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Old 07-27-2012, 09:03 AM   #121
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THanks Speck! I think it is pretty easy (for me) to get into bad habits with the internet and my phone and all the social sites and apps and stuff. Stopping for two weeks and seeing how I had more free time and less anxiety about "checking" stuff was kind of a sign for me that I could really tone it down.

AND I am reading the book "Brain Over Binge", and the author writes about neural networks and bad habits and how we can train our brains to want to do certain things. And if we have bad habits, we can stop ourselves and let those neural pathways wither a bit so we don't feel so compelled to continue our bad habits. I really really really love this book! Highly recommend. The author has a blog too.

The reason I came on LCF today is because it is my four year low carbiversary! Seems like LCF is the place to make a note of that. My life is quite different than it was four years ago. Here are the biggest changes:
  • I eat fewer/less carbs (duh), grains, treats, alcohol, sugar.
  • I eat more veg, meat, eggs and dairy.
  • I don't drink diet pop.
  • I have no fear of full fat items or using fat in food prep.
  • I track my weight regularly.
  • I eat way less processed food. I now see Lean Cusines, breakfast cereals, frozen appetizers, granola bars, 100-calorie packs and so on as garbage food.
  • I have different views on what "has" to be in a meal. Meals can be simple. Could be just meat. Could be meat, veg, butter, salt, pepper. Not everything has to be a recipe.
  • I have less emotional involvement in my food. Sometimes food is just food. It's not entertainment, a friend, or a drug, or a social event, and so on.
  • I go out to eat way less often.
  • My restaurant meals are way simpler too. I do not need an appetizer, bread basket, salad, entree, wine and dessert every time I go out to eat, no matter how "fun" it looks on the menu.
  • I developed an ability to skip treats and mentally know I am doing it for me and my health, so it doesn't feel like white knuckling. I do it because I want to do it, not because I think I have to do it.
  • I care way less about what someone else thinks if I turn down their treat.
  • I realized that it is possible to attend a party/holiday event and not focus on the food. I can go and have fun catching up, playing a game, meeting new people, playing with the kids, helping set up, cleaning afterwards, etc. I don't have to obsess and get all overwrought about the food. It can be a non-issue. I can just eat some low carb stuff and then be done with the whole thing. No white knuckling, no feeling deprived.
  • I set a habit for myself of not eating at meetings at work.
  • I don't buy food I don't want to eat. Not keeping carbs, treats, junk food, etc in the house.
  • I pay less attention to "food cues". I stopped reading recipe blogs and watching food shows and food magazines and so on.
  • I no longer consider myself a "foodie" who has to try every new restaurant, every dish, every recipe, etc.
  • I changed how I think about exercise. I made a mental shift on what activities I am able to do. I learned how to run for the first time in my life, and I started to include heavy weights and sprinting too. Previously I did not see myself as someone who could run. Now I do!
  • I worked on my skills of expressing my thoughts/feelings so that stuff does not build up and torture me from the inside. I am more likely now to actually have my feelings instead of eating to suppress them. I had to learn how to let myself be sad, hurt, angry etc instead of being embarrassed, avoiding the feelings and eating.



Now, I wouldn't say that I am perfect at all this stuff. I do still feel deprived now and then, I eat off plan sometimes, that kind of thing. BUT there have been vast improvements in all these areas. I wanted to lose weight my whole life, so I am happy and proud of my accomplishment!

Ideally, I still want to lose more weight but if I don't, it is still better to have come this far than to have remained at my high weight. Actually, my habits were causing me to GAIN weight every year, so if I hadn't changed, I imagine I would be at least 30 pounds above my high weight.

Anyhoo - Happy Low Carbiversary To Me!

I hope I have an awesome and healthy Year 5.
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Last edited by ElizabethLC; 07-27-2012 at 09:09 AM..
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:39 AM   #122
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Happy low carbiversary!!!! You have come a long way. I'm so happy for you!
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:56 AM   #123
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Fall Update!

It's been awhile! There are a couple reasons I haven't been around LCF. The first is that I massively changed my habits of internet use, which has resulted in loads more free time for IRL fun activities and getting things done. I am extremely happy with this choice at the moment.

The second is that I just got burned out on all the LCF drama.. the flailing newbies, the loudmouth gurus, the easily bruised eogs, the snipey backhanded comments, the pages and pages of conflicting advice all stated as THIS IS THE ONLY TRUTH, etc. I realize much of the board is not this, and there are some SUPER cool, SUPER intelligent, emotionally mature people around (thank Jeebus). But I just needed a break. This break will probably continue. I spent the last few months getting my head on straight about what I want, what feels good to me, what's best for me, etc. I realized (and this is probably a no brainer to others) that I should base my eating decisions on what they do to my body and how I feel afterwards, period. They should not be based on some 12 page LCF argument that I spent half an hour reading and getting annoyed by. I mean - duh, right?

