Thursday, September 21, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds by being honest

 Hello pals of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs. Today, as part of my September Weight Loss Challenge: Back to Basics, I'm going to segue around the basic  I'm stressing, namely the importance of the 1200 calorie diet, to look for a moment at the essence of honesty.

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was by being honest, about how my obesity was making me look, feel and behave. I follow the gastric bypass reality show "My 600-lb Life" because there are so many lessons to be learned on weight loss, obesity and what I call "fatitude" (unhealthy mindsets that keep us fat). And one thing that's missing in the lives of those of us who are overweight, is honesty. 

"My 600-lb Life" shows patients hoping for gastric bypass surgery, avoiding, exaggerating, downplaying and lying about about and to themselves. Most are convinced they're not really that overweight, that their obesity is someone else's fault, that they don't overeat, that they look and feel better being way overweight, etc. That HAES (healthy at every size) movement (while having some merit) does perpetuate some of those dangerous myths.  

I've been normal to small most of my life. I spiraled into obesity after two stillborn babies. The more overweight I got the less honest I became about it. No one needed to tell me that I looked obese and old. I could see it when I was able to admit it. No one shamed me for being overweight. HAES says we are guilted by society into feeling ugly and that if we just change our mind about how we feel and think, it will fix everything. 

In my case, that didn't work. What worked was admitting that I felt ugly being overweight. That it was making me sick and I didn't like it. That I was making a lot of excuses and was ashamed of that. Once I removed the blinders and started that 1200 calorie diet, I was able to lose weight pretty easily. I've kept most of it off. And that, not trying to convince myself it's all good, it what makes me feel better. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

September Weight Loss Challenge: How I lost 100 pounds with fat-burning protein keto salads

Greetings friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs. In January I began a series of monthly anti-obesity weight loss challenges and this month is Back to Basics September and the weight loss challenge is to restart or start the diet that most of us fell off during the summer. Following the 1200 calorie diet (similar to Dr. Now's of "My 600-lb Life") is part of how I lost 100 pounds. So I'm challenging myself to get back on that diet plan to maintain weight loss. One of the best diet foods I've used to lose weight are protein salads. Here are fat-burning protein keto salads (also called all food group salads). 

All food group or fat-burning protein keto salads feature a combination of vegetables, fruit, protein (meat, nuts and seeds), dairy, healthy MUFAS and some grains. They are a complete meal in themselves and really help curb hunger that is the bane of the 1200 calorie diet. Keto salads are perfect for those trying to beat obesity such as folks of "My 600-lb Life" experience. Or if you're just trying to maintain a healthy weight on a vegetarian or vegan diet, protein salads work well too. 

Berry Good Seeds Salad: So it's pretty common knowledge that nuts and seeds are a super good source of protein. But what's less known is that seeds are superior to nuts for fat-burning weight loss. My keto salads feature a variety of seeds like pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sunflower, chia seeds, celery seed and seeds from berries: blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and pomegranate (kind of a berry fruit with the seeds inside). Oh and value added, berries are great antioxidants! 

So for my fat-burning salads, I start with spring mix, romaine/leaf lettuce and/or spinach. I sprinkle liberally with pepitas, add raspberries, blueberries or blackberries,  cashews and almonds and then mix in cooked chicken breast chunks or ahi tuna. I'll throw in feta or blue cheese chunks and top with Aji Verde sauce for dressing. At its simplest, Aji Verde (Peruvian) is blended cilantro, garlic, parmesan, lime juice and jalapeno. A little mayo can be added, but I just use mashed avocado. You can add the huacatay and hot yellow peppers if desired. I might also top with hummus or dress with lemon-vinegar-olive oil. 

You can jazz this up with any combination of nuts, seeds, berries and veggies you like. You can sub canned tuna, swordfish, salmon, steak pieces, bacon crumbles, etc. In fall, I add chopped apples (McIntosh or Granny Smith). You can use dried fruit but be sure to get the no added sugar type. If you're not vegan or egg-intolerant (I am), add diced hard-cooked egg. I don't add grain because it's just extra carbs but could use couscous or quinoa. And extra vegetables like colored peppers, onions or scallions, broccoli and cauliflower just add nutritional benefits without calories. 

All these work well for fighting obesity because they do fill you up and curb hunger. Just be sure to avoid the trap that I see so often on "My 600-lb Life." Patients awaiting gastric bypass will sabotage their own weight loss by taking a lovely, healthy salad and loading it up with all the not good: salad dressing, extra cheese and croutons. Those just max out your 1200 calorie diet with unnecessary fats and carbs. 

Stay tuned for more weight loss challenges, diet recipes and ideas on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds with Nature's Truth Daily Super Greens Powder (and this bada$$ lil blender)

Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds! I'm beginning my September Weight Loss challenge: Back to School with 1200 calorie diet, as I mean to continue: sharing a plethora of diet tips. Today's post explores how I lost 100 pounds using Nature's Truth Daily Super Greens powder and this bada$$ little blender! (see photo).

The Farberware Single-Serve blender is probably the best spent $15 ever. It's been going strong for like 10 years of daily use and was instrumental in how I lost 100 pounds (without gastric bypass or drugs). I think the Farberware Single-Serve blender is up to $21 now but still a great investment for anyone trying to lose weight. 

Part of the 1200 calorie diet I followed involved having a daily protein shake. I've used various plant protein powder mixes (NOW Pea Protein Powder and Purely Inspired Collagen Peptides being  favorites) over the years mixed with fruits and vegetables (blackberries, grapefruit, blueberries, spinach) targeted for weight loss. My husband drinks a plant protein shake every day and he was ironically able to gain weight after dangerous Covid 19 weight loss, to get himself up to a healthier BMI. 

Nature's Truth Daily Super Greens powder doesn't provide any protein but it does give a vitamin jolt from 20 different greens, fruits and vegetables. It's perfect if you're following a rainbow diet and I like it for my 1200 calorie diet because for only 70 calories I can ensure that I'm getting fruits and vegetables, prebiotics and electrolytes. I mix it with NOW Pea Protein or Collagen Peptides to get the protein. I'll throw in a handful of berries, some spinach or grapefruit for more weight loss boost. But even plain Nature's Truth Daily Super Greens powder tastes good. 

Oh and Farberware Single-Serve blender works wonders for other uses too. I've ground spices, blended homemade salad dressing, guacamole, aji verde sauce and other small portion foods. Stay tuned for more on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs. And there'll be other weight loss challenge tips too. 

September Weight Loss Challenge: Back to Basics on 1200 calorie diet

 Hello my beloved friends and followers of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds (without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs)! I began this year issuing a monthly weight loss challenge but took a break in July and August. Now we're back in business with a September weight loss challenge: back to basics on the 1200 calorie diet. 

This blog explores how I lost 100 pounds in 2013-2014. I was so overweight that I was showing signs of hypertension, diabetes and liver problems. Ten years later (has it been that long??), I've managed to maintain most of the weight loss. I've yo-yo-ed a few times gaining back some weight. My BMI (body mass index) might contend that I'm slightly overweight again. But I don't place 100% faith in the BMI because there are so many other factors (overall  health, age, muscle tone, fat to muscle ratio, energy level, fit of clothing, the list is to long to rest so much weight on a mere height to weight ratio). 

