Saturday, May 31, 2014

Weight is shifting higher this week- Data and actions prevail

Just a quick weekend check in and a few observations.

My weight has shifted higher this week. I came down with some mild GI stuff late Thursday and then positional vertigo Friday morning.

I'm feeling better, but still having some break through vertigo. I've noticed an upward trend  in my weight and I'm now into my "scream weight" zone.

I don't use any shame or blame. I'm not emotionally eating or wanting to binge eat. All good for my mental state. No excuses either. It is what it is. That's why I updated my bio's everywhere ( Pinterest, Instagram, FB, Twitter to 68 pounds in maintenance) Full disclosure is best! 

I do use the tools that I know work fully during these times.
Top tools for reversing a trend (no matter what the root cause is)
1. Determining root cause ( if possible). This trend has to be virus related, I've decided. May be more, but at a minimum, the virus
2. Continue to weigh in daily
3. Continue as many normal activities as I can ( walking, cooking, house cleaning, working)
4. Discontinuing anything that will make it worse ( looking in high up places, ladders, etc)
5. Batch cooking bone broth. Relying on some broth I had in the freezer. Good stuff.

Now I'll start to use advanced tools like

1. Food tracking until I'm at a lower weight. My Fitness Pal- you ROCK!
2. Some journaling to make sure there's no other root causes.
3. Prioritizing sleep at night and tracking sleep.

That's what works.  Here's what did not work in the past when I would gain weight:

1. Avoid the scale ( because I know it will be up and "I can't handle it")
2. Eat comfort foods ( "I'm sick, I deserve...____ carby, sweet food")
3. Discontinue exercise ( I'm sick so I'll skip walking today..)
4. Eating junk food out because I did not feel like cooking.

I suspect that the ineffective cycle of using processed foods probably kept me sick and binging much more than I ever knew. I can see it. Good to have the blinders off.  It helps to look at it from a Lifeguard approach, from a distance away. Easy to spot stinking thinking quicker that way. Doing an "ostrich" approach always steered me away from my goals and my health.

I'll do my usual June 3 check in next week.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day 2014 - in Weight Maintenance

Happy Memorial Day- 2014

Remembering those who served our country and are no longer with us.

I'm taking today to do things that both need to be done ( house, errands, etc) and things I love to do (cook on template foods, walk, photography, garden)

One thing I won't be doing is going to any sort of Memorial Celebration "So I can eat all the food" I'm telling you, eating on my food template is so different than the old days of wanting to attend cook outs, pot lucks, etc so I could eat all the food. I would bake so I could serve it, then bring home the leftovers and eat some more. That was also a tradition of sorts.

Yesterday was race day. Indy 500. The greatest spectacle in racing. I grew up in Central Indiana and the Indy 500 is a huge tradition. So are BBQ's, sweet corn, potato chips, tomatoes, deviled eggs and strawberry short cake.

 And me showing up to eat all the food used to be my tradition. Until I changed it. Now I still eat BBQ food but I keep it on food template. Grass-fed beef, lettuce wrapped in lettuce with tomato slices. Fat Guacamole Devils . Maybe some fresh blueberries. All food on template. Still the flavors of the season. But without all the sugar/grains/triggers.

Loving the new normal!

What is working
1. Sticking to a no-sugars, no grains, low inflammation food template.
2. Eating on that food template, but buy in season food that is on  my food template.
3. Making new traditions that fit with my current health and wellness goals.

What did not work:
1. Moderating summer picnic foods and high irritation foods like- corn on the cob!
2. Eating off template foods because it was a special holiday and I won't see this "holiday" for another year...
3. Keeping old traditions alive, even though it made me sick.

Safe travels today and always.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Part 5 of 7 Identifying non-food triggers in emotional eating - Illness

Part 5 of 7 non-food triggers in emotional eating - Illness
The first part of the series links are below.

