Sunday, February 28, 2021

I regained some weight lost: The good, bad and great news about starting over

GAH!! I knew it was bound to happen. After losing 100 pounds, I've regained some weight lost and bumped up a size. I haven't gained that much. The top picture is recent and the bottom was prior to any weight loss. But I'm still pretty disappointed. 

I promised you "reals" and "feels" on this blog--honesty, real time updates and genuine feelings, not schmaltzy-fake happy ever afters. I don't know about you but I'd rather have sincere negativity once in awhile than fakey positivity and rainbow sprinkle pony poop all the time. That last term was coined by a dear writer friend who found life unbearable and said her goodbyes a few years ago. I miss ya, girlfriend 😭.  See, I promised ya truth. 

And truth is, right now, I could kick myself. If  I wasn't in so much pain, LOL. I had shoulder surgery a month ago and I knew I was probs going to gain some weight. I have to eat a bunch of protein to heal the multiple injuries. But I'm sitting on mah butt a lot cuz too much movement makes it hurt like an Andreych Sonovabitch. 

I knew I was gaining back some weight prior to this. I don't know how much because they always weigh me with all my clothes and boots on. Not that this accounts for all the weight gain. But it is pretty inaccurate. The biggest reason is that I frankly don't want to know. I know I've written a lot about being honest about weight. Part of the reason I put on weight is because I refused accept how big I was getting.

However, after losing, I hit a plateau and then I bounced up a little as you often do after big weight loss. And I began doing a very physically exerting job. So I did build muscle which as we know weighs more than fat. Again, though, probably only enough only to account for 5 lbs. Also, I lend more credence to clothing fit and how I look in the mirror than weight. So as I'm now more self-aware, getting on the scale all the time was just discouraging. 

I now have to accept that I'm bigger in the stomach and thighs. Thighs are pretty firm, tummy not at all. And I admit that I have not been following any kind of calorie counting. Having to eat more protein doesn't mean candy, chips and lasagna. I can't have it both ways--ignoring the scale and the diet. Otherwise it won't just be 20 or 30 pounds but 100 I'll have to re-lose. So that's the bad news. 

The good news is that I caught it in time to do something about it. The great news is that I know what I need to do and I'm getting busy doing it. I remember how I lost 100 pounds and what worked last time, will work again. I'm back to 1,200 calories a day. I've dug out my diet recipes and restarted my light version food swaps. I got back on the fat burner MCT (medium chain triglycerides or coconut oil) apple cider vinegar, green tea, raspberry ketones and cinnamon (sugar blocker). I've purged the junk snacks, sweets and wine. It will be a little harder because I'm so sedentary. But I got this. I'd like to lose 20 pounds by June 1. I'll let you know how it goes. 

Love to you all 💓💓

P.S. The tricky part will be to avoid falling into the self-loathing that I so easily stumble over. I'll keep you posted on how that goes too. 🙏

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Why I brag up weight loss and why you should too

You may have wondered why I always use photos of myself on this weight loss blog. It may seem that I'm showing off and bragging. Well, I am. I'm very proud of it and I can't lie. But there are more reasons and they go far beyond boasting. I hope before and after photos are helpful to others and I think that if you've lost weight, you should show it off too. Here's why. 

I come from a generation that frowned on bragging. I was taught humility to the point of self-effacing. Being proud of achievements was arrogance and this was unchristian and sinful. You know, the whole "pride goeth before a fall" thing. This is no one's fault. They were just trying to prevent us from developing narcissistic, hurtful habits.

But pride and being proud of yourself are two very different things. Pride is a general attitude that I am better than others and above the rules. The refusal to wear a mask in public during this Covid 19 pandemic is an example. Or Nietzsche's ubermensch concept: that some are superior and not accountable. It's a selfish and exclusive whereas being proud of your accomplishments is inclusive. 

When I share about how I lost 100 pounds and show pictures before and after, it's as much for others as myself.  Certainly, the kind compliments feel good and I greatly appreciate them. But if I'm just sharing to make myself feel good, it would end there. And I don't want it to. I want to shout the good news that everyone who needs/wants to lose weight can and I'm proof. 

If you have lost weight, even just a few pounds, share it. Show off the before and after photos. Weight loss, of all the self-help tasks, is the most daunting. Beating a drug addiction may be more difficult but taming food addiction is more complicated. We have to eat to survive. So multiple times a day we must consume the "drug" that enslaves us. 

So rejoice in every move forward. That's the difference between boasting and sharing. Prideful boasting says "see what I have that you can't have." Sharing says "see what I  have and what you can have too." It's inviting others to take strength for their own journey by celebrating with you. 

