Wednesday, January 31, 2024

How I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass with Mrs. Meyers

Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs. I recently wrote about how a sleeping bag helped me lose weight and as you know, I love to write posts the intrigue. So today we're looking at how I lost 100 pounds with Mrs. Meyers (yep, the cleaning products lady). 

In the last post, I shared how I learned as a kid to take care of everyone at the expense of myself. Since there wasn't enough of me to care for others (parents, step-parents, foster care kids, half-siblings) and me, me did without. When a nightly caregiver was needed for four foster children under age four, it was 11-year old me. Many other situations like this left me with a warped understanding of self-care. 

Piggy-backing on the last post about how I lost 100 pounds by learning THAT I need to care for myself, I'm thinking about how WHAT self-care means. I've always learned to make do, manage without or do for myself. I put myself through junior and senior year of college by working all summer and living off $900. That meant a lot of frugality. When I didn't have money to buy enough food, I didn't and got down to about 100 pounds. I didn't buy many things or bought the cheapest I could. 

Cut to 2011, two stillborn babies, taking the antidepressant Paxil and I'm way overweight, still, ironically from not eating right. Paxil took away any limit switches. I overate because I didn't know when to stop. This wasn't all bad as my limit switches were set too low and my pain tolerance, too high. More on that. However,  I still didn't know how to say no or see to it I had what I needed. I didn't even know what I wanted. I just made do. 

But I had no problem knowing what others wanted and needed. My parents and siblings were very clear on what they wanted and expected.  I knew what my husband and children wanted and needed and I love providing for them. What I struggled with is indulging myself. This is partly because, as I started this post, I gave so much that there wasn't enough leftover. 

But on a deeper level, I learned that I didn't deserve the best or even good or basic necessities. I don't know how exactly I got that message. My parents never SAID I didn't deserve them. They just didn't provide them. For me. They made sure they had what they needed and wanted. There was a lot of talk of "pitching in" but not much of anyone besides me doing it. So I guess I just figured, I got what was good enough for who it was for. And so now it feels really wrong to indulge a preference or buy what I want. 

So, what has this to do with Mrs. Meyers. I've been a Shipt shopper for 6 years and many people order this product. It never occurred to me to buy it because it was more expensive, a "luxury brand" I thought. Not for the likes of me who only gets the cheapest of the cheap. But then I tried some, realized it smelled nice and was easier on my hands. I admitted to my husband that I like it. And he said, "so get some?" So, I charted some really foreign territory and (gasp) bought some. Now I subscribe to a quart a month 😆 And I started buying expensive hand lotion, too! 

So what does that have to do with how I lost 100 pounds? When I was trapped in this self-made prison of austerity, I felt helpless and hopeless. Cutting myself too short made me sick and tired. But giving myself permission to express opinions and indulge some preferences helped boost confidence. I learned that spending an extra dollar on myself didn't deprive anyone. That my opinions should be as important to me as others' (more maybe). That I deserved some nice things too. 

If you're nodding vigorously at this, you're a stranger to self-care, too. So lesson number one, stop letting others dictate everything. Start expressing preferences and opinions of your own. If you can't do something nice for yourself without feeling guilty, it probably means someone in your life told you it was wrong to. They were wrong and had an ulterior motive. Lack of self-care is never in your best interest but is often in someone else's. More on that later. 

How I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass with the sleeping bag principle

Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs! Oh how I love to write titles that intrigue! You may be ( I hope you are!) wondering how I lost 100 pounds with the sleeping bag principle. Explaining is going to require sharing some painful past experiences but I hope it will help you. And talking about it, I've learned, helps me. 

I grew up learning that I was responsible for everyone else and to take care of others at the expense of taking care of myself. I didn't know that I wasn't supposed to feel constant pain, guilt and shame and self-hatred. I didn't know that I was supposed to take care of myself and so didn't have the slightest idea of how or what I even needed. 

Well you may ask what the heck this has to do with weight loss or gain, obesity or how I lost 100 pounds. And that's a good question. Actually, caring for others to the harm of myself meant I didn't get needs met. I didn't eat enough and in college, dropped down to around 100 pounds. I cut myself short at every turn. I was so used to going without (a bed, warmth, enough food, adequate health care, even a home) that I thought this was how it was supposed to be. 

