Saturday, May 27, 2017

Cyclic Weight Maintenance Patterns and Reversing a Small Trend- my Weight Maintenance GOLD May 2017

So, I noticed a bit of a weight gain trend from the end of April 2017 until the first week or two May 11, 2017. There are many reasons for this, nothing for me to get upset or spin my brain out about, or drop everything and eat all my old binge foods.

Kudos to FitBit for adding a blue trend line to their data. Brilliant!

Not losing my mind is key:  It took me about 5-10 minutes a week to take a peek at a few graphs, think about a plan. That's it no going back, no massive ruminating but planning with actions (we all have planned with no actions!), knowing I might level out or the scale might increase.

Now taking action, say cooking and doing dishes, moving 60 minutes a day, gym 2X week,  that is the time consuming part of weight maintenance, in my opinion.

Doesn't matter, it's data, I plan, record, move on, evaluate, re-plan. THIS is my gold. 
Weight Trend early May 2017

I'm still within my Best Weight 2017 of 113-116 lbs ( my BMI is hanging right around 21.6- 21.9 for reference).  No big deal now, however awareness on getting level averages will be key for me staying in my best range for June 2017.

Here's my personal GOLD of Weight Maintenance: The best practice of finding my root causes and making small adjustments to current food, lifestyle, and food sober living choices. In May 2011, I knew there were others who could stay in weight maintenance and I told myself I would be one of them, in a best me sort of way.

Now that I've repeated my best practices over 5 years, I'm finding it easier and easier to take 2-3 weeks, assess, experiment, and move onto other things. I can make a few educated decisions based on trend lines alone.

April 27, 2017 to May 27, 2017 All leveled out

I don't have to stay stuck trending upwards- beyond my best weight, I can level out and then either stay at level or reverse the trend to loss.  Holding onto level is pure GOLD. Once I get too high with my weight, well my 40 years of obesity fat cells start to take on a life of their own and a less than optimal .  Food sobriety is a daily gift I give myself, so there's that, too.

A. Why is there a trend?  I can guess for April and May 2017

Normal fluctuations, curious self experiments, and a bold re-test of a prior binge food

1. Natural, cyclic nature of Weight Maintenance= normal (cyclic natures = respect!)

2. Self experiments around NOT 17:7 fasting before a blood draw = curious (great data! learned a lot)

3. Self experiments with 4 grams of Macadamia nuts, 3 days in a row. (prior binge food) = re-testing theory  (ALL the nopes!!! I cannot eat even a smidge of prior binge foods)

B. Can I get leveled out and see a flat line? Yep! Okay, mission accomplished. I'm still within my Best Weight range, so that's what I'm looking for in maintenance patterns.  It's normal for me to have a wave pattern.

In general, cyclic patterns happen all the time in nature.

C. Can I sustain the level line?, or am I about to Pivot higher? Corkskrew? (see Dr. Berkeley's post)

Well next month will tell. I get what I get and I don't throw a fit. It's data, I just keep going and try something else.

Jan 1, 2017 to May 27, 2017- those normal cycles

For a very, very small time investment, AND taking a fair amount of daily action- Paleo/LCHF- probably Keto some days. Bringing my own lunch, getting out to walk, some strength training and HIIT here or there... I can have what I promised myself I wanted for life, a normal weight. I never thought I could get my best weight, but that's what practice and honesty and very frankly- Food Sober Living gave me.

Owning my own data in weight maintenance. Not letting me get me. Staying Food Sober without a relapse.  Lapses, yeah, they happen.

What is working in the late Spring 2017

1. Plotting my data each day with easy to use digital tools, Fitbit, My Fitness Pal, Apple Health, Heads Up Health

2. Looking at graphs 5 minutes each week, taking ACTION on the results.

3. Paleo/Low Carb, sometimes Keto, cyclic. Keeping my 17:7 fasting most days.

4. Not letting me get me- AKA- food sober living, while taking a reasonable risk here or there.

What did not work in the past:

1. Not using the right tools for weight maintenance, skipping weigh ins at WW to hide (wasn't effective, nor was counting points!)

