Friday, June 17, 2016

4 years, 4 months in long term weight maintenance- holding steady, body & mind

May 2011 to June 2016
Starting weight 187.4 lbs
Goal Range 115-125 lbs
Current Weight 124.0 lbs
Keeping off 63.4 lbs
Time in maintenance 4 years, 4 months
Age 50
Menopause 2+ years
Height 5'1"
Auto-Immune Hashimotos 1997
Food Addict in Recovery: 5th year
Current food template: Paleo/LCHF, modified AIP
Walking 14-16,000 steps per day
Weight lifting 2 days per week
Sprints on the rowing machine 2 days per week

I'm holding steady.  123-124 for an average

1-2 binge urges ,with no action taken
No slippery slope thinking
Great margin between the thoughts and feelings/action

Hey! My doctor was correct in her prediction I'd level off. And I'm doing some intense work on the meditation stuff.  I am leveling out with post menopausal weight gain. I'm looking for long term stability. I've got some great weight plateaus at 119 and 123 or lower 124's. And that's okay. I've got many decades of life in front of me, so a weight maintenance strategy is required post morbid obesity.

Weight Plateau's in weight maintenance 1 year

What's working for me this month: 
Mind stuff #1 I kept my mind in line and even though a few binge urge thoughts poked up last month ( probably stress induced), I identified them quickly and let them pass right through, noting as my Mindspace app taught me to do. Ahhhh. Binge brain. I don't have to act or react. I felt my feelings and went about my day. Long term recovery from food Addiction, still work to be done. Nobody gets a free pass. And, that's okay. It's part of normal adulting.

Mind stuff #2 The scale was down a couple of times in May and up a couple of times. I don't celebrate too much over the highs and the lows. I'm looking at averages and median averages and shifts and trends. I adjust accordingly. Long term maintenance requires that steady on approach, IMO.

Food stuff #3 I am still experimenting with a few days still high fat, but higher low carb veggies, too. Not that much. I go from 24 grams of carbs up to about 42 grams of carbs TOTAL for the whole day, depending on how I feel. If I'm hungry I'll eat, if not I don't. What a gift abstaining has brought.

Think in and out of low level ketosis. I do like the energy bursts in ketosis. I do like to stack up a bunch of non-starchy carbs from veggies at night some days. 

Body stuff #4.  I get super, super dry eyes below certain fat percentages. Oh, boy. It may be normal aging but I do think keeping the higher fat diet does help my hormones in aging keep my eyes happy. Whoa!  Time will tell if there is a correlation. I'll stop in to the optometrist or opthomologist  if it continues. Could just be normal menopausal stuff. 

Work outs #5 I've added more modified push ups at home and squats. Wow! in even just a few weeks, I can see more muscle definition in my arms and my shape has changed in my lower body, too. I like it, as more muscle tone will help me with bone loss, core stability, and balance, and just day to day wellness.

Work outs #6 I've replaced running tabata style of work outs with rowing and some fast stair walking. I think that running, even 4 minute alternate- 20 seconds on , 10 seconds off is inducing my positional vertigo. There's lots of other sprint work outs- rowing, cycling, etc. 

That's it, my update. Blogging less but feeling pretty good and taking time for myself.

What didn't work in the past

Mind stuff #1- Thinking that my binge urges were intuitive eating ways that my body NEEDED my trigger foods- grains, sugars, processed junk. That by not eating it, I would binge. Well that was so messed up!!!! It only triggers more binge eating. Not my fault, but abstinance, with margin for the WIN now. 

Food addiction really does progress and get way worse. I needed a bigger and bigger dopamine hit to get food high. Terrible, really.  It's not my fault. I'm wired that way, but I do have a  personal and social responsibility to live food sober. 

Mind stuff #2 - Celebrating the scale being down by moderating skinny cow ice creams and jelly beans. Hey low points, Hey, hey, hey fat pants. This did not work.

Food stuff #3 & 4 I counted WW points instead of carbs. 200-250 grams of carbs a day, low, low fat kept me morbidly obese for many years. Sigh..... So many preventable ailments- like joint pain, migraines, acne. I had it all backwards, due to the current nutrition guidelines.

Workouts #4 and #5 I walked 4-5000 steps a day. Or I would chronic cardio it and train for half marathons. Both were not optimal and contributed to my aches and pains. 

Weight graphs. Daily weighing helps me not open the door to the binge brain. For sure!
Use it,  if it works for you Some people benefit, some people don't. Just like moderation and abstaining with food. Find what works, own it like a boss.  Be sure you are deciding for yourself ! Food addiction recovery requires a lot of critical thinking.- IMO.

Happy Summer!  


  1. You are such a geek... said in the nicest possible way :) All those charts!! Don't worry, Stu's always calling me a geek too. I take it as a compliment for sure... shows my brain is still working well. My post menopause weight has also levelled off but I still need to watch out for the very slow creep that can happen. You're doing a great job.

