Sunday, July 17, 2016

4 years, 5 months in long term weight maintenance, 3rd full year of menopause- better than I thought it would be

May 2011 to July 2016 long term weight maintenance

Starting weight 187.4 lbs

Goal Range 115-125 lbs
Current Weight 123.8 lbs
Keeping off 63.6 lbs
Average weight this month 124.5 lbs

Time in maintenance 4 years, 5 months
Age 50
Menopause 3 years
Height 5'1"
BMI 23.4
BMI where my health insurance is cheaper <25

Auto-Immune Hashimotos 1997
Food Addict in Recovery: 5th year
Current food template: Paleo/LCHF, modified AIP, sometimes Ketosis
Strength training 2X per week.
Walking 14-15,000 steps per day
Rowing sprints 1X per week.
May 2011 to July 2016 long term weight maintenance

Binge urges: 0, zip, nada, 

Menopause: I started the clock ticking in 2012, right when I started weight maintenance. Then in 2013, I officially started menopause. So it's been 3 full years. 

Things are going better than I thought they would, really. After half a lifetime of overweight, binge eating, obesity, and morbid obesity, who would have thought it?  

Eating Paleo, Low Carb High Fat, and sometimes being Ketogenic has great benefits. 

So glad I hung in there. I was seriously considering Lapband. Nothing wrong with  surgical procedures, but the side effects of Low Carb (good immune health, good full/hungry signals, less acne) and the nutrient benefits are a better fit for me. It's cheaper in the long run, I have to eat nutrient dense anyway.... It's all good. I'm confident that I'll have better health outcomes with real foods, as I age.

I'm not sure I would have effectively addressed my food addiction without getting to the roots of what foods work for me. Huge step, getting to the root cause. 

Weight:  I'm holding steady, overall I was up in the 125's for a few weeks- right before vacation, and for about a week after I returned. Mild GI stuff.  I did not weigh in during vacation because I could not locate a scale. That's okay, I stayed on my food template and had zero binge urges. No problems. I'd perfer to weigh in but it's not a deal breaker. I can keep my food addict brain in check with my habits.

Menopause: I really thought weight maintenance would be not possible in menopause. I was wrong. Good thing I challenged my beliefs.

GI stuff:I know better than to drink from public drinking fountains and I got rewarded with a funny tummy for about 5 days. Sigh. I've learned not to get overly happy or sad about numbers on the scale. It is what it is. If I eat crappy or drink crappy, I get what I get. Short story. Truth. My eating has been on point.

Goals this month is to continue on my Salk Institute data collecting, try some of the recommendations I'll get this week based on food timing and sleeping, and keep my weight more into the 123's as best I can.

3 years of menopause on weight maintenance Island. Life is good!

What is working

1. Staying on my food and exercise template
What did not work in the past
1. Eating low fat, wishing, playing a victim, not changing as I aged

Life on Weight Maintenance Island 2016

Data is data- 2 weeks of weigh-ins

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Additional resources on Time-Restricted Eating in Humans & Breast Cancer Prevention Ruth Patterson, PhD and Rhonda Patrick PhD

Oh, my, this is too good to not share immediately.

I've entered into the $$ discount  window on my health insurance bio markers. Each Sept- October, I go into a Patient Service Center and get weighed, my waist measured, my glucose, HA1c, hs-CRP, blood pressure measured,and a blood nicotine test.

I get somewhere between $600-1000 a year discounts- both on my paychecks and in Amazon gift cards. It's not chump change, I'm telling you. As a single head of household I can travel on this money OR I can add to my ROTH IRA. That's huge for health and financial goals.

I still can see  higher values than I'd like glucose and HA1c (my 23nMe tells me I'm high risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes), so using the app from Dr. Panda's lab goes hand in hand with weight maintenance, and my long term biomarkers.

I like Dr. Patterson's statement-'s a basic quality of life, 360 since there's a reduce risk of cardiac disease, depression. Total benefit. 360 degrees.

I'm doing the happy dance. I can't tell you how hard it is to watch my fellow weight maintainers fall back into the weight gain mode. On weight maintenance island, we need more tools. There are too many ineffective tools promoted by large weight loss organizations- IMO.

I'll be darned if I made it to beat obesity after 40 years of binge eating and food addiction only to go back to being high risk. Nope. No freaking WAY.

Here's what's working for me now

1. Using my biomarkers for my insurance discount to make sure I stay in optimum health
2. Reducing my risk despite my genetics for obesity and type 2 diabetes.
3. Being open to track my food and to participate in health studies.