Having said that, I know that my eating habits have gotten sloppy. So for September, I'm refocusing on the 1200 calorie diet that was integral to how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs. And summer is an easy time to get lazy with eating habits. I mean, c'mon, I live in Ice Cream Parlor Shop Central. There are literally seven ice cream shops in a half mile radius. That's a lot of temptation (one is actually called Sweet Temptations!) 

Add to that the BBQs, cookouts, picnics, graduations, weddings, baptisms, Bar Mitzvahs, yada yada and there's always something to derail that 1200 calorie diets. But school starting up is a good time to get more regimented about eating healthier. Funnily enough, next month's weight loss challenge is going to focus on how to fall off the regimented diet but we'll get to that later. There really is a method to my madness, I promise! 

Part of how I overcame obesity was to follow a diet plan similar to the one gastric bypass surgeon Dr. Now of the reality TV show "My 600-lb Life" uses. On "My 600-lb Life" people with morbid obesity unlearn (hopefully) life-taking overeating habits and relearn life-giving new ones. There are some things the "My 600-lb Life" doctors use that I don't and vice-versa. Stay tuned for more on what I do and eat to maintain overall weight loss. (some then and now photos for comparison)

Thursday, August 10, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds ignoring the scale: Anxiety Out August weight loss

Hiya friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds. Today's post title might seem a bit paradoxical: how I lost 100 pounds by ignoring the scale? So how did you know you lost weight if you ignored the device which recorded your weight loss (if any)? Lemme splain. 

So clearly I needed to get a baseline weight when I first began my diet (I used calorie restricting on the 1200 calorie diet espoused by gastric bypass surgeon Dr. Now of the anti-obesity show "My 600-lb Life.") I also occasionally checked my weight loss progress. What I didn't do and still don't, 9 years after my big weight loss, is to babysit the scale weight myself daily or even weekly as Weight Watchers does. 

This diet pro-tip is part of my Anxiety Out August weight loss series. As you know if you've been following my "How I lost 100 Pounds" blog posts, this year I issued weight loss challenges beginning with New Year's resolutions and continuing. The challenge for Anxiety Out August is to de-stress weight loss as much as possible. 

Trying to lose weight can be incredibly depressing. When (not if) progress is slower than expected (because it always is), and you don't lose weight in places you want to and do in places you don't and intermittent fasting or calorie restricting on a 1200 calorie diet makes you tired and cranky (it will sometimes), anxiety will increase. And it's easier to stress or comfort eat, reduce exercise and stall weight loss. 

So back to my original tip of ignoring the scale. Weight measurement tools have their uses but they aren't' perfect and can knock anxiety out of the park. I personally believe that doctors put too much emphasis on scale numbers. If I'm not very overweight and my condition is not obesity related why must I be weighed every time I visit? And why, when I've just had shoulder surgery and have had to be more sedentary and probably did put on some weight, did I need it rubbed in my face? Answer: I don't. Or, if the doc thinks he needs to know for his own records, fine. I don't. And I always request they not tell me what I weigh. 

Is this just the same denial that people with obesity on "My 600-lb Life" practice? No. Because I know within about 25 pounds, what I weigh. I know how I feel, how my clothes fit, what I can do and can't do. I know what changes I've made in my life which have made me fitter (working a more active job and building muscle, which weighs more. I know my body shape (apple). I know our work schedule and how our SWSD (shift work sleep disorder) affects us. I know my age and how the older you get the easier it is to gain weight. And I can look in a mirror. 

A scale factors none of that in. And so yes, it may show that I have gained or even lost weight. I don't want to know because I will just agonize over it and hate myself. If I feel I've gained weight, I go back to the 1200 calorie diet for awhile. And I always look for ways to improve overall health, not just micromanage a number. 

Saturday, July 22, 2023

CPTSD nightmares, sleep apnea, sleep problems and depression: deadly combination

 Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds. I'm coming to you today, not with weight loss success stories but in failure. Failure to figure out how to get a good night's rest  and recover from (or just live with) CPTSD, chronic nightmares, sleep apnea and other sleep problems. And I'm looking for ideas. 

So first, what's CPTSD (also written c-PTSD). It's Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In my case, much of it isn't even post, it's just traumatic stress disorder. Ergo the CPTSD. I've experienced many bizarre and unusual traumas throughout life, particularly in the years from 5-23. These come back to haunt me in constant (all night long, nightly) nightmares and traumatized sleep. I can't seem to get into deep delta sleep and skim the waves on REM and shallower sleep. I'm exhausted all the time. 

I've been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea and used a breathing machine (CPAP) for about 8 years. Then I lost weight and the mask no longer fit. Additionally, chronic sinus problems made it impossible to breathe in a CPAP mask. I would have had to get a new expensive CPAP machine and  it didn't seem to be a good solution given I couldn't breathe properly in the CPAP mask. 

So now I try to get by on melatonin, Bach's Flower Essences and Hyland's homeopathic treatments. These help a bit with sleep but I'm still awake 1 to 2 nights a week (actually days because husband works 12-hour nights 5p to 5a, two on, two off. I try to keep up with his schedule when he works. So we're both suffering with Shift Work Disorder of different sorts. 

And nothing has helped the nightmare dreams. They've gotten more intense, crazy, chaotic and disturbing. I frequently dream that I've done some unspeakable thing that everyone is upset with me over. It is never my now family and always my family of origin (both parents remarried with children, two step-parents). I was parentified and made to do the majority of housework, basically a live-in nanny or au pair. 

I never had my own room, bed or even pillow, just whatever anyone had cast off. I was made to sleep with infants and toddlers (including 4 foster children) at both houses. The short periods I did have a room were temporary. I was routinely moved to other rooms to sleep with young children and my room was given to unmarried couples to sleep in (in the early 1970s that was NOT common at all). This happened repeatedly. And I just realized that I wasn't made to share my room with the infant, I was made to sleep in the infants room. It makes a difference. 

There's a lot more to this story and I plan to keep writing my way through it. If anything suggests itself for a sleep aid, please share. Thanks for reading. Love mar. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds: surprise weight loss secret

Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds after age 50 without drugs or gastric bypass surgery. So today I'm sharing a weight loss secret that I'm pretty sure I going to surprise you. It has nothing to do with diet, exercise or the Alanon mental health tips I've shared. So what is this miracle weight loss thing? 

One word: sleep. Or improved sleep. And conversely lack of sleep was part of how I got from normal to overweight to obesity. I've always struggled with PTSD (and ongoing traumatic stress disorder). Since childhood, I have nightly, night-long, terrible and terrifying nightmares. A sleep study showed that I spend about 5 minutes a night in deep delta sleep (normal is about 3-4 hours). I wake up frequently every  night and can't remember the last time I slept 5-6 hours without waking. 

I've been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea and used a cpap breathing machine. I have scoliosis, back and cervical arthritis, tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome and chronic sinus trouble. I had congenital hip dysplasia as a toddler and it left me with very misaligned back, hips and legs. I struggled with headaches I later learned were migraines. I'm in a lot of pain in many parts of my body all night long. 

Sleep is more of a nemesis than a friend. I used to fall asleep every time I sat down especially when driving. I've nodded off standing up. I walk and talk in my sleep. It made me very unpopular at sleepovers and the butt of a lot of jokes in my family. In many pictures my eyes are half-closed I'm that constantly tired. Even as a child, I was tired a lot. When others were bouncing out of bed at 6 am, I could hardly drag myself out. Often, I was too tired to go out and play and I dreaded organized sports and games because I had so little energy.  

