Wednesday, December 20, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs with super easy calorie cuts

Hello again, friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass surgery or weight loss drugs! I shared recently that I have gained some weight back and how I plan to lose weight again. I promised some super easy food swaps to cut calories for weight loss and here they are. 

On the show "My 600-lb Life" we see gastric bypass patients with morbid obesity losing weight with a 1200 calorie diet. This 1200 diet is how I lost 100 pounds too. I didn't follow a specific diet plan but used elements of several different schools of thought: food swaps, keto, low carbohydrate, no white food (potatoes, rice, pasta and white bread) and some intermittent fasting. 

"My 600-lb Life" explores extreme obesity but the 1200 calorie diet is not extreme. I maintain that with this diet, anyone can lose weight, like I did, without gastric bypass. It may not always be easy, what with temptation and cravings, but the 1200 calorie diet is simple. And even the cravings are factored into this eating plan. Following a 1200 calorie diet involves the simple step of identifying and stopping up calorie leaks. Here are 15 super easy food swaps to cut calories.

light bread or keto bread

Carb control tortillas (I just skip tortillas altogether and eat taco salad with no carbs)

light mayonnaise and less of it

dijon mustard (instead of mayo)

breadless sandwiches, tacos

peanut butter instead of PBJ sandwiches

lettuce wraps 

salads instead of sandwiches or bread based handhelds like tacos (this is one of the easiest food swaps to cut calories: just put fillings or sandwich toppings on lettuce, spinach or spring mix)

light butter or spray butter 

homemade sugar-free condiments with keto fat options (recipes to follow in upcoming post)

low salt lunchmeats (don't just count calories, count and reduce sodium too)

more seafood (ahi tuna, swordfish, shrimp, tuna, salmon

grilled and broiled instead of fried or deep fried 

cauliflower instead of potatoes

fruit with pulp and skin instead of juice

chicken instead of any other meat

nuts instead of salty snacks like chips and pretzels

These food swaps cut calories to maintain a 1200 calorie diet and still feel full. They are the basic eating plan for how I lost 100 pounds. 

How I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass and can do it again


Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass. Today I had the unpleasant experience of seeing myself in a candid photo. I realized that I have gained weight again and from the side, look pretty overweight. So before I lost weight, this would have sent me into a tailspin of depression. But now I know that I can lose weight again. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass was to identify negative and hurtful self-image messages and to discover my own ability to lose weight and overcome obesity. Now, instead of defaulting to self-hatred and shame, I look at myself objectively. 

First, I acknowledge that the picture I saw was a side profile. I wearing a fitted hoodie and was bending over. This is going to show every bulge and also, bent over, makes me look more overweight than I would standing straight. Am I making excuses and in  denial over weight gain? Am I acting like the gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life" who blind themselves to obesity and justify weight gain with falsehoods?

No, I'm just clarifying to myself part of why I look so much bigger so that I can avoid the negative self-image and stay focused and goal oriented. If you've ever struggled with low self esteem, you'll know how it can sabotage healthy choices. Low self-esteem causes depression which can lead to comfort eating of comfort food. Low self-esteem is actually be counter-productive to weight loss. 

That said, I've gained weight. Not 100 pounds, thank God. I'm may be overweight, according to some BMI scales. but that's debatable and I'm not obese. Are there reasons I've gained weight? Sure. My husband has been off on disability with a very painful shoulder injury. We've been eating more junk food and not been as active. BUT, these are reasons, not excuses. Here's what I have learned about reasons. To lose weight, I have to take the focus off from them and put it on the solution. Which is direct action.

So the next step, the easy part, is to do what I did when I lost 100 pounds (without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs): go back to the calorie cuts I made when I first lost weight. I might not even need to restart the 1200 calorie diet though I think it would be a good idea starting after Christmas. 

In the next post on how I lost 100 pounds and can do it again, I'll look at super simple calorie cuts to lose weight!

I'm praying you all have just the kind of holiday you need it to be <3 mar

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

December Weight Loss Challenge: Advent Fast to anticipate Christmas Feast

Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass surgery or weight loss drugs! Each month since January, this year, I've been issuing a series of monthly weight loss challenges (wow did that year fly by!) This month, I'm calling for an Advent fast to anticipate the Christmas feast. For four weeks prior to the Christmas holiday, Catholics observe Advent, a penitential season which prepares our hearts for the coming of Jesus. As in Lent prior to Easter, we up our prayers, fasting and almsgiving.