Here's what didn't work in the past

1. Ignoring my rising glucose and HA1c and weight, making excuses in my head.
2. Not accepting or taking action that weight increased my breast cancer and cardiac risks.
3. Not tracking my food or weight and continuing to eat Junk WW foods, packaged foods and only rely on counting calories or points as I aged combined with eating ALL of the time. Sneaky Snacking I used to call it.

I believe this could be an important 360 tool. Onward. I hope you'll share what works for you on weight maintenance island.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

A new study with an app from the Salk Institute, My Circadian Clock ( Time Restricted Feeding Windows)

 Oh yeah!  I was listening to Rhonda Patrick (Found My Fitness) interview Satchin Panda, PhD on a podcast/youtube video about time restricted feeding windows. Eating within a restricted time window is of interest in the obesity and disease world.

Here's the Youtube video. You can also pick up the podcast from Found My Fitness (Rhonda Patrick). A great episode, so shout out to Dr. Rhonda Patrick. Women in science ROCK. Just saying...

Soooooooo, Dr. Panda's department has an app called myCircadianClock (iTunes link here)

Here's the overview, you have to answer some questions and be accepted into the study before you can use the app.

  1.  14 week formal "log everything" time frame. Each bit of food, water, medication, exercise, sleep. You photograph every bit of food, water, medication you eat!
  2. The first 2 weeks are baseline, then
  3. The next 12 weeks are the "intervention" where you are given suggestions on eating within a time window.
Here's my food collage for the last half day. 

The data graphics are sweet. I don't have enough accumulated right now to show, but it's load of fun. There's some integration with the health apps on my iPhone, too, so I don't have to enter every data point. 

I'm just reaching the end of the first week. I'm excited to get some recommendations and contribute to the study at The Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA.

I used to work for many years just a few blocks from The Salk and I have a sweet spot in my heart for researchers in the San Diego's Golden Triangle. I used to be one of them, since my lab had a strong R&D section. I was involved in bringing lots of  esoteric laboratory tests from R&D into the clinical lab. My time working with rare childhood diseases is my favorite so far in my career. 

I digress!  After Oct 2, 2016, I'll post a follow up on my experiences and learning from my tracking and recommendations. I'm also double tracking in My Fitness Pal.

Here's what's working for me now

1. Continuing to track and take data- My Fitness Pal & The My Circadian Clock app and the iPhone Health app.

2. Keeping an open mind about food timing and restricted eating windows.

3. From my past n=1 self experiments, I know that eating 3X a day rather than 2X a day just works a little better for me.  Even if it's a cup of coffee with 1TBS of coconut butter OR a half a tin of smoked oysters, so far the 3X a day produces a better outcome. 

Here's what didn't work in the past

1. No tracking anything. Trust me, binge eating due to food addiction, was never easier than when I wasn't tracking. I was the queen of my own BS. LOL. 

2. I snacked constantly "Eat frequently 6-8 mini meals". No better way to keep my hormones in obesity modes. Except when I did Medifast, the 6 meals a day were okay then due to the super calorie restrictive nature of that food template  ( I don't eat any of the Medifast food products today)

3. Eating 1X or 2X a day. Something horribly bad happens to me. My body tells me after 1-2 days, "Don't do that!!".  It feels like being kicked me in my midsection 10 times in a row. There's some icky line between the top half of my body and the lower half of my body. It's not good, so I don't do that anymore. I've tried 3+ times and my body responds poorly each time I try. 

All righty, if any of my readers try the app, let me know. Also, do any of my readers time restrict their feeding window, IF? I know some do, remind me.

Next up, part 2 of 2 eating Paleo in Hawaii. 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Hawaii 2016 and part of my 50 and 5 year celebrations- food addiction recovery for the WIN! (part 1 of 2)

Oahu Hawaii, Hanauma Bay Lookout, June 2016

Hawaii was on my bucket list AND I wanted to celebrate these things:  (this is part 1 of 2- the second post will be eating Paleo in Hawaii)
  • Turning 50 this year and 
  • Getting 5 solid years of food sobriety from food addiction and
  • Being a super good personal financial planner with the help from ( a man is not a financial plan, indeed!!!) I've done a lot of work to be a financially solvent head of household. 
Being financially solvent and able to travel with my teen is at the very top of my priorities and values. Travel is right behind eating, cooking, and living as disease free as I can. In fact, being financially solvent is a non scale, positive side effect of weight maintenance. I could write a whole other post about that, and I will later this year.