Please, share your success stories with me! I would love to celebrate with you! --mar 👊💓

10 Best Sweeteners and Sugar Alternatives for Weight Loss

Earlier I posted good news for all the sweet teeth out can AND SHOULD eat sugar for weight loss! I did and lost 100 pounds! Truly! See below

No more ironing our hands when we have sugar cravings! Cue the P!nk and let's get this partay started!
Before we commence to feasting, I know what you're probably thinking. Oh lovely here comes another one like Teresa Giudice with her "eat all the pasta you want and lose weight" schmaltz. I know it sounds that far-fetched and unrealistic. But to be fair to the RHONJ-er, Giudice didn't say ALL the pasta you want and she did show how to incorporate it in a healthier lifestyle. And that's what I'm gonna do: show you how to eat sugar in healthier fat-burning ways. 

Yerp, ya heard that right too...fat-burning...that glorious Holy Grail of dieters. Conjures up images of pounds miraculously falling away. But it's not just a happy thought. Some foods really do melt fat, or to be precise, shrink fat cells and turn yucky white fat into brown adipose tissue. Some of these will even reduce blood sugar. So here are the ingredients to do that, 10 sweeteners and sugar alternatives for fat burn and weight loss. 

1) Fruit. Number one best sugar source for weight loss. Provides a great source of natural sweetener. 

2) Berries Your best friends in the fruit food group are blueberries, elderberry, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, strawberries and acai. I list these separately because they have added benefits of fat-blasting fiber from seeds plus antioxidants. Elderberry has been shown to help protect against even such virulent infections as Covid-19 or coronavirus. 

3) Greenish bananas are also listed separately because bananas are the best source of resistant starch, an added weight loss support. Resistant starch helps you feel full so you're not plagued with hunger pangs. 

4) Apples are an extra good refined sugar alternative because they substitute well in baking and have a lot of natural fiber. Make up a batch of applesauce and you'll have a sweet snack, egg and sugar substitute for baked goods and natural fat cleanse. 

5) Pure maple syrup is low on the glycemic scale and so helps prevent blood sugar spikes and inflammation. 

6) Blue agave nectar is similar to maple syrup and works well in baking, cooking and for other sugar alternative needs. 

7) Monkfruit also is low glycemic and is a good sweetener for Type 2 diabetics and those with prediabetes (AKA insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome). 

8) 70% or higher cacao dark chocolate burns fat and provides antioxidants. 

9) Dates are high in fiber and low impact sugar. They flush away toxins, moderate blood glucose and prevent inflammation. 

10) Just a little refined sugar. So obvs not the best sugar source but a little bit can help curb cravings. Indulging in a tiny bit of the verboten helps prevent deprivation syndrome. More on that later. 

Eating limited amounts of these sugar sources as part of my 1,200 calorie diet are part of how I lost 100 pounds. If you're trying to shed pounds I encourage you to try it too! Best wishes, love mar. 👊💓

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

How to help someone lose weight

What can you do to make someone else lose weight? The short answer is nothing. The better answer is...still nothing. But while the answer is simple, the question is complicated and if you're asking it, this begs other questions you need to answer about the person you want to help and yourself, too. If you want to get someone else to change something, you need to start by asking yourself why. Why do you care? What is your motivation? Consider scenarios A and B for weight loss.

A--The person you want to change is clinically obese. He has other related health problems. (If he's 50# or more overweight, he does, count on it. Diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, mobility, for a start). You have care for her, cook for her, clean up after, maybe even wash, dress and help with bathroom needs. She is your child, partner or parent. 

B--He is a little overweight or not at all. You are just bothered by it. He doesn't ask anything of you and is independent. You don't really care or want to help. You just want to fix them or better yet, shame them into "fixing" themselves. According to your standards, naturally. Your role is advisory. You see yourself as the "friend" who is brutally honest. You are yourself a little or a lot overweight. 

If any part of scenario B applies, you need help. You should fix yourself before even thinking of "helping" him. You should learn the definition of help. If you do decide to lose weight yourself, do it for you, not to set an example or "encourage" her to change. Stop kidding yourself--that is just more guilting and manipulation. 

Now, if you relate to scenario A, I still say do nothing. No preaching, nagging, harassing, hiding food, tricking. Shaming is cruel. No one responds well to it. It is counterintuitive. Shame is a root cause for obesity. And as with any other addiction (yes you can be addicted to food), the addict must see the need to quit and do the work herself. 

But also, do nothing to enable.  No buying the junk food, taking him out to eat or cooking up huge portions. No more serving, waiting on or other caregiving. No more falling for the litany of supposed  suffering and disability. A person who is obese may have other health issues not weight related. But 90% of those health issues are directly attributable to obesity. Your loved one may expect or demand assistance. It is up to you to define need verses want. No more pity. 