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was with a 1200 calorie diet such as Dr. Now uses on "My 600-lb Life" gastric bypass reality show. When I lost 35 pounds in 1992, after the birth of my 3rd child, I used intermittent fasting, a  weight loss technique that's come into vogue. I fasted on bread and water every Wednesday and Friday, for spiritual reasons, as our Lady of Medjugorje called us to. I had no thought to lose weight. But lose weight I did and it was a big surprise. 

So now every time I practice intermittent fasting, during religious seasons of Advent and Lent, I can't help  wondering and hoping to lose weight. Admittedly, it kind of takes the focus off spiritual growth to have this ulterior motive. But I guess it's all good because if I'm overweight and need to lose weight, then I'm doing my body as well as my soul some good with intermittent fasting. 

And really, intermittent fasting, or observing a 1200 calorie diet for a few weeks is good for emotional and mental health as well. It helps get the focus off food. In obesity, before I lost 100 pounds, I didn't practice self-control so well. And I didn't like that feeling of being out of control. "My 600-lb Life" shows people with morbid obesity struggling with food addiction and out-of-control eating. 

Following a 1200 calorie diet or intermittent fasting empowers me and makes me feel better about myself. "My 600-lb Life" shows gastric bypass patients happier as they take back control from food addiction. Now this might sound overwhelming to make such a drastic switch if you're used to eating a great deal more. But as I said in an earlier post, we don't have to do it forever. As Alanon says, we take it one day at a time. We ask for the strength just for today, to make choices that are in our best interest. 

And it's good for social health too. Eating less and simpler frees up monies to share with those who need it more than I do. It helps me live Advent virtues of love and generosity. Feel free to join me on the December weight loss challenge and even share it on social media! And stay tuned for more on how I lost 100 pounds. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds with KISS attitude of gratitude diet

 Hello my dear friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass surgery or weight loss drugs. During this month of Thanksgiving, I'm exploring how I lost 100 pounds with the Attitude of Gratitude Diet. Working on being more thankful and positive and less irritable and negative, for me, begins with meditation and Alanon slogans. Yesterday I looked at the Alanon slogans "One Day at A Time" and "Just for Today." And today is KISS or Keep it Simple, Sweetie. 

I struggle with a lot of past trauma with CPTSD or Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and chronic pain and sleep disorder including nightmares, apnea and arthritis pain. I have a lot of time, when I'm not sleeping due to pain or nightmares, to think. Sometimes I use that time productively and sometimes I don't. I agonize and worry, imagine worst case scenarios, exaggerate, etc.  

I'm looking for ways to relax my mind and so maybe be able to relax my body, or at least keep it to a dull roar. KISS is one way that is helping me. I tend to overcomplicate, micromanage and otherwise make things more difficult for myself and others. I'm working on keeping my thoughts more orderly. I think a word for that would be to focus, to do, as my beloved children's series "Flicka, Ricka and Dicka" learned, to do "one thing at a time and that done is a good plan."

Now that isn't always possible. Society today requires multitasking like never before. Maybe not so much physical, as it in times past, but definitely mental and emotional multitasking. Being freer from the physical tasks as we are now, our minds have to work in overdrive. That's why stress, fear, panic, anxiety and ergo, depression feature prominently in many of our lives. 

I can't do anything about events in my past but I can try to keep them from negatively impacting me any more than they already have. Now you might be tempted to think that the way to do this is to just "put it out of your mind." Don't dwell on it. Forget it. Move on. Well, anyone who's suffered with CPTSD would like nothing more than to let it go. But the problem is IT won't let US go. 

I believe that letting it go might be very dangerous, if it has not been processed properly. I'm 59 years old and it's only been in the past few years that I've actually let myself think and say what happened, how it made me feel and the disastrous effects it's had on me. I did not acknowledge the abuse, neglect, exploitation, endangerment, gaslighting, parentification, parental personality disorders and didn't even recognize these as such until I began to talk about it, think about it and yes, dwell on it a bit. Then it became so much clearer that what I had experienced was not "normal and healthy. It was traumatic, dysfunctional and crippling. 

