Saturday, December 31, 2016

My Top Weight Maintenance Tools 2016 with Pro User tips, most low cost or free

Weight Maintenance 2016 tools
The sun is setting on 2016.  * please note, my blog is non-commercial*. This post is NOT an ad, and the tools I use are often free or low cost or just cost a bit of time.

Or they cost several months of habit change.

4 years, 11 months into weight maintenance and it takes a lot of tools to maintain my weight. Just as being food sober still takes work.

I'm here to tell you my best tools are not expensive, but they do take time to learn and to keep habits sustained.

I still have to learn new behaviors. STILL. Weight maintenance is always a work in progress. You'll age, you'll get further into menopause or aging or post obese weight metabolism.

Weight regain post weight loss is real for those of us with certain genetics. Combine my FTO genetics with my extra ghrelin. BOOM y'all. Perfect storm for weight regain. My body fat wanted  to come backkkkkk in 2016!!!  My obesity metabolism is right there, lurking, no matter how careful I am with my food template, my workouts, my sleep.

I can cycle back to overweight in about 10-16 weeks if I'm not careful. I want it all, I want food sobriety, I want weight maintenance, I want good health, I want strong muscles, I want migraine free living, I want acne free skin, I want life without sinus infections, I want fasting and 2 hour glucose that is optimal.  I want my size 6's jeans   (really , I do!!) metabolic health.

It's not too  much to ask, to have had 4 decades of overweight, binge eating, and food addition to want to escape this stuff.

You're tools will be different. Take the time to pick wisely. Right now, don't wait until 2017. 

My Top Tools of 2016 Weight Maintenance

1. Abstaining from my binge foods. Yep! Costs nothing but the emotional pain of withdrawals (which is at a cost).

My best practices: Grain free, sugar free (excluding a small amount of 85% chocolate that doesn't trigger me), emulsifier free, tough, not moderate. Yeah!!!

Pro Tip, grab others who abstain with no excuses: Stop reading and following the sugar moderators. Great for them, but huge slippery slope for the rest of us.

I'm not alone: Millions of folks who are Paleo, Primal, Low Carb Higher Natural Fat, Ketosis, Nutritional Ketosis, NSNG,  or who seek to keep type 2, type 1 managed better and other diseases in remission. Plus, let's not forget the OA'ers who are out there in force. The folks over at NSNG, the 10,000 + in several Low Carb Keto support groups.

Come on now...

Abstaining from binge foods does NOT equal food restriction

Yo! Boom y'all.  Many need an abstinence based plan. So don't shy away. Stop repeating the binge eat, repent, repeat.

2. Daily Weighing on the scale with data recording.  Yeah, I weigh in once a day and record it and move along. I would have been overweight in 2016 without getting a fair warning in 2015-2016 that I needed to change.  Once you weigh in, record it somewhere. Paper, My Fitness Pal, notebook, diary. My best practice: record where I can graph.

 Pro User tips: Scale prices are inexpensive and scales can last many years. Calibrate by comparing with a known weight once and awhile. Toss a scale you can't calibrate after it is unreliable. Change your scale batteries from time to time.

Free/ Cheapest solution: weigh in at the doctor or at a CVS or pop-up  grocery store or drug store clinic. Many have scales just sitting around and you can weigh in often.

Long Term Weight Maintenance 2016, LCHF, Keto, and Time Restricted Eating Window for the WIN!
Here's what daily weighing looked like in 2016. 1 year of daily weighing. The small or large shifts gave me a warning I needed to change up what I was doing.  And evaluating weight loss sustainability is very key for me.

3. Recording my food in My Fitness Pal 98% of the time. Data is King and I can't manage what I don't measure. I'm a food addict in recovery so carb creep and "eating this because I was active today" can still take over my brain. 

Pro User Tip: My best practice: Total intake, macros, and having a food diary are all helpful tools. My app is free, my time is only about 2-3 minutes each day, because the database at My Fitness Pal is very good and is updated frequently.

Free tool- record on index cards, paper, an excel spread sheet. No MFP ads involved. Nice records, but not backed up for loss electronically unless you scan or photo graph. 

Psssss when I don't track in MFP maybe a few days a month, I don't eat off my food template. Just saying. Don't kid yourself. I don't kid myself and it lead to long term weight maintenance.

