Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Oh when realities smack you in the face

Just before this conference, I decided I needed to buy myself a blue skirt. I have several navy blue tops in my current size that don't go with the black skirt I have, so I decided to go for a search at both TJMaxx and Marshalls. While there, I took a peak at other things too.

I know I'm down about 23 pounds, so felt that should make some difference in my clothing size, but no. It really doesn't. The first batch of things I took to the fitting room, not a thing fit.

There are all these cute dresses and all sized too small. I had this wild hope of a 16 fitting and no way. Some 16Ws yes.

In the end I bought a pair of linen like navy blue capris in 1X (which are a little baggy), but at least I now can wear the three shirts I have in my current size with something! But for the most part,  I simply looked big and bumpy in everything I tried on.

Yet, I know I'm getting smaller. My underwear fit way better. The one blue blouse's arms didn't fit and now do. Just that I had gone OVER my weight where I was 5 years ago. I was back to my weight that I was before we moved to Columbia. I was just 12 pounds shy of my all time high of a decade ago. That is INSANE!!!

I'm not discouraged, just a bit shocked at myself. I'm sitting here, shaking my head at myself.

Oh, well, I have dusted myself off and I'm at it again and hopefully will have a better tool chest to keep it off this time. I'll be able to wear my cute clothes bagged up in my closet soon enough.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Well, I'm home and I'm hungry

Getting back with the program with eating intermittently is a bit of a doozy today, but now I realize it's because the last real meal I ate was a HUGE brunch yesterday around noon. I had a protein bar for dinner (as I still wasn't hungry) and then I went back to my old routine of fasting through the day and eating my big meal at night. Well, my body knows it's ingested less than 500 calories in the last 28 hours! That is for sure! So, I'm hungry!

Last night when I got home from the conference I wanted to take a walk. We were in the car for about 7 hours with traffic delays and I just needed to move after that! Then, later at night I could feel my feet swelling. The straps on my sandals got tighter and tighter. I had to loosen them a bit. And, sure enough, the scale was up over 2 pounds this morning. It was so weird, I could feel the swelling happen. Travel does that to me, I guess! I'm not worried about it as I know I am eating on plan, besides a few more carbs than usually, so it will come off sooner than later.

Add to all of that, I'm just TIRED. Think I'm going home, actually!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Ha! Ha! It can be done!

You can lose weight while at a conference, while eating the conference food and not feel deprived!  I stepped on the scale and saw a new low on the scale by half a pound.

I was even beating myself up a bit last night as I indulged in dessert that wasn't even that tasty.  I was mad at myself for the "not tasty" part. I shouldn't waste calories on food I don't thoroughly enjoy when there are foods at the table I would enjoy more. I could have gotten more fish or some prime rib  instead of eating the super mediocre cake and tart.

It all fit within my calorie allotment, but it was empty carbs and not enjoyable ones at that.  Boo to that! I guess I was wanting something sweet and wasn't discriminating.  But yay to the scale going down!!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Did something I've never done and it's a bit crazy

and I know it!

I left Thursday morning for a conference.  It was about 5-6 hours to drive here (car pooled), so we arrived Thursday evening.  My eventual plan was to try to stay on plan for the trip as much as possible. I knew it would be harder and it wouldn't be perfect, but I wasn't going to take a diet free weekend.

To ensure I would stay on plan and stay accountable, I decided to pack my scale.  Something that is completely crazy. Something I've advised against when other people ask if they should bring their scale, but in the end, when I saw I had tons of room in my little carry on suitcase, I decided to pack it.  It was a last minute decision and not well thought out, but in the suitcase it went.

When we got here Thursday night, I had only had my normal foods for the day, so the evening appetizers were my dinner. I was afraid that would be horrible, but there was hummus, cheeses, cold meats, grilled vegetables and crusty breads and crackers.  I have no way to track those calories, but it was probably petty close to being on target.

Yesterday, the first full day of the conference, I started the day about as I do usually with coffee and half and half, but had two cups throughout the day versus my usual one.  For lunch, it was a stir fry buffet, but they had nice salad options, so I had a light salad with sesame ginger dressing and 4 tiny vegetable spring rolls (about the size of my pinky from the middle knuckle up).  For dinner it was a "taste of Italy". For that meal, I had a small Caesar salad (no croutons) and two fillets of chicken, some grilled vegetables and a half slice of garlic bread. 

My carb count is up, for sure, but not in a way to trigger me, but my decisions have been intentional and controlled and I haven't felt deprived (so far).

The first day I put the scale on the industrial carpeted floor next to my bed.  Well, even that carpet interfered with an accurate reading - as much as I would love to believe the 132 pounds it said, that, of course, is impossibly too low. So, I moved it to the bathroom tile and used that this morning.

Scale is ticked up about 1.5 pounds, but that could be carb (glycogen) water weight or, my monthly gain as I near ovulation.  Time will tell, but I am trying to stay on plan and craziness or not, I have the scale to document it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Going to a conference Thursday through Sunday

And... that conference has meals included in the fees. Sigh... What to do about that?

When I first signed up for this (recently, not LONG ago), I thought, "Ok I will not do intermittent fasting during that conference as everyone will be eating around me and that is a good time to mingle and chat with various people. NOT eating would be weird and rude." Plus, I was thinking of taking it as a mini diet vacation as I have no other plans for a trip this summer, so it would be a minor bump in the long haul of things.

I wasn't planning on going crazy or anything, but I wouldn't be calorie restricting as much as I am now - for certain. I would still avoid big meals and probably most desserts, but even normal meals out of the home are usually highly caloric and would lead to gain territory versus losses territory.

Now that it's here - I'm leaving tomorrow, I'm not so certain I want to take a mini break. The meals are a sunk cost. They are part of the package. I can eat them - or not. I didn't pay extra for them and on top of that, it's a work expense, so it's not even money out of my pocket. I have no obligation to EAT.

And, I am on such a role. And it feels so good. I have bins and bins of clothing that are too small for me. Beautiful clothes I would love to wear again and getting there faster rather than later would be GREAT!

Also, I feel great doing what I'm doing. I don't feel starved and I don't feel like I'm having to give up anything (so I don't feel like I'm missing out). Though, it might feel that way if I'm hanging out with people who are eating!!!

Lastly, I'm going alone - not with my family. It's not going to feel much like a vacation. And the food may not even be that great! I would rather go over on calories and blow the calorie budget on trying new foods at new places and so on. Not while at a conference for work eating hotel food. This is on top of me being in my monthly stall out too. I'm already seeing little to no movement on the scale. I'm not looking forward to adding to the scale upward tick trend!