Currently:
  • Eating low carb, high fat, mod protein.
  • Selecting quality foods: grass fed meat, organic free range eggs, etc.
  • Focusing on hunger cues.
  • Making low carb food that I love and look forward to eating.
  • Not counting calories but attempting to "eat less" in general. Actively choosing smaller portions than usual.
  • No wine. And this decision was made out of love because I realized wine disrupts my sleep cycle.
  • I broke my ten year habit of coffee every day. Now doing tea (mostly decaf) during the week and half-caf coffee on weekends. This has helped IMMEASURABLY with my anxiety. Ho-leeeee crap.
  • I also realized I was developing a bad habit of TV + eating becoming my nightly habit. I put the kibosh on that.
  • Exercise: 3 days a week of lifting. 1-2 runs and 1-3 walks. Yoga, stretching, and using my foam roller.

Results:
  • I have been waking up happy and excited about each day.
  • I have a boatload of energy/motivation for my job. I put in my 40+ hours with love and joy and attention to detail. At the end of the day, this feels GREAT. I have a crazy busy job which can quickly spiral into Total Overload. At the moment I have my head in the game completely, no burnout.
  • I have not lost scale weight, but I have gained muscle. My arms look the best they have ever looked in my life.
  • I do not feel burned out by my exercise schedule. The last two falls, I got burned out by trying to do too much exercise while school was starting. This year I have been thriving.

Goals for this school year:
  • To continue my exercise, especially weightlifting.
  • To make and eat satisfying low carb foods that I love and not get into the deprivation/binge cycle.
  • To continue to thrive and love life.
  • To avoid depression and anxiety, especially during the dark, frigid winter that's on its way.
  • To either maintain my weight, slowly lose more weight, or gain muscle but not fat.

And that about wraps up this update!

If you read this - HI SPECK! I think you are my only subscriber. And, I wouldn't be surprised if you have unsubbed, given my complete lack of updates! How's your school year? "Higher Ed Business As Usual" - aka "Way Too Much To Do"?
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:20 AM   #124
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I want to add this:

I have a theory going that after my weight loss phase (65 pounds), I hit a plateau. My body was in a depleted state because of the loss. I then tried too many "dieting" attempts of trying to lose more weight. I tried to grind lower and lower and all I did was hurt myself. I went through a severe depression that lasted 2 years (Spring 2010- Spring 2012). By eating too low in calories/nutrients and running too much (2 rounds of half marathon training), I got stressed, depressed and anxious. I thought I was "being healthy" by tightly controlling my calories and running excessively, but I now see that I was trying to force more weight loss when I needed to be focusing on recovering from my original weight loss.

This spring and summer, through journaling, meditation, yoga, better time management, lots of sun, lots of sleep, lots of free time, fun activities, exercise that I enjoyed (lifting, walking, short runs), bonds with my fellow humans, eating enough/plenty, etc, I came out of my depression. It took around 6-7 months; it was not instant. I could not see results day to day, but month to month I could see progress.

Now that I am out of it, the world is bright and shiny and exciting again. I see potential all over the place. Life does not seem like grinding repetition of pointless activities. I am not just going through the motions. I can see that I had been living at a very "low" level of life.

I am writing this here in case someone else who has lost weight and then gone through a "low" period comes across it. I, personally, have the opinion that there can be a fallout period after weight loss in some people. And then we can make that worse by trying too hard to eat less and less/exercise more and more afterwards. This has been my experience; I realize it is not universal by any means.

I have never written so specifically and publicly about my depression. I don't know why; I think a lot of people go through it. It's kind of a hard beast to describe when one is in the middle of it.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:18 AM   #125
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Elizabeth!! I'm so glad you posted. I lurk around LCF, not nearly as much as I used to. Like you, I
Quote:
just got burned out on all the LCF drama.. the flailing newbies, the loudmouth gurus, the easily bruised eogs, the snipey backhanded comments, the pages and pages of conflicting advice all stated as THIS IS THE ONLY TRUTH, etc.
and
Quote:
I should base my eating decisions on what they do to my body and how I feel afterwards, period. They should not be based on some 12 page LCF argument that I spent half an hour reading and getting annoyed by.
I participate still in my Low Carb dinner menus thread, and I adore the participants on my Stalled but Determined thread, but otherwise, I tend to avoid most other areas.
You always put things so eloquently.
I really connect to what you have written. I think I've had a low-level, baseline depression for most of my life. Everything I do is out of some kind of obligation. I've realized I have an amazing capacity to endure things out of a sense of honor and obligation. But joy? No. There's no joy. My motto tends to be "fake it, until you make it".
The first month of the semester was IN.SANE. but I managed to plow through and meet all my deadlines. Things will be less hectic here on out.
Your posts give me hope. I've been floundering and adrift for the last 6 months. Barely hanging on and keeping my head above water in pretty much every area of my life, not just diet. Diet and exercise have just become part of the blur. Perhaps it is my personality, but if I try to focus on one thing, it is all consuming, and everything else just sort of falls away.
I need to do what you've done. And get my head on straight. I need a more defined action plan.
I like you hypothesis about the post-loss-lull. It seems to be so common. Lose about 40-50% and then it stops. Then we set out tweaking and trying, and maybe just hurting ourselves more in the process.

Anyway, thanks for checking in! I'm really happy for you and more hopeful now. Talk to you later!
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:07 PM   #126
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Late fall update!

152.5

I'm plugging along on my merry low carb way. I didn't go off plan for Halloween, my birthday, Thanksgiving, a wedding or a big fancy party I was at. It's been easy for some reason. I've been uninterested in carby foods.

