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Guest Post: Karen from Before-And-After July 31, 2010

Filed under: friendship,good things,guest blog,health,other great bloggers — Susan @ 1:07 am

Welcome to Karen, one of my first friends in the blogosphere. I’ve been so moved by her thought-and-feeling provoking blog, and happy she is here.

————

I am so honored to be guest posting for Foodie while she’s away. For me, she is a role model extraordinaire and I admire her on so many different levels.

I am here to talk about my journey a little bit. What I want to discuss specifically is overall health and how it can affect one’s ability to lose weight. I am not a doctor or health care professional so this is just my opinion, based on my experience.

I have come to believe that health issues can cause obesity, not necessarily the other way around (although both can be true). A year ago I was depressed and in chronic pain (muscles and joints). I felt like my brain was in a fog most of the time. I craved sugar in all its forms. I felt out of control with food and wine. I binged. I had regained 25 of the 55 pounds I had lost back in 2005 and 2006. I was a hot mess. I felt like a lazy, out-of-control failure.

In November, I went to see a naturopathic physician (http://www.naturopathic.org/) based on the recommendation of my chiropractor. He said that the naturopathic approach to medicine is more holistic and about balancing the body as an entire system, versus putting a band-aid on symptoms in the form of medication.

For example, a naturopath might see a slightly elevated thyroid number and instead of prescribing a drug, will look at adrenal function. Elevated cholesterol might be a function of elevated thyroid function. Nasal allergies might be due to an imbalance in the gut (as my husband found out after he saw the naturopath…after 50 years of suffering, he hasn’t had to take any sort of decongestant or allergy medication in nine months and his post-nasal drip is gone).

I was curious, but also somewhat skeptical. It’s not that I thought she was a “quack” or that naturopathy was like voodoo, but I think I had given up hope that a naturally healthy body weight, without extreme diets, and without doing what I find uncomfortable and difficult, was possible. I thought I was just getting old and tired.

So on my 47th birthday I had my first appointment with my naturopath. If you’re curious, you can read about the specifics here and here and here.

And details of my visit with the hormone specialist are here.

Why I am sharing all of this? Because I am no longer a hot mess. My aches and pains are (for the most part) gone and I enjoy exercising. I no longer crave any type of food or alcohol or feel “false hunger.” I do not overeat or binge. I am happy and my thoughts are clear. And I am losing weight naturally, without having to over think it, worry about it, or feel deprived. This is how I always thought it should be.

In addition to this, another huge component of my journey has been really getting in touch with who I am, what I want, and the emotions that surround food, my weight and my body. I didn’t want to discount that aspect of what I am doing for myself.

And finally, I want to say that in addition to the naturopath and hormone specialist (who is an MD and formerly practiced as an OB/GYN), I have a primary care doctor with whom I’ve been for 13 years. I keep all three of them in the loop!

I fully understand that each of us is on our own path and that what we learn and when we learn it happens at the right time for us. I am not here to say that the way I am doing it is the only way, but rather to share my experience. If you see in yourself any similarities to what I’ve described here, please advocate for yourself with your physician and/or seek alternative care through a licensed naturopath (http://www.naturopathic.org/).

 

Guest Post: @dailykat says it’s “Never Too Late…” July 30, 2010

Filed under: friendship,good things,guest blog,other great bloggers — Susan @ 12:49 pm

Welcome Kat from FitMindBodySpirit!!

Never too late….

I was excited and honored when Susan asked me to write a guest post for her this week while she is away on vacation. Then I panicked for a moment about what to write about… Weight loss is one of the most challenging things I have encountered in my forty three years here on the planet.  It is challenging, but no matter what our situation, as long as we are breathing, it is not too late to reach for our goals, whatever they may be.

It is never too late to reach for our dreams and live the life we want to live. We all have challenges in our life at certain times. My road to weight loss has been full of ups, downs, starts and stops and has taken me much longer I initially expected.  I am grateful that I am still in the game and that I haven’t given up.  A little history…

In early 2006, I went on a spa trip with my girlfriends to Rancho La Puerta, a wonderful health spa in the northern mountains of Mexico, about an hour outside of San Diego.   I had wanted to go to Rancho since I was a little girl. My mother went there when I was in the first grade and I remember wanting to go with her then. I looked forward to hiking and eating healthy food and getting a spa treatment or two.  I knew that my weight had crept up over the previous 5 years, and was the highest it had been in my adult life. It had been 5 years since my last successful dieting attempt, I knew that I would not be running up the mountains, but I expected to be able to keep up with my girlfriends and have a good time.

