Monday, December 31, 2012

Garden 2012- a look back

I could smell the flowers before I saw them!
 Here's my Garden- 2012.

  Hang tight if you visit my site for weight maintenance. I plan on doing a Whole30 in Jan 2013.

There was not much going on, I have to say. That's okay. Plants in pots were easier to manage and water. Sitting on the porch was not a priority. I was out taking photos of  "Other Peoples Gardens (OPG!)- I just made up that term!! LOL
 and walking a lot.

Goals for 2013 are to plant, grow, and actually remember to water herbs for cooking.   And to photograph the heck out of OPG!!

Edited to add baby lizard-awwww....

Baby Western Fence Lizard

Jr Family Members pot of carrots
Awaiting the blooms
Freesias are a favorite

Bella Donna Lily-green but no blooms

Awesome jumping spider.

Jr. Family member picked this color-

Anna's Humming bird, from the shrubs 
Cedar Wax-Wings in the shrubs

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Holiday Baking- kicked to the curb

What is the deal with holiday baking? Now that I'm not eating emotionally ( much anyway, I catch myself from time to time.) holiday baking really sticks out like a huge red flag  for me. For many reasons. 

Here are a few observations (my opinions only)

1. If you bake it, you are likely to eat it.
2. If you bake it and give it away, others will have to deal with it. 
3. If you're eating lots of baked goods, what aren't you eating instead?

Okay, one of the things I had do do for both weight loss and weight maintenance was to kick Holiday Baking to the curb. In a big major way. 

Here's what worked:

  1. Admitting that I was buying and baking so I could eat it.
  2. Admitting that I was enabling others to do the same. 
  3. Stopped all holiday baking and candy making and cookie parties.
  4. Put my time into meeting with friends, family, walking outdoors.
  5. Give non-food gifts except coffee. 
  6. Use spices that have a holiday flavor- but no triggers- cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves.
Here's what  did not work in the past:

  1. Baking and eating
  2. Giving baked goods to people who had diabetes/obesity issues.
  3. Cookie parties where I vowed to only have 5-6 WW points of cookies.
  4. Time spent baking (and eating, and not wanting to be with others)
  5. Saying I was going to give non-food gifts and re-gifting food to others.
  6. Eating seasonal goodies and really wanting the spice/flavor, but getting hooked on the sugar/flour.
I know some people can bake and control their eating, but I wasn't in the cards for me. Once I admitted that, it  helped me deal with weight maintenance.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Post Christmas check-in 2012

Highest Weight 187.4
Goal Weight:  115.4
Current weight 116.0

10 months in maintenance
Over weight for 40+ years
Height 5'1''  (I'm short)

Mid forties

Christmas was nice. Time with my Jr. Family member and a Christmas eve performance at church. Opening gifts, talking with friends in the Mid-west, coffee at Starbucks.

Christmas Beach walk, photo bombing lifeguards. I'm a mid-west transplant. After spending 28 years looking at corn and soybean fields, I love the ocean, tide pools, and the West. I embrace that.  I've done my time in the cold. ;)

I took an awesome beach walk and did some tide pooling in a new area. Awesomeness. I'll never tire of the stuff I can see in the tide pools.  I'll post more photos later. 

What worked:  
  1. Paleo/Primal food (no grains & dairy)  and activity (outdoors, lift heavy things) template .
  2. Weighing daily
  3. Keeping a work life balance. 
  4. Time with the family.
  5. Clear mind to deal with emotions that popped up. Mind is clear because of 1-4.
What surprised me.  Ghosts of Christmas past- I must have done a lot of emotional eating Christmas Eve in years past. I my mind kept telling me to eat sweets!!!  Especially Christmas eve while stuffing stockings & wrapping gifts. I must have numbed myself so much in the past. 

The clarity and peace of mind is worth all the hard work of maintenance.  Good to live life. Best Christmas gift, ever!!!

What hasn't worked in the past

1. Eating cookies and candy
1.5 Baking cookies for "others". So wrong!! (my next blog post)
2. Trying to out exercise the cookies and candy
3. Starting over Jan 1
4. Numbing up with food. 

I invite you to step away from the trigger foods and any foods that make you numb up. Start today. Don't wait until Jan 1. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas- 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  Norad Santa tracker says that Santa will be here soon. Not a creature is stirring, not even the kitties. 

A few ghosts of Christmas past visited me tonight in the form of stress and thoughts of candy while the stockings were hung. I thought about that, drank some water, and showed those thoughts the door. 

Merry Christmas! Save travels and here's to choosing things that make us well. 

