Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Two Years, 8 Months in Weight Maintenance - sustaining the transformation

 2 years, 8 Months in weight maintenance:

Highest Weight 187
Current Weight 119
Weight Range 113-119
Age: 48
Height 5'1"
Menopause: Yes! 2 years, rare hot flashes!
Glucose 2 hours post meals: 80's
Blood pressure: 100/59

All right! Here's what is working right now  ( I had a 1 hour mis-publish today. Apologies- here's the real deal)

1. Paleo-ish food template.  Yeah, it works well for me, my genetics and over all health. Really, really well! I sleep better, low inflammation, no headaches, better skin, more muscles, great blood work, very few binge urges. One stop shopping. I went in seeking weight maintenance, I found long term health. Sustainable, feeling full except right before meals. Sometimes, I feel guilty... (future blog post on this- survivors guilt.. )

2. Walking daily with Fitbit Flex: I'm still using my fitbit flex to track steps. I experiment around between walking 12,000 + to walking 15,000+ steps daily, most days. Depends on my work assignments, time, etc.  The graphs are fascinating.
3. Blogging less and getting stuff done- Priorities: I've been posting less (not because I'm binging, at the top of my weight range, etc) but working on house projects, getting and giving support. It feels right. I still tweet, read, and interact on social media (entertainment on my 2+ hours of commute time a day- in a vanpool, I don't text and drive!) I do watch some TV, but I'll watch on a mobile device while I clean or work on a project.

What hasn't worked in the past:

1. Adopting a food template that was not optimal for me:  Moderating junk food, counting points at WW and thinking I could eat "anything in moderation". Nope. Doesn't work for me. Kept me pretty sick for along long time. I had to forgive myeslf for not moving on sooner and trying to make it work. Sigh....  My take away: put the time into your own sustainable plan. No one else can do this! Thinking for myself is key!

2. Not monitoring my steps and believing that 4,000-5,000 per day was going to fit for me. Don't feel bad if that's your level. I'm a life long walker- started in High School. That's my go to activity. I do find I drop below 10,000 steps AND 60 minutes of decent activity, I will regain.

3. Getting to distracted: Easy to eat the SAD diet and sit on the couch and watch TV- eating low fat ice cream with M&M toppings. Be on the internet too much. Pretty easy trap to fall into. Priorities, focus, and avoiding food comas from high carb/sugar foods are key. I've heard many people say when they switch to more of a real foods template- TV goes out the window. I can say I'm one of those people. It was a natural progression from 2012 to now.

What's up for the Month of Oct-Nov 2014

1. My weight is up higher: experimenting with some pickled/fermented onions. Going to stop now!
1.5 I'll be tracking my food on My Fitness Pal for the next month or so due to my weight trending higher. Quick course correction is the cornerstone to my success. I don't cut calories, I do watch my carb levels. 
2. Awaiting on my yearly blood work, so I may make changes based on the results, or not.
3. Low tides, so I'll be hitting the tide pools and the beaches a lot.


  1. Congrats, Karen! Always a great role model!

    1. Thanks! Another month down... so glad I can take quick action and don't hide from reality.

  2. Your posts and progress reports have always been and continue to be such an inspiration to me! Keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks, Sharon! It's turning out "easier" - not easy, but by eating the right food template- so much of my life is easier- without joint pain, no more migraine headaches, clear skin- feeling 28 at age 48 and through menopause is just unbelievable some days! Pushing through to optimize the food (sleep/exercise also) for only weight maintenance is easier than trying to moderate and treat my "symptoms". I never would have guessed it would be one stop stopping to stop binging either.

      Looking forward to seeing your fall photos on your blog

  3. You look great, Karen! You are so petite! But as someone who is also short (but not as think as you), I know how much a pound or two means. I saw the scale creep up two pounds, and I must get it off. Quick question: when you say 10,000 steps and some form of activity what does the form of activity mean? Also do you walk fast or slow? And last, do you get your steps in every day or do you have a rest day?

    1. Ali, I'm a walker. I walk 30 mins at my lunch time, then 3, ten minute short walks. Then my accumulated walking through the day. On the weekends, I'll take 60 minute hikes, plus some incidental walking on errands. It all comes to about 4-5 miles during the week and 5-6 miles during the weekend. Although I do think there may be an inflammatory sweet spot and that I may need to concentrate more on HIIT workouts (Tabata style sprinting). Time will tell.

      I love that walking is low inflammatory over all. Almost 0 injuries (I'll trip on a tree branch now and again), no joint pain and I can hike for miles or walk for miles when traveling or needing to for work. I plan to walk well into my 90's, so I'm happy that I've got something sustainable.

    2. Thanks for the response, Karen. I used to do 60 minutes of cardio three times a week with HIIT thrown in and then an extra day of regular cardio for 60 minutes along with weights. And I was 20 pounds heavier so I don't think doing that much HIIT was helpful, but I do like to do at least 30 if not 45 minutes of HIIT twice a week. I think for me, more cardio made me believe I could eat more. It was only when I injured myself on the leg press and had to pull back from heavy cardio and walk and lift for my upper body that I lost a bit of weight because I really focused on what I ate. Yes, I need to exercise, but food intake is essential. I recently aggravated my injury by going on a safer leg press (my PT told me I could, but I miscalculated the weight and pushed a bit and felt a pull--and learned my lesson--I am staying away from the leg press forever!). I am now doing lighter cardio and upper body weights and really watching my food.

  4. Meant to write "thin" not "think." When I write on my iPad, I am prone to making errors!

  5. You are looking great Karen - it's so important to "maintain". People think we lose weight and boom.. magic it stays of. Of course it takes positive steps and a lifestyle change. By the way your blood pressure is insanely low/normal!! Well done :)

    1. Lynda, thank you! I think insurance companies, employers ( I'll lose $40 discount/ month) WW, MF and other weight loss companies tell us "Lose weight, oh and maintain it" and the success rate is pretty low. There is not much structure. I still weigh in at WW because it is free and I can see what my weight looks like to a doctor (2-3 pounds higher than at home).

      The people making the maintenance "rules" have no clue that overcoming 40 years of obesity is no joke.

      Re: blood pressure- yes! I chatted up the Paleo Care Nurses (podcast/nutritional coaches) who tipped me off that it could indicate "adrenal fatigue" but I'm feeling pretty good and my bio-markers/blood work suggests that's probably my "normal" pressure. I do use sea salt on my food to keep my blood pressure from being too low. Tastes great, too!

      Thanks for stopping by. Will you get to see Jimmy Moore in NZ/AU this year? Dr. Timothy Noakes in South Africa retweeted my tweet to this post yesterday to 48+ thousand of his followers! Made my day, for sure! Thanks to you and others speaking out about low carb. :)

  6. Well done from me too Karen

    All the best Jan

  7. I would like to find a community of people in real life near me who eat primal/paleo. It seems like the main way to do that is through some of the Crossfit gyms. They are pricey though. Real-life support is invaluable, I think.