Monday, May 10, 2021

Covid 19 struggles and gratitude


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

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

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

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

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


Friday, May 7, 2021

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



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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 6, 2021

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


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

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

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

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

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




Wednesday, May 5, 2021

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love ya! 


Monday, May 3, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love you all!

Super protein banana bread pudding diet recipe for weight loss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Saturday, May 1, 2021

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



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

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

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

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

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

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





Thursday, April 29, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds using "My 600-lb Life" weight loss surgery patients' stories

As part of the preparation for these blog posts, I watch the TLC reality TV "My 600-lb Life" in which Dr. Nowzaradan helps obese patients lose weight with gastric bypass surgery. So the show is about weight loss but also the psychology and lifestyle choices that lead to morbid obesity. It's not easy to watch and as usual in the "Where They Are Now" episode about Jeanne Covey and I'm alternately crying and screaming at the TV. 

"Where Are They Now" shows Jeanne using all the classic head games: delusional thinking, making excuses, having a melodramatic pity party about having to do basic household chores, blaming her father's death for weight loss fail. When Dr. Now calls out the avoidance and lack of responsibility, out comes another blame game. This time her failure to lose weight is his fault because he doesn't understand how she suffers. It's hard to watch her be so rude and sarcastic to this physician who is helping her. 

But having said that, I've learned a lot about weight loss from "My 600-lb Life" and not just from the positive examples and Dr. Now. This may sound weird this reality TV show is part of how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass surgery. I wasn't as overweight as the participants but not for lack of trying. I played a lot of the head games these folks play, making excuses, self-pity, skewed self-image. 

It would have been easy to pooh-pooh my obesity because well, it was nothing like those people. Surely I wasn't that fat and I never would be. But I had to admit, I heard myself speaking as some told their stories on "My 600-lb Life." I heard the excuses I myself made about obesity. I saw how overweight my poor diet choices were making me. Then a doctor told me that if I didn't lose weight I was going to need gastric bypass surgery and shit got real. 

I started listening to the excuses I was making. I realized that no situation was so difficult that being obese, overeating, and avoiding diet would make it better. I looked honestly at how overweight I was. And thanks be to God, I found weight loss. 





How I lost 100 pounds nixing stinkin thinkin: Al-Anon tips for weight loss



Hey friends! A few days ago I promised that I'd discuss how I lost 100 with Al-Anon 12-step tips. Today I'm going to explain how nixing "stinkin thinkin" helped me lose weight. What is stinkin thinkin? It's a term Al-Anon (and AA or Alcoholic Anonymous) uses to describe unhealthy, self-defeating, dysfunctional mind games addicts and those who are codependent on them play. You can see a lot of stinkin thinkin in those seeking gastric bypass surgery in TLC's reality TV show "My 600-lb Life." So how is Al-Anon related to weight loss? 

Obesity stems from food addiction or codependent behaviors that make us comfort eat.  Or both. These are not the only obesity triggers but they are common ones, as participants on "My 600-lb Life" have shown. And they stem from wrong-headed stinkin thinkin. Al-Anon outlines the usual suspects: lack of self-awareness, self-pity (biggee) hypocrisy, delusional thinking, excuse-making, denial and low self-esteem. Pretty depressing but the good news is that identifying which stinkin thinkin head games I was playing is how I lost 100 pounds. My weight loss was as much about healing my head as my body. 

My stinkin thinkin was mostly lack of self-awareness about needing to lose weight, denial and low self-esteem. I also played a dangerous game of comparison/contrast in which I downplayed my need to lose weight, mentally pointing to others who were more obese. I've heard that excuse on "My 600-lb Life." The whole family is morbidly obese but they scapegoat one member who is larger. It took a doctor recommending gastric bypass weight loss surgery to wake up. Then, when I was told I looked just like a relative who was morbidly obese, I finally acknowledged my own obesity. And that awareness was how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass!! 

That's just one of the stinkin thinkin mind games I've played (more later) but happily, it's game over for me!



