Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Covid 19 update: a weird and scary new aftereffect

 Hey guys, just checking in to let you know what's going on not only with weight loss but also Covid 19 (coronavirus) recovery. We had Covid 19, with all the trimmings in May. We got the Pfizer vaccine in July. I'm still struggling with exhaustion, depression, metabolism and lethargy. My husband is working to regain his 17-lb (in 10 days) weight loss. So we're what they call "long-haulers" in that it's taken months to shake the effects of Covid 19. And most recently, I discovered a new post Covid surprise that's both weird and scary: hair loss. 

I've been noticing that clumps hair come out when I wash or brush my hair. There are masses of hair on the pillow each morning. I thought it was because I haven't been hungry or eating much. So I Googled "coronavirus hair loss" and sure enough, about one third of us "long-haulers" are experiencing effluvium (aka hair loss). I'm relieved to know what it is, but worried because this may be permanent, says the CDC.  It doesn't help the depression. 

The CDC explained that fever and stress of coronavirus is what causes the effluvium.  Both my husband and I had "revolving door" fevers that came and went for almost two weeks. Fever induced dehydration was a problem and that caused both weight loss and metabolism issues. We're working to rebuild electrolytes, particularly magnesium and potassium. But in the meantime, I keep shedding hair by the hands-full. 

As one of the long-haulers, and not a statistic, I'm lucky. If exhaustion, depression and effluvium are the worst that happens, I can deal. My breathing problems didn't get to full-blown pneumonia, just bronchitis. But the death toll keeps rising. My prayer email box has new Covid 19 cases and losses, daily. Please, get the vaccine. And wear a mask. For the health of it. You're too precious to lose. Love mar.  


PS, the short side of my hair isn't from hair loss. It's my new retro punk look, LOL. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Calorie restricting alone won't lose weight: study offers #1 weight loss tip

This blog is about how I lost 100 pounds, (top photo is today and bottom is 10 years ago) without gastric bypass or a "packaged" diet program. To lose weight, I wrote my own program, using elements of keto, intermittent fasting and a 1200 calorie diet like that used by gastric bypass patients with morbid obesity, on "My 600-lb Life." I also follow current weight loss research and trends. And recently, "Eat This Not That" shared a study that found that calorie restricting alone won't lose weight. Calorie restricting can actually keep a person overweight. 

The study in "Eat This Not That" revealed surprise links between extreme calorie restricting such as the 800 calorie diet, intermittent fasting, obesity, and even the more generous 1200 calorie diet (which I used to lose weight). The findings show that overeating alone is not what makes us overweight. It's WHAT we eat and not just how much. 

This should come as no surprise to anyone who is working to lose weight. However I see one problem: it presumes a dichotomy: that weight loss means either calorie restricting or eating certain foods such as a keto diet plan. The two are not mutually exclusive, as "My 600-lb Life" shows. The path to obesity is paved with overeating AND poor food choices. The 1200 calorie diet Dr. Now puts patients on, is very clear about what to eat and what to avoid. For example, it nixes "white foods" (potatoes, rice, white bread and pasta). 

The problem is further complicated by the fact that our bodies do not want us to lose weight. The innate survival instinct is to prevent weight loss, even with "My 600-lb Life" type obesity. The keto diet promises weight loss by restricting carbs and eating fats, fiber and protein. But keto is also not a very sustainable diet and calorie deprivation, regardless of kind, can also cause the body to store fat and stay overweight. Having said that, calorie restricting and eating a low carb, high fiber and protein diet is how I lost 100 pounds. 

So what am I saying? That weight loss requires moderation, of eating and over-indulging in overprocessed, calorie-dense foods with low nutritional value. Stay tuned the daily meal plan that helped me lose 100 pounds. 

Friday, September 10, 2021

Lose weight (I did!) with keto diet and calorie restricting food swaps for BBQ and pulled pork

Hi I'm mar and I'm a BBQ ribs and pulled pork addict! I was also very overweight and needed to lose weight. So I wrote calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet food swap recipes to satisfy my BBQ addiction. Here's how I lost 100 pounds (without gastric bypass) while still enjoying pulled pork, BBQ ribs and other smoked meat favorites! Oh, and these antioxidant rich fat burning food swaps boost metabolism, help prevent obesity and are keto diet friendly, too. You not only could, but should, eat these BBQ entrees for weight loss! 

First a little background. I follow the gastric bypass weight loss show "My 600-lb Life." The overweight participants on "My 600-lb Life" are shown, before (and sometimes after) gastric bypass, eating very non-calorie restricting foods. And though "My 600-lb Life" shows very extreme examples of obesity, they are nevertheless, not uncommon. 

About 75 percent of Americans are overweight. Obesity is a problem in others countries that eat the "western diet." The foods "My 600-lb Life" folks crave are the same foods that have led so many of us to obesity, so that's where I've begun with my calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet food swaps. And BBQ ribs and pulled pork are major favorites. But happily, these foods aid can be made to aid keto weight loss with antioxidant metabolism boosters, fat burning fruits and high protein meat.  

Begin with leaner cuts of meat to lose weight. I actually prefer pulled chicken to pulled pork. But if you want pulled pork, use pork loin. If you crave BBQ ribs, trim as much fat as possible and stew them in a slow cooker to "melt off" fat. Yes, keto encourages fat, so if you're hardcore keto, skip this step. If you're calorie restricting (how I lost 100 pounds), this alone will lower calories and make them more 1200 calorie diet friendly. 

Next, make sugarless BBQ or pulled pork sauce with erythritol or monkfruit sweetener instead of sugar. Erythritol is actually keto-approved. But my preferred way is to skip erythritol or any sweetener and sweeten BBQ sauce with fruit, to get fat burning, metabolism boosting antioxidant goodness. I've used all kinds of fruits in BBQ sauce: berries, peaches, mangoes, apples, pineapple, lemons, limes, even grapefruit! I chop fruit and add a little chopped bell pepper (rainbow preferred), simmer in water, add Worcestershire sauce, a dash of molasses, smoky chipotle (or liquid smoke), garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed and coriander. 

