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! May the Force be With You! 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. 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Weight Loss requires 5Ds: Diet, Determination, Discipline, Distraction, Diffusion

I lost 100 pounds a few years ago (right is before and left pic is after). Now I'm working to shed some pounds regained. I've found that weight loss requires 5Ds. I'll go into detail on each of these in upcoming posts but here's a summary. 

Diet: Or should I say diet makeover, lol. I had a diet prior to weight loss: It was called the "wine and cheese and chocolate and pizza party with the cat" diet. Seriously, I didn't overeat that much and I've never been a big junk food person. But I did eat too much, especially on the antidepressant Paxil which busted limit switches. Ergo the obesity. So obviously a clean up of eating habits was in order. Which brings me to the second D.

Determination: I had to make up my mind that I should, could and would lose weight. No more excuses, putting it off, cheating, denial. I knew it would be a long haul so I had to visualize myself thinner and keep that mental image in my head. I call this tool "eye on the prize" and that takes 
me to the third D. 

Discipline: I wanted to lose weight but I didn't want to diet. I dreaded it. But like so many Al-Anon slogans I've used, "fake it till ya make it" works great. Also, "it works if ya work it" cuz self-discipline really does pay off if you're will to do the work of weight loss. 

Distract/Deflect: Part of  how I lost 100 pounds was to distract myself from constant thoughts of hunger and food and deflect my thoughts on other things. I keep busy and active. I try to focus on others' greater suffering to minimize my own minor struggle. I promise myself I'll eat later and sometimes I forget that I'm hungry! Having said that, brings me to the last D of weight loss. 

Diffuse: In order to be able to distract from obsession with food, I avoid getting too hungry. If I let myself go too long without eating, hunger pain (and it really is pain that can hurt like crazy) sets in. It seems I can't get full. Blood sugar drops and I can't stop eating. So I diffuse intense hunger by nibbling throughout the day. I track calories for weight loss and don't just mindlessly snack. But I spread them out over more small meals instead of a few large ones. I may not ever be completely full but I'm also not completely empty! 

These 5Ds are my formula for beating obesity! 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Weight loss from the flip side: thin-shaming, anorexia, illness, underweight issues

I've been writing about how I lost 100 pounds with diet, yada yada for seven years. So this blog focuses on weight loss as a positive thing. With obesity at all time highs, it's crucial to look at shedding unhealthy fat. But what about those for whom weight loss is dangerous, such as for those ill with cancer, Covid 19, anorexia, bulimia or some  other debilitating illness? What about those folks who can't gain weight? Here's a look a weight loss from the flip side. 

I can't speak for the rest of the world, but in the US, thin is in and fat is anathema. Body shaming has become a national pastime. Almost everyone it seems wants to, is being told to and/or is trying to lose weight. Our perspective has become so effed up that people get distorted body image issues (body image dysmorphia) and starve themselves because they see fat that isn't there. 

Ironically, despite our obsession with thin, people who are slender by nature are often mocked for being "too thin." We all want to be thin, but we're jealous of those who are. They're often accused of being anorexic--as if that or being thin is some kind of crime. Very often, women especially don't dare to tell anyone that they're having trouble gaining weight. A loved one was told not to share her struggles with being too thin because it upset those who were overweight. But it's okay for those who are overweight to share even though this is as frustrating for my loved one as her inability to gain is to them? 

 My husband has "skinny genes." His mother (God rest her soul) couldn't gain weight either. He gets told all the time that he is lucky, mostly by people who are trying to lose. He says he doesn't feel lucky. He used to get teased and called names "skinny" "beanpole" "zipper" "scarecrow." He envied big people their ability to put weight on! 

So maybe it's all in perspective? Maybe we're too self-centered and should look at things from others' point of view? Maybe we shouldn't body shame, judge, preach, name-call or criticize? Maybe we should walk in another's moccasins awhile and practice empathy, compassion, and inclusiveness? JMHO. 

Wherever you are right now, at healthy weight, overweight, underweight, ill, struggling or happy, I'm sending you prayers, schmootches
and gushy hugs. Love mar

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds using hunger pain: poverty, empathy and weight loss

It might surprise you to know that feeling hunger pain was a big part of how I lost 100 pounds. I discovered a connection between my own hunger, the poverty and hunger of others and weight loss. Feeling hungry helped inspire me to lose weight but also to work on losing selfishness. Let me explain. 