By fighting the memories, feelings, thoughts, pain and suffering in, I overcomplicate them. I don't acknowledge how devastating they were. I minimize the impact, defend and excuse the perpetrators, beat  myself up and generally overcomplicate. When I accept that the past experiences did happen, when I let them in, I can let them pass through and out. One day at a time, just for today. 

I will definitely blog more about this because it is so critical to healing. 

Sunday, November 19, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds and stay sane with Attitude of Gratitude Alanon Slogans


Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass surgery or weight loss drugs. This month as part of my 2023 series of weight loss challenges I'm looking at Thanksgiving. Not the dinner so much as the act of being thankful. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was by working on the "Attitude of Gratitude diet" and Alanon slogans are very helpful there. One of my favorites is "Just for Today." 

To me, Just for today means that I try to live the best I can without worrying about how I'll do tomorrow. Alanon encourages us to ask for the strength Today to do what would panic and overwhelm us to envision keeping up for a lifetime. Because we don't have to do it for a lifetime. We've been given today and that's all we're expected to live. So how what does that have to do with obesity, being overweight, weight loss or weight in general? How does that relate to the "attitude of gratitude diet"? 

The Attitude of Gratitude diet isn't so much about what you eat as it is being thankful for being able to eat (walk, move, live, love, etc.) I'm thankful to God for giving me this day to live and also that I don't have to worry about tomorrow. I have to plan for it but they are just plans, ideas or goals if you will. I don't have to manage tomorrow's tasks today. 

We see in the show "My 600-lb Life" examples of people's lives who have been all but destroyed by trying to do it all, have it all and fix it all. Sure now we see them crippled by obesity. But they didn't start life like that. Now we see the people on "My 600-lb Life" whining, pouting and being endlessly selfish and ungrateful. But they weren't always like that. Many of the "My 600-lb Life" backstories involve abuse, neglect, shame, and a continual beating down. So they learned to weaponize eating and in turn obesity. 

I read a story about the, at the time, oldest man in the world, who was a Jewish Holocaust survivor. He was asked his favorite food to which he replied that he hadn't a favorite. He was just glad to be able to eat. I urge us all, no matter where we are: overweight, underweight or average, to consider going on an attitude of gratitude diet. To live just for today, being glad and thankful for what we have. I have found that this helps emotional health immensely, if not physical health and weight loss. 

Did you find this helpful? Please like, share and subscribe for more on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs. 

Thursday, November 9, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds by identifying and avoiding anxiety triggers

 Hello my dear friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass surgery or weight loss drugs. Today, as part of my November Attitude of Gratitude weight loss challenge, I'm looking at stress/anxiety triggers and how they led me to overweight and obesity. Said differently, I'll show how I lost 100 pounds by identifying those stress and anxiety triggers. 

What does anxiety have to do with weight gain? Well if you've ever struggled obesity or weight gain, you get it. Emotional or comfort eating, binge eating, depression, exhaustion, sedentary lifestyle, withdrawal, fear of abandonment, social avoidance, all these interconnected. And sourcing the triggers was a major part of  how I lost 100 pounds. 

My life has been characterized by chronic and un-dealt-with low self esteem, feelings of FOG (fear, obligation and guilt) and CPTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder). I was raised to think that I was responsible for everyone: parents, step-parents, half-siblings, foster children. I was expected to do their work for them, was parentified and shamed into constant blind submission. On the other hand, I was periodically abandoned, neglected, emotionally and experience CSA. 

It was drummed into my head that I was to do and be whatever anyone wanted of me. But also that no matter how much I did or gave, it would never be enough. And that I should never stop seeking to be ever more people pleasing. You can imagine what problems this caused with personal boundaries. I didn't know where others stopped and I began. 

This created an ever-exploding Molotov cocktail of self-hatred.  It's only been since my husband has been helping me explore how really dysfunctional and bizarre this all was, that I've been able to rethink, reparent and find some healing. 

I wasn't overweight as a teen or young adult. It only began when I lost two stillborn daughters and began taking Paxil. But depression and anxiety was triggered by chronic nightmares from those early experiences. I was constantly exhausted. I had trouble finding energy to keep up. It was easier to put on weight, also. Working to identify trigger memories and unstick from FOG.


