Saturday, July 22, 2017

My best post vacation tools for Weight Maintenance 2017- slight adjustments, immediate action

Long term weight maintenance 2017, BMI Ave 21.7

Long Term Weight Maintenance, with loss, 2016, BMI Ave = 23.1

So, I went above my most desired weight maintenance range of 113 to 116 lbs. (at 5'1" desired puts me at BMI of 21.4 to 21.9 ). Once I go >22, I find it easier to gain weight. I like my best range, so I'm going to work to stay in it during my early 50's as much as possible.

I didn't go above 117, but I'm not starting to trend back below 116 either. So....

I'm taking immediate action Going outside my range will happen. Swift action is needed. A plan is needed. My effective tools are needed.

What I don't need: I don't need to panic, lie to myself about "just a pound" "maybe it's muscle weight"" the weather is sooo hot" " the scale is a lying liar that lies" Baloney.  All BS, in my opinion. Although I was in range on my first day back from vacation, I didn't stay there. No sense in lying to myself about it.

Reality: I can see the trend. I can reverse the trend if I do the work. Critical thinking and the right tools with day-in-day-out work are required. 90-95% of my success will be due to the foods I put into my body. My habits and thought processes are built.

For me, it's a biochemistry deal. 90-95%. My body will reward me well for putting the right food in my pie hole, in the right amounts, during the right time of day. LET'S GO!

Project Summer 2017 level out, tend down is in effect. If you are just starting weight maintenance- take note, if you were at weight maintenance and fell off take note, if you are losing back to weight maintenance, take note.

I don't have to weigh in for my health insurance discount until October, but if I don't take action now, I could easily be into paying $40 more a month for insurance in 2018. Insurance company doesn't give a rat's patootie that I was overweight and obese for 40 years. They just want to up their premiums. As a single head of household, it's ON for getting that discount. Plus, I can save by not developing type 2 diabetes,

My best tools in order of effectiveness for leveling off and losing a pound or two near goal maintenance weight :

0. Stay on my abstaining food template.
1. Intermittent Fasting, daily 17:7 or 18:6
2. Tracking food in My Fitness Pal.
3. Bringing my total calories down 100-200 calories daily or so.
4. Monitoring my exercise WITH my calories
5. Bring my total fat grams down closer to my total protein grams
6. Bring protein grams up slightly, closer to my fat grams (fat grams are higher for me LCHF, even with weight loss)
7. Abstaining from fruit, because I cannot lose weight while eating fruit.
8. Sleep adequate
9. Walking adequate
10. Gym adequate
11. Flexibility and Stair Sprints and Meditation goals

I'm not adding new skills or habits. I am making slight adjustments -

For example:  say total fat for the day going from weight maintenance of 90-115 grams more to 80-90's grams

For example: say total protein for the day going from 60-70 to 70-80 grams

For example: extra beef or chicken or seafood, keeping protein slightly leaner

I'll remove calories via mostly by lowering fat closer to protein:

For example: Olive Oil in breakfast and lunch lowered by half
For example: abstaining from pumpkin seeds
For example: lowering my avocado intake slightly

I can make it all do able and in the next month or so, demonstrate that I can get back to desired range and maintain it. Because I have all year.

What didn't work in the past-

0. Eating all things in moderation
1. Eating from 6am to 10 pm
2. Tracking WW points based on low fat, set me up for a binge 100% Ugh!
3. Thinking I was "winning" by eating zero point or low point carby foods. Oh WW - double ugh!
4. Not adjusting or tracking movement with food in.
5. Trying to eat more grain carbs
6. Trying to cut protein to save WW points for Skinny Cow Ice Cream
7. Fruit was free, free y'all. Not once did I connect my near pre-diabetes diagnosis and lack of weight loss from my middle to fruit. What was I thinking???  OH, I wasn't thinking critically, that's right...
8. 5-6 hours of sleep seemed to be enough
9. Four thousand steps- wasn't going to help me
10.  I went to the gym so I could justify buying those protein bars and cookies that are really candy.  It didn't end well.
11. I was starting not to fit well in airplane seats, car seats, and at

It pays to know your best tools and use your best tools.  Once good habits are set, then slight adjustments don't take much time or plans or brain space. It's automated, routine, filling, and high in nutrients. EZ, relatively.

Safe travels and effective tracking. Always.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Return from Vacation 2017, still at weight maintenance goal, as planned

Port of Tacoma, July 2017

I've returned from my Pacific Northwest - Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympic Peninsula vacation.

What's working:

1. I had an Air B&N, so I stayed on track with cooking on template foods.

2. I had 1 day off somewhat gray zone foods that don't trigger in the right amounts and mindset. 70% Chocolate at Theo, some rice and beans at great restaurant in Seattle.