You may say, "but I have to care for her. She needs me." Does she though? Are you doing things she can and should do for herself? Are you enabling unhealthy behavior? You can't fix someone else's problems, but you can choose not to break them further by over-care. 

The show "My 600-lb Life" is a look at exaggerated obesity. But obesity affects more people than ever. Childhood obesity is affecting kids at younger ages than ever. This is not just pre-puberty weight gain of normal childhood. This is obesity. More people are getting gastric bypass surgery at younger ages. 

There are things we can learn from My 600-lb Life and one big thing is the danger of enabling. Each episode features at least one person who is the "feeder." Someone who prepares the extra large portions of the wrong foods, who does the work so the patient doesn't have to do anything. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for someone who needs to get healthy is nothing. 

I share these thoughts from my own weight loss journey. In my next post, I'll discuss positive things you can do to support someone who is trying to lose weight.

If you're trying to get healthier, rock on! I'm so proud of you! Love, mar 👊👏💓

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Men who fat-shame women should look in the mirror

Okay fair warning. This post is going to make some people uncomfortable, possibly angry.  Today we're looking at men who fat-shame women. Guys who humiliate their wives because after years of marriage, they look their age or have put on weight. Guys who are looking for slender curvy super models half their age. I'm going to call this out for the hypocritical, shameful, marriage-vow-busting and downright creepy pedo behavior it is. 

I begin with a disclaimer. To the nice guys out there and I know you are the majority, I'm sorry for what may sound like gender stereotyping. I DO NOT hold you accountable for the behavior of others. But I have to address this appalling, increasingly common behavior. If it doesn't apply, I thank you. Though I shouldn't have to because respect and decency should just be expected. 

If you think I'm exaggerating, here are some examples witnessed by myself and my husband. Obese men joking about "fat" women. Guys refusing to date a woman because she is "too big." Married men complaining about how their wives have "let themselves go." Old dudes blatantly flirting with, sexually harassing and having affairs with girls young enough to be their daughters. And then there is the bizarre hypocrisy.

Just last week, my husband told me that his co-worker expressed disgust because some women were enjoying their meal. He's also made rude comments about fat women. My husband told him off for being a hypocritical jackass. Co-worker is a good 80 to 100 pounds overweight himself. He doesn't take care of himself. And he's not the only guy who feels no qualms about mocking women for the very things he is. Such arrogance blinds people to their own faults. 

So why am I calling out men particularly? I'm 56 and in all my life, I've heard a lot of men body shame women, but rarely ever have I heard women shame men in private, let alone in public. She is more apt to defend and support her man, warts and all. If she does nag, it's more often because he isn't taking care of his health than because she wants him to look a certain way. For the most part, women accept aging: hair loss, weight gain, graying etc. They don't expect that he'll look like 20 forever. Because women more so than men, have been taught to love their partners as they are. 

Expectations for women are VERY different. It's more acceptable for men to fat-shame women, be overweight and "shop around" when their wives begin to age.  But it's every bit as dangerous. Instead of criticizing, they should look in the mirror. If they don't like what they see, change it. But don't change in the hopes that the partner will also change. Don't lose weight because you expect your partner to do likewise. That's just more shaming in another guise. Most of all, we should love, respect, support and be kind to others.  

I'm blessed to have a loving, supportive husband who never criticized when I gained weight. His attitude is part of how I lost 100 pounds. The photos above are from 2020 and 2008. More on that later! 

Love mar

Why women in relationships may put on weight

(left photo, 2019, right 2013)
There's a notion, which may or may not be a myth, that women in happy relationships gain weight, while men don't. The idea is that a gal who has "caught her man" doesn't need to try so hard and gets lazy. Besides being ignorant and gender profiling, these suggestions are hurtfully wrong. 

1) People gain weight for a list of reasons, and laziness is not at the top: medications (esp. antidepressants), depression, health issues, age, physical disabilities, grief, trauma, abuse, emotional issues, sedentary jobs. Women have an extra set of issues beyond their control that cause weight issues: menstruation, PCOS, endometriosis, childbearing, miscarriage, birth control,  hormone imbalance, menopause,

2) Social mores have taught women some really sick things about relationships. How we need a man to complete us. How we should amend ourselves, our habits, our beliefs and very lives so that we will be worthy of that man. Basically, we've learned we're not good enough alone and that as we are, we're not good enough to snag that man who will make us complete. So we constantly seek to look better, smaller, prettier. You would think that I was writing this in 1965, from the content. Sadly in 2021, these dangerous ideas still persist. 

3) So is it any wonder with that thinking, women who have achieved that man-catching goal, look forward to relaxing a little? Is it so strange that they expect that their man who promised to love them for better or worse, could handle them going without makeup, wearing flats and baggy pants instead of heels and skirts, enjoying eating and show it, without shaming and even (gasp!) gaining some weight=\ Again, you think this was just a thing of the 60s? Hell no. Would that it were. More on that in the next post. 