Thursday, November 2, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds and manage stress by cutting sodium: Low salt recipes and tips

Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs! Today I'm looking at one enormous but often overlooked way to lose weight and also manage stress and that is by cutting sodium. I'm not advocating no-salt but rather a low salt and this works well with the 1200 calorie diet that was part of how I lost 100 pounds. The famous DASH diet that won diet of the year about a decade ago, was helpful in exploring low salt alternatives. 

Sodium is one of the four electrolytes (along with calcium, potassium and magnesium) necessary for cell functioning. Electrolytes as prevent dehydration as husband and I learned the hard way during Covid 19 when we drank plain water without electrolytes and experience severe dehydration. However sodium is the easiest to get  not only enough but too much of. And that causes problems with circulation and hypertension (high blood pressure). Coupled with cholesterol issues from overconsumption of transfat and saturated fats that the "western" junk food diet is so overfull of, it's a recipe for obesity and misery as "My 600-lb Life" shows. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to cut sodium and eat it in healthier sources than table salt. I use vegetables like tomatoes, lemon and lime juice, herbs and spices, Bragg's Liquid Amino (good for you sodium) and Himalayan pink salt to hit that salty taste. Dr. Now of "My 600-lb Life" recommends these tips for his patients with obesity, awaiting gastric bypass surgery. 

Since I've lost weight, however, I notice that I'm less strict about the 1200 calorie diet and monitoring sodium intake. I still use the alternative sources but I'm not watching the hidden sources or counting the total salt quantity in recipes. And I need to do that because I'm notice hand-swelling due in part to overeating salt. I also notice more issues with pounding heart. 

So I'm going back to counting total salt intake, just like I monitor sugar and saturated and transfats. I'm also working on reducing my taste for salty foods. My kryptonite is salty snacks like tortilla and potato chips which I mindlessly snack on while watching TV at night. So I'm cutting up fresh vegetables (crudites) like colored peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, pea pods, celery, turnips, etc. I'm eating those with hummus instead of creamy dairy dips. 

To lose weight and reduce inflammation, I'm cooking with Bragg's Liquid Amino, Umami and herbs and spices to give a salt taste without the sodium overload. I'm drinking more water to flush the excess salt I may consume. Most importantly, I'm doing what Dr. Now is always exhorting his "My 600-lb Life" patients to do: read the signs (obesity, weight gain, swollen hands) and do something about it. It's all too easy to ignore them, sit back and wait for some miracle to happen that allows us to keep eating the way we want yet get different results. Or make excuses and expect someone else to fix it for us. 

I realize that this has always been the core of this blog. That although there are reasons why I got overweight, only I can fix it, with the help of my Higher Power. I also realize that needs a lot more unpacking which I plan to do especially during this month of November in my Attitude of Gratitude Diet Weight Loss challenge. 

Love, Mar! 

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

November Weight Loss Challenge: Thanksgiving Attitude of Gratitude diet

Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs. Each month in 2023, I've been issuing weight loss challenges and November is Thanksgiving Attitude of Gratitude Diet or how to lose weight with a "Fattitude" adjustment. 

I think it's fair to say that  at least in the US, many of us could use an attitude adjustment toward more positivity and less entitled negativity. The Covid 19 pandemic and the 2020 election were real eye-openers to our out of control entitlement, reactional and manufactured anger and hypocritical selfishness. Where those of us with differing ideologies got along fairly well before, now the masks are off, pun intended. The ridiculous (and illegal, I might add) "Let's Go Brandon" flags, anti-President Biden bumper stickers and T-shirts show the viral hate that's infected our nation. 

A deadly virus, Covid 19, has been weaponized and polarized by the far right deniers. Instead of social distancing and mask-wearing to prevent people dying (my husband and I almost did, and still have long Covid symptoms), they twisted it into a debate over "constitutional rights." Which, you'll pardon the former Civics teacher lecture, include first and foremost, the right to LIFE. 

So what does all this have to do with this blog? Everything. An attitude of negativity and ungratefulness leads to what I call an obesity mindset. An overweight, plus-sized narcissistic, gluttonous, "me first, last and always" self-absorption. And that, to the Culture of Death. In that obesity mindset, we will do anything to get what we want. We rewrite the narrative to tell ourselves we need and deserve it. It's our RIGHT to have it. And we stomp on anyone we deem to be in our way. 