Karen P.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Medusa and my ticket off the crazy train- avoiding trigger foods

NOTE: if food descriptions are a trigger, don't read this post. You are welcome! (no food photos)

Medusa showed up in the form of a red-velvet bunt cake for a pot luck.  With Medusa style cream cheese frosting forming big snake shaped appendages coming out of the center of the cake. 

This bunt cake was huge, and had a wicked frosting ( an old trigger of mine) with smells that filled the immediate area. No, I did not have any.

Even when it showed up in the break room the next day, where the smells were even stronger. I did not have any. Not one bite. Because one bite would lead to many, especially the frosting. And, it would not stop with a few bites. The taking little 2-3 point bites and tastes would have continued to the New Year ( note: I no longer count points). Where my clothes would not fit.  That was the crazy train I used to ride. 

Conventional mantra Busting- My reality: I finished my meal and went outside for a walk. Contrary to what some people experience: It's 3 days later.  I am not binging because I "deprived myself".  That mantra kept me stuck for years. If you can eat a few bites/points and maintain your weight long term,  then good for you. I cannot. Some of my best friends can. I do what I have to do for me. 

My opinion only:
 I suspect there would be more people in long term weight maintenance without exposure to trigger foods. My opinion only. 

I'm not overeating today, because I steered clear of my trigger. So much easier.  

I've done myself a huge favor and the best gifts I've given myself to get off and stay off that crazy train. The day I put my trigger foods down, is the day I hopped down of that crazy train and onto the safe, warm, sandy beach. Life is better on safe shores. Life is not better with Medusa trigger foods and any other forms that food used to take. 

What works for me:
  1. Identifying trigger foods and stop eating them. For good. 
  2. Identifying foods that may take the form of trigger foods.
  3. Walking away from the place where the trigger foods are. 
What did not work for me...
  1. Trigger foods in moderation, especially in 2-3 point WW bites, and 100 calorie packages
  2. Not recognizing that trigger foods could be fruits or nuts or paleo-fied deserts.
  3. Keeping trigger foods around- to look, see and smell. 

I invite you to stay on track and join me on the warm, sandy, and safe shores. Leave the food triggers on the train and join me on that beach.  Don't wait until Jan 1. Hop off now.  Identify your triggers. Be boss like that. I find it powerful. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Graph- example of weight trending Dec 2012

Getting my geek on : First, check out the graphs!  I am a scientist. Its part of me. And, it's one of the most helpful tools I can use.   I embrace that 100%.

From the one month view ,things look pretty steady. From the 3 month graph, trend upwards for sure.  Only a pound or so- about one pound average over goal.

I did start to track my food again this week after 8 weeks without tracking. I'm still eating from a Paleo template, watching  my carb intake, and making an effort to get my walking in and some strength training, too.

Foods most likely to creep- fruits & nuts

I'm going to add some Tabata style sprinting several times a week. I do suspect a perfect storm of work stress, more desk work, the colder weather (note: So. Cal cold is only 50 F. I did my time in the mid-west, I remember what real cold is like. But I've adapted to warmer "cold" ) and portion creep has me a little higher weight wise.

I really think that portion creep will keep me tracking my food more often than not as I go through the years of maintenance. No matter what my eating template is, portion creep is part of my slippery slope thinking. I've got to address this, early on, and quickly.

I loved Robb Wolf's post about "low carb bypassing normal satiety mechanisms and combinations of highly palatable but low-carb foods" . The words " it's still a ticket to Fat Camp" rang true for me. Check that post out if you have some down time.

Clothes still fit. I feel great most days. Good energy. I could use a little bit more sleep.  I'm very interested to see how the sprinting, better sleep and some de-stressing will effect things.

Okay, tomorrow, a post about Medusa. And my ticket off the crazy train.
I urge you to address slippery slope thinking right here and now. Don't wait.
Now off to freak out the neighbors out with some Tabata sprinting in the side yard. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Narrow carb window in weight maintenance

The longer I spend in maintenance, the more narrow and the more aware I am of my carb window. The space between loss, maintenance, and gain is a very narrow window.  I really enjoyed this blog post from Dr. Berkeley about carbs and holiday eating. Read the article here

