Tuesday, April 20, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds by avoiding diet for weight loss (truth!)

Okay, so that probably sounds like a strange title, right? I've been blogging about how I lost 100 pounds and I've realized that sometimes it's what I don't do, or rather avoid, that has been most effective in beating obesity. For the most part, I steer clear of "diet" foods and following certain diets. 

In this weight loss learning curve, the word diet as applied to low calorie foods and eating plans is problematic. Manufacturers use buzzwords like "diet" to make you think you're getting healthier food. Very simply, a lot of foods that claim to be "diet" aren't. They're often full of junk and higher calorie that regular versions. I'll blog more later about the Atkins meal plan. 

The word diet as in a meal plan for weight loss causes problems too. I have been told so many times that if I followed this or that "diet" (Weight Watchers, keto, etc) I'd lose weight. And that's true as far as it goes. But some implied I couldn't lose weight without whatever program they were shilling. Some even insisted that bariatric weight loss surgery was the only way!

Whelp, I didn't have to follow theirs or any "commercial" diet to lose weight. There is no "one size fits all" diet plan. I can and did do it my way (you can too). Top is me in 2010 and below is a few days ago.

So big deal, "diet" is just a word. But words shout loud subliminal messages. A few days ago I wrote about how the word obesity triggered me to seek weight loss. Hearing the word obese applied to me, woke me up to my need to get healthier. 

Psychology played a big part in how I lost 100 pounds. I had to change my "stinkin thinkin" as Al-Anon calls it. I also had to practice what I call "mind over platter" by which I mean adjusting how I think about foods. I had to workout my willpower, self-discipline and self-control (three muscles I've not always exercised very well in the past). So yup, beating obesity was about a whole lot more than just diet. 

Leftover use-up weight loss recipes: Naked Wobbly Vegan Chili

I'm sipping some homemade chili right now and I just had to share the recipe and the story behind it. So, I'm working on weight loss. I've been blogging about how I lost 100 pounds. About 10 years ago, I was in charge of making a meal for our IWW meeting (we're Wobblies, members of the Industrial Workers of the World). Wanting to keep costs down, and since these good folk are mostly vegan, I made up this recipe which I call Naked Wobblies Vegan Chili. It has a ton of benefits: super (or as I like to say soup-er) healthy, economical cuz it's vegan (meatless and dairy-free), eco-friendly cuz it uses up leftovers and doesn't require special ingredients, and crazy good for busting obesity! 

Naked Wobbly Vegan Chili for weight loss

First, scrounge through your fridge and gather up all the bits and pieces of veggies. My version today used up leftover cilantro, tomato, avocado, celery, onion, garlic and green pepper. But it would be great with carrots, leeks, cabbage, colored peppers, cucumbers, corn--pretty much anything! Vegetables are your best friends for weight loss. 

Now collect those half-used, nearing their expiration date jars of salsa, pasta sauce, chili and taco sauce. If you like hot chili, use up leftover hot sauce. I found some leftover broth from chicken sausage, so I used that up. Now obviously, I'd not include that if I was making it purebred vegan.  If you have any leftover cooked pasta or rice, you can add that too! I don't because I'm going for low carb and

gluten free

For the protein, (cuz ya gotta have that for weight loss), use any type of beans you have. For dieters, black beans have the best calorie to protein ratio, but I've also heard good things about white kidney beans). I used up leftover hummus I'd made. It made a great thickener plus you'd swear there was melted cheese in the chili, thanks to the hummus. Season with cracked pepper, cumin and paprika. No need to add salt!  

Mix all ingredients and let simmer. Be sure to add the rinse water from the jars to your naked wobbly vegan chili and then recycle them! 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds by eating: weight loss workarounds

 I've been working at weight loss for several years now. And ya wanna know something weird? Part of how I lost 100 pounds is to eat! Seriously! I wrote in a post a few days ago about the 5Ds of weight loss and one is diffusion. I diffuse extreme hunger by eating healthier and staying satisfied. 

Starvation diets fail because they're too restrictive. Not eating enough leads to huge blood sugar drops and insane, unquenchable hunger. When I get that hungry, I need to eat yesterday! I go into "hangry" mode. I'm shaky, dizzy and can't think straight. I'm literally stuffing food into my mouth, package and all. Obviously, that binging derails weight loss. 

