Monday, October 31, 2016

Food Sober Halloween 2016, why and how I abstain from candy this year and every year, yes one bite is a problem

6th Food Sober Halloween 2016, abstaining for the WIN

Okay, It's my 6th food sober Halloween.

If you need to abstain from sugar and grains and other items. Please don't fool yourself. Taking one bite is devastating.

It's not your fault, it's not my fault. It's my responsibility not to ingest my addictive substance.

Being in food addiction is scary from a health and wellness side. This is my 6th year being food sober. I don't miss those mini candy bars.

Read more about my other food sober Halloween celebration

October 2014- food sober

October 2014- fun sized candy bars are not fun

October 2013- why I don't eat Halloween candy

Ghosts of Halloween Past: What didn't work
I tried to count points & calories from 1998 to 2010. That's 12 years of sinking deeper and deeper into mini-candy bar sugar addiction.

Active food addiction was devastating to my health, emotionally and physically. It's not my fault, My extra ghrelin gene (hunger hormone) was cranked up and ready to go. I didn't get the right brain/hormone signals.

Counting points kept me binge eating

My  WW Points counting Weight Watchers leader spent a whole meeting writing out and talking out why we SHOULD eat the candy, as long as we tried to outrun our mini-candy bar and measured candy corn crap fest.

It didn't end well for me. Morbid obesity while counting WW point was my low point in my life


Almost getting diabetes, being groomed to eat all the junk food. LORDY.

I escaped. I drew a circle around the normies and I don't go in there anymore.

Ghosts of Halloween Present:

Not everyone in my family has to abstain, so here's how I stay food sober at home

  • I will buy 1 bag of candy on 10-30-2016. 

  • I will have my non-effected family member pass out candy to neighborhood kids (mostly little kids). 

  • I will take any left overs and throw them out after family member takes what she wants, a handful. 

  • I will have non effected family member take anything she brings into the house and place onto a cabinet shelf

Ghosts of Halloween Future: what's going to work for me, if I choose to be food sober

  • I will have a food sober plan this year and every year remaining in my life
  • I will have pants that fit yesterday, today, and in the future
  • I will have good health screenings glucose, weight, insurance discount, colonoscopy, mammography, and blood biomarkers because I manage my weight and reduce my risks to breast, colon cancer , diabetes, and cardiac and stroke. 
How I felt when I moderated and overate Halloween candy

Here's to the wisdom to know if you need to abstain. And, the courage to carry out a food sober Halloween. It's not easy in this hyper-palatable food environment.

Please know, if you are abstaining from junk this Halloween 2016, you are not alone. If you are cycling in food addiction I'm sending you all the courage to break free.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Plateaus in weight maintenance 2016, don't go back to the old ways, embrace the plateau- you get what you get

Weight Maintenance, many say, is more important than weight loss. I find very few talk about how weight maintenance is about different long range and short term strategies.

I'm talking weight plateaus. Over a range of acceptable weights.  Not one goal weight, but a range. I find my weight plateaus are only good for 3-6 months, then I may have to adjust or tinker a bit to keep my normal weight.

Nobody told me I'd have to do that. Whoa!?

1. Weight ranges vs a goal weight ( I still have a goal weight, but keeping a range is key 115-125) and minding my plateau weights.

2. Staying food sober, yes I'm a Food Addict in 5+ years of recovery. It's a disease I manage every  meal.

Weight maintenance, for me, is about the daily choices, that evolve into the weekly and monthly outcomes. Both scale and non-scale. Both. BOTH. How easy would it be to return to the Food Addiction via lies I told myself about intuitive eating? I needed an abstainer plan. How easy would weight gain be by not hopping on the scale? See my gainer graph below. Easy.

So EZ to pop off a long plateau without my abstinence based food template. My body has no other choice to save itself. Even with a solid abstainer food template,over the past 1 year, I gained somewhere between 5,7 or even 8 pounds . And yes, daily weighing. Frustrating, yet regain is common for many reasons in long term weight maintenance.

Recently, I've lost 3-5 pounds (going from 125's to 121's)  and I'm headed to the next plateau (119) maybe? I feel better in the 119's, so I'm shooting for that. I get what I get. I do not throw a fit.

