Saturday, December 28, 2013

Weight gain(but fat loss?) in weight maintenance Dec 2013 scoop

In the month of Dec 2013, I've weighed the most that I have in the last two years. Frustrating since I've been keeping a good food template.

The six year old "me" stomped my feet and thought, I deserve better results, I've earned a different outcome!!!... I let that go on for about 5 whole minutes. Pretty ineffective stuff. ;)

Effective action:Then I switched gears to outcomes based on solid processes review, planning and re-framing. That's were real change happens in my new normal.
The good news:
1. I've stuck to my good low inflammatory food template and exercise.
2. I've lost 2-5% body fat, according to my cheap home scale
3. I've stayed well from a colds and flu
3.5 Antibiotics are working for my ear infection (see the inflammation from 12-4 to 12-19-2013?)
4. My clothes still fit fairly well, the fat loss seems to be from my belly, which for overall health goals away from the scale is soooo important, in my opinion.

The scale bounces during transition

 Root cause consideration: I could be making excuses guessing here, but addressing 1 or more of these WILL work. Might take a little time, but the answer will reveal itself. Better to guess and be wrong and keep trying than to put my head in the sand and not address issues.

1. I stopped tracking my food for 3-4 months. I quite likely shifted my carbs a little higher this time- little larger fruit serving, etc.
2. The 2 infections- one in November, one in December and the antibiotics could be just part of the gain.
3. Fat loss vs weight loss. This is the first winter of me being really fat adapted, and I've noticed lower belly fat with a little bit additional subcutaneous fat on my hips. I get bone chilling cold on and off all winter, I have since a teenager. This could all be part of fat adaption. I know my weight drops like a rock in the summer. It all is connected to sleeping temperature. Warm days in So Cal, but cold nights.
4. My strength training has been spotty at best. It's habit, I know!

 Action Plan:

1. I'm back to tracking food at my fitness pal for my carbohydrate levels. Looks like getting my carbs to the 40's range is effective for me.

1.5 I don't worry about calories at all. If I'm hungry, I can trust my signals now. I eat. I stop when I feel full. I just don't don't do it with fruit. I do eat protein, fat, and lower carb veggies (PFC- Dietitian Cassie has taught me well!)I've gotten super good at picking out emotional eating from true hunger. Key weight maintenance skill set!!!

2. Getting off antibiotics and getting my gut health back will be key. I have to have patience on this one. Bone broth, pro-biotics, enough sleep, and stress reduction, too.

3. All I can do is hold tight and data collect on the cold sleeping. No trips to warm sleeping places anytime soon. Maybe this is the new normal and I'll thank my lucky stars for the fat loss. Time will tell and patience is also a key weight maintenance skill set!!!

4. Strength training.
     A. Getting back to putting stickers on a calendar, like the 6 year old me, is key. This time instead   of earning candy bars (this happened in second grade for book reading!) I will be earning iTunes.The six year old me is happy and can't wait to see the stickers.... funny.
     B. Taking another person with me on my work out. Jr. Family member will be joining me soon. Whoot!!! :)
     C. Using the Lift app to cement my strength training habit. Halting bone loss is at the top of my 2014 priority list and lifting and moving will be key to my goals.

Nobody seems to teach this stuff in most support groups in weight maintenance. It's very individual, too. The template is your own.

What did not work in the past
1. Not tracking weight or food
2. Not connecting a low inflammatory food template to colds and flu (infections, different animal for me)
3. No critical thinking on the root causes.
4. Not enough effort on the right habit changes. No systems and rewards.

That's it. I'll check back in on Jan 3, 2014 for my 23 month maintenance with my progress. Onward. The fine tuning does not end in weight maintenance. I thank my lucky stars for using the tools that I need to connect the dots and take fast corrective action. I might guess wrong, but I will stumble upon the answer if I keep going.

Discuss: How do you reverse gains? Does your weight vary in the winter?

