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!


  1. Karen, you look fabulous! The new picture of you in the black is amazing! I simply LOVE it!

    So glad for you that you're having continued success.

    Two quick questions: how long do you run sprints? And do you walk the 13k odd steps over the course of the entire day--or do you walk briskly for a few miles in the morning and at a slower pace the rest of the day? Like do you say that you'll specifically walk x miles in certain time periods? Or do you just have a goal of 13k all throughout the day?

    1. Hi Ali, Thanks on the comment. That shirt is White House, Black Market and it is very fabulous- and second hand, so cost was low.

      Okay, I do stair sprints for 3-5 minutes. While listening to music. My co-workers are used to me now. I wish I had more stairs, but I make do with 2 flights and go as hard as I can up them.

      Walking: I go with a walking buddy who is faster paced than me and she is very committed to a regular routine. We go 45 mins +/-15 minutes for our lunch.

      Then I eat quickly standing up. Folks bug me about this, but I spend many days sitting on my keester and that is worse for me than standing up eating- so I tell them to kiss off, very nicely. Everyone who comments has health issues to deal with- so I ask them: what is better- 45 mins of fast walking or sitting down for 30 to feed my face and sit MORE? Hmmmmm LOL. Sitting really is going to affect my bottom line....

      Some days are more walking days. Maybe I will sit to eat and rest. Maybe. Or not. My job assignment varies, so I look a lot on "calories burned" on my Fitbit. Because my brain can lie to myself a lot AND eating 100-200 calories more a day will also increase my weight. So I trust Fitbit more than my pea brain for hungry, full, moving, stationary.

      So, yeah, I try to hit a 45 minute really brisk walk a day- 3-4 green bars on a fitbit, then a total of 11-13+ K of steps in a day. And If I don't have 60 minutes total of activity, you can find me walking in my neighborhood, on vacation, or in a hotel to try to get close. I'll take one goof off day every 3 weeks or so. More sedentary and I'll start to regain over time.

      Hope this helps. I think 17:7 really keeps me leaner and allows for more muscle and less subcutaneous fat. For sure. Oh, and can't go wrong with WHBM either... LOL.

    2. Super helpful! Thanks for the long response. Much appreciated.

  2. You are looking great... as usual. I'm not analytical at all I'm afraid so don't do any of what you do. I admit my food has slipped lately and it's hard to get a grip back to how strong I used to be. Mind you, being unwell for a few weeks didn't help as I completely lost my appetite for eggs, meat and anything else I should eat! I'll just keep on keeping on but need to make more of an effort as there is no way I want to go back to where I was.

    1. Thanks, Lynda ( I almost wrote Vickie- because I think of you both as wise mentors!!!!) I know that you do what you need to for yourself without frequent weighing because you want to feel good and have good health- take long walks on the beach!!! Yes!!!

      I always gain weight when I've been sick- maybe a few illnesses that are bacterial maybe not- but viral are always 2-3 lbs of gain for me. I think recovery is first, then the weight will follow.

      I've seen more folks in the Keto community who both insist AND instruct others to eat fat until satiety. Except the satiety is "assumed". I get some satiety signals, some days, some meals (feels great!) but other meals, days, weeks- I have zero off signals, only on. ON, ON, ON- no off. And, it's random- there is no rhyme or reason- I want to keep eating, non-stop- yes even Keto foods. "nobody can binge on fat" they say. I'm an exception, and I'm not alone.

      While the eat to satiety advice will work for many, I'm guessing with my particular genetics - that this is very obesity bound advice. I'll get called "stupid", " I don't know anything" "That's not how it work for ____ (naturally lean person) "that's not how we are instructed". "Guru XYZ says...ABC".

      That's a big assumption- normal, regular satiety, binge eating disorders/behaviors. Hopefully thought leaders will lead their followers to wellness. The "It's not about weight loss, it's about health gain" has merit, but I absolutely cannot be overweight without health loss. The mantra is cute and catchy, but far from the truth for me. I end up in overweight, frumpy body and clothes- not feeling my best.

      My body talks, but will I listen? Will I break free and be my best? Hopefully more folks in the Keto (Low Carbers seem to get this better) will speak up. Low carb USA- I'm going to bring it up on live mike to the right panel of experts, if someone doesn't first. I don't think I'm the only one.

      Awww I've written a whole blog post. Right here. LOL. Anyhoo- I do think that weight maintenance is very cyclic normally and I'd count being sick as a normal part of life. I still get sick- just less often. I

      Thanks for stopping by and letting me rant a bit. There are more folks speaking out who are like me. Time will bring the right people to the right groups.

  3. Great blog, Karen. Congratulations on your continued success. You are an inspiration.

  4. Hi Karen. Thanks so much for sharing your ongoing experiences with weight loss and maintenance. I've had Hashimoto's since 13, so for 31 years now. I've also lost over 100 pounds restricting calories, eating low carb, and exercising daily. I've maintained my loss for five years.

    I wanted to know your thoughts on low carb and thyroid antibodies. I noticed that my TPOAb labs showed a pretty significant increase when I went low carb and that my hypothyroid symptoms increased. Adding a few good carbs has helped but it's been slow going. I do take both Synthroid and Cytomel, so I'm pretty on top of my dosage with that.

    Thanks again for sharing. Much appreciated.

    1. Hi Dana, Congrats on your long term maintenance!!! So exciting.

      Thyroid- I had 1:80 anti-Microsomal antibodies in 1997- worked in a lab where the MD oredered the test, then my lab tested it ( immunology lab). I ran across a letter the MD wrote to my internest that said he recommended TPO, but my internest at the time had already miss diagnosed me and I left her and the mean endocrinologist (who miss diagnosed me for 3 months).

      So, I'm not sure I've ever had my TPO ab's run!!! Whoa. I have been on the same dose of Synthroid (only) since 1997, with fluctuations during pregnancy, but no dose change. My internist is AWESOME about dose adjustments and that's why I travel all the way to San Diego to see her.

      Maybe in low carb, you'll need a dose change!?! Check with your doc. I did note that I had a very low TSH, transient, when doing time restricted eating from a baseline of 12 hrs to 17 hours fasting 7 hours eating. But it went away in 2 months.

      Good luck and I note also that I lose my intestinal mucous if I go total carbs <27 grams pr day. I am now averaging 40's (net carbs are high 20's or 30''s) and that seems to be my sweet spot. I once asked Mickey Trescott on a FB live if she had a lot of AIP clients/ Hashi's who go low carb and she said no, overall...

      I do find a LCHF approach with my IF 17:7 eating early in the morning gives me good thyroid results, at least for now. My diagnosing MD warned me as I age, I'll probably need more thyroid meds. Time will tell since I'm now 51 and was DX'ed around 31.

      Take care!