Wednesday, December 28, 2022

No Junk January weight loss challenge pro tip: purge and cleanse

 Hello friends! In this blog, I've been exploring how I lost 100 pounds and keep it off. One of my weight loss and weight maintenance techniques is to do occasional diet revamps such as this one I started called No Junk January weight loss challenges. I'm cleaning up my eating habits by deleting all junk food, fast, fried and fatty foods and sweets. I promised pro tips in case you'd like to join me. I can't promise that we'll all lose weight but I can say from experience that I feel better overall when I eat smarter. 

Today's tip for No Junk January is to purge and cleanse. I'm not talking about using a liver cleanse per se, though it will have the effect of a system cleanse, certainly. No Junk January begins in December with a purge of junk food around the house and in my diet. By Jan 1, I'm going to have all Christmas goodies, chips, salty snacks, fatty and fried foods gone. I'm stocking up on fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, lean meat, keto bread, whole milk yogurt and plant protein powder. 

To achieve weight loss, I need those temptations gone. Part of how I lost 100 pounds 8 years ago, was to pare down food choices to healthy diet-friendly options. So I'm doing a cupboard cleanse of chips, salty snacks, Christmas candy and cookies, baked goods, pie, cake, muffins and fatty processed meat like bacon, ham, sausage, salami and summer sausage ( big favorites around here). I'll replace these with frozen salmon pieces, chicken breast, lemons and grapefruit, berries and leafy vegetables, cut veggies for snacks, nuts and seeds and keto bread. 

You might be thinking, great, but what about non-dieting family members? Won't they get upset if I get rid of their treats? Good point that I'll cover tomorrow. In fact this  method was how I lost 100 pounds in the first place. Oh, and I promised a system cleanse from the cupboard cleanse. With less liver blocking and artery clogging junk food and more leafy greens, berries, seeds, MUFA and PUFA foods, that system cleanse will happen, just you wait! 

Methods like these are part of my Mind Over Platter weight loss method to not only beat obesity but keep it away for good. I'm excited about No Junk January and look forward to hearing from you if you join in! 

Monday, December 26, 2022

Who's up for weight loss with No Junk January?

 Hey friends, the New Year is  just around the corner. Are you up for a weight loss challenge?  I've found that my eating habits have strayed off the path (actually, down the verge into the ditch up and are hurtling down the cliff. So I'm starting a personal No Junk January eating plan (diet). For 31 days, I'm purging sweets, salty snacks, fast, fatty and fried foods. If I lose weight, bonus. If I just get healthier, that's great too. 

If you're like me, you make resolutions and forget them by February (or January 3 lol). That's okay, though because this is just for one month. Losing weight, like any other, personal growth initiative has to be done in increments. Like Alanon says, planning on doing something forever is so daunting that failure is certain. So let's do this weight loss challenge one day at a time. We won't think about the end of January just yet. We'll just take the first step, and then the next, one at a time. 

Every few days, I'll try to provide ideas, tips and updates. For today, my first step is identifying triggers. Tomorrow I'll post more about my triggers. For now, I'm losing the tortilla chips, candy, cookies, baked goods, chips and dip. If you want to join me, in this No Junk January weight loss challenge, start by listing your diet kryptonite. More tomorrow! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

How I lost 100 pounds without exercising (unclench the pearls!)

So yanno how there's this big debate about exercise or diet to lose weight? I'm going to share how I lost 100 pounds without exercising, with calorie restricting on a 1200 calorie diet. Now before you get the vapors, diehard fitnessfolks, unclench the pearls and hear me out. Weight loss wasn't laying on the couch. I just didn't exercise in the traditional sense. I worked out by working and that, with calorie restricting helped me lose weight. 

Weight loss by calorie restricting alone, AKA sans a gym, personal trainer, etc, wasn't exactly a choice. And it may not have even been an ideal method. I have extensive structural issues that make garden variety exercise (calisthenics, aerobics, weight training, jogging and running) insanely, cripplingly painful. It's not a matter of getting used to it. It's literally impossible for me to do this things routinely with doing further damage. 

Yes, I've been told, "no pain no gain." And for a long time, I bought that erroneous thinking. It was said that I didn't know the difference between soreness from stretched muscles and devastating, relentless agony. I finally realized that at 58 years old, I do. And I can make a decision to do what's best for me. 

Now clearly, doing nothing isn't what's best. That's going to cause pain too. If we've learned anything from "My 600-lb Life" and shows about morbid obesity, it's that sedentary lifestyles cause, increase and exacerbate chronic pain issues. "My 600-lb Life" shows people bedridden, by choice, constantly complaining of aches and pain. 

So movement is essential, to health, pain management and weight loss. My solution is to keep active, doing physical labor. Don't get me wrong. This causes pain too. But not the wracking pain of jarring exercise like jogging. There are some exercises I can do that are very beneficial: yoga, limited bike riding and swimming. I have to moderate, and know when to slow down. Ice and Epsom salt baths help too. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was by recognizing physical limitations, working around them and doing all I can within them for the betterment of my health. Exercise vs. diet is not mutually exclusive. And neither are one size fits all. Like "My 600-lb Life" shows,  if I am to overcome obesity, I have to work my program and not sit back and wait for someone else to fix u. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

When self-confidence plummets, HALT

So I know I come across pretty confident in this blog on how I lost 100 pounds. But a lot of that is me faking it till I make it. I can be going along just fine and then, whump, my self-confidence plummets. And low self-esteem, rushes in, accompanied by her friends anxiety, self-loathing, depression and paranoia. And it doesn't matter a jot what I've accomplished, I just suddenly feel like a fat, ugly, stupid loser. Anybody else experience this? Yeah, I thought, unfortunately, I wasn't alone in this. But maybe it's not so unfortunate that others can relate. Maybe we can help each other. 

So what do you do when those unwanted guests arrive? I am learning to HALT. To stop and use the Al-Anon acronym HALT to determine if I am Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. I add another, Sick. If I'm any one of those, I'm not at my best. And those uninvited guests may be (probably are) just manifestations of my struggling brain.  But what if none of those apply? 

Clearly something is off. Al-Anon refers to nagging self-doubt as a "monkey on my back." The  monkey doesn't shout. He whispers in a nasty, pernicious voice that only I can hear. He knows just what to say to make me miserable. He taunts that I'm a failure, ugly, loser, etc. When I try to confront him head-on, he gaslights me and drives me crazy. 

I actually have nightmares in which people are shaming and mocking me. I've had dreams like this as long as I can remember. There will definitely be another post on that and maybe a series. So what do I do when the monkey is live? I'm learning to use the yoga tool of coming back to center. I rid myself of distractions, esp digital ones and bring it in and close. I breathe deeply and focus on channeling positive energy, till I get my balance back. It doesn't have to be for a long time. Just a few moments usually gets me on track and shuts the monkey up. 

How I lost 100 pounds with Popeye


Hiya friends! If you follow this blog on how I lost 100 pounds, you know that I like to write enigmatic titles to provoke your curiosity. Today we're looking at weight loss with Popeye. Not, alas, the famous Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen. I wish!! But Popeye the sailor man. (Whom my grandson Moses used to call Potpie, which makes me laugh to remember, and ponder how the baby grands are growing so quickly, but I digress...)