The good:
  • I eat from a Paleo/Primal template that is lower carb over all. It helps the most.
  • I can drop from 1 in season fruit and one serving of berries to just one serving of berries and loose weight, then sustain the loss. That's pretty awesome. (<80 to loose, 80-100 to maintain, 100+ to gain)
  • I've maintained 2 months out of 10 without tracking my food ( I track my weight and make adjustments, as needed)
  • I realize how important it is to eat whole, very little processed foods. Both for physical and emotional health.
  • I can still eat fruit, not everyone who goes through a major weight transformation can maintain eating fruit. 
  • I live in an area that has pretty tasty seasonal fruit at the farmers market. 
The downside:
  • I still have slippery slope thinking around fruit sometimes (dates, raisins, even Lara bars)
  • I've got to watch my food choices when I'm traveling. Fruit is pretty portable, so I have plan well in advance. 
  • No cooking paelo-fied deserts with dried fruit. (this is probably a good thing)
  • My carb window has changed over the 10 months. What worked in months 1-3 doesn't work in months 7-10 of weight maintenance.
  • It's pretty obvious to me now, why I re-gained the weight the other times at goal weight.
Anyhoo, just recognizing it and keeping my carbs and tools for dealing with weight maintenance is a total win in my book. 

Has anyone else noticed a change over time with carbs & fruits? I tangled with a Lara bar over the weekend ( this is good with coffee as I holiday shop late night- slippery slope and 2 pound gain!) The extra 31 grams of carbs put me over the line. I know better. Onward! Good learning, anyway.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Chocolate Chili- Savory

I have to share this recipe for chocolate chili.  It's savory, rich, warming and reminds me a little of mole sauce.  (my photo)

The original recipe- From The Well Fed Cookbook (Clothes That Make the Girl web site) link is here

I modified this recipe by substituting

  • ground turkey to replace the ground beef
  • cutting the coconut oil to 1TBS from 2.
  • using chicken broth instead of beef broth
Wow!  I made this in my dutch oven on the stove top and have plenty of left overs to freeze.  Had to post this recipe. Delicious. 

10 Months Weight Maintenance update

10 Months Maintaining
Highest weight 187.5
Current weight: 114.6
Goal weight 115.4
Height 5'1" (I'm short)

Here's the last month of mostly daily weigh-ins. I maintained about a pound higher the second half of the month.

The last two months: See the sharp drop on the left of this graph. I take action if I'm in the 116's for more than 3 days in a row. Usually by removing one fruit serving and keeping my serving of raspberries or blueberries. That takes me right back to goal weight pretty fast.

I had a string of days where I forgot to put a small apple or orange in my lunch. That's how I stumbled along this fix.

Also, activity has something to do with it. I'm more sedentary during the day for the rest of the year. This means I have to bust a move to stay active during my non desk time. It's life, but I can deal.

And finally, the last 3 months of daily weigh ins. I find this graph the most helpful for looking for significant shifts and trends.  I seem to have an area right around my goal weight of 115.4 and another area about 114.6 where I tend to maintain. That's a pretty tight range.

Overall, I'm really happy about how things are going in my first year of maintenance. Pleased that I've prioritized weight maintenance. And, that I can feel comfortable tweeking my diet and exercise, knowing it's within my power to make changes and maintain control. It's all good.

 I even changed up a professional goal so that I would make cooking and exercise more of a priority this year. That's turned out okay. It feels good to put myself first. Everything falls into place and lines up that way. I can attempt the professional goal next year, and have my first year experiences to fall back on and use to keep myself healthy in the second year.  It seemed a little risky at the time, but I'm so glad that I took the chance.

I know life is dynamic and even getting my thyroid levels out of wack or getting sick could change my weight maintenance plan. But, I also know that I'll deal with it no matter what. Like a cat, I will land on my feet. Onward!

Also, I listened to a great podcast where Able James interviewed David Garcia during a long walk at the beach. I could really relate to much of what David Garcia at Keep it up David- had to say about weight maintenance.  And, I always enjoy Able James' podcasts at Fat Burning Man. Great topics great voice. Learning lots. Check out the podcasts as you go about your day. Good stuff.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Excess skin after a large weight loss

Yeah, I've got excess skin after a large ( 72 pounds on a 5'1" frame) . I lost 38-39% of my body weight in 10 months. Add in the following facts:  One C-section, mid-40's, post (or almost) menopause. Yep!!!  The skin is here to stay. I probably won't remove it, but never say never.

What it is:

Excess skin on both arms, stomach, abdomen, thighs.  Nooooo, this is not a side show. No photos. Instead, cool surfing sand dog sculptures. This photo is much more pleasant. Trust me.

I find this whole topic kind of "Ewww". But, I did promise Vickie I would post and extra skin is a fact of large weight losses.

