Monday, May 10, 2021

Covid 19 struggles and gratitude

My husband and I have both been sick with coronavirus for over a week now. And I do mean sick. Covid 19 is NOT just a straightforward flu. We are not the lucky ones who've gotten through it with only loss of taste and smell. We've had ongoing fever that breaks and restarts every day for eleven days. We've had intense body aches and exhaustion. Despite drinking loads of fluid, he got dehydrated from fever. His urine turned brown. I've been coughing and have had migraine-like headaches. We have been unable to eat and nothing tastes or sounds good. 

Thankfully, neither of us have been short of breath but we know that could come. I've heard Covid 19 symptoms referred to as an Advent calendar where each day brings something different. A few days ago I started feeling nausea and vomited. Today's new thing is dizziness and a persistent lightheaded feeling. I have fainted once and even laying down with my eyes closed I feel faint. 

Today we noticed another frightening coronavirus impact: my husband has lost a great deal of weight and looks scary thin. I've lost weight too, though not as much. The point of this blog is to talk about weight loss. Being overweight, weight loss is a good thing for me. But not like this. Covid 19 weight loss is not healthy. It's almost like a wasting away. It's similar to what I experienced when I had campylobacter or c.jejuni food poisoning. 

To the people who are angry about Covid 19 closures and worried about opening things up and getting back to normal, let me offer this perspective. We don't know how long these symptoms will last. We don't know what's behind tomorrow's Advent calendar window, or the next day's, week's, etc. We don't know how coronavirus will affect us in years to come. We don't know when, if ever, we will be "back to normal." 

And this is just what "healthy" people experience. It doesn't begin to cover the suffering of those with compromised immune systems or underlying health issues. Every day it seems my email box contains intentions from our prayer chain for families grieving loved ones lost to Covid. Those who couldn't survive the breathing complications or respirator. So I guess we are the lucky ones. We're a little battered and worse for wear, but we'll get through this. And we  have so much to be grateful for. 

Friday, May 7, 2021

I'd rather be overweight than look it: weight loss vs. fat burning

I've been blogging about how I lost 100 pounds a few years ago. Now I'm trying to lose weight again. Happily, I'm not obese this time, but I am overweight. Weirdly, despite the scale only showing a little weight loss, I look smaller. And I realized, if I had to choose one or the other, I'd rather be overweight than look it. Let me explain.

In this second round, the challenge to lose weight has been made more difficult. I'm not as active due to shoulder surgery followed by Covid 19. But although I've only lost a few pounds, I've lost fat in several areas. I think this is because my goal is fat burning vs. simple weight loss. Here's why. 

By volume, muscle weighs more than fat. A person may be overweight, even be nearing obese with the usual BMI algorithm, but still not have much noticeable fat. BMI measures body mass index, not body fat. Obese is just a categorical word. Neither are necessarily true indicators of size. So I decided that fat burning was more important than the number on the scale. 

I've seen what weight loss without fat burning looks like. Gastric bypass surgery alone doesn't lose weight let alone fat. Even with diet and exercise, gastric bypass weight loss surgery often leaves the body saggy. I want to look trimmer. I want my clothes to fit better. 

And that can be done without gastric bypass. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to aim for fat burning with keto diet and supplements like apple cider vinegar and raspberry ketones. I'm going to work on looking smaller and I think the BMI and scale number will catch up. 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds with protein breakfast shakes: weight loss recipes 2 diet 4!

A lot of folks ask me how I lost 100 pounds. I think what they really want to know is how I lost 100 pounds and kept it off. That's much trickier. My weight loss is down to simply eating differently. I've reimagined a lot of favorites with healthier diet food swaps. To lose weight, my days start with antioxidant rich, low calorie, sugar free plant protein breakfast shakes. 

Gastric bypass surgeon Dr. Now of TLC's "My 600-lb Life" reality TV show doesn't recommend these for patients with morbid obesity. And I can see why not. The "My 600-lb Life" participants must lose weight fast to get gastric bypass surgery and have hundreds of pounds to lose. Dr. Now doesn't want them eating packaged foods. And lots of weight loss shakes are surprisingly full of junk. 

When I set out to lose weight, I was obese, but not to the extent of "My 600-lb Life" obesity. I wasn't considering gastric bypass weight loss surgery. I wanted to lose weight steadily not too quickly, and keep it off with diet and exercise alone. Also, the breakfast shakes I eat are simple pea protein with no additives except what I add and that's all natural.  

Plant protein breakfast shakes have helped me lose weight in several ways. Plant protein powder is generally lower in calories, sugarfree, transfat and saturated fatfree. Some varieties fill your RDA vegetable quota. Plant protein powder is easier to digest that whey protein and is just as filling. That's important because shedding obesity requires diet recipes to satisfy hunger. A 240 calorie shake keeps me full till lunch at least. 