4) Worst of all are the men who, despite being overweight themselves, fat-shame women. It's not uncommon to hear obese guys complain that their wives have "really let themselves go." This seems to be more of a generational thing among men of 40 to 70 or so. And it's disgusting, not only that they are so hypocritical but that they could be so unloving. It's also counter-productive. Humiliation and insults aren't very good motivators to do anything, let alone lose weight. Love, support, care, honesty, kindness work much better. 

I've been married for 32 years and I put on a lot of weight. My husband never once complained about my size. He says he never even noticed. His unfailing love was part of what gave me the courage to lose weight. If you've gained weight, and most of us do with age, you can change that if you want to. But do it for yourself, not to conform to someone else's selfish, stupid expectations. 

Love you all!! --mar

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Fish for Lent? Maybe it's not the fast it's fried up to be

For Catholics, the seven weeks preceding Easter are called Lent. During this time we abstain from indulgent foods such as sugar and meat. In times past, Catholics also gave up dairy products, eggs, fats and oils. The Lenten diet consisted of fish, vegetables, fruit and fat-free grains. This simple fare is perfect for someone trying to lose weight. The problem now is that fish is not the economical food it once was. Also we have convoluted fasts into something resembling feasts! 

In the days when fish was plentiful, cheap or even free if you caught it yourself, it was perfect for Lent. But in 2021, local fish is all but non-existent. Mega fisheries have taken over and "strip-fished" oceans and lakes. Toxic chemicals have poisoned many fish and invasive species have killed off the rest. Now fish is three to four times the price of meat. Which makes an oxymoron of the Lenten injunction to live simply. Fish has become the luxury and chicken and pork, the economical options.

There are other dilemmas with the modern Lenten diet, such as the ubiquitous Friday night all you can eat fish fry. This kind of eating not only sabotages weight loss, it make a mockery of fasting. Even one plate of deep fried breaded fish, French fries and coleslaw, washed down with soda is about 1,500 calories. And those aren't good calories. They're salt, fat and sugar with little fiber or protein. And with the AYCE option, most people have two or three plates. This is anathema to the gospel injunction to avoid gluttony. 

Then there are the ways in which seafood is now cooked. Breaded, deep fried, buttery, cheesy and sugary sauces, alfredo, coconut shrimp, carb heavy pasta dishes. Fasting is more like a fast track diabetes and obesity. My solution is to avoid fish fry or at the very least opt for baked potato, unbreaded fish and salad. More on healthier fast and protein options in upcoming posts. 

Love ya! --mar



Monday, February 15, 2021

Weight loss: easier said than done but not as hard as I thought

I think, talk and write about weight loss all the time. So do a lot of people. It's been one of the top trending subjects for decades now. But clearly, for a lot of folks it ends with talk. Because more people are more overweight than ever before. More people are suffering and dying from weight related health issues. 

7 years ago I put my words into deeds and lost 100 lb. But for a long time, I was stuck at the "think about it" stage. And what I thought was that it was easier said than done. I have heard this excuse so often. Yes, I call it an excuse. We tell ourselves "it's going to be so much work. I don't know if I can do it. I don't know if I really need to do it. I definitely know I don't want to do it." We literally talk ourselves out of dieting and doing what it takes to slim down. 

So obviously yes it's easier to talk about than do. But so is pretty much anything. Yet that does not stop us doing those things. So why weight loss? Why is that the thing that so many people avoid doing? For me it was fear and laziness. I'm not a lazy person per se. But I was lazy about my eating or overeating. I was lazy about not monitoring. And I was afraid that it would be too difficult and I would fail. So for a long time I didn't try. 

But then out of the blue I had this ah-ha moment when I realized I can do this. My higher power, whom I choose to call God, sent me confidence that I could do this and assurance that He would help. And so I did and so He did. And you know what? It was challenging but not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. 

If you need to lose weight, and are at the thinking about it stage, I hope that you will take strength from these words. You can do it. You will do it. I don't just believe it, I know it and I love you all 


Sunday, February 14, 2021

Weirdest weight loss excuse: I can't afford to diet

I get a lot of interesting reactions when I tell people how I lost 100 pounds with no drugs or surgery. Most are overwhelmingly positive. Some are, well, odd.  The weirdest response is from people who say they cannot afford to lose weight 😳🤔.  This is a strangely common misunderstanding about weight loss and a big excuse people use to avoid it. Let's take a further look.

1) They assume I lost 100 pounds by having surgery, hiring a personal trainer, buying a lot of expensive diet food or paying for a weight loss program. I did none of those. I wrote my own diet program using elements from various schools of thought. 

