Wednesday, June 28, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds: surprise weight loss secret

Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds after age 50 without drugs or gastric bypass surgery. So today I'm sharing a weight loss secret that I'm pretty sure I going to surprise you. It has nothing to do with diet, exercise or the Alanon mental health tips I've shared. So what is this miracle weight loss thing? 

One word: sleep. Or improved sleep. And conversely lack of sleep was part of how I got from normal to overweight to obesity. I've always struggled with PTSD (and ongoing traumatic stress disorder). Since childhood, I have nightly, night-long, terrible and terrifying nightmares. A sleep study showed that I spend about 5 minutes a night in deep delta sleep (normal is about 3-4 hours). I wake up frequently every  night and can't remember the last time I slept 5-6 hours without waking. 

I've been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea and used a cpap breathing machine. I have scoliosis, back and cervical arthritis, tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome and chronic sinus trouble. I had congenital hip dysplasia as a toddler and it left me with very misaligned back, hips and legs. I struggled with headaches I later learned were migraines. I'm in a lot of pain in many parts of my body all night long. 

Sleep is more of a nemesis than a friend. I used to fall asleep every time I sat down especially when driving. I've nodded off standing up. I walk and talk in my sleep. It made me very unpopular at sleepovers and the butt of a lot of jokes in my family. In many pictures my eyes are half-closed I'm that constantly tired. Even as a child, I was tired a lot. When others were bouncing out of bed at 6 am, I could hardly drag myself out. Often, I was too tired to go out and play and I dreaded organized sports and games because I had so little energy.  

This was in the late 60s early 70s and I don't  know if people were just less informed or didn't care. Apparently a tired kid was an anomaly. Children are supposed to be full of energy so I must just be lazy. Not one of my four parents thought to find out why Marilisa was always tired. They just piled more work on. I was expected to keep up with a lot of chores, wait on adults, made to sleep with young children and get up at night with them, spend long hours caring for foster and half siblings and was essentially parentified by age 10. All that has had a disastrous effect on sleep to this day. 

It didn't even occur to me how critical sleep is to lose weight until I began to blog about how I lost 100 pounds. And I assumed my crazy sleep was normal and just thought I was less good at dealing than those with more energy.  But there's good news. I now have a loving family who didn't blow off my nightmares, sleep talking, chronic pain, apnea, etc. They have been helping me to see that these are not normal and that I need to find ways to sleep better. 

The nightmares and chronic pain haven't abated but together we are exploring ways to make it better. And the best part is that someone cares. I'll blog more about sleep aids I've tried, what works and how it was helpful in weight loss. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

June Jump to Weight Loss: How I lost 100 pounds with Get Moving Goals

Hi again! Keeping up with my 2023 monthly weight loss challenges, I'm issuing a June Jump to Weight Loss.  And I'll kick off by sharing how I lost 100 pounds setting Get Moving Goals. I've shared before how I got overweight and then obesity after losing two babies, spiraling into depression and working a more sedentary job. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to get back to a more active lifestyle that kept me at a  healthy weight when the kids were younger. 

Before I list some Get Moving Goals, let's consider why we need to do this. Looking at the show "My 600-lb Life" we see people hoping for gastric bypass to end obesity. And while surgery helps, the main components in weight loss are calorie restricting on a 1200 calorie diet and getting moving. "My 600-lb Life" folks didn't get to morbid obesity by keeping busy but by avoiding activity: Laying when they could sit, sitting when they could stand, watching when they could be doing, riding when they could walk, making others do for them what they could do for themselves. "My 600-lb Life" take the path of least resistance and it leads ultimately to the gastric bypass surgery table. 

To avoid or beat obesity, I'm going to do the opposite. For my June Jump to Weight Loss challenge, I'll create work for myself, as it were, with Get Moving Goals. 

1) Stand more than sit, walk more than ride, do more than watch, do for more than be done for. 

1) Active vs. passive work. Working for Shipt (rather than the sedentary WFH computer job) is part of how I lost 100 pounds but also keep it off. 

2) Care for kids. Chasing, carrying, cleaning up after, and playing with grandkids is a great weight loss trick but also a surefire mood lifter. 

3) Cook "from scratch." "My 600-lb Life" shows gastric bypass patients eating a lot of junk food before surgery. I find it harder to maintain my 1200 calorie diet if I eat processed or restaurant food. So I'm doing like Rocco DiSpirito and "cooking my butt off." 

4) Clean up my act. Hate gyms and fitness routines? Me too! My workaround is to simply keep busy working around the house and yard. Garden, clean, vacuum, mop, mow, tidy, rake, wash, hang clothes out and scrub those pounds away! 

One caveat however, all this work has left me with some pretty big guns, but that's not all bad, I guess! 😆😎😅😄😏

How I lost 100 pounds with one surprise trick: weight loss without diet

 Hiya friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds. I've not posted in awhile because I've been busy with grandkids in one way or another, which brings me to the topic of today's post. Weight loss without diet. You heard me right. Here's one trick to lose weight that will surprise you. 

Most weight loss methods focus on diet and certainly the 1200 calorie diet was core to how I lost 100 pounds. But another component to shedding obesity had nothing to do with any eating plan. It's a step that many diets and most fitness plans overlook. And that's by simply keeping busy doing daily family activities. 

In my case, weight loss involved a lot of child care. When our children were younger I never had a bit of trouble maintaining a healthy weight/body size because I was busy non-stop with all that goes into tending to a large family: cooking, cleaning, laundry, carrying, nursing babies, playing with children, shopping, running (literally) errands, etc., etc.

I only started to struggle with obesity after losing two stillborn babies in 3 years. Anxiety and depression went from severe to life-threatening. I took the antidepressant Paxil (which is notorious for causing weight gain) and began working from home at a sedentary job. I couldn't and didn't keep up. I lost my shit on a daily basis. One of the
side effects was that I got very overweight. 

I was able to quit Paxil and all antidepressants and that actually started me on a mission to get happier, which coincidently or not, was a big part of how I lost 100 pounds. Fast forward to 2023 (how time flies) and kids are grown and flown but now there are grandkids to keep me busy. And the surprise was how caring for them still keeps the weight off, at almost 60 years old. Also, once I quit Paxil, I never looked back. 

So I can hear some of you saying, that's all well and fine but I don't have kids or grandkids (or any nearby). Well, you can still lose weight or maintain a healthy body size by caring for pets, doing yard or housework and keeping active. 

The show "My 600-lb Life" shows what happens when we don't keep active. Every single one of the gastric bypass patients shown is not only crippled by obesity but also morbidly lazy. "My 600-lb Life" shows people doing nothing but sitting or laying and eating. After putting them on the 1200 calorie diet, gastric bypass surgeon Dr. Now's main objective is to get them up and moving. 

And the ironic thing is that the path to obesity was relatively short but the road to recovery is long and it's made longer not only by the overeating but also the over-sitting and under-moving. More on that later. 

For now, let's jump into June by setting some get moving goals. 

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