What I didn’t expect to happen was what I now call my “Aha Moment”   The first morning on “the ranch” I chose to do the gentle “rolling hills” hike while my girlfriends did the more strenuous mountain hike. I didn’t expect to be last in the crowd of the “easy hike.” I didn’t expect the “easy hike” to kick my ass completely. I didn’t expect to get really deep blisters on my feet the first morning of the week. I can go on and on with the list of challenges that I faced with that week. I had an emotional meltdown after a Pilates reformer class that left me feeling clumsy and not graceful. The tears turned into heaving sobs and I was in touch with a part of me that I hadn’t seen in awhile. I was blessed to have a close fried with me to help me get through those tough and raw emotions.  My trip was much more uncomfortable than I had planned.   As I was dealing with the physical pain from the blisters and my sore body, I also had to deal with the emotional wrenching process of confronting my morbid obesity and utter lack of fitness.  Looking back now, I am very clear that this was my “Aha Moment”.

In 2007 I went back to the ranch with my girlfriends.  I had lost about 25 pounds by this time, but had been exercising regularly for the year. It was a very cool feeling to be able to hike the more strenuous hikes and to be able to see the top of the mountain. It had been a good year and I was so pleased to see the progress with my fitness and the weight coming off.

I haven’t been back to the ranch since 2007, but I have continued to exercise.  I have lost a little over 70 pounds since my first visit to Rancho La Puerta. This past year I got in the habit of daily exercise and am committed to losing more weight and becoming more fit. This past June I ran my first 5k, something I never expected to do.  Next week I will begin training for the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Half Marathon on December 5th.

It is never too late to reach our goals. We need to believe in our abilities and visualize our success.  We need to gather the tools that we need to be successful. Keep on trying and don’t give up. Ask for support and believe in yourself. Seek progress, not perfection. Don’t forget to breathe. Forgive. Be grateful. Learn to love yourself. You ARE worth it!

Gently moving forward,

Kat

 

Guest Post: Healthy & Happy Living Tips from the Opposite Family July 27, 2010

Filed under: friendship,good things,guest blog,health,other great bloggers — Susan @ 3:42 am

Welcome to Pubsgal from An Opposite Life!  The first healthy-blogger friend I ever met.

(….And Possibly Only Applicable to the Opposite Family)

Hi, Foodie McBody fans!  Foodie sent out an invite for guest posters,and I was excited and happy to have the opportunity to write a little something for “Food Food Body Body.”

But, um…what to write?  I wanted it to be something about healthy living, but it seems to me I’m almost too immersed in this blogosphere to have any fresh ideas at the moment.  So I thought, “Why not interview my family, who have been so supportive in my quest for a healthy body and a healthier approach to food?”

First I asked The Things, so named after the mischief-makers in “Cat in the Hat.”  Thing 2, my 6-year-old daughter, was wheedling me to play a board game with her as I was snarfing down some nuts and a little Merlot for dinner.  I interviewed her as she set up Littlest Pet Shop: The Board Game….

Pubsgal: “Do you know what ‘advice’ means?”

Thing 2: “No.”

Pubsgal: “It means ideas for things people need to do.  What advice would you give people for being healthy?”

Thing 2 [after a thoughtful pause to consider]: “Eat healthy foods.”

Pubsgal: “For example…?”

Thing 2: “Don’t pick your nose and put it in your mouth.  Use a tissue.”

(Did I mention that The Things are consummate masters of the non sequitur?)

Pubsgal: “Okay…Anything else?”

Thing 2: “Don’t kiss other people, other than your family.”

Pubsgal: “Why?”

Thing 2: “Because you’ll share germs.”

Well, now.  I guess I won’t have to worry about her for another year or two or hopefully 20….

Thing 1, my eight-year-old son, wandered in from playing outside with a neighbor friend.  Which was just as well, that homemade bicycle ramp was looking kind of rickety….

Pubsgal: “What advice do *you* have for healthy living?”

Thing 1: “Wash your hands always.” (Rich, considering how much we have to coach on this item.)

“And drink good and fresh water.” (Something they fortunately do.  We keep a water dispenser in the fridge and their cups on the counter next to the fridge, so they can self-serve as desired.  They *usually* remember to close the fridge door all the way….)

“And…Oh, Mommy!  Check out these cars I got today…” (I guess toy cars are part of the healthy living formula.  Which translated to more general terms means, “Have an interest or hobby.”)

Pubsgal: “Any more?”