The good:

  • I can hide the skin super well in clothing and it looks mostly okay, in most clothes.
  • Right now, I have no medical problems with the skin.
  • I accept my extra skin and it's rolling ways, most days.
  • I am sooooo much happier with extra skin vs 72 pounds overweight.
  • Strength training helps some. 
  • No surgery risks if I leave the skin alone.
  • I'm past my "beauty days" and I'm going for functional (borrowed  quote from a former supervisor)
  • I have close family members that deal with major medical problems day in and day out. This is nothing on their scale of life. I count myself lucky. Their stuff is tough, my stuff is easy. 
The not so good:
  • Sometimes, mentally, my skin does bother me. Not for long. More annoying than devastating.
  • My skin flutters when I swim in a pool . It feels weird. I boogie board and go tide pooling more than I swim these days. 
  • One arm is has more funky skin than the other. 
  • If I loose anymore weight, I will not fit into clothes so well due to the skin. 
The good list is longer than the not so good. That works for me. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My transition from weight loss to weight maintenance

Okay, a blogger friend ( Hils- thanks for waiting for this post) asked me for my story of my transition from weight loss to weight maintenance. For me, the transition was from Take Shape for Life (Medifast) to a Paleo/Primal style of diet. Both very different and both worked very well for me.

I am a hybrid weight loss to maintainer- I did not loose weight on Paleo/Primal, I don't maintain (*most of the time) with Medifast products.

I studied weight maintenance like it was a school subject. I knew how to loose, but I had to make a very structured plan that would work for me.

I was committed to keeping the weight off no matter what this time. I could really relate to the stories in the Refuse to Regain book (Barbara Berkeley, MD).

I checked out Practical Paleo (Robb Wolf) from the library over Thanksgiving 2011. Those two books really hit home with me. From my blog reading, I had started following Sarah Fragoso at Everyday Paelo. I knew I would need new recipes I could eat and Jr. Family member, too.

The Medifast Plan has a companion book called Dr. A's habits of health (Wayne Anderson, MD). I took that book, with Refuse to Regain, with Practical Paelo, and then Everyday Paleo and strung together my transition plan with things I knew that worked in the past.

Dr. A's habits of health (weight loss was the first phase  of 6 phases)
Refuse to Regain ( Rules to follow- Primarian diet, weighing in, scream weight)
Practical Paleo ( wheat caused problems- big ones- and joint pain could go away)
Everyday Paelo ( Wheat and processed sugar is no bueno, great family recipes).

Medifast transition had us bring in more vegetables on week 1. The higher carb ones were now on the list ( I omitted corn and beans). Brussels Sprouts. Very good! Never liked them before.

Next step was week  2 servings of fruits and drop 1 MF serving of food. It was awesome. Loved that part.

Next was more protein. Yes! Very good, too.  The week after, I was on a work trip the week I was supposed to transition to 2 milk servings a day. I had been lactose intolerant in the past, but could handle the whey isolate in the Medifast. There was no flipping way I was going to introduce dairy on a trip in close quarters with people I spend a lot of time with during the week. I'm sure they would thank me now, if they knew!! LOL.

 I told my coach straight out I was skipping the wheat (half cup of brown rice or half an English muffin on the last week of transition).

After that point, I was half happy & half scared. Happy I had gotten there, scared I would re-gain, but not without testing out some of the new way of eating.

The Everyday Paleo workshop that I attended really gave me the exposure to people in real life that I needed to have the confidence to go forward.

I've spent the last 10 months adding in more avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, and salmon. I did it slowly because it took that long to de-program myself from the low fat ways of Weight Watchers. I had to test, and see, test again and see.

 The great thing about sticking to the Paleo/Primal template was ditching diet sodas, Equal, and sucrolose, and now for the most part soy. Once I switched over, none of that sounded good any more, so I just stopped eating it and I don't crave it. Spices taste fabulous too, in a non-triggery sort of way. Savory is from salt, curry, or meat or oils, sweet is from fruit or some 85% chocolate or cinnamon.

I tried to bring in foods very slowly, so I could figure out quickly what food triggers. I avoid that food- think almond butter, dried fruit, too much regular fruit, high glycemic fruit,  wheat or gluten of ANY kind.  Any food I just *had* to have every day was a food that I would stop having cold turkey and see. Yes I could live without it, yes, probably a trigger or potential trigger.

Add in any sort of stress and add a trigger food- it is very hard. I'm only one meal out from a total blow out snack or meal. Avoiding the triggers and dealing with stress are key. Paleo/ Primal really fits. When I eat off Paleo, it has to be with food that doesn't trigger (medifast, think thin bars, quest bars, blue cheese, fetta cheese, very small amounts of honey, maybe a teeny bit of Stevia- but rarely)

Thats my transition story. It's all good now. 10 months into weight maintenance. Lots of work to maintain, so worth it, and so much easier with the Paleo/Primal template.