2) I did use some supplements: green tea, raspberry ketones, apple cider and Garcinia cambogia. But I got them cheap from the dollar store. And some of them suppressed my appetite so I was able to eat less and save more money.

3) Almost all celebrity weight loss stories involve them hiring a personal trainer. Khloe Kardashian used one and she is supposedly a trainer herself ?! We do not need somebody else to manage our weight loss. In fact, it isn't even really appropriate because it's too easy to rely too much on the trainer and then blame them when we fail. You may benefit from a support group. I found I didn't need that. I'll cover this more in a further blog post. 

4) Dieting actually saved money because I eat less. And you don't need special diet food or meal plans. I wouldn't even recommend them because so many are not that healthy. I have purchased lighter versions of foods I like. But they don't cost any more.

5) Losing weight saves a ton of money in healthcare. A study showed a few years ago that 8 billion dollars in Medicaid was paid for obesity treatment. That doesn't even cover the related issues:  diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, back problems, sleep apnea to name a few. 

So not only could I afford to lose weight, I couldn't afford not to. Happy Heart Day ❤️❤️ love --mar

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Diet failure or fear of failure?

Okay fair warning here comes another super blunt post. By that I mean I'm going to debunk some ideas I believe to be myths about weight loss and I may possibly come off as harsh. As always, my intent is to help not hurt. But in so doing I have to be honest. I have spent too many years trying to sugarcoat my ideas to make them more palatable. I've also spent too much time apologizing and backing down at the first hint that anyone's offended. But I no longer believe those are good strategies where big important subjects like health are concerned Again, I'm always preaching to myself first and I promise a party at the end. So here goes.

It's been 7 years since I lost 100 lbs. And I've been writing about it all through that time. A lot of people have asked me about my weight loss, how I did it, etc. Many have told me they would like to lose weight, have tried everything and that nothing works. With all due respect (here comes the blunt part) that's simply not true. If I have tried everything and not lost weight, then the problem is not with the diet but the dieter. Either I am a wonder of modern science (not likely) or I am exaggerating how much work I put into it and downplaying my lack of effort.

I'm not saying they're lying but they are not being honest with themselves. For one thing, the statements "tried everything" and "nothing works" are ridiculously generalized. No one has tried every eating plan. Sure some diets are better than others. Some folks should run screaming from (the lemon detox leaps to mind) But there is something out there that will help me reduce IF I'm willing to do the work.

I can tell you why people don't lose weight. It's not that diets fail us. We fail them. We try a few diets, don't stick with any of them and fall back into old habits. Or we cut corners. Or don'tgive it enough time. Or eat more than we admit. Or don't really care. Or blame other people. Or all of the above.

But the deepest issue and possibly biggest, is fear. I can hear it in their voices, not that nothing HAS worked but that nothing WILL work. I sometimes suspect that they haven't really even tried at all to lose weight because they are crippled by this fear. They tell themselves that they have tried everything because it's easier to think that you are that wonder of modern science, then it to admit failure or face the fears.

I'm not the most self-aware of people and I can get right down in that River of denial without even noticing I stepped in the water. For years I closed my eyes too how fat I was getting. And I can tell you right now I remember that fear before I lost weight. It was so deep that it wasn't even really fear just certitude that the pounds would never come off because I would never be able to do the work it required. 

But I did!! Yay!! Here comes the aforementioned party! Blow the party hooter and toss the confetti! And you know what's even more awesome? We are all invited! Anybody and everybody can lose weight if they choose to. It's not just for the rich or young or pretty or

smart lol I'm proof of that 🤣😂

And the Uber coolest thing is that it isn't even really that difficult, certainly not as hard as I thought it would be. More on that later my dears ❤️❤️❤️ hugs and kisses --mar

You can and should eat sugar to lose weight

What the actual?!?! I not only can but should eat sugar if I'm on a diet?? You're wondering, "Erm pardon me but are you nuts?" Well in many ways, yes I am 😁 But not about this particular subject. You did read that correctly. Sugar, even refined sugar, has a place in weight loss. At least it did in mine and I believe it should in yours too. Here's why. 

First, for the purposes of this blog post, when I say sugar, I mean refined sugar, Next some stats, to give my theory cred. I lost 100 lb over a period of about 8 months: no drugs, personal trainer or surgery. 

When I began I was pre-diabetic.  I have kept the majority of weight off for 7 years. And all that time I have eaten sugar almost every day. I factored it into the diet plan that I wrote for myself. Once in awhile I even allowed myself a complete blowout. Even before the weight loss was complete I got my sugar numbers down to normal. And here's how I did that and why I think it's important. 