So, I'm torn about what to do. Skipping breakfast should be easy. It's the other two meals I'll have to think about! I guess I'll find out!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

So bugged by misinformation about how we can "undo" the weight gain damage

Maybe I'm bugged because I "can't" fix the damage? Maybe I'm bugged because I cannot believe people believe the things they type/write? I don't know but man it bugs me to hear:

"Use this cream to not get stretch marks."
"Use this cream/method to make stretch marks disappear."
"Lose slowly to not get loose skin."
"Eat right to not get stretch marks or loose skin."
"Do arm strength training to get rid of bat wings (loose skin on the arms)."


I just want to ask these people this one simple question, "If you think it is that simple to not get stretch marks or to get rid of stretch marks or to not get loose skin, don't you think there would be NO ONE with stretch marks and loose skin?"

It insults my intelligence to hear such spouted things. It makes me mad because it gives people false hope. It also is belittling to hear these remedies.

Of course, for many people, it will seem like these tricks did work. "Look, I used a cream and I didn't get stretch marks!" Prove to me it was the cream. Did you only use it on half your belly?

"I started doing strength training and the skin on my underarms slowly tightened up as muscle filled the skin." First, anyone, ANYONE should know that muscle is smaller than fat. See here?

So, normal strength training will actually make your arms become smaller and therefore you will actually have MORE loose skin, not less, especially on the non-shoulder region.

Two, PROVE it was strength training and not just time that finally shrank up the skin? Did you exercise one arm and not the other? No? Then how can you be sure?


The one that reallllly gets me, "You will have less loose skin if you lose more slowly." No... you will have less loose skin because your weight loss and your ability to shrink up skin is more in sync time wise. We can lose weight much faster than our skin can bounce back (if it ever does).

Now, if seeing the loose skin will gross you out or derail your weight loss efforts, then, by all means, take it slowly. It just means you'll get thinner more slowly, but whatever works for you, but DON'T tell me it's the reason you don't have loose skin!

I guess I'm just in a mood today. Seriously!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Appetites and slowing metabolisms

This morning while I was driving to work I started thinking about the American appetite and the way we eat. We eat a lot. Our portions at restaurants are huge (most places). We consume so, so much.

I thought about the way people eat around the world and how we as humans have eaten for thousands and thousands of years. Then I thought about the recommendations for our 3 meals a day or our 6 small meals a day.

As I was thinking this, a story came on the radio (NPR) and it talked about how in Germany people eat local, seasonal foods. They don't expect to get strawberries year round. In particular, they were talking about when asparagus is in season. That story led me to thinking more about eating.

Humans are animals and for much of our evolutionary path, we ate like most animals - having to hunt and scavenge for it. I'm also sure we ate different foods at different seasons. We would gorge ourselves on succulent fruits when they were in season, eat more meat when the young of animals were easier to catch/find.  I could feel fairly certain that we gained a bit of buffer weight in warmer months or growing months, and lost our buffer weight in winter or non-growing seasons. Our availability of food was volatile, so when we had food, we ate and we probably ate as much as we could. Our bodies were made to deal with feast or famine. of course, on top of that, we moved a LOT more than we do today, but that probably was seasonal too to a degree.

So why then the hard and fast rules of when and how much to eat? How can intuitive eating be something we (most) of us can "really" feel or do because our genes are programmed to survive. If, in the past, we only ate to satisfy our palate and taste buds, we wouldn't last through winter!

Knowing this, why do we worry about slowing down our metabolism? We've probably been doing it for several thousands of years.  Oh, the worry is that we won't get enough nutrients in a day. How is that possible? We eat so much. People around the world eat less variety of foods and lesser amounts and yet they live long, healthy lives too. Hell, holocaust survivors not only survived the ordeal of near starvation, they are living long lives DESPITE the years of too little food. Most of Europe survived decades of scarcity.

Why do we insist that slower weight loss is better weight loss? Sure, you lose muscle with weight loss, but you would if you lose the weight quickly or slowly. Why do we insist on certain calories, etc.

There is so little PROOF on any of this and so much of the "proof" are lies. For every study I can find one thing saying is "right", I could find another that says it's wrong.

That is when intuition and thinking rationally need to come into play.

While I just said that studies are mostly bogus - this one here is interesting. It's more thought out than most mainstream blogs/writings and it's debunking a lot of commonly head beliefs. http://www.leangains.com/2010/10/top-ten-fasting-myths-debunked.html

Weight loss reboot: 5/18/15
Total weight lost since reboot: 22.5

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Comparing this weight loss to the one in 2011

Ugh.  I had written a long post and just needed to grab the image.  I lost it all!  I have a very hate relationship with my iPad recently!  

Anyway.... In 2011 I did a lot of things to document and celebrate losses.  I took measurements.  I took photos. I celebrated each 10 pounds lost visually with each 10 pounds representing a pizza slice "disappearing" from a pizza pie.  It was all new and it was a big deal.

It's still a big deal, but I know what to expect,  I know how my body will change.  I know what I will look like and what sizes I can expect to wear at each given weight.  A lot of the excitement is gone in this weight loss.

I did decide though to document this loss compared to the one in 2011.  I have learned a lot since then and I know what works for me so much better now.  I've done a lot of fine tuning.  It's easier and I really think I found something I can do forever. 

 I am not competing with that effort. Each day is its own day. There were months I had it really together, and months I struggled. It will be that way again this time too. But for now, I can definitely see how this different approach and more fine tuned approach really differed initially at least! 

Lost 7 pounds the first month in 2011. lost 20 this time in 2015.  Weight is about the same - just 8 pounds different starting weight.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Quest bars

last time down this road, I used a lot of Atkins low carb, protein bars.  They were tasty and held my hunger for a couple of hours.  Last summer, I started hearing the buzz about Quest bars, but I never found them locally and wasn't up for ordering them.  I found a few other ok protein bars and used Muscle Milk shakes and that was fine.

Well, when I was ready to start this time, I found Quest bars at a local grocery store, so I bought one of each variety the store sold.   I also did some online searching and saw people's reviews and people's favorites and least favorites.  I read things like, "Tastes like a real cinnamon roll!" and "Tastes like lemon Pledge." and "When heated, it tastes like a warm brownie."  Ok I thought, let's see.

Well, good thing there are many varieties as I found I hated some and really liked others.  My local store only carries about half the varieties, so I then ordered a variety pack from online to try more flavors.  I still have a few to try, so I'll probably order them singly to try them all before investing in a box of any particular flavor.

They are $2 per bar, but that $2 is what gives me the ability to skip lunch, essential. It's twenty grams of protein (mostly whey proteins) and fairly low carb. Now, do I think they taste great? No. I don't. But that is good too. They taste good enough for me to eat them, but not so good to make me want to eat more than one of them, they aren't a temptation for me.