Glad you asked, Hils!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Staying on track for the holidays- my holiday list 2012

Links for tips for  weight maintenance during the holidays.

Dr. Berkeley has some great tips for weight maintenance at her blog, Refuse to Regain. Read the tips here. I have to say I'll be doing all items except #8 on Dr. Berkeley's list, because I don't drink. 

I also liked the link to the Beck Diet Solution page from last year. Here

Here are what works for me for staying on track and dealing with holiday food, baking, traditions, feelings, and sabotage.

0. Hook into that good feeling

  • I weigh daily
  • I tell myself, I'm going to stay on my plan today in the morning
  • I stay on plan
  • I feel awesome at night when I'm winding down the day.
  • I love that feeling.
  • I wake up the next morning and I feel awesome most of the time
  • rinse and repeat

1.  Gifts: Cookies, cakes, fudge, food other than tea or coffee
  • I've communicated that I don't eat sweets or baked goods. 
  • This stops most drive by cookie/food items right from the get-go. 
  • If given items away from home- either trash or immediate re-gift. Away from the giver.
  • I prefer trash, as no one really needs obesity or diabetes. 
  • If given items at home, Jr. Family member gets 1 item of choosing.  
  • Then the rest hits the trash can.  Away from the giver. 
  • There is no holiday baking (sweets) at my house.
  •  I baked "for others" and ate for myself too much. I'm onto my slippery slope thinking. 
  • I put a stop to that for my commitment to my goal. 
  • Jr. Family member can bake in most other places she goes. 
  • The homeless shelter I serve food has an overload of sweets from a local company- every day.
  •  Don't  try the donations to the food bank or shelter suggestion. Mind sabotage. I'm on to it!!
  • Ignore any "Mean Mom" comments. Part of Sabotage. I don't drink that Kool-aid. 
  • Sabotage. This still happens. Politely decline. "No thank you, Doctor says". 
  • I'm never, ever giving in. EVER. Slippery slope thinking and obesity are exhausting...
  •  Sing to the tune of that Taylor Swift song. ;)
2. Holiday Meals
  • Pass on expensive holiday parties where there is no gluten free food on a pre-fixed menu.
  • Check the menu or bring my own on plan item
  • Eat before hand, show up after the meal. 
  • Explain to the host/hostess. Most people are on board. A little tweaking goes a long way. 
  • Draw a line around those who are not on board (don't go in there!)
  •  I won't change their mind. That's okay. 
  • I do what's best for me. Doctor says. I decided. Talk matches the walk. 
  • Coffee or really good decaf is a great way to finish a holiday meal
  • Flavored tea (watch for teas with gluten- yikes!!) apple, cinnamon, peppermint, pumpkin. Major holiday flavors without the calories or triggers.
3. Activity
  • Take an outside break, hike, or walk. 
  • Ask others to join, but plan to go it alone if they all say no. 
  • Take my camera, practicing my hobby is stress relief
  • Plan an outside activity for the whole family.
  • Always make time for exercise. Even if I fly, I can walk the air terminal or hit a hotel gym.
4. Holiday traditions 

The new Normal:
  • I am not the Grinch.
  • I am a previously overweight person who needs the new normal
  • I deserve to feel awesome and want to be in holiday photos.
  • Find recipes that work for the new food plan. 
  • Use spices that are holiday like, without the trigger food.
  • Enjoy people and places. 
  • Visit with people who are in the area once a year.
  • Take a walk on the beach. 
  • Take a hike inland. 
  • Ski, skate, or snow shoe if the mountains & weather permit. 
  • Board games
  • Wii Fit games
  • Volunteer
  • Travel
  • Work to fill in for others with small children. 
  • See, I'm not really the Grinch
  • My clothes still fit come January
Zip- Zip Hooray. Santa is bringing revenge clothes. Best January gift ever. Totally within my control. Onward.  Discuss. Any other ideas? 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

I'm thankful for good recipes that keep me well. The ability to cook and provide for my family. Crockpot Turkey Breast. (my photo- recipe from Stupid Easy Paleo)

The two tortoiseshell kittens we adopted- the cool, relaxed cat (sup?) 

The cuddly one who likes to perch on the coffee pot

For replacing foods that fuel rather than trigger. Fat Guacamole Deviled eggs. My own photo- recipe from Mark's Daily apple.

My health so I can walk and take a few photos on my walks.

My house and neighbors. We are so lucky to live in this place.

And of course for my family- especially Jr. Family member, my friends, my job. Happy Thanksgiving. 

