Monday, August 2, 2021

Lose weight by ignoring these crazy ideas about weight loss

This blog explores how I lost 100 pounds (and kept it off, ta very much) without gastric bypass. There are a lot of weird but common myths regarding obesity and diet. To lose weight, I had to ignore these crazy ideas about weight loss.  I used what I call mind over platter mental resets to retrain my brain. I had to reteach myself healthier habits I followed before I got overweight. Here are some crazy ideas to side-step if you want to lose weight. 

1) I need a gastric bypass surgery because I "can't" lose weight alone. This is a common myth perpetuated by patients on shows like "My 600-lb Life." "My 600-lb Life" participants have morbid obesity and arguably gastric bypass is necessary. But they still have to lose weight before surgery. And they have to keep up with the 1200 calorie diet after surgery or they'll fail weight loss. 

2) I need a weight loss drug like Wegovy to lose weight for me. Wrong! An appetite suppressant doesn't lose weight. It curbs hunger but you still have change eating habits. (May I recommend, again, the 1200 calorie diet? It's how I lost 100 pounds. 

3) It's okay, this weight loss drug is natural. Okay first, define natural: not synthetic or pharmaceutical. So yes, some are. But then, they are not a weight loss drug but fruit supplements (apple cider vinegar, green tea, garcinia cambogia, raspberry ketones). However, others, like DHEA, proclaim to be natural but are in fact, a steroid or stimulant hidden is some quasi-natural stuff. 

4) I will steadily lose weight if I diet right. You might, but most likely you'll plateau occasionally, especially as you near your goal. It's easy to shed weight when you first start a diet. The more overweight you are, the easier that first part is. My first 50 pounds just fell off. That's why "My 600-lb Life" Dr. Now sets 30-50 in a month goals. I was about 20 pounds from goal weight when I plateaued. I panicked. Because I listened to the next crazy idea about weight loss. 

5) Scale and BMI are right and I'm wrong.  When I couldn't shake those pernicious pounds I did a crazy thing.  I took DHEA, foolishly assuming it was safer than a weight loss drug. It was sold with supplements. But DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) is a steroid. Notice the last half of the word -osterone?! I was taking freaking testosterone of some chemmy equivalent. 

6) Steroids are monitored in natural supplements. NOT! DHEA was in with vitamins, which always have that CTB (cover their butts) disclaimer about no proven effect, yada yada. Long and short there was no way to know how much was in it because it was not a prescription. I could be--probably was-getting double to triple whammy of the recommended dose. Ipso facto, I turned into one nervous, irritable, miserable lil camper. I thought I was having a heart attack!  

7) I can lose weight without calorie restricting. We've all read those pie-in-the-sky (pun intended) diets that promise you can forget calorie counting. Well, they're pie crust promises: easily made, easily broken. So you may not have to do the 1200 calorie diet. But you have to change eating habits and to do that ya gotta track food intake and control portions. Either keto, or the Zone diet (40-30-30 diet) or intermittent fasting, something. Otherwise obesity nags us to mindlessly overeat. 

8) Being overweight isn't my fault. Correct. It's not a fault but it is a problem. Maybe I do have a fat gene or trouble curbing hunger. But I can always eat less. 

9) I've tried every diet and nothing works. Wrong. Diet works if you work it. And therein lies the rub. We don't want to "work it." We want to eat. A lot. We shield our eating and lie to ourselves. We fudge numbers (what second slice of pizza?). We round calories down. We ignore or don't check calories. WE ignore recommended portion sizes. But you can't fool mother nature. Our bodies know how much we're eating. 

10) I'm hopeless. No, and I'm not helpless either. Biggest untruth of all. Repeat. I can lose weight if I want to, with calorie restricting. Or I can going on kidding myself about how much I eat and how overweight I am. The choice is mine. 

So those are some not-to-do's, you're thinking. Why don't you give us to-do's, Ms. Smartypants? Well, here's what I did. 

1) Start and don't stop calorie restricting. Sure it's tempting to believe I can lose without effort. But that kind thinking got me overweight in the first place. Yes, I get sick of calorie restricting but not so sick as I was before I lost 100 pounds. And I keep doing what I've done, (overeating) I'll get what we've always gotten--overweight.

2) Stop looking for shortcuts and start rethinking food, hunger, portion size, self control. Use my mind over platter tricks found in this blog. That's how I lost 100 pounds. 

3) Stop listening to others so much and start trusting yourself to do what you need to. If some people don't need to count calories, well, bully for them. They're the exception, not the norm. Do what works for you. For me it was intermittent fasting combined with a little keto and 1200 calorie diet.  

There's a lot more, so keep stay tuned for more on how I lost 100 pounds and how you can lose weight too! 


How I lost 100 pounds swapping common diet myths for common sense

Common knowledge isn't always common sense. That's true in many life applications, especially weight loss. This blog chronicles how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass surgery. I've learned that many commonly-held dieting ideas are in fact, myths. To lose weight, rethink these weight loss myths and try these common-sense approaches.

You need a scale. Nope. Get off it. In fact, throw the darn thing away. "My 600-lb Life" obesity is one thing. So get a baseline (then throw it out LOL) and get busy on that 1200 calorie diet. Micromanaging that scale number blinds you to real progress. I hit a "diet plateau" according to the scale. My clothes continued to fit looser and everyone said I looked skinnier. I got scared and tried a weight loss drug that made me sick. If we rely on outside confirmation of what we know is true, and it doesn't come, we get discouraged. It's like checking weather reports instead of looking out the window. We may try something stupid, like I did. Or conclude we're destined to be fat and give up calorie restricting. I quit weighing myself, started paying attention to observable changes and trusting my (smaller)gut instinct.

You should track BMI. Again, nope. Throw that out, too. Doctors talk BMI (body mass index) like it's the Holy Grail. It's moderately helpful at best. But it can also show someone overweight who isn't. Sometimes it's used to "prove" obesity that doesn't exist.  BMI became my slave driver. To get to that magic number, I resorted to over calorie restricting, that weight loss drug mentioned earlier and worst of all not listening to myself. So calculate your BMI initially to get an idea where you should be. Then, forget it, until you get near your goal. Constantly recaching the numbers only frustrates. Seeing "obese" or "overweight" continually, hurts (especially when you really aren't). And for heaven's sake, chose a BMI calculator that factors in real-life measures--age, gender, body shape, activity level, clothing size--not just height and weight. 

You need a meeting. Well, maybe Al-Anon, but a diet group, uh-uh. Join Weight Watchers if you like to pay for things. There are free online diet support groups if you need accountability. Not everyone does. I was told that I would never lose weight unless I joined Weight Watchers. I also needed gastric bypass, evidently. Well, I'm 100 pounds skinnier, with no surgery. I'm not saying gastric bypass or Weight Watchers aren't good. They're just not mandatory. 

You can't lose weight because (insert reason). Blah, blah, blah. These are excuses. "My 600-lb Life" folks always have a list of excuses a mile long. We all have reasons we got overweight. We all face difficulties. They're reasons TO lose weight, not avoid it. Sometimes the "reasons" are the result of being overweight. Type 2 diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension. back and leg pain, liver and heart problems. Obesity predisposes these. I know. I struggled with them when I was obese. Since I lost 100 pounds, I don't. Few disabilities can't be improved by weight loss or maintaining healthy weight. 

You can't diet if you (insert condition). "My 600-lb Life" patients talk like Dr. Now's 1200 calorie diet is something you can only do in ideal circumstances. Well, obesity is hardly ideal. And setting unrealistic conditions (when I feel happier, move out, finish school, start my new job, ). Sure there are challenges, but they're not insurmountable. And some improve with weight loss. 

You can't afford weight loss. I've actually heard people excuse being overweight saying they can't afford special diet food or a personal trainer. Seriously?? Who can? The good news is, you don't need either. It's free to eat less. In fact, it saves you money!

There's a magic bean, or actually... So it's true there's diet where you eat all alfredo and Cadbury Creme Eggs all day and still lose weight. A pharmaceutical weight loss drug is dubious at best. But there are supplements that help. I lost 100 pounds using raspberry ketones, green tea, apple cider vinegar, garcinia cambogia, coconut oil and cinnamon (to regulate sugar and prevent diabetes). I still had to practice calorie restricting on the 1200 calorie diet.

So this sermon might sound harsh. But I'm preaching to myself first. I made all these mistake before I lost 100 pounds. I never thought I would be wearing size 3/4 jeans. But it happened because I started using common sense instead of believing commons myths. 

How I lost 100 pounds listening to Foreigner

Gweetings, fwiends! If you follow my weight loss story, you'll know that I like to write provocative blog post titles to pique your interest. A few weeks ago, we looked at how I lost 100 pounds listening to John Lennon. Today we explore how to lose weight listening to Foreigner, specifically the song "Head Games." To shed obesity, I had to employ head games which I call "Mind over Platter" mind tricks. They're part Al-Anon, part Jedi, part brain retraining and a whole lotta plain ol' common sense. 