Tuesday, April 27, 2021

What Mama June and Honey Boo Boo taught me about weight loss

Mama June Shannon and Honey Boo Boo (Alana Thompson) have had their ups and downs. But I've learned a lot from the "From Not to Hot" reality TV stars, especially about weight loss. You could say that their examples are part of how I lost 100 pounds. Yes, I know that will need a lot of explaining. 

After "Toddlers and Tiaras" and "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" a very overweight Mama June was able to lose weight and drop to size 4 after gastric bypass weight loss surgery. Reality TV star Alana meanwhile continued to down the road to morbid obesity. 

Fast forward to 2021 and the trailer for "Mama June: Road to Redemption" shows June Shannon back to obesity despite gastric bypass and Honey Boo Boo looks even more overweight. Drug addiction and dysfunctional relationships have not been kind to the family. The TLC show "My 600-lb Life" shows similar patterns and how they lead to obesity. 

So what did I learn from Mama June on weight loss? Bariatric surgery isn't foolproof. As "My 600-lb Life" shows, you can't expect a gastric bypass alone to lose weight for you. You've got to keep up with diet. Immediately after Mama June's makeover debuted, she was shown on "From Not to Hot" still overeating, eating the wrong things and ignoring diet.

Also, it's important that in the quest to go "From Not to Hot" not to forget family and the example you set them. I was disturbed to read that HBB once said she wanted to have bariatric surgery when old enough. She clearly didn't see mom making healthy choices. It seems all  Mama June taught Alana about weight loss was that you can overeat all you want and surgery will fix it. 

I'm not perfect. But my kids have seen me lose weight and keep it off with diet alone. They've seen me say no to indulging. They know that the road to how I lost 100 pounds was paved with hard work. I appreciate shows like "My 600-lb Life" that reflect the reality of weight loss. What I learned from Mama June is that diet that is "more honour'd in the breach than the observance" leads back to obesity. 

How I lost 100 pounds with treats: lose weight with comfort food


G'day, mates! You can probably tell from the title of this blog post that I looovvee writing quixotic titles about weight loss to intrigue you! You're wondering how I lost 100 pounds with treats? Getting from overweight to healthy meant a mental reset, yanno, another of those "mind over platter" tricks as I like to call them. Here's how. 

I've been blogging about how to lose weight for quite awhile and I get a lot of great ideas from the  TLC reality TV show "My 600-lb Life." I great respect for folks with morbid obesity who trying to lose weight. One common theme, that led to them requiring weight loss surgery, is misunderstanding "comfort food" and treats. 

Comfort food, or treats, as per the "My 600-lb Life" folks, is food that makes us feel better. It gives the big bang endorphin payoff: pizza, ice cream, sweets (which is actually very similar to a heroin buzz). But too much "comfort food" will lead to obesity, which, take it from me, is very UNcomfortable. But I said earlier that my weight loss was down to treats. Yep, but to lose weight, I had to rethink treats. 

When "My 600-lb Life" participants talk treats, they mean junk food. But treat has another definition: to use something in a certain way, such as in words like mistreat or treatment. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to examine how certain foods were "treating" my overweight body. Candy, soda pop, salty snacks, calorie-dense foods with little nutritional value mistreat it, causing obesity and leading to diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, etc. 



Conversely, fruits, vegetables, lean meat, whole grains treat my body kindly. Eating them and avoiding junk is how I lost 100 pounds, plus diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc. No longer overweight, I feel better, happier, stronger, more comfortable in my own skin. So these are the real comfort food. And that's a treat!  

 




Monday, April 26, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds with "My 600-lb Life" bariatric surgery diet food swaps



If I've learned anything from Dr. Nowzaradan of TLC's "My 600 lb Life" it's to clean my plate. To lose weight, don't think diet as much as food swaps to clean up the plate. Here's how I lost 100 pounds using these "My 600-lb Life" inspired bariatric surgery diet food swaps and my "mind over platter" tips. This guide gives 100 ways to clean your plate and lose weight today.  

The first thing Dr. Now's "My 600-lb Life" gastric bypass surgery diet cleans off the plate is soda and even diet pop. Swap it for 100% juice, milk or water.  Swap vitamin D milk for 2% or skim or high protein flax milk. Lose weight by drinking half your body weight in water a day. Flavor with lemon, strawberries and blueberries. Trade sweetened coffee for plain black or green tea. Use non-fat, low-cal sweeteners and almond milk for coffee creamer. Try Keto coffee for weight loss. 