Braise ribs or simmer pork or chicken in sauce. Enjoy (and lose weight!) These diet food swaps are how I lost 100 pounds and am still keeping it off, seven years later! 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds eating out: Weight loss tips for restaurants

In yesterday's post on how I lost 100 pounds eating out, I got sidetracked on salads and didn't address the many other diet pitfalls at restaurants. The gastric bypass reality TV show "My 600-lb Life" demonstrates the link between obesity and dining out, especially on fast food. It's difficult to find diet food swaps and a lot of menu items actually create the cravings that make us overweight. But you can dine out and still lose weight if you follow these 25 weight loss tips for restaurants. Part of how I lost 100 pounds (without gastric bypass) was learning to navigate such calorie restricting unfriendly situations with diet food swaps. 

1) This step is crucial for restaurants in particular and fighting obesity in general. Order water with your meal. Not drinking enough plain water is a big part how we get overweight. You can see the results of this on "My 600-lb Life." The morbidly overweight participants are always drinking soda or other sugary beverages. And water is an appetite suppressant because it fills the stomach. 

2) Ask for lemon with your water. Lemon is a good salt substitute, fat burner, system cleanse and antioxidant metabolism booster. It will help your food digest better and prevents dehydration which, believe it or not, you can get from drinking too much water without electrolytes. (Learned that in my recent bout of Covid 19). 

3) Skip the alcohol and caffeine before or with meals, or if you do, order red wine. I lost 100 pounds and drank red wine (in moderation) throughout the process. I just factored it into my calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet. Red wine has resveratrol, an antioxidant fat burner which increases metabolism. It's also, however, an appetite stimulant like caffeine so drink very sparingly. Green tea, an appetite suppressant, is the exception. Drink coffee or tea after meals because they do increase metabolism. 

4) Eat out at restaurants where meals are served in courses. Fill up on soup and salad to lose weight. Most friendly to the keto diet, calorie restricting, 1200 calorie diet and even intermittent fasting. 

5) Ask for salad dressing served on the side and use less. Learn from "My 600-lb Life" Penny Seager, who drowned her salads in dressing then wondered why she failed weight loss after gastric bypass. Yes, keto advises eating fatty foods, but balanced with fiber, fatty acids and protein. Eating too much saturated fat and transfat was how many of us got overweight (diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol) in the first place.  

6) Choose vinegar and oil dressing instead of creamy dressings to lose weight and hypertension.

7) Choose broth soup or consommΓ© over heavy creamy soups and chowders for weight loss. 

7) Order grilled, baked or broiled entrees instead of sauteed, fried or deep-fried options. Along with sugar, fried foods are a direct cause of diabetes

8) Choose vegetables or baked potato instead of French fries, mashed potatoes, scalloped or hash browns. Ask for light butter on the side. Baked potatoes make pretty good diet food swaps. They aid weight loss by filling you up and providing electrolytes.  

9) Skip bread or rolls if served with the meal. Ask to swap a serving of veggies like cooked broccoli which is high in antioxidant electrolytes. 

10) Try vegetarian or vegan food swaps. Eggplant Parmesan is just as good, if not better than Veal Parmesan. 

11) Trade mayo based salads for vegetable salads. 

12) Pick keto preferred parmesan cheese instead of cheddar or saturated fat cheeses on your salad. 

13) Skip croutons on salads. 

14) Go easy on sauces, dips, condiments and spreads to lose obesity and diabetes. Skip the sour cream on a baked potato. 

15) Use lemon or malt vinegar for fish instead of tartar sauce. Lemon can actually reduce hypertension by simulating a salty flavor in a healthy way. 

16) Choose broiled instead of deep-fried fish. Diet food swaps # 15 and #16 can can cut calories by 80 percent alone. 

17) Trade high saturated fat ranch and sugary BBQ sauce dips for mustard or marinara sauce dipping sauce. 

18) Use lemon as a salt substitute. 

19) Opt for Splenda or keto approved erythritol for iced tea or coffee.  

20) Eat slowly. Do not rush through the meal. This will help you feel fuller. 

21) Order from the ala carte menu instead of the full dinner menu; portions tend to be very large in restaurants and it's harder to stay on that 1200 calorie diet. 

22) Choose restaurants which post nutrition data on the menu. 

23) Vegetarian fish and seafood are sometimes better for weight loss but not as filling. Better grilled fish choices are: marlin, swordfish, grilled yellow-fin tuna and baked salmon. 

24) Order sorbet, sherbet or fruit with non-dairy topping for dessert. 

25) Choose fresh fruit from the salad bar for dessert! 

For more on how I lost 100 pounds, stay tuned! 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds dining out: calorie restricting at restaurants

I wrote a post recently on how the "feel full" myth keeps us overweight after reading comments on a Facebook "My 600-lb Life" weight loss discussion group in which folks say they can't lose weight with calorie restricting on the 1200 calorie diet because it doesn't satisfy hunger. They're sure that foods like salads will never fill them up no matter how keto or protein-rich they are. Part of  how I lost 100 pounds (without gastric bypass) was by calorie restricting, using a gastric bypass 1200 calorie diet (and by eating a LOT of said protein salads πŸ˜€).  I also had to rethink satiation, hunger and food choices, especially when dining out. And I'm living proof that you can shed obesity and still eat at restaurants if you are will to make some diet food swaps. 

Case in point: last Saturday, a friend invited us out to Culver's to celebrate Covid 19 recovery. To maintain weight loss, I normally avoid fast food places like Culver's because the menu is not calorie restricting friendly! But I really wanted to visit so I figured I'd find diet food swaps that were 1200 calorie diet approved. I chose a cranberry bleu cheese salad with bacon and grilled chicken. It was only 460 calories with dressing and 44 grams of keto protein. There was also a pecan strawberry chicken salad and plain salad with grilled chicken all with high protein counts. The salad was delicious and super filling. I was actually more satisfied than my husband who had a patty melt and fries (after having Covid 19, he needs to gain not lose weight, LOL). I've found that fatty fried fast foods actually lower metabolism. 