Still rocking my jeans 12/26/2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays- 2013 and second Christmas maintaining my weight and priorities

Blue nosed cat! Rare LED breed...
Short post to wish you all Happy Holidays and time off work- hopefully. This will be the second year of celebrating Christmas and New Year as a weight maintainer. Awesomeness!

To those hospital workers and first responders who are working the holidays- thank you! It wasn't that long ago that I hung a stocking on a lab wall and supported the ER and critical care units, spending  my breaks and lunch with my fellow Med Techs/CLS's and lab support staff family. You have may admiration and thanks for working to keep my family and the community safe and well.

I don't take any time off at the holidays for granted.

2013 Holiday Priorities:
1. The best! Time with Jr. Family Member and other family.
2. Very awesome: Visiting with friends and neighbors,
3.  On template food that doesn't trigger but is flavorful and rich and low inflammatory-   Tasty balsamic beef crock pot roast  from George the Civilized Caveman and recipe to follow for garlic Red Argentine shrimp. Using spices/flavors to celebrate the holiday: cinnamon and peppermint extract.
4. Great walks and photos at the beach and some tide pooling.
5. Last minute shopping: Land's End (Sears) has a great sale on long sleeve shirts and turtle necks. Replacing my smalls with X-Smalls for more clothes that fit. $12 for a long sleeved shirt that will last 5-10 years. Yeah!
6. Prioritizing time into 1-5 and eliminating activities that stress me out and made me sick.

Ghosts of Holiday's past:
1-2: Not wanting to be in photos because of my weight.
3. Going to parties/dinners to eat and not visit.
4. Sitting and watching TV or sleeping on the couch due to 1-3.
5. Stocking multiple sizes of clothes so I could over eat and cover up with huge sweaters and mental promises to "restart" come Jan 1.
6. Spending time on things that did not bring me joy- house decorating, gift wrapping and bows,
 card sending, cookie baking, junk buying, and emotional eating. Customizing 1-5 has brought more joy to the season and less illness. I used to get majorly ill on the last week of every year. Not any more! Okay, everybody knock on wood right now...

Here's to prioritizing yourself and your health this holiday season. Toss the old traditions and embrace the new normal. Safe travels to you all. I salute all of you for prioritizing yourself and your health this year.

No snow, but the tea trees were blooming

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Holiday's December 2013 keeping the train on the tracks

San Diego Botanic Garden
Happy Holiday's to all who are celebrating this season.Thank you for reading and I plan to have a few posts over the holidays.

You can also count on me tracking my food, getting in walking, sleep, and de-stressing, as needed. I'll be keeping a super clean Paleo template again this year.

I don't eat too far off template, but I may melt my 85% Chocolate squares and drip a drop or two of peppermint extract for the flavor/smell of the season. I also may add a spoon full or two of coconut milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon to my coffee.  That's the whole extent of my holiday "special food".

Proteins: I will switch up to a more expensive cut of meat for our balsamic pot roast and I bought some Red Argentine Shrimp that taste like lobster. This is the way "I put life into living" as Vinnie Tortorich likes to say on his podcast. And YES! Anna Vochino is the best voice in podcasting. Love listening every week. (this podcast has "language' so don't listen in front of the young kiddos, Vinnie's promised a kid friendly episode. Really looking forward to this so I can share it with Jr. Family Member)

Tastes a little like lobster and shrimp! Trader Joe's

That's it. I don't "Indulge, eat treats, eat off template, eat the family sugar cookie recipe, the random crap that shows up, the lovingly made and decorated sweets, or just one holiday meal." My emotional/binge eating does not take a day off, so I don't either. I could eat these food products, but I like my food sobriety too much. I'll wake up feeling great, eat a normal amount of food, enjoy the family, take epic photos on my walks outside , and go to bed feeling great. Best Christmas gift to myself- for life. 24/7/365

In December 2011, during my weight loss, I concentrated on minimizing my activities and putting myself first. Card sending, cookie baking, over decorating- I don't miss it. Food sobriety "tastes" better.