Anyway, Popeye says he's "strong to the finish cuz I eats me spinach." And that's great for weight loss too. One cup of spinach has $5% RDA vitamin A, 20% vitamin C, gobs of Vitamin K, Vitamin B and 10% potassium (the most difficult-to-get-enough-of of the electrolytes, as I learned by getting seriously dehydrated during Covid 19.) 

But how does spinach help lose weight? Popeye demonstrates when he eats a can, he gets super strong. That is a genuine benefit of spinach. Because it contains such high quantities of vitamins and electrolytes (calcium, magnesium) it boosts metabolism and energy. Metabolism boosters help food digest more efficiently, improve circulation and even enhance mood. Speedier metabolism gets the most bang for your food buck. 

You'll notice on shows like "My 600-lb Life" that most gastric bypass patients never eat a green vegetable unless it's saturated in butter or drowned in salad dressing. It's true that green leafy vegetables like spinach require some fat to digest. But it should be something high in MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids) or PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids), low in saturated fats (unless avocado or coconut oil) and free of transfats. 

Dr. Now, gastric bypass physician on "My 600-lb Life" uses a 1200 calorie diet to help patients lose weight before and after surgery. This 1200 calorie diet is vegetable forward and features spinach and other green leafy vegetables prominently. These not only help with metabolism, they help cleanse and flush stored fat and end obesity. 

Another green leafy veggie that is great for weight loss is kale. However I find that kale has a stronger and more bitter flavor whereas I can hide spinach in most anything and not taste it. My favorite way to eat spinach is in a salad or breakfast smoothie. Add a few handfuls to your protein shake, with half a grapefruit, pea protein powder and blueberries or raspberries and drink your way to weight loss! 

Monday, November 7, 2022

I was modesty policed and body-shamed (at a funeral, no less!)

In this blog about how I lost 100 pounds, I've been exploring modesty policing (esp. by the "Cleavage Awareness League" as I call them) and female body shaming in general. Honestly, I didn't really believe that anyone had the gall anymore, to call out another person on "modesty." (Unless you're a Duggar, of course). When I was younger, sure. It was common. But I thought we'd grown up, learned to mind our own business, avert our eyes if necessary and shut up. However, I discovered, firsthand, at a funeral no less, that public body shaming does still happen. And it really can undermine your confidence and self-esteem if you let it. But you shouldn't. 

Weirdly, I feel the need to explain what I was wearing and what she called me on. As if I need to justify my dress choice and show how she was out of line. It was a funeral and I was wearing a dark floral dress that was form fit but not too tight or overtly "sexy". Think professional, well-dressed (see picture). I wore heels and hose (gram would love me!) because I wanted to dress nicely for my friend's dad's funeral. I was raised to look your best to show respect. The cut of the dress showed a hint of cleavage, not the Great Divide.

Anyway, I was sitting in the church pew, turned sideways to talk with my friend before the service. My dress must have pulled a bit to one side, showing just a little of the top of my breast or lower neck, on that side. No nipple or even cleavage really. No fear of that in the foundation garment. Everyone was in her place, lol. Just an inch or so of lower neckline. Friend says, boldly, no attempt to lower her voice. "You might want to cover up, you know to be polite." 

I found it ironic that she used the term "polite." I was raised to know that minding your business, when it doesn't harm you, was polite. And opening your mouth to point out "flaws" in others' is impolite. And how is my body "impolite?"

I looked down, adjusted my dress a fraction and that was that. But afterwards, I spent the rest of the day, worried, paranoid and fussing with my dress. I couldn't concentrate on the mass or prayers. This is mental undermining that body shaming causes. I suddenly didn't feel confident, but somehow disrespectful. I felt a little disgusted with myself, both for being sensitive to the criticism and also for, possibly, dressing "inappropriately" (monkey on my back). 

If I said it made me feel insecure, I can hear the retorts. She was only "trying to help." There's no need to be so sensitive, right? No need to take friendly advice so personally, right? WRONG. It's not "friendly" advice. The friendly thing to do, and which I do, all the time, if I don't like something I see, is to MYOB. How is it helpful to make me feel like a tramp, flaunting myself? Answer: it isn't. 

It's also passive-aggressive, posing as nice but actually a little nasty and condescendingly superior. And of course I felt sensitive because it was meant to "sensitize" me to my fashion faux pas. And I don't need to grow thicker skin. The body-shamer does because being "offended" by my dress is her choice. Can say something isn't always should. Also, I have to wonder if she would have pointed this out to another woman her age or whom she felt intimidated by. I doubt it. I've always had a target on my back that shamers can see a mile off. I'm easy prey for those who act superior but in fact probably feel a little inferior or insecure themselves.

I may sound like I'm just attacking this person because she hurt my feelings. She didn't and I'm not. I considered the source. But it did make me second-guess and stress. And I do worry how behavior like hers can cause a lot of unnecessary pain and shame for people who are already body ashamed. I guess it's just a good reminder to practice owning my own and ignoring. Having said that, I will say I'm utterly sick to death of the word modesty. It angers me the way "modesty" has been used to humiliate, shame, put down, subjugate, control and destroy women. 

Saturday, October 29, 2022

5 low calorie foods for weight loss that taste better than expected

 Hello friends! About 8 years ago, I woke up and realized that I was morbidly obese and this blog chronicles how I lost 100 pounds without drugs or gastric bypass surgery. Calorie restricting was my weight loss method. Needless to say, this required completely upgrading my eating habits. Using the 1200 calorie diet, I created a bunch of diet recipes to lose weight. And part of eating healthier was to replace calorie dense, low nutrition foods with low calorie options. Here are 5 diet foods which taste a lot better than expected. 

If you're like me (and a lot of others on the obesity busting quest) you fear calorie restricting foods also sacrifice taste. The reality TV show "My 600-lb Life" demonstrates that the biggest obstacle to weight loss in gastric bypass patients is reluctance to give up sweets, junk food, fried and fatty foods. Most "My 600-lb Life" participants are even convinced that they will not get full if they don't eat calorie dense foods. But I've got a secret and it's how I lost 100 pounds: you can and will get full and stay satisfied with these calorie restricting foods. And they taste not much different than their high calorie counterparts. 

1) Lowfat 1% or skim milk. My preference is 1% milk. I know, keto diet says go whole milk (or actually none at all because milk contains sugar). And I've tried flax milk and other protein milk alternatives. However the taste is meh and mostly they are VERY expensive. So 1% milk is my go-to for 1200 calorie diet weight loss. 

2) High protein or keto bread (buns, bagels, etc). You get so much taste, feel-full satisfaction for your calorie buck with keto bread options. They are more pricy but the good news is that this helps with weight loss. You eat less because high protein bread costs more! 

3) Light mayonnaise. If you love mayo and I do, substitute light for full strength and save 3/4 of the calories. Eating less in the condiment category is the best plan for weight loss, however. 

4) Cauliflower in place of potatoes, grains, flour or bread. Mashed cauliflower makes a great gluten free sub for potatoes. "My 600-lb Life" gastric bypass diet recommends gluten free options like this for breads, pasta etc. 

5) High protein Greek yogurt. This packs a punch in the stay-full department. Served with fresh fruits (berries preferred) was frequent flyer food on the "how I lost 100 pounds" path. 

If you're looking to lose weight, may I recommend this diet friendly foods? Best wishes! -mar

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Weight loss for the health of it: is obesity the cause of ALL health problems?

