Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What I'm leaving behind, bringing with me, and creating as 2014 becomes 2015 in weight maintenance

Content credit- Life Advice on Twitter

 As we go into 2015, this tweet got me thinking what I'll leave, bring with me, and create for weight maintenance:

1. Leaving behind:  (Some of this is humor, so laugh a little.. remember, no Hummels were harmed in the creation of this blog post)

A. Intuitive Eating Books: There are some great books out there about intuitive eating... for other people!!! Not my cup of tea. Usually intuitive eating quotes make me want to smash a Hummel  figurine with a hammer (I won't ever do it, but it's the best description I could think of at the time) .  My eating is from a food template. My binge brain would love to change that and just know what to eat when, but I  have the final say, on my own plan.

Joking about smashing Hummels, but really, but I've given myself  the gift of time by not reading these books. And,think of the Hummels I've saved.   I feel better already ;)
I'll ring the bell and warn my Hummel Friends!!

B. Quotes about enjoying the journey: Now that I've given up reading books about intuitive eating all the things,  let's talk about "The Journey".

Point Dume State Park, Malibu, CA
No dang it, I didn't really enjoy losing 70 pounds when 60 pounds were for the second time, 30 pounds were for the third time, and a life time of losing weight and a closet of 10 sizes of clothing was left in the wake.

Forty FREAKING years is a long time to yo-yo in weight. When you are six years old and wanting to lose weight, you want off the high way to H*ll as soon as possible. Whew! Glad to not be yo-yo dieting any more. Better late than never.

Truth:  I did actually see Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie this year in Malibu, leaving Nobu. Sadly, no Brad Pitt photos...but I did take this cool photo at Point Dume.

C:  Moderate eating strategies:  Moderate eating.... anything you want.. because you can count calories/points/fat grams/walk it off another day/week/month.  Because I have a sugar/chocolate/caramel/tootsie roll/and frosted cupcake from Sprinkles deficiency... Yeah, my binge brain looooooooves  that. Suuuuuuure, my body wants/needs/deserves some "______" insert binge foods into sentence. Nothing launched 1000 days of binge eating for me than a good moderate eating plan. Bye-Bye!! I can safely say that I'm happy to have left moderate eating of. all. the things about 1000 days ago.

Truth! Most days, I don't miss those foods. If I do, even for a moment.. I get myself back to the new normal pretty quick.

Joking: I give myself 30 whole seconds for my pity party. Barely time to play tiny violins...

D. Trying to be a normal eater. I've accepted that I'm not a normal eater, but I do have a new normal way of eating. Truth!

E. Trying to people please.  I don't really give a hoot about a lot of things any more. The people who matter don't mind, the people who mind don't matter.  Truth!

2. I'll bring along in 2015:

A. Paleo-ish food template, modified Auto-Immune Compliant, 98% of the time
B. Better sleep habits.
C. My support systems, both weight related and Food Addiction related
D. Daily weighing
E. Strength training at least 2x per week
F. Walking 5-6 miles a day.
G. Abstaining from grains, sugars, legumes, dairy, and nuts.

3. I'll create in 2015

A. Another year of weight maintenance (finish the 3rd full year, create a 4th year). Higher Power willing.
B. Some cool travel plans for 2016
C. Secret project that includes one of  hobbies
D. Some more blog posts, weight graphs, etc.
E. New PaleoFx 2015 friendships.
F. More teaching my daughter essential life skills.

That's it. Happy New Year. Safe Travels, please, please, if you drink, don't drive.
Katie, there are no cat photos in this post, hope you like baby cormorants.. (joking..)

Baby Cormorant to usher in 2015

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Wrap-Up 2014, What worked this year vs what didn't work in years past in weight maintenance

Torrey Pines and Del Mar, CA Christmas Day 2014
I had a super relaxing, although still a little busy, Christmas.

Relaxing in that I took a lot of time outdoors with my new camera.

