Saturday, October 24, 2015

Does knowing your genetic risks for obesity help or does it hinder? part 1 of several- It wasn't my fault

Karen age 7, many obesity genetic risks
I read this article from Dr. Sharma's website

My answer to the question: Can information on the genetic nature of obesity reduce perceived weight discrimination and increase the willingness to eat healthier?

Part 1 of several topics from my past, and present.

My answer: YES to the knowing my genetic risks.  I'll leave the perceived discrimination for another time.

Willingness to eat a low inflammatory food template: Even before I got my 23nMe genetic results, I had refined how to NOT have the obesity pheotype (aka have obesity) while still having the obesity genotype.  Paleo-ish, low carb, higher natural , NSNG- no sugars no grains, template for weight maintenance. That's my personal food approach to my personal obesity risks. I didn't need my genetic report to get that far. I experimented around and found those food templates.

What my genetic risk report gave me: I was able to heal up from some of the worst mental pain from being an obese kid in the 70's and 80's.

It wasn't my fault: I was an obese kid for most of elementary school.  I was seven years old in the photo.Being obese anytime is tough. It was especially tough in the 70's and 80's. I was one of the only obese kids in my elementary at the time.
Special Note* I wasn't the only one. This is not a poor me post. Not tougher than the other kids had it. Everyone bullied one another for being "different".  Race, family income, being a different sexual orientation, religion, being obese, being super thin, short, tall. All differences were grounds in Central Indiana for getting the stuff kicked out of you physically and mentally on the playground. There was much worse bulling going on around me. We were all in the same boat as far as the culture of the time*

It wasn't my fault: I have the genetic risks for childhood obesity. I have many obesity risk genes. Double copies in some cases, single copies in other cases. Remember it's not single SNP sets but the combination of genetics, environment, combinations of genes and environment. ( I must say, NSNG for the WIN!!!, thank you Vinnie and Anna Vocino, for making no sugars and no grains popular. I can now be a cool kid. You have no idea how happy this makes me.)

More info on this FTO SNP, just one of many FTO risks I have.

More info on this extra Ghrelin/FTO SNP, I have no doubt that ghrelin plays a role

It wasn't my fault my genes expressed themselves. Sometimes you don't get the disease when you are high risk. Sometimes you do. I did. I had obesity starting from age 6 to 46. I had times where I wasn't obese, but I often battled binge urges.

It wasn't my parents fault. No one in my immediate family  had obesity in the 1970's and 80's in the younger generations. Maybe overweight from time to time. They tried their best. Nothing offered worked and in many cases, ineffective recommended tools did more harm than good.

It wasn't my fault: An elementary school kid is not going to have the mental capacity to navigate high risk obesity genetics. I would have depended on the root cause to be identified and then EFFECTIVE corrective and preventive measures.  The experts are there yet, even in 2015. Good thing I set up some n=1 self experiments and am not holding my breath!! ;)

Karen- moderating sugars, grains 2009, obesity genes expressed
It isn't my fault now: Until genetic risk factors for obesity, type 2 diabetes, extra ghrelin production (hunger hormone) and others get paired up with the right for you food templates for obesity, some of us are going to have obesity. Calories in and calories out are just not effective or comprehensive for many of us. It may be a partial fix. For many people with obesity risks- we are not weak willed people, we just don't have effective tools for our genotypes. It's not our fault.  

That being said, I take full responsibility for my health.

 There are many  food templates that seem to help. NSNG, LCHF, Paleo, Primal, Refuse to Regain strategies,Vegan & Vegetarian (yes, this works well for some, don't hate), Abstaining from certain foods  (OA and FA have a jump up on this strategy).  Even within an abstaining population, the types of food each person may need to give up vary widely with good reason- we have different genotypes and resulting phenotypes.

Karen 2015- have obesity genes without the obesity phenotype
Who knows what other inputs may effect obesity. Gut microbes, sleep, stress, auto-immune diseases? Multi input process

There's no one Answer, but because there are inexpensive genetic tests and some effective food templates that work with personal genetics, some will start to live without obesity even though we are hard coded genetically for it. It's a more than a bit tricky to find the right combo. It's an exciting time with personal genetics starting to emerge.