So going without got me too thin, but it also got me overweight too. After losing two stillborn babies, I was depressed and miserable. I asked a doctor for help and he asked me what antidepressant I wanted (?!?). So I said Paxil which turned out to be the wrong prescription. But not knowing how to care for myself, I didn't wonder at a doctor asking me to prescribe my own antidepressant. 

Paxil didn't just impede healing, it slammed the door on it. I got more and more overweight, felt more and more apathy and got more and more depressed. Fast forward to 2011 and I'm in morbid obesity. I overate and over-drank because Paxil took out my limit switches. I was confused, exhausted and in agony,  mentally, emotionally and physically. And clueless where to turn. 

Then one evening, I had a flash of insight. I saw my obesity for what it was. And I realized that I could do something about it. But first, I had to reprogram those feelings of worthlessness. I had to redefine, or define, what I really needed. 

And I did that by looking at how I was able to take care of others. I knew what they needed: love, affirmation, safety, warmth, a home, a sense of self, security, nutritious food, health care when they were ill. I had to come to understand that I needed those same things. 

So about the sleeping bag. When I was 17, I went camping with friends. Everyone had sleeping bags, tents, overnight bags with suits, towels, sunscreen, you know, all the stuff you need. I didn't bring anything, not only because I didn't have most of them, it didn't even occur to me that I would need them. I had always been left to manage for myself, pretty much. A youth leader took pity on me and gave me an army blanket but I still froze at night and got a rash because turns out, I'm allergic to wool. 

I remembered this experience a few years ago and realized that it was by no means an isolated instance. As a kid and teen, I often lack basic necessities. And what wasn't provided, I learned to live without. But, oddly or not, I knew that other people needed these things. I never questioned why other family members had bikes, beds, pillows,  toys, desks, proper clothing and shoes while I had to buy my own, use cast offs or manage without. I understood that others needed a their own bedroom but that I had to sleep in the baby's room. That I had to do all the chores so others could relax. 

So while I didn't get the message that I required care as a kid, I knew, as a parent, my kids did. Looking at how I provided for them (not perfectly, of course, but doing the best I could), that I should give myself the same things. And I'm setting about now to get my head around how to do that. This is a huge part of how I weaned off Paxil, found more effective ways to manage depression and lost 100 pounds. 

Stay tuned for more on self-care. 

Monday, January 29, 2024

New Year, Old You weight loss challenge and the emotional health component

Hello pals of  this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs. Today in my New Year, Old You weight loss challenge, I'm preparing for my mental health counseling appointment and thinking about how much emotional health plays into weight loss or gain, obesity, and overall health. We hear on the gastric bypass reality show "My 600-lb Life" heartbreaking stories of abuse, neglect, shame, grief and depression. Categorically speaking, there's no way to get healthy physically if the emotional health part isn't addressed. 

I'm titling this challenge New Year Old You because while I may want to lose weight, I don't want to change the core me. And that's integral to the mental health component of obesity. I want to clean up the outside so the inside can shine through. It's always a joy to watch "My 600-lb Life" patients discover, after gastric bypass, the real person they are and the lives they were meant to lead. It's exciting to see the laziness, whining, self-pitying and denial give way to energetic, joyful, participating in life! 

In morbid obesity, we become someone we're not. We adopt unhealthy behaviors and spiral into misery. Part of how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs, was to rediscover the old me, the warrior, adventurer, lover, friend and carer buried inside. I had to do battle with demons of guilt, shame, helpless hopelessness and fear. I had to (and still have to) unpack neglect, abuse, grief, anxiety, and depression. 

If you need someone to tell you that you deserve to be happy and healthy, please, let that person be me! You can do whatever you need to do to find that, with the help of your higher power! I love you and am cheering you on! 

Love, mar

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

How I lost 100 pounds by understanding hunger vs cravings and abating vs satiating

Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs. In the last blog post, I discussed portion control. Today, we'll explore misunderstanding hunger, which is probably the main driving force behind weight gain and obesity. Gastric bypass patients on "My  600-lb Life" are shown constantly eating and thinking about food. They are convinced that they won't get full on the 1200 calorie diet that "My 600-lb Life" Dr. Now puts them on. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was understand hunger vs cravings and abating vs satiating hunger.  