Busy in that the normal holiday activities combined with a young teen and the usual drive around, finish gift wrapping, visit with friends and family always take time. Add in cooking and staying on my food template, sleeping enough, a good kind of busy.

Here's what worked.

1. Planning ahead: first year ever that I had shopped, wrapped, and organized in advance. I will be doing this again.

2. Super simple decorations: 
 Four main items, small, pretty, and I can put them away in less than 10 minutes.

3. Getting enough sleep before and after Christmas.

4. Taking time to visit with friends at a brunch but staying on my food template. No one gave a rat's patootie that I didn't eat.  I ate at home before and brought in-season cut up oranges that were quite awesomely sweet. The kid had plenty to choose from- theme seemed to be cinnamon rolls and breakfast casseroles (all had cheese, so no go for me being dairy free). I have no idea what the kid ate, not my place to be the Paleo or Primal Police. She can make her own decisions. I had plenty of coffee and time to visit. So fun to see everyone. 17 year tradition!!!

5. Two foods that I now moderate on occasion but that do not trigger. One slice of bacon and a small slice of an orange. Pork protein is generally a no go for me and lots of non-berry fruit as well. A lot of both cause me to bloat up or weight re-gain.

Once and awhile on a few, carefully chosen food items don't seem to cause a lapse or awaken the binge brain from its long sleep.  That's how I know they are okay to have now and then. More for their flavor. I could care less about them. I do plan on testing lard out to see if it's more the protein portion of pork or if lard would be okay on occasion. Sometimes I'll cook with lard and the flavor profile is mighty fine in a non-binge brain way.

5. Weighing in daily, except one day this week I totally forgot to hop on the scale. No big deal.  I'm running 115-116 after I healed up from my dental work and early December illness. I feel great! If you are new to my blog you'll know that I'm very short 5'1" so this is a very normal maintenance range for me.

6. Long hikes during my time off and several fit bit challenges. Lucky to have great hiking weather. Totally  made my day on Christmas Eve when I was setting up the second photo of a fast 30 minute photo session and walking window and I saw a whale spout photo bombing in the background. Knocked my socks off!  THEN, I continued to photograph the whale (Moonlight Beach, Encinitas, CA) and found some cormorants photo bombing the whale. Later, I learned via Instagram from a surfer that the whale  had earlier swam right through the surfing line up at Beacon's (a beach to the North)  Sweet! 

Christmas Day Hike- 22,000 steps that day.(first photo on this page) Torrey Pines. So clear you could see the smoke stack in Carlsbad. YEAH! Thousands of people hiking in Torrey Pines. I've never seen it so crowed. Happy that entire families chose to get outside and hike up a 0.75 mile hill. 

What didn't work in the past.

1. Wrapping gifts and shopping at the last minute. Less sleep and more binge urges.
2. Decorating the way my family used to and not adopting a simpler style. Especially after my move from a bigger home to a small town home. Very stressful.
3. Not getting enough sleep. I was always sick around the holidays. I can now see my decisions of both food and lack of sleep played a huge part in that.
4. Attending events with the intent to binge eat, prep food that I legalized so I could binge, and in turn did not feel great visiting with people. Too busy side-eying the frosting on the cinnamon rolls... could I snag some without anyone noticing... ?? Ugh. Stomach hurts just thinking about it...
5. Avoiding the scale and false promises to "cut back" "be good" "go to WW" in January. After binge season was over. Using bulky sweaters to "hide" my body rolls. I'm telling you, that sweater trick did not work. But my binge brain loved that strategy.
6. I hiked, but not very far. And, as a sugar burner, I would fuel even a short hike with carbs, Cliff bars, low fat cookies, M&M laden trail mix, or some processed WW snack if I were truly into counting points.  Now as a fat burner, I'm lucky if I'm even hungry. I do find that I'll need something, within an hour of finishing 5-6 consecutive miles, but I can usually wait to get home 30 mins to 1 hour. No big deal as a fat burner.

