Friday, March 31, 2023

Anoexia, Obesity and weight loss: controlling others vs self-control

Greetings friend of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass (note: if you're wondering why I start every post this way, it's because "how I lost 100 pounds" is one of my keywords so I have to get "how I lost 100 pounds" in three time or so to improve SEO. And explaining that just accomplished that so no more trying to fit it in without sounding awkward LOL! 

One of the goals of my blog is to explore the psychology behind obesity, eating disorders (of which overeating is one) and weight loss. In my last post, we explored the paradox of powerless vs. self-control required for calorie restricting. Today we look at the negative impacts of trying to control others vs. self-control. 

Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia and certainly overeating that leads to obesity have an element of controlling others involved. I know I might get flak from people struggling with anorexia or bulimia or obesity, on that. But consider this: self-harm or the threat of it, is a cry for help. However, the help expected is sometimes narrowly defined by the one seeking help. Said more clearly, self-harm can be a way to get others to do what I want not necessarily what I need. And sometimes, the help I think I need harm those I expect to give it. 

I was parented by a person who constantly threatened suicide. As a young child, I recall him telling me that he was going to "end it all." He continually referenced his low self esteem brought on by his "overly critical parents." He was also one of the most arbitrarily critical persons I know. Was this threat of self-harm a cry for help or a way to bully? I was horrified and wanted to help which of course I couldn't And he said there was nothing I could do anyway, yet kept reiterating the suicide threats. So I'm going with cruel bullying. Low self-esteem can be very self-centered and also weaponized to guilt, manipulate and control others. 

Regarding obesity and anorexia, other forms of self-harm, the controlling comes in when overeating, extreme calorie restricting or bingeing is used to manipulate people or causes others harm. "My 600-lb Life" shows very overweight people being waited on and served by others. "My 600-lb Life" Dr. Now always asks "who is feeding you?" Because someone has be the slave of a person who is crippled by obesity. 

Anorexia or bulimia at the other end of the spectrum can be (note I said can be) just as controlling. A person trying to get his way may threaten to purge. She may refuse to eat, to worry parents and get them to lighten up on expectations. Manipulation is obviously not the only issue in an eating disorder. But for anyone dealing with an eating disorder, it's essential to explore what's behind it. 

Getting healthier is about learning that, as Alanon says, we are powerless over people. The only way we find power is to practice self-control vs. manipulative behavior designed to control others. 

My Weight Loss Secret that has nothing to do with diet

 Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds. Writing these posts has become my therapy and I thank you for following. I know sometimes it's kind of raw. I write about what's going on with me at the time, as it relates to weight loss, or not, and I'm hoping it helps you too. Judging by the numbers, the resonance is pretty high. I try not to make it too "pep talkie" definitely not judgey and not even too cheerful. There's nothing I hate more, when I'm low, is a Sweet Polly Purebred trying to perk me up. That said, I have found that positivity over negativity works better for pretty much any health issue, including obesity. 

And that brings me to the point of this post: my weight loss secret that has nothing to do with diet. For background, a big part of how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass was with calorie restricting on a 1200 calorie diet. BUT that came after some other things that had zero to do with calorie restricting. I was only able to, or maybe I should say, realized I needed to follow a 1200 calorie diet, after these things fell into place. 

And it involves several paradoxes. First, I had to hit the wall and spiral into a well of misery. This was not pleasant. But it was necessary that I take the blinders off and accept just how overweight I was AND that it was snowballing downhill at a scary fast rate. So the first step to getting better was to realize just how bad it was. "My 600-lb Life" shows this painful process and how important it is, even more than gastric bypass, for weight loss. 

Like the folks on "My 600-lb Life", I had to stop making excuses for being overweight while also rooting out the reasons for weight gain. Another paradox. I couldn't lose weight or even begin to try until I got it sorted how I went from normal weight, to overweight to obesity. But I had to stop using those reasons as excuses to do nothing about it. 

The next paradox was, as Alanon says in step one,to realize that I was powerless over people, places and obesity. This is not powerless as in the helpless self-pity we see (and which I exhibited) on "My 600-lb Life." That kind blames everyone else and yet expects others to also fix me. I had to flip the script and stop waiting for others to change, to fix me, and take responsibility for me with the help of my Higher Power whom I choose to call God. 

Maybe you, like me, are saying "Whoa, wait, stop. How can I be powerless and still fix myself?? Makes no sense!" And yanno what? Your'e right. I still haven't quite figured it out. But one thing I do know is that it works. When I surrendered to the power of my Higher Power, I received the, I don't know, mojo? energy? willpower? to work at weight loss, with calorie restricting, following 1200 calorie diet. 

Still confused? So am I 😃😏😃 I think that's how it's supposed to be. As Fr. Richard Rohr says, (paraphrased) once we think we know everything we get complacent and stagnant. So I'm approaching weight loss and health and life in general, as the Buddhists suggest, as a learner, a child, with eyes and mind wide open to whatever lessons life and Higher Power have for me today. 

Want to join me on the quest? Stay tuned! 

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Spring into Weight Loss by uprooting where you're planted

 Hi friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass. 2023 begins my 10th anniversary of a quest to end obesity with calorie restricting on a 1200 calorie diet. When I was very overweight, I was told--by a doctor-- that I couldn't lose weight without gastric bypass surgery. Picking up that gauntlet instead of rolling over and accepting his verdict was a big part of how I lost 100 pounds. After initial weight loss, I was repeatedly warned that I'd never be able to keep it off. Which would have been true if I'd stayed planted in old eating habits. 