Please know, you can celebrate while staying on track. Your pie hole does not require pie. Show the slippery slope thinking the curb. Really. This Thanksgiving will come and go. Stick with your plan. Your body does not know that it is Thanksgiving. Monday will come soon enough. Listen.... wait for it.... zip-zip hooray. My clothes will fit. Because I will stay on plan. No mater what. Notice I am stating this and not saying "I hope it will work" "It's Thanksgiving, I'm going to indulge".  

Is it worth it to trigger yourself?  Stay on plan. I  will be doing just that. You are not alone when you stick with the foods that make you well, instead of choosing foods that make you sick.  Onward.  Happy Thanksgiving. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Power to the graph and pedometer- maintenance tools

Hello All, 
I've got the computer blues a couple of different ways. I'm keeping it all in perspective, though. Minimal in comparison to Hurricane, Economy, and world issues. 

I've realized that my walking and my weight control are very, very linked. Much more than I ever realized. See the weight chart above? Pretty typical, normal variation for me. By graphing my weight and looking back at my habits, I was able to figure out that 

7,000 steps will keep me maintaining, higher level
10,000 steps will keep me maintaining, lower level
10,000+ steps means I need to eat more to maintain my weight, but not MUCH more. 

I enjoyed Roni's post on weight graphing at google. I'm going to plot both weight and steps over a month. 

And, I've also learned that I'm a really,really poor estimator of my activity levels so my pedometer is a must. Otherwise the slippery slope thinking steps in. "Oh, I walked a lot today, so I deserve XY&Z". This does not work any more. I kicked that thinking to the curb. It tries to get back into my car; I drive quickly around that road block and keep going. Cookies, biscotti and mini-candy bars are not foods I could out exercise.
Yesterday's steps. The little figure "cheers" for me if I walk over 10,000 steps. I love this pedometer from Omron. I've had it for over a year and it even took a swim in my washer. It clips onto my clothes, so I don't loose it. It was $20-30- less than a fitbit. Doesn't always track some of my stairs or eliptical activity, but that is okay with me. 

What does work
Now I check my pedometer and sautee up some kale, asparagus and/or some protein- chicken thigh, half of a turkey or salmon burger.  and I fuel. I don't feed the thinking that got me 72 pounds overweight. 

Self check- I ask myself "What do I need right now?" I feed my body food from the template if I need, sleep if I need, music or podcasts if I need. 

Move it more: Yeah, If I'm at 7000 steps, I do tend to head out for a walk. No excuses. Makes all the difference. Grab the camera and look for cool stuff. I'm never disappointed. 
The liquid amber tree is the closest tree there is compared to a maple tree here in So. Cal.  Love those fall colors. Not like the mid-west, but still a few colors to see. 

Does anyone else have an activity threshold where they know they will start to gain if they don't exercise a certain amount? Discuss.

Okay, I owe posts on two topics- transition from Medifast to Paleo (Hils) and loose skin (Vicky). If the computer holds up, I'll be back soon for those posts.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Photo update- 9 Months maintaining

October 31, 2012

Here's a side view of 9 moths of maintenance. Sill rocking the Danskos

Eating very little processed foods- Paleo diet, exercising regularly- Primal lifestyle, getting the mental game in check- adopting what works from other maintainers, changing the way I deal with stress- the answer is not in the snack cabinet.  All of these new behaviors and techniques really make a difference. 

 Anyone who thinks that you WILL regain after a big weight loss- well that might happen. It's not easy, but successful weight maintenance  can be done in many cases. And it's certainly worth a try. Lots of people do- Weight Watcher's long time lifetime members, successful lap banders, Take Shape for Life Coaches, total transformation bloggers & cross-fitters, clean eaters, bicycle riders, gym rats.   There is no one way. There is only the right way for you.

 Because if you tell yourself you can't, you probably won't.  If you tell yourself you will find a way no matter what, you probably will. I've had some people tell me I can't. And to that, I say- WATCH ME.  

May 2011
Because I cannot even remember the person in the photo below. And, it's only been a year and a half.  And, I needed to know that there were other maintainers out there who were successful. Before I took the first steps...  We are stronger together. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

9 month Weight Maintenance- checking in

I hit my 9 month mark for maintaining 72 pounds (  plus or minus 2 pounds) on Nov 3,2012.  What did I do to celebrate?  I went to Disneyland!!! Well, really, a kind relative gave us park hopper tickets and the tickets were about to expire. My relatives are awesome.