Lose weight with condiment food swaps. One of my obesity triggers was calorie-adding condiments.  Dr. Now's bariatric surgery diet features low-cal, lowfat alternatives. Cook in non-fat cooking spray. Blend butter half and half with coconut oil or Greek yogurt. Drop transfat margarine for transfat-free 35-calorie butter. Get low sugar ketchup or make your own. 

The gastric bypass diet is about replacing not eliminating. Blend peanut butter with plain Greek yogurt. Use 35-calorie salad dressing and switch mayo for mustard. Change out bleached sugar for raw Florida Crystals or Sucanat, raw honey, blue agave syrup, stevia or Splenda. Eat salsa and hummus, not dips. Swap light mozzarella for the higher fat kinds and Laughing Cow Swiss for regular cream cheese. Bake and cook with ricotta, cottage cheese, kefir and Greek yogurt. Use plain, unsweetened applesauce in place of oil in baking. 

Go vegan or vegetarian 3x a week. Replace one meat meal per week with a vegetarian fish, cheese, egg or vegan meal. Work up to three times a week or more. Eat fish or chicken instead of beef, pork or processed meat. Dr. Now's gastric bypass surgery diet substitutes broiled fish and chicken for fried or baked. Try grilling an ahi tuna or swordfish steak instead of burgers or brats on the grill. Explore flaxseed, miso, tempeh, mushrooms or avocado, nuts and chickpeas in place of cheese and meat.

Bust obesity by trading starch carbs for fruit, veggie, fiber, fatty acids. Dr. Now advises patients to avoid white foods (bread, rice, pasta and potatoes) before bariatric surgery. To do that, replace bleached with unbleached whole grain flour, breads and cereals. Eat green, leafy and orange vegetables, fewer potatoes and less pasta. Try black bean or edamame pasta. Eat brown or wild rice and ancient grains like amaranth, kamut, quinoa and triticale. Eat more raw almonds, chia, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Substitute high protein granola bars, Cheerios, Special K Protein and Kashi Go Lean cereal, Joseph's or Flatout flax wraps and light oat bran bread for regular bread, cereal and snacks. Ramp up lettuce, spinach, kale, sprouts, apples, blueberries, strawberries, acai, pomegranate and grapefruit in your diet.

"My 600-lb Life" is about eating habit changes. Try these weight loss switches. Eat at home rather than at a restaurant and cook from scratch. Swap salty snacks for edamame and plain popcorn for salty snacks. Substitute frozen and fresh vegetables instead of canned vegetables. Replace lunchmeat, bacon, sausage, bologna and hotdogs with fresh meat. Eat whole fresh fruit instead of canned or juice. Eat a vegetable salad before the main meal. Don't eat while watching TV (this was a big change in how I lost 100 pounds). Snack on raw veggies. Fast one day a week on bread and water. 

Following these "mind over platter" tips and cleaning my plate, was how I lost 100 pounds, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart and liver disease.

How I lost 100 pounds by cheating and other weird ways to lose weight



Hey ya'lls! It's me, your quirky neighborhood weight loss coach! You'll know by now, if you follow this blog that I share tips on how I lost 100 pounds. Some of them are predictable (diet and exercise). Some are a leetle unorthodox (like my Jedi mind tricks to lose weight!) And some are just downright weird. Like today's: How I lost 100 pounds by cheating on diet.

So, yes, that promise to lose weight cheating is partly to grab your attention. And no, I didn't cheat every day on my diet or obesity would be an even bigger problem than it was 10 years ago when I began this weight loss journey. But fer realz, ignoring that carefully moderated low calorie, lowfat, sugarfree diet occasionally, did help me lose weight. 

It's one of those gestalt or maybe I should say, ironic weight loss methods I was referring to in an earlier post. Cheating, sometimes, works to beat obesity, even though it doesn't seem that it should. And the good it does overall, is surprisingly greater than even the little payouts from cheating. 

