to work with someone or to effectively break free for good emotional health.

4.  The negative self talk loop drove me back to the highly palatable food.

5. I did not write or type in a journal.

6. I did not stop myself before eating off the rails. The foggy sugar/wheat brain, the negative self talk, yikes. Not a happy time.

I recommend the Before I Eat app, and I recommend you try it out yourself. Discuss!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Topic from Dr. Sharma- keeping weight off after a low calorie diet, my connection to Paleo

I usually blog about weight maintenance, paleo food templates, and what works for me.

I don't blog often about the very low calorie commercial weight loss plan I used (I'll save you some time.. I used Medifast/Take Shape for Life).  Disclosure: I get nothing in return from TSFL or Medifast for blogging about this, just my own story. I got a few discounts 2 years ago from a few people in real life that saw my results and tried it.  Also, I am no longer on Medifast/TSFL.

Here's the reason for the topic:
Dr. Sharma, an obesity MD in Canada has a topic today about low calorie diets and weight maintenance. Here is a link to his article. Please comment on his article (be respectful and add to the discussion) if you've had experience with low calorie diets and weight maintenance). We all go through a lot of hard work to lose and maintain using different methods.  All I ask is that we be respectful in disagreeing and agreeing.

I used the Take Shape for Life plan to drop my 70 + pounds in a steady and for me safe way. I feel that I was probably weeks or months away from a massive, life altering event like a heart attack or stroke at the age of 45.

Just MY facts:

I was unable to get into the mind set that I needed to save my own life on the Standard American Diet so I signed up for the plan. It worked very, very well for me for phase 1- weight loss and in phase 2 transition.  I purposly transitioned  to Paleo for long term maintenance.

Maybe woo-woo :
I'm probably alive today because I was able to stay on plan on a low calorie plan and find clarity on being grain free and stop my emotional/binge eating.  I also found my way to Paleo/Primal during this time of clarity.
Big Paleo Breakfast- look Mom, no counting points!

Why am I blogging about this today?   75% of my blog traffic comes from people searching for Medifast/TSFL topics, recipes. About 5-10% of my site traffic comes from those transitioning from Medifast/TSFL to a more Paleo/Primal approach for either loss or maintenance.

Find what works for you and build your own template to your best health. We are stronger together. Sharing what works. Here is the modified comment I posted at Dr. Sharma's. (see below the photo)

Getting my weight loss & maintenance plans lined up in a row like these beach cottages


Hello Dr. Sharma,
Thank you for your work in the field of obesity. I had been overweight since the age of 6 to the age of 45, (I’m now 47) with lots of attempts, large weight losses (60 pounds, with 70 regained). via Weight Watchers. In mid 2011, I started a commercial weight loss packaged VLCD with a loss of 2 pounds per week, I lost 70 pounds. I found this approach very effective for me, but I did not want to maintain my weight on packaged foods.
I transitioned over from the packaged diet to a Paleo food template (95% of the time). I find this food template (once optimized for my own body- I’m post autoimmune thyroid disease) to be very sustainable in keeping the weight off, keeping emotional/binge eating urges to a new time low (I’ve been in long term remission since the VLCD).
Not only is my health great, but I also went completely through menopause the first year of weight maintenance. I have about a +/- 3 pound variance around 115 pounds, I’m 5’1″ so that puts me right in the middle of my BMI range. I walk for 10,000 steps a day, strength train 1-2 times a week, sprint once a week.
I’m now 21 months+ into weight maintenance. Sleeping well, rarely ever sick and feeling like I’m 27 instead of 47. Very few menopause symptoms. If I eat junky food, my hot flashes and scale have a notable uptick. I’m rarely have cravings or am hungry- just normal hunger.
I blog (non-commercial) at and I update my progress with graphs monthly, maintenance photos and blood work/biomarkers when I have labs done. I share my n=1 experiences. Feel free to ask questions. I’m a single parent with a teen aged daughter, 2 hour daily commute, mainly desk job, and I work in health care in a licensed position in a laboratory.
Thank you again for your important work in the field of obesity, weight loss, and weight maintenance.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Daily weighing, higher winter weights, keeping the emotional eating in check- Fall 2013

I'll be discussing daily weighing in this post. It that is not your cup of tea, I get that. Enjoy the photos and come back another day! Thanks.

In a nutshell- daily weighing keeps my emotional eating/binge brain at bay.

I've been enjoying the warm November weather in San Diego County. Many  long walks daily to balance out work/life stuff.  Since I grew up in Indiana, I appreciate and am thankful for every warm fall day in California.

A good food template, daily weighing All those things keep my weight in check.  I've been seeking this for 40 years. For that clarity, I'm thankful.
What is going on now:
My weight has leveled off to my normal, fall/winter cruising area. I draw a line with my eye across the bottom points on the graph (see below) and I can see when my body sets into a weight where I'll stay for a while. I'm thankful for the tool the graph provides.

Winter Weight Maintenance is always a pound or two higher. Always. I don't fight it, just make a note and move on my way. It's data, alerting me to when I may have an un-intentional glutening, a food that's higher in inflammation for me. Hormonal fluctuations.  I'm thankful for tools that help me understand my body.