This was in the late 60s early 70s and I don't  know if people were just less informed or didn't care. Apparently a tired kid was an anomaly. Children are supposed to be full of energy so I must just be lazy. Not one of my four parents thought to find out why Marilisa was always tired. They just piled more work on. I was expected to keep up with a lot of chores, wait on adults, made to sleep with young children and get up at night with them, spend long hours caring for foster and half siblings and was essentially parentified by age 10. All that has had a disastrous effect on sleep to this day. 

It didn't even occur to me how critical sleep is to lose weight until I began to blog about how I lost 100 pounds. And I assumed my crazy sleep was normal and just thought I was less good at dealing than those with more energy.  But there's good news. I now have a loving family who didn't blow off my nightmares, sleep talking, chronic pain, apnea, etc. They have been helping me to see that these are not normal and that I need to find ways to sleep better. 

The nightmares and chronic pain haven't abated but together we are exploring ways to make it better. And the best part is that someone cares. I'll blog more about sleep aids I've tried, what works and how it was helpful in weight loss. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

June Jump to Weight Loss: How I lost 100 pounds with Get Moving Goals

Hi again! Keeping up with my 2023 monthly weight loss challenges, I'm issuing a June Jump to Weight Loss.  And I'll kick off by sharing how I lost 100 pounds setting Get Moving Goals. I've shared before how I got overweight and then obesity after losing two babies, spiraling into depression and working a more sedentary job. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to get back to a more active lifestyle that kept me at a  healthy weight when the kids were younger. 

Before I list some Get Moving Goals, let's consider why we need to do this. Looking at the show "My 600-lb Life" we see people hoping for gastric bypass to end obesity. And while surgery helps, the main components in weight loss are calorie restricting on a 1200 calorie diet and getting moving. "My 600-lb Life" folks didn't get to morbid obesity by keeping busy but by avoiding activity: Laying when they could sit, sitting when they could stand, watching when they could be doing, riding when they could walk, making others do for them what they could do for themselves. "My 600-lb Life" take the path of least resistance and it leads ultimately to the gastric bypass surgery table. 

To avoid or beat obesity, I'm going to do the opposite. For my June Jump to Weight Loss challenge, I'll create work for myself, as it were, with Get Moving Goals. 

1) Stand more than sit, walk more than ride, do more than watch, do for more than be done for. 

1) Active vs. passive work. Working for Shipt (rather than the sedentary WFH computer job) is part of how I lost 100 pounds but also keep it off. 

2) Care for kids. Chasing, carrying, cleaning up after, and playing with grandkids is a great weight loss trick but also a surefire mood lifter. 

3) Cook "from scratch." "My 600-lb Life" shows gastric bypass patients eating a lot of junk food before surgery. I find it harder to maintain my 1200 calorie diet if I eat processed or restaurant food. So I'm doing like Rocco DiSpirito and "cooking my butt off." 

4) Clean up my act. Hate gyms and fitness routines? Me too! My workaround is to simply keep busy working around the house and yard. Garden, clean, vacuum, mop, mow, tidy, rake, wash, hang clothes out and scrub those pounds away! 

One caveat however, all this work has left me with some pretty big guns, but that's not all bad, I guess! 😆😎😅😄😏

How I lost 100 pounds with one surprise trick: weight loss without diet

 Hiya friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds. I've not posted in awhile because I've been busy with grandkids in one way or another, which brings me to the topic of today's post. Weight loss without diet. You heard me right. Here's one trick to lose weight that will surprise you. 

Most weight loss methods focus on diet and certainly the 1200 calorie diet was core to how I lost 100 pounds. But another component to shedding obesity had nothing to do with any eating plan. It's a step that many diets and most fitness plans overlook. And that's by simply keeping busy doing daily family activities. 

In my case, weight loss involved a lot of child care. When our children were younger I never had a bit of trouble maintaining a healthy weight/body size because I was busy non-stop with all that goes into tending to a large family: cooking, cleaning, laundry, carrying, nursing babies, playing with children, shopping, running (literally) errands, etc., etc.

I only started to struggle with obesity after losing two stillborn babies in 3 years. Anxiety and depression went from severe to life-threatening. I took the antidepressant Paxil (which is notorious for causing weight gain) and began working from home at a sedentary job. I couldn't and didn't keep up. I lost my shit on a daily basis. One of the
side effects was that I got very overweight. 

I was able to quit Paxil and all antidepressants and that actually started me on a mission to get happier, which coincidently or not, was a big part of how I lost 100 pounds. Fast forward to 2023 (how time flies) and kids are grown and flown but now there are grandkids to keep me busy. And the surprise was how caring for them still keeps the weight off, at almost 60 years old. Also, once I quit Paxil, I never looked back. 

So I can hear some of you saying, that's all well and fine but I don't have kids or grandkids (or any nearby). Well, you can still lose weight or maintain a healthy body size by caring for pets, doing yard or housework and keeping active. 

The show "My 600-lb Life" shows what happens when we don't keep active. Every single one of the gastric bypass patients shown is not only crippled by obesity but also morbidly lazy. "My 600-lb Life" shows people doing nothing but sitting or laying and eating. After putting them on the 1200 calorie diet, gastric bypass surgeon Dr. Now's main objective is to get them up and moving. 

And the ironic thing is that the path to obesity was relatively short but the road to recovery is long and it's made longer not only by the overeating but also the over-sitting and under-moving. More on that later. 

For now, let's jump into June by setting some get moving goals. 

Friday, May 12, 2023

May Weight Loss Challenge: How I lost 100 pounds learning to ride a bike

Hey friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds! Since the new year 2023, I've been issuing weight loss challenges and this month's May weight loss challenge, is Bloomin' Reboot. The concept is that to develop healthier lifestyles we need not to bloom where we're planted but to uproot old habits and transplant ourselves in healthier soil. I'm using my own example and those of people with morbid obesity on "My 600-lb Life." 

So today's Bloomin' Reboot weight loss challenge tip is to share how I lost 100 pounds by learning (or remembering how I learned) to ride a bike and do likewise with diet. Alanon uses this image in working toward So when I learned to ride my bike, I initially fell off it, occasionally. It hurt and I was tempted to stay off and toss the thing on the rubbish heap. My Grampa advised that I stick with it and it would get easier. So I did. And so it did. 

In overcoming obesity, following a calorie restricting diet or intermittent fasting, we sometimes "fall off the bike." For whatever reason, I would occasionally cease to follow my calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet. Maybe I was depressed or anxious and mistook junk food for comfort food. Maybe I just got tired of the scrutiny of the 1200 calorie diet. "My 600-lb Life" shows people struggling with those same issue. Over the years since I lost 100 pounds, I have gained some back, lost weight, gained again, etc. 

But the key thing is that once fallen, I don't  have to stay off. I know A) how I lost 100 pounds in the first place and B) that I can go back to calorie restricting on the 1200 calorie diet whenever I want to. To sum it up, I can lose weight whenever I want to. Whether I was as overweight as those on "My 600-lb Life" or not, it's a path I don't want to go down again. And I never have to because I know what to do to prevent it. I'm rooting out old habits and transplanting myself in healthier soil so I can blossom more fully. 