Mind over Platter head game 1: Rethink hunger as an alarm clock. Al-Anon says to HALT (stop when you are you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired). The gastric bypass reality TV show "My 600-lb Life" shows overweight people dealing with lots of emotional issues and turning to food for comfort. Learn from them and listen to what your hunger is really saying. If its something else, sort it. If it's real, eat. Over calorie restricting won't help you lose weight and can slow metabolism and weight loss. 

Mind over Platter head game 2: Be satisfied with less. We see on "My 600-lb Life" how obesity stems from super-size portions. Practice portion control--eat 3-4 ounce servings of meat, not 10-12. Put food in its proper place.  Eat till you are satisfied, not stuffed. Weight loss happens when you stop eating when you are still a little hungry. Plus you'll feel fuller if you let your food settle. 

Mind over Platter mind trick 3: Redefine "comfort food." The path to overweight starts by confusing sweets with treats. "My 600-lb Life" shows how uncomfortable supposed comfort food makes us. It demonstrates how "treats" mistreat us. A healthier meal plan like the 1200 calorie diet provides comfort and from obesity, diabetes, hypertension and treats us to better overall health. 

Mind over Platter head game 4: Get your just desserts. So we've established that healthy food is the real treat.  Now we have to rethink what we deserve. Obesity fattitude tells us we "deserve" treats, desserts, etc, because we've earned them. "My 600-lb Life" patients use this same illogic saying they deserve gastric bypass even after they fail to lose weight as required before surgery. If we are overweight, what our body really deserves is a calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet not more "comfort food."

Mind over Platter head game 5: Talk outta not inta. To fight obesity, talk yourself out of desserts, candy, pop and chips, rather than convincing yourself you deserve it. Talk yourself into calorie restricting and 1200 calorie diet food swaps. 

Mind over Platter head game 6: Practice an attitude of gratitude instead of fattitude. Fattitude is Al-Anon type stinkin thinkin. Fattitude feels sorry for itself, overeats, gets overweight, and feels even sorrier for itself. Gratitude looks outward and gives thanks for blessings. 

These head games are the foundation of how I lost 100 pounds. Picture is me left with my awesome lil sissy! <3

Saturday, July 31, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds with high potassium diet: electrolytes affect metabolism and weight loss

Since my long and somewhat still ongoing bout of Covid 19, I've been researching minerals and electrolytes. You probably know the importance of electrolytes (particularly potassium and magnesium) for recovery after workout, during illness and to prevent summer heat exhaustion (which is essentially dehydration). You may know that electrolytes like potassium and magnesium boost metabolism, aid weight loss and prevent depression. 

What you might not know is how much potassium you actually need. Or how little potassium and magnesium most "sports recovery beverages" and even potassium supplements actually contain. Some can even increase dehydration.  Even drinking plain water while calorie restricting can cause dehydration. And dehydration causes water retention and obesity.  

I've discussed before how gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life" always say, when they fail weight loss, that it's probably "just" water weight (as if that's somehow safer or not really overweight). Water weight is still overweight AND what's worse, long term dehydration and water retention mean your cells are failing. Your immune system fails, too. "My 600-lb Life" type obesity is a direct result of calorie-dense, non-nutritious food and beverages. 

But even calorie restricting can cause problems. During Covid 19, I didn't eat for a week and drank only plain water. I lost 10 pounds that week but also got seriously dehydrated. My body couldn't process the water because it had no electrolytes. My metabolism all but shut down and I'm still recuperating from exhaustion 3 months later.   

So I started looking into electrolytes and the role they play in weight loss. And I found that following low carb diets like keto or Dr. Now's "My 600-lb Life" calorie restricting diet, if you aren't that overweight,  can actually make it harder to lose weight. Keto disallows a lot of foods that are high potassium and magnesium. Calorie restricting often means you miss vital electrolytes and so metabolism drops. 

I lost 100 pounds seven years ago (without gastric bypass) and I included these foods on my diet. My depression was more manageable. My blood sugar leveled and pre-diabetes healed. Then I started a keto diet. I  got c.jejuni (or campylobacter) food poisoning with dysentery and dehydration, and that's when I think the electrolyte imbalance began. Although I didn't eat, my stomach bulged, I think from water retention.  My immunity dropped and depression started up again. 

So now I'm adding high potassium/magnesium foods back into my diet. Getting the RDA of electrolytes calcium and magnesium I can manage with a powdered supplement. Sodium is too easy, LOL. But the RDA of potassium is harder to hit at 3,510 - 4,700 mg. So I eat a combination of these foods daily to hit the total. 

one 800 mg potassium supplement (20%)
small sweet potato
butternut squash
regular potato
vegetable juice
purple cabbage
watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew 
dates or dried apricots
16 oz BodyArmor Lyte 15% (coconut water is by far better than Gatorade or Propel for electrolytes)
spaghetti sauce
tomato paste

In my next post, I'll share specific high potassium diet recipes for weight loss and Covid 19 recovery. 

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Surprise things Covid 19 taught me about electrolytes, dehydration, potassium and weight loss

I've been blogging about how I got overweight and then how I lost 100 pounds and recently, about my prolonged bout of Covid 19. Well, let me just say that although Covid 19 was awful and recovery challenging, I have learned some surprising things about obesity, weight loss, calorie restricting, dehydration and electrolytes (particularly potassium). 

I got Covid 19 in early May. Surprise! I was scrupulously careful but it is a tricky disease. I'd waited to get the Covid vaccine because I was recovering from shoulder surgery. Thinking, I guess, that it might make recovery worse. Surprise! Turns out I shoulda gotten it right away because Covid definitely made it more difficult. 

I lost 100 pounds seven years ago and had started calorie restricting again to lose weight gained back after surgery. Covid nausea and diarrhea did provide me with weight loss but also dehydration, exhaustion, dropped metabolism, lethargy and brain fuzz which have continued through July. Surprise! Weight loss also stalled. 

During the Covid fever, I was insanely thirsty but water tasted funny and made me sick. My poop turned orange. My husband (who also had Covid) had brown pee. Surprise! That was dehydration but I was too sick to connect or think to drink Gatorade or coconut water or some beverage with electrolytes. 

But it's a good thing that I was unable to lose weight and shake Covid exhaustion because it sent me researching. First, what is dehydration? Lack of electrolytes. What exactly are electrolytes? Calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium. But I was confused. Sure during Covid I was dehydrated. But normally? I drink water all the time and take calcium, potassium and magnesium supplements and drink Emergen'C. What gives?

Well, I started reading labels and surprise, my potassium supplement only has 2% of the RDA, which BTW is 4,000 mg. So I got some Propel but misread the label. It only has 60mg not 60% RDA. Most "vitamin water" has little potassium. The best is coconut water but even Body Armor Coconut Water only has 10% is a 12-oz serving. 

So why am I now struggling with weight loss and dehydration when I was able to lose weight before? I think one reason is because I switched from calorie restricting to more of a keto diet. I quit eating some high electrolyte foods (potatoes, beans, watermelon, sweet potatoes, bananas) because they're not keto. So I'm not getting enough potassium, at least, on my diet. 

No surprise, most people don't whether they're trying to lose weight or not. That's because most of us, overweight or not, eat the wrong foods. I always source "My 600-lb Life" for roots of obesity.  "My 600-lb Life" patients got overweight and end up needing gastric bypass because of poor diet. Their metabolism is frozen and they end up with diabetes, hypertension, etc. 

You never see anyone on "My 600-lb Life" drinking water and always soda. So yeah, hydration is just a small part of their problem, but is it? I think hydration is at the core. I've found that Covid 19, obesity, metabolism (or lack thereof in metabolic syndrome, aka insulin resistance aka pre-diabetes), hypertension, high cholesterol, liver problems, you name it--all can be remedied with proper hydration and balanced electrolytes. 

More tomorrow on how I lost 100 pounds and diabetes without gastric bypass using a high potassium/magnesium diet. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Diet dessert recipes for summer weight loss: Have your cake and lose weight, too!

Weight loss is one of the hottest search terms ever. If you're trying to lose weight, what's the hardest time of year for you--winter or summer? What foods are hardest to give up, to lose weight? If you said "summer" and "dessert," here are diet dessert recipes and fat burning summer desserts to prove you can have your cake and lose weight too. These summer dessert recipes will help lose obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol. Be sure to tell everyone these are diet dessert recipes. They may scoff but they'll have to eat humble pie when they taste these awesomely low-calorie summer desserts! 