Part 4:  Identifying non-food emotional eating- Anger 
Part 3: Identifying non food emotional eating- Avoidance: decisions, problems, & dreaded discussions
Part 2: Identifying non-food emotional eating- Stress
Part 1 :  Identifying non-food emotional eating triggers: Being Tired.
I can feel myself getting triggered by my emotional eating when I am sick with either a cold, virus, or just plain old stomach flu.  ** Please note, I'm not taking major illnesses here like cancer treatments, etc- that's a whole different category ***
The great news:  I rarely get sick anymore! 
The new normal: 
  • Maybe 1 cold virus a year compared to 1-4. Duration is much shorter
  • Maybe 1 day of nausea a year. GI virus. Doesn't last long
  • Maybe 1 ear infection every other year. Happens. I used to get either a sinus or ear infection after EVERY cold. A big change!
The reality: When I do get sick, I can crave carbs, big time. Saltines, chicken noodle soup, Coke (gasp!) toast, juice. All my old stand-by's for food during illness.  Those old neuro pathways run super deep. Wheat and sugar trigger my emotional/binge eating like nothing else.  Trust me, my body "does not need" saltines and grape juice or coke to feel better. It's my disease showing up to hook me back into the cycle. 
 If I have binge urges during illness, I stop and call BS on that. I call it quick and without regrets "Oh, that's the old coping methods coming back to hook me back into illness. NOPE! "
I have no doubt that Sugar and Grains kept me sick and my immune system not working well for years.  There's no way in blazes I'm going back to that hellish nightmare. Here's another example of why being tough, not moderate is a good strategy for me.
Being sick is no excuse for me to not eat well. My fastest path to feeling well again is to eat low-inflammatory foods within my food template, sleep, and see the doc when needed. Antibiotics for infections. Repopulate my gut with good bacteria and get recovered fast.
100% coconut water, homemade chicken broth with onions

What works now:
1. Eating a low-inflammatory food template... yes, Paleo-ish is my best defense. I get sick less often
2. Modifying the food template when I do get sick, but sticking within it. Think
  • Bone broth (aka chicken broth)- homemade, diluted organic chicken stock from Costco. I keep frozen bone broth on hand, and a box or two of the Costco Organic Chicken stock, also.
  • Coconut water for an upset stomach
  • Light soups and stews- think chicken with veggies in the crockpot
  • Ginger tea
  • Internet searches for other ideas: what sounds good will pop up immediately. 
3. Sleep as much as possible
4. See the doctor sooner rather than later if I know I've got an infection.
5. Being really critical of over the counter meds. Some meds are high carb, high sugar, etc. I'll try a lot of natural remedies now. Cheaper, too!
What did not work in the past:
1. Eating the SAD diet. The Standard American Diet (low fat, higher carbs, sugars, grains) was not a good match for my immune system. Eating this way caused me to be sick much more often.
2. Eating my emotional / binge foods while sick.
3. Not sleeping well or prioritizing sleep
4. Waiting to go to the doctor and not putting myself first and making it a priority.
5. Using cough drops and other medicines that were higher carb/sugar and artificial junk.
 Okay, if you have other ways you take care of yourself that helps you keep the train on the tracks: feel free to comment!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Changing up support, as needed- in weight maintenance

Keeping the Train on the Tracks
I'll be back to more regular blogging soon. Just tying up some loose ends from my unplanned April & May events.  I'll finish my non-food emotional eating series. Parts 5, 6 and 7. Also, a blog post about staying mostly food sober on my cruise last year.

I'm keeping busy "Keeping the Train on the Tracks", so to speak.

Evacuations due to the fires, plumbing issues,  other house things that require my full attention. Yep! Just because I've lost weight and maintained doesn't mean that life is perfect. I just means I have to add a few more things to prioritize on the list. Stuff happens and I have to deal. I just choose to deal without my old food habits.

For 40 years, I dealt with life by "using food". It took and takes effort to maintain food sobriety. Support is a key element.

After my plumbing problems and during repairs, I had a super strong gut feeling to change up where I was getting my support with my emotional/binge eating. I'm an abstainer from 99% of processed sugar, all grains, legumes, dairy, and nuts. Abstaining helps me to eliminate emotional/binge eating AND to support my post auto-immune thyroid body.  Not as many people abstain, and it's not a popular path, but it works for me and it's MY path.

