Sunday, March 31, 2013

Second food sober Easter- 2013

This will be my second food sober Easter. Last year, I was a weight maintenance newbie and still transitioning from the loss to the maintenance mode.

This Easter, I've got almost 14 months experience. It's easier to see how jelly beans, peeps, and chocolate candies ruled my day. And left me feeling terrible, hooked, and overweight.

Norma linked to an article from Oxygen magazine . Sugar was such an addiction for me. It's such a relief to be food sober. Good for my mind. Good for my body. It is not my fault that sugar effects me this way. It is my responsibility to deal with it.

Walk #1 is done. Crock pot has a great beef balsamic roast and the house smells great. Visiting with friends without "using" sugar is the best. I know I'll be zooming around tonight feeling awesome instead of puffed out, wanting more of the sugar drug, and feeling sad, mad, and stuck. The good feeling keeps me on track and honoring my body and mind.

Hope you'll be joining me in Food Sobriety, today , and every day.  Safe travels. Onward. Karen P.

What works for me
1. Abstaining from Easter Candy
2. Brewing a good cup of coffee after dinner
3. Keeping any left over candy from others away from sight, and out of the house
4. Walking in the morning of a holiday.
5. Walking after dinner, walking with friend or family member- or walking myself if others are occupied.

What didn't work
1. Buying and eating Easter Candy
2. Eating dessert on top of Easter Candy. (Holy Sugar load!)
3. Eating left over Easter Candy
4. Not taking time for myself
5. Not walking if others were not going to join me. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Articles and Links- health, food, and spring photos 3/30/2013

Ah! Spring time hiking find- wisteria. Fantastic. If I could only find a way for smell-o-vision. ;)

Here are a few articles that I enjoyed reading.  Weight loss, Weight Maintenance and  overall health are very effected by the food we eat.

Yoni Freedhoff's article at USA today  - second hand junk food really rang a bell with me. I've got to admit- until I switched over to a cleaner way of eating, I contributed to second hand junk food. I'm not proud of this, but I've forgiven myself and now make amends by bringing clean food to potlucks and shared meals. 

What works- walking the talk
What did not work bringing the latest baked good from Costco in a large tub. (this walk made me large)
From There is another level above "I'm doing fine"  - wow! I can totally relate to this article. My health is far, far above where I expected to be when I started loosing weight. Not only am I a normal weight (for almost 14 months now), but my overall health is greatly improved.  I was not sick this winter (not even a cold!), I'm stronger than I ever have been before ( I call these accidental muscles!) I have more clarity, better sleep. 

What works- eating whole, low inflammatory, lower carbohydrate foods, lots of veggies, protein, olive, coconut oils, with some nuts and berries thrown in.
What did not work- eating high inflammatory foods (wheat/processed sugar/vegetable oils), not eating enough whole foods, eating "low fat treats" like ice cream, 100 calorie packs, and pizza. 
Article from Discover Magazine on food being addictive (original article here)
Yes, Yes, and nodding Yes. Jumping up and down yes. I found certain foods to be very addictive. 

What works- being tough, not moderate. I do not eat foods that trigger me to overeat. Certain foods Are. My. Drug. I accept this, and live this. I'm at a great level of health. So now, I thank my addictive brain for the extra level of life that I get from my diet and lifestyle. I swam and stopped sinking. I owned this stuff. Roar!

What did not work- eating "everything in moderation". Holy FAT trap, Batman. There are just certain foods that trigger me. And I kept trying to eat them. Because so many people told me I should. And, like a good little lemming- I followed those people right off the cliff and into obesity for many years. I missed the clarity I needed to change up and find something that worked.

Stepping off soap box now......
It took a solid 8-10 weeks off trigger food- wheat/grains, processed sugar for the brain flog to clear and to cross that bridge.  Sweetness that a cupcake does not have. Richness that the best bar cookie could not bring. 