Albert's Tropical Dream Pie. This pie is my sweetie pie's favorite! He loves cream pie but can never decide between banana, pineapple or coconut cream, so DIY me figured, why not do all three? Make a keto friendly no-bake crust of coconut flour and coconut oil. Blend fresh chopped pineapple, lemon juice, one cup plain Greek yogurt, one avocado, one cup unsweetened flaked coconut and one sliced banana. Fill pie crust. Top with banana slices immediately before serving. 

Obesity-busting Keto friendly no-bake pie crust. Add milled flaxseed, crushed almonds, chia seed coconut oil and erythritol. 

Fat Burning Fruit-in-season Cheesecake. In a bowl, dissolve one box reduced-sugar lemon gelatin in a cup of hot water. Blend in first one cup Greek yogurt and then one eight-ounce carton of light whipped topping, If you prefer vanilla-flavored cheese cake, omit the gelatin and water and use one package  sugarfree vanilla pudding and one cup flaxseed, coconut or almond milk. Add a dash of nutmeg. Fold in berries or fresh sliced fruit in season. These diet dessert recipes are delicious with raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches and strawberries. Decorate with more fruit immediately before serving. 

Diet food swaps for weight loss: Use lowfat ready-made graham cracker crust the fat burning crust recipe above. Or line a dish with lowfat vanilla wafers. You can swap out pudding for avocado in cheesecake too. 

Fat Burning (really!) Chocolate Trifle. Trifle is a to-die-for concoction similar to some tiramisu recipes. Lidia Bastianich made one on PBS Create. Hers was from scratch and looked yummy but time consuming. If you don't have a huge test kitchen with seven people on your staff, make this quick, easy one with diet food swaps. 

You'll need keto favorite full-fat Greek yogurt, sugarfree whipped topping, instant sugarfree chocolate pudding (or avocado, cacao nibs--one of obesity's worst enemies-- or dark chocolate or cocoa powder and blue agave syrup), fresh fruit and angel food cake. Melt cacao nibs, dark chocolate (70% or higher cacao) or unsweetened cocoa and blend in avocado, yogurt and topping. Tear off bits of sponge cake or angel food cake and place in the bottom of a dessert dish. Spoon a layer of pudding mixture over the cake. Next, arrange a layer of berries or sliced bananas. 

For chocolate trifle, use cherries, strawberries or raspberries. For vanilla trifle use bananas, peaches, mango, raspberries, kiwi and pineapple. If you want to make your trifle extra special, layer fruit in different colors. Over the fruit, place a layer of topping. Decorate with fresh fruit or shaved dark chocolate. If desired, repeat layers. You can make these summer desserts swing weight loss friendly with a few simple food swaps and never miss the calories! 

Friday, July 23, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds with a fat flush liver cleanse: weight loss protein shake recipe

Good morning, class! Today we're going to talk about a yucky, but very effective way to lose weight (without a weight loss drug or gastric bypass).This method is also good for managing diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) and LDL cholesterol. So what is this magic obesity cure? Part of how I lost 100 pounds was using an antioxidant fat flush liver cleanse. I'll get to the recipe soon, but first some background. 

So I think we all get that the western diet (supersize portions of junk food, fast food, over-processed food with little nutritional value) is largely responsible for so many of us being overweight. We don't need a show like "My 600-lb Life" to prove that obesity is rampant. The gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life" are extreme, but not uncommon, examples. And thanks to "My 600-lb Life" we can see the disastrous results of overeating the western diet. 

So what does that have to do with a liver cleanse for weight loss? Well, much of what makes us overweight (and gives us diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol and liver problems) is stored fat from that western diet. A gastric bypass can slow overeating but it won't lose weight alone. That's where the liver/colon cleanse comes in. 

Earlier, I said this was the yucky part of the weight loss show. That's because "fat flush" and "liver cleanse" are sanitized versions (pun intended LOL) for diuretic. What cleansing does is to "power wash" your innards of all that stored fat. And what goes in must come out. A liver or colon cleanse literally makes you poop and pee out the stored fat. It also uses antioxidants to cleanse toxins. 

My homemade fat flush recipe doesn't have lots of fancy ingredients and no chemical diuretic. It relies on fat-burning, fiber-based, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. This recipe acts not only as a colon and liver and colon cleanse but also a kidney cleanse which is important to lose weight. It helps control blood sugar and prevent obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol problems. 

Here's my weight loss cleanse recipe: (some ingredients I take as supplements and some I mix into a protein shake). 

keto MCT coconut oil supplements 

apple cider vinegar supplements

green tea with lemon ( I drink this all day)

keto seed and protein bread (I used the Aldi keto protein bread which has tons of fiber from seeds)

Protein shake of plant protein powder, spinach or red cabbage, berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, lemon--rind and all, grapefruit and water). This fat-burning protein shake acts as a natural diuretic. It regulates blood sugar too and actually makes me feel happy after I drink it!  Drinking one a day is part of how I lost 100 pounds! 


Thursday, July 22, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds with a gratitude adjustment diet and failed weight loss with fattitude!

Hello my darlins! Just mar sharing more ideas on how to lose weight. Today, we look at the good, bad and beautiful of weight loss, specifically how I lost 100 pounds with the gratitude adjustment diet and failed with fattitude. 

Fattitude is what I call the obesity mindset. It's what Al-Anon means by stinkin thinkin, only related to food addiction and body image. Fattitude is supersize combo of self-pity, low self-esteem, selfishness, no self-awareness and self-help fail. That's a lot self. And this stinkin thinkin is a direct spiral to obesity and a roadblock to lose weight. 

Many of you didn't know me when I was very overweight. I was careful to keep most of my stinkin thinkin hidden. So if you need to see what plus-size fattitude looks like, watch the gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life." In-denial patients whinge, make excuses and play the blame-shame game. 

I don't say this to shame "My 600-lb Life" patients. I appreciate their candor about obesity. Say what you will about the behavior on "My 600-lb Life", I doubt many of us would have the chutzpah to share our overweight lifestyle. I wouldn't want you to see my fattitude unmasked, no matter how much it helps. 

And that brings me back to the point of this post, how I lost 100 pounds with the gratitude adjustment diet. I didn't just get an attitude adjustment, I got a gratitude makeover. It was kind of a "mental gastric bypass" in which I cut off negativity and focused on positivity. 

I'll splain. Weight loss involves not just eating less or not eating certain foods. I had to change how I ate. In the same way, to lose weight (and also depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, body image dysmorphia), I had to do more than just stop doing certain things (whining, self-pity, making excuses). I had to start doing other things, like looking for things to be grateful for. And they are all around. 

Here's a fr'instance. My backyard has a lot of weeds. My old overweight fattitude wouldn't let me see past that. But a gratitude adjustment completely changes perspective. I gave thanks for the beautiful patio our youngest son had made. I watered my herbs, in pretty pots my friend made. I admired my husband's handiwork on a new porch. I enjoyed a tomato sandwich with fresh basil from the garden, while watching the woodchuck and squirrel follies. I filled the bird feeder and had a nice conversation with a chickadee who waited patiently for her seed. 

A gratitude adjustment loses mental weight as well as physical. And it feels so much better! 



Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Covid 19 exhaustion update

 So I guess I'm one of the 5-10% of Covid 19 folks who don't shake symptoms for months. 11 weeks later, am still insanely tired (think mono or pregnancy tired, ladies). No energy and when I do something that requires any, I fall asleep immediately afterward. Also short of breath which sets off anxiety which makes me short of breath, vicious cycle. You get the picture. 

We had the Covid 19 vaccine 2 weeks after "last" symptoms as per doctor recommendation. And I know there are those who will say that this is the fault of the vaccine not Covid 19 symptoms themselves. Eh, who knows. I'm going with the lasting Covid symptoms myself. Cause I never did rebound from the exhaustion. 

Happily the depression/anxiety seems better, except for concern over how long this will last. I'm looking forward to getting back to my zesty self, that's for sure. Love ya'll and be safe, please. This virus is not gone just because masks are off. I'm hoping we're not in for an onslaught from letting our guards down. And that's probably a part of my social anxiety--sure don't want to get this again. And most worrying of all  is, are these lingering symptoms leftover or do I have round 2? With ongoing tiredness, it would be difficult to know. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

5 Things you shouldn't do to lose weight--#3 and #5 will surprise you

Hey guys! Back with more on how I lost 100 pounds and today's are weight loss don'ts. Here are 5 things you shouldn't do to lose weight-- and numbers 3 and 5 are going to surprise you (maybe number 4 too). 

1) Don't "crash diet." Intermittent fasting is one thing. But you shouldn't practice excessive calorie restricting. Nor should you cut out entire food groups. Ergo, why I'm not a fan of the keto diet. You may lose weight eating all fat and protein and no carbs, but it's not sustainable. Even those with chronic obesity on "My 600-lb Life" are advised to follow a calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet. If you do intermittent fasting, don't do it all day. 