Thursday, April 27, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds with #1 weight loss supplement (and also #2,3,4 and 5)

Hey friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds. Today's weight loss post is a tip within a tip. I've embedded the essential one within an advertisement because ads are how we make money in the blogosphere.  Helps on mental health (which is the core of weight gain, obesity and weight loss) are unfortunately not as easy for search engines to monetize. But don't worry, both the essence and the wrapping paper are helpful. 

I hear a lot of old-timers say that young people only want things they can buy. "Good old-fashioned" advice to DIY or save money falls on deaf ears (they say). But I'm guessing most of you (young and old) read this blog for the DIY, the self-help and the mental health bits. The free bits that cost nothing. 

Sure, on some level, we'd all like a magic bean we can buy that will lose weight with no calorie restricting or diet change. But we're also smart enough to know that lack of discipline was part of how we got to morbid obesity and for me, doing the hard work was how I lost 100 pounds. 

That's the core of this post, that calorie restricting is the only real path to weight loss. That's the part that can't be sold because it's just common sense and it's something no one, no doctor, personal trainer nor nothing, no diet pill, canned diet program, gastric bypass surgery can do for me. 

But there's still a magic bean that while it won't lose weight alone can really help. So the candy coating, the marketable part is how I lost 100 pounds with this #1 weight loss supplement and also, if you act now, you get numbers 2,3,4 and 5 for free. My weight loss supplements of choice are: 

garcinia cambogia (appetite suppressant)

green tea (metabolism booster)

apple cider vinegar (fat burner, appetite suppressant)

raspberry ketones (appetite suppressant, fat burner) 

cinnamon capsules (sugar blocker, metabolism booster)

There you have it. For those who want to buy stuff, get these weight loss supplements at Amazon, Walmart or your local grocery store. For those who just want the DIY, start calorie restricting. For best results, try both as metabolism boosters and appetite suppressant make calorie restricting a lot easier. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds by comfort eating

 Hi guys! Today on this blog about how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass (after age 45), I'm looking at yet another paradox (there seem to be a lot of those in weight loss, LOL). Getting overweight is not just about overeating or eating the wrong foods. It's about knowing when to eat and when not to eat. The paradox is that part of how I lost 100 pounds was by comfort eating. I'll explain. 

Stress or comfort eating has a bad reputation in weight loss think. People on "My  600-lb Life" will talk about how they eat when they are sad, the usual definition of comfort eating. And comfort eating traditional "comfort food" (sweets, salty snacks, fatty, fried foods, junk food) is a one-way trip to obesity and a starring role on "My 600-lb Life." But having said that, comfort eating the right things at the right time can help lose weight. 

What got me thinking about this how I'm feeling today. I'm not at my best emotionally. I'm stressed, dealing with some frustrating situations, nervous, anxious and a bit depressed if I'm honest pretty irritable and not much in the mood to encourage anyone, let alone myself. I feel fat and ugly and mean. But being honest is the path up. And I realized that trying to lose weight, I sometimes ignore hunger, which drops my blood sugar, makes me edgier, more anxious and depressed. Lather rinse repeat. 

And here's where "My 600-lb Life" folks have it right. Sometimes, when depressed, we do need to eat. Hungry low blood sugar brains can't function properly. But not what is usually thought of as "comfort food." Sugar amps up heart rate and slows metabolism. Salt inflames and reduces circulation. Fatty, processed foods make me sluggish and tired. And crabby. So the first order of business is to eat something but not junk food. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was with real comfort eating of genuine comfort food that is nutritious and satisfying. Food that fuels my brain and boosts my metabolism (energy level). For me, that's high protein, high fiber, whole grain, keto, high MUFA/PUFU, zero HFCS foods like berries, nuts and seeds, keto bread, chicken breast, fish and rainbow vegetable salads. I can feel my blood sugar rising and my mood lifting. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Surprise diet recipes for weight loss, metabolism boost, mood lifter and pain relief

Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass! Today, as part of my Spring into Weight Loss challenge, I'm sharing diet recipes that will not only help lose weight but also boost metabolism, lift mood relieve pain. The secret ingredients may surprise you. 

Number one ingredient in my metabolism booster-mood lifter-pain reliever recipe Bone Broth! I've blogged before about how I lost 100 pounds eating high protein keto foods like bone broth. Bone broth is the schiznit for weight loss clocking in at 20 grams of protein per serving for a mere 85 calories! Plus it has tons of amino acids and potassium electrolytes for immunity and metabolism boost. It also strengthens bones so is great for nutritive pain relief. 

To my Zammex Bone Broth, I add nutritional yeast. I like Bragg's nutritional yeast which is chock full of B vitamins for metabolism and mood lifters. Nutritional yeast adds a salty, cheesy flavor and makes a perfect salt substitute for weight loss. I also add Bragg's Liquid Amino salt substitute. I'm an avid watcher of "My 600-lb Life" and bone broth with nutritional yeast would make an excellent pre and post gastric bypass calorie restricting food. It's surprisingly filling which is one thing "My 600-lb Life" folks say most diet recipes aren't. 

People on "My 600-lb Life" speak of chronic pain. Along with obesity, I've struggled with a lot of chronic pain issues (some not related to being overweight and not helped by weight loss.) I refuse to take any opioid pain relievers and avoid Tylenol and ibuprofen as much as possible. I did try the antidepressant Paxil which caused weight gain and obesity. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to get off the Paxil. But I still need help with pain management. I use ginger, black pepper, red and white pepper and turmeric. All these forms of pepper have anti-inflammatory properties. 

I add turmeric, black pepper, ginger, ground multicolor pepper (white, pink, red and green) and paprika. Cayenne pepper which would be better for pain relief but I'm too much of a wimp and so opt for "little pepper" or paprika. All these are natural pain relievers and I've found that when pain is managed, it boost metabolism and energy and is a mood lifter. Garlic is for flavor and immunity boosting. 

Enjoy my Super Bone Broth diet recipe! Stay tuned for more on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass! 

P.S. I use Zammex Bone Broth from Amazon because it's the best deal I've found. Plus with Amazon Subscribe and Save, I get 15% off!  

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds eating my favorite foods (truly!)

 Hello dear friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass! In keeping with the weight loss challenges I began in January, in April we're doing Spring into Weight Loss and exploring ways to lose weight in healthy ways. Today I'll explain how I lost 100 pounds by eating my favorite foods. Really! 

The HAES (Healthy at Every Size) movement would have us believe that there's no such thing as overweight and that even obesity is healthy if you feel good about yourself. It's true that no amount of weight loss will help if you don't have a positive self-image. But being very overweight or even just a little can lead to low self-esteem, not because society tells me I'm fat but because excess fat is slowing me down. I sometimes wonder how much of HAES is about positivity and how much is about shielding eating habits that have lead to obesity. 

On the show "My 600-lb Life", people with morbid obesity must work to lose weight, before and after gastric bypass. One of the biggest roadblocks is "comfort food" and "comfort eating." "My 600-lb Life" patients will do anything to protect eating habits that got them to "My 600-lb Life." They are convinced, and try to convince Dr. Now that they need their "comfort food" and the tons of extra calories in it. 

So this may seem like an excursion from the point of my post on how I lost 100 pounds eating favorite foods. But that's just what I did: eat comfort foods just made differently with calorie restricting and keto food swaps. I did have to retrain my brain to appreciate subtle rather than intense sweetness or saltiness. Here are my best calorie restricting food swaps.