I make these keto salads all the time and have created some delicious and filling diet recipes. I start with a base of spring mix or iceberg with purple cabbage and carrots. I've also used cole slaw mix. I add fresh berries (great fiber filled, metabolism boosting fat burners). I use various nuts and seeds (smoked almonds, pecans, chia, sunflower and my favorite, pumpkin seeds) which are also good fat burners for weight loss. Grilled chicken packs an intense protein punch and really helps lose weight. I've also used grilled salmon. I load up on vegetables high in electrolytes (tomatoes, avocados, red onions and cucumbers) Sometimes I make an Athenian or antipasto salad with olives and parmesan, bleu cheese or feta (more fat burners). 

The most important of the diet food swaps for salads is the dressing. You actually need some fat to properly digest leafy vegetables but I've seen overweight gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life" literally drowning salads in fatty dressing. Dips, spreads and dressings are some of the biggest obesity triggers, even the diet ones. But you can lose weight and have your dips and spreads by using less. I use light ranch and/or light raspberry vinaigrette to get that piquant sweet and sour taste but I only use half the serving size. These salads are high in electrolytes, vitamins and minerals and actually boost my metabolism. 

Eating these super salads was how I lost 100 pounds, beat obesity and now avoid getting overweight again. They're helping me stabilize electrolytes lost in my recent Covid 19 bout. 

Friday, September 3, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds with the "pancake principle" or how "feel full" hype fails weight loss

For those who just tuned in, this blog explores how I lost 100 pounds and kept it off, without gastric bypass. Today we look at how understanding hunger (what it is and what it isn't) helps lose weight and how the "feel full" hype can fail weight loss. I'll illustrate, using what I call the "pancake principle", but first some background. 

"My 600-lb Life" is a show that that chronicles morbid obesity and weight loss after gastric bypass. A common complaint on "My 600-lb Life" and even in the comments in online Facebook groups about "My 600-lb Life" is that they can't lose weight with calorie restricting, such as on the 1200 calorie diet, because they won't get full. 

It's like feeling hungry is something to be avoided at all costs. People eschew salads for lunch, for example, because they aren't "filling." To which I say, so? That misnomer is part of how we get overweight in the first place. The road to obesity is paved with overeating in an attempt to feel full. But feeling full is not satiation of hunger. That occurs much earlier in the meal, but takes awhile for the stomach to recognize. 

Now to that pancake principle. When I made pancakes for my kids, they'd devour the first round quickly and want seconds, which went down more slowly. Because the pancakes hadn't hit their stomachs, they'd ask for thirds, which they couldn't eat because in the time it took to cook them, the previous two had filled them up. This pancake principle is part of why we overeat. 

We keep eating past the point of satiation because we fear hunger and (worst yet) we don't even know when we're full. And the more overweight we get, the more food our bigger stomachs need to feel full. Further, as we head toward obesity, we develop cravings which get worse the more overweight we get. But happily, those cravings subside as you lose weight. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds by calorie restricting on the 1200 calorie diet and by deconstructing "cravings" (I've blogged about that earlier. I was surprised when I first began calorie restricting, how much I could eat on the 1200 calorie diet. After weight loss, I can eat salads, or even just a big box of spring mix and feel satisfied (actually really good because of all the minerals and electrolytes!) 
Even my rascally cat Mordecai (R) (who seriously overestimates his own hunger LOL) now thinks lettuce is a treat! His brother Moishe is not so convinced! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜

Thursday, September 2, 2021

"Perfect Strangers" Bronson Pinchot flaunts 60-lb Covid 19 lockdown weight loss

Looking up celebrity weight loss (or weight gain), I was tickled pink to find a video of Bronson Pinchot, (Balki of "Perfect Strangers") debuting his 60-lb weight loss. And the awesome thing about it was that he was able to lose weight during the Covid 19 pandemic lockdown! Plus, weight loss at 61 is wow-worthy in itself! 

Covid 19 lockdown was a time when many of us were getting overweight and even headed to obesity. Bronson Pinchot (one of my all-time favorite American actors, from one of my all-time favorite shows "Perfect Strangers" mid-80s sitcom in case you're too young to remember) actually got skinnier and super hot! especially with that bleach blonde fade! I think he looks even cuter than the Balki days! Who says 60s and almost-60s can't rock the hipster look?? Not me! (late adult onset punker, here LOL!) 

So what spurred Pinchot to lose weight? He says that his weight has always yo-yo-d, even on "Perfect Strangers", but recently when he looked in the mirror he saw "an old, fat man" looking back. So he cleaned out all the unhealthy food, gave it away and went to a plant-based diet. He's calorie restricting (by simply eating less) but not calorie counting. 

A lot of people, especially guys, eschew calorie counting. So maybe you don't have to micromanage calories but you do have to track, or at least control, something. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was calorie restricting with a 1200 calorie diet like the one used for gastric bypass. Pinchot's way way was to just delete everything but plant-based foods. Being in Covid 19 lockdown helped because there was no place to go to be around other food. 

When I started weight loss, I needed a plan to track eating and the calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet worked for me. It might work for you to lose weight or you might try Bronson's approach. Or keto. Or intermittent fasting (5:2 diet). Intermittent fasting helped me shed 35 pounds in 1992. It's all good as long as you work it and do weight loss in a healthy way. 

Bronson Pinchot said he also doesn't "do" scales. By which I think he's saying he doesn't babysit the scale daily. He'd have have to weight himself to know how much he's lost. But I get the point. Being over-obsessed with a number can actually derail weight loss as I've explained before. When I lost 100 pounds, I used the mirror more than the scale to track weight loss. 

What I mean is that we can say all we want about all body sizes being beautiful, but I do not feel my best overweight. Like Pinchot, I had an "epiphany" in which I saw my overweight self and didn't like what I saw. I acknowledged my obesity and got busy. There is a lot of self-denial in shedding obesity. But it is SOOO worth the payoff. Stay tuned to the end to see the adorbs so-Balki way he describes this <3 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Weird weight loss fact: Eating can help you lose weight (for real!)