2) Don't watch TV or hang out on social media or just online in general. Staring a screen for hours on end is a direct path to obesity because it's so much easier to mindlessly eat. Especially don't watch cooking shows! Even working at home, online, can be tricky because food is more accessible. No one knows how much you're eating and it can be hard to self-regulate. Part of how I got overweight was working at home, in a sedentary job. 

3) Having said that, don't exercise too much when you first begin to lose weight. I knew this weight loss tip might surprise you! But this is as per obesity specialist Dr. Now of  "My 600-lb Life." Why not? Because the more overweight we are, the more exercise makes us hungry which makes calorie restricting harder. For sure, get around and move. Just don't do any hardcore fitness workouts till you're further along in weight loss and have calorie restricting (1200 calorie diet is good) under control. 

4) Don't eat "diet food" per se. Or at least,  if you use special diet food, read the labels and count the macros. Make sure you're getting enough protein and fiber for the fat and net carb content. Net carbs are an algorithm of fiber carbs subtracted from sugar carbs. (This part of keto, I like). Look for added sugar and avoid fake sweeteners. Watch out out for "lite" (why can't they spell it correctly?) and lowfat diet food. Light bread is usually okay, cuz sugar carbs are reduced. But I prefer keto bread.

5) Run from diet pop, diet sweet tea and other artificial sweetener foods. "My 600-lb Life" Dr. Now and other obesity specialists say that diet pop has the same effect as sugar soda on blood sugar and insulin production. Drinking it can lead to pre-diabetes (AKA insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome) and diabetes. And, because it doesn't have the payout of sugar, it makes you want and therefore eat, more.  I'm still not sure how I feel sugar alcohol (erythritol or monkfruit). Erythritol is a keto favorite and though it doesn't taste chemicalish like monkfruit or Splenda, it does have a weird mouth feel. Or maybe  it's just cuz I know erythritol isn't what I'm used to. 

6) Bonus weight loss don't. Don't "ban" any food group. Part of how I lost 100 pounds and diabetes was by eating everything. I did kind of a Zone diet (40-30-30 diet) and didn't nix any food (except soda pop which isn't a food so that's okay). The Zone diet advises balance, ergo the 40-30-30 plate percentage rule. I did eat less added sugar carbs, more fruit carbs and focused on net carbs with fiber and protein balance. 

Monday, July 19, 2021

Valerie Bertinelli fostered body-shaming by promoting diet? (BS!)

Oh just, shm, really? Valerie Bertinelli responded to body-shaming recently and now critics are saying she fostered body-shaming by being part of the "diet industry." So advocating weight loss is somehow creating a fat-shaming culture? Well I've got news for ya. Diet talk didn't invent body-shaming! You might as well say cancer prevention causes cancer. 

Body-shaming isn't new. Many of us have experienced it all our lives. It's part of the reason why we work to lose weight. And I can't speak for Valerie Bertinelli, but I'm just a little bit pissed that it's still happening, in this supposedly "enlightened" world in which we live. 

And while I'm ranting, let me just say that I'm sick of being told to grow thicker skin, get over it, and stop taking offense to fat-shaming. When I was a kid, body-shaming was as common on the playground as hopscotch. If you dared to report it, you were told to ignore it. That the bullies just want attention and if you give it  to them, you feed it. Like being overweight purposely nailed a target on my back and the bullies would naturally hit it. And being a good girl, I bought that, slunk off and tried to stay out of the bullies' sights. 

But now I'm calling body-shaming for the bullshit it is.  See, bullying (fat-shaming, thin-shaming, body-shaming, teasing) is predatory and designed to victimize. It has nothing to do with body size, if you're overweight, underweight, or green with purple polka dots. It is viciousness driven by a weak mind. I can "rise above" or "ignore" all I want. That's just a red flag to the bully.  

Once, I belonged to a Facebook group devoted to discussing "My 600-lb Life." It touted itself as frank and honest. So I thought we'd be talking about ways to learn from "My 600-lb Life." But turns out, it was just folks with nothing better to do in their pathetic lives than trash-talk and mock obesity. And it wasn't just obesity. They turned on people with other illnesses and conditions. Because that's what sad creeps like that do--kick those who can't kick back. Leopold and Loeb would be so proud. 

People don't need to be taught how to "handle" bullies. Bullies need to be taught, in no uncertain terms, that they can't bully. But also, having said that, bullies aren't born, they're grown. Adults and parents need to be the change they wish to see. It's time for body-shamers to straighten the hell up. It's not cute. It's not just greasy kid stuff. Kids behave much more maturely. It's not animalistic. Animals act more civilized. It's pitiful. 

But since that will never happen, it's time we set OUR sights on the BS. Bullies don't understand sweet talk or "sir, please don't do that." It's time for bully-shaming with both barrels! Time we point to and laugh at bullying till it slinks off in humiliation. This is not retaliation. Nor revenge. It's self-defense. And you know what they say about offense being the best for that! Let's start offending some bullies! 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds outing the real enemy and it's not what you think

Hi guys! Just watched another sweet update from Valerie Bertinelli, thanking folks for the support she got over the comment on her food video to "lose weight." And I'm not sure if she realized it or not, but Ms. Bertinelli just outed the real enemy of weight issues and it's not what you think. Nailing this culprit is how I lost 100 pounds, but more importantly, depression, anxiety and body image dysmorphia. 

So what's behind weight problems? It's not junk food, or overeating or comfort eating or any of thoese things. In a word, it's shame. Bertinelli said that she appreciates the kind support but shame is still a problem. And from where I'm standing, that's the only problem. Shame tells us not only that we are overweight (a judgement call in many cases) but that we are bad, ugly or a failure because we do not lose weight. Shame tells us, even after weight loss, that we are ugly, bad or a failure. 

But guess what? Shame has nothing to do with weight. It doesn't matter if we are "overweight", normal weight "underweight" or morbidly obese. If we have chronic shame issues, we feel (repeat after me) ugly, bad or a failure.  My husband has always felt "underweight." I use quotes because "overweight" and "underweight" are so often subjective. Obesity is a little clearer but still open to interpretation. Oh and does shame use it masterfully.

When he had Covid 19, my husband lost 17 pounds. Now for someone who wants to lose weight, that sounds great. It wasn't. For one thing, Covid 19 weight loss isn't healthy. He has been working hard to gain weight back. But 

I can tell he feels (wait for it) ashamed of the weight loss. He feels ugly, bad or like a failure. Are you seeing the pattern? 

So you say, well that's weird. Not really. No weirder than feeling ashamed of weight gain. But we who are "obese" or "overweight" often do. But it's not his fault, it's Covid 19's, you say. True and no more is being overweight a "fault." Obesity is a health concern to deal with, not a failing or flaw. 

And yet, as per many viewers of the show "My 600-lb Life", weight gain and even gastric bypass surgery, are things to be ashamed of. "My 600-lb Life" participants express a ton of shame. So it looks like weight problems caused it. But it's the other way around. Shame causes weight problems. So, like Valerie Bertinelli said, it's not effing helpful. It's counterproductive.  "My 600-lb Life" gastric bypass surgeon Dr. Now doesn't ever criticize patients. He helps them. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to unmask the enemy shame (and his cronies guilt, blame, body image dysmorphia and low self-esteem) and send them packing. It's not easy. Sometimes I don't even recognize him, he's so bloody sneaky. But I'm learning to spot his disguises. I'm quitting the blame-shame game. I'm learning to see myself through healthier glasses. I hope and pray that Valerie Bertinelli and anyone else fighting shame can do  likewise. 

How I lost 100 pounds by sourcing obesity: "mind over platter" weight loss tips

 Hello, campers! It's your friendly neighborhood weight loss camp counselor back with mental health tips to lose weight. Today we explore  how I lost 100 pounds by sourcing obesity. I didn't get to be overweight and then obese just by eating (most overweight folks don't). There were obesity triggers and to lose weight, I had to unearth and deal with them. This step is part of my "Mind over Platter" program. 

The show "My 600-lb Life" looks at morbid obesity and weight loss from gastric bypass surgery and 1200 calorie diet. But it also seeks to root out reasons why people got so overweight in the first place. It has a ton to do with poor eating habits and lifestyle choices. But it also has mental health (or dis-health) origins. "My 600-lb Life" gastric bypass patients undergo therapy to deal with these issues too. They learn to put mind over platter, so to speak. 

Trauma, anxiety, depression and stress have big impacts on weight gain. "My 600-lb Life" participants say they turn to food as you would a friend. They report comfort eating as a coping mechanism for emotional pain. However overeating just makes the obesity problem worse. So we eat more, get more overweight, and so on. The key to weight loss is to interrupt this pattern, by unmasking the real problems: trauma, anxiety, depression and stress. That's the mind over platter. 

It might sound odd, but following Al-Anon 12 steps helped me lose weight. I began by recognizing and acknowledging problems instead of hiding from them. Al-Anon encouraged me to accept that past trauma will  never be any different than it was. It felt freeing to know that I wasn't crazy. But crazy-making things had happened. 