 Greetings friends! Today on this blog about how I lost 100 pounds, I'm exploring how obesity affects overall health, wondering if obesity could be the cause of all health problems and then if weight loss could be the solution to them all.  Now that might sound exaggerated. However, while there's probably no unilateral fix for all conditions, I think it's safe to say that obesity plays a part in a host of other problems and that it doesn't improve any of them. 

What got me thinking about this is the number of times of heard, read and probably said that doctors don't take other health concerns seriously when obesity is an issue. They seem to see weight loss as the panacea for everything: got ingrown toenails? Lose weight. Migraines? Lose weight. Depressed or anxious? Lose weight. Etc. I've heard (and probably said) "My doctor doesn't understand. He's just fat-shaming me. I know I'm fat, but that's not what's causing (insert problem)." And then we get angry and resentful and go doctor shopping, again. 

But what if it is? What if weight loss could actually fix or at least improve some or all other areas of health. Reality TV shows like "My 600-lb Life" have proved that gastric bypass patients feel better overall after weight loss. It's statistically obvious that diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, liver problems, some forms of cancer, thyroid, joint pain, sleep apnea, chronic pain, back, leg, knee pain, migraine and many more issues have a direct link to being overweight. 

Do people who are not overweight suffer from these same issues? Certainly. However this issue isn't whether there are other causes besides obesity, for various health problems. The question is whether, if I am overweight, I can heal these other struggles with weight loss. The problem, as I see it, is avoidance of responsibility, weaponized incompetence and denial. It's someone or something else's fault. We also don't like being told that we are causing our own problems. We want a magic pill that requires no effort. We claim to be helpless and want others to fix us. When they fail to because they can't (only we can fix ourselves) we get mad, blame them and lay there helplessly, angry, resentful and blaming (weaponized incompetence).

 Even gastric bypass can be that effortless fix (it's not but so many think it is). You've only to watch an episode of "My 600-lb Life" to see how denial sabotages life and weaponized incompetence often ultimately kills people. 

I'm currently watching a real-life "My 600-lb Life" situation. A friend is killing herself by refusing to take responsibility and weaponizing incompetence to the hilt. She is in a nursing home being treated for obesity yet has all kinds of junk food brought in, then complains when staff takes food away. She says she can't wait to be home so she can eat what she likes. She wants them to fix her yet faults them for not letting her break herself further. And the irony is that while she proclaims to be helpless, we are the ones whose hands are truly tied. We can't make her lose weight or stop eating. We can only refuse to feed her and not enable. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Duggar family and poisonous slippery slope of modesty shaming

"Bodyism" is a term I believe I've coined (maybe someone else has) to refer to bias against certain body types and also subtle or overt body shaming. A "bodyist" by my definition is someone who is prejudiced against the bodies, particularly of women. Bodyists believe that women should not wear "revealing" clothing, should "cover up" their curves and not "flaunt" themselves. In short, bodyists are modesty police. And their slippery slope logic is poison. I'm using the Chiefs of the Modesty police, reality TV celebs Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, as examples. Unfortunately, they are only a drop in the acid bath. 

First, some thoughts on the cadre that modesty police such as the Duggar family uses. It's shame-based but also polarizing, hypocritical, misleading, user-defined, inaccurate and purposely vague. "Flaunting" and "Revealing" are used as adjectives but are in fact verb forms. They indicate intentionally drawing attention to body parts which are supposed to be covered. The wearer of "revealing" clothing is actively seeking attention by dressing to "accentuate" "flaunt" or "show off" their bodies. 

Clothing that Michelle Duggar deems "Provocative" (see also alluring, enticing, seductive) lures men. To what is left vague, but presumably sin (wanting to have s3x) But even what is and isn't sin, is inaccurate in their thinking. Wanting to do something is not wrong. Neither is liking it. Mentally doing it with someone who has not expressed desire to, is (lust) Forcing others to, is (rape).  

However the bodyists have another slippery slope to justify those. Men don't willingly lust or rape, they are tempted to (seduced) by another. Men are passive and helpless and it's someone else's fault. (Incels feed on this passive-aggressive mentality, btw). Women "provoke" innocent men to sexual assault by wearing clothing that shows they have a body. What modesty police think and even sometimes say, is that women bring sexual assault on themselves. And that's a big reason why so many women also blame themselves when attacked. They  have been subconsciously taught that they had it coming with their dress or behavior. 

What is immodest attire is user-defined and hypocritical. Look at Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. They eschew pants for women yet their daughters' skirts are ridiculously clingly. By their definition immodest. They are not averse to showing cleavage. They encourage their girls to wear long hyper-styled hair and make-up. Which is sensual by many standards. Worst of all, when Jim Bob's and Michelle's son Josh Duggar molested several children, they downplayed it as curiosity while attacking others who have normal healthy sexual relations as immoral. 

The Duggar family literally flaunted themselves and pimped their family in their reality TV shows "19  Kids and Counting" and "Counting On." Both of these were canceled due to the Duggar family's biggest hypocrisy, namely son Josh Duggar. Michelle and Jim Bob actually blamed Josh Duggar's sin on the liberal media and Joe Biden (???). Somehow, the "liberal media" both lured him to sin and then wrongly accused him of sinning when he was just "experimenting" (as you do) with his sisters. 

Bodyism and modesty policing are sick, twisted poisons. There is no winning. 

Body-shaming and body size: oh the tightrope we walk

In yesterday's post, I fear I may have given some wrong impressions. I talked about how size matters in the politics of body-shaming. I shared a story of a woman who called out other women on unprofessional attire and modesty, who just happened to be a lot smaller than this woman, though her own style could be considered inappropriate, immodest and unprofessional (tight leggings, party-colored hair, tattoos). I stated that bigger women often feel no qualms attacking smaller women on clothing style but claim fat-shaming if someone criticizes them and that it boils down to jealousy. 

Where I gave wrong impressions, perhaps, is that I made it sound like I felt personally attacked and was clapping back. Rereading, it sounds like I consider myself a smaller girl and the big girls are picking on me. I did come out pretty harsh but it wasn't in defense of my personal style but of others who may not have gotten to the "comfortable in own skin" stage that I am. I have worked at weight loss over the years and am a lot smaller than I was. 

In obesity, I remember feeling incredibly insecure around slender women. But it wasn't jealousy. It was #respect for their self-control and fitness compared to my own out-of-control eating. Also, I don't consider myself small. I have an anorexic like body image that will always see fat no matter how much I lose weight. Having said all that, I never have and never, ever would body-shame a smaller woman.  

Another possible question about the post: Was it criticizing style choices, obesity, modesty policing, thin-shaming or hypocrisy? No, no, yes, yes, yes and body-shaming in general. Also, the fact that while we all get fat-shaming is verboten, thin-shaming is much more acceptable. That's what I called out in the Facebook group. And sorry, not sorry. 

If you are struggling with obesity and feel insecure around people who are slender, let me leave you with these thoughts. It's not someone else's fault. But it's also not yours. It is your choice. You are not powerless to change what you don't like. You can lose weight if you want to and are willing to work at it. I have faith in your strength. Love, mar

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Body-shaming and modesty policing: size matters

In the past few blog posts, I've been focusing on body-shaming, modesty policing and the inherent hypocrisy therein. I explored "pick me" and "not like other girls" and how they inevitably stem from jealousy and lead to attacking others of whom they are jealous. Here's what for me was the piece de resistance "pick me" and "not like other girls" body shaming. 