2. Not having a graph meant I could not look at it and I wouldn't have to do the work of weight maintenance.

3. Low fat, calorie counting did not work for me past the age of 35.

4. I rather liked the food high that I had cycling in my life, that was kind of fun, until it started to hurt physically and mentally. Ouch.

Okay, here's to finding your own personal GOLD in weight maintenance. Your plans and tracking will vary. There's no one way, but probably 2-3 that will be more effective. Onward,  constructive comments are welcome.  

Sunday, May 21, 2017

How I keep my lower GI system running smoothly, your milage and output may vary- Spring 2017 Poop Post

Hello All,

I got a question from a bloggy about friend elimination and the lower GI track.
**Please, if you have GI problems, get the correct diagnosis from a doc or other reasonable practitioner***

Sometimes, we are all left tinkering on our own. Specifically- lets talk about poop! In the lab world we use the words fecal or stool. Sometimes the topic gives folks unpleasant feelings So skip this post if talking about taking a dump is a deal breaker. I totally get it.

 I'll try to keep the topic moving a long and brief (LOL, not sorry, punny!!!) Your milage can and will differ based on age, disease status, medications, food template and gut microbiome (which is all highly theoretical but does matter, who knows why or how much...)

  These topics were mentioned for discussion.

1. Going daily
2. Going fully
3. Clean wiping
4. Minimal odor

Great topics. Let's get started

1. Going daily:

What does work: For me  going daily has a lot to do with the types of food that I eat. Mainly, am I eating foods ( Paleo/LCHF/ Keto-ish mild) that agree with my gut.

This means  for me meat from animal sources, leafy greens, brightly colored veggies, and enough fat- think natural fat in eggs, beef or lamb, sardines, avocados, or added olive oils.  Also seeds like pumpkin but not small seeds like chia or sesame. Some fermented veg- like sauerkraut can be good (but I do limit my intake, too much is too fast transit time for me). Coffee, several cups-truth!

I've noticed good results from eating meat off the bone: Chicken drumsticks, thighs, wings ( I take off most the skin, most days) or beef ribs, or eating the whole thing- like sardines or smoked oysters.

 I'm currently on a coconut oil abstaining period for some self- experiments.

Edited to add: Magnesium- I take 2 tsp of Natural Calm Magnesium (lemon/raspberry flavor). It has a teeny bit of Stevia in it, but I dilute it so food cravings are not triggered from "sweet".  Too much magnesium = too fast for me. Too little and I can get night leg cramps ( lots of LCHF's get this).

What didn't work in the past:  grains, dairy, low-fat WW and other diet foods, added fiber and high fiber cereals- cause me to have a "colon blow" effect. Painful digestion, upper and lower- Lots of GERD, lots of GI pain. Horrible gas- smells like sewage. Folks running out of the bathroom gagging.

Yeah, I really, really don't miss poor GI function. And, to think that I thought FiberOne with low-fat milk was going to save me from Colon Cancer and/or diabetes. Or oats for that matter.... gads!  All it did was make me sick and in doubled over pain, most days. I was too far in it to see it.

Oh, those high fiber muffins at Trader Joe's were like food addiction CRACK- ate them for breakfast, thinking that the low points would surely keep me lean and all I got was sick. Never wanted to connect those dots. All I got was morbidly obese on those muffins- and a bloated belly. BIG bloat. Like a pant size difference.

Even my pets wanted to stay away from me when I ate dairy products and high grain fibers. OMG!

2. Going fully:

Has a lot to do with my foods, but eating at similar times, similar foods, staying hydrated (don't over drink water- that has very big problems electrolyte wise) just adequate hydration- not over, not under, drink to thirst- if you are at elevation, then you may have to change it up in the mountains or high mesas.

Squatty Potty is helpful, but not mandatory. I have one upstairs, but not at work or downstairs. Get your food settled and that goes a long time in going fully.

Disease Management: Some diseases create pooping problems, along with medications. Ugh! This is a tough one. Work with your doc on this.