I'm old and wise enough not to ignore strong gut feelings. I had an intense gut feeling to seek out more abstinence based support. So I did. I keep the details of that support private. Please know I don't blog about any of the private details of the support here or anywhere else.
Moderation themes make me crabby!

 In seeking the support, I wound up finding some additional in real life friends who are also on my same path. I foresee additional job stress that will require that I keep my support system with others who abstain very current. 

Seeking support from "moderation" systems doesn't jive with what I need. In fact, I find "moderation" based support to be outdated with my goals. I tried and tried to make moderation part of my food system and long term weight maintenance.  Better late than never to figure out what works.

Anyhoo, I've got what I need now.  Getting back to the new normal routines. So loving my "gut feelings".  I never know where I'm going to go. It's beautiful finding out where that feeling is leading.  I use my gut feelings to find awesome photos, too.

That little voice that says, well... keep going up this hill. Head to a certain beach on a certain day.  That small voice or motivation lead me to find this small whale breaching off the coast of North County San Diego. It was the day before Mother's Day. What a gift!  I could go years and not see whales in this particular  area.  It was so close to shore and having  great time playing around.

Anyway, happy to report I'm staying on track , replacing some of the batch cooking, like chicken bone broth and lunches that I lost last week due to the power outage.  Being "tough" not moderate for the WIN!

I'll be back soon with more posts.

What's working now:
1. Paleo food template, lower carb, higher protein/fat
2. Abstinence from trigger foods (wheat, grains, most sugar and nuts)
3. Support that matches with items 1-2
4. Listening to my gut feelings.

What didn't work in the past:
1. High Carb, lower protein (too many points), lower fat (soooo afraid!)
2. Trying to moderate my trigger foods and work with calories in/calories out.
3. Support that matched moderation and keeping that when I knew it didn't work
4. Ignoring or not even being able to hear or feel my gut feelings.

Hibiscus near the Savory Spice Shop, Encintias, CA

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mom, the fire is coming down the hill fast,the wind is pushing the fire in the direction of our house...


Photo credit: San Diego Union Tribune. Aviara Oaks Middle School, Ball field, Carlsbad, CA. 5/14/2014 #poinsettiafire

I got a phone call from my daughter around mid day on 5/14/2014  "Mom, the fire is coming down the hill fast; the wind is pushing the fire right for our house!"

I told her to follow school instructions, NOT to go to our house to try and get our cats, (Promise me you will NOT try to go in the house and get the cats!) and that someone would pick her up soon. 

I was a work an hour away. Traffic was gridlocked. We had planned what to do if there was a fire or evacuation. I would call the neighbors and a person would take the cats and my computer out of my house if we got the call to evacuate. Another person would pick up my daughter or she would ride home with a known neighbor. The plan worked well.  We would all meet up somewhere else (2-3 choices picked) depending on what locations had evacuation orders.

Power was cut to the homes around the fire, so an extra key was assessed. A co-worker tried to drive me home and we were stopped on the I-5, about half an hour a way from Carlsbad, due to another fire. While we back tracked to work to get to air conditioning ( it was 101 F, wind gusts up to 50 miles an hour) I got the call. 

"I'm at your house, I need to get the cats, the computer, and I need to do it really fast."  My neighbor was running at top speed though my house. I gave him instructions, kept calm and hung up. I had a melt down. I my co-worker did a good job of soothing me "Evac areas are wide and they evacuate more houses and only a few burn!" True that! We stopped at Starbucks and I soothed with an Americano coffee and watched the twitter feed.

At that point, I had to let go. I had to get in the sit and wait mode. I made peace that I may or may not go back to a standing house. I made some jokes at that point. " I won't have to pay the plumber to put in new toilets!!" We went back to work and ate lunch. I got word that my  cats were at a down town Carlsbad dentist and my daughter was moved from the first location which was close to being evacuated (thank God for neighbors nearby). I had a second friend pick up the cats from downtown and they were moved a into a bathroom for safe keeping, until my daughter and her dad could pick them up.