Happy Easter- if you Celebrate. Celebrate food sober. Life and health are not in Easter candy. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday, Big Hair Friday

Here's a couple of recent photos of me. As my body got thinner, my hair got bigger.  I'll get some better "big hair photos". Promise. The day these photos were taken was very humid. And my hair is slightly curly- so hair volume can vary.

As compared to the big body, short hair.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Looking at what is working, and what does not- nuts & bacon

 Hello All- keeping busy. My goal is to blog shorter posts, more often. Today's short topic is to look. Look at what is working. Look at what does not work.

This month, I excluded pork and nuts for about 3 weeks. Good news and bad.
Good news: what worked

1. I can eat nuts in measured amounts, unsalted. I weigh less!!! when I eat nuts.( macadamias/almonds)
2.  My hair is smoother. ( I have big 80's hair, so this is good)

Bad news: this is not so good, but I'll survive
1.  Pork and...... bacon. Probably is not working for me. Whaaaah! on the bacon. :(
2. I don't feel so great (maybe some related joint pain), temporary weight gain.
3. I'm over it. I had a 5 minute pity party and I'm over it.

Life changes. Be sure to look to see what you are doing is working and is in line with priorities and goals. I could continue to eat bacon.... but inflammation is just not good. My heart, cardiovascular system, and mind will thank me for eating foods that make me well. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Required Weight Transition Reading- Refuse to Regain

Product DetailsIf you are 10-20 pounds away from your goal weight-the Refuse to Regain book - by Barbara Berkeley is REQUIRED READING.  Really.

Read that book, adopt, try, experiment, adapt, test, reprogram, journal, blog, tweet about it. Then re-read that book at 6 months and 12 months of weight maintenance. Take what you need from it to be successful in the first year. Not your priority like weight loss was? Make it a priority. Weight maintenance is more than eating the right foods. Food has a lot to do with it, but for some, it requires more.

I blogged about how I realized that being wheat free was something I discovered that would change my weight and health forever.

This book was the second step to what I believe to be permanent weight control. I don't fit 100% into the Paleo/Primal world. I don't fit 100% into the Weight Watchers World. I do not fit into the largest groups of weight maintainers. I do fit 98% into my best health with a structured plan I set up during transition time.Still working on the 2%! 

 Being wheat/grain and now dairy free probably saved my life. Or avoided a string of chronic health problems. More than just weight maintenance- my overall health is much better.

 Here's what worked:

1. I could read each rule, apply it to me and take what I needed.
2. It lead me to read more about Paleo/Primal eating
3. It lead me to believe in daily weighing and quick adjustments
4. It lead me to LIVE the be tough not moderate (clean eating 24/7, with an allowable food daily)
5. It lead me to plan allowable foods- basically an off Paleo food, that does not trigger me to overeat.
6. It lead me to weight maintainers blogs, for support.
7. It lead me to talk about weight maintenance to people in real life, for support.
8. It lead me to the idea of wheat and sugar being inflammatory and to realize the barrier to good health. 
9. It lead me to foods that keep me well.

What did not work in the past

1. Not having a good structure and plans in weight maintenance.
2. Not optimizing my diet with foods that help me feel great.
3. Not hopping on the scale or avoiding the scale if I knew I gained. Not weighing did not solve this!
4. Eating moderately because it was within my points, I deserved it, or it was home made.
5. Eating known trigger foods. Hello? What was I thinking? What a relief not to eat that crappy food.
6. Not reading and asking questions of the maintainers who maintain like I do. 
7. Not talking to people about what worked for me. Gotta share what works.
8. Continuing to eat inflammatory, obesigenic, diabetes inducing habits.  
9. I went back to the foods that made me sick.

Up soon- more photos, blood work graphs- showing before weight loss, during weight loss, and on my maintenance diet. It's become about total health as much as weight maintenance. 

When you uncover your own answers, the right thing really pops out. Grab it, use it.  I think grain free, processed sugar free and trigger foods free is so underused. Both in weight loss and maintenance and health priorities.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Discovering my wheat sensitvity- The day that changed my food life forever

I made a huge, huge discovery the day I figured out that I had a wheat sensitivity.  I had been circling in endless yo-yo dieting and overeating for about 40 years.