Theo Chocolate Factory Tour, 2017

3. I also ate later in the day due to my travel schedule, hiking, and amount of hiking. I took a break from tracking my food and from daily intermittent fasting.

I DID NOT use anything as an excuse to consume known trigger foods. And that ,my blog reading friends, is the reason why I returned home clear headed, rested, happy, pants fit, and I remained in goal weight maintenance range.

Results:  Weight Maintenance: Weighed in within my best weight range this morning at 116 lbs.

Strategy for the next 5 days

0. Time with my kid
1. Unpack & laundry
2. Resume tracking my food at MFP
3. Grocery Shop & cook my Paleo, LCHF foods
4. Work
5. Get as much sleep as possible
6. Keep hydrated
7. Walk
8. Gym 1-2 times.
9. Resume daily weighing
10 String together 5 solid days of 17:7 fasting

What didn't work in the past

1. Staying in hotels for the reason of making waffles or consuming high carb "free" breakfast buffets full of the crap that made and kept me obese and binge eating. It's FREE, it's low cost, I deserve a break said my disease.... Sigh.

2.  Eating everything and anything; BECAUSE VACATION.  I know I can 1-2X per year consume 70% chocolate without triggering my binge eating biochemistry. Next time will probably be Thanksgiving. I tried several samples of 70%, nut free at Theo Chocolate in Seattle.

 I enjoyed the 70% flavors and samples but could feel a normal "stop" signal and then didn't want any chocolate even the next day. In the past, eating higher sugar fudge (raise your hand if you've had Mackinaw Island Fudge on summer vacation), local candy and other junk food resulted in day and week long binge eating with no stops or breaks.

Ditto with the small amount of rice and beans. (my resting heart rate at night and overnight went through the roof 5-10 beats per minute higher average, so I may not eat the rice, next time.)

It's nice to know my trigger biochemistry and to be able to navigate and accept any negative outcomes for my choices. And, it's essential that I don't trigger the food addiction. Last binge trigger took 2-3 weeks to recover from a few macadamia nuts. That many nights with mild, to moderate binge urges. Oh, heck NOOOOO.

3. Eating pizza and fast food late into a travel day was pretty normal, and it didn't sit well for me day in, day out on prior to 2010 vacations. Oh, and then start with that crappy waffle breakfast the next morning. Ouch- joint pain and food cravings all day. What a terrible cycle I put myself in each summer.

I can only urge you to know your biochemistry and to abstain while traveling if you are in the same boat I'm in, and I know I'm not alone. I still took in the PNW sights, sounds, tastes and smells. I did so with my eyes wide open, a food plan, and the willingness to carry on and carry through from vacation back to normal life.

Just like my first photo, if those kayakers did not look up from their photo shoot (there's a big white dog on the kayak on the left -by the way) and the barge started to move, how's that going to end? My disease is always there- food addiction looms large, but I can always have a good time on vacation, just outside the shadow.

My food template is my life vest. My habits and thinking  are my boat. My motivation is my paddle.  Onward and here's to abstaining from the foods that take you away from a full, lower emotional and physical pain life we all deserve to live.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

5 years, 5 months long term weight maintenance - yes, calories matter (to me)- geez!

May 2011 to July 2017

May 2011 and July 2017 Long Term Weight Maintenance

Starting weight 187.4 lbs
Goal Range 113-125  lbs 
2017 best Goal Weight Range 113 to 116
Current Weight  115.0 lbs
Keeping off    72.4  lbs

Time in maintenance 5 years, 5 months

Age 51
Menopause 4+years
Height 5'1"
BMI 21.7
BMI ave this month 21.7
BMI ave last month 21.6 
Glucose (fasting & 2hr post this month range 65-94 mg/dL)

Food Template:  Paleo, LCHF,  Keto (some days because I fast ), 
Total Carb ave = 43 grams per day
Net Carb ave = 28 grams per day
Abstain from all grains, most sugars*, dairy. Nut free, artificial sweetener free **
* 85% chocolate 1X per day
** Tiny bit of stevia in my Natural Calm, magnesium supplement

Food Timing or Time Restricted Eating Window or Intermittent Fasting 17:7 or 18:6

17 hours fasting (water only)
7 hours eating, 3 meals
Eat 6am Stop eating at 1 pm

Or 18:6, I change it up a bit

Auto-Immune Hashimoto's Disease 1997, 100 ug Synthroid daily
Food Addict in Recovery: 6+ years
High Risk, but never diagnosed Type 2 diabetes

Walking 13,497 ave steps per day, June

Weight lifting : 1-2X per week, improved getting the gym in June

Sprints  4 days per week stair sprints 

Stair Ave/day for the month 18 stairs (Apple Health Kit)

I have so much to say, so here's the short version:

What's working now

1. Yes, calories matter- geeez. They do to me. I can tell you I put a lot of effort into looking at upward trends, level-offs, and losses. But it's NOT a lot of work. The work I do is more in critical thinking around shifts, trends, stability and loss. A little bit of daily data collection. Most of it is automated.