We finally made it home. I stayed with my friend from work. She has lots of room, eats a similar food template, and is also a long time friend. She even wears my size of clothes and had grass-fed beef, broccoli and avocados from her tree for me for dinner. It doesn't get any better than that. We watched the fire coverage. "That's right by my house!" and then Survivor. 

A family friend bicycled home that day and was able to tell me my house was still standing, but a few at the top of the hill had burned. Trouble is that high winds and embers can travel and land in attics and roofs.  I texted the info to the neighbors. We were happy, but also knew that things could change quickly. The winds died down overnight.

I took the next day off work. We were fortunate. The winds turned before the fire spread down our hill. Many were not so lucky. Cities around Carlsbad were hit even harder for up to 2 days after the original fires started.  Since the winds changed directions, the ash was minimal and clean up was easy this time around. Other fires have created raining ash and clean up took longer those years.

Due to the heat and power outage, I lost everything perishable in the refrige and freezer, but it was a small loss in comparison.

Okay: Regular readers, you know the drill

What worked:
0. The first responders were excellent! Fire fighters, pilots, police, neighbors helping neighbors
1. Having an accessible key and not relying on the power to the garage door from the outside.
2. Placing a cat carrier in an easy to find location.
3. Planning to meet in a general location, but several choices, not just one.
4. Choosing simple, yet important items for my neighbor to grab.
5. Having extra clothes, thyroid meds, and chargers and a little cash $$ at work
6. Having extra charging cables at work for car/wall charging so my phone would work.
7. Staying on my food template. Stress can trigger old binge eating habits. Food won't fix fires!
8. Asking for help from friends.
9. Texting neighbors, Facebook, and Twitter feeds were a quick way to communicate. 
10. Being fat adapted meant I could eat lunch later and still think and be on my feet.
11. School texts and emails were very informational. So were the cities Facebook and Tweets. Kudos!

What didn't work:
1. Gridlocked traffic everywhere.
2. Amazon had delivered a new toilet to my front door and the  two huge boxes made it a little bit of a barrier. Glad the fire did not make it to my house, it would have looked like I was a crazy toilet collector lady!!  "Looks like all that are left are many toilets scattered through out the house.."
3. Not being able to get back to haul out the meat/seafood in the freezer. No use crying over spoiled shrimp and ground bison.  I spent some time batch cooking this weekend.
4. Reverse 911 was about 12 hours late... hello??  This is when 911 calls you and tells you to evacuate.
5. Binge eating over stressful events during the 2007 fires. It only made me feel worse and never made the problem better.
6. People seeing smoke, getting nervous, and purposely running red lights. 

I'll do a follow up post about staying in my food template during power outages. I don't eat off food template then, either.   Hope you are all well. Back to regular this week. I took time to walk at the beach and rest and relax a bit.  Fire Sunset on 5/15/2014. One day after the many San Diego County fires burning.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day 2014 - guest post from my daughter!

It's Mother's Day 2014. I gave my daughter a guest post slot for today, in what is sure to become a classic post.

What a gift, to get myself well, and then to be able to lead my family to a better place in our health. ( all two of us, and the two cats are grain-free, also!) I'm so proud of my daughter.

From my daughter, May 2014:

Hi guys! So as you all know, it’s Mothers Day today! So to show love for my wonderful mother, I am going to be guest blogging. 

My mom has helped me with many things throughout my life, but one of the biggest things she has helped me with is being healthy. It was not so long ago that she and I would both crash on the couch after school and work and share some ice cream while watching Biggest Loser on television.

Kind of missing the couch crashing
 She used to pack me sandwiches and other things so that I had a full lunch for school. I used to be pretty self conscious about my weight and I guess my mom was too, but we kept eating what we ate and doing what we did.   