Part of how I got overweight was by taking Paxil which threw off my limit switches. I ate too much without realizing it. I've seen other people with obesity, do this too. I once watch a morbidly overweight friend with opioid addiction, eat an entire package of cookies in her sleep. Antidepressants have a bad habit of causing weight gain because of this. So do opioids. Many people on "My 600-lb Life" are also on antidepressants and often opioids. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was with a 1200 calorie diet. To succeed with calorie restricting, you have to accept that you will not always feel completely full. Your hunger is abated vs satiated. And further hunger may be cravings (obsessing on certain foods). Hunger and satiation are quantitative. You have to determine whether you are actually feeling hungry or just thinking about food and if so, how hungry you really are. 

I think the 1200 calorie diet worked for me because I've gotten used to feeling a little hungry all the time. I don't need to be completely full to feel satisfied. Having short-term antidepressant induced obesity, and not a lifetime habit of overeating, it wasn't so difficult to practice portion control. It was easier to identify cravings as thoughts about rather than need for food. 

In the next post, I'll discuss some "Jedi mind tricks" to practice willpower and talk yourself out of eating. 


How I lost 100 pounds with portion control, the missing link in weight loss

Hello my friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs. I celebrate my 10th anniversary of shedding morbid obesity and while I'm still, according to the BMI a little overweight, I've managed to maintain weight loss. Today while enjoying some homemade mac and cheese, I realized that a large part of how I lost 100 pounds was with  portion control and that this is the missing link in weight loss. 

I often look to the gastric bypass reality show "My 600-lb Life" for links to obesity and inspiration for blog posts on how to lose weight. And one major reason "My 600-lb Life" participants end up needing gastric bypass bariatric surgery is portion control fail. They not only eat very calorie dense foods but also way too much. 

I call portion control the missing link in diet discussion because, while we talk about what to eat, we don't talk enough about how much. Probably the biggest hurdle for folks on "My 600-lb Life" is amend 12,000 calories a day to a 1200 calorie diet. I got to thinking about this because as I was about to write a post on diet recipes for favorite comfort foods, I realized that I don't always want diet versions. I want the real thing: gooey mac and cheese, meat lovers lasagna with real pasta, not lentil noodles and Lindt Lindor truffles, not sugar-free Splenda chocolate that taste more like playground monkey bars than chocolate. 

That's one reason obesity is such a problem: we like our comfort foods and diet versions mostly don't satisfy.  Part of how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass was to eat as though I had had bariatric surgery, as if I  had a smaller stomach that could only hold smaller portions. At first, when my stomach was larger, I was really hungry. So I filled up on vegetables. Later as my stomach shrunk, I was able to feel more satisfied with portion control. 

I did make diet recipes of favorite foods because let's face it, 100-200 calories of mac and cheese is like 3 bites. And I'm not going to get full on that. But I wove it into my daily 1200 calorie diet. I also learned to rethink satisfied hunger and accept the fact that it was okay to feel some. I'll blog more on that in the next post as this is a biggee in weight loss. 

Thursday, January 18, 2024

How I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass with vegetable soup cleanse

 Hello dear followers of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs! On this lovely winter day, let's look at ways to keep that "New Year, Old You" weight loss challenge going. Part of  how I lost 100 pounds was with cleanse foods. And just perfect for cold weather, here are vegetable soup cleanse recipes to purge away the excess pounds picked up in holiday feasting.

Many weight loss regimen promise that you can lose weight without changing diet. I'm sorry to say that to shift any significant amount of weight, some change in eating habits is required, either with intermittent fasting, a cleanse, 1200 calorie diet, keto diet, etc. As gastric bypass shows like "My 600-lb Life" have demonstrated, no matter how you slice it, obesity is about eating too much, of the wrong foods, or both. 

Yes, I know that obesity, as defined by the BMI (body mass index) can be a little misleading. Bodybuilders, for example, have a large amount of muscle mass, compared to fat. Their weight may put them in overweight or obese. In that case, BMI may be inaccurate as it's not measuring body composition. And weight loss is about burning fat (the white adipose tissue kind) and converting it to muscle.  

But we're not talking about that type of "obesity" here. We're talking about "My 600-lb Life" white adipose tissue obesity gained from overeating eating junk food and not moving. I always have to make that disclaimer because part of how many of us got overweight was by denying obesity and making excuses for it. 

So back to the point of this post: how I lost 100 pounds burning fat with a vegetable soup cleanse. A soup cleanse activates the fat burning power of vegetables, herbs and spices. It's also, for you frugalistas, a great way to use up leftover veggies! My vegetable soup cleanse doesn't follow a specific recipe. I've always followed a rainbow diet as part of my 1200 calorie eating plan. So I aim to get as much color in my vegetable soup as possible. And of course, using up leftovers is the goal too. 