I currently use Now Sports pea protein powder, but I've tried other brands. Now Sports has 120 calories of unsweetened pea protein powder that gives 24 grams of protein per scoop. I blend it with half a grapefruit, berries, kale or spinach and water. Now Sports is sugar free, so it does need a little fruit for sweetness. It can also be used as a milk substitute in recipes. I just made a dessert chocolate shake with pea protein powder, vanilla and 3 T chocolate malt powder. It was pretty tasty and all for 200 calories! Stay tuned for more on how I lost 100 pounds!

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Weight loss amid Covid 19: Should I diet when I'm sick?

Well my dears, it's official. My husband has Covid 19 and I'm feeling all the symptoms. I'll get tested after the 72-hour wait period my doctor has advised (getting the test too early can often yield false negative results). As you know, I've been working to re-lose weight gained after shoulder surgery. So how am I working weight loss amid Covid 19? That's a good question. 

Here's the dilemma. Nutrition is essential when you're ill. But with Covid 19, as with influenza, you don't feel much like eating. Also, coronavirus notoriously takes out your sense of smell and taste. My poor husband is already noticing that. Typically, he can eat anything he wants without weight gain. Now, his appetite is diminished but he's only been sick for a few days and already lost 8 pounds. And he doesn't need to lose weight. 

I jokingly told him not to mention this easy weight loss to those who are overweight and working their butts off to lose weight and only shedding a tiny bit at time (raises hand). They (I) may be tempted to beat him with his own scale!  Clearly, weight loss isn't something to envy if the person losing weight doesn't need to or shouldn't be. It could be a sign of other coronavirus related health concerns. 

But what about those who need to lose weight? Should we continue dieting we are ill? If obesity is an issue, yes. A recent episode of the TLC gastric bypass weight loss surgery show "My 600-lb Life: Where Are They Now?" dealt with that. Jeanne was struggling with morbid obesity. She's hoping to get gastric bypass. However, she has to lose weight to do so safely. 

Jeanne gave her "My 600-lb Life" gastric bypass surgeon Dr. Now all kinds of excuses about why she couldn't lose weight and one of them was that she had been sick. She told Dr. Now that her body needed orange juice and that's what prevented her from losing weight. Dr. Now was quick to set her straight that OJ wasn't the only culprit for her weight loss fail that she was just making excuses to keep overeating. He also told her body needed to shed obesity most of all. 

So what's the takeaway from "My 600-lb Life"? Sickness happens along the weight loss journey. Follow the protocol: for example, for stomach bugs, eat the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) but don't overdo it. This diet is meant to work your body back to normal eating. 

For coronavirus and flu type illnesses, stay hydrated and nourished. This doesn't mean sugary desserts, snacks and empty calories. Eat the same things you would for weight loss: protein, lean meat, whole grains, balanced carbs, fruits and vegetables--in moderation. 

Love ya! 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Covid-19 stress, anxiety, weight loss and a message to anti-maskers

Disclaimer: not my cheeriest of posts. I've been blogging about how I lost 100 pounds. I'm trying to lose weight again because I gained weight after having shoulder surgery. I have been feeling more stressed, anxious, even depressed of late.  So I want to address these struggles and how they affect weight loss. But I'm not sure I have much in advice to give. And maybe that's where I need to begin. 

Our parish priest always says "you can't pour from an empty cup" which is an old expression but seems to fit where I often find myself. Trying to fix situations that I didn't break. That need to help paved my  road to obesity and has sometimes kiboshed my efforts at weight loss. I know that none of you has asked or expected me to fix anything. You've probably read this blog more out of kindness than from any pearls of wisdom I've given. 

But still, I feel responsible, obliged to provide solutions to weight loss. This is just one of the many situations I feel responsible for. I have used myself as a body block or buffer to keep others from feeling pain, sometimes even pain they brought on themselves. The intense pressure was exhausting. I overate not to comfort but to energize. It didn't work. I just got overweight and then obese. But I still felt (feel) driven to fix, help and smooth over problems.. 

So I may not have any answers but I do have ideas. I remember that part of  how I lost 100 pounds was to find the triggers and deal with them. So what are the triggers now? We've been under quarantine for Covid-19 for over a year. Despite doing everything he could my husband has Covid-19. He sanitized his belt for pete's sake. He never bitched about not being able to go out to eat. He never complained or blamed. He's been so patient but is stressed and miserable.  

I'm worried, scared and feeling guilty because the one thing we didn't do was to get the vaccine. Our reasons were good. But I still feel irresponsible. 

I'm also furious with the people who go out in public and refuse to wear a mask. Even to church! For those who heedlessly go to Florida, on vacation, who enjoyed a nice non-socially distanced Spring Break, oblivious to the fact that Covid-19 numbers are higher than ever. I'm sick of trying to stay healthy and keep them healthy when they clearly don't give a shit about anyone else. I hold them culpable for their selfish behavior which has caused so many illnesses and deaths. 