Refined sugar food swaps: I sub fruit (apples, bananas, berries, grapefruit) for sugar in recipes. I bake with bananas and apples and cut out refined sugar. In BBQ dishes, I use different berries, peaches, apples or pineapple instead of refined sugar. 

I swap Bragg's Nutritional Yeast for salt and cheese in dishes to boost nutrients and protein and cut sodium. I eat keto or light bread and olive oil butter for calorie restricting. I sub cauliflower for wheat, potatoes and rice. I wrap sandwiches in lettuce leaves instead of bread. I sub Greek yogurt for milk and sour cream. I add ground nuts to breads to ramp up protein and fiber. I sub blended cottage cheese for cream, sour cream, cheese and Velveeta in diet recipe versions of macaroni and cheese, Alfredo and cheese soups. I use bone broth for any kind of broth to up protein. 

There are so many ways to make diet recipes of favorite foods and best of all, I like my diet versions better than the originals! 

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds by discovering willpower in powerlessness

 Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass. Today, as part of my Spring into Weight Loss challenge, I'm exploring how I lost 100 pounds by discovering willpower in powerlessness. A few days ago I wrote about the paradox of how being powerless is actually empowering. I didn't know then how it works and I still don't, but I have some ideas, as it relates to weight loss. 

What do I mean by "powerless"? Does it equate with helpless and if so, isn't that a further contradiction? That we who are struggling with obesity should just lie down and accept it? Well, yes and no. So Alanon teaches in the 12 steps that the first step is recognizing that we are powerless over people, places and things. And Fr. Richard Rohr extends this to say that only when we find our own powerlessness that we are able to grow closer to God. 

When I was very overweight, I had a moment of complete breakdown where I literally beat myself and cursed my obesity and laziness to lose weight. It was not my best moment. But it was necessary to get to the point where I stopped making excuses, blaming everything else and started looking honestly at how fat I'd become.  I know, we're not supposed to say the word fat. But I was. And I had to accept that and that I didn't like it. 

I had to accept that I was powerless to change others at all and myself only with the assistance of my Higher Power whom I call God. Or, actually, I am the assistant. Alanon doesn't call it a Higher Power for nothing. The strength to change (lose weight, quit drinking, or overcome any addiction) lies there and when I can accept that, and rely on it, I can begin to change myself. 

When I can give up thinking I run the show, when I can stop expecting others to change to suit me, when I can start living the Serenity Prayer, 

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

My Higher Power is able to work thru me and in me to guide me to do what I need to do. This is the only way. Sheer willpower alone won't do it. I had to want to lose weight and embrace calorie restricting on the 1200 calorie diet whole-heartedly. As long as I allow roadblocks (self-pity, denial of responsibility, making excuses, blame shame, etc.) I won't really apply myself to calorie restricting. 

We see this played out on "My 600-lb Life" in which gastric bypass hopefuls work to lose weight. While "My 600-lb Life" patients continue to deny personal responsibility, blame everyone else, blame shame themselves, pity themselves, lie, make excuses, they continue to avoid calorie restricting. So long as they retain an attitude of helplessness and refusal to accept the help given by "My 600-lb Life" support staff, they do not lose weight. Even gastric bypass can't make it happen. 

But miraculously, when they accept help and work to change, they overcome obesity. That's how I lost 100 pounds. I found willpower in powerlessness. I still don't understand completely how it works and that okay. I don't have to. That's my Higher Power's job. I just trust that He does and I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. And that's a lovely Easter blessing! 


Friday, March 31, 2023

Anoexia, Obesity and weight loss: controlling others vs self-control

Greetings friend of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass (note: if you're wondering why I start every post this way, it's because "how I lost 100 pounds" is one of my keywords so I have to get "how I lost 100 pounds" in three time or so to improve SEO. And explaining that just accomplished that so no more trying to fit it in without sounding awkward LOL! 

One of the goals of my blog is to explore the psychology behind obesity, eating disorders (of which overeating is one) and weight loss. In my last post, we explored the paradox of powerless vs. self-control required for calorie restricting. Today we look at the negative impacts of trying to control others vs. self-control. 

Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia and certainly overeating that leads to obesity have an element of controlling others involved. I know I might get flak from people struggling with anorexia or bulimia or obesity, on that. But consider this: self-harm or the threat of it, is a cry for help. However, the help expected is sometimes narrowly defined by the one seeking help. Said more clearly, self-harm can be a way to get others to do what I want not necessarily what I need. And sometimes, the help I think I need harm those I expect to give it. 

I was parented by a person who constantly threatened suicide. As a young child, I recall him telling me that he was going to "end it all." He continually referenced his low self esteem brought on by his "overly critical parents." He was also one of the most arbitrarily critical persons I know. Was this threat of self-harm a cry for help or a way to bully? I was horrified and wanted to help which of course I couldn't And he said there was nothing I could do anyway, yet kept reiterating the suicide threats. So I'm going with cruel bullying. Low self-esteem can be very self-centered and also weaponized to guilt, manipulate and control others. 

Regarding obesity and anorexia, other forms of self-harm, the controlling comes in when overeating, extreme calorie restricting or bingeing is used to manipulate people or causes others harm. "My 600-lb Life" shows very overweight people being waited on and served by others. "My 600-lb Life" Dr. Now always asks "who is feeding you?" Because someone has be the slave of a person who is crippled by obesity. 

Anorexia or bulimia at the other end of the spectrum can be (note I said can be) just as controlling. A person trying to get his way may threaten to purge. She may refuse to eat, to worry parents and get them to lighten up on expectations. Manipulation is obviously not the only issue in an eating disorder. But for anyone dealing with an eating disorder, it's essential to explore what's behind it. 

Getting healthier is about learning that, as Alanon says, we are powerless over people. The only way we find power is to practice self-control vs. manipulative behavior designed to control others. 

My Weight Loss Secret that has nothing to do with diet

 Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds. Writing these posts has become my therapy and I thank you for following. I know sometimes it's kind of raw. I write about what's going on with me at the time, as it relates to weight loss, or not, and I'm hoping it helps you too. Judging by the numbers, the resonance is pretty high. I try not to make it too "pep talkie" definitely not judgey and not even too cheerful. There's nothing I hate more, when I'm low, is a Sweet Polly Purebred trying to perk me up. That said, I have found that positivity over negativity works better for pretty much any health issue, including obesity. 

And that brings me to the point of this post: my weight loss secret that has nothing to do with diet. For background, a big part of how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass was with calorie restricting on a 1200 calorie diet. BUT that came after some other things that had zero to do with calorie restricting. I was only able to, or maybe I should say, realized I needed to follow a 1200 calorie diet, after these things fell into place. 

And it involves several paradoxes. First, I had to hit the wall and spiral into a well of misery. This was not pleasant. But it was necessary that I take the blinders off and accept just how overweight I was AND that it was snowballing downhill at a scary fast rate. So the first step to getting better was to realize just how bad it was. "My 600-lb Life" shows this painful process and how important it is, even more than gastric bypass, for weight loss. 

Like the folks on "My 600-lb Life", I had to stop making excuses for being overweight while also rooting out the reasons for weight gain. Another paradox. I couldn't lose weight or even begin to try until I got it sorted how I went from normal weight, to overweight to obesity. But I had to stop using those reasons as excuses to do nothing about it. 