Taking time to cook good meals, take photos, visit with friend- much better time investment.

What's working for the Christmas Holidays 2013

1. Tracking food and my fitness pal, with daily weighing.
1.5 Looking at protein and carb macros.
2. Taking time to walk, get outdoors, sleep,and rest.
3. Taking time to buy and cook food.
4. Taking time for friends and family

What did not work in the past:

1. Not tracking food starting in October, ostrich effect.
2. Not being aware of the hormonal effects of glucose and insulin on my body and mind
3. Eating whatever showed up at the parties. Going to the parties to eat binge food!!
4. Feeling terrible and not wanting to have friends see me, using huge sweaters to cover up my body.

Safe travels. Stay on track. No cookie was ever worth that cycle. Those Red Argentinian Shrimp- that taste like lobster, no emotional/binge cycle and paying a little more for protein,   that's worth it. :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Superfast mid-week check in, pre Christmas priorities 2013

Just a quick check in, mid-week.

Here's what is working for me right now.

1. Lots of outdoor walking due to the warmer weather in So. Cal. I grew up in central Indiana. I thank my lucky stars for each day of sun. (Moonlight Beach, Encintias)

2. Eating lower in my carb range ( my weight was shifting higher for understood reasons)

3. Keeping a clean food template- very clean.

4. Sleeping super well because of steps 1-3.

5. Body fat % seems lower, so says cheap scale and clothing. Amazing! See steps 1-4

6. Infection from late November gone!

What's not going as well as I would like:
1. Leaky plumbing ( I caught it super fast, plumber is scheduled) and having to clean out under the sinks and around all the plumbing so that all items can be inspected  (so much for Christmas wrapping!).

2. Stabbing pain in my ear. Anti-biotics doing a funky number on my GI track.

3. Home cooking and walking 10,000 plus steps and dealing with 1 & 2 plus work requires a lot more dynamic planning. This too, will pass.

4. So even though my weight reached my 119 "scream" weight zone, the belly fat is low, I feel pretty lean despite the higher numbers. My strength training could be better, so I'm focusing on keeping that in sight and time prioritizing is EVERYTHING. With leaky plumbing and the ear, I'm giving myself a high five for powering through this.

I weighed in at 117.8 this AM. I can look back and see my ear infection probably started right around 12/4/2013 or so.

Just super glad that my slightly puffy face did not have anything to do with a worse condition. I'm tracking my food at My Fitness Pal so that I can either eat higher protein and a little lower fat OR eat a little higher fat, and around 30-40 grams of carbs for a low level ketosis.

To be honest, I don't have an exact idea how I'll lose weight in my fat adapted state (my weight loss days were on a commercial diet plan)  but something will emerge from my Paleo template. It's kind of fun to experiment around. Getting off the anti-biotics and getting my gut bacteria back will be key.

Either way sleeping well is going to help me this week. Prioritizing my health and dealing with life helps, too.

Just wanted to check in and let everyone know I'm marching onward and NOT eating off the rails. No emotional/binge urges. None. Awesome!  I did develop a new way of dealing with the massive foods brought into work. (next blog post) And, I'm working on an awesome project for the blog for 2014 that I'll reveal closer to the end of 2013. :)

"Snow" on Moonlight Beach, Encinitas, CA

Friday, December 6, 2013

Mindset- contemplation, decision and action in weight loss

Frog contemplating his next meal
* Special note: I'm talking about my decision to loose weight back in May 2011 (before Paleo) so if you are here from the Paleo side of things, keep that in mind. Just glad that low-infammatory diets are more mainstream now.

 It is what it is. No regrets!

I had a lot- maybe 12 or so false starts when I was in the mind set of weight loss. I had the right mindset, but hindsight- using a calorie and/or points counting system was not working anymore for weight loss.

This was very, very, very frustrating. Weight Watchers had worked in the past, (60 pound loss, then 25 pound gain, then 25 pound loss, then 70 pound gain... 2 pound loss...)  See the yo-yo dieting here? This was over a 10 year time span and one baby and a major relationship change.