But I didn't. I reshaped my entire life with routine calorie counting, a1200 calorie diet, intermittent fasting and setting personal goals.  This blog looks at ways to not only lose weight but keep obesity far away. One way is to set monthly challenges. We're nearing the end my March to Weight Loss challenge and for April, it's Spring into Weight Loss by uprooting where I'm planted and transplanting in better soil. I'll explain. 

All too often, those of us who struggle with morbid obesity have gotten too good a blooming where we are planted. We've gotten too content stuck in our rut and embraced laissez-faire. But wait, you might ask, isn't that a good thing, surrendering to the inevitable? No. We've surrendered alright, to being very overweight and given up doing anything to prevent getting more overweight. The reality show "My 600-lb Life" mirrors the horrifying effects of letting go. 

"My 600-lb Life" patients hoping for gastric bypass are planted in the idea that they are helpless. Their mantra is "I'm fat and can't change so why try?" They see gastric bypass surgery as an easy out. Every episode of "My 600-lb Life" Dr. Now has to re-explain that bariatric surgery won't magically fix them without work: calorie restricting on a 1200 calorie diet. 

Do you need or want to lose weight? Why not give my Spring into Weight Loss challenge a try? Join me as we discover and uproot old habits that are keeping us stuck.  


Wednesday, March 29, 2023

HAES or BMI? Does "diet culture" promote fatphobia and is that a bad thing?

One of the biggest dividing issues today (and I know cuz I read Reddit) is whether use the BMI (body mass index) to determine healthy weight or whether HAES (Healthy at Every Size) is right. I say both and neither. HAES and the BMI are both helpful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and both can be taken to extremes and be harmful. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was by using the BMI as a guide but also coming to understand that I am, if not healthy at every size, at least acceptable and worthy of love. 

People who think Healthy at Every Size eschew what they call the "diet culture." The term is often used cynically to imply that those who "buy into it" are somehow gullible or ignorant. I'm not even sure most users know what they mean by it. Loosely, it means being constantly weight loss diet minded. It's also called fatphobia: a fear of being overweight and body-shaming those who are what the BMI might deem overweight. 

I say might because there is some wiggle room, even with the BMI. It's an ideal weight range calculated by height to weight ratio. And in most incarnations, the BMI is limited. It doesn't factor in age, gender, how much weight is muscle vs fat, belly fat (waist size) dress or pants size, ethnicity, overall health, (some are shorter or taller and more prone to "belly fat.") and other pertinent issues. 

People who follow the BMI as I have, are often said to have fatphobia. As a weight loss bloggers, I've been criticized as body-shaming if I suggest that obesity or being overweight might not be healthy. I've been faulted for promoting "diet culture." If by "diet culture" they mean a purchased diet plan, medical weight loss or gastric bypass surgery, I'd agree. I didn't need a paid meal plan, diet club, surgery, personal trainer, doctor supervised medical treatment to lose weight. 

But to suggest that people are healthy at every size, including in morbid obesity, is delusional. "My 600-lb Life" shows what happens when people ignore increasing weight. Yes, what constitutes obesity may differ somewhat. The BMI uses 24 to <30 as overweight and 30 or over as obese. Medically, up to 36 pounds extra is overweight. Obesity is anything over that and morbid obesity is 100 pounds or more overweight. 

I've read a lot of talk about how many people feel healthier at what that definition calls overweight. Is that just an excuse? It depends on the person. "My 600-lb Life" participants will say that they like themselves "fuller" or "fluffier" which translates to 450 pounds of extra weight. 

I've also been surprised when told what someone weighs that it falls into the quite overweight category. They simply don't look overweight. I think the bottom line is that weight is a private matter BUT if every indicator (BMI, doctor, other people) points to it and my health is suffering with weight related complications (diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, back and leg problems, heart trouble, OSA, breathing issues) then I owe it to myself to lose weight. 

What woke me up to the fact that I needed to lose weight was being identified by the BMI as obese. If I didn't do something about it, I could have ended up the size of a "My 600-lb Life" patient. Once I accepted it, quit making excuses and hiding my head in the sand. I was able to lose 100 pounds. I still have belly fat and would like to lose more weight. If that means I have fatphobia or I'm a diet culture sycophant, so be it. I don't shame anyone else for weight but I don't like being fat. And I know what's healthy for me. 

How I lost 100 pounds with diet food swaps for childhood comfort foods

Hello my friends! This blog explores how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass surgery. I'm coming up on my 10 anniversary of weight loss and began this year issuing a series of monthly challenges. This month is March to Weight Loss. Now I'm not one to drop a gauntlet and run. I'm sharing ways to lose weight and improve general health. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to rethink comfort foods but also to reimagine my personal comfort foods with low calorie diet food swaps. First a word on where we get our ideas of comfort foods. For most of us, it's childhood. Meals enjoyed as a family, mom's or dad's home-cookin', favorite ethnic dishes related to your background, these often become our cravings in adulthood. 

Now comfort foods implies a good thing: food that makes us feel secure, loved, at home. However, unfortunately, while they may taste great they often high density calorie overload. So not so much feeding our souls as our addictions. When I was young, very few people were overweight. No thought was given to low sodium, low sugar or lowfat. 

Portions were also smaller and getting back to that portion control was a big part of how I lost 100 pounds. But to lose weight I also had to go into calorie deficit (eating fewer than I was used to eating). So calorie restricting on the 1200 calorie diet became my weight loss method of choice. But I also enjoyed those favorite childhood comfort foods by creating diet food swaps. Here are some. 

Keto waffles with blue agave syrup. Waffles have always been a favorite for me. Fake yellow Eggos with Mrs. Butterworth syrup, I'm a happy camper. But as an overweight adult, no. So I switched to high protein keto pancake mix with light olive oil based butter and blue agave syrup. Now I've got nutritious satisfying waffles that help me burn fat and boost metabolism. 