If you are approaching weight maintenance or returning to it, be sure to have a look at your plateaus and get a good idea of what you can do to maintain within a range. Check with your doctor, too for screening for diabetes, bone loss, and other disease states.

Weight plateaus are pretty normal. Embrace it. Use the stable weight to practice habits & behaviors.
Use plateaus to pivot to the next lower plateau, or maintain the plateau weight lower.
Use plateaus to make decisions within a few months of what is and is not working.
Use plateaus to sharpen your abstainer skills, cooking at home skills, medication changes, exercise adjustments.
Use plateaus to protect your body organs from further diseases of obesity.

For me: Hormonal ( post menopause), glucose management, possible change in thyroid meds, change in sleep amount, changes in food total amounts, changes in activity. And, there will be more root causes if you are managing other disease states.

All questions I had to ask myself: Was I eating low enough carbs, high enough carbs, low enough protein, high enough protein, low enough total intake, high enough total intake. Meal timing, IF, carb cycling. Enough gym time, too much? It could drive you batty, if you let it.

Ugh....But time was on my side, so I experimented around, and didn't go back into the food addiction. I could have easily said, forget this, I'm high on the scale anyway I might as well eat XYZ binge foods, who will know?  I would know, Food Addiction is a disease that keeps you from your given gifts. The brain space taken up by addiction keeps us from our jobs, families, pets and communities.

Studies estimate that 40% of this obese population have food addiction. Using the right tool(s) is essential. Going back to food addiction was not an option for me. Staying on a plateau IS a great option, IMO. Since I know that food addiction could come back in a second, I  kept my basic LCHF food template and abstainer mind and tinkered.

SO many variables.

 I have started to reverse the gain, but it took 9-10 months to figure out an effective for me tool (time restricted eating window).

I think its our bloggy friend Jan (from Low Carb Diabetic) who has said that  trying plans often resulted in weight loss in the first few months, but would the weight just come back several months down the road?

1. Is the change sustainable?
2. Can I find a plateau for 3-6 months at a time?

 I have a weight plateaus in maintenance, loss and weight gain.  (mine are 116, 119, 121, 125, 131, 139, 142, 148, 152, 161, 176, 181, and finally 187. It looks like I may have even topped out at 192 before I took action.

So doing the work to stay on a plateau is super key. Otherwise, weight gain after loss is just no fun. I've yo-yo'ed for about 40 years.

Weight gain graph, moderating all foods 2007 to 2011

Notice how my plateaus jump higher as I go up the scale. My poor body had no choice but to take the carbs & sugar and store them to protect my eyes, heart, liver, kidneys, and extremities. My hormonal system was just doing what it could to protect my body. Amazing and wonderful in a way.

I'm not binge eating, I'm not using the temporary or long term gain to eat Paleo or LCHF junk food. My food addiction is safely into long term remission. I'm not on the edge of relapse or lapse or having binge urges.

I am inside my acceptable range. After a lot of work. LOTS of work.

What's working now:

1. The best prevention I have to to stick with my normal food template and my routine. My body will choose between the 125, 121 plateau and the 119 plateau. Although, I'll be shooting to stay solid at 119, if I can choose. I'm short and small boned. 5'1".

2. Prepare my mind for the next 3-6 months.

3. Staying food sober
Embracing the plateau June 2016, keeping 63 pounds off, Hawaii

What didn't work in the past:

1. Eating all the things and lying to myself about York Peppermint patties, M&M's and Skinny Cows being OK because they were in my WW points range. Nope, ALL the nopes.

2.  I did not look at my progress over time to make changes that would stick.

3. I was deep, so deep into letting "The Disease" -aka- Food Addiction rule my life and health. Scale up? Might as well eat whatever "my body told me to eat". Of course it was junk. The disease leads itself to lies to stay alive. False fixes ruled me.

March 2011, my desk, just before becoming food sober
I got really frosting high that day.