I had limited success with the Livestrong Calorie Counter , online. (about 10 pound loss, not sustained). More yo-yo.

I had a personal trainer at the gym but hid the fact that I ate emotionally. I just couldn't face it.  I walked a half marathon. I ate a LOT of cliff bars, oatmeal, and whole wheat waffles and Vitatop muffins. Yes! I had a muffin top to show for my carbohydrate fuel.
Jan 2009

I had started to contemplate other weight loss methods- Medifast, Sensa sprinkles (OMG! I tossed those nasty sprinkles out and did not try them!), and even lap band. I investigated Medifast for safety and found large clinical trials. I was okay with what I saw from the clinical trials. I waited. Not ready to try again until I knew I could be both in the right mind set and be successful.

The death of a co-worker and my health at the time combined to push me into decison and action mode.  My health coach was selling Take Shape for Life (aka- Medifast ) at our health fair. I was motivated because I was worried (rightfully so) that I was about to have a major medical issue (cardiac or type 2 diabetes). I felt physically poor and my blood work was not good.  My Take Shape for Life coach was a WW alumni. I loved that part.

What worked:
 1. I took my mind set, my high motivation, my fear about my health and I decided and acted.
2. I had no idea it would work.
2.5 I addressed the roots of the emotional eating.
3. I committed to finding another way quick if it did not.

Probably saved my life.  So, if you are struggling- and feel that mix of high motivation and decision- trying something is probably better than doing nothing. At least you can add to your  mind "data base " or a paper list of what works and what does not. And that changes over time. Age, thyroid disease, baby, relationship change, menopause (for females).

What did not work
1. Trying the same thing that was not working at the time (WW, calorie counting, whole grains), over and over again = insanity!
2. Letting go and trusting that failing was okay.
2.5 I used food to soothe.
3. Not moving quickly enough onto discovery of new methods.

Next up- mindset during weight loss, then mindset during transition, and long term maintenance.  Discuss!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

22 month weight maintenance update- Dec 2013

 Happy December! Already. 22 months of weight maintenance. Here are the details

Highest Weight: 187.4
Current weight 117.0
Goal Range: 113-117
Age: 47
Height: 5'1"
Years trying to get here: 40
Menopause: Yes, 4 months now.

Okay, I had guest photographers for my 22 month update and I don't have a full side photo, but these will do.

November 2013 was tricky. I had to navigate more challenges.

Gluten exposure (envelopes! who knew?), GI bug (mild), secondary infection (ugh!!!)

Winter Weight 2013

What worked this month:

1. Daily weighing: Yep! higher weights and all. It's data.
2. Using sponge to close envelopes.
3. Dialing back my walking to 7.500 steps.
4. Going to the nurse practitioner immediately when I knew I needed antibiotics.
5. Staying on track on vacation/holiday.

 The nurse practitioner told me I had the blood pressure of a 16 year old. (98/62). Awesome! Told her it was my good, low-inflammatory diet. She agreed. Nice to see more people in the medical field that "get it". A win, even though I was feeling a bit funky. Made my day.

Before I knew I was sick, I automatically had dialed back my walking. It didn't seem right to walk more than that. I went with my gut. Great to use my natural radar. Also a win for the month.

What Didn't work in the past:
1. Not weighing in
2. Not connecting the gluten exposure factors.
3. Using sick time to "feed" myself high carb snacks for comfort.
4. Waiting to go to the doctor to see if I could "get better on my own".
5. Using a vacation/holiday to eat whatever I wanted, mostly junk/comfort food.

May 2011 to Dec 2013, 22 months in maintenance
 I took some cool bird photos that told my story. All from Crystal Cove, Orange County, CA.  Awesomeness!  A huge amount of my  motivation comes from knowing I can head out with my camera and move the way I want to move.
No sticking my head in the sand! Guess what sticks out...?

Taking care of myself, resting when needed.

I'm out of here! Back to regular life...