    1. Lynda- LOL... thank you so much. I am doing the plateau happy dance. I think when my doc told me it would level off, I relaxed a bit- and that probably helped me, too. Yes... the slow creep. The So Cal summer is upon us so I've gotten into the summer seasonal foods. Except for last summer, I usually lose weight, my appetite is lower, vacations with walking, etc.

      Take care and thank you for stopping by the blog. :)

  2. Oh, Karen, weight maintenance is really a process, isn't it? The work never ends, and I do understand that. It is so helpful for me to see the work you do and the analysis of trends here. I am every but as analytical as you are but in a more disorganized way. I don't keep the graphs and charts. But I do get on the scale every day and I really have been trying to figure out who I can't lose more quickly! I have stalled out for about two weeks, but I suspect eating too much lunch meat (salami, I'm talking about you!) has been a problem as has the increased cheese I've been eating. I also am going back to eating three meals a day instead of two starting today. I really do better with more carbs from fruit (apples and berries) and less dairy and salami. Of course, grains are totally off the table, and I honestly don't miss them at all a year after getting rid of them (with a few lapses here and there). But oh how I crave and miss sugar. That is still one of my "rocks" I need to conquer. I am committed to get these final 10 pounds off before menopause hits. My current clothes are all fitting well after getting tight this winter, but I want some leeway with menopause.

    Anyway sorry for the long comment. It just helps to "share" with a long term maintainer who does the work and eats in a way I can get on board with (even if I am a bit higher carb and lower fat than you).

    1. Yeah, Ali. Good on you for daily weighing. Such an inexpensive tool to use, even just to see how foods affect you or trending.

      Wheat and dairy seem to be what the podcast gurus who train people OR MD's on podcasts who treat people- anyone who has clinical experience with good outcomes in obesity medicine or practice seem to say those two things. Grains and dairy Just knowing what fruits work will take you a long way.

      Ahhhh, sugar. It took 6-8 weeks (Medifast), then 2-3 years to rebuild the brain stuff. Now with a LCHF, I couldn't even THINK about some of the stuff I binge ate at night. Amazingly, my doc asked me- "What about nighttime snacking, it can be problematic for many"- I told her straight out- Oh, no, after dinner, I'm full, I couldn't even think about eating more." Amazing.

      Stick with it and the sugar cravings will go away in the long run. I expect if you remove dairy, that you may see your cravings decrease???!! Or not. Let us know. Thanks for your kind words. Sometimes I get teary eyed that I could have worked my way out of a 40 year binge cycle to be able to eat such good food. Recovery is the good life. Here's to finding that place. It's well worth powering through binge urges without giving in.

  3. ROWING!

    Fabulous choice, really works whole body.

    Remember to really work on shoulders down and back and contract that whole upper back when you finish the pulling back part and are just about to pull forward.

    1. Okay, will do, Vickie! Thanks. My gym has several concept2 rowers and some nice stairs to get some burst/tabata style of work outs in. It's nice to balance with the weight lifting and machines.

  4. How long does it take you to walk so many steps each day? I'm only walking 25 minutes daily and that only gets me around 2700 steps. In order to get 16,000 steps, I'd have to continue walking at least four more hours, maybe more, which is not feasible for me. I've been battling sciatica for a couple of months now, but am gradually improving. I think the daily walking is helping a lot. I started at only 15 minutes but am continuing to increase each week.

    This next week we'll be in San Diego and have plans to do much more walking. Today, it was 120 in good old Maricopa, Arizona and we are looking forward to a much cooler week. :)

    1. Hi Caron, good to see you. I walk with a group in the AM at work 30-40 mins. That gets me about 4-5,000 steps. I would have walked to get into work already at work so my total would be 6-7,000 steps. Then I take stretch breaks where I walk for 5 or 10 minutes every 2 hours or so. I might do stair bursts of 2-3 fast sessions.

      Then, I may walk 10-15 after dinner. Or if my job assignment has me walking a lot, then maybe not. On the weekends or holidays, I might go on a beach walk/photosession that has me walking 1.5 -2 hours, part stop and go, part walking fast.

      I average 60-75 active minutes on my fitbit HR. If I slack off (like the last 2 days), the weight starts creeping up. If I go under 11,00 I can get slippery slope thinking. So walking I go. I also do 2 days of strength at the gym where I'll squeak in more stairs and do rowing sprints.

      I never EVER exercise to eat more. That's a metabolic game that produces obesity in many. I look a lot more at my macros, and less calories in calories out. They matter, but not as much as me staying away from most fruits so I don't set up type 2. I'll eat more the days I walk more, for sure, but I don't exercise to eat more food.

      My mom in Phoenix has told me about the weather!!! Glad you are escaping, the San Diego "heat wave" low 80's will feel great. Safe travels to you. :) Karen P