Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May 31, 2011

Hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend.
We took this weekend as an opportunity to do a lot of yard work.  It was great to get in the garden and get dirty.  I really enjoy doing that kind of thing for exercise.  Way more interesting than a treadmill or exercise DVD!

I have also been working on minimizing my cortisol production (please see previous post).  Just taking coffee out of my morning routine and replacing it with black tea has made a huge difference in my health.

The other thing I have been reading about cortisol reduction and estrogen reduction (if I didn't mention it before, my hormone tests say I am estrogen dominant) is the need for increased fiber.  Here is the conundrum-Paleo diets tell you to not eat fiber.  Well, not on purpose.  Most of the books on Paleo diets out there state that fiber is the enemy contrary to popular belief.  This is where I disagree with them.  Sure, I buy into the no grains theory.  Sure, I buy into unlimited proteins and healthy fats.  But, the no fiber theory just doesn't work for me.

According to the Paleo way of thinking, fiber equals carbs and carbs are bad.  For the most part I agree.  But, when the carbs come from natrual, non-grain forms of fiber I support that.  Now, a Paleo diet follower would say don't eat legumes.  They make some great cases for not eating them due to a natural poison legumes produce to save themselves from peditors.  But, if you read a little further on the topic you will find out that if you make certain to soak and cook the heck out of them you will be just fine eating those poison producing legumes.  (One note:  I still don't eat red beans due to them being Listeria producers....judge for  yourself.  After having Celiac disease my whole life and my intestines being riddled with little punctures I tend to take food poisoning very seriously.  I get food poisoning about twice a year even after giving up all grains and taking probiotics.) I personally have decided to consume chick peas or white beans once a day.

Now the thing about fiber is that your body deposits excess estrogen and cortisol in your digestive track.  A great way to get rid of that excess nastiness is to eat extra fiber to sweep it all away.  Fiber even helps sweep out extra calories from your diet.  So, I am upping my fiber.  A great book about this topic is "Fiber 35" by Brenda Watson.  And, I am trying out the Fiber 35 protein shake as a way to both diet and increase my fiber.  I will review it after I have had it for a few days.

So, that is where I am at this week.  Hope you are doing well.

Friday, May 27, 2011


It has been suggested to me that a big part of my weight loss problem is the amount of cortisol my body is producing.  I have spent the week researching how to naturally combat this issue.  Here is what I found.

The first thing that is suggested to combat your body's production of cortisol is Yoga and meditation.  Yuck!!!!  I hate both of those things but, ok,  I will give it a try.  I went out and bought a Yoga tape and I am trying to take time daily for prayer/meditation.  I am also trying to work on my kata by using it as a chi/ki building exercise.  Much like when one does Tai Chi.

There are also foods that seem to naturally combat this issue: 
  • Black tea
  • Omega-3 fatty acid foods include salmon, halibut, tuna, walnuts and soybeans
  • Dark chocolate
  • Yogurt and Ricotta cheese
  • White beans
  • Citrus Fruits
 Here are some helpful links where you can research this on your own:

Now, here is a food list I can get behind!  So, I am going to attempt to incorporate these foods into more of my meals.

There are also supplements that can help resolve this issue.  Dr. Braverman in his book, "The Younger, Thinner, You Diet"  suggests that high cortisol is the result of a dopamine deficiency in the brain.  He lists several supplements that you can purchase over the counter in order to improve this situation.  Due to it being a medical issue, I will not be listing the supplements.  But, I do highly suggest his book. It is a great reference tool.

So, that is what I am working on this week.  I hope this helps you and helps me lose some weight.  Good luck.

Monday, May 23, 2011

First Non-Scale Victory

At Weight Watchers they have something called "Non-Scale Victories".  I think the name pretty much explains it all.  It is hard to just depend on just the scale to measure success.  And, lately the number on my scale has stalled out a bit but I am noticing that my clothing is starting feel a bit big on me.  I seem to go through a weight loss cycle that goes like this:  lose some weight, then my weight stalls out, I lose some inches, and then the weight starts to go down again.

Well, here is a big non-scale victory for me.  I bought this t-shirt a year and a half ago from my karate school.  I used to go in for one class a week called "soft style" (Tai Chi and meditation).  The t-shirt is a 3X.  I was embarrassed to order that size and even more embarrassed when it came in and was too small for me.  That is when I stopped going to "soft style" class.

Today, I was changing out winter to summer clothes and found this shirt in my drawer.  I had forgotten about it.  OK, maybe I purposely blocked out the memory of a 3X t-shirt being too small for me.  Fortunately, since buying the shirt I have lost about 20lbs. 