 A friend just shared an interesting tidbit that confirms a weird but true thing I've found in weight loss: eating can make you lose weight. And conversely, eating too little can keep you overweight or make you gain. It's down to a little thing called metabolism (something I've been battling to boost since getting sick with Covid 19 in May). Part of how I lost 100 pounds (without gastric bypass) is by eating. I'll explain. 

Eat This Not That has been exploring eating plans like intermittent fasting such as the 5:2 Diet and calorie restricting ones like the 1200 calorie diet (made famous by reality TV gastric bypass surgeon Dr. Now of "My 600-lb Life.") The consensus is (and what my friend and I found in our weight loss experiences) was that when you get too hungry, as in extreme calorie restricting or intermittent fasting, your metabolism slows. 

Your body knows it needs food to survive. As one doc pointed out in a recent Eat This, Not That article was that your body actually doesn't like it when you lose weight, even if you are overweight. So your body says, "whoa, she's not eating enough. We gotta conserve fat here!" This happens even with obesity such as people suffer with on "My 600-lb Life." That's why "My 600-lb Life" Dr. Now recommends a 1200 calorie diet vs. intermittent fasting. The trick to weigh loss is moderate calorie restricting. 

I know I've discussed this before but undereating (stalling metabolism, etc.) is a trap folks looking to lose weight fall into. It's self-defeating because we get discouraged at weight loss fail and quit the diet. And extreme hunger zaps resources. In my 100 pound weight loss, I made this mistake. So now, in maintenance dieting, to avoid getting overweight again, I use the 1200 calorie diet. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Facebook Covid 19 recovery support group: we're not crazy or lazy

Hello dear reader friends! I've been sharing about our (my husband's and my) ongoing struggle to recuperate fully from Covid 19 infection in May. (<--that's us in sillier, more energetic times, LOL) Cuz for me, it's been exhaustion like no other. It's made me wonder if I'm just crazy or lazy. However, in my research and discussions with fellow sufferers, I discovered that many of us have lingering aftereffects, particularly slowed metabolism and lethargy,  from Covid 19. So I started a Facebook group for us to unpack those experiences. I'm calling it "Covid 19 Recovery Support: We're not crazy or lazy

If you're dealing with Covid 19 issues, or caring for someone who is, either from the actual infection or vaccine side effects and you need support, please join me! This is a place to share frustration, like the poor gal I spoke with who has been working thru exhaustion since Oct. 2020! It's a place to offer compassion (prayers, good thoughts etc.) It's a place to ask questions or contribute ideas. Above all, it's non-judgmental. 

This is NOT a place for conspiracy theories, rants, politics or polemics. God knows, the last thing any of us actually dealing with Covid 19 need is that kind of bullshit. The group is set to private and you will have to request permission to join. I only did that because some of the things shared may be of a sensitive or personal nature. It's also to keep out anyone who only wants a platform for his/her pet agenda. 

So if ya need us, you know where to find us! You're always welcome and I keep a pot of coffee warming πŸ’πŸ’“πŸ’ͺ😍

Monday, August 30, 2021

Covid 19 recovery update: When weight loss is a bad thing

When is weight loss a bad thing? When you lose weight due to illness, especially one like Covid 19. Here's a quick update on the post Covid 19 recovery. From my perspective, it's still a lot of exhaustion, dehydration recovery and metabolism boosting. I've started a stricter self-imposed regimen to increase electrolytes. I say self-imposed because we've been pretty much self-directed in our Covid 19 recovery. There's no real guidebook so we're creating our own and it's trial and error and trial again. 

My husband's most dangerous outcome of Covid 19 was a 17# weight loss (NOT a healthy way to lose weight). He was not overweight and so what he lost was muscle mass (that was scary as shit). We've been using metabolism boosting plant protein powder to help him regain weight loss. We're both also increasing protein intake overall, and trying to eat good carbs to rebuild muscle mass. 

Thanks for reading! Please, do what you need to do to stay safe from this devastating illness called Covid 19. I've had campylobacter jejuni (c.jejuni, a long-term food poisoning that went into dysentery). I've had strep B virus and swine flu. I've nursed a toddler through seven weeks of pneumonia. Husband has had pneumonia and we both agree that in 57 years this is THE worst illness we've ever experienced. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Gentle weight loss: How I lost 100 pounds learning to make less more

Greetings readers (whom I hope I may call friends). Back from a much-needed weekend at the beach! Are you thinking about weight loss or working a diet program to lose weight? You may have heard that  shedding obesity takes hard work, that ya gotta roll those sleeves up, put the pedal to the metal, yada yada.

But I lost 100 pounds (without gastric bypass) and I say, unfurl the sleeves. Kick back and relax. Take it easy. As we learn in Al-Anon, easy does it does it best. Am I saying weight loss is easy? That it doesn't require perseverance, willpower and determination? Not exactly. I'm saying that moderate intermittent fasting or calorie restricting beats extreme dieting to lose weight. 

But it's not even about calorie restricting or intermittent fasting or any kind of diet as such. Al-Anon says we must adopt a slower approach to life in general. Many of us GOT overweight trying to live a break-neck, crazy paced lifestyle. I don't mean we exercised too much...I stressed too much. I ignored health problems, including rising obesity. And part of how I lost 100 pounds was by learning to make less more. 

I now eat less and enjoy food more, both to avoid being overweight but to just be a better human. I've cut down on spending, shopping, buying and consuming in all areas of my life. I'm practicing enjoying simple things: the animals in my backyard, my dear family and grandkids, a beautiful sunset walk with my sweet husband, petting the two lil rascals, Moishe and Mordecai (shown above). 