3. and 4. Wiping and Odor:

What's working now: Well if you get your food in order, wiping becomes standard, not too much of a problem. Odor- yes, poop smells bad, but getting your GI system humming a long will go a long way.
There are products to purchase to put on top of the bowl before you poop to make the smell minimal, but you can also throw money out the window of your car as you drive along your commute, too.  I wouldn't spend my money on toilet bowl fresheners other than cleaners.

What didn't work in the past: 

Everybody poops, but sometimes it's an easier thing than others. Even prepping for my colonoscopy in Nov 2016 was more pleasant than eating low-fat, high grains, and FiberOne. That's a sign. That I needed to change up my diet.  I believe this was  body's way of hating what I was doing to it. Sad, but some good experimentation can help.

Karen's personal NOTE A:  If there's a lot of problems, I might go to a regular doc for an Ova and Parasite test. If there is nothing concrete, then I'd head to a functional person who does not over test (Michael Ruscio) functional  doc.

I can surmise from Dr. Ruscio's podcasts that he does not over test, he does drill down quickly, without much diagnostic costs to his patients, and he is very experienced in the area. There's a whole bunch of woo and high out of pocket costs both in the functional and traditional space, but picking an ethical practitioner would be key- IMO. SIBO can affect folks, so I'd want someone to help me who's honest and ethical.

Of course in the traditional medicine, you can still pay  a lot and get nothing but a recommendation for Fiber One and Gut Busting high fiber crack muffins at Trader Joe's.  Those may work great for some, but who wants to have colon blow and fat pants from the weight gaining grain foods?

Karen's personal NOTE B: Some folks are so upset about dropping a duce in the same hotel bathroom as their spouse, kids, husband or wife that they will run down stairs to the common bathrooms while traveling.  For these matters, I recommend talking to a good cognitive behavior therapist who can help  manage thoughts and behavior around daily bodily NORMAL functions.

You may have to sit down with the fam bam and tell them to stop with any shaming or blaming.  Every body poops. Yep, it smells bad for a reason. Don't eat where you dump from an evolutionary prospective. Everybody has to wash after they go- because the bacteria thrive in the nether regions even if it's urine- wash your hands, male or female.

Hand washing is key for post bathroom activities, but all my readers will know that and I'll bet you all practice good hand washing practices already. I'll tell you, having a compliant kid made things good from disease prevention at my house.

Karen's personal note C: Travel to other countries and/or hike in the back country. It gives you a totally different perspective on taking a dump- for sure!

Karen's Personal note D: Some folks do great on high grain fibers. Yaaaaay you. Do what works!

Hope this helps the person who asked the question. See you in the comments.

Prickly Pear flowers to take your mind off the topic as you go about your day...

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Weight Maintenance Update 5 Years, 3 months staying steady, inside "my best for me "ranges

May 2011 to May 2017

May 2011 to May 2017

Starting weight 187.4 lbs
Goal Range 113-125  lbs
Current Weight 116.0 lbs
Keeping off    71.4   lbs

Time in maintenance 5 years, 3 months

Age 51
Menopause 3+years
Height 5'1"
BMI 21.9
BMI ave this month 21.8
BMI ave last month 21.7
Glucose (fasting & 2hr post this month range 71- 93 mg/dL)

Food Template:  Paleo, LCHF, Keto (some days), 
Abstain from all grains, most sugars*, dairy. Nut free, artificial sweetener free **
* 85% chocolate 1X per day
** Tiny bit of stevia in my Natural Calm

Food Timing or Time Restricted Eating Window or Intermittent Fasting 17:7 or 18:6

17 hours fasting (water only)
7 hours eating, 3 meals
Eat 6am Stop eating at 1 pm

Or 18:6, I change it up a bit

Auto-Immune Hashimotos 1997, 100 ug Synthroid daily
Food Addict in Recovery: 6+ years
High Risk, but never diagnosed Type 2 diabetes

Walking 12,000-13,000 steps per day

Weight lifting : 2X per week

Sprints on the rowing machine 1 days per week OR stair sprints 

Stair Ave/day for the month 18 stairs (Apple Health Kit)

What's working for me May 2017

1. More LCHF than Keto lately. Digging more vegetables on my midday meal. Works. Total carbs not much more than 50 grams/day, all from veggies and some 85% chocolate. 