Basically, for me, I don't like the peanut butter and chocolate flavors, which is surprising to me and contrary to many people's opinions. So basically, don't believe other people's reviews. Try them for yourself.

So what flavors have I tried?  Those with a mark beside them are the flavors I have tested. Double negative signs means I really, really didn't like it. A single negative sign means it's toler,able, but I wouldn't buy it. One positive sign means I like it ok. Two positive signs means I really like it.  

Friday, June 19, 2015

How did I miss it? One month on plan!

Was YESTERDAY! So... today I will mark one month and one day!

So, I finally got my act together on a random day as it just finally "clicked". I was ready. I've been meaning to be ready for the previous 6 weeks, but wasn't quite there yet and then it really was, "Today is the day." (Depression finally fully lifted?)

In that month I have eaten on plan (within calorie goal) and it's been easy peasy to follow so far. Even on days I worked 12-13 hours at work (this past Monday and Wednesday and Thursday), I didn't even come close to going off plan.

Even when my mom had a heart attack and I was dealing with a lot of emotions, I didn't go off plan.

Exercise is still touch and go, but I'm doing more and moving more intentionally both with working in the house and in the garden, but also taking more walks. And as we get the craft room and rec room finished up (which is movement for sure - my hamstrings and glutes were hurting for DAYS from last weekend's efforts), I will have more at home options for exercise. I even ordered a couple of my favorite step aerobic videos in DVD form and asked and received recs for some new stuff to do!

The scale keeps working its way down and so does my blood pressure (last night's reading being the lowest yet - 106/65 (with BP meds) and I am getting a bit smaller. Yesterday some slip on shoes I haven't worn in a month were loose around the foot, so that was also a good sign.

Of course, nothing like an unflattering photo to show me how far I have to go and how heavy I had become (again). (Taken yesterday) I never look like a small woman (as I'm not), but now I look huge! UGH!!! But... it can only get better and it is getting better. One day at a time.

So, I began this reboot on 5/18/15. I've lost 20.2 pounds (slowed down this past week as my monthly visitor added some water weight). NO WAY will I lose that much this coming month - I'll be happy with half that!!! But it is a great start - a motivating start to taking this weight off, hopefully for the very last time.

I can accept that perhaps in winter I might gain a bit and then need to work some off in spring as I am hungrier and more tired in winter (and antidepressants probably won't be a miracle drug) but "some" shouldn't be TONS as it is right now.

OK, today is my day off (and much needed), so I'm off to go clean and organize and MOVE!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The first thing I want to "go" are the BP meds

I've been on blood pressure medications for about a year. When I drop weight (and get fitter), I don't need them, but while I was able to reduce my prescription  last year when I lost weight, I wasn't able to go completely off them, and then I gained all the weight and had to go back up on the higher dosage again.

I monitor my blood pressure almost every day and already I am seeing it come down. (except for two days ago when I had a breakdown over all the thoughts I was having about my mom and her heart attack and feelings around that). All readings are taken within the same hour in the evening too.

In the recent days where I've had more contact with my siblings, I learned that 2 of the 3 need to take blood pressure medication and I'm not sure of the one brother or even if he would know.  ALL of us should be able to control it with exercise or better weight. Though, my sister hasn't ever had the weight problems I have.

It was the first thing that got better the last two times. Hoping for the same this time. At my age (and my younger siblings' ages) it's just too early.

Editing to say, last night's reading was even lower 106/65.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Thinking about heart healthy foods and lifestyle

I'm 45 years old and I'm thinking about the recommendations about eating over my lifetime.

In the 70s it was the big push against not eating butter, eat margarine instead.  I don't remember much more, but I'm sure there was. Salt substitutes was a big thing then too, I think.

Then there was the 80 and 90s that demonized butter (still) and eggs (for fat and cholesterol) and we were told to eat a lot of healthy grains and and to limit red meat.

90s continued with that, but eliminating more fat became more important and as did eliminating more red meat. Yogurts became fat free, cottage cheese, etc. And what did they put in (in some cases) to make it taste more platable? artificial stuff and carbs!

The 2000s, butter started to be seen less worse than margarine. Transfats became the new target of bad foods - hmmm.... maybe that Crisco is WORSE than lard your grandmother used to use? People were substituting apple sauce for oil in muffins. Eggs started to make a comeback, but it was still recommended to eat like two whites to one yolk as yolks are fatty.

In the 2010s, things started to shift. Perhaps we "didn't" know as much about fats and carbs? Perhaps making fats the demon led to more obesity and more heart problems? Perhaps it's the abundance of carbs in our diet that is causing obesity and heat disease?

People couldn't explain how Atkins diet (and now several other similar diets) are so successful at weight loss efforts, reducing cholesterol, reducing, other heart strainers. How can you explain less heart disease on a diet full of fats and proteins?

I know for myself that eating a carb heavy diet led to high cholesterol. Eating a fat and protein heavier diet has led to MUCH lower cholesterol - and in the right breakdown - High 'good' cholesterol and low 'bad' cholesterol.

And foods are probably the SMALLEST portion of heart health - it's movement that's key. You could pretty much eat whatever you want in types of food if you exercise regularly. Of course, balanced meals nutritionally to get your vitamins and minerals, but eating butter and meats aren't bad. And some fats give you more than others - like yolks in eggs, avocados, nuts - they are fats that contain essential minerals and vitamins hard to find elsewhere, versus butter, which tastes great and is satiating, but doesn't add much for nutrition.

So, I look at how to take care of my heart and I'm going to take almost any food advise with a grain of salt (funny little cliche there, considering the topic!), but movement is key. I need to keep active - always - in some way. And while weight training is super important, aerobic is too.