I've been cooking every weekend - making a ton of low carb stuff for the week. Then it is easy to chuck my lunch/dinner in my work bag.

I'm not loving the short days and the grey weather, but still keeping my head above water.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:09 PM   #127
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I just posted this in another thread and wanted to add it to my journal too.


**********************

I have had problems with compulsive overeating on and off since childhood.

I've been doing pretty well lately and feel like I have some good strategies in place.

I read the book Brain over Binge and that helped me immensely.

I had to learn to recognize the feeling of wanting to binge/overeat. For me it is different than the feeling of hunger. For me a binge feels like my brain yelling at me "Eat NOW NOW NOW HURRY HURRY HURRY!! EAT EVERYTHING!!" Or I will get fixated on one specific food and have it pop up in my head over and over and over and over and over.

Hunger feels different - like a feeling in my stomach and maybe getting a little tired.

When I want to compulsively overeat, that message from my brain is very powerful. I hear "Eat now, hurry!" and I think "I have to eat now!" But I can now recognize that it is the binge feeling and not the hunger feeling.

So I have a moment where I recognize "I'm having the binge feeling." At this point I don't care and I still want to just EAT EAT EAT. Logically I know it is the binge feeling, but that doesn't matter.

If I can pause myself here and say "Ok. I am not going to starve to death. I think I will glue myself to the couch for 20 minutes and write in my journal about why I want to eat so much right now." .. then this is the beginning of my path to not bingeing. I promise myself that I will not get up and start eating until I'm done writing in my journal. That act itself is the first thing that helps me see I am not starving to death and having an eating emergency where I need to eat everything.

Then in my notebook I usually write a list of why I want to binge. What am I feeling? It almost always is the same.
I want to.
It would feel good.
It would be fun.
I deserve it.
I'm always so strict on plan and I need to let loose.
Everyone else gets to eat X and I don't.
It's not fair.
Etc

As I write these down I can see that they are all terrible reasons to overeat. In some cases they are completely false. "It would feel good?" - actually, a binge feels terrible. Stomach pain, digestive problems, I will sleep bad, feel guilty, etc.

"It would be fun?" For me, a binge is not actually fun. Maybe it is fun for about one minute, but then I feel nervous, anxious, guilty, mad at myself, in pain from putting too much in my stomach, etc.

"I deserve it?" Well.. it's true that I deserve good stuff and I deserve to feel good. But food is not about "deserve", food is about nutrition and fueling positive energy. I definitely deserve good things but I know a binge is not a good thing. In fact I don't deserve the pain and regret a binge will bring.

"It's not fair?" No.. life is not fair. Not at all. And this is crazy frustrating sometimes. But how does me overfilling my stomach make life more fair? There is no logic in that. If I eat a ton of candy, it will not be some grand "In Your Face" move against thin people who can eat candy. I will just feel bad later. I will never go "WOW, I sure am glad I ate all that candy! I really showed those thin people what's what!"



So as I write down my list, I think each item through and go "is this really a good reason to overeat? Is this really what I want and what's best for me?" And the answer is no. Then by the time I have written down all my reasons to binge and all my reasons not to binge, I realize that I don't want to binge anymore. At this point I lose all the tension that had been building up. It is not a struggle anymore. I just think "yes, actually, I don't want to binge" and then go do something else.

So this is what has helped me this past year... as you can see I am a bit of a nut, but this post is my truth. It helped me so I figure maybe it can help others too.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:34 PM   #128
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My New Year Update:

I didn't go off plan for Christmas or New Year's. In fact I have not been off plan since August.

I'm doing Atkins OWL. I have my base of low carb foods and then am having some higher rung stuff like 1/4 of a sweet potato now and then. I cook at home way more than eat out. I brown bag it for lunch every day. Some of my coworkers are obsessed with what I eat for lunch because I am so "healthy" .. (or "weird").


Currently eating

Meat
country style ribs (current favorite)
steak
ham
bacon
chicken sausage

Drinks
coffee (have started having caffeinated again and am monitoring anxiety)
tea
sparkling water
water
vodka and soda as my drink when out

Dairy
eggs
cheese
yogurt
half and half
HWC

Veg
cauliflower
bell peppers
eggplant
tomato
onion
garlic
celery
jicama
spinach
romaine
snow peas
green beans
squash
sweet potato (small portion, less often)

Fruit
Fresh raw cranberries - 6 in my lunch for dessert
10 blueberries in my yogurt

Fats
coconut oil
coconut butter
butter
olive oil

Nuts/seeds
Macadamias
raw pecans
raw almond butter
walnuts
chia seeds


Extras/treats
squeeze of lemon
stevia
Davinci's SF syrups
Lindt 85% or 90%
carbquik muffins
LC zucchini muffins

Current supplements
Vitamin D3 because of the wintry sunless tundra I live in
cod liver oil
probiotic
magnesium

Current exercise plan is hiking and walking. 2-5x week. I'm going to start lifting weights 2x week once the spring semester schedule settles in a little. Maybe get a regular yoga schedule going too. I use a free yoga website with a ton of videos. Basically my schedule changes every 4 months and I have to re-calibrate exercise times.

Another positive thing has been meeting with a LC group in person once a month. Always fun to talk low carb with like minded people. It is invigorating.

And that is my update!