So how does breaking my fast help weight loss? Well, for one thing, it staves off "deprivation mode" (that depressing, left out feeling you get after too much dieting). Also when I do indulge, it takes less to fill me up.  Also, I don't enjoy sweets like I used to. They don't taste as good. Example: I had a shake yesterday and noticed for the first time that it had a weird waxy aftertaste. Candy has lost its charm too, especially chocolate. 

Why eating less of something has made me lose my taste for it, I have no clue. But it has. And it's a big relief. When I first set out to kick obesity, I was worried I'd be hungry and craving goodies all the time. Especially as I was working from home with food available. I was more hungry initially. But as my stomach shrunk, so did my appetite. 


Grocery shopping list for weight loss: How I lost 100 pounds with diet food swaps

Do you want to lose weight? With obesity at 40% and growing, weight loss is the most common doctor-recommended health change. Here's how I lost 100 pounds with this grocery shopping list of keto diet food swaps. 

Bakery diet food swaps: Even if you don't have eat gluten free, it's a good diet to follow for weight loss. Cauliflower makes a great gluten free food swap!  Choose lowfat, sugarfree breads, no high fructose corn syrup, high omega fatty acids and high protein bread (also called keto diet bread) wraps like Flat-out or Joseph's flatbread. Swap whole grain light 35-calorie per slice oat bread. Cut down on grain, bread and starch for weight loss. Swap gluten free coconut flour for wheat flour and applesauce and milled flaxseed for eggs and oil in baking. 

Condiments for weight loss: I'm weirdly a dips and spreads addict and taming this addiction is part of how I lost 100 pounds. I cut down on condiments and make these diet food swaps--no transfat light yogurt butter spread and butter sticks, canola oil or olive oil light mayonnaise. I use Opa Greek yogurt/feta cheese salad dressing and Maple Grove Farms Sugarfree Raspberry Vinagrette salad dressing or make your own. 

Dairy diet food swaps: Substitute whole milk (seriously, it's better for you than non-fat) plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese for cheese and milk. Swap cow's milk for high protein cashew or flax milk or use 1% cow's milk. Sub avocado for dairy in foods.  

Produce grocery shopping list for weight loss. Eat half your calories as fruit and vegetables. Best weight loss fruits are: apples, blueberries, grapefruit, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. And don't forget tomatoes! There’s mixed thinking on whether bananas cause belly fat, but they do boost resistant starch which makes you feel fuller. 

Eat a rainbow of vegetables to lose weight: Eat four servings of green leafy vegetables like kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, collard greens, romaine lettuce, spring mix. Kale is a one of the best diet food swaps as it has twice as much vitamin A and C as spinach (next best leaf veggie). Eat two servings daily of pumpkin, carrots, summer squash and purple cabbage. Substitute mushrooms for meat. 


Meat and protein diet food swaps to put on your grocery shopping list: fresh or frozen fish: salmon, cod, whiting, Pollock, marlin, tuna, shrimp, scallops and surimi. Choose lean chicken, turkey and beef, lowfat ham lunchmeat. Make beef jerky for keto diet food swaps. 

Vegan protein alternatives to lose weight include tempeh, Portobello mushrooms, lentils, edamame, avocado, falafel, dried and canned beans, PB2 (natural peanut powder with 85 percent fewer calories than peanut butter), almonds, Make big pots of vegan chili and bean soup full of vegetables and reheat for light, filling meals. The vegan diet has been highly rated for weight loss. 



Grains, cereal, fiber for keto diet grocery shopping list: milled flaxseed, maca powder, Artichoke Vitae Plus, Cheerios, Special K protein, Kashi Go Lean Crunch, oatmeal and chia seeds. I love gluten free edamame and black bean pasta. 


Treats and salty snacks: Lowfat Cheez-Its, edamame, Calbee Snapea Crisps, Ideal or Monkfruit sweetener, dark chocolate (70 % cacao or higher), Skinny Cow ice cream bars, Weight Watchers desserts, lowfat pudding, dry red wine: Shiraz, Petit Sirah, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Carmenere. I make my own kale chips to for a great diet food swap to potato chips. 