So what's this all got to do with weight loss? Nothing and maybe everything. I need to keep on doing what I need to do, despite difficulties. But maybe more importantly, I need to deal with the deeper issues and not take it out on myself. I think I need to quit trying to be politically correct with the problem children and speak my truth. 

Love you all!

Super protein banana bread pudding diet recipe for weight loss

Since our kids moved to Louisiana, I've learned a lot about New Orleans and Cajun culture and cuisine. Oh favorite food that surprised me was bread pudding. I always thought of it my Dutch grannies' (kinda blah) leftover bread use-up recipe, which it is. But it is also a yummy treat AND made right, bread pudding is a great diet recipe for weight loss. You can have your cake and lose weight too! Here's how I lost 100 pounds with diet recipes like my super protein, low calorie banana bread pudding. 

Banana bread pudding might not strike you as a weight loss food, but with a few tweaks, it not only helps burn fat and lose weight, it satisfies that need for dessert! Busting obesity requires fat burners and carb balancing. Start by cubing 6-8 slices of whole grain oat light bread. If it's getting stale all the better. You'll make my Hollander grannies' love of leftover use-ups! Let that dry. 

Next, mash one or two bananas (use up about to go bad ones and score even more granny points!). This will add sweetness without refined sugar (a big obesity trigger). Next, beat 4 eggs or 6 egg whites. Egg whites have all the protein and no cholesterol. They are great for weight loss! I have to eat the entire egg because I have albumin intolerance. 

Now here comes the great lose weight protein source: skip the milk and use plant protein powder. Add two scoops to water to make a creamy consistency. You get a whopping 48 grams of protein for a mere 240 calories! Blend with egg mixture, add vanilla and load that puppy with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice in any combination. 

Segue here, part of how I lost 100 pounds was learning to "fake out" hunger and cravings with what I call Jedi "mind over platter" tricks. Vanilla and spices are great mind tricks for weight loss as they give the impression of sweet" with no added sugar. AND you get none of that fake sugar taste. 

Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray, cover with bread cubes and sprinkle a handful of chopped dates or prunes over the top (just as tasty as raisins and better for folks trying to lose weight). Add egg mixture and blend to moisten. Top with pumpkin seeds for even more protein and a big MUFA (fatty acids) fat burner bang! Seeds are a great friend to weight loss! 

If you need a leetle more sweet, add a dash of pure maple syrup or blue agave syrup. Banana bread pudding make a great obesity-busting breakfast casserole. You'll think you're eating French toast! This diet recipe gives dessert for under 180 calories per large serving (about six total). To quote Cajun chef Justin Wilson,  "it wondermus, I guarantee!!" 

Saturday, May 1, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds doing nothing: weight loss tips for sedentary workers

Greetings fellow slender seekers! Just mar, your friendly neighborhood quirky health blogger back with more weird weight loss tips! How'd ya like today's blog post title? "How I lost 100 pounds doing nothing." Obesity and dieting aren't the most thrilling subjects in the world so I try to make my tips fun and intriguing! So, how to do nothing and lose weight. 

In 2012,  I realized that I was overweight, nay obese. Not "My 600-lb Life" type obese but waaayyy overweight. I looked at various weight loss programs and put together one that worked for me.  Following it is how I lost 100 pounds. (Pause for small scream of joy and confetti throwing). Now, as with everyone who needs or wants to lose weight, I had some special parameters in my life that made it more difficult. Actually they are a big part of what led to my obesity. 

When I started my weight loss program, I was a WAHM (no, not a member of George Michael's band, wish), a work-at-home-mom. I wrote articles and blogged online. And I was very much what's called a sedentary worker--I sat all day long. So, how I lost 100 pounds doing nothing? I literally did nothing, or very little, besides hunch over a computer all day. But lose weight I did.  

I'm not saying that weight loss was easy, being a WAHM. It was made even more difficult given my office is six paces from the kitchen. Food was available all day long! These aren't ideal conditions for dieting. But the point is, it can be done. To lose weight, I had to factor my circs into the diet plan. 

Because exercising enough was challenging, I had to restrict diet more. Less energy output meant fewer calories required. Yeah, I know mental work burns calories but not nearly as much as physical. I'm doing Shipt now, and it's a very active job. Shipt shopping burns loads of calories and I can eat more. So I also had to reprogram my grocery shopping list (see my post on that) with diet-friendly foods. I had to nix and control obesity triggers: sweets, salty snacks and calorie-forward carbs and fats. 

Now I'm back to working to WAHM-ing after shoulder surgery has made Shipt impossible. I've put on some pounds and though not obese, I am overweight again. I'm working to get 30 pounds off (about 21 to go). It's more difficult now because I can't do many exercises. Also, I'm older (note to all ourselves: lose weight sooner rather than later). But what worked before can and is working again! So though I don't recommend doing nothing (sedentary work) for weight loss, I do assure you it is possible!