Typical LCHF Day in Weight Maintenance 2016

LCHF Keto breakfast 2016, weight maintenance

4. Time restricted eating window, Dr. Panda for the WIN!!

Basically, this is an intermittent fast or (IF) every day. I Fast for 17 hours and eat for 7 hours.

Pro users tip: Yeah, in 2016, I've lost 6-8 pounds by simply eating within a 6 am -1pm (approx) time window each day. I can tell I've not changed my total intake, my total carbs or my activity. But, hey, my back fat is gone and so is hip and thigh fat. yeah!!!  

Additional reading and resources: Doing the 14 week My Circadian Clock study out of the Salk in La Jolla, CA- Dr. Panda's lab was a real great intro to Time Restricted Eating. More info here on my post study update.  

4. Glucose meter- spot monitoring for the win

I know my time restricted eating window is working great for my blood glucose. My balance was good before my 6am- 1pm window, but just as good if not better after

Pro best user tip: Get a glucose meter, eat to your meter, then monitor if you change your food template OR just to do some spot checking. I act as if I had type 2 diabetes (never diagnosed, but almost) and use food to control my readings. 

Cost is low $30-50 a year after you get started.  I can't change my genetics, I can modify the foods I eat to make sure I stay disease free. 

Low cost or free option: Eat very low carb and don't test.  Get once per year blood work. Go from there.

5.  Diving into regular life: Taking time for family, friends, hobbies, photography, walking, hiking, house projects, financial planning,  batch cooking, gardening, my cats, continuing education, attending seminars like Low Carb USA 2016, talking to experts, talking to people just like myself. Learning new skills on the job. Coffee.  

Food addiction used to keep me from fully diving into my life. Now I can engage in life fully and functionally. 

Yes, my shrink was right. My whole life is a lot different now that I've abstained from grains, most sugars, and emulsifiers. 

Here's to 2017 and another year of weight maintenance. 

Walking for Long Term Weight Maintenance 2016

What are your best tips or tools for 2016? What are you willing to habit change for 2017?

Friday, December 23, 2016

Please, don't wait until 2017, start now, right this second Dec 23, 2016

Surfing Santa 2016

Please, if you are an abstainer or kidding yourself that you don't need to be and REALLY need to abstain for weight loss, weight maintenance, or food sober living, consider dumping the junk right here and now. Don't wait until 2017.

Ghost of Christmas Past

What worked then: In 1980, when I was a freshman in high school, I gave a sibling my Christmas stocking candy, all of it. I knew I would feel better. I knew I could not stop if I started. And, I promptly got my Richard Simmons- Never Say Diet and did those exercises like the 16 year old boss that I was. LOL (
(photo credit)

What works now: 37 years ago, my solution, abstaining was there. It's not restricting. Abstaining is simply choosing to not eat my trigger food. If I'm hungry, I eat from my Paleo/LCHF/Keto food template.

What I know will work for me in the future: Please know you are not alone and that millions abstain from our additions (food, drug, drink, shopping and others). Join me and the rest of us in a Food Sober 2016 holiday.

What didn't work for me in the past:  Moderate eating and counting WW points. My obesity genetics are not going to allow for that. It's not my fault, I'm not a bad person. I just have crap genetics, way beyond calories in and calories out- many of us do. I needed different tools. Like Abstaining and LCHF/Keto/Paleo

Don't wait until 2017, it may be too late. Onward and here's to cultivating a deep food sober practice.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Holiday Eating post links from Refuse to Regain, Barbara Berkeley, MD and my best food sober tips

Use the weight maintenance force, 2016
Use the force in 2016 for Holiday Eating!

What didn't work for me in the past: I used to use the time from Halloween to Jan 1 to eat whatever the heck I wanted and then I took 6 whole weeks off until Valentines Day to start up again. I chose sugar highs and salt endorphin rushes.

Sugar, salt( think chips/popcorn tins) and moderation eating were my DOPE.
There's no food photos in this post, you are welcome!

Sweaters and winter coats did not hide morbid obesity. But, I was too busy getting sugar high to care. It was sweater season and I could  thought I could hide my rolls inside my bulky clothes.

Not only was I sick much of the time and hiding and buying the next highest clothing size, I also fooled no one.