Once I realized that wheat was both a trigger for overeating and was making me feel ill, I was stunned. I remember standing in the kitchen and almost passing out as I thought back to about age5-6.

My whole wheat food history flashed before my eyes and it became crystal clear. I must have stood in the kitchen a full 10 minutes. Just frozen. Thinking.

Here's how it went:

The 1970's-2011- I eat the Standard American Diet, and I started Weight Watchers in 1998. I just got my hypothyroidism all balanced  (with thyroid meds) out after a round of auto-immune disease.

I lose, I gain some back, I lose again, I gain it all back plus 10 pounds. Now 70+ pounds overweight. I'm short, about 5 1", so 70+ pounds is a lot on my frame. Trying to count point, track calories, exercise, and even walking a half marathon. I was hooked on Skinny Cow Ice Cream, 100 calorie packs, and healthy whole wheat cereal. (that gives me the heebie-jeebies right now..)

Anyhoo- in mid 2011, I was determined to get back to goal weight and then maintained. I knew there were lots of people maintaining their weight and I vowed a quick, silent vow to make it work for me-  no matter what. I'd add what worked, I would removed what didn't.

It was almost like I was passing through some sort of portal. I was walking or driving down a path and I would not be returning. Crystal clear that I would problem solve this no matter what. Remove any barrier.

I was about 8-10 weeks along on my Medifast- Take Shape for Life program and it was working well. Weight was coming off, I felt great. The lean and green meals were tasting awesome, and spices too. In a way that food did not taste to me in Weight Watchers. That part was great- protein, veggies, etc. I could see how eating lean and green meals was going to work in maintenance.

So, I'm making a cauliflower crust pizza around July 2011 -from Sandy's Kitchen Adventures website- the recipe is here and it dawned on me what the problem might be. I was being very mindful about what lean and green recipes tasted the best. Everyone raved about the substitute pizza crust. This recipe is a favorite for people on Medifast. ( I don't eat cheese or egg beaters any more, but I did then)

I'm making Sandy's recipe and I think "What is is about regular pizza that triggers binge like eating and what is it about this pizza that does not?"  Cheese- maybe, I could overeat on that, but not now. Pasta sauces- no. Pizza toppings, no. Pizza crust..........  radio silence...... what's the main ingredient?? wheat!!!!

California Tree frog
So I stand there in the kitchen, grab the kitchen counter and just start thinking- I over ate on pizza at age 5-6 or so, I could over eat on lots of bread/wheat type items my whole life. Cinnamon toast, boxed cereal, super hungry after a bagel. I even had a counselor tell me that I might have a wheat & sugar sensitivity and I should think about eliminating both (like an allergy). Not to mention the bloating and other things that happened when I ate wheat....

That was it. In that moment, I realized that the counselor was right, I had been wheat (and sugar) sensitive and that wheat would not be making it back into my diet. Well knock me over with a spaghetti noodle!  It took about 8-10 weeks of eating a very strict diet to even get to the place where I could start thinking critically about this sort of thing.

It was a life changing moment. There's more to the story... I'll tell the rest soon. I know a few of my regular readers have had a lot of success with eliminating gluten and wheat from their diets. Glad I'm not alone.

I think its kind of cool that Sandy's pizza crust will forever be in my weight transformation story. And,it's super cool that I was able to find the clarity to reach that point. What a gift! Very powerful.

What worked (very clear cut)

1. Eliminating wheat and gluten and most processed sugar from my diet

What didn't work ( very clear cut)

1. Eating wheat and gluten and grains and most processed sugar

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day 2013 and a great youtube video link

First, Happy St. Patrick's Day. I did not find any leprechauns, but I did walk on the beach where there were shells and little bits of gold. That works for me. 

Walking is a key part of my life. It has been and I expect that as long as I'm physically able to, that it will be for the rest of my life.

