Saturday, February 20, 2016

Keeping my self talk in check and not opening the door to binge eating as I age

I've gained weight over the year. 4-7 pounds depending the month (I'm in a BMI of 23 rather than 22, I'm not overweight for my 5'1" frame, I do weigh more than when I originally lost weight.)

Despite my best efforts, I do believe that menopause is taking its toll on me. Finally.

I'll be working with my doc on any other root causes over the next few months. Overall, I'm feeling good, but a little thicker or heavier, curvier. I suspect my diagnosis will be curvy butt menopause related weight gain. I've got few other, normal menopause symptoms, so it may be time for bio-identical hormones.

One thing I'm really proud of, I never once sat down and played the pity card, the poor me victim card.

I didn't sit down and say, oh what the heck, I'll just go make some Paleo treats or go to Whole Foods and buy all  sorts of Low Carb junk food.  Hey, Lara Bars... I've missed you.... And honey, well that's paleo....LOL. Slip sliding down that slippery slope could be easy.

I never once opened the door to binge eating or starting to repeat the old patterns.

It's been a super great lesson for me. I suspect my weight will fluctuate from the mid 120's to the mid 115-117 as I age. It is what it is. I do seem to feel better over all below 120. Time will tell.

Just proud of myself for not spinning out control. Getting of the yo-yo binge eating cycle demands walking away from the metal self talk that likes to drag you back to the pit that food addiction is. Glad I am keeping my eyes wide open, my food template on plan, and can operate on a more functional thought pattern.

Although it's easy to get comfortable at the lower weight, my 120's still has me answering yes to these questions from Dr. Berkeley's What Should I Weigh? How to set a Goal Weight article from last year.   I can answer yes. I don't want to weigh more than I should, but I also have to not operate in such a tight range that I start in with the old self-talk.

Not letting me get me is probably the biggest gift that I can give myself as I get ready to switch into my 50's. Glad I stopped repeating those cycles.

What's working now

1. Weighing in and tracking the data
2. Keeping a food template that keeps my glucose mid- 80's and below, fasting and 2 hrs post.
3. Keeping self talk in check.
4. Working with my doc to make sure there are no other root medical causes.

What didn't work in the past

1. Hardly ever weighing in and finding I had gained 20-30 pounds when I finally did weigh in
2. Watching my fasting glucose get higher and higher each year and not removing sugar/high carb foods.
3. Telling myself I deserved a Skinny Cow ice cream, half a bag of candy on frozen yogurt. Because- it fit my WW points.
4. I would avoid the doctor and only go when I had to go, because I wanted to binge eat some more.

It is what it is. I'll be adding kettle bells to my exercise routine soon, so it will be interesting to see how my body changes over time. Adding in more strength can only be good as I age. Onward.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentines 2016, my top 5 ways of keeping my physical heart healthy, and a photo of me outrunning my fork!!!

 Happy Valentines Day

Here's how I keep my physical heart healthy. There's no real reason not to manage the modifiable variables of heart health. ZERO. If you can make a difference in your food and exercise templates- no magic fairy is going to arrive and fix this stuff. Get a mirror, look in it. Grab a home glucose meter and your recent blood work. Yeah! There's your magic fairy. Looking right back at you, with stone cold hard data!!!

(note- some things are not modifiable like aspects of AFIB or inherited cholesterol diseases, inherited blood clotting diseases. auto-immune disease that doesn't respond to diet modification- that just stinks, my blog post is about the modifiable risks)

We all control what goes inside our bodies - food, exercise, self monitoring, start there. No excuses. Just action. SMART goals.

1. I keep track of my hs-CRP  (blood inflammation marker)  normal = 0-3, I stay around 1.5 or lower. Inflammation from food or lifestyle. Removing sugars and grains had my hs-CRP going from 6.8 to 1.5 or below. Big difference in lowering my heart attack risk. hs-CRP can be really silent, so it's up to you and your doctor to look at the causes of inflammation and modifications that are effective. Life post auto-immune disease, I've been able to keep all that in check.

2. I keep track of my glucose levels periodically.
I can inadvertently get higher glucose readings, even with a LCHF food template if I swing a little bit to more fruit or higher carb within the food template. It's a glucose, 2 hr post, that will stay high.  I'll go to bed with that  glucose being high, even after a brisk walk. Pesky, but I control what goes into my pie hole, so I claim responsibility over keeping my glucose in check. It's not hard, but I cannot be an ostrich.