Eventually my mom decided that she would try to lose weight.  She joined a commercial weight loss program, and quit eating some of the things I did. The big change was a bit scary for me, as I was afraid my mom would be totally different. I sometimes didn’t want her to be eating that way, because it meant we couldn’t cook french toast with her.  But when my mom lost a lot of weight and began eating healthy, I could see that maybe her diet wasn’t a bad thing. 

When she began eating Paleo, I could see that she was happy and excited to be doing something good for her health. I ended up being converted to the magical "Paleoism". As soon as I ate my first grass fed burger wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun, I was amazed at the way it tasted. The flavors seemed so much stronger and the meat tasted better. My eyes were opened to a whole new world of spices, meats, and vegetables. 

Protein Style Grass-fed burger- Magical!
I now enjoy trying her new recipes, and I love learning how to cook healthy dishes. Being open to try new food opens up many options for food we both like. Although I am not completely Paleo, I thoroughly enjoy the meals my mother makes me.  I feel better about what I eat; the food is good, and I found that I’m not constantly snacking all the time because what I eat fills me up completely.

 When I first joined middle school I was chunky and slow. I ended up almost failing PE in sixth grade because I couldn’t run the mile in the “Healthy Fitness Zone Time.”  So determined to get my grade up, and to get me more active, my mom drove me to school on the weekend, and we ran the mile. The week after we ran together, I got into the healthy fitness zone, and stayed there since then. I have bested that time by 4 minutes since then, and I am still improving. 

My mom has inspired me to run or walk, and stay active when I can. She got me a membership to a nearby gym. She taught me how to use most of the equipment and made me feel safe and happy about working out there.  She encourages me to balance out my video game time with exercise and it has really helped me in the long run. Staying active with my mom allows both of us to do fun activities together and connect.   

My mom helped me balance out my life with a perfect combination of eating right and staying active. I am no longer the chunky kid who can’t run fast, but the average girl who tries her hardest.  I am confident in how I look, and I am super excited to be wearing a beautiful dress for my middle school graduation. It’s all thanks to my mom that I am actually fit and feel good.  She has inspired me to live a healthy lifestyle, and it has gotten me so far already. I never would have felt this amazing without her. I love her so much and will continue to support her on her weight loss journey.  Happy Mothers Day, mom. I love you so much. Thank You!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Thyroid disease, weight loss, and weight maintenance- my story and recovery

Fall 1996
I've been thrilled to see all the great resources in Sean Croxton, from Underground Wellness  Thyroid Sessions.  It warms my heart that now in 2014 there are much better resources out there for diagnosing, treating, and long term recovery for thyroid diseases.

Recovery is possible, if you seek the treatment and docs that are right for your disease. This was the tricky part for me.

 I had thyroid disease in 1996-1997. It's been in remission since late 1997. I've never really told my story, but I should, so you can be aware for yourself or friends and family who may have or develop thyroid disease.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.

1. How did you know you had thyroid disease? 
 I had symptoms like a really puffy face, couldn't lose weight, brittle hair, slept all the time and never felt rested, a goiter, foggy brain, joint pain. My cheeks felt like stiff, waxy, plastic implants had been inserted.

I was age 31 at the time and I felt like I was about 81. I stumbled when I walked. I fell down often. I stopped practicing my hobby, photography. To say the least, I was not myself.

2. Did you have a goiter?
Yes, I did have a goiter for about 6 months. I was getting my hair cut and the stylist wrapped a towel around my neck. I could feel a butterfly shaped swelling. I'm a Laboratory Technologist (CLS, MT (ASCP). I know what that means. I've studied this stuff and done all kinds of thyroid related lab testing in the lab as my career.   Thyroid disease!  I was in shock. But at least it explained  why I was not feeling well.

3. Did you get treated right away?
NO! Sadly, for 6 months or so, I went undiagnosed. Even with a big goiter, my doctor told me it was transient and would "go away on it's own".  Good news: I fired that doctor. Holy Heck. I was having nightmares because I felt like I was being strangled by my thyroid gland. I got lost in Costco, couldn't remember where I parked my car and I fell down 2 times by tripping. I told my husband at the time "good night" it was early morning. I fell asleep at the end of dinner at 7am most nights. I woke up thinking it was still right before bed on the night before. There was no end. I never could sleep and rest. It was like living a nightmare.