The next paradox was, as Alanon says in step one,to realize that I was powerless over people, places and obesity. This is not powerless as in the helpless self-pity we see (and which I exhibited) on "My 600-lb Life." That kind blames everyone else and yet expects others to also fix me. I had to flip the script and stop waiting for others to change, to fix me, and take responsibility for me with the help of my Higher Power whom I choose to call God. 

Maybe you, like me, are saying "Whoa, wait, stop. How can I be powerless and still fix myself?? Makes no sense!" And yanno what? Your'e right. I still haven't quite figured it out. But one thing I do know is that it works. When I surrendered to the power of my Higher Power, I received the, I don't know, mojo? energy? willpower? to work at weight loss, with calorie restricting, following 1200 calorie diet. 

Still confused? So am I 😃😏😃 I think that's how it's supposed to be. As Fr. Richard Rohr says, (paraphrased) once we think we know everything we get complacent and stagnant. So I'm approaching weight loss and health and life in general, as the Buddhists suggest, as a learner, a child, with eyes and mind wide open to whatever lessons life and Higher Power have for me today. 

Want to join me on the quest? Stay tuned! 

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Spring into Weight Loss by uprooting where you're planted

 Hi friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass. 2023 begins my 10th anniversary of a quest to end obesity with calorie restricting on a 1200 calorie diet. When I was very overweight, I was told--by a doctor-- that I couldn't lose weight without gastric bypass surgery. Picking up that gauntlet instead of rolling over and accepting his verdict was a big part of how I lost 100 pounds. After initial weight loss, I was repeatedly warned that I'd never be able to keep it off. Which would have been true if I'd stayed planted in old eating habits. 

But I didn't. I reshaped my entire life with routine calorie counting, a1200 calorie diet, intermittent fasting and setting personal goals.  This blog looks at ways to not only lose weight but keep obesity far away. One way is to set monthly challenges. We're nearing the end my March to Weight Loss challenge and for April, it's Spring into Weight Loss by uprooting where I'm planted and transplanting in better soil. I'll explain. 

All too often, those of us who struggle with morbid obesity have gotten too good a blooming where we are planted. We've gotten too content stuck in our rut and embraced laissez-faire. But wait, you might ask, isn't that a good thing, surrendering to the inevitable? No. We've surrendered alright, to being very overweight and given up doing anything to prevent getting more overweight. The reality show "My 600-lb Life" mirrors the horrifying effects of letting go. 

"My 600-lb Life" patients hoping for gastric bypass are planted in the idea that they are helpless. Their mantra is "I'm fat and can't change so why try?" They see gastric bypass surgery as an easy out. Every episode of "My 600-lb Life" Dr. Now has to re-explain that bariatric surgery won't magically fix them without work: calorie restricting on a 1200 calorie diet. 

Do you need or want to lose weight? Why not give my Spring into Weight Loss challenge a try? Join me as we discover and uproot old habits that are keeping us stuck.  


Wednesday, March 29, 2023

HAES or BMI? Does "diet culture" promote fatphobia and is that a bad thing?

One of the biggest dividing issues today (and I know cuz I read Reddit) is whether use the BMI (body mass index) to determine healthy weight or whether HAES (Healthy at Every Size) is right. I say both and neither. HAES and the BMI are both helpful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and both can be taken to extremes and be harmful. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was by using the BMI as a guide but also coming to understand that I am, if not healthy at every size, at least acceptable and worthy of love. 

People who think Healthy at Every Size eschew what they call the "diet culture." The term is often used cynically to imply that those who "buy into it" are somehow gullible or ignorant. I'm not even sure most users know what they mean by it. Loosely, it means being constantly weight loss diet minded. It's also called fatphobia: a fear of being overweight and body-shaming those who are what the BMI might deem overweight. 

I say might because there is some wiggle room, even with the BMI. It's an ideal weight range calculated by height to weight ratio. And in most incarnations, the BMI is limited. It doesn't factor in age, gender, how much weight is muscle vs fat, belly fat (waist size) dress or pants size, ethnicity, overall health, (some are shorter or taller and more prone to "belly fat.") and other pertinent issues. 

People who follow the BMI as I have, are often said to have fatphobia. As a weight loss bloggers, I've been criticized as body-shaming if I suggest that obesity or being overweight might not be healthy. I've been faulted for promoting "diet culture." If by "diet culture" they mean a purchased diet plan, medical weight loss or gastric bypass surgery, I'd agree. I didn't need a paid meal plan, diet club, surgery, personal trainer, doctor supervised medical treatment to lose weight. 

But to suggest that people are healthy at every size, including in morbid obesity, is delusional. "My 600-lb Life" shows what happens when people ignore increasing weight. Yes, what constitutes obesity may differ somewhat. The BMI uses 24 to <30 as overweight and 30 or over as obese. Medically, up to 36 pounds extra is overweight. Obesity is anything over that and morbid obesity is 100 pounds or more overweight. 

I've read a lot of talk about how many people feel healthier at what that definition calls overweight. Is that just an excuse? It depends on the person. "My 600-lb Life" participants will say that they like themselves "fuller" or "fluffier" which translates to 450 pounds of extra weight. 

I've also been surprised when told what someone weighs that it falls into the quite overweight category. They simply don't look overweight. I think the bottom line is that weight is a private matter BUT if every indicator (BMI, doctor, other people) points to it and my health is suffering with weight related complications (diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, back and leg problems, heart trouble, OSA, breathing issues) then I owe it to myself to lose weight. 

What woke me up to the fact that I needed to lose weight was being identified by the BMI as obese. If I didn't do something about it, I could have ended up the size of a "My 600-lb Life" patient. Once I accepted it, quit making excuses and hiding my head in the sand. I was able to lose 100 pounds. I still have belly fat and would like to lose more weight. If that means I have fatphobia or I'm a diet culture sycophant, so be it. I don't shame anyone else for weight but I don't like being fat. And I know what's healthy for me. 

How I lost 100 pounds with diet food swaps for childhood comfort foods

Hello my friends! This blog explores how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass surgery. I'm coming up on my 10 anniversary of weight loss and began this year issuing a series of monthly challenges. This month is March to Weight Loss. Now I'm not one to drop a gauntlet and run. I'm sharing ways to lose weight and improve general health. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to rethink comfort foods but also to reimagine my personal comfort foods with low calorie diet food swaps. First a word on where we get our ideas of comfort foods. For most of us, it's childhood. Meals enjoyed as a family, mom's or dad's home-cookin', favorite ethnic dishes related to your background, these often become our cravings in adulthood. 

Now comfort foods implies a good thing: food that makes us feel secure, loved, at home. However, unfortunately, while they may taste great they often high density calorie overload. So not so much feeding our souls as our addictions. When I was young, very few people were overweight. No thought was given to low sodium, low sugar or lowfat. 

Portions were also smaller and getting back to that portion control was a big part of how I lost 100 pounds. But to lose weight I also had to go into calorie deficit (eating fewer than I was used to eating). So calorie restricting on the 1200 calorie diet became my weight loss method of choice. But I also enjoyed those favorite childhood comfort foods by creating diet food swaps. Here are some. 

Keto waffles with blue agave syrup. Waffles have always been a favorite for me. Fake yellow Eggos with Mrs. Butterworth syrup, I'm a happy camper. But as an overweight adult, no. So I switched to high protein keto pancake mix with light olive oil based butter and blue agave syrup. Now I've got nutritious satisfying waffles that help me burn fat and boost metabolism. 