Anyhoo, as I was walking around both parks for 13+ hours I had a lot of time to think about where I was, where I was going, and how things were going. I was struck by not just weight maintenance but by the following improvements in my overall health

1. Weight Maintenance- longest time ever at a stable weight. 40 years of trying. Wow. Just Wow.
2. More muscle tone, strength, balance.
3. Over all fitness- I walked 23,000+ steps that day- some were "in-line" shuffles. I woke up the next day and did a 45 min walk including a steep hill with no problem at all
4. Better sleep- I sleep longer, better, and dream more.
5. Less stress- better life balance. I work hard at work, then leave it behind and jump into my home family life. Crazy busy, but keeping the balance is key.  I'm more engaged in both places.
6. Blood work: Holy Smokes!!! My CRP went from 6.8 to 0.8. Hemaglobin A1C from trending high 5.7% to 5.3%. HDL went from the 40's to the 80's. Weight loss and removing foods like wheat have really made all the difference. 

Total transformation between my obesity days and today. The willingness to work a solid maintenance plan has made all the difference in the world.

It's not all Disneyland though. Here's what I still struggle with daily or occasionally

1.  Looking objectively at the scale if I'm gaining
2. Getting to the gym two times a week- already going once a week or doing at home strength. (improved, but still slippery slope thinking here)
3. Time to get in my walking.
4. Going to bed earlier some nights and turning off the google reader...
5. Stress- balancing it all- lots of work here, ongoing.
6. Time spent cooking, packing food, shopping for fresh food. I love, love, love my fresh food and eating style- but I find I do get tired of washing all those dishes and food containers for the foods I take to work. Small price to pay for the benefits, so I suck it up and keep moving on this one. My bio-markers (blood work) are totally dependent upon the quality of food I put into my body. That mountain of dishes is not too tall to tackle!

Well, that is the scoop here. I'm sure that there are Non-scale victories that you found in weight maintenance, too. Feel free to discuss. We are stronger together.

Friday, November 9, 2012

A plan for weight maintenance- while loosing

I read an awesome post from the Refuse to Regain website. Planning my first maintenance year took a lot of reading, work, thinking, planning, and then finally testing out what worked and what did not. 

Setting up a solid plan about 20 pounds before I hit goal weight gave me enough time to formulate a plan, get my head wrapped around what I would likely need to do. My weight loss tool this time was much different than my maintenance plan was this time. They were very separate and different phases I studied the new plan like a student.

I still do!!!  Anyhoo. Give the article a read and and a thought if you are nearing goal. I can say that I entered into weight maintenance much more prepared. I still have to and had to tweak the plan here and there. That's what the first year is all about- IMO.

One tweak- I'm pretty much off dairy now. I never thought I would need to be, but too many side effects. On one hand, I'm glad I know- sinus trouble and acne are no bueno. On the other hand, I miss feta cheese and an occasional latte. Not worth it, but worth feeling better.

9 month check in will be up this weekend. Still rocking it.  Much more than a stable weight. More soon.

Did any of you have a plan for maintenance? Did you have to change up to make it work?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Keep an open mind about being grain free

Keep an open mind when looking at weight maintenance tools or even ways to better your health.

It was recommended to me to stop eating grains and processed sugar about 10 years ago. I  could not "digest" that information. It turns out it was the right thing to do, I needed both to try it, and spend several months not eating grains to see the health benefits and an "ah-ha!" moment.

Wow! Kicking grains (sugary stuff too) to the curb has really changed up the whole weight maintenance and my overall health. It's unreal how much better I feel, how much better my blood work is from a metabolic & lipid perspective. Joint pain is now gone; eat wheat and ouch!

I know that going grain free is not for everyone, but I'd like to encourage anyone approaching weight maintenance or looking for better health to give it a 30-60 day try. I know I can tolerate some soy and a little bit of rice flour, and even a tiny bit of processed sugar, here and there, but it's the exception and not the rule.

If you try it and start adding back in foods like wheat, rice, soy, etc- it becomes apparent what foods aren't really sitting well with your body.  Had I not gotten wheat free, I would not have learned this lesson and I feel that I'd be right back up there on the scale. I found that dairy makes my sinuses really congested. I can eat dairy, but breathing free is nice, too. My choice. Mostly, I choose dairy free.

Believe me, If I could eat grains/dairy and feel great I would. If you can and you can stay healthy, I applaud you. Lucky!!! But don't feel bad if you can't. Find something that works.

Weight maintenance is a lot more about being wheat free. I work all 12 rules in Refuse to Regain everyday. It's very HARD to maintain a good work-life-weight maintenance balance. Life was much harder being obese, in pain.

Choose your hard. I know that grain free is not the answer to weight maintenance, but I can safely say I struggle a lot less. Keep an open mind. Keep up the good work. We are stronger together.