Spring 1997
4. How did you get the right treatment?
 A doctor that I worked for in the lab got tired of looking at my goiter was concerned. I saw him as a patient and he ordered thyroid antibody lab tests. I did not have to wait long since I worked in the lab where the testing was performed. I knew it would be bad news when my co-workers refused to talk to me and told me to go see the lab director first. ( In California at the time, a doctor must release your lab results to you directly) That afternoon, I found out I had 1:80 anti-microsomal antibodies. My lab doctor wrote a letter to my regular doctor and said "Now they will HAVE to treat you".

5. Did you get treated, finally? 
NO, not right away. My regular doctor, rat bastard looked at me disapprovingly and reluctantly referred to me to Dr. No Bedside Endocrinologist. Who apparently hated obese women and told me... well you will get better on your own. PLEASE. Duuuuude. I have anti-microsomal  antibodies. It's transient, he said. Well, my dad had thyroid disease, my grandmother had thyroid cancer, my great grandmother had a massive goiter. How f-ing hard is it? "Let's watch your TSH and wait a few months" said Dr BAD Bedside manner. I cried. He hated me more.

I called my one of my best friends, an immunology PhD. She told me she would go with me to my next doctor's appointment and would advocate on my behalf give Dr. BAD Bedside manner holy hell. I thanked her.

It took a full year for me to finally feel better again. A full year to be 100%. I felt somewhat better after 3-6 moths of meds.

6. What were your lab results?:  My TSH went from 4.2, to 6.3, to 9.62. Dr. BAD Bedside manner called me and said "I've got bad news, you've got thyroid disease and you'll need to take replacement meds for the rest of my life. I thanked him and asked him what took him so long to treat me? And, that I would switch my care over to my new internist who was a whiz at balancing thyroid disease and did not hate on obese women.  My co-workers cheered for me and they all gave me the beating the  auto-immune disease high five. I became the positive control on the anti-microsomal antibody assay that year! Awesome, kind of...

7. What meds do you take?
I've always been on the same dose:   0.1 mg (100 micrograms) of Levothyroxin . I did change manufacturers without any ill effects. It's hard for me to believe that I've yo-yo dieted, lost 60 pounds, gotten pregnant, had a c-section, gained 30 pounds, lost 30 pounds, ate the SAD diet and lots of processed foods, gained 70 pounds, lost 70 pounds, switched to a Paleo-ish template, gotten control over emotional/binge eating, maintained my weight loss for over 2 years, and went through menopause on the same dose of thyroid meds.  Amazing!  Perhaps I have some thyroid function/tissue left? Who knows?

8. How do you take your meds?
Pill reminder & Keurig

I take my meds first thing in the morning. I use a pill reminder. If I somehow forget to take my meds in the morning, I'll take them at night.  I wait at least a half an hour before I eat, sometimes longer. I only take vitamins, calcium, magnesium at lunch or after so I can get a consistent absorption of thyroid meds first.  The good doc cleared me to take my thyroid meds at night instead on an empty stomach, but I tend to fall asleep before taking them, so morning works better.

9. How often do you get your blood drawn and what's your TSH/Free T4?

I get drawn, minimum 1 time per year. Sometimes 2 times. My TSH ranges from 0.8-2.2. If I'm over 3.0, I feel pretty bad. My free T4 has been normal, yay!

10. What foods can't you eat/drink post thyroid disease?  Off limits: Alcohol- I cannot process any alcohol what so ever. Also way off limits: Wheat, Dairy, and nuts. Wheat causes severe belly pain and emotional eating tendencies. All grains do. Grain = pain. Dairy causes a lot of sinus swelling and mucus production. I'm even ghee sensitive. (sigh!) Mucus like a waterfall and painful, cystic acne. (Moooo,- no dairy for me) Nuts contribute to migraines and emotional eating. 