I'll bet I'm not alone on long term maintainers using plateaus to keep their health- weight and disease states in check.  Comment below how you use plateau's to your advantage. As hard as it is. I know how much work it takes.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Routines, Habits, and my own Myth Busters, in Long Term Weight Maintenance- Fall 2016

Our bloggy friend Sunny has asked for some examples of my daily routines. Great question since I'd have to start cleaning and this morning if I were not writing this blog.

Routines are key for me for keeping some order and key for long term weight maintenance. Even more important is customizing your routine for you and not some internet meme.

The short story: Get a food plan that works for sleep and health. Stick to it. Modify if needed. Steer clear of internet myths, unless you've vetted the popular ideas yourself and they work. Then do that.

I can say that I definitely have daily routines, slight adjustments, and a few emergency back up plans.

What's working for me:
Regular Routines,
Daily routine variances, holiday, vacation time
Rock solid base plan that holds up during major or minor emergencies.
Routines and habits in long term weight maintenance

Typical week day 

5am rise: ( 6-7 am on weekends)

Activities :Weigh myself, record on My Fitness Pal, shower, feed cats, take thyroid meds, make eggs & kale in coconut oil, sea salt and coffee. Maybe full fat coconut milk, maybe not. Clean up from cooking, check stove burners.  Grab lunch and dinner. GO.

Breakfast: 6 am-
Stuff I do for myself: Continued learning: I listen to podcasts while I get ready

Prepped items: Grab pre-assembled lunch, already packed in lunch bag

Transition time: (variances) Drive myself, teens to work/school OR ride as a passenger in a vanpool OR drive the van pool myself.  I might listen to more podcasts or if I'm not driving, I'll read twitter, IG, Snapchat , read other blog posts, news or visit with my vanpool peeps.

Variation: Some days, I'll even start work on the commute if it's hands free- planning, strategy. I'm salaried, so this happens.  Nothing terrible, but needed on some days. It doesn't stress me out. I'm a morning person. Some great discussions can take place.

A quick note, now that you know my schedule:
*****I work most of day  - Please NOTE: You are on camera at my house and you will meet local neighbors and police that will fast track your trip to jail if you show up uninvited to my neighborhood with the intention to commit a crime.****  

Exercise Walk in the morning with my moderate paced walking group. This is my lunch time.  30-40 mins

Exercise variance: Holidays and vacation: Walking fasted before breakfast. Sleeping my walking clothes, sneak out while everyone is asleep. Cook breakfast when I return.

Lunch: 10:00 am
Myth buster: I eat lunch at 10:00 am in about 5-10 minutes and sit at my desk or stand at the break room. Nothing bad happens to me when I do this. Really. I don't need a Hallmark style 30 minute lunch break where I  sit on my butt routine.  I need to stand or get up away from my computer.

Be sure that you are customizing your activity and food for you and not some internet popularity meme.

Meetings: and work assignments Start at 9:30 and could go all day or 30 minutes. Sometimes sitting sometimes moving. I might eat more or less depending on my schedule. I drink 2 more cups of coffee in the AM at work. Before 11am. My work routines can vary so much.

Possible variance: If I'm more physically active. I keep tinned smoked oysters, coconut oil, and coconut butter, and olive oil at my desk for additional fuel.  I also have access to a salad bar, where I can add protein, my own olive oil and some sea salt. This works well if I need to move my lunch earlier or later. I can excuse myself from my work meeting and eat or add some coconut milk into my coffee. Or just wait.

At lunch, I eat most of my vegetable and vegetable like fruits (tomatoes, avocado) carbs, with 3 oz of protein, think grass fed burgers on big a$$ salads with or without olive oil. Always salt. garlic sea salt or pink salt. Lots of multi-colored veggies at this meal.

I also have half a serving of 85% chocolate and/or measured out raw coconut butter most days. Sometimes I skip this.

Dinner:  Last Meal of the day, 12:30 to 2pm depending on meetings and assignments. One non-starchy veggie- think sautéed broccoli slaw and 2 oz protein. Some olive oil, maybe. Small serving, very low carb.

The rest of the day 1pm to 6pm-  Water, drink to thirst

Myth buster:  Skip breakfast and eat carbs late in the day on an IF approach- this works for a lot of people, but not me. Nope, I thought so at first, but now realize that I feel better and get and stay leaner if I put my carbs up front in my day. This may have contributed to my weight gain over the last year or so.