PS- set down the mini-snickers bar and the candy corn if they are like crack to you!
Otherwise you may end up feeling like this:  No Bueno!!!!   My second year of Halloween abstinence has me hooking into the good feelings that weight loss and maintenance has to offer. I'm worth feeling good. We all are.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fast Food should not be "normal"- video from Yoni Freedhoff

 Fast Food should not be "normal" video

I really liked this youtube video from Yoni Freedhoff.

I agree with his message. There is very little fast food I can eat and stay at my goal weight now that I eat from a Paleo/ Primal template. And that is a good thing, in my opinion. It will keep me healthier, longer.

I can modify some restaurants to make items work.

1. Chipolte- salad bowl with meat, lettuce, salsa, and guacamole

2.  California Pizza Kitchen- Cobb salad, no croutons. Ask for oil and vinegar or bring my own for dressing.

3. The Counter-Custom Built Burger- fabulous, I can build my own. No bun and only Paelo type fixings. Love.

4.  Food Trucks- there are several local food trucks with Paleo offerings, so lucky!

5. Mexican- fajitas with vegetables, add guacamole- hold the tortillas and chips.

At nicer restaurants
5. Seafood - very tricky to make certain that flour hasn't been dusted around.

6. Steaks- yes, this works. Pair with a salad.

What doesn't work so well

1. McDonalds
2. Chineese
3. Pizza
4. Italian

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rule 3- Weigh Yourself Everyday

I'm choosing a rule, with a sub-rule from Refuse to Regain (by Barbara Berkeley, MD) to write about. My opinions are my own, your experience may vary.  I would highly recommend the book.

Weighing In Daily

Daily weighing in is the second most important weight maintenance tool I use. The first is avoiding "S" foods- (sugar, starchy foods, grains) . The author, Dr. Berkeley recommends weighing even if you've had a bad day day before "weigh bravely"- I totally agree.

What works for me

1. Recording: Weighing in the first thing in the AM and entering my weight at "My Fitness Pal" keeps a record of my weight data.

2. Trending:My weight is a number. It's data. When I plot my weight, I can more easily spot trends upwards, note any temporary gains.

3. Tracking strategy :My weight graph helps me decide if I need to start tracking or logging food (My scream weight- where I would flip to my weight loss plan- is 119, although I feel best around 114-115, so I will start to track food around 116 or so)

4. Examples -Exercise: My weight graph indicated that my weight really stayed in a "locked in" position during the month of Sept. What I did differently: I was involved in a "walking challenge" and I was walking 10,000 steps a day. In October, my walking dropped to closer to 8,000 steps a day. Once I boosted my  walking to 10,000 steps and scaled my fruit in-take back to 1.5 servings, the scale leveled off in an area that I feel really dialed and healthy. I would not have picked up on this. Lesson learned- my exercise needs to be closer to 1 hour a day. 30 mins worked for weight loss, not for weight maintenance.

Scenic stop on Hwy 1,Central California
5. Examples- Diet: See the sharp spike up on the far left side of my graph, Last week of Aug? I was on vacation in the central coast of California. I stopped at farmer's market and bought a lot of golden raisins. And they were good. And, I ate them every day. And, it was too much sugar. Lesson learned. I still eat raisins, but only once and a while. If I do this again, I will get a single serving of raisins.  Without that data in the form of a weight graph, I would have missed that lesson. Worse, I might have set myself up for a weight gain and taken myself out of my maintenance area.

6. Temporary spikes (gains)- yes, I have them. This is no big deal because I have learned to deal with temporary gains. It's normal for me. I hop on the scale, I weigh 1-2 pounds higher with no change in diet or any reason. And then the scale goes back down and stays down. Daily weighing has helped the way I deal with those days. It's completely normal. When the weight goes higher and stays higher- I revert to tracking my food again and looking at what I'm eating and why I'm eating it. The answer is ALWAYS there.

What didn't work

1. Not weighing daily or weighing in monthly. Not enough of a quality check.
2. Not taking action when I was trending upwards the moment I noticed I was trending
3. Flawed thinking (I'll go back to my WW meetings when my weight is back down)
4. Thinking I could loose weight by exercising my poor food choices.
5. Eating the foods that got me overweight and expecting to stay in maintenance
6. Freaking out over normal, temporary gains. I had no way to see them before.

Wow!  What a lot of great lessons learned with the daily weigh- in.  I work in the science field, and evaluating graph based data and making decisions is part of my job. I'm just glad that I can apply what I do at work in my home life and use that tool to it's fullest. This rule rocks- in my opinion.

I know that this is not the right tool for some people. So if daily weighing is not right for you, don't do it. (find another tool- like how your clothing fits) I hope you'll find your own applications for your daily weigh-in.