A woman, we'll call "Carbolica" on a workplace Facebook group acid-blasted others for "skimpy" "slu-ty"  unprofessional attire. She went off about shorts, tank tops, skirts, cleavage, etc. The vitriolic rant seethed jealousy.  Ironically, Carbolica is the poster gal for styles that have been considered tacky and unprofessional since time immemorial. 

Carbolica is 50ish, overweight and wears paint-on tight leggings (with skulls, kitties, unicorns, etc), tattoos, piercings and hair dyed a different cartoon color every week. She's always militantly loud on her right to look and dress as she pleases. If others don't like it eff them, yada yada. She fancies herself edgy and tough. I don't judge. I consider her a friend and would never in a million years comment. Until the modesty rants began. How bizarre is it to demand acceptance of your NSFW choices then attack others for what you consider to be their NSFW? What are you, unconventional or a prude? Or do you just make up the rules as you go? And where I would normally just mind my business, I had to address her not minding hers. 

First of all, I explained that professional attire depends on workplace. And her leggings and hoodies are the two most banned attire in schools, workplaces and even airplanes. Add to that tattoos, piercings, non-traditional hair color, too tight clothing and goofy, clownish patterns. None of these are or ever were "appropriate." I do want to state that I didn't call anyone out. If she wants to look like a clown, it's not my circus. Which I realize sounds a little acidic, but I intend to. 

Normally I would take a more diplomatic approach but there comes a time when like must meet like. Sadly, it seems to be the only language body-shamers understand. And that time is when the ganging up starts. I guess I'm na├»ve because I assumed others, might question her smack-talking. No such luck. Countless others joined the acid throwing. And almost every one was in the +++size unicorn skull leggings club. 

I didn't and never would  fat-shame or shame period, though their tirade was rife with thin-shaming. From their "I'm fat, dress tacky and everyone else has to like it" stance, they belittled cute slender girls wearing shorts. And the words they felt comfortable using! "Sl-tty" "trashy" "wh-reish." Mixed with Victorian prudish "flaunting" "showing off" and "provocative" (provocative?? have you looked in the mirror? Those leggings of yours provoke a lot of comment and not the good kind). And weird that you're Sweet Polly Purebred but you talk like Sailor Sam. 

 And why? Because a woman is attractive, dresses comfortably and is slender??  Because, make no mistake, size matters in body-shaming. It would be called fat-shaming to critique someone pouring a 3x body into XL skirts, sharing prominent camel toe or letting flab bulge out everywhere. It would also be grounds for dismissal in many workplaces. 

Yet Carbolica felt it her duty to point out a smaller girl's "a$$cheeks hanging out" (direct quote). And gag-inducingly comment on genitalia (word amended from original) showing which apparently she divined across a crowded grocery store. What shows is a disturbing preoccupation with others' bodies. And a lurid imagination. Talk about pick me! 

So this body-shaming went on for many graphically vulgar comments. It's like they were trying to out-nasty each other and no blow was low enough. But it's okay cuz they were just helping women see the error of their ways. Shee-yeah right. And I'm the Dalai Lama. And the core issue was see-thru: rabid, venomous jealousy. One woman actually admitted feeling uncomfortable in her larger body seeing an attractive, smaller woman. But then undid her self-awareness by blaming smaller women for "making" her uncomfy.  

I realize I sound kinda "not like other girls" myself for saying that I'm the only one that spoke up. I thought at least the moderators would have kiboshed it. But no one did. So I had to. I didn't address anyone nor mention the obvious pick me elephant in the living room. I called out the venom. Not for myself.  I've spent too many years letting the modesty police live rent free in my head. For too long, I allowed them to micromanage my neckline, hemline, clothing fit etc. Now I wear what I want and if it offends, oy vey. I spoke up for all women who have been unfairly censured for their bodies. For all who have been shamed and bullied to the point that they hate themselves, their bodies and their lives.

Cleavage shaming by modesty police illustrates breast quagmire

 Sometimes, on this blog about how I lost 100 pounds, I diverge into subjects that may seem unrelated to weight loss. That's because there are so very many issues affecting weight loss and gain, obesity, body size, body image, self esteem etc. Many involve societal messages about bodies in general. Yesterday, we discussed how the modesty body shaming mantra is thinly veiled "pick me" (insulting others to in hopes of gaining desperately needed attention). 

Body shaming curvy women also smacks of "not like other girls" mentality--a self-identified polarizing notion that some women have that they are superior because they are not stereotypically feminine. The "pick me" and "not like other girls" are frequently self-appointed modesty police. Because by their definitions, curvy women have somehow made themselves this way, purposely "show off" their assets and should be body-shamed into covering up.  In short large breasts, big hips and hourglass figures make them uncomfortable and insecure. Instead of dealing with their own insecurities, they blame and shame others. 

I feel sorry for the pick me folks. It must be awful to be so attention and approval needy that you push others down to feel taller. And honestly, to some extent, most all of us (raising hand) like attention. The difference is the lengths we will or won't go to get it. There's just so much wrong with hurting others to feel important, especially when it comes to body-shaming women's breasts. 

First, on the cleavage note. How often have I heard people decry women for "sporting cleavage" (as if it's some kind of game??) On Reddit AITA a "not  like other girls" woman called out another co-worker for flaunting herself. (Her words). It says a lot more about her than the poor cleavage shower. This attitude and behavior is so ridiculous it's embarrassing. And I didn't think cleavage needed explanation but it gets attacked so often that apparently it does. 

Cleavage forms when the breasts are pressed together and wearing a bra increases this. And depending on size, cleavage can begin almost at the neck. So to cover it up would require a turtleneck. But then the modesty police find fault because that just accentuates the curves. And it's hot and sweaty and uncomfortable and miserable. 

 Another solution would be to skip the bra. This is actually healthier for breasts. Bras constrict blood flow and arguably can lead to breast cancer. There's the misnomer that going braless causes sagging. But bras make breast tissue lazy and not wearing one improves muscle tone. 

But oh wait, that causes two (three, lol) more problems for the modesty patrol too. Going braless makes for more jiggling and sometimes the dreaded nipples are a little more pronounced. Sigh, what's a girl to do? 

It's so hypocritical, especially in this era of tolerance. You can be any configuration of gender or genderless. You can dress as tacky and goofy as you want. You can add or remove genitalia and breasts. But don't you dare wear anything that shows you have breasts. Or heaven forfend, nipples.

Maybe, we should all just, oh I don't know, live and let live? 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Cleavage-shaming modesty police are "Pick me" and "not like other girls"

 I've become a Reddit AITA fan and recently a poster asked if she was "TA" for calling out her co-worker's cleavage. The OP (original poster) asked if the co-worker "purposely exposed herself." OP indicated that other male co-workers were uncomfortable with the cleavage on display and asked her to talk to the offender (if you believe that, I've got swamp land in Fla. for sale) So Ms. Modesty Police Woman confronted the "unprofessional attire" to protect her guy friends. 