When little hunger pangs become raging hunger pain, it hurts like a sunuvugun. I will do anything to make it stop. So I don't let it get to that point. I snack all day. I avoid large meals and eat more smaller meals. I track calories so I don't overeat. 

I keep protein snacks with me at all times. I cook up a big batch of kick-obesity, good-4U veggie-protein food like my gluten-free rainbow goulash (shown above), and nibble on it throughout the day

True, I'm never really full. But I've learned to be okay with that. I've found that I can survive being a little peckish. And that state of being "never full but never starved" is how I lost 100 pounds and beat obesity! 

Wherever you are with your weight, from underweight, perfectly satisfied, overweight or obese, I wish you the very best. If you are trying to make some changes I'm cheering for you! You got this, brothers and sisters! <3 Love mar

Friday, April 16, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds with one word: obesity vs. fat-shaming spurs weight loss

When I was young, it was very common for kids to body shame and mock: "four-eyes", "tinsel teeth" "scarecrow" "shrimp." For us chubby kids, there was an entire patios: "whale-o" "tubby" "lardass" "fatty" "pig" "blimp." I guess the memo about name-calling being wrong hadn't reached my elementary school. It was so common that I got used to and expected it. It never didn't hurt though. 

For most of us "overweight" kids, it was just "baby fat" and puberty brought weight loss. But we didn't know that at the time. Fast-forward to high school and some of us have now grown into ourselves and look pretty good. But not all of us realized it. Alas, that old playground taunting had left us with permanent body image issues. And the body-shaming didn't end in high school, either. Almost all of us girls and many guys dieted, ate too little and worried about our weight. Some fell to anorexia and bulimia. Old hurts may heal but that scar tissue is a bitch. 

Now fast forward to later adulthood and some of us have begun to put on weight again. Age, hormones, health problems, depression, having babies will do that to you. Some of us didn't realize it because we always saw ourselves as fat even when we weren't. And this time the extra weight isn't going anywhere. There's no puberty to magic it away. In fact, obesity is looming. And that one word is what pushed me into weight loss. 

Of all the words, "obesity" hurt the most. On some level I knew, even as kid, that the name-calling was just ignorant babble. But this wasn't a classmate teasing. It was a nurse telling me that my weight put me in the "obese" category. She wasn't doing it to hurt or be mean. She was giving me objective, medical truth. And that made all the difference. 

I hated knowing that I was obese. I hate the word obesity, more than any of the name-calling. Because it's a clinical fact not subjective opinion. No amount of ignoring will make this label go away. The names hurt, but I never let anyone see me cry. I wouldn't give 'em the satisfaction. So what the shamers didn't accomplish, the compassionate professional did. I cried. Then I dried my tears and got to work on the diet. And that's how I lost 100 pounds. (Pictures are me top 2001, middle 2011 and bottom 2015)

How I lost 100 pounds by opening my eyes to obesity and weight loss

 Anyone trying to lose weight knows that it's a hard job. Food addiction is more complicated than any other addiction because we have to eat. But I made weight loss even more complicated by closing my eyes to increasing obesity. The story of how I lost 100 pounds began when I started practicing some Al-Anon 12 steps, being honest and admitting I had a problem--actually many health problems, all related to weight gain.  

It's not exactly that I couldn't see that I was getting fat. I mean it was pretty obvious. I want to accept HOW overweight I was. I didn't take pictures of myself. I didn't look at pictures. I didn't go to the doctor so I could avoid the scale. Ignoring worked pretty well to keep me avoiding weight loss. Until it didn't. 

When I talk about how I lost 100 pounds, I say that I "woke up" to my obesity. When I saw the scale number going up, I just made excuses. When I was on the antidepressant Paxil, I just didn't care. This drug didn't just relieve me of anxiety, it relieved me of all limit switches. It didn't just mask depression, it blinded me to my obesity. 