Other diet food swaps include light or keto bread for toast and grilled cheese. And speaking of grilled cheese, one simple diet food swap is to sub mozzarella for higher fat cheese. Same great taste for 30-40% fewer calories. For mac and cheese, swap Velveeta or cream cheese for blended cottage cheese  sauce and add in keto favorite parmesan cheese or feta. Use this for alfredo as well. 

BBQ and sloppy joes are another favorite childhood comfort food. I grind chicken breasts and use for burger. Then I make my own BBQ sauce with peach pineapple salsa, Worchester sauce, a smidge of molasses, garlic, onion, dijon or stone ground mustard, lime juice and liquid smoke (celery salt to taste). This diet food swap BBQ sauce is so much more flavorful than the too-sweet bottled stuff. 

Keep reading this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass for more diet food swaps! And stay tuned for the April weight loss challenge! 

March to Weight Loss: go out like a lioness!

 Hello beloved friends! On this blog about how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass, I've been issuing monthly challenges. March was March to weight loss. The month is almost over and in Michigan, March is going out like a lion. So I figured, why don't we, go out like a lioness? I am a Leo after all!

What do I  mean by lioness weight loss? Not what you might think. Not talking here about fierce or drastic or ruthless. The lioness is the heart of the pride. Picture Nala in Disney "The Lion King." She was the doer, the wise counselor, the brains behind the outfit if you will. And while a mother lioness is fiercely loving toward her cubs, she's also remarkably gentle.  

So as we end March to Weight Loss challenge, let's do so with love and gentleness. Alanon says it this way. "Easy does it." This doesn't mean lazy. I'm still practicing calorie restricting. Still keeping up with the 1200 calorie diet for the most part. But when I'm hungry, or when I fall off the wagon (like when the grandkids Easter candy in the closet called my name), I'm going to be kind and understanding.  I'm not going to beat myself up for having a few. 

Just as I would be with my cubs. Or my lion partner. Or anyone else who has failed." Kindness, gentleness, caring begins with self. It doesn't end there but it must start with self-care. The people who are the most unloving are those who've never learned self-love. This isn't selfish or self-centered. Others shouldn't suffer when we practice self-care. Just the opposite in fact. Everyone benefits when we do. 

Part of how I got overweight and then fell into obesity was by NOT practicing self-care. I didn't heed my needs, over-extended, letting others dictate right and wrong, not listening to my own God-given inner wisdom and then got so emotionally sick that in desperation, I tried an antidepressant, Paxil. Instead of helping, it made me lethargic, confused and turned off my limit switches. I overate, got overweight and yeah, the rest is history. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to learn that real self-care means doing things that nurture, like eating healthier (notice the root word of healthy is "heal"), getting out and about, quitting Paxil, making safer friends and connections and learning to not hate and actually listen to myself. 

Does any of this resonate with you? If you're struggling with weight issues, overweight, underweight, eating disorder, body image issues, lack of self-love, there's a good chance it does. We will definitely revisit this subject. For now, work on "easy does it." 

Love, mar

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Neglect, abuse, endangerment, parentification and the toxic shame trifecta

Hi friends! Today's post is going to be raw and will probably seem to have little to do with how I lost 100 pounds or weight loss at all. But it's part of how I got to such a low place emotionally. And it's how I learned that constant criticism leads to fear of reprisal leads to paranoia leads to defensiveness leads to toxic shame leads AND how reversing that pattern can lead not only to weight loss but improved mental health. 

I never wanted to admit this but I was raised by very narcissistic people. I know it seems wrong, especially in my generation, to fault our parents. But I have to be honest if I'm going to find any kind of peace of mind. They were both very paranoid, super sensitive to criticism and in denial over personal fault and also hyper critical of me, as their only child. I remember being told faulted for things I had no control over and being told "you're too sensitive" when I cried or got upset. 

Prior to my parents' divorce, life was chaotic at best. We moved all the time. There often wasn't a steady parent present. I was let to walk to school alone at 4, play unsupervised in a downtown area at 5, wander the town marina. I left behind on an island in Alaska. I was dumped at a camp with no suitcase and no understanding of what was going on or where I was at 6. Beyond the wonderful times with my grandparents, and a few good ones, I have very few memories other than scary ones. 

After my parents divorce, there was a lot of expectation and parentification placed on me as they remarried and had kids. I was co-parent to my half siblings and foster children, to please step parents and obey their unfair and ridiculous demands, to be a "good girl" to be "modest" in a home where several unmarried couples were living together. I was evicted from my bedroom so my uncle and his girlfriend could sleep there. 

I had be on my best behavior at all times, to give up and sacrifice for the family (sacrifices no one else was making), to do most all the housework, cooking and cleaning, to be a good Christian (when adults in my home were openly "living in sin"--their words back then). At 11, I had to babysit 4 special needs children 4 and under, including an infant, toddler and two physically abuse children for a week. 

What surprises me is not that I was unable to live up to these expectations but how good I got at it. My reward however was not praise or appreciation but even more parentification of siblings and expectation. Anytime a new baby entered the family, I was assigned to sleep with the baby, get up with him/her in the night and care for him/her. I basically raised my siblings. And when I became inconvenient or when the other parent wanted a share of my "help" I was shuttled to them. Lather, rinse, repeat. 

I was held under a microscope and when I "failed" retribution was swift and draconian. At 16, I was evicted from my current home for coming in an hour late. One time. I didn't drink, smoke, use drugs, fight my parents or stepparents and was very (too) biddable. I got excellent grades and kept up an after school job. I walked a mile to school rain or shine to arrive an hour early so I could work before school started. I did all my homework. I cared for siblings and family and did much more than my share of the chores. What money my grandparents had set aside for me was used by parents "for the family" (their new families). 

But that one transgression lost me my not so happy home. I had to go an live with a stranger in town. My other parent did not step up to help out. In a time where it was common for kids to drink, do drugs drop out of school, get in trouble with the law and give their parents a lot of grief, I, who played by all the rules, was the one kicked out of the house. All this would be illegal today and was then too. You can't kick a minor out of the house. But they did. This wasn't the first or last incidence of abuse, neglect or endangerment. 

Sharing this makes me feel very vulnerable. Even at 58, as a parent and grandparent myself, I question whether I exaggerated. I fear that I may not be believed. I fear reprisal and scorn. I never have confronted the issues. I feel intense toxic shame. 

But also, because I am a parent and a grandparent, I can now look at these experiences with a caring adult eye. If these experiences had happened to anyone else, I would be horrified. With objectivity, I see that I learned not only to be too obedient but to downplay a lot and defend way too much. This has distilled into toxic shame over supposed wrongs, fear of reprisal, constant paranoia that I'm failing, pathological people pleasing and PTSD dreams that torment me all night long. 

But I'm also  learning how to work through these issues, thanks to my higher power whom I call God.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

March to Weight Loss with cinnamon to lower blood sugar and increase metabolism

Hi friends! Today on this blog about how I lost 100 pounds after 50 without gastric bypass, I'm looking at ways to March to Weight Loss (my monthly challenge). One way was with a simple supplement that lowered blood sugar and increased metabolism. What's this wonder weight loss drug? Well, it's not a chemical. It's something you have on your spice shelf: cinnamon. 

I'm not one to tout miracle pills for weight loss or any other health condition for that matter. However, cinnamon (usually taken in capsules), helped me lose weight by imitating insulin, boosting metabolism, lowering blood sugar, reducing stored fat and preventing (in my case actually healing) pre-diabetes (insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome) and ultimately diabetes. 