That's the scoop. A lot of thoughts came out of my head on the Torrey Pines hike. About how I kept myself stuck, by my own choices for so many years. I remain convinced that the best tool for weight loss and weight maintenance is a good sense of self and the ability to change up more quickly and pull away from the heard and lemming mentality. Especially when I could clearly see it wasn't working. The mind clarity and the Paleo food template are very clear top tools.  The decisions to stay stuck were my own choices. Oh, but my binge brain loved it.

Ownership is awesome. Self efficacy, hard work, but clarity and clear choices are very much worth it and become easier each year.

And, the cat photo for our friend, Katie! The cats had an especially good day playing with the gift wrapping and trying to destroy the minimal Christmas decorations. Lots of laughing on our part.
Tortoiseshell Cat in a Tube

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve 2014 Story- So. Cal Style, mix up

Fabulous Holiday Door- La Jolla, CA
Today I spoof and goof on many holiday themes... So. Cal style....

Twas the night before Christmas 2014 and all through the house.

Don't tread on me, tortie!
Cat sunbath smack down
Not a creature was stirring, not even the cats. (drama, much?)

The stockings were still in storage bins in the garage and there's no chimney, or cookie tins.

The teen was settled with cell phone, cheap headphones, skype, and a few friends, while visions of Beats by Dr. Dre danced in her head.

Mama wearing her Purdue hoody on her head and warm fuzzy slippers, just before bed, Boiler UP- she said.

 When out on the lawn there was such a chatter, a band of coyotes yipping and howling - what is the matter!??(seriously, this happened today, keep your pets indoors, please)

 Dear Santa, I've been very good, could you bring me Paleofx tickets and some warm So.Cal sun so I don't get rickets?

My Mr. California Brown  Pelican what a big nose All the better to catch fish that fishermen throws!

On Dasher, On Dancer, on Donner and Blixen

Yo, Mr. Snowman, you know DUDE, I've got some news for YOU, your time is numbered when the warm Santa Anta winds blew...

So Cal Beach Snowman

Okay... that's enough. I've got eggs to scramble and avocados to wrangle.

Time to go visit with the fam bam and friends.

Merry Christmas to those that celebrate!
Happy Holiday's and time off work to All.
Safe travels. 

Hope that Katie likes those cat photos... LOL.

Here's to celebrating within your food template. No matter what.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Pre-Christmas Saturday 2014- odds and ends, glucose monitoring, coconut milk, and shiny doughnuts

** Trigger warning, I have a top trigger food in a photo at the very end of this post**  I'll give you a warning before the photo arrives.

Here's what's working:

1.  Glucose monitoring:
Waking up this pre-Christmas Saturday very thankful I didn't dive into the  Standard American Diet at the Holidays.  Holy Smokes!!!! I can promise you my fasting blood glucose would not have been 84 mg/dL before breakfast.

2. Full Fat Coconut milk: Home made special coffee. Recipe:
1/4 cup coconut milk
Cinnamon sprinkles

I found some cans of full fat coconut milk, Natural Value, Ingredients = Coconut Extract, water. Frasier Farms. $2.79. Typically I use the Trader Joe's light coconut milk $ 0.99 (not because it's less fat, because the ingredients are only coconut and water and it's cheap and easy to find.). Finding coconut milk without the guar gum or xanthan gum is difficult. Additives can trigger a binge in about  60 seconds after consuming.
* doughnut talk*

 3. Reading Vera Tarman, MD,"Food Junkies" Book. I can totally relate! I had the book in my purse when a person dropped off 2 dozen shiny, glazed doughnuts in the break room. I whipped out that book and said "Hey look, those doughnuts are as shiny as the doughnuts on the cover of this book...."

We had a good laugh and a great conversation about the book.