Other diet food swaps include light or keto bread for toast and grilled cheese. And speaking of grilled cheese, one simple diet food swap is to sub mozzarella for higher fat cheese. Same great taste for 30-40% fewer calories. For mac and cheese, swap Velveeta or cream cheese for blended cottage cheese  sauce and add in keto favorite parmesan cheese or feta. Use this for alfredo as well. 

BBQ and sloppy joes are another favorite childhood comfort food. I grind chicken breasts and use for burger. Then I make my own BBQ sauce with peach pineapple salsa, Worchester sauce, a smidge of molasses, garlic, onion, dijon or stone ground mustard, lime juice and liquid smoke (celery salt to taste). This diet food swap BBQ sauce is so much more flavorful than the too-sweet bottled stuff. 

Keep reading this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass for more diet food swaps! And stay tuned for the April weight loss challenge! 

March to Weight Loss: go out like a lioness!

 Hello beloved friends! On this blog about how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass, I've been issuing monthly challenges. March was March to weight loss. The month is almost over and in Michigan, March is going out like a lion. So I figured, why don't we, go out like a lioness? I am a Leo after all!

What do I  mean by lioness weight loss? Not what you might think. Not talking here about fierce or drastic or ruthless. The lioness is the heart of the pride. Picture Nala in Disney "The Lion King." She was the doer, the wise counselor, the brains behind the outfit if you will. And while a mother lioness is fiercely loving toward her cubs, she's also remarkably gentle.  

So as we end March to Weight Loss challenge, let's do so with love and gentleness. Alanon says it this way. "Easy does it." This doesn't mean lazy. I'm still practicing calorie restricting. Still keeping up with the 1200 calorie diet for the most part. But when I'm hungry, or when I fall off the wagon (like when the grandkids Easter candy in the closet called my name), I'm going to be kind and understanding.  I'm not going to beat myself up for having a few. 

Just as I would be with my cubs. Or my lion partner. Or anyone else who has failed." Kindness, gentleness, caring begins with self. It doesn't end there but it must start with self-care. The people who are the most unloving are those who've never learned self-love. This isn't selfish or self-centered. Others shouldn't suffer when we practice self-care. Just the opposite in fact. Everyone benefits when we do. 

Part of how I got overweight and then fell into obesity was by NOT practicing self-care. I didn't heed my needs, over-extended, letting others dictate right and wrong, not listening to my own God-given inner wisdom and then got so emotionally sick that in desperation, I tried an antidepressant, Paxil. Instead of helping, it made me lethargic, confused and turned off my limit switches. I overate, got overweight and yeah, the rest is history. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to learn that real self-care means doing things that nurture, like eating healthier (notice the root word of healthy is "heal"), getting out and about, quitting Paxil, making safer friends and connections and learning to not hate and actually listen to myself. 

Does any of this resonate with you? If you're struggling with weight issues, overweight, underweight, eating disorder, body image issues, lack of self-love, there's a good chance it does. We will definitely revisit this subject. For now, work on "easy does it." 

Love, mar

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Neglect, abuse, endangerment, parentification and the toxic shame trifecta

Hi friends! Today's post is going to be raw and will probably seem to have little to do with how I lost 100 pounds or weight loss at all. But it's part of how I got to such a low place emotionally. And it's how I learned that constant criticism leads to fear of reprisal leads to paranoia leads to defensiveness leads to toxic shame leads AND how reversing that pattern can lead not only to weight loss but improved mental health. 

I never wanted to admit this but I was raised by very narcissistic people. I know it seems wrong, especially in my generation, to fault our parents. But I have to be honest if I'm going to find any kind of peace of mind. They were both very paranoid, super sensitive to criticism and in denial over personal fault and also hyper critical of me, as their only child. I remember being told faulted for things I had no control over and being told "you're too sensitive" when I cried or got upset. 

Prior to my parents' divorce, life was chaotic at best. We moved all the time. There often wasn't a steady parent present. I was let to walk to school alone at 4, play unsupervised in a downtown area at 5, wander the town marina. I left behind on an island in Alaska. I was dumped at a camp with no suitcase and no understanding of what was going on or where I was at 6. Beyond the wonderful times with my grandparents, and a few good ones, I have very few memories other than scary ones. 

After my parents divorce, there was a lot of expectation and parentification placed on me as they remarried and had kids. I was co-parent to my half siblings and foster children, to please step parents and obey their unfair and ridiculous demands, to be a "good girl" to be "modest" in a home where several unmarried couples were living together. I was evicted from my bedroom so my uncle and his girlfriend could sleep there. 

I had be on my best behavior at all times, to give up and sacrifice for the family (sacrifices no one else was making), to do most all the housework, cooking and cleaning, to be a good Christian (when adults in my home were openly "living in sin"--their words back then). At 11, I had to babysit 4 special needs children 4 and under, including an infant, toddler and two physically abuse children for a week. 

What surprises me is not that I was unable to live up to these expectations but how good I got at it. My reward however was not praise or appreciation but even more parentification of siblings and expectation. Anytime a new baby entered the family, I was assigned to sleep with the baby, get up with him/her in the night and care for him/her. I basically raised my siblings. And when I became inconvenient or when the other parent wanted a share of my "help" I was shuttled to them. Lather, rinse, repeat. 

I was held under a microscope and when I "failed" retribution was swift and draconian. At 16, I was evicted from my current home for coming in an hour late. One time. I didn't drink, smoke, use drugs, fight my parents or stepparents and was very (too) biddable. I got excellent grades and kept up an after school job. I walked a mile to school rain or shine to arrive an hour early so I could work before school started. I did all my homework. I cared for siblings and family and did much more than my share of the chores. What money my grandparents had set aside for me was used by parents "for the family" (their new families). 