And are you not up to date with the "maybe fat isn't so bad"? Read the article below from the New York times, Study Questions Fat and Heart Disease Link, by Anahad O'Connor, March 17, 2014.
Many of us have long been told that saturated fat, the type found in meat, butter and cheese, causes heart disease. But a large and exhaustive new analysis by a team of international scientists found no evidence that eating saturated fat increased heart attacks and other cardiac events.
 The new findings are part of a growing body of research that has challenged the accepted wisdom that saturated fat is inherently bad for you and will continue the debate about what foods are best to eat.
For decades, health officials have urged the public to avoid saturated fat as much as possible, saying it should be replaced with the unsaturated fats in foods like nuts, fish, seeds and vegetable oils.
But the new research, published on Monday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, did not find that people who ate higher levels of saturated fat had more heart disease than those who ate less. Nor did it find less disease in those eating higher amounts of unsaturated fat, including monounsaturated fat like olive oil or polyunsaturated fat like corn oil.
“My take on this would be that it’s not saturated fat that we should worry about” in our diets, said Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury, the lead author of the new study and a cardiovascular epidemiologist in the department of public health and primary care at Cambridge University.
But Dr. Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, said the findings should not be taken as “a green light” to eat more steak, butter and other foods rich in saturated fat. He said that looking at individual fats and other nutrient groups in isolation could be misleading, because when people cut down on fats they tend to eat more bread, cold cereal and other refined carbohydrates that can also be bad for cardiovascular health.
“The single macronutrient approach is outdated,” said Dr. Hu, who was not involved in the study. “I think future dietary guidelines will put more and more emphasis on real food rather than giving an absolute upper limit or cutoff point for certain macronutrients.” 
He said people should try to eat foods that are typical of the Mediterranean diet, like nuts, fish, avocado, high-fiber grains and olive oil. A large clinical trial last year, which was not included in the current analysis, found that a Mediterranean diet with more nuts and extra virgin olive oil reduced heart attacks and strokes when compared with a lower fat diet with more starches.
Alice H. Lichtenstein, a nutritional biochemist at Tufts University, agreed that “it would be unfortunate if these results were interpreted to suggest that people can go back to eating butter and cheese with abandon,” citing evidence that replacing saturated fat with foods that are high in polyunsaturated fats – instead of simply eating more carbohydrates – reduces cardiovascular risk.
Dr. Lichtenstein, who was not involved in the latest study, was the lead author of the American Heart Association’s dietary guidelines, which recommend that people restrict saturated fat to as little as 5 percent of their daily calories, or roughly two tablespoons of butter or two ounces of Cheddar cheese for the typical person eating about 2,000 calories a day. The heart association states that restricting saturated fat and eating more unsaturated fat, beans and vegetablescan protect against heart disease by lowering low-density lipoprotein or so-called bad cholesterol. 
In the new research, Dr. Chowdhury and his colleagues sought to evaluate the best evidence to date, drawing on nearly 80 studies involving more than a half million people. They looked not only at what people reportedly ate, but at more objective measures such as the composition of fatty acids in their bloodstreams and in their fat tissue. The scientists also reviewed evidence from 27 randomized controlled trials – the gold standard in scientific research – that assessed whether taking polyunsaturated fat supplements like fish oil promoted heart health. 
The researchers did find a link between trans fats, the now widely maligned partially hydrogenated oils that had long been added to processed foods, and heart disease. But they found no evidence of dangers from saturated fat, or benefits from other kinds of fats. 
The primary reason saturated fat has historically had a bad reputation is that it increases low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or LDL, the kind that raises the risk for heart attacks. But the relationship between saturated fat and LDL is complex, said Dr. Chowdhury. In addition to raising LDL cholesterol, saturated fat also increases high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, the so-called good cholesterol. And the LDL that it raises is a subtype of big, fluffy particles that are generally benign. Doctors refer to a preponderance of these particles as LDL pattern A. 
The smallest and densest form of LDL is more dangerous. These particles are easily oxidized and are more likely to set off inflammation and contribute to the buildup of artery-narrowing plaque. An LDL profile that consists mostly of these particles, known as pattern B, usually coincides with high triglycerides and low levels of HDL, both risk factors for heart attacks and stroke. 
The smaller, more artery-clogging particles are increased not by saturated fat, but by sugary foods and an excess of carbohydrates, Dr. Chowdhury said. “It’s the high carbohydrate or sugary diet that should be the focus of dietary guidelines,” he said. “If anything is driving your low-density lipoproteins in a more adverse way, it’s carbohydrates.” 
While the new research showed no relationship overall between saturated or polyunsaturated fat intake and cardiac events, there are numerous unique fatty acids within these two groups, and there was some indication that they are not all equal. 
When the researchers looked at fatty acids in the bloodstream, for example, they found that margaric acid, a saturated fat in milk and dairy products, was associated with lower cardiovascular risk. Two types of omega-3 fatty acids, the polyunsaturated fats found in fish, were also protective. But a number of the omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, commonly found in vegetable oils and processed foods, may pose risks, the findings suggested.
The researchers then looked at data from the randomized trials to see if taking supplements like fish oil produced any cardiovascular benefits. It did not. 
But Dr. Chowdhury said there might be a good explanation for this discrepancy. The supplement trials mostly involved people who had pre-existing heart disease or were at high risk of developing it, while the other studies involved generally healthy populations. 
So it is possible that the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids lie in preventing heart disease, rather than treating or reversing it. At least two large clinical trials designed to see if this is the case are currently underway.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Why are so many of us so dumb?

And by who is dumb, I include me.

My family is riddled with people with heart problems. Basically nothing else, but heart problems. People don't live long enough to develop other health problems, essentially.

My grandparents, uncles, parents. No one is spared. I know this. I've always known this. Yet? Here I am very overweight and not as active/fit as I should be. My diet is pretty good, but that's only half (if that) of the battle of taking care of my heart.

My mother is 67 years old. She just had a massive heart attack and is in the hospital recovering. She's had one stent put in and will need another. Blockage was near or at 100% for a couple of arteries. This is after her having bypass surgery 6-7 years ago for one side of her heart when the blockage was at/near 100%.

My father died at the age of 42 of a heart attack.

What the hell am I doing? What are so many of us doing? Why are we so nonchalant about our health? Why, once we are out of puberty, do we still feel invincible? That it can't happen to us? To ME?

Yes, I've been working on it for 5 years. I haven't given up (long term) for all this time, but the thought of DYING obviously isn't enough for me to pull me out of the funk I get into when I simply don't care enough to try.

I'm just being stupid, careless and selfish. And why does it take these crises to figure that out? And for how long will it keep me jolted to do better for myself?????

Monday, June 15, 2015

Caught by surprise

I didn't set the alarm for this morning. I always wake up early in the brighter parts of the year, so I thought there would be no way I would sleep past 7:30 which is when the alarm is set to go off. Well, I was wrong. I had a hard time sleeping during the middle of the night, so my sleep pattern and quality got thrown off. So, I slept a bit longer than planned. I awoke naturally at 7:45 am.

Since now we were in a hurry, I did everything in a hurry. I got up, peed, hopped on the scale, noticed a nice drop, got dressed (showered last night), woke my youngest son up for school, got breakfasts ready, packed my son's lunch and my snacks, get my son to school just in time and then started my commute in to work.

I got everything done on time, but with no thinking time. It wasn't until I stopped to pump some gas in the car that I realized, "Wait... what did the scale say this morning?" I pulled up my app and saw the new weigh in. Yep... it was what I just realized - I've lost a full 20 pounds  since May 18th. Wowzers! I've never, ever lost like that. I'm not starving myself. It feels good, but the weight (so far) is just melting away. 

20 pounds is not a small amount! of potatoes (water mostly)

20 pounds of fat looks like this (I didn't lose just fat - but water and muscle too - that is inevitable). A combo of that much "stuff" was removed from my body in the last 29 days.