Al-Anon then helped me understand the 12 step three Cs: didn't cause it, can't control it, can't cure it. And social worker Karen Koenig adds another helpful part: if I didn't start it, I can't stop it.  In short, I learned the one I could control (fix, cure) was me.  Bearing that in mind was part of how I lost 100 pounds. It also helps me work through trauma, depression and anxiety. 

Blessings and best to you all! 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds doing the algebra: fiber-carb-fatty acid- protein weight loss formulas

Did you hate algebra in middle school? Well if you're trying to lose weight, you're going to love it! Part of  how I lost 100 pounds was with algebraic formulas for weight loss! So my math may not look textbook but it sure does work to lose weight!

Shedding obesity is about reducing certain numbers, increasing others and balancing still others. It matters less which meal plan you follow than it does that you do the math. A critical ally in weight loss is calorie restricting. You can't eat as much as you did overweight, to lose weight. It's like Al-Anon says, if you do what you've always done (overeat), you'll get what you've always gotten (overweight). 

"My 600-lb Life" Dr. Now uses a 1200 calorie diet with his gastric bypass patients. Keto does calorie restricting in the form of a low GI diet and carb control. The Zone Diet, or 40-30-30 diet calls for 40% of calories from fat, and 30 each from fat and protein. Intermittent fasting does calorie restricting at certain times of day. I've used a combination of those with diet food swaps. And it's in my diet food swaps that I use algebra. 

To lose weight, I aim to get the most protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals for my calorie buck! I look at net carbs. Net carbs are the total carb load which is figured by subtracting fiber carbs from sugar carbs. Fat burning fiber plus fatty acids, cancel out fat-adding sugar carbs. I also try to factor out added sugar. 

Also, protein cancels out sugar and reduces net carbs. The "My 600-lb Life" 1200 calorie diet and the Zone diet call for upping lean protein in foods. That's why I like keto bread--it's great for calorie restricting plus fat burning. 

It's the same with saturated fat vs. poly and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA and PUFA). Fatty acids dissolve saturated fats. So like keto and the Zone diet, I eat fatty acids for fat burning of less healthy fats. The "My 600-lb Life" gastric bypass diet limits fats because of the severity of obesity. But later, after weight loss, patients learn add fat burning fatty acids. 

So here's a formula to lose weight: 2 (protein + fiber) + 1/2 (sugar carbs, preferably as low GI diet fruit) + 2 (fat burning fatty acids - saturated fat) - (added sugar) = exponential weight loss! 

How I lost 100 pounds with keto diet fruits for weight loss

I know, this title "how I lost 100 pounds with keto diet fruits" is going to cause a lot of keto-ers consternation. That's because a lot of folks mistakenly think that fruit, AKA carbs, are verboten on the keto diet. Well, they're not all because fruits aren't all created equal. Some, like berries, are low calorie, low on the glycemic index (GI) --ergo low sugar PLUS have lots of fat burning fiber which lowers net carbs and aids weight loss. So that's great if you're following the keto diet but also if you're just doing a 1200 calorie diet like "My 600-lb Life" Dr. Now's for gastric bypass. 

And really, it matters less to me what this or that diet approves of, if it helps me lose weight. When I started working at weight loss, the keto diet wasn't en vogue yet. Even if it had, I'd still have followed Al-Anon wisdom to "take what you like and leave the rest." Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to create my own eating plan using elements of intermittent fasting, a 1200 calorie diet, other calorie restricting techniques plus my Al-Anon type "Mind over Platter" tricks. 

People on "My 600-lb Life" preparing for gastric bypass, have to follow that special 1200 calorie diet because their obesity is so out of control. The "My 600-lb Life" anti-obesity meal plan is basically a low GI diet with emphasis on fiber and protein. The neat thing about low GI diet fruits is that the fiber cancels out many of the carbs (sugars) to give much fewer net carbs. Fiber has antioxidant and metabolism boosting, fat burning properties which are so important to heal and prevent obesity. 

Here's my list of fat burning antioxidant rich, metabolism boosting fruits for weight loss

Grapefruit. The keto diet doesn't allow grapefruit, but I use it in protein shakes (with all the membrane, seeds and even some rind) and it helped me lose weight big time. Plus it has tons of vitamin C and vitamin A plus lycopene. Grapefruit, with low net carbs, is also low GI diet friendly and good to heal diabetes. And the membrane acts as a fat flushing liver cleanse. Win-win-win! 

Tomatoes. Another keto no-no, I use tomatoes, which their antioxidant rich seeds and lycopene goodness to lose weight

Apples. Loaded with fat burning fiber and antioxidant goodness, apples were part of how I lost 100 pounds.

Berries. Raspberries, strawberries and blackberries, with their high fiber seeds, work as fat flushing liver cleanses. Blueberries are good too, but I just don't like them as much LOL. 

Watermelon. This is a great fiber fat flushing liver cleanse properties and is full of lycopene. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Covid 19 exhaustion, vaccine side effects or diet burnout or stalled metabolism (or something else)?

Hi guys checking in to share an update on my bout with Covid 19. Since getting the virus,  I've been unable to shake symptoms of exhaustion, anxiety, agoraphobia and paranoia. I also started dieting again to lose weight gained after shoulder surgery. I'm not sure if it's diet burnout or stalled metabolism (from Covid 19 or too much calorie restricting) or some combination or something else entirely. 

In May, I had three weeks of intense Covid 19 symptoms, including persistent cough, congestion, headache, weight loss, dehydration, nausea, body aches, recurrent fever and diarrhea. I decided to get the two-prong Pfizer vaccine just to be safe and had to wait two weeks. Then there was a 3-week wait period for the second vaccine. It's been about 2.5 weeks since the last one but the exhaustion will not go away. I've tried vitamin B 100 and upping the iron. I can't say I feel a big difference but am going to give it time. 

I also have a weird sensation of agoraphobia and have to force myself to leave the house. Once I'm outside, I'm better, but still tired. I'm usually a very energetic person. Prior to shoulder surgery, I was a Shipt shopper and plan to go back to Shipt when I'm cleared to lift 25 pounds. But I'm dreading going back. I feel paranoia driving and anxiety just being in the store. 

I guess it's not true paranoia as I don't fear people or have suspicious thoughts. I'm just more nervous and worried. I've tried eating more than the 1200 calorie diet, hoping that carb and calorie restricting is causing a metabolism drop and lowered resistance to anxiety, stress, etc. I honestly think metabolism is the key here. But I worry that it's not. (Do you get the vicious cycle going on here?)

As for the agoraphobia, I know I just have to push past it. Once I get back to Shipt, I'm hoping I'll just be too busy to think about it. If that works, I'll know it's not true agoraphobia because it's not managed that easily. So that will be a relief. It's weird too because I had a lot of anxiety with obesity and anxiety in part caused obesity. With weight loss, a lot of depression was healed. I've been able to lose weight and I feel better about that. 

And then there are the voices in my head that tell me I'm just imagining or exaggerating it. But Al-Anon has taught me that this is unhealthy stinkin thinkin.  Then I worry that I'm just lazy. That was anathema, growing up. Work till ya burnout (stinkin thinkin). Give too much. Try to fix everyone's problems (more stinkin thinkin). But God forbid you're lazy. So I became a Type A overachiever and ended up feeling like a failure every time I couldn't go above and beyond. 

In times past, I didn't take my feelings seriously (another link to obesity, believe it or not). I still don't sometimes. I have to stonewall before I realize there's a problem. I don't always trust myself and second-guessed all the time. That led to tons of problems. Al-Anon has also taught me that easy does it. And (I love this Al-Anon slogan) don't just do something, sit there. So I'm going to give myself space to feel what I feel. Just like I would any friend who was experiencing similar things. 

Thanks for walking through this with me. I'm learning that weight loss is about a lot more than calorie restricting or diet! It's about mental health and self-awareness. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Body-shaming paradox: thin-shaming is more acceptable than fat-shaming (but shouldn't be)


A few days ago, I discussed how Valerie Bertinelli responded to a fat-shaming commenter who told her to "lose weight." Now clearly, body-shaming is wrong. But it is also sometimes misunderstood as being exclusively fat-shaming. But thin-shaming exists too and it is more socially acceptable. And what's worst of all, thin-shaming is most often done by the very people who are fat-shamed. The bullied become the bullies, as it were. 

Let's look at the show "My 600-lb Life" which explores morbid obesity. These people seeking weight loss have been ridiculed for being overweight. And that's disgusting. But there's a myth that only overweight people have scale struggles. Shows like "My 600-lb Life" make it look like weight loss is the only battle and being thin is the ultimate goal. 