 I had several great conversations later that morning.  Lots of people identified with it. What could have been a tough day was no big deal, because I don't moderate the foods of my addiction. Remission and recovery means I manage EVERYTHING I put in and on my body, including shiny doughnuts.  I thank my higher power every single morning that I had clarity to own that practice. Food template, Every single meal. No matter how shiny those doughnuts were. (photo at the end of this post)
I stopped binging on sugar in 2011, diabetes stopped!

What didn't work in the past:
1. I didn't monitor my glucose: Except watching it go higher and continuing to binge on sugar. Starting to monitor at home, between blood draws is an awesome tool on a very silent disease.

2. Consuming additives that kept me binging.  Yes, yes, I know that guar gum is "natural" but it totally messes with my brain. This additive = binge urges  Forget it. I've had 40 years of binge eating. I'm done with knowingly triggering myself and to stay healthy, I don't consume these additives. Here's some more reading at Chris Kresser's site Interesting that I can tolerate soy lecithin, but not the gums. So glad to have been food sober long enough to ID and remove this substance.

3. Moderating sugar and grains, towing the WW moderation line:

Counting WW points and moderating shiny doughnuts just didn't work. Eating sugar and wheat = binge. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I really felt like I should make myself moderate. To diet harder. What I was really doing was going toward pre-diabetes faster. Yikes! Glad I stopped moderating sugar and grains.

Here's to doing what works, Holiday's last a few weeks. Here's to setting up 2015 for success. How are you setting yourself up for 2015?

**** Trigger food photo warning*******
Using the tools in Food Junkies to navigate shiny doughnuts

Saturday, December 13, 2014

4th Christmas abstaining from grains, sugars, and holiday baking- getting back more than I gave up!

One of the great gifts I gave myself when I began abstaining (gluten and sugar for weight loss, then grains and most sugars in weight maintenance) Christmas 2011, was my first time since the late 1970's that I got clean at Christmas.

Ghost Of Christmas past: One of my big gifts was the snipet of clarity from stopping binge eating while I lost weight. I remembered that one Christmas I gave all my candy to a family member. The late 1970's.  "Take it all, I want none" I told my family member. I was probably the age my daughter is now, 14. Somehow my teenage brain just wanted a break from the yo-yo dieting, the binge eating, the highs and the lows. That was the first time I could remember stopping binge eating since age 6. It's all my kid brain could do.

More recently: Flash forward to 2011-2012. Those two Christmases had me pacing and having lots of binge urges Christmas eve, some Christmas days. Major white knuckling paid off. I stayed clean, off sugar, grains and the voice that said, "It's Christmas, eat one paleo treat, cookie, fudge, you can go walk it off Christmas morning". More pacing. Thank my Higher Power for Angry Birds, Christmas music, and some spiced tea.

Current thoughts: Each time I give up something that kept me binge eating. It's really not my fault. It's nothing I'm doing Christmas wrong. I don't need to Paleo harder. I certainly don't need to learn to moderate all foods. That only fuels my binge eating. And I know it. I had to get so honest with myself. Clarity, honesty, willingness to change traditions and simplify. To walk away from this blog and do the work.

Starting more than I stopped:  (aka- what works, what didn't work)

What didn't work:
1. Stopped holiday baking and food gift giving
2. Stopped binge eating to numb
3. Stopped decorating the house so much
4. Stopped trying to put up a traditional tree that the cats would demolish each night.
5. Stopped going to cookie parties.
6. Stopped enabling others by giving non-food gifts.
7. Stopped feeling obligated to go to church related activities.( bell ringing excluded- Jr. Family member is a champion ringer)  Such a stress relief!( I listen, smile, clap, and sneak out the door to one of the best beaches on the West Coast... my higher power is found on the beach)
8. I stopped feeling out of control, guilty, sad, and stopped hating myself.
9. I stopped gaining 5 pounds each Christmas and making false promises of Jan weight loss.