Whew that's a tall order. But cinnamon capsules can do it. They're part of how I lost 100 pounds and avoided gastric bypass. There's a catch, however. I had to use them as part of a low sugar, keto, calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet. Cinnamon capsules aren't a magic pill that lets you eat all the sugar you want and still lose weight or control diabetes.  

That's a trap many of us who have struggled with obesity fall into. Patients on "My 600-lb Life" often want weight loss cheats that involve no work and no change of habits. (Some of use even think gastric bypass is a cheat to avoid calorie restricting. Dr. Now of "My 600-lb Life" puts patients on a 1200 calorie diet but many fight him every step of the way. Some "My 600-lb Life" participants have even said they didn't expect to have to lose weight before surgery and that they "can't" follow 1200 calorie diet because they will starve. 

So cinnamon capsules should be used as part of a weight loss plan or method to curb diabetes, not as THE weight loss or diabetes management plan. I always say when I share tips that it's "part of"  how I lost 100 pounds. Just as there are a lot of reasons for weight gain, getting overweight and obesity, there are many aspects of weight loss. 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more March to Weight Loss challenge tips and the unveiling of April's challenge too! 

Note: these are the cinnamon capsules I use. Best price is Walmart Spring Valley. 


Friday, March 17, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds by meeting my needs...all of them

Hi friends! I'm kind of a Dr. Ruth at heart and I'm going to warn you, today's post may make some uncomfortable. But I think most people will feel relief to have it talked about. The topic is the 3-letter word that begins in s and ends in x. It sometimes has "-ual health" on the end. I'm not trying to be coy. This word when used online, triggers certain filters. However, in it's pure form, used correctly, this thing is as essential to health as food, water, air and sleep. Unfortunately, it doesn't get talked about because although almost everyone does it, most everyone also feels squeamish conversing about it. We joke about it, make crude references to it and hint about it but rarely to we have frank dialog about it. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was by recognizing and meeting my needs...all of them. And part of how I went from healthy weight to overweight to obesity was by ignoring my needs. Not just for the "ends in x" word. For rest, nutrition, companionship, down time and positivity. My husband was working 14-21 nights straight. We never saw each other and when we did it was only to worry, stress and fight. I'm embarrassed to admit it but it's true. We were on opposite ends of the clock every day and never slept together ( I mean just sleep, never).

We got used to being lonely. Depression was my one constant. One coping mechanism was food. I lost two stillborn babies and my limit switches taking the antidepressant Paxil. Enter in obesity. But, good news, part of how I lost 100 pounds was by spending time with my husband. Remembering that we could still have fun and doing so. That renewed Joie de vivre helped me find the willpower to lose weight. 

I believe that loneliness and obesity and depression and sometimes, death, go hand and in hand. One causes the next and the next. If you need further proof of how loneliness kills, here are some stories. A friend died with morbid obesity. He was not overweight until adulthood and he was cripplingly lonely.

 Another acquaintance is getting a divorce from a morbidly obese spouse who never wants to do anything. The spouse only wants custodial care and gives no friendship or love. Recently, the friend has  been meeting new people and feeling better. There's been criticism because the divorce isn't final. But I say it was final when the obese spouse checked out of the relationship. I'm glad the friend is finding joy, finally. It may be a life salvation. Said it before and I'll say it again. Love, companionship and the ends-in-x word, are as vital to health as food and water and air. Hopefully the spouse will find a will to live too. 

Thanks for reading past the cringe! Love ya'll

St. Patrick's Day Mean Green Juice Cleanse for March to Weight Loss challenge...Slainte Mhath!

Top o' the mornin, mo ghradhs! And a blessed St. Patrick's Day to ye! Today instead of just wearing the green, why not drink green, I don't mean beer (sad face). Here's a Mean Green Juice Cleanse for our March to Weight loss challenge that will have to feelin fightin Irish fit in no time! 

Many people who have struggled with morbid obesity, have found that a "reboot" of diet, AKA a detox cleanse of eating habits have saved their lives. A juice cleanse is one way to not only lose weight but also to boost immunity, gut bacteria and metabolism. 

As a word of caution, not all doctors recommend a detox cleanse or fast. Dr. Now of "My 600-lb Life" cautions against fasts such as the Mean Green Juice cleanse. The concern is that gastric bypass patients such as those on "My 600-lb Life" have voracious appetites. They would not get full with this type of intermittent fasting and so not keep up with the weight loss program. The Mean Green Juice Cleanse may also not include enough nutrients, electrolytes and protein. 

But it could fit within the "My 600-lb Life" gastric bypass 1200 calorie diet after a certain amount of weight loss. When is obesity better managed and the stomach has shrunk, a juice cleanse can be useful. Part of how I lost 100 pounds, without gastric bypass, after age 50, was with intermittent fasting and a calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet. Now that I'm used to portion control and calorie restricting a detox cleanse would be doable. So, here's the recipe.

Mean Green Juice Cleanse for March to Weight Loss

1 cucumbers

4 celery stalks

2 green apples (cored)

8 kale leaves with stalks

1 lemon (peeled)

1 in piece of ginger

Juice and enjoy. Note: some users of this fast drank nothing but Mean Green Juice for two months. This is due to compromised health from obesity. I suggest trying a juice fast preemptively, before getting overweight and only a few days at a time. 

A friend who uses this juice fast, does it in conjunction with intermittent fasting, eating only between the hours of 2 and 7. I would use it with a calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet which was how I lost 100 pounds. 

Whatever you use to lose weight, or stay healthy, make sure you do it in moderation and safely. It's not worth making yourself sick just to get the scale down to a certain number. Stay tuned for more on how I lost 100 pounds and other March to Weight Loss challenge tips. 

Slainte Mhath! 

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Brendan Fraser's humility over "The Whale" best actor Oscar leaves us speechless

Hi friends. A few days ago I blogged about Brendan Fraser in "The Whale" and how he opened eyes and minds to pain of obesity. And last night, Fraser's humble and emotional Best Actor Oscar acceptance speech opened hearts. I'm a longtime fangirl of Brendan Fraser in his cheese puff comedy and adventure films ("Airheads", "Encino Man", "The Mummy"). But I never thought he was capable of serious acting, let alone on the scale of "The Whale." Glad I was wrong. I realized from "The Poison Rose" that Brendan Fraser is actually shockingly capable. 

As a person who has lived through weight gain, obesity and weight loss, "The Whale" was a real grapefruit spoon to the heart. Over 75% of Americans overweight, according to BMI. And yet obesity is largely ignored except on niche shows like "My 600-lb Life" or to make fun of. A fat suit such as Brendan Fraser had to wear for "The Whale" is now available as a Halloween costume. So funny...😒

A lot of those people better start laughing at themselves, though. If 3 of 4 people is overweight, they've seen the joke and it's them. Or we could just stop body-shaming and making fun and start taking obesity seriously. Weight loss isn't just for people who get as big as gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life." Part of how I lost 100 pounds over age 50 without gastric bypass was to get serious about weight loss and my need for it. 

The point of "The Whale" and "My 600-lb Life" isn't just that people with obesity need to lose weight. It's about how and why we get overweight in the first place. Another part of  how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass was to look at experiences, patterns and habits that led to weight gain. 

Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for more on how I lost 100 pounds and more on my March to Weight Loss challenge. Love, mar

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