I look at a lot of data, quickly, very quickly- because- news flash- I have my data from My Fitness Pal. Boom 'yall. 
2017, Normal Weight Maintenance For the WIN!

I look at total calories, calories burned, weight, total carbs, net carbs, sleep, meditation, days at the gym, time put into my flexibility, the quality of my diet, any viruses or infections I had/have, binge urges, being honest with binge eating. 

5 years PLUS into this thing.  Honesty and the willing to call myself on my own baloney in my head is key. Really, total intake matters.  So does:

2. Sleeping enough
3. Walking enough
4. Weighing daily
5. Eating adequate protein and increasing protein, even while LOW CARB, some days (GASP!)
6. Sticking to my food plan, work, fair, stress, travel. 

You know what matters the most? Not lying to myself about what I need to look at monthly and what I need to carry out and do daily, if not hourly.

The scale is NOT a lying liar. It's a message to me to change something up that I can control. It's a message to me that my body needs something different than what I'm giving it. It's a message up to change something to more optimal. My body is messaging me, but will I listen?  Extra body weight on my 5'1" frame is going to hurt- bones, joints, metabolism, disease risk. 

I'd better listen....

I'm not a bad person, but I do need to use my brain to change what I can change.  It's not a message to stick my head in the sand further. My disease- binge eating- that's a lying liar .And, my fat wants to come back. Maintaining.

Paleo AF for long term weight maintenance
In June 2017 I walked a lot on my job, I went to the Del-Mar fair, I traveled to help a family member. All because I worked maintenance 5 years ago. And I work maintenance today. I can live life in maintenance. Because I'm honest with myself and I show up to do the work. I don't always like the work, but I do the work. Because I like life at a normal weight more than life at overweight, obese, morbidly obese.

I would have loved to overeat due to work stress, fun fair food, or travel or stress due to family life or heat. It would be easy to do, my fat really, really wants to come back. Wheeeee. Tee-Hee-Hee. If I catch myself saying or  wanting to "have fun, relax, everyone eats travel food, everyone eats comfort food " with food I know it's a habit and behavior to regain the weight. 

Forget it. I don't want my fat pants back, so I track my intake, activity, and other important data. 

Good thing I'm Paleo- Low Carb. and use weight maintenance tools that work for me

What did not work in the past

1. Not tracking calories
2. Not sleeping enough.
3. Not weighing daily- highly recommended to weight maintainers(the scale IS NOT lying, it's data)
4. Not walking enough (60 minutes of activity a day, common for maintainers)
5. Not eating enough animal based protein (I was scared of HIGH WW POINTS- ughhhh, what?? NOPES!)
6. Not sticking to my food plan while on vacation or at the local fair.

Overweight Teen, Karen P, 1980, FTO genes and binge eating
Did I mention I was overweight since the age of 6? On and off for 40 years. I unearthed this photo of myself, probably in 1980, summer. Just finished Freshman year in High School. 

 I started jogging not long after this and leaned out- when you are young, you can move more and get better results. Jogging while overweight as an adult only gave me injuries.

May 2011, obese peri-menopausal Karen P
Here I am peri-menopausal in 2011. Morbidly obese. Chowing down on cake, because, birthday! 

I have FTO, binge urges, Hashimoto's Disease, Menopause, but I also have the ability to use all my tools to stay well. And it's a good thing too, because my insurance wants to charge me $40/month for my troubles. 

What do I want more- all the food or a different life?  Yes, total calories matter. AND so do lot's of things. Many inputs matter in long term weight maintenance. I'm not a lone. I'm not a special snowflake. I have unique binge triggers and an unique food template, yes.

Calories and total intake matters a lot. Geez!  Critical thinking is very good.

Safe travels to you all. And, here's to tracking as needed. And, knowing what tools you need.