Speck if you read this - how are things with you?
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:39 PM   #129
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I'm so glad you posted Elizabeth! I was just thinking about you the other day, wondering how you were. Your post on binging is really important. You said some things in it that resonated with me, but instead of "binge" I replaced it with a different activity that impacts me negatively. I'm so impressed with you and all the others who did not go off plan. Me? I tail-spun nearly out of control for the last several months. I gained ten pounds in 2012, most of it since October. I have come back to posting and reading a lot more often here in the New Year. Staying away did not help me like it did you. I need the support I get here. But, I am back on track and feeling much better in just the one week I've been back.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:08 AM   #130
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Late winter update!

I am in the clutches of winter depression and it sucks monkey butt. Life in January and Feb has been a blur of work, stress, feeling sad and trying to get my head above water. This pretty much happens every year, so I don't know why it surprises me. I think because I feel happy until the holidays and then the decline starts in Jan when it is negative 10 degrees and the sun is setting at 4:30. It gets to be painful to go outside because it is so cold, and then I get cabin fever. And the days are so short; they are over before I know it and I feel like I didn't get anything done. And then work has been somewhat bananas dealing with all the usual work ups and downs plus this one particular massive, overarching institution-wide problem we're dealing with that is nebulous and not solvable in the foreseeable future. It is rather exhausting to face every day. I go to work and put in a lot of my life energy, and then I often come home and just feel empty/flat.

I have continued my strategies of exercise, journaling, cooking (a hobby I enjoy) and hiking outside (when it is not too frigid).

One thing I have been not doing well at is social interaction outside of work. The majority of my day at work involves interacting with coworkers, my own students and then students who I don't know personally (probably 60-100 people every day). Those have all been going fine, i.e., I don't find myself avoiding my duties or avoiding talking to people at work. But then when I get home, I feel exhausted and want to isolate myself. I know this is a problem because then the vast majority of my interactions are work-related and relatively few are personal. That makes the work-life balance skew too heavily towards work.

Exercise - I'm going to run a 5K race in April and have been working on getting and staying ready for that. I have also been medium-decent at having a regular weightlifting schedule since January. I do cause myself a certain amount of grief about not exercising enough, but when I step back and look at the big picture, I do have pretty good regular habits.

I am up 4 pounds to 156.5. I am working on that. I haven't had as careful of an eye on my food. It's hard to do when I feel so sad so much of the time.

This last week I tried a new thing where I planned out all my meals in advance for the entire week and did as much prep as possible on Sunday. I.e., if my lunch on Weds included 3oz radishes, I measured them out on Sunday and put them in a little baggie. And my dinner Thurs was 4 oz Polish sausage and 1 c broccoli, so I measured the amounts and stuck them in a Pyrex in the freezer.

Then I pre-tracked the whole thing on a calorie tracking website.

It was novel and kept me on plan/not overeating, and I think I will try it again for this week. I stuck to induction foods and that felt pretty good. I don't know if I will do it every week, because it did take a lot of work on Sunday.

Anyways, that is my update for now. Hanging in there and trying to turn my depression boat around. But it is huge and takes a long time to turn. I'm looking forward to the snow melting, longer days, signs of spring, warmer temps, and being outside more often.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:48 AM   #131
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Hi Elizabeth! Big about the depression. I'm so sorry. I know what it feels like. Funny, I lived in Montana for a couple years and the days were so crazy short (like sun up at 10am and down at 3pm) in the winter and so cold, but I didn't seem to notice. Now, here in CA, I hate that it's dark at 5... though it's closer to 6 now. And I cannot wait for daylight savings time to start next week!
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:37 PM   #132
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It's April! Speck -- are you done in May? I CAN'T WAIT!! OMG. I love summer.

Exercise: Today I ran 3.6 miles without stopping. I had stopped running completely from about September until Feb, then started Couch to 5k again. I got up to week 5 and then sort of veered off into my own program:
Mon 1 mile, Weds 1 mile, Sat 2 miles
Mon 1 mile, Weds 1 mile, Sat 3 miles
Mon 2 miles, Weds 2 miles, Sat 3 miles
Mon 2 miles, Weds 2 miles, Sat 3 miles
Mon 3 miles, Weds 3 miles, Sat 3 miles

I wanted to start going outside AND I wanted to listen to my own music. So the past couple weekends I still had to take breaks during my runs but today I didn't have to! So that feels like an accomplishment.

Food: I would definitely call myself Moderate Carb. I've been having mod carb items every day, but they are whole foods. I had tabbouli today, and some sweet potato. Had oatmeal a few times the past few weeks. Quinoa once. Hummus once. For now this is still pretty novel. I look forward to my food but haven't been overeating.

Weight: My weight has not gone back down. I kind of think it might not. I think I have regained my water weight now that I am not strict low carb. And I think I have gained some fat too. I'm not thrilled about that or anything. But for now, I am trying to not sink my mental and physical health, so I'm not low carbing or restricting calories. I'm focusing on eating whole foods, exercising, and fueling my health so I can feel positive and have energy.

Mental Health: This has improved in the last month. I had a warm and sunny trip to Mexico and I think the Vitamin D and relaxation did good things for me.