My goal is to to live simply that others might simply live. I'm not sure if that was Gandhi or St. Theresa of Calcutta but it's good wisdom for weight loss and overall mental health. Instead of overconsuming I'm "calorie restricting" in all areas and "intermittent fasting: from obsession with things. I'm so much happier and at peace! My mind is not so "overweight" with the constant chasing and my heart is lighter and freer! 

Thanks for reading and be sure to stay tuned for more on how I lost 100 pounds and more! 

Friday, August 20, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds with St. Francis and the Serenity Prayer

Today's weight loss post is going to be written by a guest blogger, namely dear St. Francis of Assisi. I've written a lot about how I lost 100 pounds with Al-Anon slogans and I realized that the most important of all was the Serenity prayer. It goes:

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

You may be asking, what the serenity prayer has to do with obesity and weight loss. And I'll tell you: everything. More than any diet, the serenity prayer is THE path to lose weight (get sober, beat any addiction, get closer to God, heal myself). Al-Anon explains that discerning and accepting what we can't change (people or situations) and changing what we can (obesity, with weight loss, etc.). 

I also follow (or try my best to follow) the Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled as to console;

To be understood as to understand;

To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen. There's a lot to unpack here. And each day I understand it a little more. And then I realize how much more I have to learn. So I'll just let the words of this dynamic prayer speak for themselves. Namaste, Pax, Shalom. 

When weight loss isn't enough: The obesity-guilt-blame-shame game

Today in my ongoing weight loss narrative, I'm thinking about how guilt and the blame-shame game affect obesity. I had to laugh at the label on my keto bread, "guilt-free.." Oh Honey, if only. I've never been guilt-free in all my 57 years. We chronic low self-esteemers feel ashamed about everything and everyone. I feel guilty in my dreams!  And getting overweight? Whoa-- that one tops the scales, literally! 

I am not alone. Just watch "My 600-lb Life." The gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life" are extremely overweight. But they are not unique or even uncommon. Obesity is more pandemic than even Covid 19 and obesity-guilt is endemic. Each "My 600-lb Life" story leaks blame-shame, miserably low self-esteem and bitter self-loathing out of every pore. 

I empathize. Lose weight and the world rejoices with you. Gain and they laugh (and you cry alone). When I wrote for Yahoo! as a morbidly overweight woman, I wasn't taken as seriously as I was after weight loss. I was mocked and that made me feel guiltier. We all know that mockers have their own self-esteem issues. But it's hard to remind yourself of that when you're already so ashamed of being overweight. And I don't why that should be. And sometimes even weight loss isn't enough to interrupt the cycle. You can lose weight all you want but the problem goes deeper.   

Cause, see, I can blog all day about how I lost 100 pounds, but if you ask how to lose the guilt-blame-shame-game, I'd have to answer like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof: "I'll tell you...I don't know!!" So maybe I don't have the loser playbook, but I know a place that does: Al-Anon. You know, those good people who gave us the 12-step program, Al-Anon slogans and sayings and other self-help goodies. Al-Anon is where I began to break that guilt-blame-shame cycle. I learned to face down bullies and that sometimes I was my own worst bully. And I learned that regardless of body size,  THIS is the key to mental health. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

How I lost weight using Covid 19 lessons, rainbow diet and beefed up electrolytes

Hey there! Just mar with another update on how I lost 100 pounds and beat obesity without gastric bypass surgery, and kept it off. Today I'll explain how I used lessons learned from Covid 19 about weight loss to lose weight gained back after shoulder surgery. 

What Covid 19 taught me about dehydration and hydration: first electrolytes are essential to prevent dehydration (and obesity). Hydration involves not just drinking water but also keeping electrolytes, minerals and vitamins up. Hydration also helps weight loss because it boosts metabolism and reduces stored fat. 

The electrolytes sodium and calcium are fairly easy to get. Magnesium less so and potassium hardest of all because the RDA is 3,700-4,000 mg. The good news is that its easy to boost potassium within the intermittent fasting, 5:2 diet, Zone diet, calorie restricting, keto or 1200 calorie diet. Foods high in potassium (and calcium and magnesium electrolytes) top of the list of recommended foods for weight loss (yay!) namely fruits, vegetables, seafood and legumes (double yay!)

During Covid 19, I was calorie restricting but not for weight loss. Everything tasted terrible and the nausea was crippling. So I did lose weight but also electrolytes and metabolism. I got into advanced dehydration. In recovery I'm back still calorie restricting on my 1200 calorie diet, to avoid getting overweight. But I'm also bumping those high-potassium, calcium and magnesium foods using a modified rainbow diet. 

A rainbow diet includes colorful fruits and vegetables: tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, squash and sweet potatoes, bananas, avocadoes, watermelon, grapefruit, mangoes, peaches, almonds, pistachios, spinach, potatoes, purple cabbage, peas, edamame, black beans, salmon, tuna, shrimp and whole grain keto bread. Keto frowns on the fruits and sweet potatoes and squash, but if you're doing keto there are keto there are plenty other foods on the list that you can have. And a rainbow diet is also hugely vitamin-rich. 

So I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass. But I do follow a 1200 calorie diet, with some intermittent fasting (5:2 diet) like gastric bypass surgeon Dr. Now of "My 600-lb Life" advocates. The "My 600-lb Life" diet allows most all of these except large amounts of fruit, potatoes and avocadoes. "My 600-lb Life" treats with morbid obesity so extra sugar of any kind is restricted while that overweight. 

And regardless of which diet you're on, all will allow low sugar coconut water such as Bodyarmor. Bodyarmor and other such coconut water are the only "hydration drinks" with potassium and magnesium. I prefer the zero sugar peach mango Bodyarmor Lyte coconut water with 15 calories and 10% of RDA. 

 you can have. 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

"My 600-lb Life" proves obesity-gender links and how weight loss can be harder for men

Weight loss is a big challenge, regardless of gender. I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass, by calorie restricting. And it was no picnic (pun intended!) We tend to think that women struggle more with obesity than men. Women do have more reasons to get overweight, with menstruation, PMS, pregnancy and menopause. But men have some unique "predisposers" that are often overlooked. The reality TV show "My 600-lb Life" demonstrates why it often harder for men to lose weight than women. The video above features "My 600-lb Life" Sean Milliken who passed from obesity complications. 