Nobody told me this post diagnosis. Now, I think the link between auto-immune thyroid disease and grains/dairy/nuts is more established. I hope so.  I did not have to do a full auto-immune protocol elimination diet, but I will if I feel that things are getting worse for any reason.

Please, share my story with friends and family who may be getting diagnosed (or feel like they are misdiagnosed). I'd go to a functional medicine doc in a heart beat if my good doc cannot or will not help me with my meds. I would have been much better off had I gone this route.  Recovery is possible!

April 2014

What worked:
1. Getting the right medical advocates (hint it may not be your family!)
2. Getting the right doctor.
3. Getting the right meds
4. Getting the right diet

What didn't work:
1. Relying on only myself to see the doc when I was so sick.
2. Going back to the doctors who refused to treat me and refused to be respectful when I was obese.
3. Not getting on meds (I sure did try!)
4. Continuing to eat Grains- especially Wheat, dairy, and nuts. Thinking I HAD to live with major gas, bloating, sinus problems, cystic acne, and migraines. Not so for me.

 Anybody else have a hard time getting diagnosed with an auto-immune disease? Tricky stuff. Hang in there!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Weight Maintenance Update 2 years and 3 months - graphs, trends and more- 3 year anniversary!

3 Years!

Hello All! Time for a 2 year, 3 month weight maintenance update. NOTE:  If you are here from the Paleo-sphere, please note: I'm a weight maintainer first. I'm a scientist in real life. No apologies- this what works for me. I use a Paleo-ish and low inflammatory food template as a tool to maintain my weight loss and manage emotional eating.  If talk of weight, weight graphs, loosing weight, or anything else does not float your boat,  stop by another day. Thanks!

Highest Weight: 187.4 lbs
Current Weight: 117.0 lbs
Goal Weight Range: 113-118 lbs
Height: 5'1"
Age: 48
Menopause: 1.75 years
Emotional Eating: In remission 3 years
Auto-Immune Hypothyroid: in remission 17 years

May 3, 2014 marks the 3 year anniversary of the date I started my weight loss. It's a very, very special day. It also marks the day I started abstaining from most processed sugar. 3 years from the start of my final large weight loss that closed 40 years of yo-yo dieting. Today is a very, very special day for me. I didn't loose weight using a Paleo template, but the whole experience with Take Shape for Life (commercial weight loss program)  was like a stepping stone to the rest of my life. I'm forever grateful that I had the months of clarity and time to think straight

What's working this month
1.  Trend Identification. Yeah. I had a weight trend upwards mid-month. I took quick action after a sustained week of 118.5, above my range and so, so close to scream weight.

2. Food tracking. Yeah. I had a 1 minute pity party and tiny violin's played a sad, sad song. Carb creep is the root cause of all my sustained weight gain trains. I'm not emotionally eating or binge eating.  There's no room for my slippery slope thinking for not tracking carbs. There is no room for rug sweeping, justification, or excuses in my weight maintenance program. I'm tough, not moderate. I kicked the pity party to the curb after 1 whole minute and started tracking my food again.The ability to act quickly is key to my long term success.

3. Fit Bit- flex (see orange graphs below) is helping me to move more during the day. I got a fit bit mid-month as a gift. And, I'm having a blast moving more with a few people in real life who walk with me daily. I like that a lot. The graphs on the Fit bit are different from My Fitness Pal.

4. Stress management-  the second half of April 2014 has been stressful. Stress happens. Plumbing problems, work stress, a cat literally swinging off my dining room chandelier!  I've been taking a lot of fun photos, walking a lot, and trying to go to bed earlier to combat the stress.

I SEE you sustained weight gain
10 days of reversal
 What didn't work in the past:
1. Stopping weighing in and ignoring weight gain. By not looking, I felt I could "be strong" and reverse the gain. Nope!

2.  Not tracking carbs. By only tracking "points" I completely stuck myself for many, many years by choosing WW points rather than switching  my my protein/fat up and my carbs down. Better late than never.