Anyhoo! Here's some of the best things from a weight maintenance perspective made this a great trip. What is working now:

2016 Oahu, Byodo Temple 
1. My shorts and sun dresses fit from last year. 90% of my shorts from last year fit just fine. All my sundresses fit I think I donated one pair of size 4 shorts from early weight maintenance year. I have mostly size 6 and a few size 8's shorts that I expect to be able to wear for many summers to come. I also added to my summer sundresses so I could stay cool and comfortable.

 1.5  Weight Maintainers "helpers" A couple of lower  body shaper undergarments (Target) helps me deal with my lose skin and the small amount of subcutaneous gain on my hips in sun dresses. Even though I'm still a normal weight, I'll take any extra, inexpensive low risk help I can get. I've decided not to get plastic surgery, so the undergarments are a WIN.

1.75 Swimsuits I got a couple of new swimsuits from Costco, too. Speedo, one pieces. The good material dries fast. Goodbye cold, clammy swim suits.  

Snorkeling Black Rock, Ka'anapali Beach, Maui

2. Travel planningMy meditation (Headspace app)  had me calmly planning and packing in advance. Extra time off for the dentist and errands before the trip helped me stay organized and relaxed. I used the simple Reminders app on my phone to chip away at my packing list and errands.

The meditation benefits were very noticeable on the trip, too. We had 3 travel days out of 8 trip days for flights. (Oahu, Maui, San Diego) We also had 3 partial days of planned, purchased trips (sightseeing, snorkel/ sail, and kayak/snorkel). 2+ days were just explore around town- Maui and more snorkeling, walking around some local cities.

Less stress, more calm planning and travel relaxing. Amazing. I think having an older kid (teens) had a lot to do with it, too. She can get herself and her stuff ready to go. I've been traveling solo with my daughter since she was about 3 years old.

Sailboats, Lania
3. Abstaining from 99% of sugars, all grains, and emulsifiers. Yeah! A trip where I'm not looking for excuses to get sugar high or eat all kinds of junk food- because travel. It's a whole different experience.

 I can enjoy the massive tree out front of the Lahaina Court House, the sail boats along the sea walk.

 Part 2 of the Hawaii post will be eating on my food template (and Paleo, LCHF). So stay tuned for that. The time seeking junk foods on trips and the time feeling ill because I binge ate. That's all gone now.

More time to take in the physical experience now that the food addiction is in remission.  What a gift!

4. More strenuous physical activities at a normal weight

I did lots of kayaking, hiking and swimming while morbidly obese. It was much more painful and exhausting. And I used the exercise to BS myself about massive calorie burn (NOPE!) and earning fudge, muffins, fried foods, and candy. Yikes!

Doing 2X weekly strength training really came in handy for double and single ocean kayaking, snorkeling (3X).  I walked a lot, too, along the beach, sightseeing.

I'm in much better shape physically and mentally at age 50 and food sober than at age 25 and binge eating.  Much better place.  I'd rather have this than moderating all the foods. Not worth it by a long shot. Food sobriety and abstaining from the Standard American Diet for the WIN.

It's safe to say I won't be going back to moderating junk foods. Why go back to that hellish nightmare? Life is sweeter abstaining.

Maui Kayak Adventures- photo credit, Makena Bay, Maui
5. I was in photos on this trip. No hiding behind people or objects. Were all my photos flattering, no! Who cares? Most of the photos from 2006 until 2012 were without me or hiding me. Trust me, you cannot hide food addiction by deleting photos or hiding behind objects or your kid.

What didn't work in the past

1. Buying and keeping  clothing sizes 8-20 and promising myself that THIS was the year I would lose weight.

2.  Not wearing weather appropriate clothing. I could have worn a sundress, or a swimsuit. It's no big deal, I could have picked flattering clothes as a morbidly obese person. But I didn't. And it didn't come off well.

3. Lots of stressing out about travel without a checklist or an extra day to pack.

4. I did a lot of activities- hiking, kayaking- but oh, wow, so painful on my feet, joints, and the end result of eating crap food. And the food addiction cycle began again. Not a good cycle.

5. Hiding in photos or not being in photos. Funny, but I was in photos, other peoples photos. Hiding is not an effective solution for obesity.

I fully expect to be as active in another 5 years, and I expect to be a weight maintainer, too. Onward.

Next up- the answer to the question, is it easy to eat Paleo in Hawaii. Short answer - YES! :)