Not surprisingly, the AITA consensus was overwhelmingly YTA. (you're the arschloch). The OP said that she herself veered toward tomboy and was good buddies with all the male workers, ergo her appointment to modesty patrol. Many commenters suggested that she was a "pick me" and an "I'm not like other girls" gal. (I've learned a lot of new urban terms since reading Reddit AITA :D) 

A "pick me" is a person who will do anything for attention or approval usually be putting others down. "I'm not like other girls" is a trope the internet has created to identify women who eschew "girl things" and embrace "non-feminine" things. All these terms are in quotes because they are stereotypical and very user-defined.

They polarize themselves as rebelliously not like other girls because they drive trucks or use tools or read (!?) and "other girls" as cartoonishly feminine because they wear makeup. The irony (and ridiculousness) lies in the conformity of the "not like other girls" "non-conformity." They literally have a dress code and the things they believe makes them different are so transparently alike. Also the things they believe set them apart, like reading or dressing like a "tomboy" are things most all women do. Their definitions are oddly outmoded, archaic or just foolish. Even OP's term tomboy went out like 50 years ago. And dressing tomboy can also be very provocative itself (tight jeans, tight T-shirt, etc). So, color me confused.

 Women identified as "pick me" and "not like other girls" tend to be very self-involved and also lacking in self-awareness. They don't understand how silly they sound. Which brings us back to the modesty police issue (and believe me, we'll get more into cleavage and body-shaming later). The fact that the Pick Me OP had no problem body-shaming someone and actually virtuously self-righteous doing so is bad enough. Don't even get me started on her inability to see that breasts aren't something you can hide let alone should. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

How I lost 100 pounds by feeding cravings

Greetings on this lovely fall afternoon! A few days ago, I blogged about how I lost 100 pounds by feeding cravings. Yes, you read that correctly. If you follow this weight loss blog, you know that I like to write quirky, aphoristic titles. But it's not just to grab eyes. Fighting obesity is about breaking stereotypes and rethinking conventional wisdom to see if it really is wise. 

So, how I lost 100 pounds giving in to cravings: that just doesn't make sense, does it? That's how obesity started, was by indulging in said cravings, right? Yes and no. Cravings as those seeking gastric bypass on "My 600-lb Life" refer to, yes. Eating insane amounts of sugar, salty snacks, fried, processed and fast foods is a one way ticket to morbidly overweight. 

However, the cravings I'm referring to aren't for addictive high calorie, low nutritional value foods. Gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life" confuse junk cravings with what their bodies really want: healthy food. I lost 100 pounds by yielding to those deep longings and also by really listening to what my body is requesting. 

The culprits that confuse us are sugar, salt and empty carbs.  All of these are highly addictive. So like heroin, they make us think we want and need them. Their voices scream pretty loudly. So loud that folks such as those on "My 600-lb Life" oblige them to the point of obesity. Only by listening past their noise can we hear the still small voice of our inner wisdom--call it the Holy Spirit, common sense or Al-Anon's higher power. 

Al-Anon has a lot to teach about weight loss. Intermittent fasting or calorie restricting, such as with the 1200 calorie diet I follow, are tools to achieve sobriety from food addiction. But it's about more than just calorie restricting. It's about what to eat. Listening to the body's plea for vegetables in many colors, whole grain fiber, protein and good carbs will lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. 

But having said all that, weight loss isn't just boring calorie restricting and salads. Cliffhanger alert: part of how I lost 100 pounds was by eating sugar and junk food. More later so stay tuned! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

How I lost 100 pounds and keep it off: do you want the good or bad news first?

 Hiya, friends! As you know, if you follow this blog that I lost 100 pounds 8 years ago (has it been that long??) When I first began to lose weight, I was warned that getting it off was the easy part but that keeping it off was harder. A few people even scoffed that I'd gain it back. Well, thank you, Queen Obvious and Miss Taken. First, it's clearly easier to begin than maintain a new habit and second, I did maintain my weight loss. And here's how: do you want the good or bad  news first? 

Okay, so I'll go with bad news. It's difficult to keep 100 pounds off. I gained some back. But the good news is it's not as hard as I thought. And indulging occasionally didn't plunge me back into obesity. I did gain some weight back after shoulder surgery and then lost some when I was sick with Covid 19. And then I lost some again and gained a bit, you get the picture. But more good news, I know what to do when I need to lose weight. Calorie restricting with a 1200 calorie diet has been the integral part of how I lost 100 pounds and kept it off. 

There were some Miss Nomers who said that calorie restricting doesn't lose weight. Apparently, it didn't work for them. However, the 1200 calorie diet worked for me. Dr. Now of "My 600-lb Life" uses it. So calorie restricting didn't work for you, or you didn't work at it? Because it's a mathematical and physical fact that less in means less on. 

Do I always follow it? Truthfully, no. But I do use portion control almost without thinking. It's become second nature to eat less. And eating less has had this cool effect of controlling hunger. I don't need as much to fill me up. In obesity, I could eat two and sometimes three plates of food. Now one is plenty. Calorie restricting helped me lose weight and redefine eating. Now I eat when I'm hungry. If I'm not, I don't. Gone is the mindless snacking urge. Food isn't a friend or a solace. It's fuel. But I do still give in to cravings and I'll discuss in another post how that's a good thing for weight loss and overall health. 

Monday, September 12, 2022

Obesity and low self-esteem vs. self-confidence and weight loss, latter please

Hey friends, in today's episode on how I lost 100 pounds (without gastric bypass), I'm going to explore links between obesity and low self esteem and self-confidence and weight loss. (I'll take the latter for 500, Alex!) So if you need to lose weight, like I did, being 100 pounds overweight at one point, it's important to look at roots of weight gain and obesity. One plus-size factor is low self esteem. I'm using not only my experiences but also those of gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life." 

Participants on "My 600-lb Life" share several things besides morbid obesity: low self esteem, zero self confidence and what Reddit would call weaponized incompetence (more on that later). Patients seeking gastric bypass surgery may come over as arrogant, pushy and controlling (that's part of the weaponized incompetence). That's to cover the helplessness and hopelessness they feel. I know the feeling of being overweight, out of control and powerless to do anything about it. 

So, in a way, it's true. Al-Anon teaches us that we are powerless over people places and things. But in this, Al-Anon references things outside ourselves that we seek to control. Within ourselves, we can find power to manage choices and behaviors. In fact, Al-Anon says that's all we can control. I can choose calorie restricting, intermittent fasting or some kind of weight loss diet to manage obesity. I can lose weight, if I'm willing to do the work involved. 

However, as "My 600-lb Life" shows, that sense of powerlessness, stemming from low to zero self esteem, that powers obesity and prevents weight loss. Gastric bypass patients tell and definitely show, that they having no control over eating. It's like someone is force feeding them. One of my clients is morbidly obese. He literally pounds one beer after another and downs plates of food as if an external force controls his hands. Yes, it's heart-breaking. But, I have another client who was morbidly obese and was able to lose weight. And the difference, that I can see, is self-confidence. The former lacks it and the other has it. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to discover self confidence. I won't say rediscover because I never had it nor learned it. So how to learn self confidence? By talking back to the voices in my head that say I'm helpless and hopeless. It's a slow process but as As Al-Anon advises, I fake it till I make it. I also watch others who are confident and try to imitate them. I referred earlier to Cobra Kai weight loss strategies. One thing we know Cobra Kai has is confidence (although as we're seeing, all in Cobra Kai had to develop it. It didn't come naturally.) 