Honestly - I do think that for me, in my body, there is a link between these:

Staying too low in carbs
Higher adrenaline/cortisol
racing thoughts, insomnia, increased worry
physical manifestations of stress
depression
anxiety
burnout

I think, based on family and personal history, I have always had a brain that is prone to depression and anxiety. For me, keeping carbs low felt great for about the first 2 years. Then it started to feel bad and didn't get any better. I kept at it for 2.5 more years and had a lot of downs and some ups. I currently don't have a steady drip of worry/sadness/anxiety/hypersensitivity. I mean - I am not a doctor. I could be completely off base with this and placebo-effecting the hell out of myself. But when I think about the difference between this year (moderate carbs, whole foods, not counting calories) and last year (low carb, whole foods, counting/restricting calories) I can see that this year, I have not been waking up with an instant drip of dread, whereas last year this was happening to me regularly.


Bingeing/desire to overeat: I have not been struggling with this at all. Last year at this time I was. Last April I was doing the Leptin reset and counting/restricting the heck out of my calories. I think this gave me visits from the hungry monster. But lately, yeah, I haven't felt restricted because of the inclusion of a larger variety of foods. So I haven't had the desire to overeat. I would not be so presumptive as to call myself cured for life, yay or anything like that. I just have been in an upswing lately.

Inspiration: I read a book that I really enjoyed and would recommend. It is called "Start Where You Are" by Pema Chodron. It has nothing to do with food/fitness. It's kind of a philosophy/healthy head space book.

Last edited by ElizabethLC; 04-07-2013 at 07:38 PM..
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:10 PM   #133
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Nice to see you Elizabeth! Yes end of May can't come soon enough. I'm so glad to read your optimistic report!
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:20 PM   #134
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Late Spring Update:

Food: Eating a base of veggies, eggs, coconut oil, butter, half and half, yogurt, fresh herbs. Also including servings of moderate/high carb whole foods like rice, quinoa, beans, sweet potatoes, potatoes, popcorn, oatmeal and fruit. General focus is on "whole foods" and "cooking at home".

Exercise: Working on Hal Higdon's 10-mile training plan. I'm in week 4 and I have built up this flow of energy where I do not dread working out. I wake up excited to work on my training (and then also do other exercisey things like yardwork or nature walks). The plan involves, weekly:
3 runs (2 shorter, 1 longer)
2 weightlifting sessions
2 crosstraining sessions
1 yoga session

Weight: Have not weighed but I would guess my weight is up from my lowest. I would guess I am around 160.

General plan
: For now, I want to focus on being not depressed or stressed. I want to eat enough to fuel health, exercise and adventures but not so much that I gain excess fat. I do not think I am overeating, but I certainly have lied to myself about whether or not I was overeating/gaining weight in the past. I think I have gained some skills about self honesty from journaling about binging last summer. I am continuing to use those skills. I'm going to continue my focus on ...
1. whole foods
2. exercise
3. not overeating or undereating
...for the summer and see where that takes me.

If I feel great and like the way my body looks, I will keep doing the same plan.
If I feel great but don't like the way my body looks (i.e., too much fat), I will modify my food choices and intake amounts.
If I start hating/dreading the amount of exercise, I will tone it down.
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Old 06-29-2013, 04:48 AM   #135
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Summer update! MAN, I LOVE SUMMER!!

Weight: 160
My weight is up from my lowest. On the one hand, argh! But on the other hand, I have muscles, my midsection fat (aka stress fat) has reduced, I feel happy, and I have energy. I used to scoff at people who were up in weight but claimed to be happy. I was all about the number and couldn't believe that anyone could be happier at any kind of higher number. Well, lesson learned on that one! Sorry for sending that jerky mental energy out into the world.


Exercise: I'm on Week 8 of training for my 10 mile race. Today I have a 7 mile run scheduled and I feel great/excited about it. Still doing, weekly:
  • 3 runs
  • 2 weightlifting sessions
  • 1 yoga session
  • 2 crosstraining sessions

This week looks like this:
  • Monday: Weightlifting and Yoga
  • Tues: 5 mile run
  • Weds: 1 hour crosstraining
  • Thurs: 3 mile run plus weightlifting
  • Fri: Rest
  • Sat: 7 mile run
  • Sun: 1 hour crosstraining


Food: Happy to report that I have not been fighting the binge monster .. at all. Still moderate carb. I would put myself in the highest rungs of Atkins OWL. I eat a base of protein/veg and have bits of moderate carb and even high carb foods (more rarely). I don't let the mod carb stuff become a large chunk of the meals. They are more like "sides" or "garnishes".

Examples:
  • 1/4 cup gluten free pasta
  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup pineapple
  • 1/3 cup rice
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Obviously I wouldn't have all of that at the same time! I combine those with protein and fat to make a full meal.

Sample menu - Yesterday
  • Breakfast: Turkey burger patty with avocado and cheese
  • Lunch: Low carb wrap with scrambled eggs and sausage
  • Dinner: Oatmeal with protein powder, chia seeds and half and half
About two weeks ago, I got a little crazy with sugar + alcohol (i.e., margaritas, hard cider, french bread and ice cream) and had a nice 5 pound upswing that took a week to get off. It didn't feel good, physically. So if I eat TOO high of carb, it still isn't good for me.