However "underweight" people dread the scale too, only for the opposite reason. I got overweight and then obese and then I lost 100 pounds. But I have several family members who cannot gain weight. When my husband and I had Covid 19, we both lost weight. I was happy, but he was horrified to lose weight. He has been "underweight" for much of his life. And guess who gained the weight back right away--me. All I had to do was look at food again and bam! it was back, while weight gain for him has been an uphill climb. 

And back to thin-shaming, I noticed the difference in people's response to our Covid 19 weight loss. And it could be construed as body-shaming. When he told people that he lost 17 pounds, many said "wow! you couldn't afford to lose weight!" Whereas no one said to me, "well that's okay because you could afford to!" That would obviously have been body-shaming.   

So albeit the "thin-shaming" was unintentional. But the message was clear. It said "you are already too thin and should gain." And it shows how people who would never call someone overweight, feel free to comment on what they perceive as "underweight." Some people believe that they are complimenting, but if so, it's back-handed. 

The problem we all had with the Valerie Bertinelli commenter was her pointing out that Bertinelli needed to "lose weight" as if, as Valerie said, "I didn't have a mirror or scale." Like she didn't know her weight and it was necessary to inform her. And therein lies the problem I have with people telling my husband that he "couldn't afford" the weight loss and why I say it's body-shaming. 

Just like Valerie Bertinelli, he has a mirror and a scale. He knows what he weighs. He feels body-conscious and embarrassed about being "underweight" as others feel being overweight. He doesn't need anyone pointing it out and rubbing salt in the wound, thanks just the same. 

People who struggle with obesity sometimes can't imagine how anyone could not want to be slim. They may envy, to the point of hating, people who can "eat anything they want and not gain weight." Well, hello, "underweight" people feel the same way only in reverse. I lost 100 pounds and it was lots of work. But not as hard as weight gain is. For some, it's literally impossible. More later on that. 

And then there's the name-calling. We would never, at least not these day, call someone size-based names. We don't even use the word "fat" anymore. But no one seems to have a problem saying skinny, and worse. I've even heard "malnourished" used. Many assume that slender people have an eating disorder like anorexia! But we'd never point out that obesity is an eating disorder!

So how about we just stop commenting on people's size, period? How about we mind our own damn business and if we've nothing positive to say, shut up. Whether it's anorexia or obesity like on "My 600-lb Life", it's just (as Valerie Bertinelli famously said) "not effing helpful." 

Keto, intermittent fasting,1200 calorie diet: which is best for weight loss?

Ask anybody which is the best diet for weight loss and you'll get a different answer every time.  High protein, 5:2 diet, intermittent fasting, calorie restricting, Atkins, keto, 1200 calorie diet--yikes, so many choices. If you're trying to lose weight, which should you use? I lost 100 pounds and my answer is, yes. 

Yes, you should follow a diet for weight loss. So we've narrowed that down not at all, you're thinking. Actually, we have. Because the best advice for weight loss is to change something rather than nothing. Obesity comes from eating the same high calorie, sugary, high-carb and high fat foods. To lose weight, I had to shift my eating to a lower, slower gear. 

Just look at the overweight folks on "My 600-lb Life" who have developed lifestyle obesity with chronic overconsumption. The only thing they change is to increase the amount they eat and that's why gastric bypass becomes the inevitable solution. But even with gastric bypass, "My 600-lb Life" patients have to change eating habits and lose weight before they have surgery. 

Gastric bypass surgeon Dr Now of "My 600-lb Life" puts patients on a 1200 calorie diet. That's how I lost 100 pounds, with calorie restricting. But I also used some keto tools, upping protein, fiber and fatty acids to burn fat. And I used the 5:2 diet, a form of intermittent fasting. I also eat high protein Atkins type foods. I'm not hardcore any one diet but rather, I do as Al-Anon says and take what I like and leave the rest. 

Speaking of Al-Anon, a 12-step program is very helpful for dealing with obesity as well as alcoholism. I use Al-Anon slogans (and some I've made up myself, like "mind over platter") with a variety of calorie restricting plans that I change up from time to time. I know, most eating plans like the 1200 calorie diet, keto and intermittent fasting, say that you have to exclusively follow that plan to lose weight. Sorry, but for me, not true. I've always mixed it up and it's how I lost 100 pounds. 

So if you want to lose weight, I say just pick what sounds good and try it for awhile. Oh, that's one thing I forgot to say. I didn't switch it up immediately. You've got to give any diet a month or so, at least, to see results. And only mix it up when it stops working. Blessings and best of British luck on the weight loss, friends! 

Monday, July 12, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds with the social justice diet: spiritual fasting for weight loss and just to be a good human

Hello friends! Sunday at mass, we heard a priest from Kenya speak on conditions of hunger in developing nations. And it occurred to me that on this weight loss blog, I talk a lot about hunger. But I haven't a clue on it means to starve. Today's thoughts center on how I lost 100 pounds by eating a social justice diet. 

What is social justice as determined by the Catholic church? It involves many things: outreach, sharing, giving, praying. Those are not just actions I should perform on Sunday, or when I happen to think about it. Just as in weight loss, social justice must be a daily habit. It's not about throwing a few bucks in the collection plate, and then back to business as usual. It's about living in solidarity with the poor. 

I lost 100 pounds by relearning how to eat simpler, cleaner and less. I call this the social justice diet because eating less helps everyone. We see on the show "My 600-lb Life" examples of morbid obesity brought on by eating too much junk. I know, some weight loss experts would like us not to call any food bad. But "My 600-lb Life" proves a steady diet of unhealthy, addictive, sugary, starchy, greasy, breaded and fried foods ain't good...for the body, the planet, the population or our entire world infrastructure. 

"My 600-lb Life" Dr. Now uses a 1200 calorie diet which is a great place to begin weight loss. But it's also about what's on that 1200 calorie diet. To shed obesity, I eat fresher, simpler homemade, closer to the farm, less processed and fewer fast food meals. This social justice diet helps everyone: farmers, growers, animals, environment and those in need. 

I practice spiritual fasting, a type of intermittent fasting called for by Catholic social justice. I give up certain foods and eat less of others. Spiritual fasting calls for eating less expensive restaurant food and more simple home-cooked meals, which is perfect for weight loss and family bonding and saving money. 

And what's cool about eating a 1200 calorie diet of simpler meals, not only do I lose weight and manage obesity, I'm spending less, thinking less about food, more satisfied and happier emotionally. Spiritual fasting gives me more time and energy to put into helping those in need instead of creating need with rampant consumerism. 

(Top picture is me before I lost 100 pounds and bottom is after.) 

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Covid 19 vaccine, weight loss, exhaustion, anemia, depression and metabolism issues

Hello friends, just an update on my experience with Covid 19 illness, followed by vaccine side effects. For the past two months, I've been struggling with weight loss, depression, anemia, exhaustion and metabolism issues. I'm not sure if they're lingering effects of Covid, the Pfizer Covid 19 vaccine, restarting my 1200 calorie diet, all of the above or none. 

I'm tired all the time since contacting Covid in mid May. All the other symptoms, besides exhaustion, were under control (fever, dehydration, weight loss, lack of hunger, aches, cough, headache, nausea, diarrhea) so I went ahead and had the two-prong Pfizer Covid 19 vaccine. Since then, I have no energy. I'm tired most of the time and can barely walk outside without feeling exhausted. I suspect, but haven't been tested for, anemia problems. I also get cold very easily which tells me it's a metabolism thing. 

I also restarted the 1200 calorie diet to lose weight gained during shoulder surgery recuperation. As I've said before, though, a 1200 calorie diet is probably closer to 800 calories per day. I'm not hungry and food just doesn't taste as good. I do take garcinia cambogia, raspberry ketones and green tea, so I'm losing body fat and getting leaner. But actual weight loss has stalled.  That's another pointer to metabolism issues. 

You'd think the green tea at least would give me energy. I'm not sure about the raspberry ketones. I  know both are antioxidants, which do boost metabolism and energy. I also take B12 but am thinking of switching to B-complex. For the anemia, I'm adding iron supplements and we'll see if that helps. 

I have had sleep apnea which was controlled with weight loss and CPAP. I no longer use the CPAP for sleep apnea because it caused sinus problems, but I wonder if I should restart. Oh and the chronic nightmares have been off the charts, so clearly I'm not sleeping right. But husband says my sleep apnea snoring is better, so IDK. 

Right now, I'm less concerned about weight loss than getting my energy level back up. Quite frankly, this exhaustion scares me. I went through decades of untreated and mistreated depression and anxiety. I got overweight and then obese. But to treat obesity, I had to treat these other issues and vice versa. Now that obesity is no longer a problem, I'm just not sure. Maybe it's one of the lingering effects of Covid that I'll just have to live with. 

I'll keep you posted. If you have any ideas, please share. Thanks in advance. <3

Friday, July 9, 2021

Valerie Bertinelli's response to body-shaming resonates with those trying to lose weight (and everyone else!)