But that one transgression lost me my not so happy home. I had to go an live with a stranger in town. My other parent did not step up to help out. In a time where it was common for kids to drink, do drugs drop out of school, get in trouble with the law and give their parents a lot of grief, I, who played by all the rules, was the one kicked out of the house. All this would be illegal today and was then too. You can't kick a minor out of the house. But they did. This wasn't the first or last incidence of abuse, neglect or endangerment. 

Sharing this makes me feel very vulnerable. Even at 58, as a parent and grandparent myself, I question whether I exaggerated. I fear that I may not be believed. I fear reprisal and scorn. I never have confronted the issues. I feel intense toxic shame. 

But also, because I am a parent and a grandparent, I can now look at these experiences with a caring adult eye. If these experiences had happened to anyone else, I would be horrified. With objectivity, I see that I learned not only to be too obedient but to downplay a lot and defend way too much. This has distilled into toxic shame over supposed wrongs, fear of reprisal, constant paranoia that I'm failing, pathological people pleasing and PTSD dreams that torment me all night long. 

But I'm also  learning how to work through these issues, thanks to my higher power whom I call God.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

March to Weight Loss with cinnamon to lower blood sugar and increase metabolism

Hi friends! Today on this blog about how I lost 100 pounds after 50 without gastric bypass, I'm looking at ways to March to Weight Loss (my monthly challenge). One way was with a simple supplement that lowered blood sugar and increased metabolism. What's this wonder weight loss drug? Well, it's not a chemical. It's something you have on your spice shelf: cinnamon. 

I'm not one to tout miracle pills for weight loss or any other health condition for that matter. However, cinnamon (usually taken in capsules), helped me lose weight by imitating insulin, boosting metabolism, lowering blood sugar, reducing stored fat and preventing (in my case actually healing) pre-diabetes (insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome) and ultimately diabetes. 

Whew that's a tall order. But cinnamon capsules can do it. They're part of how I lost 100 pounds and avoided gastric bypass. There's a catch, however. I had to use them as part of a low sugar, keto, calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet. Cinnamon capsules aren't a magic pill that lets you eat all the sugar you want and still lose weight or control diabetes.  

That's a trap many of us who have struggled with obesity fall into. Patients on "My 600-lb Life" often want weight loss cheats that involve no work and no change of habits. (Some of use even think gastric bypass is a cheat to avoid calorie restricting. Dr. Now of "My 600-lb Life" puts patients on a 1200 calorie diet but many fight him every step of the way. Some "My 600-lb Life" participants have even said they didn't expect to have to lose weight before surgery and that they "can't" follow 1200 calorie diet because they will starve. 

So cinnamon capsules should be used as part of a weight loss plan or method to curb diabetes, not as THE weight loss or diabetes management plan. I always say when I share tips that it's "part of"  how I lost 100 pounds. Just as there are a lot of reasons for weight gain, getting overweight and obesity, there are many aspects of weight loss. 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more March to Weight Loss challenge tips and the unveiling of April's challenge too! 

Note: these are the cinnamon capsules I use. Best price is Walmart Spring Valley. 


Friday, March 17, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds by meeting my needs...all of them

Hi friends! I'm kind of a Dr. Ruth at heart and I'm going to warn you, today's post may make some uncomfortable. But I think most people will feel relief to have it talked about. The topic is the 3-letter word that begins in s and ends in x. It sometimes has "-ual health" on the end. I'm not trying to be coy. This word when used online, triggers certain filters. However, in it's pure form, used correctly, this thing is as essential to health as food, water, air and sleep. Unfortunately, it doesn't get talked about because although almost everyone does it, most everyone also feels squeamish conversing about it. We joke about it, make crude references to it and hint about it but rarely to we have frank dialog about it. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was by recognizing and meeting my needs...all of them. And part of how I went from healthy weight to overweight to obesity was by ignoring my needs. Not just for the "ends in x" word. For rest, nutrition, companionship, down time and positivity. My husband was working 14-21 nights straight. We never saw each other and when we did it was only to worry, stress and fight. I'm embarrassed to admit it but it's true. We were on opposite ends of the clock every day and never slept together ( I mean just sleep, never).

We got used to being lonely. Depression was my one constant. One coping mechanism was food. I lost two stillborn babies and my limit switches taking the antidepressant Paxil. Enter in obesity. But, good news, part of how I lost 100 pounds was by spending time with my husband. Remembering that we could still have fun and doing so. That renewed Joie de vivre helped me find the willpower to lose weight. 

I believe that loneliness and obesity and depression and sometimes, death, go hand and in hand. One causes the next and the next. If you need further proof of how loneliness kills, here are some stories. A friend died with morbid obesity. He was not overweight until adulthood and he was cripplingly lonely.

 Another acquaintance is getting a divorce from a morbidly obese spouse who never wants to do anything. The spouse only wants custodial care and gives no friendship or love. Recently, the friend has  been meeting new people and feeling better. There's been criticism because the divorce isn't final. But I say it was final when the obese spouse checked out of the relationship. I'm glad the friend is finding joy, finally. It may be a life salvation. Said it before and I'll say it again. Love, companionship and the ends-in-x word, are as vital to health as food and water and air. Hopefully the spouse will find a will to live too. 

Thanks for reading past the cringe! Love ya'll

St. Patrick's Day Mean Green Juice Cleanse for March to Weight Loss challenge...Slainte Mhath!

Top o' the mornin, mo ghradhs! And a blessed St. Patrick's Day to ye! Today instead of just wearing the green, why not drink green, I don't mean beer (sad face). Here's a Mean Green Juice Cleanse for our March to Weight loss challenge that will have to feelin fightin Irish fit in no time! 