GRAPHS- because, best cheapest tool along with SCALE, along with My Fitness Pal, because there are lot of folks lying, hiding, and photoshopping. Yo!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July 4, 2017 Independence from things that hold us back in weight maintenance

Beach Camp Ground Flag, Carlsbad, CA

Happy July 4th, 2017
What's working for me in 2017

Independence from 

1. Binge triggers
2. Morbid Obesity
3. Overweight and Obesity
4. Most joint pain
5. High Glucose readings
6. Eating to soothe feelings

Dependence upon (what didn't work before May 2011)

1. Consuming known binge triggers under the excuse of "everything in moderation"
2. Morbid Obesity- hurt my joints, hurt emotionally, hurt financially in more illnesses
3. Overweight and Obesity- yo-yo made me a 4-6 size clothes storing and buying junkie
4. All over joint pain- dependent on massive bottles of Advil. 300-400 a year.
5. A high carb, low fat diet - I was sugar dependent eating 6 am -10 pm to fuel, almost type 2 diabetic
6. Dependent on sugar, grains, snacks, food emulsifiers, nuts shovel food constantly rather than deal

Three cheers to finding Paleo, Low Carb, Time Restricted Eating Windows and finally Keto

(Keto because time restricted eating and LC)

Three thunks on my head for allowing myself to stay stuck so freaking long that I continued to be
Dependence upon (what didn't work in the past)

1. Dependent upon sugary snacks (Cliff bars while training for half marathons)

2. Dependent upon getting worse and worse while proclaiming mightily "It's okay, I'm a WW member"

As if showing up to sit in the meeting granted me immunity from weight gain- I got a lot of head pats and sugar coating that was pretty enabling-IMO, that kept me hooked for along time. It's not WW fault, it was my responsibility to take myself out of that dynamic when I knew it didn't work, but like a true food junkie I knew I'd get a 3 points candy bar handed to me if I attended that week-oooooooh, 3's within my points budget this week- hmmm- I gained pound, oh wel-LOL-)

3. Dependent upon storing and buying all those clothes without stopping the cycle (hint that much yo-yo dieting is a sign)

4. Dependent upon pain killers (thank goodness I stopped at Advil)

5. Dependent upon eating food every 2-3 hrs thinking it would lead me to lean ( it made me more obese)

6. Dependent upon my disease to get food high, repent repeat (that's one heck of a cycle)

No would have, could have, should have.   I don't beat myself up, however setting boundaries, limits, and using critical thinking are key for not hopping back on the cyclic nature of weight regain, habits and behaviors.

Immense gratitude for food sobriety and all the wisdom along the way.

Here's to independence from what keeps you free! Onward. Break the cycle. The answers are inside of you. It takes a lot of work and eyes wide open thinking to break free.

What cycles have you become independent from, not to return?  Could be food, drink, domestic violence, tobacco, drugs, spending, gambling, internet, or any number of cycles.

Cycles and Patterns- look for them, they are everywhere!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Primal Play while taking care of myself- out enjoying a bit of stay-cation July 2017

Hello I'll. I'm working on my 5 year 5 month weight maintenance update.
To be honest, I feel much more like playing this summer rather than blogging.

1.  Playing on the coast via walking, beach combing and hiking.

Primal Play: My cube farm stair sprints are paying off as I can walk some of the rocky beach cliff trails, tide pool rocks and lose rocks and have great core balance and strength.
Scripps Coastal Preserve, La Jolla, CA

2.  Photography and thinking about natural history

Primal play, picking things up like fossils, holding them in my hand, putting them back!, photographing them and thinking about evolution, food we used to eat, sustainability, getting my hands and feet wet in the inter-tidal zone. 

As a kid, I dreamed about this life. Now I chose to live it. Life really is good. Much gratitude and setting long term goals so I can do this my whole natural life. 

Fossil Oyster Reef  remains 45 to 50 million years old!  Encinitas CA

3. Health check ups 

Ophthalmologist eye dilation
Yeah, I had some eye floaters. Ophthalmologist says no retinal involvement, just aging with a deep case of nearsightedness.  Whew!!! Several family members have had to deal with blindness due to different diseases. It would remove one of my favorite hobbies photography. Vision impairments are tough diseases to live with. 

Primal play:  GO, Go to the beach, photograph, hike, read and have never ending gratitude for my eyesight. 

Eyes WIDE OPEN ( dilated pupil complements of the ophthalmologist)

4. Work in a field that I love

Current job assignment has me walking in 100+ heat part of the day. Uphill, tough walking conditions. And, it's my job. Much more physical than I thought. 

Primal play: Good conditioning- via gym, hiking, and sprints in tough weather conditions helps keep me well and mostly injury free- at least reduced.  I have a pretty good work attendance record, too. That way I can use vacation time for vacation, not for sick time. 

Yeah, with all the fun comes work, too. Food, exercise , work for a career to be financially fit, health  checks. 