Why it is so, so important to me:
When I don't weigh in often enough, the binge/emotional brain takes over and says..."Oh, go ahead and eat this, you are walking five miles and will burn it off". OR "It's (insert holiday/birthday here)_____ and it's a special treat/ worth while indulgence". This does not last for one moment but days and weeks. Damage is done. Insulin goes up, fat burning turns from fat storage, I would continue to promise myself "I'll start Monday...." The clarity to call myself on my binge brain has been priceless. I call baloney on that way of thinking.

I totally fell into an unhealthy loop with that sort of self talk in years past. I can't out walk poor food choices. Not one bite due to the triggering that goes on in my head. I was BORN this way, being triggered by wheat/sugar not a personal weakness. It's something I have to face and work the process.

Instead of fighting it, I've accepted it. I'm thankful for clarity to reprogram the self talk and connect the dots with the food. Daily weighing is like good quality control. I place the QC in each optimum batch size (daily) so that I keep my brain on the right path.

Instead of tossing out my scale, the scale remains in place. Once a day tool. I don't focus on it more than 1-2 times a day, in the AM only. I kicked my emotional eating outside the door. I do lock the  doors. And, there is still occasionally a knock at the door. I don't answer the door!

If daily weighing is helpful to you, use it. If not, find a tool that does work and move on to something that does. We are stronger together.

What works:
1. Walking outside for stress relief and health and photography, not calorie burning.
2. Daily weighing, for me, YES!
3. Clean food template, that does not trigger, forgiving myself for the past.
4. Thankfulness for the clarity steps 1-3 bring.
5. Doing what works and keeping the habit, discarding what doesn't.

What did not work in the past:

1. Trying to out "walk" my processed food choices.
2. Hiding from the scale and not taking action to reverse real weight gain soon enough.
3. Eating food "treats" that triggered the emotional brain.
4. Not being aware of steps 1-3 and blaming myself for being "weak". NOT SO!
5. Trying to do what others did at WW and not examining and letting go of what was not working for me. Hard to find a clear mind when I was under the influence of sugary/carby snacks. ( I've totally forgiven myself and am very thankful. )

Smooth sailing in weight maintenance

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dr. Berkeley will be live tweeting and posting FB topics at the Obesity week conference

Dr. Barbara Berkeley, MD will be live tweeting ( @BBerkeleyMD  ) and posting FB comments on her page (  Refuse to Regain on Facebook  )  at the Obesity Week Conference. 2013 in Atlanta, GA. Nov 11-16, 2013.

I highly recommend Dr. Berkeley's  book, her blog, and the information she provides for tools that you can use as you build your own individual weight maintenance plan and practice.

Long term weight maintenance takes a lot of skill sets, mind sets, real food, and trial and error.

I urge you to read up, pick strategies that work for you and keep working every day to keep the health, body and mind benefits that long term weight maintenance brings.

I will be re-tweeting some of the topics on my twitter feed- @gardengirl_kp and on my facebook page for discussion  gardengirlweightmaintainer

I'll tweet you and join me for discussions later in the week. I'm on US West Coast, PST time.

Riding the weight maintenance waves! We are stronger together!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Garlic and Lemon Roasted Cauliflower, recipe from the Paleo Mom

Yep! I finally made the Garlic and Lemon Roasted Cauliflower from the Paleo Mom.

Get the recipe from the Paleo Mom's website.

My photo is included. This recipe will fill your house with a nice roasted garlic smell. As long as you find roasted garlic a nice smell, everything should work out just fine! ;) I modified this recipe by not adding the parsley (forgot) and the black pepper (don't like).

I'm considering roasting up a batch and taking some for Thanksgiving meals. 

Costco has large bags of cauliflower and I used about 2/3 of one in a 9X13 pan. I used coconut oil for the roasting and some pink sea salt.

Great weekend dish to make. Let me know if you try it.

I'll let you know how it goes over with Jr. Family Member.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fantastic podcast with Heather (Half Size Me) and Alen (Quit Binge Eating)

Great podcast with two great podcasters- Heather from Half Size Me and Alen from Quit Binge Eating

Heather shares her story with Alen in podcast #31 ( link below)

As a former emotional/binge eater in remission, I can very much relate to Alen's interview with Heather. Great interview and important to share our stories of recovery. Kudos. Knowing there are other people out there who are in recovery was my key to my own life changing events.

I highly recommend subscribing to both podcasts. Here's a link to Alen's interview with Heather at iTunes.

I'm test driving Alen's new app, Before I Eat, too. FCC Disclosure: Alen gave me a free code to try the app. I was so excited that I did not use the coupon code and paid a whole 0.99 cents for my experience!!! LOL.... 