I was slowly killing myself by my own hand with food. It wasn't totally my fault- hey, my WW meeting just told me I could eat anything I wanted. Moderation of all foods. That doesn't work well for food addicts. I had to take responsibility for my own actions.

Can't hide in big clothes

Luckily, this year, Barbara Berkeley, MD has two blog posts on holiday eating strategies. 

If you are a weight maintainer, you know how hard in many cases the holidays can be, food addiction or not.  Even seasoned weight maintainers like me. Even 6 years food sober, it's a lot of work.
First the Refuse to Regain Blog posts for 2016 are here:

Holiday Tips 2016

Holiday Parties and waking up the same weight the next day

2016, no need to hide

6 years food sober, here are my own ways of dealing

Family Meals and Pot Lucks ( in Indiana we called them Pitch-In's- who's with me on that? :) )

  • Bring foods like Nom Nom Paleo's Mexican Beef- because holy heck it's good.
  • Grab a bag of oranges  or avocados from the Farmer's Market
  • Grab items that are in season- root veggies and roast them up
  • Bring a prepared meal if I cannot or do not have time to bring something. 
I save money and feel great while people gorge themselves sick. Okay for them, those days are over for me. It's pretty hard to watch, though.

Meals out
  • Get a menu before hand. Pick something out OR
  •  Eat before I go and order a coffee and visit. 
  • I let the server know I'm on a medically required orders and I'll tip like I  ordered. 
  • Don't cave and eat the SAD or eat to people please, they will get over it, trust me. 
  • Keep my fasting, Keto, LCHF, Paleo food template. 
Food brought to your house, after the party:
  • Trash it after the event if it's sugary or junk food. Nobody needs that.
  • Place it in the freezer or on a pantry shelf where I do not go, but other family members can eat it later
  • Don't moderate foods that take me away from food sobriety. Food addiction is painful. 
Home Cooking
  • Continue cooking and batch cooking on your food template during the holidays
  • Staying food sober means 365/24/7. So, cook at home like a ninja. My food sober living depends on my habits. So I act like it.  
  • Make meals I can bring with me and either heat up or eat refrigerated. 
My food sobriety means I'll do what I need to do and everyone else can adjust to my new normal.  If people respond negatively, and and they will, I will limit my time with them.

 I am always pleased when I hold my ground and after a year or two, some people will have the light bulb turn on and will learn from their trainers, another person or co-workers that yes, they need to pull away from the SAD and stop eating themselves to death or very painful and avoidable diseases. Yay!!!! 

On the other hand, lots of people will eat themselves to death or dismemberment with diabetes. Painful. I know. 

Here's to adopting food strategies and eating that keeps you well all year. Safe Travels. How do you deal with the holidays? 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

4 years and 10 months in long term weight maintenance & arrival at a fabulous plateau- love it!!

May 2011 to Dec 2016, long term weight maintenance

May 2011 to Dec 2016, long term weight maintenance

Starting weight 187.4 lbs
Goal Range 115-125  lbs
Current Weight 119.2 lbs
Keeping off  68.2 lbs

Time in maintenance 4 years, 10 months

Age 50
Menopause 3 years
Height 5'1"
BMI 22.5
BMI ave this month 22.5
BMI ave last month 22.6
Ave glucose (fasting & 2hr post this month = 72 mg/dL)
Ave glucose (fasting & 2 hr post last month = 82 mg/dL)

Auto-Immune Hashimotos 1997
Food Addict in Recovery: 5th year
Holiday Seasons that I've been food sober =6 years
High Risk, but never diagnosed Type 2 diabetes

Walking 11,000-12,000 steps per day

Weight lifting 1-2 days per week, 

Sprints on the rowing machine 1 days per week 

The plateau I'm on:  It's pretty fabulous. 
I've got to love the great plateau of the 119's. I'm not overly happy or sad, but I must say pleased and loving it on arriving at 2 weeks of solid 119 maintenance. This weight seems to be my best weight, along with 116's. Either place is best fit for my clothes, body, bone structure, exercise and just plain steady long term weight maintenance.  

Long term weight maintenance, Nov 2016
I even endured some binge urges early in Nov 2016. I believe that the drugs for twilight sleep and pain killers (colonoscopy- screening Nov 2, 2016) may have caused me to have some epic "I'm eating my binge food and I do not care thoughts". Turns out I was having vivid dreams. 