Energy and mental health: I really love having a lot of energy each day for exercise, yardwork, house projects, errands, getting things done, having an active social life, etc. When I compare how I felt earlier this year (Jan/Feb/March) to how I feel now, I feel I have much more energy now. Part of this is the weather - I have crazy Seasonal Affective Disorder and feel worse in the winter than the summer. Another part of feeling better was building up my exercise bit by bit. This was hard! But worth it. When I am depressed/low energy, just starting exercise feels like SUCH a chore. My body tells me not to spend energy. It's like, "wouldn't you rather sit still?" So, taking it step by step and building up a base of exercise/energy was very helpful for me.



Sooooooo, that is my latest update. Speck, hope your busy June/July is going as well as possible!

Hi to anyone else who reads this Let's face it, probably no one!!
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:15 PM   #136
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Yay! I'm glad you are feeling better! Isn't summer great?

I'm still on my holding pattern. Just wanted to leave a note.
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:59 PM   #137
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Joanette thanks for visiting my journal so many months ago!

Here's my winter/new year update.

This summer I ran regularly, got a lot of activity via house projects, ate moderate/high carb.

Then in the fall I switched to lifting weights and walking, and did a lot of yard work. I found that I wanted my carbs to be lower when I wasn't running.

Around the end of October, I was having some coconut oil and remembered how much I liked it. So that has been a part of my diet since Oct. Other supplements I'm taking are fish oil, vitamin D, a probiotic.

I would say by the beginning of November I was fully low carb again.

And I just finished up a 100% on plan holiday season with zero cheats and zero weight gain. I am maintaining my loss. All of the carby stuff is not appealing to me right now.

So that is 3 years of maintenance for me (as of this past fall). I lost weight 2008-2010 and have maintained 2010-2013.

As for my depression, it has been way better this year. Big yay there. I have two trips to warmer climates coming up and I am looking forward to them. I plan to stay low carb and continue my maintenance on these trips. Why get involved in all the drama of going off plan, swinging up 5 lbs in weight, getting back on the carb addiction cycle, etc. No thanks. Would rather just eat my regular food and keep an even keel.

And as for exercise this year, I think I will do the same as last year: jogging in the spring/summer and weightlifting in the fall into winter. Walking year-round. Lucky for me I have a treadmill so I can still hit it when it's 10 below zero.
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:45 AM   #138
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Note to self -- ketosis is really good for my brain + mental health during the dead of winter. We are having this Polar Vortex doozy of a winter. I've been in ketosis since the end of Oct and it has been very agreeable. I usually get depressed in the winter but I don't think I am now, which is surprising given the severity of this particular winter.

Here's what I think is working:

-Ketosis (LCHF, BPC, keeping menus simple, eating at home)
-Supplements: Vit D, magnesium, fish oil, probiotics
-10000 steps (treadmill)
-Greatly reduced stress
-Sleeping regularly
-Took a vacation to CA and got at least 15 mins of sun on face and arms daily (for Vit D)
-No alcohol
-Listening to hunger cues (which are calmly reduced during ketosis)

Here's what has not worked for me in the past:
-High stress approach to life
-Constant worry
-Having wine regularly
-Casting my fate to the wind
-Eating convenience foods too much
-Being too disconnected from my loved ones
-Depending on carbs (or any food) as a coping mechanism for when I feel depressed
-Overdoing the exercise (can feel too amped, too hungry, too exhausted)
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:29 AM   #139
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Been reading a lot about Vitamin D! Most of this was new to me as of yesterday. Recording it for future reference!

(Side note: I live in Minnesota but happen to be in Los Angeles today.)


- Vitamin D is made in the body when we are exposed to UVB rays, but not UVA rays.

- Because of the size of the UVB wavelengths, we do not get UVB in Minnesota in the winter. The sun does not get high enough in the sky. The sunlight has to pass through too much ozone and the UVBs are reflected. The sun starts getting high enough in the sky to let UVBs pass through in about April (in Minnesota). Sooner in states further south.

- There is a weather statistic called the UV Index that measures the amount of UV light getting to the surface of the Earth in each city. I.E., I can look up Minneapolis' UV index for today, which will be different than San Antonio's UV Index, etc.

- In the winter, the UV index in Minnesota is extremely low all day. The sunlight is not damaging. However, it also is not helping me make any Vitamin D.

- If the UV index is too low, it is pointless for me to try to get sunlight in order to make Vitamin D. (I can, of course, seek sunlight for other reasons, like sleep/wake hormone balance, or because I find it pleasant to walk outside in the winter on a sunny day, etc.)

- It seems like the UV Index has to be 3 or higher in order for any Vitamin D production to occur. Today in Los Angeles, the UV Index prediction is as follows:
9:00am - UV Index of 1
10:00am - UV Index of 2
11:00am - UV Index of 3
12:00noon - UV Index of 3
1:00pm - UV Index of 3
2:00pm - UV Index of 1
3:00pm - UV Index of 1

So if I wanted even any remote chance of making Vitamin D from sunlight, I should head outside between 11 and 1.

- However, I found a couple sites that say Vitamin D production does not occur until the sun is up at at least a 50 degree angle in the sky. Today in Los Angeles, the highest angle the sun will get to is 40 degrees. So I still may not be making any Vitamin D, regardless of when I go outside.