Stay tuned for more on this because volumes can be written about the links between obesity and low self esteem and self-confidence and weight loss. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

A-Z Healthy school lunches and snacks for weight loss the whole family will love

 I struggled with obesity for a few years before I found ways to lose weight naturally without gastric bypass. One big challenge was finding healthy diet recipes that didn't require an extra meal prep. I created these quick easy healthy school lunch recipes to make for the whole family.  The good news is that everyone loved these "diet recipes" which were part of how I lost 100 pounds. 

A-Z lunch menu of quick lunch recipes and lunchbox foods for kids

A+ Applewich: Spread light oat grain bread with almond butter or natural peanut butter (no transfat). Add sliced apples or apple butter. This will be in hot demand on your monthly lunch menu. Be daring and sprouts or spinach leaves to sandwich.

Banana Boats--cut two slits in banana and peel back skin part way. Remove a little banana and fill with peanut butter and grape slices. Save removed banana for PBB sandwiches (lunch recipes below)

Charcuterie: Cheese cubes or sticks (light mozzarella), olives, broccoli flowerets, almonds, turkey pepperoni and grapes.

Dogs in the blanket--Nitrate free turkey hot dogs (Applegate, Oscar Meyer Naturals or Smart dogs (made with tofu) with honey mustard and wrapped in lettuce leaves

Eggs Devilishly Good--Hard boil eggs, chill and peel. Rinse and slice lengthwise. Remove yolk and mash with light olive oil mayo, dill weed and paprika. Fill egg cavities. Serve with cold baked potato and sour cream.

Fruit Max--Mix dried apricots, raisins, apples, guava, papaya (don't get sugared ones) with nuts, seeds and pretzels

GORP (good old raisins and peanuts) or almonds, walnuts or any nuts!

Happy Trails Mix-- Mix unsweetened breakfast cereal, pretzels, raisins, cheese cubes and dark chocolate chips (just a few) for yummy lunchbox foods.

Insanely Healthy Peanut Butter Dip (peanut butter and plain Greek yogurt mixed half and half) with rice crackers, strawberries, pineapple, baby carrots, green pepper spears.

Jumble nut butter oatmeal cookies--Make with healthy sunflower oil and blue agave syrup to sweeten. Use different nut butters (peanut, cashew, almond or sunflower). Add mixed nuts and seeds for remarkably filling protein alternatives for vegetarian lunch recipes.

Kangaroo Sandwiches--Stuff pita pocket bread with lettuce and chicken or tuna salad. Mix tuna or chicken with light mayo, spicy mustard, chopped celery, apples, grapes, nuts and black pepper. Be sure to call it Kangaroo Sandwiches on the lunch menu!

Lighten Up Roll-ups--spread tortilla shell with light cream cheese, turkey lunchmeat, large romaine lettuce leaf. Roll and slice. For gluten-ree roll up, roll cheese stick in reduced fat lunch meat or vegan cheese slices

Mucho Guacamole Boats--remove pits from avocado and scrape out some avocado. Mix with lemon juice, garlic, tomatoes, onions for guacamole. Tuck tortilla chips inside avocado, fill cavity with guacamole and sprinkle with cheese. Send some chips separately. How's that for super healthy school lunches in minutes?

Nuts and bolts--pretzels, dried fruit and Honey Nut Cheerios. Send almond milk or lowfat milk for lunch cereal.

Olives overboard pasta salad--Cook whole grain pasta, drain and chill. Add cubed feta cheese, cucumber chunks, green and black olives and a little olive oil for vegetarian lunch recipes.

Po'boy Shish Kebobs: Skewer Swiss cheese chunks, pickles and all natural Al Fresco chicken sausage slices on toothpicks.

PBB sandwiches. Make peanut butter sandwiches with banana spread like jam on bread.

Quick lunch recipes--Pita chips and hummus with baby carrots--Teens love these lunchbox foods.

Raw colored peppers and yogurt salad dressing (store separately). Yogurt dressing is Greek yogurt mixed with lemon juice, feta cheese, pepper, dill, rosemary, oregano and sage.

Smoked almonds, broccoli and yogurt dip and blueberries--How's that for super portable vegetarian lunchbox foods.

Sailboat Sandwiches: PBJ sandwich cut diagonally (for boat) and then one half in half again (sails). Use light whole grain bread, natural peanut butter and low sugar jam.

Tomatoes or baby carrots and hummus are another teen lunch pleaser.

Very Vegetarian Veggie burger: Mash beans and mix with chopped veggies. Cook ahead and make into sandwich.

Wagon wheels--Cut sliced cheese round using mouth of small glass. Place inside two crackers. (This was Timer's recipe in the old Saturday morning PSAs)

Under the Sea. Serve Goldfish crackers with foil tuna packets or imitation crab sticks. Add cucumber slices and watermelon chunks for quick lunch recipes.

X-tra quick school lunches--Serve healthy power bars like Junkless, Luna, Kind or Clif bars. These make great school snacks or lunches that satisfy

YOLO--Lemon or orange flavored yogurt cups or Greek yogurt cups like Light and Fit, Stonyfield, Oikos, Dannon, Chobani. Avoid "kid" yogurt or yogurts with granola, candy, dyes or junk in them. Choose small yogurt cups for less waste. Or mix plain Greek yogurt with organic lemonade, peeled grapefruit and oranges. Serve with nuts for vegetarian healthy school lunches.

Zucchini "Sushi" Rollups--Spread turkey lunch meat or cheese slice with cream cheese and wrap around skinny spears of zucchini, carrots, green peppers, cucumbers and scallions.

These healthy school lunch and snack recipes make great munchables all day long, to keep from mindless snacking on junk. Stick around for more on how I lost 100 pounds and other weight loss thoughts. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

How I lost 100 pounds by deleting old messages on service vs. self-care

Who here recalls recording on cassette tapes? You could re-record but first you had to "erase" existing recordings. Now with cellphones, it's similar technology, except we delete old messages. This relates to weight loss, too. Part of how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or drugs was by deleting old messages on service to others and creating new ones about self-care. Alanon teaches a similar concept. 

I was raised on the old maxim that to achieve JOY, you put Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last. Which is good, to some extent. However if you're an empath like me, you translate that as serving Jesus by putting others always and yourself never. I learned young to ignore my own needs, wants, feelings and ideas and be a servant to all.  I was so busy trying to please everyone that I made myself miserable. 

It wasn't just obesity that this indentured servitude caused. That came later in life. In the early days, it meant denying myself (or being denied) everything including enough food to sustain. For much of my early life, I didn't have my own bed or pillow. I had to buy my own shoes and sanitary napkins. I had to raise siblings. I learned to make the best of situations that weren't even safe, let alone healthy.  

Self-care, I learned, was selfish and self-centered. That I should suffer with joy. That I should serve without appreciation or reward. My role in life was to help, do for and fix. I took care of everyone. Except my grandparents. There I could be a kid. There, I had what I needed. But their voices weren't loud enough to drown out the other messages. Those said I had to earn everything, including love. And no matter how hard I worked or how much I gave, it was never enough to buy that. 

So what does this have to do with weight loss or weight gain? Everything. Getting healthier requires several things: 

1) recognizing you're ill. 

2) discovering that you deserve to be well. 

3) deleting old messages that tell you otherwise. 

4) learning how to be well. 

5) understanding that you can serve others and still take care of yourself. 

6) Knowing that if serving others is keeping you from self-care, you're doing it wrong. 