I don't even remember what caused the scales to fall from my eyes. But when I finally accepted the truth, I was shocked at how I had abused my body. I was angry and sick. So those aren't good feelings but they did help me get serious about weight loss. Thanks be to God, I was able to channel that energy into dieting and getting healthier. And that's how I lost 100 pounds. 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Weight Loss requires 5Ds: Diet, Determination, Discipline, Distraction, Diffusion

I lost 100 pounds a few years ago (right is before and left pic is after). Now I'm working to shed some pounds regained. I've found that weight loss requires 5Ds. I'll go into detail on each of these in upcoming posts but here's a summary. 

Diet: Or should I say diet makeover, lol. I had a diet prior to weight loss: It was called the "wine and cheese and chocolate and pizza party with the cat" diet. Seriously, I didn't overeat that much and I've never been a big junk food person. But I did eat too much, especially on the antidepressant Paxil which busted limit switches. Ergo the obesity. So obviously a clean up of eating habits was in order. Which brings me to the second D.

Determination: I had to make up my mind that I should, could and would lose weight. No more excuses, putting it off, cheating, denial. I knew it would be a long haul so I had to visualize myself thinner and keep that mental image in my head. I call this tool "eye on the prize" and that takes 
me to the third D. 

Discipline: I wanted to lose weight but I didn't want to diet. I dreaded it. But like so many Al-Anon slogans I've used, "fake it till ya make it" works great. Also, "it works if ya work it" cuz self-discipline really does pay off if you're will to do the work of weight loss. 

Distract/Deflect: Part of  how I lost 100 pounds was to distract myself from constant thoughts of hunger and food and deflect my thoughts on other things. I keep busy and active. I try to focus on others' greater suffering to minimize my own minor struggle. I promise myself I'll eat later and sometimes I forget that I'm hungry! Having said that, brings me to the last D of weight loss. 

Diffuse: In order to be able to distract from obsession with food, I avoid getting too hungry. If I let myself go too long without eating, hunger pain (and it really is pain that can hurt like crazy) sets in. It seems I can't get full. Blood sugar drops and I can't stop eating. So I diffuse intense hunger by nibbling throughout the day. I track calories for weight loss and don't just mindlessly snack. But I spread them out over more small meals instead of a few large ones. I may not ever be completely full but I'm also not completely empty! 

These 5Ds are my formula for beating obesity! 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Weight loss from the flip side: thin-shaming, anorexia, illness, underweight issues

I've been writing about how I lost 100 pounds with diet, yada yada for seven years. So this blog focuses on weight loss as a positive thing. With obesity at all time highs, it's crucial to look at shedding unhealthy fat. But what about those for whom weight loss is dangerous, such as for those ill with cancer, Covid 19, anorexia, bulimia or some  other debilitating illness? What about those folks who can't gain weight? Here's a look a weight loss from the flip side. 

I can't speak for the rest of the world, but in the US, thin is in and fat is anathema. Body shaming has become a national pastime. Almost everyone it seems wants to, is being told to and/or is trying to lose weight. Our perspective has become so effed up that people get distorted body image issues (body image dysmorphia) and starve themselves because they see fat that isn't there. 

Ironically, despite our obsession with thin, people who are slender by nature are often mocked for being "too thin." We all want to be thin, but we're jealous of those who are. They're often accused of being anorexic--as if that or being thin is some kind of crime. Very often, women especially don't dare to tell anyone that they're having trouble gaining weight. A loved one was told not to share her struggles with being too thin because it upset those who were overweight. But it's okay for those who are overweight to share even though this is as frustrating for my loved one as her inability to gain is to them? 

 My husband has "skinny genes." His mother (God rest her soul) couldn't gain weight either. He gets told all the time that he is lucky, mostly by people who are trying to lose. He says he doesn't feel lucky. He used to get teased and called names "skinny" "beanpole" "zipper" "scarecrow." He envied big people their ability to put weight on! 

So maybe it's all in perspective? Maybe we're too self-centered and should look at things from others' point of view? Maybe we shouldn't body shame, judge, preach, name-call or criticize? Maybe we should walk in another's moccasins awhile and practice empathy, compassion, and inclusiveness? JMHO. 

Wherever you are right now, at healthy weight, overweight, underweight, ill, struggling or happy, I'm sending you prayers, schmootches
and gushy hugs. Love mar

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