I woke up in tears several mornings because I thought I had gone back into the food addiction. Oh, me!!! Thankful to have told my medical team and my support people not to give me any crackers or juice or cookies post-op. I know myself. I had to tell them "If I ask or beg or cry, say NO".  More on that later in another post.

Oooooooh Yeah!!!!   I hit my plateau around mid-Nov 2016. I expect to stay here for a long time, probably months, if not years. Time will tell if I drop down to 116's or not. Either way, I can't go wrong. 

I'm only 5'1", small bone frame. I can say that

What's working now

1. I feel better in my body in the 119's (22. 5 BMI) than at higher weights. 

2. My clothes fit better. Almost all size 6's fit very well. This means I can shop off the rack or at Costco for certain clothes without trying things on and come out pretty happy. 

3. I can eat a little more or a little less or whatever I need without stressing much about it. As long as I'm choosing from my food sober template. 

4. Backing down 2-3,000 steps/ day may have helped me drop the weight. Not sure, but I think I need to take it down to 10,000-12,000 steps if I need to switch plateaus and go lower.

Weight maintenance and stable plateau's mean I can walk 20,000 or more if I want for big hiking or photo days. Or 13,000-15,000 during the summer months, or 10,000-12,000 steps during the winter months. 

5. Paleo, LCHF, winter months mean Keto for me,  some occasional foods that are season are seasonal might be the following: I'm using the ends of oranges, key limes for dressings and as flavor enhancements in my food. In So. Cal, citrus are in season in some places. I can tolerate a tablespoon of pomegranate seeds on a salad for my family dinner, if one is around. One tablespoon, one meal.   Berries are out because they are not in season in my area.  Also, bell peppers are a no go until I can get cheaper, in season produce.   Here's my Instagram account for current food stuff (link)

6. Restricted feeding window - AKA daily fasting. I eat 6am to 1 or 2pm most days. Exceptions for holiday meals or traffic patterns. I only drink water or a little bit of Natural Calm supplement after about 1pm most days. 

So easy, and wow!! I'm 5 pounds down since July 4th, 2016. Same food template. Could be a little less total intake over time to account for the loss, or better sleep. I may never know.  6am to 1pm or so. Yep, all  the yeses. I'll likely continue this style of eating for many years.

I'll do a separate food post about satiety and hormone signaling soon. Because if you are prone to extra or messed up metabolic genetics, you MUST, MUST, MUST go the extra step of getting trigger foods the heck out of your food template if you want long term maintenance. Really. it's not our faults, but getting proper food satiety signals is key, I've decided... 

What didn't work in the past

1. Picking maintenance weights that were too high. I'm super short and small boned. The 130's and higher  feels, well, pretty terrible.

2. I would stay in too big or too small clothes for a long time. Too long. 

3. Moderate eating of all foods, without being honest about my trigger foods. Anything to get a food high and stay firmly in food addiction. Sigh. No, intuitive eating is not going to work if you have genetics that yield extra ghrelin. Wish someone would have talked about this. 

4. Chronic cardio and half marathon training. LORDY!! Add fueling with Clif Bars in there and it was a recipe for plantar fasciitis and a huge inner-tube of visceral fat around my middle. Anything but fat burning- it was a recipe for type 2 diabetes and heart/stroke problems. Thank goodness I stopped that stuff. Ughhhhhh and ouch!!!

5. Weight Watcher's point counting and moderation bullying:  The worst idea ever. Kept me binge eating and in Food Addiction for over a decade. Terrible idea to eat foods that make you sick. Yikes. WW needs to vet people at the door- get to an abstaining group, really. But hey, they like to sell those frozen meals and 2 points bars. Whatevs. Thankfully, there are online abstaining groups a plenty now.

6. I ate from 5am until I got so freaking sick at about 10pm. Skinny Cow ice-creams with 1 point of M&M's embedded in the sides. No wonder I was morbidly obese.

Onward to all and here's to the power of the plateau. :)  Hope you are all making food choices that fit your goals this Dec 2016. 

Year 4 of long term weight maintenance 2016

More, MOR graphs!!!! Santa brought me a sweet iPad Mini 4, so my graphs look pretty optimal. LOL. ;)  Love, it. Very easy for me to see the plateau and to evaluate what is and what is not working. 

Onward. Always. 

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