1) Those things between your legs. I'm not trying to be prudish, avoiding the T-word and P-word. Blogger will slap me down if I print them πŸ˜’. They're considered obscene (!?) And yanno, that is part of the reason men struggle more with weight loss. They're shamed for talking about their bodies, except in jest. Like it's somehow dirty to have male body parts. When they try to lose weight, they may not have the support network women have among their own gender. 

2) Which came first, ED or obesity? We know that excess belly fat causes ED (erectile dysfunction). But I believe it works the other way too...that male reproductive system fail causes obesity. When the male reproductive system can't or doesn't do its job properly and routinely (I also can't label those two E-wordsπŸ™„), it stalls metabolism and leads to erectile dysfunction and weight gain. Many of the male participants on "My 600-lb Life" struggle with erectile dysfunction along with obesity. Certainly being morbidly overweight is going to cause issues down the line. But it's important to keep the P-word and T-word in good working order, too. 

3) Gender-based stats. "My 600-lb Life" shows more women than men seeking gastric bypass. But that's because women are quicker to seek weight loss. And the odds are evenly stacked: about a 5% success rate. However deaths from obesity favor men (although women are catching up). The men begin more overweight than the women, many in the 700-900-lb range. Sean Milliken was the heaviest at over 900 pounds till a woman topped him at 940. 

4) Skewed gender expectations. Some men avoid dieting or talking about weight loss because they worry it's not manly. Even some diet foods are thought to be unmanly. Well, as outlined above, obesity kills "manhood" so, yeah. The good news is that men can and do lose weight if they work the calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet. Or any healthy diet. Keto, 5:2 diet, intermittent fasting, Atkins, South Beach, they all have weight loss success stories. 

5) Diet misconceptions. I've heard a lot of guys say they can't diet because they won't get full. This was Sean Milliken's problem, along with an enabling mother. At first, when you're overweight, you will struggle more with hunger because it takes more to satisfy a big stomach. But it gets easier as you stomach shrinks. And extreme calorie restricting does create hunger and stall metabolism. Many men like keto and a high protein1200 calorie diet. Keto is great for burning fat. And the 1200 calorie diet allows to you eat enough to feel comfortable. 

Saturday, August 14, 2021

If you need a weight loss partner, pick me!

It's getting late on this Saturday night and I've done a few posts already. But I got one more in me before calling it a day. I've told you before how I was overweight and then morbidly obese. I talk a lot about how I lost 100 pounds. I give a lot of weight loss tips and advice on what to do and not do to lose weight. But one thing I don't know is where you, my dear reader, are at. I'm guess some of you follow because you would like to lose weight. Or maybe you're all just being kind and humoring these lil soliloquies of mine, LOL. 

But if you are seeking weight loss, let me just offer a word of encouragement. Or many words. Cuz I never do anything short-winded. If you need a weight loss partner, or friend, or cheerleader, ooh-ooh (waving hand in air) pick me! Cause I can dispense advice on how to lose weight all day. But at the end of said day, what you may need is just encouragement. 

Do you need to be told, "You got this!" You do! But having said that, I find those words kinda annoying. Especially when one is really struggling. To be told "you got this" is like the proverbial Pharisee, seeing someone in need, saying "be well." And then walking away doing absolutely nothing to HELP him be well. Lame. And rude. And dismissive. That's why I try to offer as many weight loss tips as possible, using my own "voice" or personal experience. 

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, except to say that you are welcome to comment, question, vent, share as needed in comments below. I can also be reached on Facebook here. Meanwhile, just keep on being wonderful! Love, mar


Obesity doc says calorie restricting doesn't lose weight and other weight loss BS

A recent article in Men's Health quoted a Cambridge obesity expert claiming that calorie counting doesn't lose weight. Now this sounds great in theory. But I'm gonna call BS and for a lot of reasons. And I believe Dr. Now of "My 600-lb Life" would agree. 

So Dr. Giles Yeo is an "expert" on obesity. Now this term gives me a facial tic to start with. What this means is that he has researched obesity. But has Dr. Y ever been overweight or obese and went on to lose weight? I may not be a doctor but I lost 100 pounds, without gastric bypass, by calorie restricting, and kept it off. With respect, that makes me better qualified to speak on weight loss. I'm not the only formerly overweight "expert" touting calorie counting. And Doc Y isn't the only obesity guru. 

There's one much more strategically placed, as I see it, to speak on what works for weigh loss.  And he's ALL ABOUT calorie restricting! "My 600-lb Life" Dr. Now (azardan) treats people with morbid obesity, by putting them on a 1200 calorie diet to undergo gastric bypass. And guess what? Those "My 600-lb Life" folks lose weight BIG TIME! And if they follow the 1200 calorie diet, they keep it off! 

So fair dues, Dr. Y eschews extreme calorie restricting and so do I. Extreme calorie restricting is simply unsustainable. We may lose weight but then put it back on again. This leads to yo-yo dieting, stalled metabolism, etc. He also made a good point about the body not liking it when we lose weight. Instinctively, it stores fat for survival. So don't crash diet, but do 1200 calorie diet to keep metabolism up to speed.  

Like Dr. Now, he also wisely advises changed eating habits vs. "blind" calorie counting. He cautions that calories are not created equal. That's it's not about how much but what you eat. I'd  have thought that it was obvious that three 400-calorie muffins was not the same as a 1200 calorie diet of lean protein, fruits and veg. It's not even going to fill you up, let alone lose weight. You'll bork metabolism, remain hungry, cheat and overeat. But I've watched enough "My 600-lb Life" to know that it's worth reiterating. 

However if Dr. Y really understood obesity, not just researched it, he'd know that "no calorie restricting" is the wrong thing to say. Obesity hears it as an excuse to keep overeating and avoid weight loss. And that's how we got overweight in the first place!  So maybe you don't have to "count calories" for weight loss (I did). But you do have to track eating or you'll mindlessly overeat. You have to lose something from diet to lose weight. 