Many people who have struggled with morbid obesity, have found that a "reboot" of diet, AKA a detox cleanse of eating habits have saved their lives. A juice cleanse is one way to not only lose weight but also to boost immunity, gut bacteria and metabolism. 

As a word of caution, not all doctors recommend a detox cleanse or fast. Dr. Now of "My 600-lb Life" cautions against fasts such as the Mean Green Juice cleanse. The concern is that gastric bypass patients such as those on "My 600-lb Life" have voracious appetites. They would not get full with this type of intermittent fasting and so not keep up with the weight loss program. The Mean Green Juice Cleanse may also not include enough nutrients, electrolytes and protein. 

But it could fit within the "My 600-lb Life" gastric bypass 1200 calorie diet after a certain amount of weight loss. When is obesity better managed and the stomach has shrunk, a juice cleanse can be useful. Part of how I lost 100 pounds, without gastric bypass, after age 50, was with intermittent fasting and a calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet. Now that I'm used to portion control and calorie restricting a detox cleanse would be doable. So, here's the recipe.

Mean Green Juice Cleanse for March to Weight Loss

1 cucumbers

4 celery stalks

2 green apples (cored)

8 kale leaves with stalks

1 lemon (peeled)

1 in piece of ginger

Juice and enjoy. Note: some users of this fast drank nothing but Mean Green Juice for two months. This is due to compromised health from obesity. I suggest trying a juice fast preemptively, before getting overweight and only a few days at a time. 

A friend who uses this juice fast, does it in conjunction with intermittent fasting, eating only between the hours of 2 and 7. I would use it with a calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet which was how I lost 100 pounds. 

Whatever you use to lose weight, or stay healthy, make sure you do it in moderation and safely. It's not worth making yourself sick just to get the scale down to a certain number. Stay tuned for more on how I lost 100 pounds and other March to Weight Loss challenge tips. 

Slainte Mhath! 

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Brendan Fraser's humility over "The Whale" best actor Oscar leaves us speechless

Hi friends. A few days ago I blogged about Brendan Fraser in "The Whale" and how he opened eyes and minds to pain of obesity. And last night, Fraser's humble and emotional Best Actor Oscar acceptance speech opened hearts. I'm a longtime fangirl of Brendan Fraser in his cheese puff comedy and adventure films ("Airheads", "Encino Man", "The Mummy"). But I never thought he was capable of serious acting, let alone on the scale of "The Whale." Glad I was wrong. I realized from "The Poison Rose" that Brendan Fraser is actually shockingly capable. 

As a person who has lived through weight gain, obesity and weight loss, "The Whale" was a real grapefruit spoon to the heart. Over 75% of Americans overweight, according to BMI. And yet obesity is largely ignored except on niche shows like "My 600-lb Life" or to make fun of. A fat suit such as Brendan Fraser had to wear for "The Whale" is now available as a Halloween costume. So funny...😒

A lot of those people better start laughing at themselves, though. If 3 of 4 people is overweight, they've seen the joke and it's them. Or we could just stop body-shaming and making fun and start taking obesity seriously. Weight loss isn't just for people who get as big as gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life." Part of how I lost 100 pounds over age 50 without gastric bypass was to get serious about weight loss and my need for it. 

The point of "The Whale" and "My 600-lb Life" isn't just that people with obesity need to lose weight. It's about how and why we get overweight in the first place. Another part of  how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass was to look at experiences, patterns and habits that led to weight gain. 

Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for more on how I lost 100 pounds and more on my March to Weight Loss challenge. Love, mar

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Brendan Fraser's weight gain in "The Whale" bravely looks obesity in the face

Hi friends. That morbid obesity is a pandemic is probably no surprise to most of us. But entertainment media has been curiously loathe to show obesity. We marvel over an individual actor's weight gain or weight loss. But as a feature, it's relegated to shows like "My 600-lb Life" and "1000-lb Sisters." But when Brendan Fraser took a 2023 Best Actor Oscar for the movie "The Whale" it brought home the severity of the problem. And I applaud Brendan Fraser both for having the courage to take on a very not-Hollywood heartthrob role and for doing it with such sensitivity. 

Much has been made of Brendan Fraser's weight gain and how he looks "unrecognizable" since his days in "Encino Man", "The Mummy" and "George of the Jungle." Of course Fraser has changed in 30 years. Who hasn't?? We gain weight and wrinkles, lose hair and muscle tone. Shit happens. 

Obviously, to portray obesity like "My 600-lb Life" in "The Whale" Brendan Fraser had to wear a "fat suit." I don't like that term. I also don't like that fat suits are sold in joke shops as Halloween costumes. Morbid obesity is no laughing matter as "The Whale", "My 600-lb Life" and "1000lb Sisters" sadly show us.  

This blog looks at how I lost 100 pounds, after age 50, without gastric bypass. To understand dramatic weight loss, we first  have to understand how we got overweight in the first place. Everyone's backstory is a little different. Mine was due to having two stillborn babies, depression and the antidepressant Paxil and broken limit switches. And just age. 

So we grieve over stories like "My 600-lb Life" and "The Whale." But we also learn. About compassion, empathy and that weight loss and a healthier life are possible. 


Wednesday, March 8, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds with NOW Sports Nutrition Pea Protein Powder (with recipes to make it edible LOL)


Greetings Omifans (how do you like my new nickname? I'm Omi or grandma to 9 grandkids and my oldest daughter suggested Omifans as a nod to that. And also, being a grandma has a lot to do with this post. I tell you a lot about how I lost 100 pounds after age 50, without gastric bypass surgery. And maybe you're thinking, I don't need to know what you DIDN'T do but what you did to lose weight. Point taken. 