1) Set attainable goals. Cutting out all sugar is unrealistic. For many reasons,  I am skeptical of any diet plan that tells you to cut out anything, even sugar. It's so readily available and in pretty much all processed food, in a developed country. (Segue, it's interesting that we consider ourselves first worlders, when some of the less developed nations actually have healthier diets than we do). It would be virtually impossible to go the rest of your life without eating sugar. And a good diet builds new habits and doesn't rely on weird temporary restrictions. 

2) Limit don't delete. Obvs, eating too much junk including sugar was part of what got me overweight to start with. Soto lose weight, I dialed way back on the amount I ate. I allowed 100 or so calories a day of my food intake to be from  sugar

3) Occasionally overindulge. Again yes you read that correctly. As I said earlier sometimes you can let yourself eat as much sugar as you want. But only at one meal on one day every couple of weeks. This overindulgence serves several purposes. It prevents you from feeling deprived. Deprivation mode is a form of depression plus resentment that leads to dishonesty. It can sabotage your diet because you end up sneaking and cheating on yourself. And you develop unhealthy self-perception.

4) Change your mind. We've come to think of sugar as a treat. It's not. It's just another food option and certainly not the best one. But it does have two benefits: it releases dopamine which makes you feel good and it perks your brain up. So while we should not use sugar or any food as a reward, we can enjoy the benefits. 

5) Control cravings. Sugar is as addictive as heroin. So if you try to quit cold turkey you will very likely have some serious withdrawal type cravings. If you eat a little bit you can keep those cravings at bay.

6) Take back the controls. The more you get the sugar habit under control the easier it gets and the better you feel physically, mentally and emotionally. You feel powerful and capable. Nobody likes being at the mercy of someone else and certainly not someTHING else. When I was slave to chocolate, I felt foolish,  weak and angry with myself. When I got my sugar addiction under control, I felt like Wonder Woman!

7) Lose your taste for it. This isn't an instruction it's a promise. When I first started dieting my blowouts looked like several pieces of dessert. Toward the end it was only a few bites. My stomach had shrunk and I literally couldn't eat any more. And it didn't taste as good. That's the honest truth. I'm not schmoozing you.  Of all the goodies I used to love, none of them taste quite as good as they once did.

9) Face those fears. I've talked to a lot of people who say they can't lose weight. They're afraid they will not be able to see it through. They fear failure. More on that in tomorrow's blog post. So I can't promise that you will lose weight but I can assure you that you do have the strength too if you want to.

10) Homework: Try this experiment. Choose a favorite piece of dessert. Monitor your reactions and sensations as you eat each bite. The first bite will probably taste great but each successive one will lose something. So if you just enjoy those two or three bites you're getting all the payout of the entire piece with a fraction of the calories. 

So here ends this blog post. I will write further on different kinds of sugar that are best. Love y'all to Pluto (it is a planet!!) and back. 💕

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Emotional eating and the brutal truth about obesity, trauma and abuse

This may be my most blunt and controversial post yet. I'm going to debunk the notion that abuse leads to overeating. I recognize that I am on treacherous terrain here. I may come off as harsh or judgmental. I may very well be wrong But I assure you that I write this only to help and heal, not hurt. And I have earned the right to comment about weight loss. I lost 100 pounds and I know every excuse in the book. 

If you watch My 600-lb Life, you know that every episode features patients blaming their obesity on past trauma: death, loss, shame, rape, abuse. They say they turned to food for comfort. Now that I get. But when they say that the need for comfort is the reason they are 600 lb. No. I have been taking apart this theory and just can't get it to fit. Or if it does it is a contrived fit. 

I'm not for moment suggesting the abuse wasn't real. I am in no way suggesting that issues from childhood should not be addressed. I'm not saying that people don't need comfort or that food can't be comforting. In seeking to anesthetize pain, people often turn to dangerous methods: drugs, violence, self-harm, yes perhaps overeating but more often than not, they undereat either to achieve a better self-image or because food just doesn't sound good.

So why is emotional eating so common? And why do people blame weight problems on emotional issues? There are several reasons. Here's where the brutal part comes in.

People have been finding methods to self-soothe for eons. It's only within the last 50 years or so that food has been used so routinely and commonly.  When I was young few were overweight. When my grandparents were young, virtually no one was. It was partially because food was not so readily available in such large quantities. Especially not the nutrition void food that fills our grocery stores and restaurants.

The thing with food that's different from the other self soothers is that it is not inherently dangerous. For goodness sake it's how we survive. Food tastes good. It feels good to eat. We need to eat. But when we develop a habit of overindulging in the wrong things, we also tend not to want to take responsibility for it. We want it to be someone or something else's fault that we can't leave chocolate alone or that consume enough to feed three people. We also don't want to admit that it's an addiction like alcohol or drugs. The same people who are morbidly obese will often decry alcohol as "sinful" and then ignore their own gluttony. 