 What works now
1.Started to listen to Christmas music more often.
2. Started to hit the beach for super long walks.  Yep! nothing better than the ocean.
3. Started to sleep more and watch less TV
4.  Started to connect more to friends and family.
5. Started to travel more to places like Hotel Del Coronado and Christmas on the Prado (San Diego)
6. Started to use spices (cinnamon, peppermint extract) for some coffee add-ins, with coconut milk.
7. Started giving more to charities ( My favorite is Heifer Project, flock of chicks, yes!)
8. Started simplifying gift wrapping
9. Started giving more gift cards, no guilt, just less stress
10. Started taking more holiday photos
11. Started taking evening walks and enjoying other people's light displays.
12. I started living more fulling, stone cold food sober.
13. I started living long term weight maintenance fully.

I started more than I started. That's one heck of a gift.  Here's to eating within your food template, your plans, and OWNERSHIP like a freaking holiday BOSS. Weight maintenance for a 2014 holiday WIN!

Yeah.... Ho, Ho, Ho... Safe travels my friends. This holiday will come and go. Put yourself firmly as the driver of your sled, sleigh, car, and life. Best. Christmas. Gift. Ever.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

2 years, 10 months weight maintenance update- photos, graphs, Yeah! same old same old...

May 2011 (before) and December 2014  (after)
 Nothing to see here... BORING... Repetitive, Bah, blah, blah.. move along if you don't like graphs and long term weight maintenance.... drama free... nothing to see here...

I'm joking... laugh a little... ;)
 Long term weight maintenance: In year 2, I haven't found it to be full of up down and all around and heaps of drama.  That's a good thing.

Highest weight: 187.4
Current weight: 115.8
Weight Range: 113-119
Height 5'1"
Age: 48
Menopause: 2 years
Years yo-yo dieting: 40
Food sober: 3.5 years

I have found long term weight maintenance to be:  Day in, day out work. Cooking, washing dishes, keeping stress and sleep in check. Keeping emotions in check. Putting myself first that way. Getting and giving support. A real snoozer. Yes repetitive, possibly "boring". Food tastes great. I feel awesome. A lot of overall work. A lot of not going back to old patterns.

Real food, binge management. I do the work. Each of us has to pick our goals, make a plan, then walk away from the blog and do the work. No other way to get the job done.

Every.Day.No.Matter.What.Constant.Vigilance. Show.Up.Do.The.Work.  

Yeah. Another month. Really, most people don't make it to long term without a regain, so each meal, each day, each week, month, and each year is a win for me. I re-gained every loss for 40 years. Very, very worth stepping out of that cycle,  in terms of QOL- quality of life.

The not so great: I had dental work this month that triggered my vertigo. I couldn't eat for 2 days straight. I lost 4 pounds. I don't recommend that kind of weight loss! I did get some meds and got re-hydrated so I avoided urgent care for an IV. Win and less money for health care bills, too. Now when I have to go to the dentist, I can take my anti-nausea meds and not be so effected. Whew!

The kind of cool: One curious thing: I was not really hungry due to being fat adapted. I was very thirsty, but really, I can turn over to burning body fat and most likely slipped into ketosis. That was very handy. 

I have 1,000 blog posts in my head and about 10 topics to cover. Maybe I can get 5-6 posts out during the rainy times here on the coast. Sleep and photography are taking up a lot of time. Fun stuff. I avoid a bunch of holiday stress. And, I sure don't shovel back holiday sweets.

Karen: the Holiday Grinch: Someone shows up with a plate of cookies, holiday fudge... who cares?... boring... My food template is set. EZ decisions. No stress. No hating myself after indulging.  No need to jack up my insulin, glucose, ghrelin, and letpin. What's the point?

I'll show up Jan 3, 2015 with another same-old-same-old set of stats, clothes and jeans that fit, and another food sober holiday down. And, that is okay by me. Another win. I called it.

Now to make it so..