Myth buster:  You can still hang with family and friends at late dinners and just drink water and visit. Please- no matter when you eat, you do not have to shovel crap food in your face, late at night, and drink booze just to fit in or make someone feel better. Just like I didn't smoke pot to fit in at school because everyone else was,  you can control what does and doesn't go into your body.

Put yourself first. Nobody else is going to pay your health bills, for your new larger size clothing, or your emotional pain of weight reagin. Get a mirror and look in it. Do what you need to do. No apologizing, no explaining, just action.

Make yourself feel better and don't feel pressured to eat the SAD or eat at times you don't need or want. Your fake friends will fall away, your close friends will get it.

Look around you, many people are NOT well doing this routine- late night eating. Spend a lot of money for crap food and painful expensive diseases are the outcome.

Exercise: 10-15 minutes walking break, slow and EZ, only if I have time.

Gym: afternoon or weekends. 2X per week. I have lots of fuel in the form of subcutaneous fat and I can burn that so no shoveling food in my pie hole. Myth for me :pre and post work out food consumption. No need. Constant eating. Probably made me fat in the past. Being "fat adapted" means I can have a whole lot of energy.

Exercise variety: I'm going to paddle a kayak 35 minutes, hop off, snorkel and swim for 30 minutes, hop back on, paddle another 45.

Big breakfast, lots of protein, fat, veggies.
Big Lunch: Big salad, lots of protein, vegetables, olive oil
Dinner- eat according to hunger, within my food template

Evening routines:  pick from one or two

ALWAYS: pack lunch and dinner for the next days, deal with dirty dishes, get outfit ready for next day

  • light house cleaning
  • batch cooking veggies or protein
  • errand running
  • light gardening
  • TV watching 1 hour or less, usually on demand, early in evening, 2-3 days only.
  • Reading
  • listen to podcasts
  • play with cats
  • Look at snapchat and vine
  • Visiting with neighbors or friends

Ready for bed

  • Take 2 tbs of Natural Calm with water (magnesium supplement)
  • Rinse face, brush teeth
  • Read a bit. 
I have set bedtimes so that I can try to get 7-8 hours of sleep. I have to say no a lot to driving late at night or parties. That's okay. If people mean a lot to me and I want to visit, we can do so at another time or I can come early and leave early. 

Emergencies:  Carry a packet of coconut butter or portable food (jerky, tinned seafood, nuts if you eat them).  I'm always willing and able to fast for a while. There are huge advantages to being able to burn your own body fat for fuel compared to a high carb diet and constant hunger and cravings. 

Hope this helps to see what a day is like for me right now. As time goes on my routine will change. 

I hope everyone reading this is not falling prey to random holiday food showing up and eating willy nilly on a processed food template and time schedules. Explain to them that your doctor says..... no late night eating, no processed junk. While travel sleep schedules can vary, food consumption can and probably should remain in within limits- IMO.

What didn't work in the past: 

Eating all foods, all the time
Eating WW processed foods and expecting weight loss
Eating late at night with friends and family

What routines have changed for you from overweight/obese/morbid obesity so that you can maintain your loss?

Routinely walking at Moonlight Beach cannot be wrong! Sept 2016

Thursday, October 6, 2016

4 years, 8 months long term weight maintenance- back to center of my range

May 2011 to October 2016

Starting weight: 187.4
Goal Range 115-125 lbs
Current Weight 119.8 lbs
Keeping off  67.6 lbs

Time in maintenance 4 years, 8 months
May 2011 to October 2016

Age 50
Menopause 3 years
Height 5'1"
BMI 22.6
Ave glucose (fasting & 2hr post)= 78 mg/dL

Auto-Immune Hashimotos 1997
Food Addict in Recovery: 5th year
High Risk, but never diagnosed Type 2 diabetes

Walking 13,000-14,000 steps per day
Weight lifting 2 days per week
Sprints on the rowing machine 1 days per week 

Food template

My own combination of Paleo, Low Carb Higher Fat, Ketogenic sometimes, Whal's Paleo Plus (modified)
Diary free, nut free, xantham gum and guar gum free, grain free, mostly processed sugar free*

*85% chocolate, I have a square or two every day. There's a little sugar there, but it does not trigger. 