We see examples of this on the gastric bypass reality show "My 600-lb Life." People with crippling obesity getting more and more overweight and dragging caregivers and family down with them. The entire world revolves around the "My 600-lb Life" patient with everyone dancing attendance, serving, waiting on, humoring, cleaning up after and enabling. 

So yes, "My 600-lb Life" is extreme. But that's just the point. It's the logical conclusion of selfishness and entitlement gone wild. This is not a hormone problem and a little overweight anymore. What may have started that way, has reached science fiction proportions. And why? Refusal to accept boundaries, self-discipline. A skewed sense of being above and beyond it all. If it feels good, do it. Which brings me full circle back to the Covid 19 pandemic. It stripped away illusion and revealed the level to which our self-centeredness has plunged us. We cared more about our RIGHT not to wear a mask than we did about protecting others. 

My challenge this November is less about weight loss and more a return (or beginning) to humility. I challenge us all to work at an attitude of gratitude. To really celebrate Life and Thanksgiving and each other. Vocation comes from the Latin "voco", to call. And we are all called, as Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikh, Buddhist, pagan, by our deities or higher power, to love one another, as our higher power loves us. 

I think this month's weight loss challenge will be the most challenging because it goes to the inner core of why our lives and health get so out of control. Stay tuned for more on how I lost 100 pounds with "fattitude adjustments" like this. Thanks for joining. 

Saturday, October 7, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds while doing sedentary work from home

 Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs. Yesterday I shared how I lost 100 pounds ditching the sedentary job and by doing more active work shopping for Shipt. The truth is, I actually lost weight while still doing computer-based sedentary work from home. And now, working for Shipt is how I maintain weight loss. I promised in my last post to share how to lose weight despite working a desk job or doing remote work from home. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds did not include gastric bypass but I did follow a similar 1200 calorie diet as bariatric surgery patients. The show "My 600-lb Life" depicts folks with morbid obesity learning to amend calorie intake with this 1200 calorie diet. While obesity wasn't to the level as those on "My 600-lb Life" I was overweight and getting more overweight each month (literally, weight gain was a snowball effect, once I began getting more overweight). 

I didn't use gastric bypass or a weight loss drug but I did use some herbal appetite suppressants  including:

--apple cider vinegar

--raspberry ketones

--garcinia cambogia

--green tea capsules

I also dejunked the house of temptation. Dr. Now of "My 600-lb Life" recommends this. I quit buying sweets and salty snacks and switched to low calorie butter, mayo, bread, milk and other staples. I added more protein and vegetables to my diet. This way I could feel full even when on the 1200 calorie diet. These and other diet changes were how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass while working at home and doing sedentary work. 

Stay tuned for more. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds ditching sedentary work and Shipt-ing the weight off

 Hello friends 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, we're looking at the role that occupation plays in weight gain. Sedentary jobs are notorious for packing on the pounds and generally decimating overall health. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to ditch sedentary work and get up and move. 

I was a teacher for many years which is getting more sedentary and online as time goes by. Then as an online writer/blogger, it was all digital butt work. In that time, I went from overweight to morbid obesity. There were other factors, but I'm convinced that sitting the majority of the day led directly to getting overweight. 

Since I began shopping for Shipt in 2017, I'm much more active lugging, reaching, pushing a shopping cart, fetching and carrying, and running around the store filling Shipt orders. Being around food all day doesn't seem to be a problem because it is work-related. In fact, I'm too busy with my Shipt orders to think about food. One drawback is that when I come home at night, it is easier to reach for junk food than healthy 1200 calorie diet approved. But then, working from home remotely is no better. Sitting at my desk, 4 steps from the fridge, creates a lot of temptation. 

But I was able to lose weight when I was still working from home. In fact, blogging about the 1200 calorie diet and how I lost 100 pounds provided me with passive income and opportunities to research health and weight loss. And as for temptation, I've overcome poor eating habits before and I can do it again any time I want to. For me, active vs. passive sedentary work plus the 1200 calorie diet is the sweet spot to lose weight and keep obesity at bay. 

Now I can guess you're thinking: easier said than done, Mar. I can't just leave my job, the majority of which is computer-based (either in office or remote). Fair enough. So, in my next post, I'll explore how I lost 100 pounds doing sedentary work, including 1200 calorie diet tips, ways to get movement in and how to juggle work expectations with exercise needs. 

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 weight gain to doctors 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 birthing 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. 

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