Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Major Shifts in my second year of long term weight maintenance

The sun has already set on 2013. Before moving on to 2014, I'll share a few shifts that I made in 2013.

Shifts (Dean Dwyer talks about shifts), process changes, priorities, and habit changes probably describe the change over time. I'll probably stay away from the word "resolution".

I kept building on what worked and went from there, as much as I could. 

****TOP Shift ***1. My emotional/ binge eating is solidly in remission. I consider it remission. I'll have this the rest of my life. My end goal is to keep it in remission for as long as possible, so I can live the life I was meant to live.

Years of emotional/binge eating: 40 years!!! 
Time it took to address and stop: May 2011 to May 2013. Almost 2 years
Methods: Abstaining from wheat and sugar, and most processed foods.
The key shift this year: abstaining from dairy, nuts, snack bars and eating 3X per day instead of 5 (no snacking unless it was for pure fuel)
Tools: Used Medifast (starting abstinence, weight loss) with a transfer to 95% Paleo  for long term  weight maintenance, a support group, a few support people, Whole30, and a low carb challenge and a walking challenge. (my blog shows my progression)
 Barriers to work around: I had one of the hardest years emotionally for the last 10 years. I didn't blog about it, but the death of friends and family members hit close to home.
 Best moves: Going dairy free in January (Whole30) and going nut free (Low-Carb challenge), then a walking challenge (June 2013) impacted me the most.  Food was most of it. Walking and support kept me functioning in a sane, food sober world the whole year.

Calm waters and riding those waves

2. Shifting Jr. Family member to a more Primal template:  This is her change, but it was my goal to align the family food purchasing, preparation, and meals this year, as much as possible. For our long term health as a family. Eating well and staying well will impact the family emotional, physical and financial health in many ways. It's part of me being a parent and teaching my daughter, also. Now that I have MY shift together, I can effect the family.

Methods: choosing family friendly recipes, having my daughter make her OWN choices.
Tools: Kitchen cooking equipment,  Sarah Fragoso's cookbooks, some beef recipes from George the Civilized Cave man
Barriers to work around: time management and changing habits
Best moves: Going to the farmer's market and Trader Joe's together, regularly. Having sandwiches "protein style"- AKA no bun = many more flavors

There may or may not be a guest post or two from my daughter this year.

New Cookbook and offer of "time" instead of money-empty coin purse!

 3. Sharing my photos:

Shift: I went from taking lots of photos on walks but never really doing anything with them. Walking and taking photos is a certain form of meditation for me. I'll stop, get into what I'm photographing and spend lots of time in what some call "flow".  It's part of de-stressing and relaxing. So it's part of weight maintenance.
 Methods: Instagram (my account is here),  great place to share and see other great photos from people living or visiting the same area. It's also a great way to see photos from all over the world. 
Tools: My beat up Cannon  Powershot SX500 IS, my iPhone, and my underwater point and shoot Fuji XP for tide pools, and my MacBook Air.  I'm not going to cure my Mac addition any time soon.
Barriers to work around: Really just prioritizing walking and time management
Best moves:  Bringing a camera with me everywhere I go, being on the look out for cool animals, plants, patterns and other things to photograph. Keeps me connected to the earth. Sounds woo-woo, but good for my emotional health. Making time to walk every day is also key.
 Best moves: Committing to the time required to walk and photograph. Wearing a pedometer so I can track movement vs standing still and shooting photos.

La Jolla Cove, Dec 2013

 Onward for 2014! I can't control or plan everything, but I can take good actions and make great choices. Here's to safe travels and smooth shifts and some clarity in 2014. We are worth it!


  1. One of my best choices in 2013 was not only finding yor blog and following you, but realizing what a great mentor you could be for me. Thanks, Karen! Happy new year and congrats!!!

    1. Awww, thanks Gwen! So happy that you are headed into your first year of maintenance.

  2. Karen to quote you "but I can take good actions and make great choices."

    That statement is important for each and everyone of us - and you are a good role model.

    Hope you have a fantastic 2014, and look forward to more great stories, posts, great photo's and hearing about your excellent maintenance. Keep it up - I'm sure you will.

    All the best Jan

  3. Hi Karen, I think "living mindfully" is waaaaaay more important than "mindful eating" for weight maintenance. Getting pure joy out of life is where it's at. Your priorities of enjoying life far over food are noted and enjoyed by me. Your photos are awesome! You do have a knack for finding something curious or intriguing to snap. If I didn't tell you earlier, I've shown my teen son some of your photos. He thinks they are very interesting too! Looking forward to being good buddies this year! <3

    1. Marion, thank you!!! I "mindfully ate" many cupcakes with frosting and totally derailed myself in the past. LOL. Thank you for your compliments on my photos. :) Glad to be blogging/FB-ing with you this year, too! :)

  4. I love that you used the word "remission" for your binge eating. I have never heard of that used for it before. Binging is probably my biggest challenge and I really hide away from blogging about it too much. I hope to be in remission too very soon.

    1. Katrin, it was really, really hard for me to start talking/blogging about it. I had a lot of shame about it. I think that the podcast by Alen Standish at Quit Binge Eating . com the one where he talks about telling other people (or not!) about it helped me start talking about it (episode 9 in iTunes). Then when I was interviewed by Alen in podcast #20, I was sooo nervous. Then I accepted it a little more. It doesn't take much stress and I'm acutely aware of it being right there!

  5. I hear you on 2013 being a very rough year, emotionally. I truly hope that 2014 will be less emotionally strenuous all around, but it is good to know that it is possible to weather such difficult time with a sane food template in place.

    I haven't blogged about it yet, but I am started Medifast in a few days. Just waiting for my order to arrive. Hooked up with a great health coach for the regular phone calls and guidance. Nervous about how eating less food and fewer carbs will feel, physically, initially. But ready to take action and try something, whereas this summer and fall I just was not in a place where I was ready to attack the problem.

    1. Hils, good luck!! MF really helped me gain clarity and was truly the starting block for me getting away from the heart attack/stroke zone. I think the first few weeks- adjusting to the lower sodium/carb/fat was a little tough, after that, energy and I felt pretty good.

      Take care and good luck on the next steps.

    2. Thanks, Karen! I'm expected to be pretty cranky/hungry for a couple of weeks, just need to hang in there and wait out that part. The main thing I have anxiety about is the nausea I experience when my blood sugar drops/I get really hungry.

  6. I love your photos. Happy New Year. :)

    1. Caron, thank you! I've really enjoyed my photography and how much I can fit it in to my really busy life everyday. Certainly an inexpensive hobby, as long as I'm not dropping my camera into water, which sometimes happens.. ;)

  7. Excited to see what 2014 brings for you!