7) Discerning when someone needs your help and when they are manipulating and exploiting you. 

8) Coming to the awareness that you don't have to and shouldn't help when it harms you. 

9) Believing that No. Is a complete sentence. 

10) Accepting that God wants you to be healed and that He will help you do that. 

So this post has been as much catharsis for me as advice for you. But catharsis is painful as well as healing. It's still very much a work in progress for me. And I hope, if any of this resonates with you, that you'll read, mark, learn and inwardly digest. If you need someone to tell you that you DESERVE happiness and wellness, please, let it be me. Love, mar

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

How I lost 100 pounds with Cobra Kai vs. Miyagi-Do weight loss


My husband and I have a guilty fascination with the Netflix series "Cobra Kai" and in most things I'm team Miyagi-Do all the way. Except weight loss. In that, I'm Cobra Kai with a side of Eagle Fang (who else here finds that name hilarious??) Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to get off the defensive and go straight offensive against obesity. 

Part of how I got overweight and then obese was by being defensive about weight gain. If you watch "My 600-lb Life" you'll know exactly what I mean. Like the would-be gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life" I played the blame shame game, defended my reasons and took the path of least resistance (continuing the mindless overeating).  Quitting the excuse making and finally opening my eyes to how overweight I'd become, was the first step toward weight loss. 

The next step was some Cobra Kai calorie restricting. "My 600-lb Life" gastric bypass physician Dr. Now, is a lot more like John Kreese than Daniel LaRusso. He shows no mercy with overeating and teaches patients how to use his 1200 calorie diet to "sweep the leg" out from under obesity. Some have called the "My 600-lb Life" calorie restricting Draconian. But it's Cobra Kai aggressiveness that helps lose weight, not passive acceptance (see my previous post). 

Dr Now tells us that gastric bypass patients with morbid obesity don't have time to "tickle" calorie restricting. They (we) need to lose weight now and to do so, a ruthless 1200 calorie diet or some other intense calorie restricting is necessary. In karate, Daniel LaRusso's defensive Miyagi-Do paired with Johnny Lawrence's  Eagle Fang, generally wins the day. In weight loss, full-on, no holds barred Cobra Kai offense is the best defense. 

Yes, Sensei Nowzaradan and Kreese! 

How I lost 100 pounds going Cobra Kai: Healing obesity shame is not about fat acceptance

 I'm going to say some things that might shock and anger my blog followers. Healing obesity is not about fat acceptance. Loving your body doesn't mean ignoring weight gain. I didn't get overweight because of body shaming but overeating and lack of self-control. I lost 100 pounds by going Cobra Kai and "sweeping the leg" out from under bad habits. 

Did I just read that right, you may wonder. Is she actually saying we shouldn't love ourselves as we are, warts and all? Is she validating fat shaming? Yes (sort of) and no. Love of self (as in healthy self-esteem) and the resulting self-care are essential no matter what the body size. But accepting being 50-100 (etc) overweight is not self love. It's deadly self-delusion that only gets bigger, louder and worse. That does NOT validate fat shaming. No one gets to do that. And body shaming obesity is just bullying. And if I fat shame myself, I'm bullying myself. 

Having said that, a qualified physician labelling someone overweight or obese is not bullying. This has come up on episodes of "My 600-lb Life." Dr. Now is accused, by patients seeking bariatric surgery, of body shaming. Shaming is making fun of; addressing potentially lethal health issues like obesity is good doctoring. It's his job. 

So too, recognizing that I'm overweight, doesn't translate to lack of self-love. It's not auto-shaming. Accepting that I need to lose weight and following healthy methods of calorie restricting (like the "My 600-lb Life" 1200 calorie diet) is just common sense. 

There is a prevailing myth that being told you need to lose weight is body shaming. Which it is, if it's just random unsolicited advice such as Valerie Bertinelli was given by a internet commenter recently. This is wrong for many reasons. No one knows for certain what is a healthy body weight for another person. Sometimes not even a doctor. The infamous BMI can be very arbitrary and inaccurate. However, it's a smallish margin of error, say 10-25 pounds, not 40 to 50+ overweight. Even then in Valerie Bertinelli's case, it is still no one's business except a physician. And even then is should be handled with respect. 

The key issue here is self-awareness. And what is means to practice self-care. Accepting that I am very overweight, being okay with it and expecting others to say that my obesity is just fine, beautiful, healthy, etc. isn't self-care. As I said before, it's avoidant self-delusion. While no one can lose weight for you, nor should they make fun of you for needing to, it also isn't appropriate to affirm obesity as a healthy lifestyle. 

I know I seem to be dancing around what I'm trying to say. That's because the issue is complicated. I don't want to appear to be applauding fat shaming by dissing fat acceptance. The pivotal point is who is doing the accepting and how it's done. I should accept myself as I am, but also seek to be as healthy as I can be. I wouldn't turn a blind eye to cancer or Covid 19 if I had it. I'd work to take care of myself. Same with weight loss. No one can tell me to lose weight but if I really love myself, I'll work at it if I need to. 

I can accept and love myself as I am and still work to improve. Artists don't just slap paint on canvas and expect others to call it a masterpiece. They constantly work to perfect technique. And my way of perfecting my game was with weight loss. How I lost 100 pounds was going Cobra Kai, which I didn't even address, paragraphs later. But maybe you can see where I'm going with this. I'll delve deeper in my upcoming blog post. In closing, love yourself cuz I do and more importantly, God does. Be the best version of yourself you can be <3

Overcoming obesity "thin fat" is as much Alanon as calorie restricting: how weight loss alone fails

Hello dear readers whom I hope I may call friends. In today's chapter on how I lost 100 pounds, I'm looking at obesity shame, "dry fat" and how weight loss alone fails to heal. You may be wondering what "thin fat" means. It's a term I coined, similar to the "dry drunk" of Alanon. A "dry drunk" is an alcoholic who, while not actively drinking, is still not in recovery because all the "stinkin thinkin" that led to alcoholism remains. 

"Thin fat" refers to someone who has lost weight but still hasn't addressed the obesity mindset, or what I call "fat think." I'm going to use as an example, Mama June Shannon of Honey Boo Boo and From Not to Hot fame. Mama June is an extreme example, but many of us struggle with "fat think" even after weight loss. 

Mama June Shannon, mother of pageant star Honey Boo Boo, enjoyed huge weight loss after gastric bypass and other plastic surgery on a reality TV show "From Not to Hot." However, immediately after this transformation, she reverted to old behaviors (fat think). Probably even while she was being nipped and tucked, she continued eating the same. June Shannon has gained back 100 pounds (and counting) but claims to be "comfortable" with it. My guess is this is an excuse to avoid doing the work required to lose weight and also because she never really dealt with the fat think that led to obesity. 

She was one of those gastric bypass patients, such as those seen on "My 600-lb Life" who believe that bariatric surgery alone will lose weight.  I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass. And while I made a million mistakes, one trap I avoided was the bariatric surgery myth of miracle cure. My weight loss was as much Alanon as calorie restricting: I had to examine old patterns of stinkin thinkin, in my case an obesity mindset which led to weight gain. 

I have always considered myself overweight, even when I weighed 110 pounds. I guess I had a form of anorexia, at least mentally. This "fat think" caused untold damage: terrifyingly low self esteem, anxiety panic attacks, depression, stress eating and more I probably haven't even unpacked yet. Weirdly, when I got overweight, it was hard to see because I had such a skewed self-image. I even hit morbid obesity and didn't realize until I took off the "blindness glasses" (more on that later). 