3. Graphing: I was always a big graph person, but I did not act quickly enough to reverse small gains before the gains became 20, 30, 50, 70 pounds!!

4. Stress Management.- I would eat food to calm myself. It didn't work. Problem is still there AND I needed to buy larger clothes.

Coming up next, a post about my auto-immune thyroid disease. I haven't told that story yet.

If you like weight graphs, be sure to stop over to see Keep It Up David's weight maintenance graphs. Warms my heart to know there are other maintainers that use weight graphs as tools in the process. ;)  Keep It Up David!

3 YEARS graphed!!

Friday, May 2, 2014

No Grains, No Gains- topic Changes in the Family, after going grain free

Our Mission Statement : A group a of Primal/Paleo/Grain free women who blog about their experiences/life/benefits without grains. It’s a great way for others (who may be wanting to lose weight, reverse an acute/chronic health trend, and/or transition from commercial weight loss programs) to read about real life women who are living the life and succeeding!

This month's topic: Changes in the family, after going grain free.

I was once told, by a great counselor : "When you stop eating emotionally, your entire family dynamic will change. "
Night and day difference

It didn't really sink in until years later. I started and stopped eating emotionally. It wasn't until I removed wheat  in July of 2011 ( I removed real sugar in May of 2011) that those words sunk in.

Physical food: What I buy, eat, and where we eat out profoundly effects both of us.
Thought changes: How we think about: how well we feel after we eat food, habits

1.  I stopped buying big bags of processed snacks.
Before: Pirates Booty
Now: Bulk mixed nuts

2.  I stopped buying little bags of snacks.
Before: 100 calorie packs (cringe, this still gives me the sads)
Now: I buy beef jerky, containers of guacamole, full fat cheese

3. I stopped buying chocolate milk boxes.
Before: Hershey's chocolate milk boxes
Now: I buy full fat yogurt, and sometimes almond milk or coconut milk

4. I stopped buying juice boxes
Before: 100% juice boxes in every lunch (it's 100%, it MUST be good.. sugar, sugar)
Now: Eat a real piece of fruit, water bottle in the lunch bag

5. I stopped buying and making pizza
Before: pizza was a regular food group at my house
Now: We use marinara on bison or beef and Italian spices

6. I stopped buying baking staples, boxed brownie mixes, and "treats" at the grocery
Before: I'd by big boxes of Ghiradelli brownies at Costco
Now: We can pick anything we want on the fruit/veggie/meat side of the farmer's market 

7. I stopped bringing home baked goods from work.
Before: I'd wrap up what ever left over cookie, cake, brownie, food from work- extra from meetings
Now: I don't eat at work or bring home left overs.

Thought changes:

1. I started asking "Am I hungry, are you hungry". And serving accordingly.
before: Same portions, same meal times
Now: Okay to eat little or more of the template foods based on your own hunger. Eat later, but on a real foods template if you are hungry.

2. How does that make you feel after you eat it? 
Before: We'd eat, what ever- bread, sugar, etc. Bloating, tiredness, lay on the couch, movies & nap.
Now: Less sitting on the couch. More active dog walking, moving around

3. Long term genetic considerations: What foods provide good bone growth, low allergy, overall good health, low inflammatory etc ?
Before: I used a lot of canola oil and margarine OR I was afraid of fat I would use applesauce (as moisture in muffins!!! ) There was a lot of soy involved, too.
Now: I use coconut oil, avocado oil, and butter (for Jr. Family member)

4. How does the food allow us to do our activities the same or next day:
Before: There would be hot pockets and processed frozen dinners. "Too busy" to cook.
Now: Okay, you're in kayak camp, I'm walking a lot today and doing strength at the gym- how about some good protein and fats tonight ( fruit for my daughter since she eats more carbs)

That's it. Those are some of the change in foods and thought processes. I'm so impressed that by changing my own diet, I've helped set a better foundation for being well for my daughter.

Check out the blogs of my other No Gains, No Grains friends to see what family changes they've seen since going grain free.    Gwen, Lynda, Leigh, and Jeanette .