And first clothing items are biting the dust sort of. I had to pin my prairie skirt today. It was loose-ish when I got it on clearance 6 weeks ago. Now it slips down the hips. I had to pin it. The t-shirt I'm wearing hangs on me. I had to tuck the clothes hanger strings around my bra strap so the shirt didn't slip off my shoulder. Again, this was loose-ish when I got it with this skirt 6 weeks ago. Soon, I'll be able to closet shop, but I will probably need to buy a couple of used/clearanced items to get my by too as I don't have much in the sizes below this either as I ballooned up over the fall/winter, not summer. I have now WAY too small summer clothes, some summer clothes that will maybe fit in like August, but then these that are getting too big. I'll have to see what I can do about that as I pass through these temporary sizes. Pins and simple tacking with the sewing machine might have to do.

Weight loss reboot: 5/18/15:
Weight loss so far: 20.1 pounds

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Revisiting the paper towel analogy

I wrote about this article way back when. Back then, in the forums I was on, people knew about it, but it's been out of circulation lately, so I mentioned it recently and then had to link the article. I would like to do that again.

So, first, here, the article.

And now my continued observations.  So, as of this morning I've lost 18.9 pounds. Even to me I'm just beginning to be able to see it in my face and in how my clothing fits. I wore a dress today that was a bit too tight to wear comfortably a few weeks ago. I did wear it before, but with a sweater that was fastened over the front to hide the bulging belly better AND with shape wear underneath. Not today. It fits almost perfectly, but will fit even better with another 10-20 pounds gone (it's a stretchy material).

The too tight skort I got a bit over a month ago - one that I could zip, but not feel comfortable in with the large muffin top, now fits perfectly with no muffin top.

18.9 pounds and I still wear the same size. Like a roll of paper towels, I don't notice 10 sheets missing from a full roll of paper towels.

18.9 pounds near my ideal weight would probably mean 2 pant sizes. I would totally notice the size of the paper towel roll with 10 sheets missing if there were only 15 left to begin with.

It's just interesting and a bit dangerous in fooling ourselves that we aren't getting that much bigger. The larger you are, the more weight range there is per clothing size. 30 pounds at my size 20. (My top size ever).

I'm currently an 18... I was an 18 18.9 pounds ago too.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Wish you had to tell everything you've ever done to a house

When we bought this house there was some mold issues in the basement and radon issues. Owner was to fix the water and radon problem and then we did mold remediation. She got a new sump pump, installed the radon system, and then she did a water proofing and channeling (see link for a description or watch video clip: https://vimeo.com/82557018)

Cost her a pretty penny. But I see now that to do this she had to take up the new carpet, let them work, and dig up the interior foundation the whole perimeter of the house, put in a channel, concrete over everything again and then wait for the concrete to set  and then call in the carpet people to put down new tack strips and restretch the carpet. 

What I really don't understand is that she had quotes in 2006 and 2008 to get this work done - well before selling her house, but waited for it to be caught by the inspector to do anything about the radon and mold. I'm sure the real estate agent told her to fix it right because if we backed out of the sale because of mold and radon, it would mandatorily have to be disclosed to every prospective buyer and they would see it and her price value would plummet (unfairly much so). 

Probably the reason we have had no radon or water problems since.

We discovered all of this by seeing new concrete all around and then my husband and looked up our paperwork from the sale to discover what exactly it all meant.  At least I haD this paperwork. We have no history for nearly everything else.  Like, there is evidence of there being either glue down tile or glued down carpeting in the basement from before. It was cleaned off very well, but it has a stain of where the glue used to be.  Is that asbestos?  Was it removed properly if it was? Who knows!  So weird when you think about it that all the history of the house does not need to be disclosed when you buy and sell. It's a huge investment done mostly with little known about the investment!

What does this have to do with weight loss?  Well, I scraped up foam, wet/dry vac'ed the entire area, and then scrubbed it all with a thick bristled brush.  The boys took up the tack strips and deal with the nails in the concrete.  Oh, and my husband and I  moved all the furniture and boxes and boxes of stuff from one side of the room to the other, so a lot of schlepping of stuff too.  Day two of exercise with a purpose!

Scale loved me this morning too!

Weight loss reboot: 5/18/15
Down 18.8 pounds

Friday, June 12, 2015

Here's one way to burn at least or over 1500 calories in a day!

My favorite type of exercise is exercising with a purpose and that is exactly what I did today. MINIMALLY it was a full 3 hours of cutting, lifting, rolling, pulling, bagging, etc. Now, full disclosure, my son carried these up the flight of stairs and out of the house. I just worked on the actually getting it to the point of throwing it away.

Then, there was some time of sweeping, cleaning out the cat boxes outside, and more such things. My gizmo said that this should be roughly 1500 calories  for 3 hours. I don't know if it's accurate, but it was exhausting, but I got something USEFUL done... much better than hopping around the gym.

Extra "bonus" I guess is that on this super hot day, I was in the coolest room of the house, so at least there was that.

These are the before photos - taken a couple years ago - but it looked nearly identical now (remember you can always click on a photo to make it bigger):

This is what it looks like now - after ripping up 680 square feet of carpeting:

Plan is to put down new flooring - this:

These are vinyl floors, but special ones that are good for basements AND shock absorbent and often times used in gyms and exercise facilities. Here's how they look cross section and underside.

Put in ceiling panels in the frames already there. (Ceiling tiles used to be there, but were removed before we moved in when we did mold remediation). I'm thinking these drift ones or these plain ones:

Paint the white walls two tones as we have a chair rail going along the whole room (probably gray on bottom and light blue on top - undecided on what color the chair rail should be).

And then move to reorganizing the last third of the basement which needs a bit of weeding through and restacking/organizing.  The old butler's pantry we removed from upstairs when we moved in and made that pantry and half bath into a full bath on the main level.

The peninsula part of the original kitchen we took out when we remodeled shortly after moving in. Yes, my kitchen as late as 2010 had avocado colored formica countertops!:

And the shelving we have for storage: (and it doesn't look this tidy right now)

I know the carpets look fine in the photos but they were full of stains and despite cleaning them several times, we couldn't get them clean. Plus, they were remaining from when we did mold remediation... and carpets are mold traps. Our basement has been dry since we moved in as the previous owner added a second sump pump and did some other drainage work, but that mold was probably still in the carpets.

Plus, for ping pong, aerobics, etc, a  smoother floor is nicer. So, I'm excited we got the worst of it OVER WITH!!!

I'll keep you updated - tomorrow is remove the rest of the foam (very little stuck) and the tack strips which will be a nightmare as they were nailed into the concrete!!!