Eating these diet food swaps is how I lost 100 pounds! 

Saturday, April 24, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds without bariatric weight loss surgery

Hi guys! If you've been following this blog, you already know how I lost 100 pounds. But you may not know, if you just tuned in, how I lost 100 pounds without weight loss surgery. I'm still surprised how many people assume that weight loss of that kind required lap band or other bariatric surgery. 

I don't recall many people talking about bariatric surgery until the 90s or even later. I doubt most even knew the word "obese." Most people who sought weight loss did it the old-fashioned way, with diet and exercise. But then obesity wasn't so common either. Now, the rates are just staggering. That there are reality TV shows like TLC "My 600-lb Life" prove it. 

According to the CDC in 2021: "the prevalence of obesity was 40.0% among adults aged 20 to 39 years, 44.8% among adults aged 40 to 59 years, and 42.8% among adults aged 60 and older." That's not just overweight (BMI or body mass index of 25 to under 30. That's obese with a BMI of 30 or over.  Adding in the overweight numbers it's like 70% of the population. 

So with high obesity comes more bariatric surgery options. BUT, unless you have morbid obesity like the "My 600-lb Life" folks, you can lose weight with diet and exercise alone. And even then, Dr. Now expects his patients to lose weight prior to weight loss surgery. 

Usually the "My 600-lb Life" folks are too overweight and unhealthy
for Dr. Now to perform surgery safely. They also have to prove they'll do the work required and not just wait for a lap band to fix them. Also, and most importantly, weight loss surgery will NOT lose weight without diet and exercise. 

One "My 600-lb Life" participant only lost 15 pounds after surgery. She wouldn't even get out of bed after surgery. She had a lot of excuses for Dr. Now, but what it boiled down to was that she was not willing to participate in her own recovery. In 2015, the last update, she was still 500 pounds and told TLC she didn't care.  

And that, my dears, is how I lost 100 pounds with diet and exercise alone. Not because I'm some kind of Wonder Woman. I'm not, just ordinary lil ole mar. But I cared that I was obese. I wanted to lose weight and was willing to do what it took. I'm grateful to my Higher Power for giving me the desire. 













Weight loss Jedi mind tricks to talk yourself out of not into eating

Hiya reader friends! I'm been sharing how I lost 100 pounds without bariatric weight loss surgery, using what I call "mind over platter" tips. What does that mean? Well, I kinda play head games with myself to think myself thin. These ideas bear a striking resemblance to what Jabba the Hut calls Luke Skywalker's Jedi mind tricks! And they work great to fight obesity. 

Here's the one weight loss mind trick that I probably use most often. It's where I got the idea to call it "mind over platter." And it too has Star Wars overtones. Remember the scene where Obi-Wan uses the Force to con a stormtrooper into thinking that theirs weren't the droids he was looking for? Well, I do the same thing. I tell myself "these aren't the foods you're looking for! I talk myself out of instead of into eating.

Obesity is a lot like going into debt. We overeat for the same reason we overspend: because we talk ourselves INTO buying or eating this or that. We convince ourselves we need stuff or food. So how I lost 100 pounds was to do the opposite, to tell myself all the reasons I didn't need that food I was craving. I kept my eye on the prize, reminding myself that weight loss would be more satisfying than giving in and indulging. 

Dieting wasn't easy at first but as I got better at it. If you're in the "struggling with weight loss" phase, hang in there and you will too! Love ya'll! 



Thursday, April 22, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds: How to diet when the menu is weight loss-unfriendly

Oh the dilemma of dieting in the western world. Any time and everywhere are food choices galore. And those weight loss derailing scenarios: holiday spreads, picnics, potlucks, buffets, banquets, cookouts, tailgate parties, restaurants, all with very non-diet friendly menus. How do you navigate these feeding frenzies without going hungry or breaking your fast? How do you stick to your diet when no one else is? Those Jedi "mind over platter" tricks I was talking about yesterday are how I lost 100 pounds even in food blowouts. 

Weight loss trick one: Don't even go there. Avoid the usual suspects: lasagna, mac and cheese, BBQ, fried anything, etc. Or better still, try this diet trick...