Found on Youtube, Valerie Bertinelli responding to a critic who told her she needs to lose weight. And boy do I empathize with Ms. Bertinelli's emotional response. Like her, I've had weight loss challenges for awhile. I've lost weight and regained some. I've been underweight, obese, overweight and normal weight. I've struggled with body image dysmorphia and anorexia. 

I'm certainly no celebrity but I  have written for Yahoo and well remember the nasty comments on articles, that had nothing to do with the content, pointing out that I was overweight. I remember the fat jokes from elementary and middle school. When I lost a bunch of weight and got too skinny, they were still body-shaming about how I was too thin. And then I bounced up again, lather, rinse repeat. 

I especially feel Valerie's frustration about how at 61, she's still dealing with it. And I just have to shake my head. She's so beautiful. You wonder how she could have body image issues and even more, how anyone could find anything negative to say.  But I know firsthand how body image dysmorphia can haunt you, especially when someone makes uncalled for comments. 

But therein lies the rub. The chicken came before the egg. I doubt we'd worry so much about weight if there weren't people to tell us to. The point of nasty comments is to undermine self-worth. Because what are body image issues but low self-esteem unclothed? That commenter knew exactly what she was doing. You don't accidentally tell someone to lose weight. She wasn't misunderstood. You have to go out of your way to be that rude. 

As for feeling bad, neither age nor experience nor maturity have anything to do with it. We can be as attractive as, well, Valerie. We can lose all the weight we want and get to a happy place, or if not, a better one. But all it takes is one low-blow slam and we're right back in the middle school locker room. 

And to those who say just ignore, rise above, shake it off, etc, also not helpful.  We're already angry with ourselves for letting it bother us. And easier said than done. We know we should ignore it and are trying to. And also, not the point. We're not incapable of rising above. We're just sick of  having to. It's not about shutting out negativity but shutting it up! 

How I lost 100 pounds dropping the handheld: breadless recipes for weight loss

In today's installment of diet recipes and tips, we're going to explore how I lost 100 pounds by dropping the handhelds. Handheld, once the purview of the digital cadre, has invaded restaurant jargon particularly the pub grub scene. Pizza, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, brats, egg rolls, hotdogs, calzones, subs are now so-named handheld because you can hold them without getting messy. And what makes that possible? A bread-based wrapper of some sort. Which is minty keen for juggling the sammich and remote, or darts, beer and brat. But not if you want to lose weight. All those hyper-carb foods are death to diet. Here are breadless diet food swap recipes for weight loss. 

Let us begin with a lil rationale. So  I watch "My 600-lb Life" which explores morbid obesity and weight loss via gastric bypass. Every, I mean EVERY overweight person eats handhelds and lots of them. Pizza and burgers seem to be the "My 600-lb Life" favorites. "My 600-lb Life" Dr. Now's 1200 calorie diet calls for nixing anti-keto "white foods" (bread, buns, rolls, rice, pasta, potatoes and even corn, which isn't really a white food but just as bad cuz it's so carb-y-starch-y.) 

I lost 100 pounds without a gastric bypass, but I did follow a gastric bypass type 1200 calorie diet. And I get why no white foods. You can't afford the high calorie price on the 1200 calorie diet. Not if you want to get full. One hotdog, brat or piece of pizza is about half that with the bun, meat, cheese and sloppings. And I don't know about you, but ain't no way one piece a pizza gonna fill me up. So I make up recipes with diet food swaps

Tonight, I made breadless keto pizza rolls, I guess you'd call them. I cooked pepper, onions, mushrooms and turkey pepperoni in carb smart spaghetti sauce. I topped with a little mozzarella, parmesan (very keto friendly) and bacon bits. I rolled some in spinach leaves for crustless pizza rolls. I've also put toppings in pepperoni for bite-size pizza rolls. I saved tons of calories and never missed the crust. These are perfect for charcuterie, tailgate parties, and anytime you need weight loss recipes on the go. Sorry I got no pictures...done et the whole plate (only 200 calories, woo-hoo!) 

Weight loss roadblocks: When is diet fail more than just a "fattitude" problem?

Greetings friends! Today's post about how I lost 100 pounds focuses on diet fail, or when weight loss doesn't happen, despite your best efforts. Along the path there were and are still roadblocks. What caused me not to lose weight varied. Sometimes it was a "fattitude" problem (an obesity mindset that causes one to cheat on diet and then play the blame-shame game). Other times it was a completely different problem. I've talked about fattitude but now let's explore when weight loss fail is something more. 

Lately, I've been really tired, like exhausted, where before I had loads of energy, especially after weight loss. Even in obesity I've had more energy than I do now, it seems. It feels like I've tried everything: vitamins, sleep, working less, getting out more. I even tried working more, on the "damn the torpedoes" theory that more is more, you know, don't just sit there, do something? Not a very healthy theory--and one usually espoused by people who have never felt depression and exhaustion, just saying. And  I'm frustrated because those things worked once. So what has changed?

Well, we were under Covid 19 quarantine for over a year. Plus, I've been off work for a long shoulder surgery recovery. Plus, my husband and I had a prolonged bout of Covid 19 followed by vaccinations which gave us Covid 19 like symptoms. Plus, for over 4 years, my husband has been working 12-hour nights and weekends. I've tried to keep up with that schedule, staying up late when he's home so he doesn't have to change his schedule and so we can actually see each other, then going to bed earlier when he's working. 

Plus I've been working to lose weight again and following the 1200 calorie diet. I'm probably actually eating a lot less than 1200 calories. So finally, I'm adding these things up and finding, if not solutions, at least awareness. Because if I've learned one thing from coronavirus (Covid 19) and also weight loss, it's to take nothing for granted. Pay attention to and factor in all details. 

When I was deep in obesity, I ignored, downplayed, grinned and bore, and stuffed a lot of stuff (like my grammar, LOL?). Emotions, stressful situations, the fact that I was way overweight. And anytime something went wrong, or I thought it had or someone else thought it had, I went into auto blame-shame. I took responsibility for a lot of things that weren't my problem or that I couldn't fix. That was part of the fattitude and how I got overweight in the first place. 

I think I'm doing that again: getting out of touch with needs, letting blame-shame voices in my head tell me I'm failing or lazy when I'm just tired. I'm probably not taking into account lowered metabolism from eating or resting too little and generally not taking care of myself. And we none of us know much about the long-term effects of coronavirus or that vaccine. Exhaustion and depression could very well be lingering effects.

I think I need to give myself permission to feel the tiredness and do what I can to feel better. If it works, keep doing it, if not, stop. This is how I lost 100 pounds the first time around. And while I'd like to lose weight again, this is about more than weight loss. It's about getting healthier metabolism, biorhythms and emotional balance. 

Thanks so much for reading! This was a meandering post but necessary. Because I suspect I'm not alone in these struggles, with weight loss but also with emotional wellness. If you need permission to take care of yourself, let me be the one to give it you <3 Love, mar

Thursday, July 8, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds by unwrapping food: breadless recipes for weight loss

If you're old like me, LOL, you might remember "impossible pie" recipes in which the unbaked crust was put on top and baked up through. I do something like this with my diet food swaps. However I not only flip it upside down, I shake it out and eliminate it all together. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was by unwrapping foods and breadless recipes. I'll explain. 

"My 600-lb Life" shows how morbid obesity originates, as pre-gastric bypass patients try to lose weight. And a ubiquitous item on the table is food wrapped in bread of some kind: tacos, tortillas, pizza, sandwiches, cheeseburgers, egg rolls, pasta, potato based casseroles, etc. It takes a lot of carbs and starch to feed overweight bodies. "My 600-lb Life" Dr. Now's 1200 calorie diet slashes almost all carbs in anticipation of and after gastric bypass. 

It's not just "My 600-lb Life" folks who eat tons of bread-based stuff. Food wrapped in bread is so popular that it's now referred to as "handhelds" on restaurant menus. The bread slices of today are actually designed as "holders" for food. It's no wonder with this bread obsession, so many of us are overweight. So, for optimum weight loss, gastric bypass patients are told to put down the handhelds: buns, sandwiches, pizza, tacos, tortillas, etc., and nix "white foods" (bread, corn, rice, potatoes and pasta). 

I lost 100 pounds by losing the white foods, going breadless and "de-breading" and ergo, decarbing recipes. I follow a 1200 calorie diet which doesn't allow for a lot of high-calorie carbs. So I empty out the handhelds and eat just the filling or topping. I make taco salad, wonton-less egg roll filling, protein salads, crustless pizza (just the topping) and bun-less burgers. I wrap sandwich stuff in lettuce leaves and burritos in cabbage leaves (that's the correct way). 