I can't change my genetics, but I can input food that keeps my diabetes risk low, and that will keep my heart health optimal.  Get a home glucose monitor. Measure fasting and 2 hour post levels. Make changes that keep your glucose optimal.  OMG- I'm my own magic fairy. Awesome. ;)

Jan 2016
3. I walk 11,000 to 15,000+ steps per day, at a low or moderate pace.  Yeah, walking, not running or super fast walking. Really. Chronic cardio from super fast run/walking really increases my visceral fat, it's NOT heart healthy for me.  My genetics don't lend themselves to long, drawn out, high intensity cardio.  Check out the photo at the bottom of the page.  Which one looks more heart healthy to you? That massive tire around my middle- gone.  My genetics do lend themselves to sprinting. So I do that, Tabata sprinting 2-3 times weekly.

Our bodies will let us know.

Feb 2016 herb garden, the mint wants to take over
4. I practice my favorite hobbies regularly- photographing the costal areas.   Yeah! I'm walking anyway, so lots of opportunity to combine walking with photography.  Gardening is great, although I do less than I'd like due to water restrictions and time.

5. I eat natural fat. Think avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, coconut milk, grass-fed beef. Wow, I feel so good after I eat grass fed beef. Top some grass-fed beef with some guacamole, salsa, onions, in butter lettuce leaves.  Or hey, some brisket from Whole foods with a salad. Super simple, super tasty. Low carb, higher natural fat. Tastes great.

Well, I can tell you, that my post menopause body really appreciates having some building blocks for hormone balance and for mineral absorption.  Rather than have the heart disease cholesterol, I have high amounts of good cholesterol. And my doctor gets it. She understands and agrees, my heart attack risk is low.  Now , some of that is genetic- low A-Fib
risk is a nice start.

Encintias,CA beach cottage living

Okay, here's what didn't work when I was moderating all the food and marching mightily to diabetes and heart disease.

1. Grains and sugars and even dairy elevated my hs-CRP. I also had joint pain. Massive, joint pain.  And acne, worse than when I was a teen. Totally reversible. And preventable. Knowing the inflammation signs, taking action on hs-CRP all were my choice.

2. Glucose. I knew that my HA1c and fasting glucose were nearly pre-diabetic level  in 2011. In fact, had I gone to see the doctor in early 2011, I would have likely been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes IS diabetes.

 I knew that eating sugar wasn't working. I foolishly thought I'd go ahead and take action only when I needed to do so via blood work. Yikes. This is not a great plan, yet the disease of food addiction will use any means to keep itself alive.
I had high fasting glucose- just barely under 100, HA1c that were raising every year- 5.7%,  morbid obesity, a great deal of visceral fat.
Jan 2010, chronic cardio, visceral fat, fork outrunning din't work

3. Walking super fast and training to walk a half Marathon. I thought I would get super slim. I got super inflamed and got a huge middle layer of visceral fat and a bad case of plantar faciitis.

You cannot outrun your fork. Just saying....  The damage from grains and high carbs. Oh, Me. I lived. Walking a half was not my best heart health move. Of course, I was a mighty WW points counter. Kashi, whole grains, low fat Starbucks muffins (yo! I just walked many miles, my body needs this and it fits my points very well, oh high fiber muffins and coffee, lordy!....)

I did meet fantastic friends. That was one great thing about the half marathon. :)

4. Hobbies: I sat on the couch and ate low points skinny cows and watched Biggest Loser. I still photographed, but tide pool hopping and super long moderate hikes were way out of the question.

5. Natural fat. It was going to make me fat. I was so afraid of avocados. BEEF, so many WW points. No way were eggs going to be okay, egg whites or Kashi cereal, or whole grain waffles with blueberries and cool whip. Oh, more cool whip. Oh what the heck, half a tub of cool whip lite was on sale and fits my points. Wheeeeeeee!!!!! I'm heart healthy. Because oatmeal, with equal sweeter and skim milk.  Whole grain fiber is soooooooo good for me.  Dang, I was brainwashed pretty well.  Oh, but the American Heart Association, they are on my side, right? The DASH diet, it's low fat, yeah, because that's clearly going to help my heart.  OMG.

Except I had my head in the sand. Good thing I did not let me get me. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. If I were taking simple monitoring steps, I could have taken action much sooner.

Here's to taking our heads out of the sand and improving our heart health with real, measurable SMART goals. Ditch the old way of thinking. You'll need your heart for long term good health. I can't tell you how happy I am planning vacations instead of sick care with my doctor.