If I can blend in Primal Play with the work and see the WIN-WIN, it's all good. I wouldn't go back to my old habits

Mobility and lower visceral fat for the WIN.
I have better mobility and movement at a normal weight

What didn't work 

1. Sitting too long.  Sitting watching TV. Sitting knitting. Sitting reading, Sitting hobbies.  I do sitting activities now, but not nearly as often. Sitting too much contributed to my morbid obesity, for sure!

2. I didn't move well or often. I physically could not go every where I wanted. It took me away from amazing opportunities.  Having so much visceral fat was movement limiting, for sure
At my highest weight 2012

3. I avoided the doctor, knowing that they'd tell me I was going to get sick and diabetic, with a higher cancer risk from the known obesity and cancer risks. Sticking my head in the sand was not a good plan. It didn't feel good then and it sure wasn't effective. 

4. One of my why's was walking up that hill at work in 103 F degree temps and knowing they'd find me passed out or worse. I couldn't walk from the parking lot, up a slight incline without shortness of breath when it was cool weather. 

That helped me lose weight AND it keeps me maintaining.  Here's to a WIN-WIN motivation to you. I'm telling you there's a lot of advantages in working on weight maintenance, even while on stay-cation. 

Hope you are out playing out doors, too, as the weather permits, since I know the Kiwi's are in the middle of winter right now. :)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Instagram Book reviews June 2017, why I eat beef and feel great, plus be results focused in weight maintenance- stop fussing!

1. Instagram Story- Karen's Paleo Life

I'm reviewing  Paleo, Weight Maintenance, and other books every day that I like and why. I'll do a blog post with a summary later this year.  PS- not an ad, I'm just a big Robb Wolf fangirl. :)

A post shared by Karen Parrott (@karenspaleolife) on

It's a lot faster to talk about it on a video.Hint: You can see my Instagram account without your own account by clicking the link. You can't see my Insta Story without an app.

What works for me:
  • Reading and learning from books, then testing and ONLY bringing what works for me along.
What doesn't work for me
  • Following 100% what WW or other Paleo/LCHF/ KETO gurus  had to say about weight maintenance. Failure to customize and think on my own.

2. Beef (Question from our bloggy friend Ali)- How often do I eat beef?

Answer: I eat beef daily or every other day. On my off beef day I'll have eggs, chicken and sardines or oysters or Dover Sole.

I've got to say I feel 100% awesome when I eat grass-fed or heck, just regular beef from Costco. I like to support grass-fed beef growers, but if I'm at Costco and I need beef, I'll buy organic or regular, too.

 Besides feeling great when I eat beef (always with some leafy greens)

I know that the work The Savory Institute is doing for Holistic Land Management and that includes grass-fed beef. Be sure to check out  the Savory Institute's video here and the positive impact beef is having when land and animals are managed correctly.

Also, I like the reasoning by Diana Rodgers for needing to eat beef for fertilizer for our garden plants. I'm a sucker for soil health and the reasons that Diana brings to her writing really hit home for me.

What works for me

  • Observing how I look, feel and perform after I eat beef (and any food)
  • Using my finances to shop and support grass-fed beef farmers. Hey, even organically farmed beef is going to be better than factory farming. I applaud The Savory Institute, Diana Rodgers and others speaking up about the importance of well managed animal protein and farming practices. 
What didn't work for me in the past:
  • Avoiding beef because WW higher WW points than plant protein and other groups said it was "BAD" for me I'm telling you those fake tofu highly processed foods were terrible for me, my weight maintenance, my auto-immune disease, my joints and probably my environment, too. I stayed overweight and sick by avoiding grass-fed, well managed animal protein.
  • I would rather see land in So. Cal restored with properly managed cows than lots of water going for almond trees, golf courses, and other water heavy activities. 

Fat, Protein, Fasting, Podcast changes:  Less fussing, more results focused. 

Karen,PaleoFx 15, Robb Wolf, Farm-to-Consumer
Get-over-it, move a long and motor through. There's been some fussing around lately about what works best.
Coming from a weight maintenance perspective, some things are going to work better for an individual. You and I are going to have different results. 

Weight maintenance, joint pain, inflammation, over eating, strength, sleeping, stress reduction. We are as different as we are the same. 

 I'm with Robb Wolf,  see how you look, feel and perform, do some glucose testing and self experimenting and power through.  Grab Robb's latest book, Wired to Eat and do some self experimenting with your glucose meter. 

 Best practice: I would say that for weight maintenance- seeing how you respond to certain foods is going to keep you maintaining a lot longer, with better health results. 

I could be wrong, but I don't think so.Your results are going to differ from your spouse, kid, parent, friend, co-worker, your neighbor. 

Less fussing around with protein/fat, more self testing, please. Your body will reward you with what works. Or your best body and life if you are managing disease states. 