There were three keys to how I lost 100 pounds and the first was calorie restricting on a 1200 calorie diet. That's only consuming 1200 calories a day. How did I arrive at that figure? Once I realized that I wasn't just overweight but morbidly obese, I consulted a physician who gave me a neat algorithm: X goal weight (124 lbs) by 10 calories. Et voile. 

Mm-kay, you're probably wondering, but what about those other two keys? Weight loss has got to involve more than just calorie restricting. Doesn't it matter what you eat? No and yes. A 1200 calorie diet of one cheesecake a day, would lose weight if I was used to eating say 3,000 calories a day. Less in less on. Simple. But it wouldn't be healthy weight loss because I wouldn't  be getting vitamins, nutrients, electrolytes, antioxidants and fat burning MUFAS. Plus refined sugar is one-way ticket to obesity and gastric bypass, by sabotaging metabolism, creating stored fat and kicking in heroin-like cravings,  

The second two keys to how I lost 100 pounds were portion control and keto type diet. I'll cover portion control more later (and have in previous blog posts). But again you want to know what I did eat, not what I didn't. So about that keto, say keto type diet because I didn't and don't follow strict keto. I monitor and reduce refined sugar intake, boost vegetables and high fiber fruits and protein and eat MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids). 

And my favorite way beat obesity is to start the day is with a breakfast smoothie using NOW Sports Nutrition Pea Protein powder. You can get a 7lb tub for $47.85 with Amazon Subscribe & Save. Pea protein is the most digestible, best anti-inflammatory, lowest refined sugar protein powder I've found. Weight loss after age 50 means knowing your body really well. And after menopause, soy is out. Whey protein has always been out for weight loss as it creates belly fat and shouldn't be used as part of a calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet. 

Because it's zero refined sugar, NOW Sports Nutrition pea protein powder isn't the tastiest protein powder. I add half a grapefruit (membrane and juice, for high fiber), berries and spinach to my smoothie. That's sweet enough for me. If you need it a little sweeter, add apples or banana. But remember to factor in those calories to your 1200 calorie diet. A NOW Sports Nutrition pea protein powder smoothie provides 24 grams of protein, tons of fiber, vitamins, electrolytes and fat burning MUFA for under 200 calories and boy, Omifans, does it fill you up! 

This post is part of my March to Weight Loss challenge. Stay tuned for more!  


Tuesday, March 7, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds admitting I don't like being overweight and don't feel HAES: before and after weight loss

 Hi friends, I know I promised another installment on how I lost 100 pounds figuring out what's eating me and rethinking comfort food. But as I was choosing before and after photos for the article, I realized that a big source of comfort, beyond was staring me in the face. Marking progress toward overcoming obesity and getting to a healthy weight, is essential for our March to Weight Loss challenge, and also, healing low self esteem, anxiety, depression and shame. 

Here's a collection of before weight loss photos when I was way overweight.

These pictures date to around 2008-2010, when I was spiraling into obesity. 
As uncomfortable as it is, I need to look at these before and after photos, to see my weight loss progress. But also to notice how awkward and unhappy I looked. I was smiling outwardly but inwardly I was miserable. 

What really shocked me was how much I looked like a step family member with morbid obesity whom I wasn't even related to. The resemblance was commented on by people who didn't know we were not related. I'm not going to lie, that made me kind of sick. That family member passed at 64, of morbid obesity. HAES says we're supposed to feel beautiful and healthy at every size but I certainly did not. And she certainly wasn't healthy at every size.

Should I dislike how I look overweight? Isn't that just Alanon stinkin thinkin? I don't think so. HAES can promote beautiful obesity all they want but that isn't going to make me feel it. Did I hate myself before weight loss? Well, to be fair, I've always had low self esteem at normal weight in childhood, overweight before puberty, normal weight in teen years, underweight in college and then normal weight even after six pregnancies. Getting overweight and then morbidly obese didn't help. I felt shame but also anger for letting myself get so big. I did NOT feel Healthy at Every Size. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds, without gastric bypass, was put that anger to work at calorie restricting on a 1200 calorie diet. After weight loss, even though I never hit my goal weight of 124 pounds, I felt so much stronger and happier and more beautiful. I know that goes against PC thinking that says we should like ourselves whatever we weight. I didn't. And I can't lie, pretend I did or fake feelings I don't have. 

So yes, of the before and after photos, I prefer the after weight loss. And marking progress with before and after photos was, and still is, a large motivator to how I lost 100 pounds. 

Thanks for reading my friends! If you want to lose weight, why not join me in this month's March to Weight Loss challenge? 

How I lost 100 pounds by figuring out what's eating me

 Hello my dear friends! I started this blog on how I lost 100 pounds, without gastric bypass, a few years ago. I write about what I'm dealing with at the time because we all deal with many of the same issues in the challenge of obesity or being overweight. Some plus-sized issues for me are anxiety, low self esteem and concomitant depression. Ring a bell? I'm sure it does because anxiety, depression, low self esteem, weight gain and obesity are all part of what Alanon calls a stinkin thinkin pattern that so many of fall into. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to source anxiety, then to determine what I really needed and finally, to go about getting needs met. In my March to Weight Loss challenge, I'm challenging anyone who wants to lose weight, to do a little Alanon type detective work to figure out what's at eating you and then to rethink what you really need in terms of comfort, including but also beyond food. 

Sometimes what's eating me is something so small, or petty, that I'm embarrassed. Getting a lowered rating at work or finding a new crop of wrinkles. Anxiety made worse by long Covid 19 brain fog. Other times, the worry is bigger: worrying over a loved one, coming to grips with my own aging, constant PTSD ish nightmares, grief, exhaustion, long Covid 19 symptoms. And really even defining one stressor as "petty" and another "important" is part of the stinkin thinkin. It says that I have to justify what concerns me, that I'm petty for certain worries. 