But you totally can if you want to! If you need tips from how I lost 100 pounds, keep reading! 

Surprise (or not) links between shift work, obesity, metabolism and Covid 19

This blog explores how I lost 100 pounds but also tracks news on weight loss, obesity and healthy living in general. Today's research yielded surprise findings on weight gain and a controversial weight loss method. These findings confirmed my theories on several health issues, including even our bout with Covid 19. 

A study from Australia found that people who do shift work tend toward weight gain, overweight, obesity and general poor health. Shift work, defined as length of work day (12 hours) and/or alternative time worked (second shift--afternoon and evening, and third shift, or through the night. My husband has both of these criteria, working 5pm to 5am. He works both second and third shift and is at work for two days. He's effectively nocturnal. But then, on off days, he tries to keep a first shift schedule which doesn't work. His biorhythms are goofed up both working nights AND from flip-flopping.  

He (and me by extension) struggle with a concomitant health problem called shift work sleep disorder (SWSD). I believe that's part of what caused us to contract Covid 19 despite taking all health precautions. Shift work sleep disorder is caused by inverted awake-asleep pattern (biorhythms). It causes neurological, psychological, emotional and mental health issues. Symptoms are chronic exhaustion, confusion, stress, anxiety and depression  and even anger management issues from the constant strain of having to adjust to a flip-flop schedule. 

Shift work sleep disorder (SWSD) causes frequent and multiple physical health issues. It slows metabolism, reduces immunity and resistance to infection. Shift workers experience more frequent illness, longer recovery time and host of other issues, including, as this study found, weight gain and obesity from skewed biorhythms. Our Covid 19 symptoms were much worse than most people we know who had it. Our recovery has been more complicated too. We experienced big and rapid weight loss and our metabolism is still off. 

Although he's not overweight, he's noticed weight gain from doing shift work. Many co-workers struggle with obesity. But, the study found, weight problems stem as much from when as what they eat and sleep. Eating too little can also cause one not to lose weight. The human body is designed to be diurnal not nocturnal. When forced into this unnatural nocturnal state, it goes into emergency mode. It shuts down metabolism, conserves resources and stores fat. 

Regardless of cause, overweight is not ideal. It makes all other health conditions worse and creates a  lot of its own. But the Australian study suggested the shift workers lose weight by a method I found counterintuitive: intermittent fasting or the 5:2 diet. On the 5:2 Diet, you practice intermittent fasting for 2 days and eat normally for five. It didn't specify which or how intermittent fasting should work on night shift. 

The 5:2 diet for shift work goes against the study's findings. I said earlier, and the study proved, shift work and eating too little, stalls metabolism and weight loss. So calorie restricting might actually cause weight gain. To lose weight, or in my husband's case maintain healthy weight, on night shift, eating regularly is essential. I pack balanced nutritious low sugar, high protein lunches with high fiber, whole grain foods and loads of fruits and vegetables. 

But that raises another lifestyle/obesity issue, about calorie restricting vs. calorie counting, which I'll get into later. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Mama June's Covid weight gain excuse echoes "My 600-lb Life" obesity myths

In this blog, I explore how I lost 100 pounds. I also look at celebrity weight loss particularly on reality TV shows like "My 600-lb Life" and "Mama June: From Not to Hot." June Shannon, the "Toddlers and Tiaras" mum of pageant star Honey Boo Boo debuted her 300-lb weight loss, after gastric bypass, a few years ago. I've always had my doubts about Mama June Shannon's weight loss. Here's why. 

So many lies: June Shannon struggled with (actually I should say celebrated) morbid obesity, through "Toddlers and Tiaras or "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." Then a new reality TV show "Mama June: From Not to Hot" promised a big makeover. Shannon falsely claimed to lose weight on her own, without gastric bypass or plastic surgery. And though she achieved undeniable weight loss, her claim to lose 300 pounds and get down to size 4 and 134 pounds was a bit much to believe. So she fudged numbers? She's still a lot less overweight, no big deal, right?  Unfortunately, it demonstrates some very "My 600-lb Life" type behavior.  

Obesity mindset (or what I call "fattitude.") Gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life" exhibit Al-Anon pattern "stinkin thinkin" (blaming others, making excuses, lying about following the 1200 calorie diet, denying how overweight they are). Fattitude makes and keeps us overweight. Stinkin thinkin blames everyone else for obesity. It lies and says that we don't need to practice calorie restricting with gastric bypass. To lose weight and keep it off, we have to clean up stinkin thinkin and eating habits. Mama June never did. Now Honey Boo Boo is following suit. 

Minimizing and more lies. After a 300-lb weight loss, Mama June said in June (see FB photo above) that she gained "a tiny little" back, "only" 60 pounds. That's on top of some regained (she said 20, doctor said 50) shortly after surgery. So a little after big weight loss is normal. I lost 100 pounds by calorie restricting. I gained back 12 pounds and got right back on the 1200 calorie diet. "Mama June: Road to Redemption" and even back on "From Not to Hot" showed her eating junk food and not calorie restricting. 

Weird weight gain excuse. What really blew my mind was June Shannon's reason for gaining 60 lbs. She said it was "healthy Covid 19 weight gain" (!) My husband and I had Covid 19 and we lost weight! I dropped 10 pounds in a week and he lost 17. And while Covid 19 weight loss may not be healthy, gaining, if I'm already overweight, surely isn't. This sounds a lot like "My 600-lb Life" excuse that obesity is just "water weight." 😲😣

Getting out of denial, taking a reality check and quitting excuse-making were as important to how I lost 100 pounds as the 1200 calorie diet. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Lose weight and prevent childhood obesity without ever mentioning diet or weight loss

Hi guys! In today's episode of how I lost 100 pounds, we're going to look at surprise ways to lose weight and prevent or heal childhood obesity. 