As a Catholic Christian, I'm called to live in solidarity with the poor, to fast, to show empathy, to pray and  sacrifice for others. This is based on Biblical gospel teachings of Jesus, which the Catholic church has listed in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. 

I have practiced religious fasting for awhile now but it didn't really hit till I started to work at weight loss. Then I learned on a small scale what was meant by hunger pain. Being hungry really hurts. I don't know the deep hunger of systemic poverty. That pain is something I've never had to endure. But I can offer up my meager sufferings for those who really suffer. 

By denying myself food, I align myself with those in need. Feeling a little of what they feel a lot, makes me more empathetic and sympathetic. When I'm hungry I recall those who are starving. I can ask our Heavenly Father to show mercy. I can give up my selfishness. And on a pragmatic level, saving money on food gives me more to share. It's not enough. It never will be until we eradicate poverty and world hunger for good. But it helps me and I'm grateful for that. 

"My 600-lb Life" stars malnourished on gastric bypass weight loss diet?

We who are working at weight loss can learn a lot from the the reality TV stars of "My 600-lb Life." I will be forever grateful to these folks for having the courage to share their painful stories. They've taught me so much, even the dysfunctional behavior. I'm thinking today of the man who cheated on Dr Now's gastric bypass diet because he thought he was malnourished. He sure got a LOT of shaming from TLC watchers for that. Personally, it just broke my heart. Especially as, I believe, he was one who passed away before he could outrun obesity. 

But does he have a valid point? Are some diets so restrictive that you don't get enough to eat? Yes, indeed. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to try different plans. And some were starvation diets, plain and simple. Now that doesn't mean the gastric bypass diet used by "My 600-lb Life" Dr. Now is. But it probably feels like it. Especially when you have hundreds of pounds of extra body to feed. 

But also, you can't eat the way you always have if you want to lose weight. This poor guy hadn't yet realized what the success stories of "My 600-lb Life" had, that with weight loss, you begin to feel satisfied with less. There are two takeaways here. First, follow a healthy diet that ensures you're getting all the nutrients you need. My Fitness Pal is a great place to start. Avoid any weight loss program that has you eating a bunch of weird foods or restricting entire food groups. 

Next, give your stomach time to shrink.  When I first began dieting, I was hungrier. And hunger is really uncomfortable, not gonna lie. More on that later. But as the pounds fell off so did the hunger pangs. The pictures above are me in the same shirt before and after weight loss. To paraphrase the Al-Anon slogan, a good diet works if you work it! Best wishes to all 

Diet depression, comfort eating and warding off weight loss blues

Hello my dear friends! Today's post is about diet depression. You know, that blah feeling you get from too much counting calories and cutting portions and not enough chocolate LOL? It's a big reason why those of us who are pursing weight loss hot and heavy turn to comfort eating. 

What is "comfort" eating? In this context I mean turning to food to boost your spirits. Even folks who aren't dieting often turn to food to alleviate the blues. It becomes a vicious circle of overeating, putting on weight, feeling depressed and guilty and eating more. Lather rinse repeat. The end result is obesity. 

It's even worse when you are working at weight loss. Oftentimes you don't eat enough and so don't get enough fuel to your brain. You wear out and don't have the emotional resistance to ward off those blues. That's another vicious cycle. And if you're already prone to depression it's even more bumpy. 

I wish I could tell you that there was an easy fix but there's not. I do suggest eating enough to keep your brain fueled. Each person has different requirements. I also recommend avoiding traditional "comfort foods" -sweets, salty snacks, fast food, junk food. 

Prayer and meditation help me a lot. Focusing on things that make you happy, obviously. I'm trying to count blessings with calories (Thank you, Sonja). Avoiding negativity, always. Exercise and sunshine work wonders too! Best to you as you work your weight loss program! Love mar

Monday, April 12, 2021

Should I trust scale or clothing fit for to determine weight loss?

Okay, so I've been sharing how I lost 100 pounds and now, seven years later, how I've been working to lose 30 lbs regained. Obesity is something I outran once and I'm struggling to keep ahead of it. I've noticed that the scale hasn't moved a whole lot. I've probably had a 5-7 pound weight loss. But my clothes fit differently. I also look smaller. Places where there were bulges are minimizing. So do I trust the scale or how I feel and how clothes fit?

