Friday, October 3, 2014

No Grains, No gains October 2014 - Body image and body acceptance in weight maintenance


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!
Body image
  1. How your body shape /size has changed?
May 2011
 Wow! I've changed my body shape completely. This is a side photo of 187 pounds on a 5'1" me. Visceral fat. A lot of it.

I've lost a lot of weight through my middle, and really all over my whole body.

I lost 37% of my body weight in 40 weeks. About 70 pounds.

I went from a size 18 or 1X to a size 4-6.

37% of my body weight lost. About one third of the Biggest Loser contestants loss LESS body percentage in Season #15 (Spring 2014). I cried when I realized that.  I was shocked. And I had kept the weight off off 2+ years. Wow!

37% of my body weight gone.  Still, I'm blown away by that! Holy Smokes. Whaaaat!!?? True! It's still a little bit of awesomeness. Really.  Check it out: Scroll down on the Wiki page for Biggest Loser Season 15.  Still, I'm a bit shocked.

2. How has your body changed in weight maintenance?

Feb 2012 and August 2014 Maintaining Weight loss long term
I've gotten a bit curvier. I weigh 2-3 pounds more, but I'm 2-3 times stronger, too!

When I gain weight, real weight gain, it's all in my abdomen.

I take visceral fat as a super serious threat to my long term health, so I take action ASAP- usually dropping carbs and upping protein or fat will get me where I need to be. Back on track.

I get a little bit more sub-cutaneous fat on my hips during winter. It's not really so cold in San Diego, but I suspect it's a normal for me. Probably not inflammatory, based on my hs-CRP values, lack of joint pain, etc.

I can still wear the same clothes year round.

My skin is clearer now that I got off dairy.
I also tan a whole lot better when I used to burn now that my diet is lower inflammatory. The lower inflammation and resulting vitamin absorption no doubt helps (I learned this in the Primal Blue Print- Mark Sisson)

 Even though I'm dairy free- I still practice Primal Living.  I living Primally as seriously as I do visceral fat. I prioritize a better way of living.

3. Strength training:
Aug 2014- Warner Bros Studios
I've gotten more muscular in my arms from working out 2X per week. That's nice.

It's also essential for my long term bone and muscle health. Another win.

Finally, first time in my adult life, I felt like wearing a sleeveless shirt. That's all Folks! When traveling around LA in summer temps, playing super tourist, sleeveless was nice.

It looks like Bugs Bunny is going to hook my arm at any moment. LOL!

4. Body Acceptance:  For me, it was a process. It took a while. Here's what helped- a big dose of reality and honesty, and humor. Major transformations are NO JOKE. It's a mind bender.

A. My weight loss health coach reminded me to take a whole lot of photos early on and place them everywhere. "You'll want to identify with the thin you." Something to the fact that if I couldn't mentally shift, that I would be at higher risk for identifying with the obese me.

B. I realized at goal weight (115) that parts of my body were as big as they were at 187. Really, thighs, parts of my arms. Still pretty big. Not quite as big, but add in excess skin, and yeah, when I sit down, I'm about the same size. That's okay. My health risks are low. The day I noticed it, I laughed and laughed. Holy Guacamole. It's all good.

I won't be getting skin surgery. Too busy saving money for a better camera and awesome trips with my daughter. Size 4-6 clothes fit. Spandex is cheap. Very few skin infections, no pain. Life is short, so am I.  ;)  The trips just keep getting better and better, no matter where we travel.
Pt Dume, Malibu, CA

 C. I took time to recognize myself in the mirror. It took a while, sometimes I still look at myself (gym) and think, "Hey, that chick  looks familiar, probably a neighbor.. OH, MYGOD, it's me staring at myself in the gym mirror... ".  Yeah, I still sometimes don't recognize myself.

D. I look different to others. I scared my daughter in a hotel by walking up and sitting down on a lobby sofa. She nearly ran off!!! She didn't' recognize me, and this was 1.5 years after the weight loss. The look on her face! Whoa! We laugh about it now.

E. I still feel like I'm 187  *some days*. Really, I do. But I know it's false brain signals. So, I remind myself I'm a normal weight. I tell myself, I deserve this, that I did the work, that I'll show up to do the work, and that the obese feeling is the old neruo- path ways still zooming around.

F. I still don't think I look as thin as I should/could *sometimes* Also, false brain signals. That and clothes that aren't the best for my shape or are ill fitting. I remind myself not to get stuck in the old thinking. Maintaining a major weight loss requires that I deal with this stuff. I have to be honest. I have to buy spandex. No, really- I vary in how I look. We all do.

Whatever! I'm going to think a little bit more about losing more weight than a Biggest Loser- Keeping it off longer, and looking for that familiar face in the gym mirror! More weight than a Biggest Loser.....  laughing, crying.. whoa!!! Awesome sauce! Heh, Heh... Don't get me started on visceral fat.. because I'm going to go all NINJA on that......

Time to check out what Jeannette and Leigh have to say about this topic. Be sure to check out their blog topics at

Jeannette at For Life:
Leigh at Poonapolooza:

Okay, any observations? Have you had it take some time and space for your brain to get caught up to your body?



  1. I loved this post! And I think you look fantastic and toned in your recent pictures.

    1. Thanks, Hils!! I had 2 other big weight losses where I got used to how I looked (the devastation after re-gain was mentally tough as it was physically). I think it made the body image easier this time around...

  2. You have done so well Karen, fantastic post - thanks.

    All the best Jan

  3. As someone who lost 40 pounds and keeps it within 5 pounds for 14 years now I can say it does take time
    to recognize yourself in the mirror. I look every day first thing in the morning after weighing in I do it daily
    the number doesn't define me its just "information" plus I still wear the same size clothes size 12 that I have worn
    since 1999 season in season out its nice. I find that my eating has changed yet again now that I am 50 post
    menopausal and I have to eat gluten free since it makes me sick but I learned the hard way the past year that
    gfree foods are higher carb than I am used to and it caused me to gain 4.5 that I have been stuck at for a year now.
    I am working on reducing processed foods in my diet Hoping that will get me down to 157 again. I just found your
    blog from a comment you left at Diane's blog. Congrats on all your success. I admire you for taking pictures of yourself
    I loathe taking pics of myself but I might start and keep them private you inspire me.

    1. Susan--- Love the "information" part of weighing in!!! I too had to switch my carbs a little lower and I also steer clear of gluten free products- the great thing is , very few menopause symptoms for me.

      Thank you for your kind comments and stopping by the blog.