Relaxing, photos, long beach walks, walks up big hills. All good and a part of weight maintenance.

I've linked to a great video- well worth the 9 minutes to view.

Happy St. Patrick's day. If I had leprechauns, I would put them to work doing laundry, cooking and taxes. ;)

23 and a half hours- Dr. Mike Evans

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Finding your e-support on Weight Maintenance Island

Harbor Seal arrives on the beach

I love the way that Dr. Berkeley from Refuse to Regain blog and facebook page often refers to weight maintenance as an island. I also love the show Survivor. 

I arrived a little over a year ago, for the third time on weight maintenance island. This time, it was very different. I changed up most of all how I ate, slept, and how I exercised.I also picked my own tribe of weight maintainer blogs for my electronic support. (my blog roll is on my page, scroll on the right, down the page).  Picking the right "tribe" for weight maintenance support was key.

Birds of a feather, flock together

I find all weight maintainers inspiring. We have a lot in common and can learn from each other, despite our dietary or exercise differences.

Finding the right group of frequent supporters is key- in my opinion. I determined early on that looking at pages of foods  that weight maintainers or "healthy" food bloggers who eat in moderation was just not a great thing for me. My definition of health changed- so what I read had to change, too.

I had to unsubscribe from several blogs who liked to feature frequent photos of biscotti, muffins, M&M's, ice cream, and cookies. Looking at photos of prior binge type of foods is just not the healthiest thing for me to be doing. I don't do moderation, so I no longer use those blogs as a tool for maintenance. Same thing for Pinterest. I love pinning Paleo style (non "treat"), gardening and inspiring travel photos. I only subscribe to boards where photos of sugary, fried, bakery, and junk foods will not pop up into the feed.

I made a firm decision to get away and stay away from the Standard American Diet. Part of my first year transition was to change who I "hung out with" online.

My favorite blogs evolve over time as I find new blogs, or sadly, as some of my favorite blogs go radio silent. Along with bloggers who eat clean, had major weight transformations, Paleo/Primal template bloggers, I also find myself loving the blogs of weight loss surgery successes. All very inspiring.

So, when you reach Weight Maintainers Island, find your tribe for your e-support. I think a structured support group during the first year of weight maintenance would lead to a higher rate of success of keeping the weight off for many.

What worked for me

1. Finding other bloggers who maintained like I did or inspired me.
2.  Continuing to find new blogs that inspire-other's blog rolls. Also,  See Tirza's list at Maintaining maintaining
3.  Being selective about what support I needed.
4. Finding a good reader for my iPhone (feel free to share your google reader transition plan)

What did not work for me:

1. Reading the blogs for weight loss and weight maintainers that frequently eat junk food.
2. Not reaching into other media for weight maintenance support
3. Not using a good support network- online or in person
4. Not reading daily, even if for 5 minutes, to keep my head and my day's plans on my main priorities.

Do you change up blogs or maintainer support people over time?

Turns and gulls- a mixed group

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Favorite podcast- Quit Binge Eating- Alen Standish

Another favorite podcast is the Quit Binge Eating podcast by Alen Standish. Alen's blog is here
I particularly enjoyed his interview with Beverley Glazer - podcast link is here
The how to tell people you are a binge eater episode was also a favorite - podcast link is here
A link to all the episodes on iTunes is here

I don't really know where I fit or if I fit at all into binge eating as diagnosis. I think I do fit some of the descriptions, but not all. I used to lie and tell myself that I was not a binge eater- I only went on mini-binges. LOL. Kind of funny- kind of not. :0

I do know that there are some foods that I cannot eat without stopping easily- even if I am feeling unwell from it.  Jelly beans, frosting, cheap milk chocolate, cookies, brownies. Mostly sugar. Sometimes foods like popcorn (salty). And anything with wheat- especially pizza crust, cinnamon toast, and breakfast cereals. I could over eat "healthy cereals" granola cereals sweetened with honey just as much as Captn' crunch, Coco-puffs, or heaven forbid Lucky Charms.