1) Step outside your eating zone. The western diet (high carbs and sugar, low protein, little fresh produce, lots of junk food and fast food) is a one-way ticket to obesity. The gastric bypass reality TV show "My 600-lb Life" proves that. "My 600-lb Life" also demonstrates the systemic nature of family obesity. Nutritionally deprived diets almost weight problems and even struggles with adult diseases of diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension. "My 600-lb Life" Dr. Now has gastric bypass patients start changing up meals from fast food to homecooked, packaged to fresh and non-nutritional junk to 1200 calorie diet food swaps. And that brings me to my next weight loss tip. 

2) Re-place food. That's not a typo. "My 600-lb Life" patients (and a lot of us) fail the 1200 calorie diet because they misunderstand eating and misplace food. We make it the center of our world, a friend and ally. We comfort eat. We confuse junk with comfort food. We misunderstand rewards as food and treats as junk vs. food that treats our bodies well). We obsess on cravings. And our children see this. Yes, we need to eat to live. But we need to eat mindfully. 

3) Food shop, meal plan and cook with kids to prevent childhood obesity (diabetes, etc.) Engage children in planning and preparing healthy meals. Teach children the benefits of healthy eating. Read nutrition data. Encourage kids to explore ways to add vegetables and fruit, whole grains, lean meat and alternative protein and subtract added sugar, HFCS, transfat and empty carbs. Make it a game! Even young kids can create recipes with healthier food swaps. And that brings me to the next weight loss tip. 

4) Explore "diet food" swaps. Don't ban food. (One problem I have with keto). Challenge kids to discover the healthiest varieties of their favorite foods: hot dogs, lunchmeat, sweets, candy, chips, etc. Let them have fun making high protein pancakes, cookies and baked goods. Make homemade high protein muffins (with eggs, Greek yogurt, oats, nuts and seeds and bananas) instead of breakfast cereal and Pop-Tarts. Make cut veggie trays and enjoy in place of chips. Check this blog for keto and 1200 calorie diet food swaps that helped me lose weight. But having said that...

4) Avoid words like "diet food", overweight and weight loss. Never call a child "obese","overweight" or God forbid, fat. Don't put kids on ultra calorie restricting weight loss diets. Many kids go through a chubby phase that they outgrow in puberty and calorie restricting too young can be downright dangerous. When I was young, I was put on a 1,000 calorie diet to lose weight. Calorie restricting caused major shame, stress, pressure, physical exhaustion, metabolism issues, body image dysmorphia. Instead...

5) Have FUN with it! You can lose weight and your kids can stay at healthy weight or lose weight, if, after puberty, that becomes an issue, without ever mentioning diet! Make good nutrition, cooking and meal planning family hobbies! Celebrate healthy living! 

Friday, August 6, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds and gained some surprising things

When I lost 100 pounds seven years ago, I was obviously morbidly overweight. In healing obesity, it's easy to focus only on what to lose: extra calories, despair, blame-shame game, self-pity, making excuse, fattitude (obesity mindset), overeating, bad habits. But to lose weight, I had to gain or rediscover certain things too: inner strength, willpower, Al-Anon 12 step program, a reliance on my higher power. And after weight loss, I gained more surprise things.  

The reality TV show "My 600-lb Life" explores how overweight patients awaiting gastric bypass share shame and feelings of hopelessness. "My 600-lb Life" participants manifest it as low self-esteem, body image issues, self-pity, perceived helplessness, rude arrogance, making excuses or failure to take responsibility (what Al-Anon calls the blame-shame game and I call fattitude). None of these are very attractive. 

"My 600-lb Life" demonstrates that healing obesity is about diet but also losing the unattractive blame-shame game, self-pity, fattitude, despair, arrogance and low self-esteem. It's about finding more attractive willpower, joy, self-motivation, self-confidence and self-control. Some of these you need to lose weight and others develop after weight loss. 

I was surprised at how my self-confidence and body image improved after weight loss. It's hard to discuss the appearance aspect of weight loss. I'm afraid it sounds crass or insensitive. And body-shaming has made us leery. We fear even suggesting that someone looks "better" after they lose weight. But a big motivation for me to lose 100 pounds was appearance. I didn't like how I looked overweight. 

Current thinking says every body size is attractive. Certainly accepting ourselves as worthy regardless of body size is important. But morbid obesity isn't as healthy as weight is a moderate range. And that obesity mindset is certainly unattractive. I felt ugly emotionally and physically. My bigger body size made me lethargic and that felt lazy, inept, embarrassing. 

That's why Covid 19 recovery  has been so trying. I'm normally an energetic person. I don't like feeling this Covid lethargy. Covid exhaustion is temporary, hopefully. But obesity was, literally, stuck and gaining, a snowball hurtling downhill. 

After I lost 100 pounds I looked and felt better. I also felt stronger because obesity no longer controlled me. I controlled it. It's not perfect and neither am I. I still get stuck. But I'm on an upward spiral. Nothing succeeds like success. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds getting back on the bike: weight loss after diet fail

Hey guys so usually I share to-do's on how lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass surgery. Today I'm sharing a not-to-do to lose weight. Namely, what not to do when you have a diet fail. 

Moment of truth: so I like wine and you can actually drink wine and lose weight. You just have to factor it into the 1200 calorie diet (my diet of choice). Welp, last night I drank too much...too much for health and far too much for calorie restricting. 

And  here's the not to do when you fall off the weight loss bike: don't stay off. Do pick yourself up, dust off (take an ibuprofen in my case) and get right back on. One failed day of calorie restricting isn't going to mean you won't lose weight. Heck probably even a week won't stall weight loss if you're calorie restricting all the other times. 

A few diet fails are part of the process. Oh and don't beat yourself up. I was feeling a little guilty, to be honest, but I'm not going there. Guilt is a rabbit hole and it's too easy to get stuck in. So keep working your weight loss program and you'll lose weight. Stay tuned for  more on how I lost 100 pounds. 

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 how I lost 100 pounds. 

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 if 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 no diet where you eat alfredo and Cadbury Creme Eggs all day (damm!) 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. 

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