17:7 fasting works well for me, but longer fasts don't. Eating early in the day keeps me really lean, eating later in the day puts 8-10 lbs on my very short 5'1" frame. That's uncomfortable and makes me more likely to be overweight again. 

Grain does not work for me, but I can have an entire serving of 85% chocolate and not binge eat. I cannot have dairy and nuts, but I can have lots of leafy greens, colored veggies along with meat, olive oil, fatty fish. Eating below 27 grams of carbs a day makes me lose my intestinal mucous. Eating 30-50 grams of carbs today keeps my glucose and my intestines happy. 

Weight maintenance requires more fat for me. Weight loss requires me to drop my total intake a bit and bring my fat and protein grams closer to 1:1. 

I can't argue those facts. It is what it is for me. Others may have different results. That's cool. 

For weight maintenance, be sure to manage the process. Don't get too smitten with one method  or approach. Weight maintenance can often require a different approach as you age. Move on if it doesn't work for you. 

Best Practice: Be especially cautious if someone is selling something that doesn't work for them.  Books, supplements, services. 

Keep your eyes wide open and keep learning. Move on quickly or sit and stay awhile. Critical thinking is key. 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

5 years and 4 months in long term weight maintenance- I have what I wanted, and I'm thrilled, for today, earned not a given

Starting weight 187.4 lbs
Goal Range 113-125  lbs
Current Weight 115.2 lbs
Keeping off    72.2   lbs

Time in maintenance 5 years, 4 months

Age 51
Menopause 3+years
Height 5'1"
BMI 21.9
BMI ave this month 21.7
BMI ave last month 21.8
Glucose (fasting & 2hr post this month range 71- 94 mg/dL)

Food Template:  Paleo, LCHF,  Keto (some days), 
Total Carb ave = 40 grams per day
Net Carb ave = 25 grams per day
Abstain from all grains, most sugars*, dairy. Nut free, artificial sweetener free **
* 85% chocolate 1X per day
** Tiny bit of stevia in my Natural Calm, magnesium supplement

Food Timing or Time Restricted Eating Window or Intermittent Fasting 17:7 or 18:6

17 hours fasting (water only)
7 hours eating, 3 meals
Eat 6am Stop eating at 1 pm

Or 18:6, I change it up a bit

Auto-Immune Hashimotos 1997, 100 ug Synthroid daily
Food Addict in Recovery: 6+ years
High Risk, but never diagnosed Type 2 diabetes

Walking 11,300 ave steps per day

Weight lifting : 1X per week, I need to bring this up to 2-3

Sprints  3 days per week stair sprints 

Stair Ave/day for the month 18 stairs (Apple Health Kit)

What is working: All of the above

What did not work in the past: 

1. Moderation based food template that fed compulsive overeating
2. High carb, low fat, grains, sugars, emulsifiers
3. Eating from 5am to 10 pm
4. Walking 3,000 steps, too little for me and proud of myself
5. Daily weighing (food and body) and daily food recording. 

Earned not a given: I've put in a lot of work so that I can stay well, keep my weight maintained, continue to put my health- both physical and financial and my family health first. To keep my diseases in remission. 

I'm fortunate I have diseases that I can manage with effort and time. My heart goes out to those who have diseases that are less manageable. 

I always dreamed and put this thought in my mind in early May 2011:

GOAL: Weight Maintenance on a food template that gives me good health, exercise that keeps me mobile and strong as I age.

I finally realized, I've arrived. I can say I've made more adjustments and put more time into weight maintenance much more effort than in weight loss. Even with 50-75 solid attempts in 40 years. 

Interesting! Because, it's a day by day thing. Earned, not a given. All things I could have done but I didn't have the right tools, support, or thought processes for my biology or mind. My thoughts will drive my behaviors. 

Example : Eating a Belvita High Protein breakfast cookie, a protein cookie from the box a my gym, OR a keto fat cookie or fat bomb would not be the right thing for me. High carb or low carb- cookies are OUT. And I earned another day of weight maintenance 

Having a life time without cookies = long term food sobriety, weight maintenance, and a calmer existence. My life is better without it. My choice. 

I earn my monthly weight updates by staying true to what I told myself I wanted to do 6 years ago. It's not a given. Even after I publish this post, I do the work that it takes for weight maintenance. It's not too much. It's just right. 

Glad I didn't quit!!!!!!!!  Don't quit. Keep going. I will be doing the work that it takes. 5 years down, 35 more to go- daily work. Habit building, behavior change, managing my genotype.... 

Monday, May 29, 2017

"Eat Fat Until Satiated" careful what you tools adopt, does it work for you as an individual? Sometimes it works! Sometimes NOT

What's working now: RE: Weight Maintenance Long Term, 

Tracking food intake rather than eating fat to satiety. I'm still Paleo, LCHF with Keto sprinkled in due to a 17:7 fasting, eating window.