2. N=1 experiment on some health parameters. May lead to more testing. Vague, I know.. not serious.

3. Celebrated 6 years of food sobriety. That's very special to me. I'm proud. I choose recovery over the disease. I'm very grateful for my choices. There's not much margin for error in the process. I've navigated well. I give myself a lot of credit. 

4. Really digging roasted chicken legs on salads. Yep! Check my Instagram feed for photos (Link)

5. I'm on the data watch for an upward trend the last 2 weeks, probably related to my n=1 self experiments, but I continue to use My Fitness Pal as a tool to help me navigate the weight maintenance space.  

I'm still in my "best for me" weight ranges, but I do take upward trends seriously and look at my overall total food intake, movement, sleep, and stress management. 

This month:
This month weight trend May 2017

Compared to April 2017 trend
Still feeling great. Not pulling an ostrich. Not freaking out either. 

What did not work in the past

1. Counting calories and points rather than carbs
2. Not experimenting with my health parameters to optimize and understand.
3. I ate to sooth myself, to celebrate, to get food high. Junk food was my life. 
4. I ate terrible tasting, dry chicken breasts, just nasty, with low fat chemical blitzed dressing. (YO, low points)
5. I did not hop on the scale so I missed the opportunity to make changes and improvements. 

May Gray 2017, good for flower photos

 Weight Graphs, because they are a great tool for me. And, I deserve the best tools possible.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

6 year celebration of food sobriety- pleased, but powering onward- May 2017

6 years of Food Sobriety 2011 to 2017
I'm 6 years food sober today.

May 3, 2017.

Six years.

I know it's earned, not a given.

What's working now

 1. I eat 3 meals a day ( a few days a 4th)

2. I fast 17:7 or 18:6 most days (not all)

3. I abstain from my trigger foods
(grains, most sugars, guar and xantham gums, nuts)

4. I eat a Paleo, Low Carb, sometimes Keto food template

5. I exercise and sleep on a schedule (most of the time)

6. I get abstaining based support when needed.

7. I'm honest with myself (sometimes I lapse)

8. I'm honest and have trained myself to catch slippery slope thinking, reversing that ASAP.

What didn't work in the past:
1. Ate all day, all the time and at night many times
2. I only went 1-2 hours wihtout eating
3. I moderated all my trigger foods because I was told I had to or I would binge eat (Ughhh!)
4. I ate the Standard American Diet, low fat diet products, and sugary foods.
5. I thought I moved a lot, but was sedentary
6. I didn't seek the right support system- moderation made my food addiction worse.
7. I wasn't honest about how much I was eating and that I was getting sick a lot.
8. I sunk further and further into slipperly slope thinking so I could get food high.

To anyone out there who has helped me, thank you.  Thank you very much.

I feel that food sober living is easier than food addiction, so I will stay living in food sobriety for another meal.

Next up, May 2017 check-in and that poop post for our blogger friend. LOL. Onward.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

National Lab Week 2017 - 6 ways I've used lab testing to work for me in weight maintenance

Top 6 ways lab testing helps me in weight maintenance

Happy Lab Week 2017

In real life, I'm a lab professional. I've been one for 29 years. 30 if you count my student rotation back in Indiana.

Shout out to ALL lab professionals. Tough hours, tough conditions, high stress at times. Great payback to the patients and to the docs diagnosing and the nurses in patient care.

An extra awesome shout out to phelbotomists because they are awesome when they draw my blood, both as a patient and as a paid blood donor.

I've worked a lot of weekends, holidays, and fill-ins and call ins during my 29 years. And I've provided a lot of good lab data, too. I know I've made a difference in the Hematology-Oncology, Coagulation, and Quality Professions.