Thing 1: “Always brush your teeth good.  Eat healthy foods.  Not just the food like donuts.  Never eat junk food.”

Pubsgal: “Never?  That sounds kind of extreme.”

(So…we should give up Sunday Donut Day here at Casa des Pubsfolk?)

Thing 1:  “Well, just once in awhile.”

Pubsgal: “What should people do to be happy?”

Thing 1: “Play lots of play.”

[Exit Thing 1, to play with his new Indy cars. Quod erat demonstrandum, indeed!]

Thing 2 [chiming in]: “Play board games together.”

Pubsgal [reaching for the board game spinner]: “Hint taken.”

Thing 2: “Play with your family and friends.  And do chores and…”

Pubsgal [perking up, dreaming of uncluttered floors]: “Oh! Does doing chores make you happy?”

Thing 2: “No.” [Pause to consider this quandary.] “Get all your chores done so you won’t have any more.”

So we finished up our game, and I wandered over to Mr. Handsome-and-Handy, who was just settling into the Man Cave to chillax on the computer.  He worked hard taking care of The Things today: bathed kids, shopped with kids, fed kids, took kids to the park, and supervised the neighborhood bike and scooter session.

Pubsgal: “So I’m writing a guest post for Foodie’s blog today.  What advice do you have for healthy living?”

Mr. H&H: “Get outside.”

Pubsgal: “Anything else?”

Mr. H&H: “Don’t read the news.”

Works for me.  My philosophy?  If it’s really big and important, the news will find me.  Mr. H&H has been feeling rather stressed out lately by following news a little too much.

We then moved on to the “happy living” question.  We made several obvious jokes that I won’t bother repeating here…I then asked the question muchly on my mind lately: “So what do *you* do to get out of a funk?”

[...more winking and nudging...]

Mr. H&H: “Oh!  Hang on.  Close your eyes.”

(What could it be? He was launching something on the web browser last I looked…)

Mr. H&H: “There.  Open them.”

On the screen was Netflix, opened to a “Trailer Park Boys” episode.

There you have it!  You may or may not find *all* of our family tips useful in your own quest for health and happiness, but hopefully they at least gave you a chuckle or two.  They work for us!

Pubsgal & Foodie at See Jane Run, 2009

 

Guest Post: Pat Barone on Driving Permanent Weight Change July 26, 2010

I’m happy to welcome Pat Barone to guest-post for me while I’m away this week. She’s been a great inspiration to me and I had the pleasure of meeting her earlier this year. She’s a wonderful teacher and guide for many. Welcome Pat!

Driving Permanent Weight Change

After a lengthy destructive relationship with food, I set out to lose weight one final time.  I knew I had a lot of learning to do because everything I’d ever tried in my life, literally hundreds of diets, had not kept the weight off.

But I had put my cowgirl boot down.  I would do what was necessary to lose weight, but I wasn’t taking it back.  Ever.

The lessons turned out to be profuse:  jaw-dropping scientific data, mindbending “ah-ha” moments, and deep personal shifts in my attitude and beliefs.  Literally, everything changed for me while I was losing weight and during the 10 years I’ve maintained that weight loss.

One lesson that sticks with me actually involved my car.  One day, I stopped at a local gas station and filled up my gas tank.  A while later, my car started sputtering and acting as if the engine was going to die. The car wouldn’t accelerate and I felt as though I was put-puttering along while cars all around me sped by.

I immediately connected the lack of performance with the new gas. It would run fine for a few blocks, then start the hesitation/sputtering routine again.

It was pure frustration!  It just wouldn’t go!

I continued driving the car until it was about a quarter of a tank below full and refilled at another gas station. The problems lessened but were still there.  Again, I drove it until it was a quarter of a tank less than full and refilled again. The problems ceased.

I realized I never got emotional about the bad gas (probably mixed with water) that I bought.  I didn’t blame myself for it.  I made a mental note never to buy from that particular gas station again, I did what I could to solve the problem, and I moved on.

Deeply immersed in weight loss, it occurred to me that, if I handled my own poor body fueling as sensibly, I might not have so many issues around food.

After all, food is fuel for your body. It’s the gasoline of life. That is all it is.

It isn’t an emotional caretaker, a shoulder to cry on, or a best friend.

My own poor fueling decisions usually involve carbs or sugar that set off the carb craving cycle.  This craving cycle calls up too much insulin from the body, putting stress on it internally (even if you are not diabetic).

Would the way I handled my car’s gasoline work with my own fuel?  It might look like this:

  1. Take my energy down a quarter tank.
  2. Refuel with protein.
  3. Live life until my energy is down a quarter tank again.
  4. Refuel with protein.
  5. Rinse, repeat.