I cannot stress enough that healing obesity is about so much more than weight loss. Further if you lose weight without addressing the stinkin thinkin (and keep revisiting it because it is baffling, cunning and pernicious) it's very easy to regain the weight. Recovery really is one day at a time, every day. Stay tuned for more on how I lost 100 pounds. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Shift Work Disorder (SWSD) sabotages not only sleep but weight loss too

In this blog on how I lost 100 pounds (without drugs or gastric bypass bariatric surgery), I explore many ways to lose weight and also many links to obesity. From anxiety to Covid 19 and low self-esteem to antidepressants (especially SSRI) there's a lot that goes into it. One link that may surprise you is SWSD or Shift Work Disorder. 

My husband has worked nights (third shift) or afternoon-late evening (second shift) all of our 35 years of marriage. That nocturnal schedule alone messes with biorhythms and causes Shift Work Disorder. But then factor in this swing shift he's (we've) been on for the last five years and SWSD symptoms are off the charts. And add to that,  it's a 12 hour (not traditional 8 hour) night, 5 pm to 5 am.  

How does swing shift cause SWSD? Swing shift means 2 days on, 3 off and 2 on 3 off, 2 on, etc. The schedule rotates or swings back and forth each week with him having Monday off one week and working the next, for example. And he has worked every Saturday for 5 years, either till 5 am (having to sleep a good part of Saturday) or going in at 5 pm and having to sleep most of the day to gear up for the 12 hour night. 

It's hard enough trying to sleep days when humans are diurnal. But sleep disorder really ramp up when, on days off he tries to follow a normal day schedule. We end up staying up late at night because he can't fall asleep at a normal time and has to swing back to nights in a day or two anyway. I'm dealing with shift work sleep disorder too because I stay up with him (so we can actually see each other and do things together) but then work during the day. And I have other sleep disorder issues: arthritis, sleep paralysis, OSA or obstructive sleep apnea and a form of PTSD (traumatic stress disorder) that manifests in sleep disrupted by on-going nightmares. 

To say that our lifestyle is all kinds of dysfunctional is an understatement. Besides insomnia and lack of sleep, disturbed biorhythms cause relationship problems, mood disorders, depression, lack of intimacy, anxiety, stress and anger management. Social life is non-existent. We can't get involved with group activities, kids functions or even go to church regularly. It magnifies all health issues. Even eating habits are affected from eating late at night or at weird times. I've developed digestive problems which my physician is treating as an ulcer. I even suspect that our crazy schedules impacted my later pregnancies and were in part responsible for my two stillbirths. 

Trying to lose weight is super challenging because we literally can't follow the rules on eating such as not after 6 pm. That's when husband has to be awake! He eats breakfast at 3:30 pm, lunch around 10 pm and dinner whenever or never. Also, the weight loss rule about not eating one big meal doesn't work because he doesn't have time to eat several small meals. 

And then there's the comfort eating from being lonely and on opposite schedules from most everyone else. And we're always behind the 8-ball trying to stay awake when the world is asleep and asleep when the world is awake. And exercise is challenging on the night shift.  It's no wonder people with SWSD tend to have more trouble with obesity.  

And this doesn't even begin to address the unfair playing field of nocturnal (second and third shift) vs. diurnal workers. Diurnals sometimes have a hard time understanding why a nocturnal sleeps "so late" in the day. Some preen that they are "early risers" (meaning they get up at 5 am). That's impossible for nocturnals who are just getting out of work. They can't understand why we're "so lazy." But I'd like to see how raring to go they are after having to get up at midnight, go for 18 hours and then flip-flop to 5 am every few days. 

Diurnals also think nothing of making racket during a nocturnals sleep day. Yet if we started up a chainsaw at 2 am, it would be a different story. Anyone who thinks I'm paranoid has obviously never had to live this kind of life. Or they'd see that world completely disregards the third shifter. That's why suicide rates are 25 to 50 % higher. Sad but true. 

We'd love nothing more than to be able to live a more normal life. It's taken its toll. But job opportunities in many industries are almost all second and third shift and a scary lot of them are 12 hour swing shift schedules. 

So this post got a lot bigger than just weight loss and shift work disorder. But that's what I'm finding on this path, how interconnected the aspects of our lives are. To understand health, I'm de-compartmentalizing. Instead of boxing things into a small screen I'm looking at the big picture and the more I do that the more I see how big it is. 

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more on how I lost 100 pounds and a lot of other baggage. 

Friday, July 29, 2022

How I boost confidence to lose weight by flipping the script

 Hello again, your friendly neighborhood weight loss coach back with another installment on how I lost 100 pounds and how you can lose weight too if you need to. In my last post, we looked at how weight loss boosts confidence and confidence helps lose weight. And I could hear some of you saying, great, but how do I make confidence where none exists?? Part of how I lost 100 pounds was by
flipping the script. 

So you know how low self esteem tells us we're losers, right? Not in the good kind of obesity losers, the complete and utter failure kind. "My 600-lb Life" shows extreme examples of where this Alanon stinkin thinkin gets us. Low self esteem batters us with negative messages about how much we suck as people. The monkey on our back sneers "lose weight?? you can't even manage to close your mouth, let alone manage a long term diet!" 

The key here is, then, to talk back to that wretched low self esteem and stinkin thinkin. To kick the monkey off our back and out the damn door. To flip the script from negative to positive self-statements. A good way to accomplish that is to use another Alanon slogan, "fake it till you make it." Just start calorie restricting even though stinkin thinkin is telling you it won't work. Just pretend it will work. Imagine yourself losing weight. It's a biological fact that calorie restricting will lose weight. So you will make it. And as you do, you'll feel stronger, more in control and happier in your own fur! 

Stay tuned for more on how I lost 100 pounds. 

How weight loss boosts confidence and confidence helps lose weight

Hello my dears! It's me back with more thoughts on weight loss. The longer I maintain this blog, the more I realize that how I lost 100 pounds was about dealing with emotional health issues as much as calorie restricting and portion control. Today we'll look at how weight loss boost confidence and vice versa. 

I often use stories of gastric bypass patients on the reality TV show "My 600-lb Life" as examples. "My 600-lb Life" shows people struggling with morbid obesity but also many mental and emotional health problems. Comfort eating is often a coping mechanism for managing stress, guilt, anxiety, anger and depression. "My 600-lb Life" participants are unilaterally and categorically unhappy. Along with gastric bypass, those with extreme obesity also undergo therapy for emotional health issues. After they lose weight, they are almost always happier, more confident and better able to manage stress. 

How do weight loss and stress management go hand in hand? Well, to continue the metaphor, one hand washes the other. As I began to take charge of my eating habits (by calorie restricting and following a 1200 calorie diet), instead of letting them control me, I felt more confident my low esteem began to heal. But in order shed obesity, I had to work on boosting confidence and improving low self esteem. In short I had to realize that I was capable of self-discipline, before I could begin self-discipling. In even shorter short, it's an upward spiral. Weight loss boosts confidence while developing confidence helped me lose weight. 

But how do you get to that point? How do you make confidence where none exists? In my next post on how I lost 100 pounds, I'll cover that so stay tuned. 

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