The answer was inside of me, I just had to get out my own way and match up the right food template. It was a lot of work, but very well worth it.

Part 2, I'll dive down into some "answers" I got when I was young into what was going to work when I was older.

Here's what's working

1. No Sugar No Grains, Paleo-ish, LCHF,  Wahl's Paleo Plus food template
2. Knowing, understanding, and accepting my genetic risks from my 23nMe genetic report.
3. Time to prioritize my NSNG, LCHF lifestyle- cooking, sleeping, stress reduction
4. Accepting what I can and cannot change and not carrying guilt and monkeys  around with me.

Here's what didn't work in the past

1. Moderating sugars and grains
2. Not knowing my hard coded genetic risks, comparing myself to genetic normies.
3. Not prioritizing time and habits that were effective
4. Failing to fully accept the effective food and lifestyle template. After my WW leaders drilling it into me that moderation WAS required, I failed to have the proper backbone to get the heck away from that environment. It's not the  fault of WW, but my fault for not breaking from ineffectiveness sooner.

Question for my readers: Has anyone else been helped from knowing their genetic risks? Has anyone changed their food template and made medical decisions to their success? Anyone else able to get ineffective monkey's off their back?

Saturday, October 10, 2015

3 years and 8 months in long term weight maintenance- staying steading in this plateau

 Starting weight 187.4 lbs
Current Weight: 120.2 lbs
Goal weight ranges
(113-117) and/or (119-121)
Time in weight maintenance: 3 years, 8 months
Age 49
Height: 5'1"
Menopause: 2 years
Auto-Immune Hashimotos: 1997
Food Addict in recovery: May 2011
Current food template: LCHF/ Wahl's Paleo Plus combo

1.Holding steady, goal range revision

I've been in the same weight pattern for 3+ months. If I want to attempt  a lower acceptable range I'm likely going to have to have sustained lower carb efforts in the range of total 20-29 grams of carbs. Right now I vary between 30's, 40's and occasional days of 50 grams of total carbs all from non-starchy veggies and some 85% chocolate- small amounts.

 It's no big deal to abstain from chocolate. I did the whole month of July 2015 and it seems to make no difference. I tend to feel better eating within the Wahl's Paleo Plus for veggies, so have included my solid acceptable weight range of 119-121. I've always had a nice plateau there. It will be up to me to decide if trying to drop the weight into the lower 113-117 range is worth the lower veggie intake.

2. Travel

I traveled earlier this week to the mid-west with very good results. It was the first business trip of this type that I had been solidly food sober.

Wow, wow, wow... my eyes are open and reflective of my binge habits and food addiction of the past. There were processed food bombs everywhere.

During meetings, at meals at nice restaurants, hotel breakfast buffet.

I made a food sober, Paleo-ish, Low Carb Higher Fat food plan and stuck to it like a boss. I was grateful for my plan and food template and things like individually wrapped coconut oil, steak and veggies, eggs and some bacon, and lots of simply prepared veggies.

I came home solidly in weight maintenance but also slightly out of my favorite low level ketosis. I would bet that I'm in a very low level of ketosis 70% of the time but the extra protein and veggies had me out for a few days.

What a different trip to come home not having massive binge urges and shame and promising to do better next time. Instead I put my time into work, sightseeing, and photography. Enjoying the outcome of my choices. I choose THIS!!!

3. Mild cold virus

Yeah, airplane travels. I'm feeling good taking Zicam- zinc and this is nothing like the monster sinus virus of two months ago. Even though my immune system is much better than on the Standard American Diet, I'm not totally immune to infections.

4. Weight Graphs: It's not an update without some data. :)

What's working

1. Current weight Plateau
2. Keeping my food template while traveling
3. Taking zinc for mild respiratory viruses.

What did not work in the past:

1. Never weighing in and only weighing in once and a while.
2. Eating all the food presented to me.
3. Having preventable illnesses that could be better managed by lowering my inflammation.