Weight loss trick two: A lil dab'll do ya! No I'm not speaking Flintstones. To stay on course, eat just a few bites of the "obesity on a plate" dishes. BBQ, pecan pie and brownies are my kryptonite (and dayum if they aren't at EVERY gathering!) so I take tiny portions and savor those. 

Weight loss trick three: BYO meals. When possible, like at a picnic or holiday party, bring specially prepared "diet friendly" dishes you can eat and focus on those. 

Weight loss trick four: 3/4 plate rule. From the buffet, potluck or dinner, fill your plate 3/4 full of veggie options (avoid those obesity causing marshmallow-y Thanksgiving sweet potatoes and buttery mashed tates). Fill the other quarter with the leanest pieces of meat you can find. 

Weight loss trick five: Nil Desperandum! Declare a feast day. So you're at Great-Aunt Mildew's Christmas party and the woman has outdone herself on the goodies. She'll be hurt if you don't indulge. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Dive in and enjoy. One day off won't hurt; just get back on the wagon the next day. 

And that my besties, is how I lost 100 pounds and obesity, despite the brownies!! Love ya'll and best to you! 





How I lost 100 pounds using the Force: Jedi weight loss tricks

Weight loss definitely ain't like dustin' crops, kid! The western world diet is one 24-7-365 food fest. Everywhere I'm surrounded by "obesity on a plate": fast food joints, supermarkets crammed with junk food.  Navigating this hyperspace of food choices requires Jedi mind tricks. Here's how I lost 100 pounds using the Force! 

Weight loss means making new food choices amid bombardment from unhealthy ones. In fact, that circus of goodies is part of WHY I became obese in the first place. There are just too many obesity causing options. Just reading the grocery store ad, I realized there was next to nothing I could eat if I wanted to lose weight. 

So about those weight loss Jedi mind tricks--when grocery shopping, I play Han Solo, flying the Millennium Falcon through the barrage of temptation. I don't look at food that doesn't fit my diet. I don't even go down certain aisles: soda pop, chips and salty snacks, candy, cookies, pie, cakes, ice cream, junk snacks. Those are Mos Eisley for me, LOL. 

I do my Jedi homework, reading nutrition labels ahead of time and don't wait till I'm actually fighting the Empire (at the store)! I stock up on foods that are strong with the Force: vegetables, fruit, lean meat, high protein low carb grains. I put on my deflector shield and do a quick flyby through dairy, meats and frozen getting the ones that are better for weight loss (cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, mozzarella, lean chicken, beef steak and pork loin) . Then I get the heck out of the debris field! And that, fellow rebels, is how I lost 100 pounds! 


If you're on a mission to lose weight, May the Force be with you! 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds with Jedi mind tricks

Greetings from the weight loss front! Today I'm thinking back to how I lost 100 pounds seven years ago. I've said before that I used what I call "mind over platter" workarounds. They're kinda like Jedi mind tricks. Here's how they work. 

I started gaining weight in 2004 after losing my second stillborn baby. By 2011, I was morbidly obese (I'm getting more comfortable using that term, now that obesity is in my rearview mirror). My eating habits weren't crazy off the charts and I've never been a binger. But I did need to revamp if I was going to achieve weight loss.

So I took some cues form Obi-Wan and used the Force. I employed Jedi mind tricks to realign my thinking. I had to psych myself up to stop overeating and work at weight loss. I talked myself out of instead of into all those sugary and salty snacks. I convinced myself I could live without that second portion of lasagna. I gently but firmly reminded myself that I didn't need such big portions. 

The hardest part for this Padawan was Jedi-ing myself to feel full when I was still hungry. That sent me to the Dagobah system for sure! But using some Yoda-esque footwork, I mastered them. It was a big part of how I lost 100 pounds. I'll share some more Jedi mind tricks for kicking obesity butt tomorrow! 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

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

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

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

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

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



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

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










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

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

Naked Wobbly Vegan Chili for weight loss

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

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


gluten free

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

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


Sunday, April 18, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds by eating: weight loss workarounds

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, April 16, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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