BOOM y'all!

Let's see, What's working

1.  I have completed my 14 week study via MyCircadianClock (Dr. Panda's lab)

I had favorable results with keeping closer to the middle of my weight maintenance range. 
I will continue to keep my eating window early in the day. I'll make some exceptions for Holidays and other special occasions. I lost 4-5 pounds by just eating my regular food template earlier in the day (6am-1pm or so) and by fasting from 1pm to 6am the next morning except water and little bit of magnesium supplement (Natural Calm) before bed. 

Something about eating my carbs early seems to agree with me as far as my weight goes. 

14 week MyCircadianClock, 4-5 lb weight loss

2. I decreased my walking slightly- from 15,000 steps a day to about 12, 000 steps per day due to a couple of viruses. GI virus  the last week of Sept, followed by a very mild cold virus. Ugh!  I'll be interested to see if my weight changes over the month. I have a pretty good plateau right at 119-120 lbs. 

Something tells me I'll sustain my loss and I was close to dropping into this level area right before I got the viruses. As much as I love not getting sick as often by eating real food and getting better sleep, I still do get sick. I'm just sick less often for a smaller number of days and with very few over the counter meds. Zicam (zinc) works well for lessening my cold symptoms.

Tortoiseshell cat, in a bag

3. I'm sleeping better. Less waking up or being wired at night. If I do wake up (CATS!), I can get back to sleep quickly. 

What did not work in the past

1. Eating late at night. Early in the AM. Eating all the low fat processed foods, at night. My shut off hunger hormones were not working, at all. I was not a bad person, but I had bad habits and terrible hormonal responses that did not work for weight loss or maintaining my loss.

2. I used my colds or illnesses to eat high carb foods. It didn't help me get well fast and it really fueled my binge eating. I got sick often and spent lots of money on over the counter and Rx medications.

3. I slept 1-2 hours less a night. I said yes to everything except to myself and my health. 

That's it. Here are my graphs. Because data is KING. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Steering Clear of Processed Pumpkin Junk Food October 2016

Wow, the stores and coffee shops are full of pumpkin processed junk food this year, now more than ever.

It's slick marketing to sell highly processed, high carb, high sugar junk food. Now in ALL seasons.

HEY, if you want to eat pumpkin, think about how your great grandparents would have cooked or used a pumpkin out of the garden 100-150 years ago.

Here's some interesting reading  about pumpkin uses in colonial times.

Okay, maybe they had pie 1 meal at Thanksgiving. Or at meals after working out on the farm all day long. Okay. Other uses would have been soup, roasted, stews, jerky, seeds, etc.

I hope that if you are eating to maintain your health, to lose weight, to maintain weight that you can see past the marketing hype and continue to reach your goals without diving into a sugar and processed carb world of junk food.

Processed, highly palatable pumpkin junk food probably won't assist you in reducing your type 2 diabetes risk, your weight, your joint pain, your health bills or your food addiction. 

I hope my readers are smarter than that. I know you are. :)  Walk around Trader Joes and you'll see what I mean. Ugh.

I put some cinnamon in my coffee today. Boom y'all, it's fall. LOL ;)

What you can do yourself

A. Please, I beg of you, if you are baking pumpkin junk food and passing it out to your already sick friends, family, and co-workers, please consider celebrating the season with non-food traditions. Don't enable. 

B. Test your blood glucose 2 hours post pumpkin. Are you able to tolerate high starchy fruits?

C. See food marketing for what it is, selling junk food.

What's working for me now

1. I abstain from pumpkin processed foods and even plain pumpkin. I get high blood glucose, so I don't eat it so I can get my insurance discount and keep my type 2 diabetes risks low.

2. I use cinnamon and nutmeg spices to add flavor to the season.

What did not work in the past:

1. I used seasons to use food to feed my food addiction. Candy corn, pumpkin lattes, cookies, pies (I ate pie but did not like it at all, that's how deep the food addiction ran!).

2. I couldn't even get to spices, I was in such a binge haze. Sad!