And food has changed from sustenance to treat based. Look around at 90% of the shelf filler. The majority has virtually no nutritive value. It can't even really be called food. It is disproportionately calorie dense for the amount of nutrition you get. It is filled with addictive ingredients and chemicals: MSG, saturated fat, additives, HFCS and sugar. 

Obese people didn't get where they are eating salads. "Got to have my Brussels sprouts" said no obese person ever. Whenever you see My 600-lb Life participants eating it's always junk, carbs and sugar in shocking quantities. 

There's no way that I will accept that that is emotional eating. It is addictive eating. What may have started out as self-soothing has now a ballooned into obsessive and compulsive gorging . I know a little about that. I could eat a pound of cheese at a sitting. Not because I have past trauma. I do and plenty of it but that isn't why I overate. Part of it was because of an antidepressant that turned my limit switches off. I will say I only ate to that extent when I was on Paxil. And I was lonely and missing my husband who worked nights. 

But I wasn't eating to fill a void. I was eating because it tasted good (cheese is another food with addictive properties). And I had stretched my stomach so far that I needed to put a lot in it to make it feel full. And because I was in denial about how much weight I was gaining. And because I just didn't want to stop. I didn't care. 

Now that just may have been me but I don't think so. I think this is a common experience among the morbidly obese. They have been telling themselves that their suffering has made them what they are. Some have believed their abusers that they were worthless. Then they let food take over and control them. They have allowed their addiction to trick them into thinking they have no choice or power. Some have used their past trauma as an excuse to manipulate bully and control others.  Some have made up problems to justify their actions. 

The key in weight management is to address past trauma separately from weight issues. Granted healing one may also heal the other. But continually linking them minimizes both. And it also reinforces the wrong idea that one caused the other. And because people need to see that they and only they can take charge of their lives, health, addiction, eating. And that they really are strong enough and worth doing it. 

If you need to lose weight, do it. Do it now. I'll be your cheerleader! Regardless of what happened before, you control the now. People hurt you. Don't let them continue to. The best retribution is to survive and thrive. In spite of or perhaps because of your past pain, you have the power you need to give yourself the love and care you deserve.


Avoiding post-op weight gain, or Help! my frig has me hostage!

Two weeks ago I had shoulder surgery. I've been virtually immobile only now able to move much. My doc warns off ibuprofen because it slows healing. So I did not have that avenue of pain relief. After the first week I tapered off the opioid, cut the Tylenol and have been trying rest only for healing. 

Surprisingly or not, despite the lack of exercise I get quite hungry. I'm thinking it's because you have to feed healing muscles, tendons etc. When my husband burned his foot, the burn clinic advised eating lots of protein to rebuild tissue. His translation was that he required many cupcakes LOL, which we lovingly provided. 

But he has never had to worry about his weight whereas I'm locked in an eternal duel with mine. 😬 So I'm back to that dilemma I was in when I worked from home: 7 steps from a frig AND with the added burden of having to eat more to heal. And this situation isn't changing anytime soon.

The nature of my current employment, Shipt shopping, is pretty physically challenging. With 16 weeks of 5 lb lifting restriction and another 8 at 25 lbs, I won't be back behind the cart anytime soon, if ever. This job is very probably what injured my shoulder in the first place. 

So what to do to avoid weight gain for 5 months? A part of me would like to complicate it. Or at least, find reasons to justify overeating. Because that's always been my habit. But that was also the problem. And really, I don't want to go back there. I know, because my common sense tells me so, avoiding post-op weight gain is no different than any other kind. The rules are the same. 

Because I need extra nourishment, I might let up on my 1,300 calorie a day weight loss diet. I might...(static buzz) "Attention folks (voice booms over loud speaker), we interrupt this fantasy for a reality check. This blog author wasn't and hasn't been on that strict diet for awhile. She has been cheating for months now. Just saying..."

Well thank you, conscience, for that fact finding info. What are you,  Snopes in my head (arschloch!) But I guess he is right. I did promise transparency in this blog and have never been anything but. So yeah, I've been off the wagon awhile.

Blame our stupid life-leeching, soul-sucking 2nd&3rd shift schedule (yep, both). Husband works 5pm to 5am often later, every weekend. I work around his schedule so that we can actually see each other and have some semblance of a relationship. 

Blame Covid and quarantine and stress and loneliness and boredom and long term traumatic stress disorder and sleep apnea and laziness. Yeah, probs that most of all. Or just don't blame and look ahead.

So moving forward in this weird new normal. Healing is going to require a higher calorie intake. That's not giving myself permission to overeat or indulge. That doesn't mean 1,800 calories of cheesecake and KFC. I'm still going to have to keep the fridge stocked with good stuff and not junk (well maybe a little junk so I don't go scrounging for cookie crumbs in the couch at 2am). I will say that's been a good habit... To keep more good than bad available.  I've maintained that despite the wagon plummet.