- Interestingly, if you are outside near snow/ice all day, you experience extra UV light because of reflecting sunlight. So you can get "sunburned" while out skiing or whatnot. I have seen this before where people have sunburn in the shape of their ski mask. Has not ever happened to me tho.

- To make Vitamin D, we want some exposure to UVB, but still not too much! Too much UV light will result in sunburn/skin damage, which is bad. (I think that one I knew already...)

- The US RDA for Vitamin D is a pretty low dose, something like 600 or 800 IU. They have to make a general, safe guideline for all types of people living in all types of place. So their guideline is going to be too much for some, not enough for others. It probably is not enough for me because I live in a state with VITAMIN D WINTER.

- From googling around, it looks like people who supplement with Vitamin D take anywhere from 600-10,000 IU daily, and then there are cases where people take 50,000 IU megadoses but these seem to be doctor prescribed.

- It is of course possible to overdose on Vitamin D. Too much D is bad! Interestingly, our bodies will not allow us to create too much D from sunlight. The body has a natural system where excess Vitamin D from sunlight is "degraded".
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:12 PM   #140
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I just packed up the last bag of clothes from when I was at my largest (size 18-20). It took me a long time to be able to finally do this. I haven't needed them for 5-6 years! (2008-2009) I feel like this is too long to have held on to them but part of me was not ready until now. I held on to some self doubt in my mind. Every time I've cleaned out the basement, the thought always popped up: "I might need these some day."

I've been reading about simplifying and paring down the stuff we keep. That was the motivating spark to get rid of the clothes. I suddenly was ready. The clothes are from a different time in my life.
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:59 AM   #141
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Weight today is 158. Sixty pounds down from my highest of 218.5 in 2008.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:37 AM   #142
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Ooo! Another topic I have been pondering is... "LESS IS MORE"! Being OK with less. I realized this is a concept that has helped me maintain my loss.

Being OK with a smaller volume of food.

Being OK with the eating experience not lasting for a loooooong time (because I am eating less food overall).

Being OK with fewer "food moments" throughout the day. Not searching for a snack at several habitual times throughout the day. Noticing that "Hey, I am expecting a snack now... but I am not actually hungry! I just have a habit of eating now." And then deliberately stopping that habit, even tho it feels weird/hard/wrong at first.

Being OK with food having reduced importance in my life. At celebration times, I consciously choose to reduce the importance of food. I focus on the people and the reason for the celebration. This was harder at first but easier now. I have been through at least five thanksgivings now where I pretty much just ate turkey and green beans.. and nothing bad happened! No one cared.. I didn't have to white-knuckle.. it was just a plate of food and the drama factor was very low. I have these experiences under my belt to ground me when it comes time for another celebration. "It will be just as fun of a party whether I eat cake or not, so why don't I just save myself the drama and not eat it!"

Kind of on the same topic (reduced importance), being OK with eating simple, healthy foods and not fixating on tons of recipes, food blogs, food photos, cooking shows, etc. If I enjoy a cut of pork with buttered cauliflower, great. Eat that. Then on to the next thing in my life! I don't need to have every possible food experience in the world. In fact, going down that road led to weight gain for me. Fixating on food, exposing myself (heh) to TONS of food cues... for me it just makes me feel hungrier, want more food, feel deprived that I can't have everything, have a tantrum, etc. My current habit is to fill my life with tons of stuff I enjoy (like walking outside, seeing family, photography, etc) and just reduce the time spent thinking about food, looking at food, obsessing over acquiring food, etc. When it's time to eat, I make something easy, delicious, LCHF.. I enjoy the heck out of it and then when it's over, I move on and occupy my brain with other things. This works for me. I know for others, variety keeps them interested in the lifestyle and I fully support that. We each have to do what works for us, NO QUESTION!

The "Less is more" strategy is also helping me clean out my house and get rid of clutter. See my post above about getting rid of old clothes. I am finding that letting go of the feeling BUT I MIGHT NEED THIS SOME DAY has been freeing.


Here are two extreme opposite sides of the pendulum (for me) - over exaggerated to make my point.

Side one:
Frantic
Searching
Hoarding
Amassing
Hunting for the next thing
Wanting more
Not satisfied or only temporarily satisfied
Anxious
Antsy
Overstimulated is the norm and it feels like something is missing if I am not overstimulated
Constant hunger
White-knuckling
Compulsive overeating
Feeling like I can't stop eating (e.g., popcorn. For me, no amount is ever enough until it's gone.)
Stress
Overexercising



Side two:
Content
Calm
Relief
Fewer things
Smaller amounts
Moving joyfully, with purpose
Deep breaths
Taking time to smell the roses
Appreciating the moment
Simplicity
What I have feels like enough/plenty
Eating LCHF and noticing that fat is satiating
Brain does not have the "food... food... food" button stuck in the ON position


I can't predict the future and you never know what curve balls life will throw you. So I can't say with 100% certainty that I will "never" gain weight again. I certainly don't *want* to gain weight; that is for sure. BUT when I look at those two sides of the pendulum, I know in my heart that any time I can spend on Side Two will be better for me in the long run. It feels better. It feels right and peaceful and purposeful.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:05 AM   #143
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Came in to report that I had a good dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. They will make completely plain wings: no coating, no sauce, no salt - just plain wings, fried. 0 carbs. They list 3 wings as having about 330 cals, so about 110 cals apiece. (Not that I count cals.)