Now I know I still look like I have a huge spare tire around my middle and I've lost track of how many chins I have but IT FITS!!!!  And, today, that is enough for me!!!  Maybe I will start back to "soft style" class now that I have a shirt to wear?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

weigh in

Weigh in results for this weekend are 302.6lbs.

Decided to up my walking this morning in hopes that it will push my weight under that 300lbs mark.....it resulted in an asthma attack in the middle of the park.  This is how it always works for me.  I try harder and my body rebels.  Oh well.  I will have to find a way to work around this by exercising in the air conditioning this week.

Hope you all have a great week!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Don't worry, be happy, lose weight

I come from a long line of worriers.  Anxiety, worry, and panic could easily be names of my family members.  I don't  know if it is learned behavior or if it is in our DNA, but constantly being stressed out is a normal way of being for me and everyone in my family.
I am not proud of this fact but it has been positively reinforced most of my life.  If I was stressed out my parents felt that I was working hard enough at school and they would tell me how proud of me they were.  My college professors loved me for it.  They always commented on how  hard working and conscientious I was due to my stressed out behavior.  And, I always excelled at my jobs due to the same thing.  I learned the lesson well that the more you worried and stressed out the more people somehow respected me for being hard working.  I know this sounds odd but it is true.  Even now my neighbors all have me house, pet, and baby sit for them because they say I take better care of their homes, pets, and children then they do.  Again, this must be due to how stressed out I act at times.

The problem with all this stressed out behavior is that cortisol and adrenaline comes with it.  These two hormones really work against weight loss.  So, my  stressed out default behavior is ruining my weight loss efforts.  Over the last few weeks I have done some experiments.  The days that I have decided not to care about what I eat as long as I only eat when hungry and stop when full have been the days I have lost weight.  That is as long as I felt relaxed that day.  It has always resulted in a 2-3 pound weight loss the next day.  If , on the other hand, I ate and felt stress or anxiety the scale immediately went up.  So, it is now clear to me that it is finally time for  me to give up my stress habit.

This is not easy for me but I am instituting some new habits to counteract the cortisol and adrenaline.  Exercise is great for all of that.  Yoga, walking, and even kata really help fight anxiety.  I am also taking a few deep breathing breaks every day.  I go to my bedroom, relax, and listen to relaxation CD's.  I am particularly in love with the CD's that come from a company called Lifescapes.  They seem to really help.

So, if you are having problems getting  your weight off give relaxing a try and see how it goes.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Very excited to report that as of this morning my weight is back to the exact number it was before my lost weekend. 
I am going to write more on this later but here is something to think about.....I haven't been trying.  I have been modest about what I am eating but not thinking about it or stressing.  I haven't been exercising either due to feeling very sick over the last two days.  So basically I have been a big blob on a sofa not trying to lose weight and still I lost weight.  Hmnn......there is a definite lesson in there for me.  I think the key is stress.
Check back later for more.....

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Laila Ali and other things

I really like Laila Ali.  I have seen her in interviews and she is definitely a woman who can hold her own.  She is smart and could easily kick your butt.  Today she announced on facebook that she is going to be holding an eight week  weight loss/get in shape competition on facebook and her website.  It starts next Monday, May 23.  I am thinking of joining it.  If you are interested, here is a link to all of the information

Let me know if you are going to do it.

I also wanted to tell all of you of a great group on facebook.  It is called "Steps to Good Health" (if you type that into the FB search engine it will come up for  you). It is mostly a local group here to Philly but anyone is welcome to join in.  It is all about supporting you to get to your weight loss goals.  I find the people there very helpful and very supportive.  Let me know what you think about the group if you join.

My weight is quickly going down now that I am back on track from the weekend but I will hold off posting my weight until Sunday.  In the meantime, hope that you are having a great day!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Special shout out

Special shout out to all my friends at the DIS forum but especially Rubato/Tandy!  Thanks for taking time out of your day to read this blog.  I can't tell you how much your support means to me.  Thanks everyone!!

Bad weekend

This weekend we had a family event at our house.  So, I got in all of the food that normal people love.  Because I haven't allowed myself to eat anything "fun" for over a month I kinda over did it this weekend.  I ate a lot of processed foods and some foods with grains in them (gluten free but still grains).  The result is that I feel awful today.  And, my weight is not so great. 

I will be spending the rest of the week trying to purge myself of the junk food.  I do this by protein loading, dropping my carbs, and drinking a lot of green tea.  Not sure if it is psychological but green tea seems to make me feel better.  I feel angry at myself but the lesson learned from this is that you have to allow yourself some healthy treats along the way.  If not, I will not handle things well when you have an opportunity to indulge.