So yesterday, for my "new year, old you" weight loss challenge my vegetable soup cleanse recipe went like this:

Chicken bone broth (for protein), oregano and sage, turmeric, rainbow pepper and ginger (anti-inflammatory herbs) and Bragg's liquid amino (healthy salt substitute). Cauliflower, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, celery, red onion, scallions, red and yellow peppers and fresh parsley, cilantro and dill. To make it creamy and for

extra keto fat burning, I added mashed avocado. I topped it with rainbow slaw (shredded carrots and green and purple cabbage purple tossed with lemon juice, agave syrup and smidge of olive oil.)

Make a big batch and eat only this when intermittent fasting, It's perfect for the 1200 calorie diet as bone broth gives a bang of protein for very little calorie investment. You can pretty much eat as much as you want and so stave off hunger which is the bane of a cleanse or diet. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

How I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass by being prepared for "those days"

Hey my dear friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass surgery or weight loss drugs. How ya doing? Me, I'm having one of those days. A day which feels like a year. Where it's one step forward and 26 steps back. All I want to do is put on my jammie pants, crawl into bed with a book and eat lasagna and Lindt truffles (dark chocolate) all day. 

It occurred to me that being ready for these kinds of days is how I lost 100 pounds and overcame the "obesity mindset." And being ready includes understanding why I'm having one of "those days" in the first place. Clearly, I'm needing something: rest, recuperation, down time, a day to not just do something but sit there (thank you Alanon). 

As for the pasta and sweets, I may actually be needing that too. Our bodies are so intelligently designed that they tell us when we are low on something. Our brains operate on glucose (sugar) so if I'm tired, I may need a jolt of sugar to feed my brain. That doesn't mean refined sugar, necessarily. An apple or banana will do just as well. 

Having said that, one day of eating too many truffles won't hurt. It's the pattern unhealthy eating. If I maintain my 1200 calorie diet 80-90% of the time, the cheat days will not derail weight loss. But they can lead to breakdown in the 1200 calorie diet momentum. If you've seen the gastric bypass reality show "My 600-lb Life" you know that obesity happens when "those days" become everyday experience. 

"My 600-lb Life" shows what happens when we're not prepared for "those days." Feeling depressed, anxious, stressed and exhausted can feel like forever. It seems when you're in the tunnel that the light at the end will never shine. "My 600-lb Life" shows overweight people drowning their sorrows in food. Overeating and under-exercising become the norm rather than the exception. And the more we overeat and sit around the more overweight we become and the more depressed, anxious, tired and stressed we become. 

I challenge us in the "New Year, Old You" weight loss plan, to welcome "those days" as a chance to unwind, but to stay the course on the 1200 calorie diet so that we can feel better ASAP. Stay tuned for more on  how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass, with feel good tips, recipes and helps. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

How I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs: New year, old you

Happy New Year, my dear friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs! Last year I began a monthly series of weight loss challenges, or should I say health maintenance challenges. I began in January with the New Year challenge and kept it going. Now in 2024, my thrown gauntlet is to ring in a new year, old you! 

What the heck, you may be wondering...old me? I thought I was supposed to try and create a new me?? That's what all the diets and weight loss shows advertise, a new you. Some celebrity is always "debuting stunning weight loss transformation." Entire weight loss shows like "Mama June" and "My 600-lb Life" are based around makeover. 

 Well, I think that's an unhealthy goal to strive for. We inhabit the bodies we were given. We're told in the Bible that we are made in the image and likeness of God. So why should I try or even want to remake myself? What I want to do is be the best ole' me I can be. I want to live my healthiest in my God-given skin. And keeping the focus on that is  part of how I lost 100 pounds. 

See, I used to have the makeover mindset. I didn't like body, or mind or person I'd been assigned. A series of unfortunate events and relationships throughout my life, have chipped away at my self-image. So I began my weight loss adventure, seeking a do-over. And I will say that after I lost 100 pounds I looked and felt a lot different. When they say that someone is unrecognizable after massive weight loss, it is in part true. The confidence boost you get from an achievement is partly responsible for that. 

But even after I lost 100 pounds, I had to accept that I was still me and I have found that this is a good thing. So my challenge is New Habits for a New Year in a good old you! 

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