Frozen yogurts and oatmeal were vehicles to put on trigger- sugar laden toppings. 
I just got the heebie- jeebies typing the words "healthy cereal". There. Is. No. Such. Thing. For. Me.

I'm so glad I decided to take myself off my trigger foods. And I know that I'm one bite away from eating off the rails. Even after 70 plus pounds gone for over a year.  It's still there. Lurking. On the other hand, there is peace and freedom from the sugar/wheat driven eating and cravings. My heaven on earth- as I'm free to play with Jr. Family member, the cats, go walking, take my camera. Yes!

I lean into it, like pushing a door open with my shoulder. It's not too much, I respect the pressure and I know that I'll use that resistance on my shoulder to get to where I'm going. I respect the limitations and I fully know what trigger foods will do to my health- physical and emotional.

I've gotten off topic. But I recommend the Quit Binge Eating podcast. I can relate to many of the topics. We are not alone. We are stronger together.  Stick with your clean eating. Life is there. Waiting. Worth it. We are all worth it.

One of my upcoming posts will talk about the day I realized that wheat was driving many of my cravings. .....

Friday, March 8, 2013

Rainy Friday - will walk anyway

It's a rainy Friday in the San Diego area today.

If I can get a break in the rain, I'll go outside. Always a different photography perspective. If time is limited and it's raining, I can walk inside buildings and do a lot of stairs.

Either way, the weather won't determine my work out today. My body keeps track 24/7. It does not know that the weather is not fabulous. Weight maintenance, better frame of mind, leaner body, good bone health, and photography, visiting with friends/family are the goals.

It's never my goal to walk more to eat more food. Entertainment eating was kicked to the curb. Exercising to make up for poor eating was kicked to the curb. The older I get, the more that eating nutrient rich, non process food matters.

What works
1. Keeping a set routine with walking built into my time.
2. Wearing a pedometer so that my mind does not play "I've walked a lot " tricks
3. Finding other times/places to walk- while waiting in airports, appointments, etc.
4. Finding cool walking coats-REI. Rain proof but breathable.
5. Fueling with Paleo style foods for the appropriate length of the walk. Walks over 45 mins-1 hour require the right fuel. 

What does not work
1. Not scheduling in walking time
2. Not knowing how much activity I'm getting based on steps.
3. Sitting and reading or computer time while I've already spend a lot of time sitting at work.
4. Forgetting to bring my rain gear to work.
5. Eating Cliff bars, energy bars, and other carb laden traps to refuel.

Remove those barriers to "bad" weather and poor food choices. Now if the traffic holds on the I-5, I'll get started on my day...

Monday, March 4, 2013

13 month weight maintenance check in

Okay, it's been 13 months since I stopped loosing weight and started maintaining weight.  It's taken me 40 years to get to this point. Lots of things that didn't work in the past got left behind. The things that do work get to stay in my weight maintenance car. :)

I credit my success to fine tuning things that do work, then "rinsing and repeating" daily, for 13 months. It takes some adjustments along the way. What worked in the first 6 months had to be tweaked a bit to get to the next 7 months. It's all good.

Highest Weight 187.4
Goal weight : 115.4
Current Weight : 116.4

One month trending graph

Below is a 3 month trending graph

I've been trending above my goal. In a way that's okay. As long as I can attribute it to a positive health goal. Except for too many macadamia nuts and almonds on some days, my eating has been right on template.  I've gone nut free for the month of March so I can assess if I want to keep nuts in my food template.

Here's what is working:
 1. I have been increasing my strength- by lifting heavy things and more strength training. My clothes fit pretty well. That's why the pound over goal is not so much a problem for me. I'm as strong as I've ever been in my upper body. That should help me to avoid bone loss as I age. This is hugely important.

2. Still weighing in daily, except during travel/vacation. It works. For me. Best tool for me to banish the slippery slope thinking that kept me from maintaining my weight my whole life.Graphing and looking at my weight data as trending is hugely important. I can tell you that I would have gained anywhere from 10-25 pounds back again had I not been weighing in daily. I can tell you this because it has happened to me over 3 or so major weight losses. No need to repeat that pattern of behavior.