I'm going to eat when I'm

hungry but it's going to be protein, veg/fruit and good carb heavy. I did it before, losing 100 lbs. So this should be a piece of cake...erm chicken breast 😁 more from my weight journey later. Feel free to shoot me questions or comments. (Please!! I've got a lot of hours ahead in need of filling!)

As always, 💕💕 you lots --mar 

I lost weight when I jumped off the excuse train

When I tell people that I have lost 100 lbs I get a lot of different responses. Most are very positive but a few have an echo of resentment. I have heard comments such as: "well it was easier for you because you (insert reason why it's supposedly easier for me). I can't lose weight because (insert excuse why it is supposedly harder for them)."

Now this doesn't bother me personally. I have lost the weight and no amount of negativity one can take that success away. I don't even honestly care if someone does think I somehow just got lucky. I know the amount of work that went into it. I had and have just as many, maybe more, obstacles to contend with as anyone. 

What concerns me, and I'm going to be blunt here, is the delusional rationalizing that that one CANNOT lose weight because of circumstances in his life. Some conditions may make it more challenging. My sleep apnea and back issues didn't help. Some issues may (MAY) make it harder to see results. I'm not even convinced of that. But nothing prevents someone from eating less and healthier. 

People have struggled with the same health issues through history, plus more  than we have now. Virtually none of them had weight problems. Look at the old pictures. If anything, they were underweight, regardless of country or culture. So why then are so many of us, with the same problems, overweight or obese? Because the health conditions have little or nothing to do with weight gain. That is caused by overeating, eating junk, too much screen time and too little activity. 

And excuse-making. That is huge. I have penned volumes on my own ride on the excuse train. And there's more to come. Another pair of roadblocks is blaming others and  looking everywhere but in our own backyards for change. Those are definitely going to require further blog posts. 

But I will leave you this thought for today. Cuz that's all we, this moment. If you are struggling with shedding pounds, you may be on the excuse train. If so, get off at the next station. Or better yet, jump! Every time you start to think of why you can't, shouldn't have to, don't really need to lose weight, stop. Each time you start rehearsing the litany of reasons why you have weight problems, why you are your helpless and why it's actually someone else's fault, slam on those brakes. That's a side track you don't want to go down. Believe me: been there. 

What I had to do was to revise my attitude and rewrite the script with proactive things I can do, right now, to effect healthy change in my life. Try it... It'll revolutionize your life! 

I love you guys! And despite being the least interested in hockey of anyone I know, I nevertheless use Red Green's closing quote: keep yer stick on the ice and remember I'm pulling for ya ❤️ --mar

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Portion control may be the most important tool in weight loss

I've written a lot about the importance of portion control in weight loss. But I could write volumes more. Here are 5 crucial issues to remember about food intake. 

1) Big portions make big people. If I overeat, and don't burn it off I'm going to gain weight. Very few people use enough energy to balance extra intake with body size. You might be surprised to learn how few calories are actually burned by exercise. That's why exercise alone does not lose weight.

2) Majority metabolism rules. Sure there are some people like my husband who eat whatever they want and don't gain weight. Some have a higher metabolism or actually burn a lot more calories than they realize. Some would like to gain weight but can't.  But for the majority more food in means more weight on. 

3) It's about habits. I'm not talking the occasional overeating. I'm talking habitually eating enough to feed two to three people. I'm talking cooking far too much and having too many leftovers around. I have been laid up with shoulder surgery and been blessed with meals from friends. I appreciate them all but esp those that bring two brownies for dessert not a whole pan. Stuck on the couch, the extra goodies call out to me to eat them. And I don't need the extra 15 lbs when I'm already having trouble moving 😳

4) Stomach stretching is real. Remember the old saying about stretching your stomach if you overeat? It's true. If I continually accustom my stomach to larger portions it will expand to accommodate. And I will feel hungry even though I have eaten a reasonable amount. 

5) Get back to the good old days. In 1950, a McDonald's meal was one small single hamburger, small fries and a 7 oz Coke. In 2021, those portion sizes have tripled to quintupled. And don't even get me started on the buffets. If there's one positive take away from the Covid-19 pandemic, it's that we can get ourselves out of a habit of eating those monstrous restaurant portions and back to smaller healthier intake. But it has to start at home. Here's how.

6) I said five tips this is a bonus lol. Read labels, count calories and do the math. Food manufacturers put RDA (recommended daily allowances) on their labels. Take advantage of the research and use the data to plan meals and portions of reasonable sizes. Track how many calories you are eating. (11 x your goal weight daily is a good target). Be sure to get all the nutrients. This is how I lost 100 lbs. 

Love y'all! Be well --mar

Blog Archive