I had 9 plain wings and a club soda.

What worked for me was:

1. I avoided the over-flavored factor that overstimulates my brain and keeps me reaching for more even when I am full. I mentally call this the "num num num" aspect of food, because I am a dork. I have really been avoiding "nummy" foods. That is to say, I still eat foods that I enjoy and find delicious, but I avoid over-flavored foods. E.g., I avoid the combo of MSG, salt, powdered flavorings and sugar etc that one might find as a dry rub on wings.

2. I was able to go out spontaneously to a restaurant even though I am doing LCHF-style eating, which can seem odd or restrictive to others (although I do not personally find it restrictive).

3. I stayed within my normal weight fluctuations and was down .5 lbs the next day, instead of having my weight swinging wildly upwards.

Last edited by ElizabethLC; 03-06-2014 at 10:06 AM..
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Old 03-10-2014, 06:39 AM   #144
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I came across the term "food sobriety" and I really like it.
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Old 03-16-2014, 07:22 AM   #145
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Eating in a food sober, LCHF way for the entire winter means my spring clothes fit great. No frustration when trying things on. I'm wearing some pants that had been getting on the tighter side last year. They fit perfectly today. It is such a happy feeling. Instead of shame, tightness and grim determination to "do better", I feel proud of myself and comfortable. I wish I could bottle this feeling and always remember it!
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Old 03-16-2014, 07:36 AM   #146
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Also! I saw a post where someone said they ate a brownie and the net result was that it felt like they had swallowed "hungry pills". I could relate to that feeling so much! It is a great way for me to frame any decision whether or not to eat something high carb. Do I want to swallow the hungry pills? Am I ready for increased cravings for god knows how long until I can re-stablize? What if this off-plan food is the beginning of the end and leads me towards months of trying to get back on track, am I OK with that?

It makes it easier and easier to just avoid even the first bite of foods that aren't my friend. For some foods, if I take the first bite, any amount I eat will never be enough. I will never be satisfied. I will want to keep eating until it is gone or I feel sick. I know me and I know that I have a problem with compulsive overeating. I can either be in denial about that or accept that I have a problem and try to help myself.

Seems like the wise decision long-term is to just not start eating the foods that aren't my friends. Don't monkey around with taking one bite. Don't even start the drama, just eat something else if I am hungry (or eat nothing if I am not hungry).

Last edited by ElizabethLC; 03-16-2014 at 07:37 AM..
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:37 AM   #147
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For future reference: I read about the benefits of consuming plain gelatin and am giving it a whirl. I blended half a packet of gelatin in my bullet proof coffee and it made the whole thing extra foamy and delicious.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:44 AM   #148
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Started a spring challenge and trying a couple things.
2 full LCHF meals at 12 and 6
No dairy, no snacks, no artificial sweeteners

On day 3. Weight is 157. Challenge goes April 5-16. Then I'm going to see what has happened so far and whether or not I want to continue. I.e., did I see any benefits or was it business as usual. Many people report having a dairy sensitivity. I though I would just see what happens without it. I'm starting with a week and a half length so it doesn't seem daunting. Can always extend it later if it feels right. Dairy does have protein so that is a plus but like I said, I want to check myself for a sensitivity because maybe I will find I function better without it.
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:35 AM   #149
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Finished one week of no dairy. Down 2 lbs. Feeling good today! Going to keep it up and see what happens.
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Old 04-19-2014, 04:52 AM   #150
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Hi, Elizabeth. I stumbled across your journey ... I want to say "again," because I'm thinking I remember reading here before. As I began reading, it fascinated me that I couldn't pull myself away. I just kept reading, and reading, and reading ... all the while thinking to myself, "yes," "amen," "exactly!" So many of your entries are carbon copy (that's so yesterday, but there's integrity to the term) echoes of my thoughts on SO.MANY. things related to eating, dieting, exercise, depression, social issues, pitfalls, weaknesses, strengths, passions, balance...the list just goes on. My gosh, I'm just amazed. It was like reading pages from my own mind.

I read your post about breaking off from LCF at times and your reasons for it, and I can completely relate with those reasons and others. There is so much good to be gained from a forum like this, but if we're not savvy and watchful at sifting through all of those things for the "wheat," -- play on words -- the last thing we LC'ers need, no? -- we can end up more confused and discouraged than we began.

There are so many things I could comment on, but that's the point. There are too many to remember and I'd be sitting here all day, when I have a huge list of things to accomplish on this Saturday before Easter -- starting with my gym workout, and including visiting my mother's grave, making my son's favorite dessert for Easter dinner tomorrow, cleaning, sorting, and the list goes on. What I will say is that I am definitely going to make reading your journal a priority of my LCF visits.

And lastly, I want to say congratulations on your phenomenal weight loss success and your determination and commitment to ongoing goals. And I'm thrilled for your running passions and goals, as well as your adherence to weight lifting and keeping/maintaining our muscle. Keep up the great work! You have so much wisdom to offer. Your journal, your story, your heart and soul that you've graciously poured out are gold mines for those who wander in....and wow, am I glad I did.

Happy Easter to you. You've lifted me up in a special happy way.
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