I'm by no means low-fat. The SAD and DASH diets  work even worse for me.  Eating low fat and low salt- made me sick and obese, for sure.  My hs-CRP was 6.8 before I started lower carb eating. Yikes! I was only 46 at the time. And lower carb eating brought lower blood pressure, and the need for adequate salt.

I eat ADEQUATE fat, protein, and  carbs for my age, activity level, body weight, genes, and good sleep.

1. Tracking my food and staying within certain parameters that give me best lean body, best muscular body, best sleep, and that in turn gives me the best long term weight maintenance.

I've got to just say, I'm Paleo, LCHF and sometimes Keto, but I cannot use the tool that most folks use "Eat Fat Until Satiated" or full. Guess what,? I only feel reasonable full feelings maybe 33% of the time.

  • It's luck
  • I've had enough sleep
  • I'm not stressed out
  • I've not chosen a binge food (think abstaining)
  • The stars are aligned, planets, and extreme woo
  • Unicorns are pooping rainbows 
  • A magic fairy preps the food with MLM powder, for hundreds of dollars a month
Oops, my inside voice is speaking out loud.
Sorry about that. Ahem... back to the topic at hand. 

What hasn't worked in the last 5 years.

I cannot eat fat until I'm full. It took me a long, long time to figure it out. But that's okay. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I feel the correct signals.  Getting the correct fat signals is a true gift, please add that to your gratitude list.

I've come to the personal conclusion that most do get an "off signal". I don't always, which makes it better for me to track my food intake and stay in the same general calorie, macro, and food template for 6 months to 1 year at a time.

Then I re-evaluate. Am I gaining, maintaining, or losing? 

What does work:

2. Knowing and accepting why: most likely my FTO (obesity and diabetes associated)genes and my extra Ghrelin (hunger hormone) gene. Both came out to play when I was 6 years old. While I have the genetic predisposition to be obese, type 2 diabetic, and over eat, I use my tools so that I don't have the gene expression, MOST OF THE TIME.

I still get inappropriate full/hungry signals. I will likely the rest of my life. I don't need to Paleo/LCHF/Keto harder. 

Ghrelin SNP's that express themselves are a real force for me to contend with in weight maintenance

I give myself and anybody who is in my situation major kudos for successfully getting to their best health and their best weight maintenance despite their odds, what SAD diet they were sold, and what tools being offered up as a best practice. It's not always easy, sometimes it is. Okay good for you, that it's easy. But for me- it's a lot of work.

I didn't have access to the right tools so I could be successful in the past. Once I started using the right tools, I had a lot more success. 

Yep, I was obese in the 1970's, at age 6. Now age 51, I don't have obesity, same genes, different food template

What didn't work in the past for me

WW, counting points, Low-fat (for weight maintenance), counting calories, low meat, low avocado. Doesn't work for my health. Might for others. Skinny Cow Ice Creams didn't work, but some folks maintain weight oaky with one thrown in there.

SOAP BOX time: There is no one way, only the BEST for YOU WAY.

There are various ways to lose weight and to maintain weight: 2-3 will work better than other suggestions. Don't feel bad, just get to work on the right tools for you.

It may be Paleo, Primal, LCHF, Keto, Gastric Bypass, Low Fat, AIP, Wahl's Protocol, Pescatarian, DASH, maybe even Vegetarian- who knows?

I will say that low processed foods may be the best for any food template. That's probably something we can all find helpful. Real, whole foods.

Adequate fat, protein, carbs- for right now

If you track your food intake and have found that by not eating unlimited amounts of fat helpful, please know you are not alone. Keep working on your own personal food template for your overall goals and age and genetics.

Any thoughts on this? Constructive, please. I'm not sure about anyone else but all I get are fat pants If I over eat dietary fat (and calories for that matter). I have limits, I use tracking tools,,and that's okay.

Caution: I see it a lot in support groups and there seems to be a lack of acceptance that not everyone is going to lose weight by eating fat until they are full. We may be in the minority, and I fully respect those who can, but should we be open minded enough to accept there are different paths for different folks?  Just like moderation, abstainers will get the heave-ho from many support groups. Ugh.

The boot can be a good thing, though, if it helps you arrive to the right support group.

Purchasing expensive products also seems to be a trend. I did for weight loss, but got off them quickly for weight maintenance. Financially either my kid goes to college or the MLM-er gets lots of trips... easy decision for me.

40 years prior of fat pants, the next 40 years are mine, 5 down and 35 to go. Higher Power willing.

