Saturday, August 30, 2014

Elimination did not equal Restriction - thoughts about no sugars no grains in weight maintenance

2012  to 2014  Weight maintenance
 Elimination did not equal Restriction - in my food template in weight maintenance

(***I realize that for some people, eliminating foods may equal triggering a path that is not healthy... that's something between you, your doctor(s), and your higher power... you know yourself. You may want to skip this post***)

I've had 40 years of on and off overweight, obesity, and even morbid obesity. That's a long, long time. I can only speak for myself here. I'm new to the "New Normal" - aka life without sugars and grains.

When I chose to eliminate grains and almost all process sugar, I was very deliberate in calling it an elimination. I needed to eliminate one or more of the root causes (or contributing factors to the process) of my obesity. Deep, deep down, I knew sugar was my primary trigger food.

I could look back to many times as a child and the only time I was not hooked into food was when I stopped eating processed sugar. Rather than feeling "deprived", I felt well for a few days, weeks or maybe even a month.

Elimination: Wheat: When I eliminated gluten during my loss phase , I felt so much better! GI problems gone. Joint pain gone. Fewer cravings, Puffy face, going away. I learned this about 6 weeks after I started my weight loss plan. It took awhile to learn.

Elimination: Sugar: When I eliminated sugar, cravings - the most intense ones, went away. I still had cyclic cravings as part of the cycle of withdrawal, but more manageable. I was free to have some non-food thoughts for a few hours, days, and then weeks. Oh! Hello regular life... it's nice here in the new normal. Not going back to the old.

Have I restricted in the past, yes! I did when I was young (as a kid- I didn't know better), I did when I was older as an adult because I believed the calories in, calories out theory ONLY. That worked for weight loss for me several times. It never ever worked for weight maintenance. EVER.

For my long term weight maintenance:

The food template that works for me is elimination
1. Eliminating Grains, Sugars = Food sobriety, meal in meal out, day in day out.

2. Choosing to eliminate the other foods (dairy, legumes, nuts) are the proverbial "frosting on the cupcake that I don't eat any more" = lower inflammation, better GI health, little acne, better sleep and stopping headaches- cluster and migraines.

In the past: What didn't work:
1. Eating moderate grains (whole wheat, whole wheat cereal, muffins, pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, pasta, or attempting to eat gluten free processed food).

2. Eating dairy, legumes, and nuts in my diet: I knew that dairy made me feel funky. I realized I could not stop eating nuts. I knew it but I just was too far down the denial mile to accept that elimination could help me feel, sleep and look a whole lot better

So glad I listened to my body and not to a any plans that had me trying to eat all things in "moderation". *Many thanks to Barbara Berkeley, MD and her book Refuse to Regain who "normalized" the idea of being tough, not moderate around grains, processed sugar for me * Also a shout out to the No Sugars No Grains group (#NSNG)  over at Vinnie Tortorich and Anna Vocino where I can be "one of the crowd".

I needed that mind-shift.  Glad to have my life back! More time to spend with my family and hiking at the beach. Life is better off the yo-yo.  Elimination for me = my best health.  Love the new normal. No restrictions from the awesomeness!
Point Dume, near Malibu, CA


  1. I had one of those market deli chickens last night for the first time in months, and OMG was I sick...especially between 4-6 am this morning. Not sure what it was exactly...I suspect either hormones in the chicken, or perhaps an odd seasoning, but lesson learned. I like chicken even less now. That said, my reactions to sugar and grain aren't as violent as yours have been, so I'm not as 100% strict in my elimination as you are. Closer to 95%. But I totally get that and wish I could get to the emotional place where I could kick this last 5% to the curb. :)

    1. Gwen, as hard as it is to kick some of the foods to the curb, I'm so rewarded everyday with the lack of cravings, decisions (should I, shouldn't I) that its so worth the elimination of that food. I find I only battle my own mind and once I get past the cravings, that on the other side is further recovery from my emotional/ binge eating - and the though of "why didn't I do this sooner!!!" - Weight maintenance is a progressive learning experience and willingness to change up... good luck!.

      Those deli chickens... I stopped eating them... I used to be the Deli Chicken Queen. I realized that I wanted to eat a lot, a lot, and eat some more- basically a binge urge. I'm sensitive to all things MSG, Sugar, Corn Starch- and there's a lot of flavor injections going on in those birds. Lots! Here's an example thread discussing it . Hope you feel better soon.

    2. You know...those deli chickens. I don't know if what we have here is the same, but our local grocr has these "oven-roasted" chickens which includes some powdered, reddish seasonings on top. I have oftenwondered what is in that seasoning because after I've eaten my non-breaded, oven-roasted chicken...feeling quite virtuous in my choice...I get terrible bingey feelings. I haven't had that chicken in quite a while, but I've wondered if I was being weird in thinking there was a connection between the bird and the binge.

      Maybe not.

      Thanks for this post.


    3. I suspect deli chickens like I suspect ALL deli/sandwich meats.... they're better than pasta at organized lunches, but they're still not something that's wholesome to eat on a regular basis! roasted chicken is SO easy (and so tasty) -- perhaps those who regularly pick up a deli chicken could get in the habit of buying a good-quality raw bird every weekend and just throwing it in the oven to be reheated and enjoyed later!

  2. Karen, thanks for the links to the websites and podcasts. I have discovered lots of good info through your site. The podcasts in particular keep me going while I exercise in the evening, plus the info they contain is great. Always interesting to hear how others do things. Like some other readers, I find it very difficult to be completely grain free. You make it seem easy (I know it isn't/wasn't, I don't mean to down play your accomplishment). I find it so very difficult to wrap my head around the fact that bread and things of that nature can be 'bad' for you when they taste so good. It's so ridiculous that things that taste so good can do such harm. One of these days I'll get it. I get into such a mental struggle with myself - I am sure you know that conversation "It's only a bagel/donut/piece of toast - moderation, it's okay, one won't harm you, blah, blah, blah" One leads to - well you know. anyway, again, thanks for continuing to blog, and for sharing things that keep you motivated. It really helps the ones following in your footsteps. I'm not in maintenance yet but practicing a maintenance mindset (when I can) as I think I'm fairly close. Perhaps not by a number on the scale, but for my own piece of mind, I think I'm going to remain and maintain where I am for a while.