When I do eat bread, it's keto. My diet food swaps use keto type legume pasta, coconut and almond flour, cauliflower pizza crust and high fiber oatmeal. I switched from grains to seeds. These boost metabolism and lower blood sugar (and hence diabetes). I found that to lose weight, obesity and diabetes, I didn't need gastric bypass. I lost 100 pounds and increased metabolism, following the 1200 calorie diet and balancing fiber, protein and carbs. That's where the keto term "net carbs" comes from. I'll talk more about that later. 

You might be thinkin, yeah that's great for weight loss, but you must be hungry all the time. Not really. I found I could lose weight and stay full on this low carb "keto" type diet because I'm eating a lot of protein.  Also, as I shed obesity, I filled up faster than I did when I was overweight. When I just gotta have some of 'dem white foods, I'll use a little bit. For example, today's diet food swap was a taco salad with two crushed tortilla chips sprinkled on top. It hit the sweet spot without the calorie blitz. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds by drinking more: fat burner beverages for weight loss

Hi guys! Yep, you read that title correctly: how I lost 100 pounds by drinking more, and yes, even alcohol (in moderation).  Not drinking enough of right things (water) and too much of the wrong things (sugary drinks) leads to obesity. But reverse that and watch the weight loss! Here's how to drink right and why you should. 

Let's start with drinking wrong. I have to shake my head when gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life" blame "water weight" or water retention when they fail to lose weight. Like water weight is different than just being overweight? And it's weird because they never drink water and over-consume sugary beverages. But the "My 600-lb Life" folks might be right about one thing: they probably do have water retention. 

Overeating, under-drinking good fluids and over-drinking bad ones is an obesity trifecta as "My 600-lb Life" shows. First, food cannot digest without liquid (welcome stored fat) however some liquids actually obstruct digestion (more stored fat). And while not drinking enough leads to dehydration and water retention, so does drinking too much of the wrong ones. Because...

Alcohol, sugary drinks, soda (even diet), caffeinated beverages and fruit juice dry you out but don't flush you out. They make you thirsty without quenching thirst. Your body retains fluid to keep hydrated. But that toxifies when you don't pee it out. You get UTI's from trapped bacteria. You drink more, gain weight, still feel thirsty, lather, rinse, repeat. 

Even plain water can dehydrate, weirdly, as I found when I had Covid 19. Plain water lacks electrolytes (calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium mineral salts) which help the body process water. Yes, too much salt dehydrates but some is necessary for absorption. To lose weight and stay hydrated, I drink bottled water with electrolytes, Emergen'C and green tea with lemon and lime. 

Oh, and another problem with alcohol, sugary drinks and fruit juice is that they cause insulin spikes. Your liver can't produce insulin fast enough to process the sugar so it stores it as fat. Your metabolism slows and you get insulin resistance (metabolic syndrome) and overweight.  Fighting obesity is about drinking enough water with electrolytes and avoiding the sugary bevvies. 

The jury is still out on some aspects of caffeine and wine for weight loss. Certain caffeinated beverages are antioxidant appetite suppressants. Drinking coffee and green tea helped me lose weight by curbing hunger. Caffeine also boosts metabolism and helps flush fat but it dehydrates and can make you hungrier. Red wine is an antioxidant but not an appetite suppressant. It also loaded with sugar and calories and causes dehydration. Whatever you drink, make sure you're peeing enough. And watch the color of your urine. More on that later. 


Monday, July 5, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds embracing grief vs. minimizing sorrow

 I've been blogging about how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or a weight loss drug. And while some discussion centers on diet tips to lose weight, probably more of it deals with psychological issues. It is easy to misunderstand obesity as just a physical thing. But I got overweight from not dealing with mental health concerns like depression and grief. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to acknowledge grief rather than burying my sorrow. 

The gastric bypass reality show "My 600-lb Life" proves the importance of that in weight loss. Overweight participants on "My 600-lb Life" share stories of grief and trauma and how they led to obesity. I experienced weight gain after losing two stillborn daughters and taking the antidepressant Paxil. My obesity did not reach the extent of those on "My 600-lb Life"but only because I was blessed to catch it in time and lose weight. As Al-Anon says, there but for the grace go I. All of us actually.

So getting overweight had to do with repressed emotions, trauma and stress. And losing weight had to do with giving them their airspace. No blame shame game, but it essential feeling all that went with it: anger, resentment and maybe even some bitterness for a little while. Acknowledging every feeling as neither right nor wrong, says Al-Anon, is how we get to a healthier place. 

It was also important to turn a deaf ear to some unhelpful comments. People in grief do not need to be exhorted, perked up, pontificated to or chided. We don't need .  to be told what to do. We are not stupid, we are hurt. We need sympathy, empathy and space. 

Grief is personal and it takes every person her own time to deal with. I'm not saying we should dwell on pain but sometimes, we hurry the process. We end up compartmentalizing and stuffing emotions as Al-Anon would say. And define "Dwelling on." It varies by person. After a death, for example, one person may be feeling better after a month. Others may take a year or longer. And you never "get over" losing someone. You may hopefully get to a place where it hurts less.

How are grief and weight gain related?Sometimes we turn to food for the comfort we aren't getting elsewhere. Sometimes depression causes us not to care for ourselves. Listening to other people too much and ourselves not enough disconnects our physical and emotional selves.

So weight loss for me was about owning my feelings, learning to do what I needed to do to heal, and giving myself permission to take all the time I needed. If you need someone to give you that permission let it be me. Love and healing, my friends.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds reversing polarity: lose negativity, lose weight

This blog explores how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or a weight loss drug. Now while I could talk diet all day long, the bigger piece of the weight loss puzzle is psychology, what I call "mind over platter." For every food conversation there 15 mental health ones that need to be had. Because you can't heal obesity or any physical health problem without looking at the emotional component first. Ain't no gastric bypass can help if ya bypass that step.

Many of us got overweight from what Al-Anon calls stinkin thinkin. Today's anti-stinkin thinkin talk is on magnetic poles (positivity vs. negativity). The show "My 600-lb Life" reveals that many who struggle with obesity are stuck in the negative polarity. Depression can lead to obesity and being overweight is depressing. But changing the polarity can interrupt this dangerous circuit and help with weight loss. 

To lose weight, "My 600-lb Life" get help with gastric bypass but also breaking that stinkin thinkin cycle. I did that too and it was part of how I lost 100 pounds. Like the folks on "My 600-lb Life" I had to root out and address unpleasant issues (some directly linked to how I got overweight), to sort it, as the Brits would say. Not compartmentalize, but sometimes that can help. Some problems, as Al-Anon teaches, I just had to accept would never be any different and move on. 

The trick was to get out of the rut, or habit of negativity.  I had to unstick from backward, downward thinking and cling to forward, upward thoughts to lose weight but also depression and anxiety. Does negativity still haunt me? You bet. It can really pull me down if I let it. So I work at positivity, one day (sometimes moment) at a time thing, as the Al-Anon slogan says. 

There's an old Johnny Mercer song I use as a positivity mantra: "You got to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative and watch out for Mr. In-Between. You got to spread joy up to the maximum, bring gloom down to the minimum, have faith or pandemonium like to walk in upon the scene!" 

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Calorie restricting or intermittent fasting for weight loss? How I lost 100 pounds mixing it up

 There's a lot of discussion among weight loss gurus as to whether calorie restricting or intermittent fasting works best to lose weight. Obesity expert Dr. Now of "My 600 lb Life" puts his gastric bypass patients on a 1200 calorie diet. While sources like Eat This Not That lean toward intermittent fasting. I'm no expert but I did lose weight and lots of it. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to mix it up. 

I follow a 1200 calorie diet but I also occasionally skip meals, which is essentially intermittent fasting. I have also used a bread and water fast 2 days a week, essentially the 5:2 diet, and lost 35 lb without even trying. I can't go all day without eating. And it's not recommended even for those with morbid obesity on "My 600-lb Life." Even the intermittent fasting theorists don't advise full day fasts. Time restricted feeding, eating only in an 8 hour period is more preferable for weight loss. 

Unfortunately, neither the 5:2 diet nor time restricted feeding would work to lose weight with "My 600-lb Life" type obesity. Time restricted feeding does not address what to eat only when. The 5:2 diet lets you eat whatever you want for 5 days. Most people got overweight because of the foods they eat. That's why Dr. Now's 1200 calorie diet requires not only calorie restricting but changing eating habits for pre and post  gastric bypass weight loss.

I lost 100 pounds, without gastric bypass,  using a combination diet plans. I follow time restricted feeding with calorie restricting. I flip flop the 5:2 diet to 5 days of 1200 calorie diet and 2 days of bread and water fast. Sometimes I do 6:1, 6 days dieting and one cheat day.  And I change it up as needed. I found that weight loss stalled when I did the same thing, even the right thing, for too long. If what I am doing isn't working to lose weight, I try something else. Sometimes that means eating more. That sounds weird but it's how I lost 100 pounds ❤️😀

Blog Archive