As far as weight loss and weight maintenance go, here's how I use at home and commercial lab testing to monitor my health.

What's working for me now

1.  Home Glucose meter, fasting & 2 hrs post to determine type 2 diabetes risks with meals and foods.

I can eat carrots, Brussels sprouts, onions, green onions, summer squashes, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, and 85% chocolate with post 2 hour glucose readings 98 ug/mL and below. My fasting runs anywhere from 68-82 ug/mL or so.

Since I have the genetic predispostion for Type 2 diabetes (not diagnosed) I need to test. It's not my fault, but when I was obese for 40 years, my type 2 risk sky rocketed in 2000, post pregnancy.

2. Home Fecal Occult Blood testing, as provided by my employer near my birthday. Negative colonoscopy in 2016. Staying away from high fiber grains keeps my colon running BETTER!

3. Paleo, Low Carb, sometimes Keto food template for good outcomes with glucose & GI health

4. Occasional urine ketone testing just because it's fun. LOL.

5. Periodic lab testing for screening for insurance discounts and thyroid testing for medication dosing.

6. 23N Me testing with the Promethease HTML report. This is the single most important lab test of my life. I will live longer, in less pain, for much less cost. Owning my own data = super powerful.

What did not work in the past

1. Not monitoring glucose at home post potatoes, winter squash, and moderating Skinny Cow Icecream sandwiches. With M&M's spiked on the side. 5 WW points doesn't keep me from developing Type 2 diabetes. I now know my glucose spikes high and stays high when eat the SAD.

2. Shying away from wanting to know if I had fecal occult blood AND shying away from the idea of a colonoscopy. I've seen too many people not get standard polyps snipped out and who have died in their 50's. Very good treatments, individual for colon cancer now.

I must say that eating high fiber grains really did a number on my GI system. I was afraid I'd have long lasting effects. Thankfully, I stopped pumping my body full of oatmeal, Kashi, Fiber One and magically, my GI system got A LOT Better...

3. Calorie counting and Points counting did not work post mid-30's for me. In my late 20's yes. In my mid 30's and older- all the NOPES. All of that helped me get and stay obese for many years. Nothing fueled my Food Addiction more.

4. Not using low carb as a tool for weight loss and weight maintenance.

5. I avoided going to the doctor and avoided taking action on some really high HA1c's. Sigh. Better late than never.

6. Not owning and taking action on my own data. I just wanted to stick my head in the sand.

Okay, who else uses home and commercial lab testing to optimize weight loss and weight maintenance. I know a lot of our bloggy friends do. :) Kudos.

PS- one of our bloggy friends has requested a topic on GI health, specifically, stool health. Whooot!!  Post up in the next week to 10 days with how I keep my GI system pretty smooth, after years of too much and too little. Don't worry, there will be no actual photos. LOL

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Congrats to Prof Tim Noakes and an "oh no they didn't" Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino - April 2017

A bouquet of flowers to Professor Timothy Noakes from South Africa for being found NOT GUILTY of professional misconduct for instructing a new mother to feed her baby- gasp! real food! Meeting Prof Noakes at a LCHF event is on my bucket list. Just saying! 

 Also thanks to Marika Sboros for the incredible coverage of the trial. 

Dr. Zoe Harcombe describes the Prof Noakes case (before the verdict at Low Carb Breckenridge). 

Here's what really is working for me now for my Paleo, LCHF, sometimes low Keto food template for long term weight maintenance and how it relates to the Prof Noakes case

1. I got better (putting obesity and food addiction in remission) by following the tools that Prof  Timothy Noakes,  Dr. Gary Fettke, Jason Fung MD, Dr. Zoe Harcombe, Jeffery Gerber, MD, Eric Westman, MD, and Barbara Berkeley, MD have provided. World Wide Subject Matter Experts ROCK.

2. I'm able to use the information and apply my learning from the information presented by subject matter experts to my own genetics and outcomes to avoid diabetes, obesity, and diseases of inflammation. 