The answer is both. I need to know how much I've lost, or  haven't to keep diet on track. But I also know from past experience, how easily I get frustrated over what looks like little weight loss progress. So I'm going to keep my weight number in mind but focus on the success with busting fat. I'm going to enjoy the good mojo from looking smaller. 

This weight loss game can feel like a real carnival funhouse that's not very much fun. I'm keeping my eyes on what uplifts me. And I encourage you to do likewise! Love, Mar

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Fat-blaster beef jerky recipes for weight loss: protein punch plus calorie crunch!

I didn't know I liked beef jerky till the youngest was pestering for some on a road trip. So I stopped and bought a scandalously expensive bag at a gas station. Cause when Emma pesters, people listen or poke pencils in their ears to make her whining stop. Don't judge. You all know, or have birthed, someone like this. 

Anyhoo, I, who have been working at weight loss for a few years, was pleasantly surprised to find that beef jerky is super high protein, low calorie and lowfat (even the candy-sweet gas station kind). I was not delighted about the price, however. So I set about to make my own, cheaper and better. Here's the recipe that ensued. Many people have told me it's the best jerky they've ever had, even my husband who hates jerky. 

For weight loss beef jerky, start with the leanest beef steak sliced you can find--usually sirloin. I got thin-sliced bistec with 120 calories for a 4 ounce serving. That's better than salmon! If you can't find thin-sliced no worries. Just trim all the fat and slice in 1/8 in strips. It doesn't have to be perfect, just keep it thin. And cut against the grain. I hate tough beef jerky. And cutting with the grain is what toughens it up. Going against the grain gives you shorter pieces. 

Here's the marinade recipe for one pound of meat slices. Adjust as needed. 1/4 cup Bragg's Liquid Amino, 1/4 cup 100% cranberry juice, 1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon celery seed, 1 teaspoon freshly cracked 4-color pepper blend (or regular black pepper), 1 teaspoon dried minced onion, 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke,  1/2 teaspoon paprika and garlic powder. Of, if you can find it, use smoky chipotle paprika instead of paprika and liquid smoke. 

Place in disposable zippered bag (don't use a reusable container cause you'll never get the taste out, LOL). Marinate overnight in fridge. Drain and pat dry. I place meat strips on paper towel and "wring out" liquid. Arrange in strips on food dehydrator. You can use the oven on lowest setting if you don't mind crunchy beef jerky (I do.) 

Nibbling on this weight loss friendly snack gives you a protein punch with calorie crunch!  Protein fills you up and helps blast obesity! It's how I lost 100 pounds! (You will notice some pieces missing in the picture. I sampled it to make sure it was okay for you. You're welcome! <3)

Weight loss recipes 2 diet 4: Banana bread protein breakfast muffins

Do you stifle a yawn when you see "weight loss recipes"? Some diet recipes are pretty ho-hum, and blech to boot. Like the steel cut oat bars I made the other day. Even my thieving kittens wouldn't try them. And it's very important to have tasty diet foods, if you're trying to beat obesity, like me. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to concoct recipes that are neither yucky nor boring. Here's one for banana bread
protein muffins that are 2 diet 4! 

I'm a self-avowed muffin lover, especially breakfast muffins. But I think we all know that muffins are anathema to weight loss, crammed with sugar, bad fat and mostly useless carbs. So if I want to avoid muffin top and still enjoy muffins, I need low-sugar, lowfat and fiber and protein forward ones. Oh, did I mention these are also gluten free? 

Weight loss friendly protein muffins

2 mashed bananas

3/4 cup coconut flour (gluten free, good for you saturated fat)

6 eggs (or 4 eggs and half cup milled flax seed omit this if you're making gluten free breakfast muffins)

2 teaspoons blue agave syrup

1/3 cup hemp hearts

teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup whole milk Greek yogurt

6 T melted coconut oil

teaspoon vanilla

teaspoon cinnamon

half teaspoon nutmeg

half teaspoon allspice

Blend and place in 12 muffin pan sprayed with non-stick pan spray and bake at 350 for 25 ish minutes. For banana bread, bake in loaf pan for 55 ish minutes. Muffins will be pretty moist. I'm not sure exactly on the calorie count but it's about half that of regular muffins, plus they're super filling and that's important in fighting obesity! You will have to fight off not only pets but non-dieting humans too!

These are my two little monsters, Moishe and Mordecai. They have nothing to do with this post and were more hindrance than help in making the banana bread, but I thought you might like to see them LOL

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