The gastric bypass reality show "My 600-lb Life" demonstrates not only the threat to life of morbid obesity but also, morbid stinkin thinkin. It's more than just the obvious self-pity, entitlement and weaponized incompetence we see on "My 600-lb Life." If you listen past the moaning and griping, you hear fear (anxiety). And morbid depression. And toxic shame. I would hazard a guess that shame is the single biggest issue that leads to starring roles on "My 600-lb Life." Shame accounts for as many gastric bypass surgeries as over-eating. 

So that gets me back to my own triggers. Toxic shame. Stinkin thinkin says worrying over a low rating is petty. But I'm going to rethink that and say it's actually huge if toxic shame, low self esteem and anxiety are problems. In my head, this spells FAILURE and that's haunted me since childhood. But happily, sourcing that toxic shame can help me find peace of mind. My kind adult self can comfort  little me and remind her that even if she make mistakes, even if others say she's a bad girl, even if adults guilt her into thinking she has to fix their problems, doesn't make any of it true. As our parish priest, Fr. Chuck is so good to remind us, I'm a beloved child of my Heavenly Father. And so are you. Full stop. 

In the next installment of "how I lost 100 pounds" we'll take that new enlightenment and consider what, then, we need instead of food, for comfort. Be well, my precious friends. 

#Marchtoweightloss #longcovid


Monday, March 6, 2023

Perfect keto calorie restricting snack for March to Weight Loss (drum roll, please?)

 Hey my friends! This blog explores how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass with keto diet, calorie restricting on a 1200 calorie diet. This month, I've issued a March to Weight Loss challenge. And today I'm sharing the perfect keto calorie restricting snack to lose weight, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, curb hunger boost metabolism, burn fat, prevent dehydration and even ward off effects of long covid 19! What is this superfood? Drum roll, please...

GUACAMOLE! Yup, homemade guacamole is the perfect dip, spread, snack, smoothie, you name it, guacamole is it! Here are simple keto diet recipe for this wunderkind snack. 

Avocado: cram packed with high electrolyte potassium goodness, MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids), good saturated fats (for keto fat burning and metabolism boosting) and anti-inflammatory properties avocado is great for weight loss, fat burning, metabolism, lowering blood sugar (ergo inflammation and pain) post Covid 19 recovery (which includes avoiding dehydration) . For guacamole, cut avocado around the long end, remove pit (if only using half, leave pit in to prevent browning and spoilage). Scoop out avocado and place in blender. 

Garlic (minced with juice). Garlic is one of nature's best infection fighters (so good for Covid 19 prevention) plus anti-inflammatory (so perfect for preventing and healing obesity) building gut bacteria, providing antioxidants, reducing blood sugar level (so fighting diabetes) and more! 

Cilantro: This handsome herb has a reputation for helping lose weight and fighting obesity and diabetes by boosting metabolism. Add a handful to blender with avocado.

Onion: Another miracle superfood, onions are bulbs like garlic and have many of the same properties: anti-inflammatory, metabolism boosting, fat burning, infection fighting, lowering blood sugar (diabetes) plus even improving brain functioning. Mince and add to blender with avocado.

Tomatoes: These are one of my favorite potassium rich superfoods for weight loss and just plain yumminess. Lycopene is good for metabolism, circulation, prostate and heart health, blood sugar, boosting electrolytes and astringent fat burning and system cleanse. Being essentially zero calorie, tomatoes are the perfect calorie restricting food for the 1200 calorie diet. 

Lemon or lime juice: high potassium, Vitamin C and fiber, lemons and limes are good for gut bacteria, weight loss and infection fighting. Drinking water with lemon was part of how I lost 100 pounds. 

Pepper and Himalayan pink salt: Pepper for the pain relieving anti-inflammatory win and pink salt for infection fighting, electrolyte win!

Blend together and enjoy in place of sour cream, cheese, mayonnaise or salsa. Try this guacamole on tacos, burritos or nachos. Or  just plain. 

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Getting Omicron on top of Long Covid 19: the good, the bad and the ugly

I'm not at my best today. Husband and I are recovering from Omicron infection on top of long Covid 19 and we've learned some things that we don't like. Here's the good, the bad and the ugly of double covid infections. (Disclaimer: we wore masks, practiced social distancing, sanitized, got vaccinated, no Covid deniers here.)

The good about Omicron and long covid: Nothing. 

The bad about Omicron and long covid. Long covid causes inflammation around the heart in many sufferers. Getting a second infection doubles the impact of long covid. It makes breathing problems more difficult and if you already have compromised respiratory issues or autoimmune problems, such as OSA (sleep apnea, arthritis, chronic pain and chronic sinus in my case), really not good. 

If you have SWSD (shift work sleep disorder) as both my husband and I have, him working 12-hour nights and weekends and me trying to keep up with his schedule plus my own day shift, really, really not good. Oh and did I mention PTSD? That's caused problems for me since childhood, in the form of crazy, bad, non-stop dreams. So extra sleep problems on top of sleep apnea and SWSD. 

The ugly about Omicron and long covid. I've wrestled with anxiety, guilt, shame, depression and low self esteem all my life. Being an empath, I've carried a lot of peoples' burdens and not been very good at knowing where I stop and others begin. It's all mine to carry. I was not properly cared for as a kid. Self-care was not taught and consequently, not practiced. I was managing these things but then long covid kicked it all in the ass. Chronic fatigue, pain and exhaustion make something as simple as rolling over in bed or stooping to pick up a grandchild feel like scaling K-2. 