Here's what's working

1.Weighing daily
2. Eating only what I bring for lunch, paleo-ish food template.
3. No holiday baking or tasting. My food sobriety demands that, my mitochondria demand that.
4. Walking 5 miles daily, most days. 12,000+ steps.
5. Long walks at the beach.
6. Getting and giving support.
7. Cat photos (for Katie, very end of this post)

What didn't work in the past:
1. Avoiding the scale
2. Eating and binging on lots of food at work, not sticking to a food template.
 3. Baking cookies to give to other people so I had a free ticket to binge!!!
4. Walking 4-5,000 steps a day and sitting a lot during waking hours.
5. Short trips and avoiding hills due to being morbidly obese.
6. Not being open to support that I desperately needed.
7. Not being fully into my favorite hobby- photography, because I was too busy binge eating and numbing out with food.

 Katie: There's a whole lot of Tortitude going on daily at my house. I've never had tortoiseshell cats until 2012. They are great cats. Very quiet, very funny. Adopted from the local shelter. Sisters.
(Cat One =food obsessed & Cat two = play based)= 2X Tortitude

Thursday, December 4, 2014

No Grains, No Gains December 2014- off Paleo foods- what kind, how many?

Dec 2014 Topic: Off Primal/Paleo eating, we all have some off paleo/primal foods.
1. What off template foods do we enjoy?
2. How do we know we can eat them without returning to the Standard American Diet (SAD)?

I eat a few off- Paleo foods, but not many. I get easily triggered to binge eat so I had to get very, very honest about what I could and couldn't eat. I had to be very truthful and kind to myself and just walk away from "Paleo-fied treats".  For me honesty = relief and results.

 Binge eating, migraines, inflammation... some of my off plan eating can hit me in unpleasant ways. Here's what works:

1. Chocolate: 85% or higher. Half a serving. No more. Once a day. Sometimes I skip a day or two (once or twice a week).  I  eliminated chocolate during my Whole30 in Jan 2013 and in the Low Carb Challenge April 2013. I had no issues bringing the chocolate back in, no side effects, no binge eating, no slippery slope eating. There might be 2-4 grams of sugar a serving. With the fat, I can tolerate it. Over 4 grams, I will start to get binge brain.

2. A teeny canola and vegetable oil. The seaweed snack (see below) has some canola oil. So did the vegetables at a Mexican restaurant (peppers and onions) during a family eat out at a local favorite hangout.
A small amount of vegetable oil once and again is unavoidable if I'm eating outside the home.  If I'm traveling on a longer vacation, I will start to notice a stomach ache after a while when consistently exposed to vegetable oil. Even more so if it's corn based. Once I switch back to my regular food template, I feel better.

3. Regular ground beef or non-organic meat (vs grass fed). If my budget and/or shopping trip doesn't allow, then I'll buy regular ground beef, or lean cuts of beef at Costco. I do the best I can and I don't worry to much about it.

4. Coffee, I drink it with good effects. I like it.

That's about it. I don't really go off my food template much. Physical and emotional pain. I had 40 years of that. Reversing a lapse is serious business for me (binge eating). It's hard to get stopped and once I start, I can cycle for days, weeks, and months. It's no joke. So I take it pretty seriously, with a good outcome. I like being off the "to binge or not to binge cycle". My eating, health, thoughts, nerves are much more even an very few urges to binge eat. It's worth it, to me, to stay on track.

What didn't work in the past:
1. Eating high sugar chocolate ( counting WW points for truffles had me eating/binge eating LOTS)
2. I used to think canola oil was "heart healthy". That olive oil would cost too many WW points (hangs head... )
3. I bought the cheapest, leanest cuts of meat... and they were dry and tasted terrible...., but I loaded up with lots of baked chip toppings, corn tortillas, and low point "stuff" to "lose more weight faster!" It didn't work so well.
4. I've always had coffee, except for my first trimester of pregnancy. But I loaded the coffee up with blue packets and skim milk or all kinds of flavored coffee creamer- sigh...

Okay, go check out my No Grains, No Gains bloggy friends. It's fun to see what works for different people.

Gwen at The Sunny Coconut
Jeanette at For Life:
Leigh at Poonapalooza