Friday, May 13, 2011

problems with blogger

Blogger was down for the last day and when it came back it deleted my last post.  Mental note to self-back up everything I write.

Since I don't have a copy of my last blog I will give you a very quick recap.  Basically my weight went to 302lbs and has stayed there for a few days.  I have been eating very clean and I dropped my calories down to 1400 (weight watchers had me on 2200 and I had previously been on 1800) but nothing came of that calorie drop.

So today once again my weight was exactly the same. I have been doing some very seriously thinking about this whole situation.  I have lowered my calories, not eaten anything after 5p.m., drank copious amounts of water, severely limited my carbs, etc.  The only thing that seems to make a difference is my stress level.  My weight released earlier in the week when I relaxed.  Then I started weighing myself constantly because I was so close to breaking that 300lbs mark. 

My weight is really causing me to feel intense and constant stress.  Basically every minute of every day I find myself thinking about it.  I feel like I have so much to prove to people. I know the perception most people have of  the obese is that they eat like pigs and never get off of the couch.   I feel like I have to prove that I am not secretly over eating and that is why I can't get the weight off.  I feel like I have to prove myself to my karate instructor so I can get back to the dojo.  I  have so much to prove and I am failing.

It got to the point  yesterday where  I actually felt a little weak from not eating.  It reminded me of watching my mom pass out from starving herself when I was a kid.  I spent a lot of time in the emergency room of the local hospital due to my mom starving herself and messing up her heart.  When my behavior is reminding me of that, then it is time for me to say enough. 

So from now on things are going to change.  First of all, I am going to only weigh myself once a week.  That day will be Sunday.  I will let you know what that number is on Sundays. 

Secondly, I have to focus on exercise more than food.  When you focus on being athletic it usually makes you want to eat right .  So many of my posts from now on will be about what exercised I accomplished and not what I ate.

That is the best I can do for myself right now.  If you have any ideas please let  me know!

Thursday, May 12, 2011


In the Paleo world of nutrition, bacon is kinda a food group unto itself.  Everyone has bacon for breakfast and saves the grease to cook their other foods in it.  Well, I did a little experiment yesterday.  I allowed myself to have two strips of  bacon and then cooked my eggs in the grease.  The outcome was two fold.

First, I got sick as a dog.  Even though I buy a great local brand, Leidy's,  that is low on preservatives and other chemicals it is still chuck full of nitrates.  My body hates nitrates.  I was sick most of the morning from it.  So just to be certain, I ate it again this morning and got ill again (yes, sometimes I am jerk).

Secondly, my weight went up by one pound.  Today I am 302lbs.  Not a big deal.  It is still going down so I am not too concerned.

What this little experiment has taught me is that I hate bacon (as well as most other pork products).  Even if something is "Paleo", if it is chuck full of nitrates, don't eat it.  I don't drink boxed wine for the same reason.  Not worth the toll it takes on my body.

It also reminded me of what I learned from the author of "The Perfect Health Diet", Paul Jaminet.  He advised me that I should eat a modified Paleo (protein, whole foods, limited fats and carbs) to lose weight (please see the link to the left labeled "my eating program" for details).  That really does seem to work for me.  It is just so hard to get all of the ratios right.  While bacon and bacon fat absolutely do not agree with me, butter and coconut oil really do.  I can eat quite a bit of butter and coconut oil and still lose weight.  It is all very confusing but the bottom line it you have to experiment and see what works for you.

So that is where I am at today. Bottom line-think for yourself!  Do what works for you!  If bacon makes you sick, don't eat it (that was written more for me than for you-ha,ha).  Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What did I learn from Weight Watchers?

As I sit here and reflect on my Weight Watchers (WW) experience it is dawning on me that I learned two really valuable lessons.

The first is that you really can't try to lose weight when you don't buy into the program you are using.  I have some really specific food issues (no gluten, no grains, limited dairy) and that program didn't really conform to my needs.  Not a big surprise but I have to stop trying to fit myself into a mold that just doesn't fit me.  Nothing against WW but it just isn't for me.

Secondly, you need to listen to your body.  Not listening to it is what got me here in the first place.  Just because your "program" says that you have extra calories or points to use it doesn't mean you should eat -especially if you really are not hungry.  My preferred way of eating is nutrient and calorie dense.   Therefore I don't need a lot of food to be satisfied and no longer hungry.  I have been in that bad habit of eating too much so it is time to break the habit and scale back my portions.

I really feel like I have had an "ah-ha" moment. Yesterday I ate exactly what I wanted.  I didn't stress about food or how much to eat.  I had small portions of everything and felt very contented.  I can count calories/points or whatever else you have, but till I really listen to my hunger levels weight loss is going to be an impossible task.