Separating eating and food from negative thinking and emotions turned out to be a huge step in changing my attitude about food.  Whenever I see myself becoming attached to a certain food, or I hear “an energy buzz” around it, I know I’m putting more meaning into that food than it deserves or I want.

Then, it’s time to take a step back and remember:  Food is fuel.

This doesn’t mean I don’t really enjoy food, all types of food:  rich and mild, exotic and tame, new favorites and old.

But I’ll take my meal without the extra helping of charged emotion, or the label of “good” or “bad”, or the guilt, thank you!

Pat Barone, CPCC, PCC

Pat Barone earned her title “America’s Weight Loss Catalyst” by coaching thousands of clients toward permanent weight loss.  Her status as an expert is heightened by her own personal weight loss success.  In March, 2010, she celebrated 10 years at her current weight, which is 75 lbs. less than her highest weight.  She regularly busts diet myths in her free newsletter “The Catalyst”, available at http://www.patbarone.com and blogs at http://www.stoprentingweightloss.com.

 

My Bag Is Packed July 25, 2010

Filed under: good things,guest blog — Susan @ 2:50 am


Vintage Suitcase

Originally uploaded by to be, inspired

I’m ready to go. To camp, which I’ve been preparing for the last 51 weeks. We begin tomorrow at the crack of dawn.

I’m bringing my laptop, a million chargers and cables, and all cameras but have no idea what this week will bring– food, blogging or activity wise. Wish me luck. Even if the worst happens (too much food, no blogging or exercise) it’s ONLY five days. Back on Friday.

In the meantime, please keep checking back for some awesome guest posts!!!!!!!! oxoxo

 

Tiptoeing away from Sugar July 21, 2010

First of all, just another shout-out to Mary who, at her tender young age, has managed to be an amazing mentor for me in so many ways. First, she introduced me to foodblogging which has proved to be nothing short of miraculous. It stopped two binges in their tracks yesterday. Amazing.

Another thing that Mary does, which I observed during her visit with me, but did NOT PARTICIPATE in, is her practice of only eating sugar (processed sugar) on weekends. I was like, hmm. Okay.

Now, as a diabetic person, I probably could benefit from not eating sugar at ALL. And I know plenty of people who do not eat sugar AT ALL. But cutting any food out of my repertoire completely just freaks me out. And it is important to me to feel like I can 1. maintain my weight loss, and 2. maintain good diabetic health, while continuing to enjoy certain sugar experiences once in a while. (cupcakes, anyone?)

I never eat large amounts of sugar. Mostly they are very small amounts of things- a teaspoon of ice cream, a sugar-free candy, (I’m going to count that as “sugar” for now because it does contain a certain type of sugar), some low-carb chocolate or a Skinny Cow. I do not go all out and have a hot fudge sundae.

Anyway, this week, after the big wedding weekend, I decided to come back to “basics.” And I noticed that I didn’t eat sugar on Monday or Tuesday. (today is Wednesday) I noticed it didn’t kill me. Or upset me. Or make me feel deprived.

So I’ve decided to gently see how this feels. I’m not doing it as a Challenge, or a Vow, or anything like that. I’m just doing it out of curiousity, for as long as it lasts. I’m not putting a time limit on it or anything. It’s just…. an experiment.

By the way, I don’t notice any difference (after 2 days) in how I feel. It’s not like I feel lighter and happier and free from the Evil Substance. I’m more noticing how I don’t feel like I’m suffering. Which is fine.

 

Week 2 of Foodblogging: What I’ve Learned, Part 2 July 19, 2010

I’m still at it. I’m having fun. I’m liking it. And I’m still learning new things.

This weekend, for example, I learned that it is possible to take photos of your food and still gain weight! (ha) Saturday was a perfect example of Too Much Of A Good Thing. (well, actually, NOT too much, but perhaps too much to LOSE weight) I don’t regret a single bite of anything. I don’t feel like I binged. But I know, and especially looking back, that that was a day that I ate really healthy food (perhaps with the exception of the bread and butter, and the cream puff at the end!) but more than was necessary, um, physiologically speaking. I mean: grilled vegetables! Salmon! Shaved zucchini salad! It was all good good food. It was delicious. I ate “in moderation.” All in all, I’d consider it a Success. I did  not feel deprived; I ate good things, I was happy.