Onward. Make sure your data matches your outcomes. Gather the courage to set down what makes us have high visceral fat. That's heart healthy. Happy Valentine's Day, no grains or sweets required. Find your inner magic fairy and you'll find your heart health, too.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

4 years Weight Maintenance Anniversary- change of body shape, keeping my good health 2016

May 2011 vs Feb 2016

May 2011 vs Feb 2016
What the WHAT? Feb 2016

Starting weight: 187.4
Goal Range: 115-125
Current weight : 122.6 pounds
Keeping off 65 of 70 pounds
Time in maintenance: 4 years!!!!!
Age 49
Menopause: 2+ years
Height 5'1"
Auto-Immune Hashimotos: 1997
Food Addict in recovery: 5th year
Ave glucose = 80 over the last 30 days!!!Current food template(s): Paleo, Low Carb Higher Natural Fat (LCHF), Ketosis most of the time, modified AIP/modified Wahl's Paleo Plus protocol.

Here's what's working

1. Low carb. 20-30 total grams a day- from vegetables. Some days higher, because I feel like it. 
2. Moderate protein, for me that's 60-80 grams. 
3. Using Fitbit HR to sleep longer most nights. Hello- it's 9pm. Forget any other activities.
4. Using the Fitbit HR to walk 12,000 to 17,000 steps (14, 000 ave). 
5. Keeping visceral fat low with a Paleo-ish, Keto-ish, LCHF-ish, Wahls Paleo Plus-ish food template. 
6. Keeping my glucose in awesome check, my hs-CRP low and really, very few menopause symptoms. 
7. 2-3 trips to the gym, 20 mins short, but I hit it as hard as I can in that time frame.
8. Tabbata style sprinting. 4 mins of 20 seconds sprinting, 10 minutes rest. X3 per week.
9. Mediation- 4 times per week? Shooting for 7 times per week.
10. Glucose average for 30 days (including fasting am, 2 hour post, all numbers) = 80 average
11. Daily weighing and MFP food tracking. It helps me, it does. Great tools. EZ, free. 

Here's what didn't work in the past:

1. Moderate or high carb. Failure to drop to the lower carb range probably keeps little extra weight on me. 
2. High protein, joint pain, higher glucose readings, Ouch!!!
3. Not tracking sleep, not kicking my cats out sooner. 
4. Not tracking my steps. No 3,000-4,0000 is not enough for me,even when morbidly obese.
5.  Using high carbohydrate foods like grains and listening to WW, ADA, AHA and other grain pushing organizations and profit companies. No, no, I can assure you I'm not eating bread. 

Most people do not go running for the "I love bread" motto, but it does sell lots of product for those who stand to make a killing living. Watch the messengers, they have to be predatory to protect their a$$ets. Grain fattens cattle, grain fattens cats and dogs, grain fattened me. I'm not alone. Obesity and diabetes continue to worsen. 

Hopping off my soap box.........  If you see the heart healthy symbol, run away, run away fast!!! It's not what it appears to be. 

6. My glucose was high. That's why I stored fat. My body had no other choice. HS- CRP was 6.8.
7. I got injured at the gym a lot- chronic cardio, so, so  punishing. Oh, the time to beat myself up physically. I wish I could get that time back. 
8.I thought I would have to run or walk marathons. All I got was a huge middle tire on my body and high inflammation. Terrible to be stuck in the chronic cardio zone. 
9.  I zoned out with Skinny Cows while watching the Biggest Loser and Survivor. I thought it was relaxing!!
10. I knew my glucose was going into pre-diabetes but I figured I'd follow what the ADA said..... NO, no, no. Don't do that, you'll get diabetes. Promise!
11. I didn't weigh myself or my food. I didn't track. I had my head in the sand. It didn't help me.

That's it!!! The 5-6 pounds I gained this year is likely due to my resistance to keeping under a total of 30 grams a day of carbs. The weight is almost all subcutaneous around my butt and hips  Could be menopausal changes, too. 

 As I age (50 soon!!), it's clear my body is going to reward me with diabetes and arthritis if I don't get and stay LCHF/Ketogenic/ Walh's Paleo Plus. 

Hey, it's one stop shopping as all those things promote a leaner body with my genetics. I like that. And all the better to keep doing the Marie Kondo stuff- tidying up the house and life. So much energy. Food tastes great. Stronger this year than in the past physically and mentally. 

I've got to say, the last year has had the fewest binge urges ever. EVER. Binge switch is off. Binge disease rarely knocks on the door any more.  I'll take it.  I still feel like I'm in my 20's. I feel better because I'm not eating a bunch of grains. Cattle, cats, dogs, humans. Here's to a real food template. 

If I could tell everyone one thing, it would be to get a glucose meter, grab your blood inflammatory markers (hs-CRP) and make sure your lifestyle is not taking you down preventable path. Sprint away from moderation schemes. Diabetes and heart disease thrive there.