And now, the really ugly: paranoia and fear. I'm afraid to admit this chronic fatigue and pain because I fear scorn and disbelief. You're just making excuses, the voices say. Covid isn't real. It's all in your head. Covid deniers can be a pretty pushy bunch. Sometimes they've managed to gaslight me into thinking I have imagined it. 

Because gaslighting is an old acquaintance. All those experiences from childhood, of being disbelieved, shamed, gaslighted into thinking right was wrong and wrong was right, and I was always wrong, that I was able to get past, now haunt me. Long covid brain fog makes it hard to sort out and address. I end up tilting at windmills. Exhaustion makes me not care. What the hell, let it consume me. 

So what about faith, you may wonder. Yes, I call myself a Christian. I believe and trust in God's care. I think. Sometimes I don't know if I do or if I just think I do. Long hauler brain fog confuses and disorients me. But then I hear the covid deniers mantra "faith over fear." and weirdly that one is what shines a light. Not in its accuracy, but in its crazy-dangerous wrongness. 

Faith over fear in its true sense means that we choose to trust God rather than fear the enemy. Faith over fear in the Covid denier version is a lunatic notion that if you have enough faith, you won't get sick. And that this magical "faith" trumps common sense prevention (masks, vaccines, social distancing) which deniers have gaslighted us into thinking is fear and something to be ashamed of. 

So what is the conclusion? To accept that long haulers must take it one day at a time. I was taught to ignore suffering, harm and pain. Now, old voices tell me that acceptance that I will have some good and bad days, is weakness and attention-seeking self-pity. And I admit, I'm tempted to believe them. To give in to what is really fear. But then, it angers me that thanks to God, I've made so much progress in the war against depression, shame and anxiety. And in this case, anger is a good thing. It energizes me to keep trying, seeking, praying and trusting my higher power. 

What struggle is behind the next little window on the Covid calender? Dunno. I guess we'll burn that bridge when we come to it. (Thank you, husband, for that hilariously empowering mental image!)

Thanks for reading me out. If you're a long hauler pal, I'm rooting for you. All my love, mar

Friday, March 3, 2023

Obesity, Sleep apnea, Covid breathing problems: a deadly trifecta

Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass. As my husband and I recuperate from our second round of serious Covid 19, yes we are both vaxxed, I'm considering how much more difficult it would be if I were still struggling with obesity. I've had OSA or obstructive sleep apnea and chronic sinus issues for decades, even when not overweight. So breathing problems have long been an issue. After weight loss and septoplasty, I still struggle to the point that I have terrible dreams all night due to being unable to get to deep delta sleep. I think sinus and sleep apnea factored into me having Long Covid with a second bout with Omicron Covid later. 

People on the shows "My 600-lb Life" and "1000-lb Sisters" usually have breathing trouble and sleep apnea from complications of morbid obesity. I knew a very overweight 8 year-old boy, (entire family had obesity issues which is so often the case as shown on "My 600-lb Life" and "1000-lb Sisters") whose mother gave him NyQuil every night because he was so overweight he'd stop breathing. It's a race between lymphedema, blood clots, heat failure, sepsis and impaired breathing which will kill morbidly obese people first. Then enter in Covid which is notoriously more difficult if you are overweight. Many of us with Long Covid develop swelling around the heart. So it's quite the trifecta, Covid, obesity and sleep apnea. 

But the good news is that weight loss can in fact almost categorically does reverse many of the problems. "My 600-lb Life" and "1000-lb Sisters" show people after gastric bypass improving in many health issues. I have mixed feelings about bariatric surgery. I believe it's a magic feather people have convinced themselves they need when GOFD good old fashioned diet will do a better job.  Bariatric surgery doesn't lose weight. Portion control, intermittent fasting and calorie restricting on a 1200 calorie diet do.They are how I lost 100 pounds. I've issued a March to Weight Loss challenge for anyone who wants to join me. I can't promise it will fix all health problems-- sleep apnea and chronic pain still abide-- but I can guarantee it won't make them any worse and will probably improve them. 
Love, mar 



Wednesday, March 1, 2023

March to Weight Loss Challenge: How I lost 100 pounds with diet food swaps

I began this new year by issuing a No Junk January weight loss challenge. Now as most of us will agree, New Year's resolutions usually end with in January. So next  month, we moved to Fat Free February. Let's keep the diet momentum going with a March to Weight Loss Challenge. Here are 1200 calorie diet food swaps to "spring" into healthier eating. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds, without gastric bypass, was by calorie restricting on a 1200 calorie diet. I switched to lighter versions of these foods: milk, Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, dressings, dips, spreads and butter and low carb or keto bread. I explained why in my Fat Free February challenge posts. As we've learned from the keto diet, lowfat and zero fat foods have other junk in them that is actually worse for weight loss than fat. And some fats, like MUFA--monounsaturated fatty acids-- and PUFA--polyunsaturated fatty acids are actually burn unhealthier saturated fats and transfats. 

Another part of how I lost 100 pounds was with keto and refined sugar food swaps. Calorie restricting on a 1200 calorie diet is a lot easier to manage if you reduce refined sugar intake. You'll feel a lot fuller because you can eat more if you're not having to factor in the calorie load of refined sugar foods. I use blue agave syrup, coconut sugar, erythritol and fresh fruit as alternative sweeteners. I also avoid artificial sweeteners which has the same negative effect on the body as real refined sugar. 

The biggest change I made to end obesity was in portion control. If you watch the show "My 600-lb Life" you see gastric bypass patients before surgery, eating portions that could feed a family. "My 600-lb Life" staff helps people learn portion control by calorie restricting to a more reasonable amount. Many "My  600-lb Life" patients claim they can't get full eating so little. And the farther into obesity you are, the more you need to feel full. But as you lose weight, it gets easier. 

Stay tuned for more diet food swaps and tips to March to Weight Loss! 


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