I also learned that it is possible (well, I knew THIS one already) to eat not enough of Not Very Good Food. This was pretty much yesterday. I was still really full from Saturday AND I was really busy so I did not eat very much. But what I did eat wasn’t the most ideal stuff. A lot of carbs, not enough produce.

Last week I took some photos of lunch while at work. I think my co-workers thought I was a little, um… special. As my daughters would say. But I took them anyway.

I’m excited that since I’ve started this process, a few of my blogging buddies have joined in and are photoblogging too. I’m having a great time following their food, and learning all sorts of things. Here’s Karen’s, and Pubsgal’s, and Sweeter’s. Welcome to foodblogging, friends!

The process is continuing to fascinate me and every day I notice more and more new things. Onward!

 

Cream Puff Heaven July 18, 2010

I went to a wedding with most amazing food! Including cream puffs instead of wedding cake!! All I can say is it’s a GOOD THING I started at a low.

creammmmmmmpuffffffffffs!

More later.

 

It’s Working.. And I Didn’t Even Ask It To July 16, 2010

Remember my “wish” to lose ten pounds maybe, like sort of?  Well, after much deliberation I decided to not sweat it or “try” to do anything; I’d just keep doing whatever I was doing, and whatever happened, would happen.

Then Mary came to visit and I watched her take pictures of all her food. For the first 3 days, I just watched her, and I ate all the yummy things she was eating PLUS MORE. The weight started creeping up. Then on her fourth day, I started foodblogging as well.

See what happened? That’s my weight up there. From the very first day. This was not on purpose, ie I wasn’t “trying” to lose weight, I was just trying to be more mindful and accountable for what I ate.

The one little uptick you see there is the day I forgot to take my medication which allows me to not look like a watery bloated sausage.

The difference between the top of the graph and the bottom of the graph (today) is 5.2 pounds.

Just sayin’.

I’m taking my camera with me EVERYwhere from now on. :-)

EDITED: Hmph. Facebook tells me that this blog post has been rated as “abusive” by Facebook users and so they have disabled the link. What is THAT about? Am I being boycotted by anti-scale people??

 

Pressure Cooker July 13, 2010

Filed under: emotions,food,friendship,Mindful Eating,overeating — Susan @ 12:31 am
Tags: , ,


Steaming cooker

Originally uploaded by Intrudēr

The next three weeks are going to be the most pressurized, intense weeks of my entire year. I run a camp, that takes all year to prepare for, and it takes place the last week in July.

I’ve been doing this for six years now. For the first several years, I viewed this period of time (actually, all summer) as an opportunity to completely throw in the towel and give up on any remnants of fitness or healthy eating. It was really just an excuse. I’d cancel my trainer, eat like there was no tomorrow, and it was just stress piled on stress. It felt inevitable. When camp itself came, I would literally inhale the crazy carbs they served: sloppy joes and mac and cheese and tacos and hotdogs and french toast and ALL OF IT, and I believed the more I ate, the calmer (read: more anesthetized) I’d feel.

Last year was the first year that I tried to get through the summer without my customary meltdown. It went pretty well and I managed to get to my Lifetime status at WW in the summer. But the ghosts of past camp seasons are always around to haunt, and it’s so easy to just succumb to the pressures and just say “I give up!” for now.

I really don’t want that to happen this year. This year is the biggest camp in our whole history. We’re in a brand-new site that is giving me HIVES with their incomprehensible difficulties and insane little rules. So I am just prime for all sorts of falling down.

Today we had a staff powwow to assess all we need to do in the next 2 weeks. It is a LOT. And either it will get done, or it won’t. But just making that list almost put us all over the top.

One of my co-workers ordered a sandwich with extra bacon. I suddenly thought, what can *I* have?? I deserve this! I need something extra-special!! All the old song and dance. I spied a triple-decker Havarti grilled cheese on the menu of my favorite takeout place. THAT’S what I want! I thought. But I was deep in a task which kept me busy for a while longer. During which time I got to really think about what it was that I wanted.

I wanted to eat something that would not stress me even further, or put me to sleep, or make me feel bad about myself. I thought. I needed PROTEIN. So I went to the Thai place and got a cup of chicken coconut soup, and some chicken satay skewers. I didn’t touch even a grain of rice. I had the cucumber salad and a little dollop of peanut sauce. Then I was able to go back and face the rest of my afternoon (and evening, as it turns out) of work.

It’s going to take EVERYTHING I HAVE to remain conscious, and present, and healthy, during these next weeks. If I can emerge August 1 in a good place, I will be very grateful. Cross your fingers for me. Or leave me lots of comments for strength. <3

 

 
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