I'm tired though, can you imagine?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why I'm trying the same approach despite "failing" 3 times

I often read on forums and hear people in real life saying things like, "Well I tried Atkins and it worked for awhile, but I couldn't stick with it." Or, "I tried giving up foods with refined sugars, but I gave up." They then conclude that there was something wrong with the diet. This may or may not be true.

There are a lot of ways to lose weight. Cabbage Soup diet, calorie restricting, exercising more, low carb, liquid diets, etc. Tons and tons of ways to do it. Some are fast track, some are slow. Some are dangerous and can lead to nutritional imbalances and fatigue and health issues, but most diet plans are fine - if it works for you to get the weight off and you can manage to stay on the diet long enough to get to your desired weight. Then there is maintenance - keeping the weight off. THIS is the hard part.

I "used" to think that you needed to take off the weight the "right" way. I thought there was really only one right way, but over the years and watching other people and noticing how I've changed my tactics too, I realize there are many ways and that's OK. The only thing that really needs to be learned is that you need to find a diet that can work for you for the long haul and then you need to learn how to keep the weight off in a healthy way once the weight loss is over. I used to think you needed to eat above a certain calorie limit. Or that some diet plans weren't great. I even poo-pooed weight loss surgery, but now I know better. That journey down isn't very important as long as you have the know how and have the ability to keep the mental struggle of sticking with the diet and then transition to maintenance eating.

That liquid diet of Oprah's where she melted all that weight? That diet would have been fine, if she ate for maintenance once coming off the liquid diet. That time she worked with Bob Greene and ate healthy and ran and exercised. That way of weight loss would have been fine if she continued eating for maintenance, but she, like most human beings struggled with that. The mental stamina a maintainer has to have is constant and it's probably nearly never, "easy". I don't expect it to be for me and I never have. THAT is the battle. It's easy to stay motivated to lose weight. It's very hard to stay motivated to keep that slow (or not so slow) creep back up in weight.

So, when people say, "That diet doesn't work."  and leap into another one I wonder, "Did it really not work? Or were you unprepared for the long, maintenance haul?"

Sometimes it's the first - I couldn't stick to a high carb, low calorie diet without being totally miserable and it would be very, very hard to not give into the carb cravings for long because I'm carb sensitive.  I probably couldn't faithfully follow the Atkins or Keto diet because I do use some carbs and don't have problems with some. Going too low carb would make me cranky and not like my food. So, I wouldn't want to lose that way. I probably couldn't stick to an all liquid diet either as I enjoy my food and would miss it! An all fish diet? I don't like fish enough for that, etc.

And I think sometimes people feel they can't tweak diets - like "sort of " Atkins, but with your own adaptations. Or, "sort of a liquid diet" but only for 2 meals a day and then a modest dinner or something.

But then sometimes it's the second problem. The diet worked. You managed to stay on the diet for the journey, but then gave up living in maintenance mode. Was that the diet not working for you? Or you not working with the diet?

For some of these diets, you would just quit them and transition back to normal foods. This is probably harder than finding a diet that works all the way down for the weight loss journey because you have so much more learning to do. Going from a liquid diet to a regular food diet would take a lot of trial and error in figuring out how much you can eat and maintain without being too hungry. People who find a system that works for them for the journey down that only needs to be slightly modified for maintenance should have an easier time - perhaps it's just moderately increase calories, or slightly less exercise (one hour a day versus two) or perhaps it's just changing the composition of foods to include more carbs.

Looking for a new diet to work this time is only half the story. It is for me. I have found a way to lose weight and I should be able to eat this way for the rest of my life - with diligence. I cannot blame my diet plan for my past failures. "I" stumbled with the diet, not that the diet failed me.

So, with that... I'll post this article that is resurfacing on some forums. Take it with a grain of salt. These "dieters" weren't given the tools to learn to stay on maintenance - the tricky part! The MENTAL part!!! The New York Times article from December 28, 2011: The Fat Trap by Tara Parker-Pope.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

How I know my head is currently in a good place

I don't want to go into specifics as it's not my place as it's not my situation directly, but a family member has been really struggling this year. When that struggle started mid-year, "I" was not in a good place, so when I became cognizant of their struggles, it brought me even lower. I helped this person and put them first, but it dug me in deeper for my own struggles.

Now, in late spring when I'm no longer in this deep fog of "downness", I handled this same person's new "bad news" much more constructively for myself. I am helping them, AND still taking care of myself. I don't have to give up one to do the other as I have the energy and brain health to help support more than just me right now. Last winter? I gave up supporting me to support everyone else. That's not a healthy mix, but it is a good learning experience for me.

I still have to figure out how not to get down again this fall/winter, but at least I'm becoming more aware of it's impact and in realizing I need to tackle it head on and try to mitigate most of the damage to myself.

Anyway... self reflection time... I'm still learning and hopefully learning enough about myself to stop this destructive, repeating cycle I've found myself in. 

Weight loss reboot: 5/18/15
Down 16 pounds

Monday, June 8, 2015

The idea of eating clean 100% of the time

There was a comment on my blog yesterday that I deleted. I NEVER delete things, but when someone is openly being hostile and insulting and doing so anonymously (twice now), I feel it's in my and other reader's, especially those also struggling with their weight, best interest to delete such a comment and I will continue to do so. If someone can't say something openly and without hostility, then there is no merit in the comment.

But the anonymous poster said one thing that triggered my memory about a recent topic I read about last week and also a growing problem - feeling we have to eat perfectly 100% of the time.  There's a growing disorder called Orthorexia Nervosa. And, I have seen it on various forums - when people are spending an inordinate amount of time and energy analyzing their micro-nutrients - becoming obsessed with them. Honestly, I think it would be quite easy for someone who has other eating issues to start to develop this problem because it's just switching one form of disordered eating for another.

Here's more on it too from Salon.com:
Because overdoing it is the American way, we’ve now managed to warp even healthy habits into a new form of eating disorders. Welcome to the era of orthorexia.
As Heather Hansman notes this week in Fast Company, orthorexia differs from other forms of disorders in that the obsessive focus is not on how much or how little one consumes, but the perceived virtue of the food itself. As she reports, “Nutritionists and psychologists say that they’re seeing it more often, especially in the face of restrictive food trends, like gluten-free, and growing information about where food comes from, and how it’s grown and processed.” Though the term has been in use since Dr. Steven Bratman coined it in 1997, the uptick in cases is leading to a new push to formally include it in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – aka the DSM 5. 
Along with “gluten-free,” “juice fast” and other phrases, you may have been hearing “orthorexia” a lot more lately. Last summer, popular health and food blogger Jordan Younger made headlines – and faced intense criticism – when she announced that she was “transitioning away from veganism” as she realized that she had “started fearing a LOT of things when it came to food,” and had been struggling with orthorexia. Her blog now is called “The Balanced Blonde,” where she talks honestly about her journey to wellness. In a recent post, she observed, “It. Breaks. My. Heart.It breaks my heart to see and hear beautiful, motivated, capable young women being sucked in to an extreme diet and way of life because it has been branded to them as ‘THE HEALTHIEST WAY TO LIVE’ above all else.”
And from feminspire.com by Maya Dodd:

The biggest problem of course is that by making some foods “clean” you make all the others dirty. The impact that can have on a person extends far much further than just a meal. It has recently been argued that “clean” eating diets are nothing more than a socially acceptable means of restrictive eating. That might sound dramatic, but think about it — it’s creating a world where only certain foods are good or safe to eat, a world where the “good” foods might not even taste that good to you, a world where all other foods are bad, so you won’t eat them no matter how much you want to because they’ll make you sick or fat. Isn’t really that much different than restricting, and could lead to disordered eating if not an eating disorder. In fact, it happened to me as I jumped from diet to diet, slowly decreasing what I could eat under the guise of eating healthier. Eventually I realized what I was doing and started looking at food as what it is — just food. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still have to remind myself that the slice of cake or bowl of ice cream can be just as okay as a salad or an apple.
Now, I'm not saying that the anonymous poster yesterday was suffering from this, but the comment that no one ever needs to eat a cake or cinnamon roll reminded me of  a "symptom" of this disorder. Saying that I will never keep the weight off BECAUSE I think it's OKl for people to eat these things here and there... well, besides being mean, it's also a sign of being ultra rigid with diet and I don't think that is healthy either.

True, no one needs to eat cake. Heck, I could probably go my entire life without ever eating cake again as I don't particularly like cake. Cake was not what made me fat. Crackers and chips and candy and plain overeating are what made me balloon up. Saying I should only ever eat clean -  is probably healthiest to follow most of the time, but feeling that having a "dirty" item every few weeks is bad, is  not healthy thinking or living.

I want a healthy relationship with food and when I'm not depressed, I do. Unfortunately, that depression comes yearly!  I eat wholesome foods. We rarely go out to eat. I make everything from scratch at home and I eat tons of vegetables and "clean" food, but I don't want to fall into a trap or mode of thinking that foods can be evil or are poison. Food is food. Some of it is more nutritionally complete than others, but it's not healthy to start thinking that my son's birthday cake is evil. Or that having a piece of it makes me a failure.

Weight loss reboot: 5/18/15
Down 14.9 pounds

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Cheating on a diet and bad foods

"I cheated on my diet today." Or, "I gave in and had bad foods today." These are phrases I hate. They're phrases that I think are harmful and the wrong look at how we eat and how we view food.

The point is not to be "on a diet" per se, but to change how we approach food and how we look at food since, at least those of us who are obese, have food issues or an unhealthy relationship with food.

So, many of us "go on a diet" to get thinner. Many people think that once they get thin, they can go off their diet. For the most part that is a recipe for gaining all the weight back again because you will go right back to the habits that made you fat in the first place!

An alternative is to change how we eat - permanently. For myself, I've gotten the "how to lose weight" down pat. The "permanent" part is where I still struggle, but I don't think it's in my method of losing weight or how I view food, it's that I revert to old behaviors as soon as I get depressed, which for me, is seasonal. I need to work on THAT part (and I am) so that I don't revert back to old habits.

But, back to these phrases - why do I think they are harmful? Because thinking of "cheating on a diet" shows that you don't understand that this is a lifelong process. There is no way in hell that anyone can go their entire life without ever having a piece of cake, or cookies. There will be weddings and parties and there will be times you simply WANT that cinnamon roll.

Today that was me. I was at IKEA yesterday, so I bought cinnamon rolls for the family. I had no plan on eating any, but for breakfast this morning we had blueberries and strawberries fresh from the field. I really wanted a cinnamon roll, so I cut one in half and ate it. And savored it. And enjoyed it. I didn't deprive myself of the experience. I didn't try to substitute a cinnamon Quest bar instead. No, I ate a true half cinnamon roll - 170 calories of pure carb and fat heaven.

Did I cheat? No. I just need to account for it in my plan. Means that today my carb count will be a bit higher and I might want to choose my meals differently today - or not. I just know that making that choice means that the scale will not drop as much this week because of that choice. I recognize that and move on.

I don't feel deprived. I know this journey will be long (and forever) and if it takes me 5 years to lose the weight versus 7 months - oh well - it's all good as I'm NOT IN THIS FOR A RACE, but to change my relationship with food!!!! Goal is to make good decisions most of the time and to be able to live with the plan I'm on.

I've been on this plan now for just shy of 3 weeks and that half cinnamon roll is the first off plan thing I've wanted or eaten. I would say that's pretty good and if I keep that up, I'll be in good shape! AND I won't feel like I have to "give everything good food up for life".

And then there is the idea of bad foods. Food is food. Some give us more nutritional value than others, but they all provide energy and viewing a few as bad also shows that we don't have a healthy relationship with food. Yes, I should avoid eating too many of certain foods - and for me that involves sugars, but I don't view those foods as bad, just not the best choice for me.

My foods yesterday were: half and half in my coffee, a Quest protein bar, and then a homemade taco salad of spring greens, seasoned lean ground beef, shredded cheese, avocado, bell peppers, and homemade salsa with a sprinkling of crushed blue corn tortilla chips.

My foods today will be: half and half in my coffee, strawberries and blueberries with a big dollop of whipped cream, a half cinnamon roll, a quest protein bar, and a slightly smaller taco salad that is similar to the night before.

If I look at those meals, I could say, "well, half and half has a lot of fat and some carbs because it's a dairy product. A protein bar isn't "real food", and I ate a few tortilla chips. Those were bad, right? To me - no. I had a very completely, healthy day that works for me and I made good choices on Friday, and slightly less good choices on Saturday.

If my day would have looked like this: A cinnamon roll, Kraft Macaroni and cheese, and cheese pizza for supper with a cookie for dessert, that would be a bad choice day for me as I got very little nutritionally -especially for me this would be bad because it would be carb heavy and A DAY of eating like this would throw me into craving mode. I wouldn't want to make these choices often, but if I did... I did. I would move on to better choices the next day.

So... if you want to do this as a lifelong change of food relationships - stop the mentality of all or nothing (which cheating is part of) and start thinking of it's one day at a time, one meal at a time, for the rest of your life. THAT is probably the only way it will be a lifelong weight loss success.

Oh, and one other thing - if you cannot stick to your plan and find yourself straying away from it too much, the plan isn't working for you and you should change it before you completely give up. "Diets" don't need to be boring and horrible. Your diet should be something you can maintain forever and ever (as you will need to, for the most part).