It works, don't be afraid to use a tool if it works.  I'm a scientist- biology, chemistry major and a licensed health care worker. Weight is one metric. I can graph it. I like that. If you don't weigh in daily during maintenance and can maintain- Kudos to you. The scale is staying in my plan.

3. I've been eating more organic meat- think chickens, grass fed beef, and bone broth from the chicken. The food being fed to my food by big industry is not looking so good. I worked hard to get soy, corn, grains,etc out of my diet. I don't want it showing back up in my protein sources. I want my money to go to farms/practices that are sound for the animals and for my health. The protein sources taste better, too.

4. I lifted this 5 gallon jug of water onto the water cooler in mid February. (see below) Yeah! It wasn't pretty form wise , I had a "spotter". Since then I've listed two other jugs and have improved my form.  Now I sneak into the break room in the morning and practice moving these bad boys around just to lift heavy things. I amaze myself!

Here's what did not work for me in the past. I write it out. The slippery slope voices still come by and try to sneak in. I lock the car door and speed away from past behaviors and patterns that took me away from my goal. I leave those bad boys sitting on the curb.

 1. Strength: Not doing strength exercises- at any weight.  
2. Not weighing in if I knew I gained. Here's the script that used to run through my head:
 "I've gained weight! I won't get on the scale until I know the numbers look better, I can tell I gained weight because my pants don't fit, I cannot face the numbers..... I'll get back on the scale when I know I've lost, I would like to sound off on the WW person who weighed me in and pointed out the gain,... " Holy smokes, this was so not right for me. Ticket to obesity.
3. Eating a lot of packaged, processed meat. Whooa! I can't touch that stuff now. It tastes nasty.
4.  Is related to strength training. I just couldn't lift what I can today.

My 5 gallon friend
That's the scoop. It's not too much. It is a challenge and one I feel like I can master if I keep in step with my priorities.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Favorite Podcast review- Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness- Sarah Fragoso and Jason Seib

Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness Podcast
Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness is hands down my favorite Paleo Podcast. Here is a link on iTunes to the podcast. Each week Sarah and Jason talk about topics and answer questions from readers. Many of the questions that are featured are very common questions you might have while switching to a Paleo or even clean eating style of eating.

I love Sarah's take on eating, cooking, and traveling and Mom's perspective on things. She blogs at Everyday Paleo It's this perspective that I absolutely need to help me navigate my own food template. I also have to navigate having a non-Paleo-working-toward-cleaner-eating middle school-er - AKA the Jr. Family member.

Transitioning to Paleo last year was a major mind & action transition for me. I build my foundation around a lot of Sarah's recipes and lifestyle choices. It gave me a place to "fit-in" and feel comfortable. Just learning to slowly eat healthy fats after years and years of Weight Watchers low fat processed food, points counting was made easier by listening and learning from the podcast.

And, Jason's got a great outlook on training individuals for their personal goals. Jason can be found at EPlifefit. I was so impressed when I met Jason at an Everyday Paleo meet up at Anaerobic Crossfit2 in Laguna Nigel in Feb 2012. He's like a walking researcher, no nonsense, you'll get to your goals and here's why kind of guy. All backed by solid research.  I love that he's tuned into different ages, stages and both male and female clients. He's got the knowledge to help all ages with their fitness goals.

Anyhoo- Sarah and Jason have played a major role in educating me so I can live in my later 40's better than I did in my teens, 20's and 30's.  Awesomeness. Fountain of youth awesomeness. Oh, and I can finally maintain my 70+ pound weight loss, too.  Frosting on the.... wait! I don't eat cupcakes or  frosting any more- ;)  It really is a gift of renewed life. One that I can pass on to Jr. Family member. Sweet!  Life changer! Health maintainer! All of that. More.

Give their podcast a listen. Let me know if you tried it or already listen to the show.