3. I'm not waiting for the US government to change to change the food guidelines to get well. When grains and high carb, high processed foods failed to work as evidenced  by painful joints, cystic acne, food addiction, morbid obesity, I took matters into my own hands. 

There's absolutely NO SENSE in waiting for any government to swoop down and pronounce something. There is a HUGE benefit in seeking subject matter experts in the areas where I know I need to improve my health and taking massive action. 

Kudos Prof Noakes for staying the course. Kudos for those providing valuable tools to those of us who need help now, not in 5, 10, or 20 years.  We all need the Prof Tim Noakes of the world to speak out and provide their valuable clinical experience. 

Little Toot needs to tow the sugar boat away!

Now an "Oh no they didn't" entry

Okay, click through to the blog entry. The Gomer Blog is like the Onion for Medical types, so please take it with a grain of salt. It's satire, okay.

As the mother of a teenager, the sugar consumption at all coffee houses is a concern to me. Frequency, amount, your body will need to do something with 59 grams of sugar. It has no choice but to protect your heart, liver, kidneys, and eyes. NO, sugary coffee drinks are NOT an occasional thing for many in Jr. High, High School, and College. It's the dose and frequency. Sugary drinks have already created havoc in young kids.

What's working for me now

1. Black coffee at home and at Starbucks
2. Coconut milk for a coffee whitener, on weekends
3. Stopping sugar substitutes to lose the "sweet" palate

What didn't work for me in the past

1. Getting Low Fat Lattes and thinking I was awesome. I wasn't, I needed to be dairy free
2. Using those flavored creamers thinking I could get into top health with a chemical add-in.
3. Using tons of equal in many cups of coffee thinking it would help me get lean.

Onward. Any thoughts on Prof Noakes and Unicorn Frappuccino's? It's okay to disagree.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

5 years , 2 months in long term weight maintenance 2017 update

May 2011 and April 2017

May 2011 to April 2017

Starting weight 187.4 lbs
Goal Range 113-125  lbs
Current Weight 114.4 lbs
Keeping off      73.0    lbs

Time in maintenance 5 years, 2 month

Age 51
Menopause 3+years
Height 5'1"
BMI 21.6
BMI ave this month 21.7
BMI ave last month 21.9
Glucose (fasting & 2hr post this month range 68-95 mg/dL)
Glucose (fasting & 2 hr post last month = 68-113 mg/dL) ! Shingles caused some higher readings

Food Template:  Ketosis- mild and  LCHF Paleo, AKA- NSNG
Abstain from all grains, sugars*, dairy. Nut free, artificial sweetener free **
* 85% chocolate 1X per day
** Tiny bit of stevia in my Natural Calm

Food Timing or Time Restricted Eating Window or Intermittent Fasting 17:7 or 18:6

18 hours fasting (water only)
6 hours eating, 3 meals
Eat 6am Stop eating at 12 pm

Or 17:7, I change it up a bit

Auto-Immune Hashimotos 1997, 100 ug Synthroid daily
Food Addict in Recovery: 5+ years
High Risk, but never diagnosed Type 2 diabetes

Walking 13,000-14,000 steps per day

Weight lifting : I took about a month off due to the Shingles, starting back today for 2X per week

Sprints on the rowing machine 1 days per week OR stair sprints 

Stair Ave/day for the month 14 stairs (Apple Health Kit)

What's working now:
1. Abstaining for the WIN!!!!

So, so, so incredibly grateful for Food Sober Living the last month. I've recovered from the shingles almost 95%. I need to bring my upper body strength back online and a few skin areas to heal up. 

I'm being very mindful to get back to my normal self and not let food addiction back into my life. If there's anything I have learned it's that I can take one or two bites and have a lapse after a big illness or life stressor. So, I remain food sober. 

And for that, I am very grateful. Thanks for anyone in the past that has helped me abstain. Kudos. 

What didn't work in the past

1. Moderating all food within a point value. Calories in Calories out really did nothing to keep me food sober. In fact, it kept me in food addiction for far too long. 

Graphs, got them!  You  can see the Shingles 1-2 pound bump! LOL.