Friday, June 5, 2015

I sometimes wonder how we got such strict notions about when to eat food?

Where did the "rules" of eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner come from? And why is it odd if someone skips some of those meals?  LOTS of people skip breakfast and for most of my lifetime, we were chastised for not eating properly for skipping that meal. Some people skip lunch as they eat a hearty breakfast, but what about those who prefer to eat most of their calories in one meal? How and why does that seem wrong or odd?

Right now I consume about 275 calories during the day - and the rest at dinner and I LOVE IT.  I have something in the morning. My metabolism is starting, I eat something midday to keep the hunger pangs away, and then I eat a most glorious, full dinner. Oh my goodness it's lovely. I don't have to worry about overeating (especially since I cook at home). I can just enjoy (while eating wholesome, low carb foods). I don't feel deprived at all. And, as dinner is the social meal in our home, it works well. I can eat and be part of the family dinner completely.

Doing this also keeps my blood sugars low throughout the day. I don't feel overly tired or worn out as I'm getting enough energy from food, but I find it so much easier and seem to suffer less deprivity with eating this way, than with eating three smallish meals a day.

Yet, everything states you should eat at regular intervals throughout the day - many saying 5-6 small meals being better than 3 larger meals. Yet, when I do that, I feel hungrier and that makes sense as it gets the insulin flowing.

It can be tricky with lunch meetings, etc, but then I can switch WHEN my main meal is for the day, or, make this my special occasion meals and then just eat a smaller dinner (if needed) later. Yet, when you mention fasting for the most part for most of the day, most people are aghast and spout how terrible it is for my health to eat this way.

But is it really? If it means I can get within a normal weight range? What is worse? And WHY is more meals better than less meals? Research on that for Type 2 diabetics is changing too.

Ironically, I used to pshaw this approach to eating, but man... now I simply love it! Like last night I ate two farm made sage sausages, a bit of egg noodles (trying to limit carbs), several roasted mini peppers, and a bunch of broccoli. About 700 calories for the meal.

The other night, I had three (medium) sized eggs, over easy, with two pieces of buttered toast, and a salad of pepper, tomato, avocado with olive oil and vinegar for 800 calories.  The night before that I had a stir fry of chicken breast, cashews, peanut oil, and tons of variety of veggies for 800 calories. And the day before that I had 10 ozs. of steak and a bunch of roasted peppers for 700 calories.

I eat and feel satisfied. Before that, I was eating a small breakfast, a morning snack, a small lunch, an afternoon snack, and then a small dinner. I never, ever ate and felt satisfied. I ate enough to "get by" but it added up to more calories than fasting throughout the day and feasting at night.

I still keep it "lowish" carb and get most of my calories from proteins and fat, but I enjoy those foods and I FEEL FULL! Not STUFFED, but satisfyingly full.

A quick look just told me that it's the "new thing" in dieting, so I guess it is gaining in popularity, but it's still rare from what I see, but I think it's my now forever diet and I'm so happy to have found it thanks to JohnP (wherever you have landed John!)

Here are some articles - not saying it's "proven". It's not. NONE of the diet things are proven, but it works for me and works really well in making me feel less deprived.




Thursday, June 4, 2015

What plan works for me - it may or may not work for you

I do not follow one particular diet plan. There are things I try to do that are parts of other plans, but it's not the entire plan. For the most part though, I flip the food pyramid upside down - sort of. Grains are definitely at the lowest and everything else is pretty equal.  As the title states. This works for me. Might not work for someone else. It's taken years and lots of trial and error to find this path I'm taking. But if you are carb sensitive, most of this might work for you. And if you are loathe to give up big meals, parts of this might work for you too.  This is just "my" path.

1. I reduce/limit my carb intake. And that is ANY carb except most fruits and some starchy vegetables. Those do not create the cravings/sugar problems that I have like when I eat bread or pasta or cookies. I'm not sure if I'm in a ketogenic state most of the time or not. I don't really care about that. Though, I probably often am in a ketogenic state.

2. As part of that, I am not on a high protein or a high fat diet in itself. I'm just on low carb and I don't really care about the division of calories from there on. Most of the time though, fats are higher than proteins as I eat a lot of nuts, olive oil and avocados, as well as meats, dairy and eggs. Fats are fine. Low fat makes me hungry. So, I drink half and half in my coffee. I use butter to cook my eggs. I will eat the skin of the chicken. I use olive oil on my salad, etc. ALL those things make me more full for longer. I don't try to load up on fats or on protein - so some days it's higher in one and another day higher in another.

3. I count calories. I cannot just eat for hunger as I cannot rely on my body telling me the truth and nothing about the truth when it comes to hunger. That's how I got to be obese! At least that's how I got obese with eating all the carb heavy foods I want. I track every morsel I put in my mouth, but I eyeball amounts (with occasionally measuring to make sure my eye is fairly accurate).

4. While I calorie count, I give myself a range and I will eat less than my allotted amount if I'm not hungry and will eat more than my allotted amount if I'm feeling very hungry. I am not stuck on a number and will not eat more just to get my calories in. Nor will I get mad at myself if I eat 100 calories more than I allotted as "ideal". These are frameworks, not something to live and die by. ESPECIALLY since calorie counting is never specific anyway. That apple you grab can be anywhere from 50-120 calories! Nothing can be so accurate!

5. I do a form of intermittent fasting and I love it. I only recently discovered this (last spring/summer when I was losing). And I feel less hungry throughout the day as I think it keeps my insulin levels lower. And little things matter! When I have coffee with milk versus coffee with half and half, I get way hungrier way earlier in the morning. That fat holds me. It costs me an extra 50 calories over whole milk calories in the morning, but saves me from a 200 calorie snack later in the day!  My typical day (right now) is coffee with half and half in the morning, a protein bar around noon for lunch and then a HUGE dinner - the only meal I make for the day anyway and it's the only meal we all sit down together for. This way I pretty much get to enjoy as much of it as I want. I don't feel deprived as I can eat a 700-800 calorie dinner without feeling guilty about it! Shortly before I got derailed a couple years ago, I was getting so hungry in the day, that I ate my allotted calories for the day before dinner, so I never got to enjoy dinner I prepared for the family or only got to eat bits of it. That stank!

6. I never eat back exercise calories. If I exercise for an hour, I do not eat more because of it. It just means I'll see more loss for the day. Unless, of course, I do feel hungry, but since exercise is an appetite suppressant for me, that's rare.

7. I work hard on trying to get enough sleep. If I can do that, it's easier to do all of the above!

And all of this should be lifelong because it's easy to follow and stick to - as long as I don't get seriously depressed or exhausted.

And, with that, the scale gave me a big drop today after holding pretty steady for days - great example of what I was talking about yesterday!

Restart 5/18/15:
Down 12.8 pounds