More next week.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

21 month weight maintenance update, upward trending for the winter and inflammation

21 Months of weight maintenance on 11-3-2013

Highest Weight: 187.4
Current weight 116.4
Goal weight range (113-117)
Months in weight maintenance: 21
Years to reach this point : 40 years
Height 5'1"
Age 47
Menopause: Yes! first year.
Thyroid disease: Yes! Balanced out since 1997
Horizontal stripes: only occasionally

What's working now:
1. Daily weighing
2. Observing upward trends
3. Connecting the dots  of the upward trend to inflammation related to food
4. Connecting the dots of the upward trend to colder weather
5. Keeping calm and reversing the trend, effective processes, root causes.
6. Clarity to connect the dots

What did not work in the past
1. Not weighing in until I was 10, 20, 30 pounds over weight
2. Not stopping to look at trending
3. Eating inflammatory foods
          4. Blaming myself when the WW weighers LOVED to point out my 1-2 pound colder weather gain.
5. Stopping going to my weigh ins at WW because I did not have a good sense of self, self esteem and strong sense of "This is what I need to do, yes my weight is higher, it's normal OR yes, I ate some high inflammation food, it will take a few weeks for my gut to heal"
6. Brain clarity to ditch the blame and choose effective problem solving

The October 2013 scoop.

1.  I intentionally and unintentionally challenged myself with some food to see if I could tolerate certain foods. I use the scale as a "poor man's allergy test" and If I see an overnight spike (not due to hormones or a salty meal) I am 90% certain that it's inflammatory for me. I'm done testing and will eat low inflammatory in Nov 2013.

 2. I weigh more 1-2 pounds in the winter months, when it's cold at night. I weigh less in the summer or when I'm visiting warm climates or sleeping conditions. This is normal for me. I observe that trend and move on to other things.

Long story short: inflammatory foods
A. Pork- No can do bacon. No, no, no....
B. Spaghetti squash, pumpkin, butter nut squash, and maybe carrots. No, no, no.
C. More than 1 or two egg yolks also = inflammation
D. A-C = more hot flashes and less quality sleep
E. Licking the back of envelopes- the gum has gluten. Did you know? I walked around with "gluten belly" for  a week this month on the adhesive lesson.... grrrrr. Nothing like feeling 3 months pregnant with a gluten baby. DARN it.

I'll be attending next weeks Gluten Summit- free daily presentations from Tom O'Bryan. I love his "don't do gluten in moderation" theme. I'm a living n=1 case study on this. 

Also, I'm more committed to doing an Auto-Immue Protocol in Jan 2014 (or sooner). Loving Amy Myer's Podcasts  on thyroid and avoiding gluten and dairy- I'm also living an n=1 case study on this.

That is all....

Look at the 1 year weight graph below. Great data. Weighing in daily gives me a  good way to connect the dots and make some value based decisions. Valuable tool in my weight maintenance practice.  Also in overall good health. I'm committed to keeping a low hs-CRP, good lipid profile, and good metabolic blood work overall.  Onward.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Obestity Rates trending higher- the reasons I chose a lower maintenance weight

Dr. Berkeley, MD shared a link on her facebook page to the most current US obesity rates. Here is a direct link to the article 

Click on the link for a larger graph
 My 2 cents; It's sad that the rates are trending higher and as a health care worker myself, I've seen the medical side of diabetes, heart attack and stroke up close and personally in the hospital. The financial cost, the physical pain, the emotional pain. Diseases related to the biological response to obesity were personally very costly in many ways.

I'm that person: I was part of the obesity statistics from 1971 until 2011.

More than a statistic....
1. I was that person:  who struggled with obesity as a kid in the 1970's (it's not fun to be overweight in elementary school, it completely sucked),
2. I was that person: with yo-yo dieting in my teens, and as an early adult (emotionally painful)
3. I was that person:  as an overweight parent 30's-40's who was limited in what I could do with my kid from a play and just starting to go down the expensive medical care road.  ( physical pain, emotional pain,higher health care costs)

I get it. I've lived it and I was so done with it.

I purposely picked my goal weight so that I would maintain at the middle of my BMI and have the least amount of visceral/abdominal disease causing fat possible. One of the goals of weight maintenance was simply to get off the weight loss, re-gain cycle I had been in for 40 years. I was very, very deliberate about choosing effective ways to maintain my weight loss. I wanted more than just a stable range on the scale, I went for long term wellness this time around.

So much of the conventional advise  was just terrible and I blamed myself for not being "strong enough". Once I was able to get a clear mind, I could connect the dots and build a long term strategy to lose, transition, and maintain. It had nothing to do with a personal fail. I was strong enough. I didn't have the right tools, education, or a clear brain to sort out the process. I had to battle the message of Big Food and Bad Science and my own self talk to pull out of the conventional wisdom and connect the dots. 

I did many things completely different this time around to ensure I would not go back to being at high risk.  Look for up coming blog posts on these topics:

"Backwards" for many, problem solving & life changing for me:

I AM that person, and I love it!

0. Getting the right self-talk in my head, the answers were inside there
0.5 The evolution over time- I white knuckled it
1. Packaged diet plans- WW, Medifast- what worked, what did not.
2. Removing a food group or two- bye bye wheat and diary
2.5 Continuing education 
3. Being tough about eating trigger foods
4. Daily weighing, what it does do, what it doesn't do- you decide
5. Problem solving in general

Staying head of the wave and getting to the point to ride the wave- it's an evolution