And there is no magic fairy. Most of my tools are now free or inexpensive.

I eat ADEQUATE fat, protein, and  carbs for my age, activity level, body weight, genes, and good sleep.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Cyclic Weight Maintenance Patterns and Reversing a Small Trend- my Weight Maintenance GOLD May 2017

So, I noticed a bit of a weight gain trend from the end of April 2017 until the first week or two May 11, 2017. There are many reasons for this, nothing for me to get upset or spin my brain out about, or drop everything and eat all my old binge foods.

Kudos to FitBit for adding a blue trend line to their data. Brilliant!

Not losing my mind is key:  It took me about 5-10 minutes a week to take a peek at a few graphs, think about a plan. That's it no going back, no massive ruminating but planning with actions (we all have planned with no actions!), knowing I might level out or the scale might increase.

Now taking action, say cooking and doing dishes, moving 60 minutes a day, gym 2X week,  that is the time consuming part of weight maintenance, in my opinion.

Doesn't matter, it's data, I plan, record, move on, evaluate, re-plan. THIS is my gold. 
Weight Trend early May 2017

I'm still within my Best Weight 2017 of 113-116 lbs ( my BMI is hanging right around 21.6- 21.9 for reference).  No big deal now, however awareness on getting level averages will be key for me staying in my best range for June 2017.

Here's my personal GOLD of Weight Maintenance: The best practice of finding my root causes and making small adjustments to current food, lifestyle, and food sober living choices. In May 2011, I knew there were others who could stay in weight maintenance and I told myself I would be one of them, in a best me sort of way.

Now that I've repeated my best practices over 5 years, I'm finding it easier and easier to take 2-3 weeks, assess, experiment, and move onto other things. I can make a few educated decisions based on trend lines alone.

April 27, 2017 to May 27, 2017 All leveled out

I don't have to stay stuck trending upwards- beyond my best weight, I can level out and then either stay at level or reverse the trend to loss.  Holding onto level is pure GOLD. Once I get too high with my weight, well my 40 years of obesity fat cells start to take on a life of their own and a less than optimal .  Food sobriety is a daily gift I give myself, so there's that, too.

A. Why is there a trend?  I can guess for April and May 2017

Normal fluctuations, curious self experiments, and a bold re-test of a prior binge food

1. Natural, cyclic nature of Weight Maintenance= normal (cyclic natures = respect!)

2. Self experiments around NOT 17:7 fasting before a blood draw = curious (great data! learned a lot)

3. Self experiments with 4 grams of Macadamia nuts, 3 days in a row. (prior binge food) = re-testing theory  (ALL the nopes!!! I cannot eat even a smidge of prior binge foods)

B. Can I get leveled out and see a flat line? Yep! Okay, mission accomplished. I'm still within my Best Weight range, so that's what I'm looking for in maintenance patterns.  It's normal for me to have a wave pattern.

In general, cyclic patterns happen all the time in nature.

C. Can I sustain the level line?, or am I about to Pivot higher? Corkskrew? (see Dr. Berkeley's post)

Well next month will tell. I get what I get and I don't throw a fit. It's data, I just keep going and try something else.

Jan 1, 2017 to May 27, 2017- those normal cycles

For a very, very small time investment, AND taking a fair amount of daily action- Paleo/LCHF- probably Keto some days. Bringing my own lunch, getting out to walk, some strength training and HIIT here or there... I can have what I promised myself I wanted for life, a normal weight. I never thought I could get my best weight, but that's what practice and honesty and very frankly- Food Sober Living gave me.

Owning my own data in weight maintenance. Not letting me get me. Staying Food Sober without a relapse.  Lapses, yeah, they happen.

What is working in the late Spring 2017

1. Plotting my data each day with easy to use digital tools, Fitbit, My Fitness Pal, Apple Health, Heads Up Health

2. Looking at graphs 5 minutes each week, taking ACTION on the results.

3. Paleo/Low Carb, sometimes Keto, cyclic. Keeping my 17:7 fasting most days.

4. Not letting me get me- AKA- food sober living, while taking a reasonable risk here or there.

What did not work in the past:

1. Not using the right tools for weight maintenance, skipping weigh ins at WW to hide (wasn't effective, nor was counting points!)

2. Not having a graph meant I could not look at it and I wouldn't have to do the work of weight maintenance.

3. Low fat, calorie counting did not work for me past the age of 35.

4. I rather liked the food high that I had cycling in my life, that was kind of fun, until it started to hurt physically and mentally. Ouch.

Okay, here's to finding your own personal GOLD in weight maintenance. Your plans and tracking will vary. There's no one way, but probably 2-3 that will be more effective. Onward,  constructive comments are welcome.