This reminds me of something that I read yesterday.  Mark Sisson wrote it in regards to experiencing a weight loss plateau on his "Primal Blue Print" program:

"Side Note: The Primal Eating Plan is meant to be intuitive and easy. One of the great things about Primal eating is that you don’t have to count calories and track every bite of food you consume. This is why we only recommend the food diary as a temporary method to uncover any dietary indiscretions. Once you've honed in on and refined your behaviors we say ditch the journal and get on with eating Primal in a natural way that requires little to no effort"

It seems to me like I figured out why I have been struggling lately.  My portions were out of control.  Since I have really been working on not eating emotionally, I am now starting to see that my portion sizes have been out of control as well.  I actually feel happy to let go of all of that food.  Imagine that?!


I decided to try an experiment yesterday.  I ditched WW for the day and returned to my beloved Primal Blueprint Diet.  My weight loss had completely stalled on WW and I was craving protein like mad.  Yes, WW has changed now and is more protein focused but something about it just isn't working for me.
I ended up eating a lot more protein yesterday but I also ended up eating less in general.  Maybe it is just a big mind game for me but I felt more relaxed.  It was a lot easier to tell if I was really hungry or just eating because I could.  A lot of times I was eating my points and not that hungry but eating points because I had them.
When I got up this morning my weight was 302lbs.  Two pounds down in one day. 
I started making a list as to how my eating habits had changed since I started WW.
  • Started eating less protein
  • Started eating more grains, even though it was just white rice (better for intestinal health than brown rice) I had gotten up to about 3 servings per day.
  • More milk products.  I have a slight intolerance to milk products and therefore really need to limit that to no more than milk in my tea in the morning.
  • Less good fats
  • More carbs overall.
So, it makes sense to me now why my weight loss had stalled out. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Something interesting to read

Mark Sisson who created "The Primal Blue Print Diet" and the blog "Mark's Daily Apple"  posted a great blog that I would share with you all about hitting a weight loss plateau.

I am still really debating going back to my Paleo diet (primal blue print) and count calories.  But, still debating it.....


Absolutely frustrated today.  My weight is going no where fast.  I am religiously tracking my points.  I am walking 2 miles a day using Leslie Sansone DVD's.  Plus, we are walking our dogs and doing anything else I can think of.  But, my weight will not budge.
I just want to pull my hair out.
And, I am really thinking of just going back to calorie counting.  Why pay fourteen dollars a week for something that isn't working.
I have a lot to think about.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's day to everyone out there.
I have been quiet since my last weigh in because I am desperately trying to get past the 300lbs mark.  My weight keeps going up and down.  One day I will be down 3lbs and the next day it goes right back up.  Very frustrating.
I almost think it is a mental thing.  Like maybe in my mind I have set it up as an impossible goal. But, that is really silly.  It is just another step in a long, long journey I have to travel.

Hopefully on Wednesday I will be able to give a good report.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

5/4/11-First weigh in

I am 5lbs. down today.  I am now 304lbs.
At first I was disapointed that I was only 5 lbs. down but I have decided that I am thrilled with that amount.  It is nice to take a moment to be happy about that but now it is time to keep moving forward.
Thanks to all the the wonderful people on the DIS forum to all of their help!!! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Tomorrow is my first weigh in.  I am nervous and at the same time realize there is no need to be.  I have worked hard this week getting to know the program.  I have eaten within my points all week while still eating what is basically a paleo program. 

I have been weighing myself on my home scale and the number has steadily gone down daily.  So it is all good.  I will definitely post the number after tomorrow's WW meeting.

My goal for next week will be to get more exercise in.  The Pin Oaks are blooming in my neighborhood and I am severely allergic to them.  Literally every house in this development has one in the front yard.  My allergist has me on 2 different meds for this month and has warned me not to exercise until pollen counts go down.  I only have asthma only during the month the Pin Oak are blooming.  Never had it until I moved into this neighborhood and hope it will go away once we again move.  So, exercise has been hard for me this last week.  Only been doing it in 15-20 minute increments. 

I want to re-start the "Evil Russian Push-Up Program" and do more kata.  Exercise has to be the focus and not just counting points.  I think exercise adds to your life and counting points feels like something is being taken away.  I would rather focus on the positive!

Hope you are all having a great week!!! 

Monday, May 2, 2011

For the long haul

This weekend was one where reality set in for me.  When starting a diet/weight loss program you start off really excited and happy to get the weight off.  At some point the reality of what you are trying to do hits you. 
-How much weight you are trying to get off hits you.
-How long this is going to take hits  you. 
-How much less of your favorite foods you are going to be eating.  For example, now a quarter cup of M&M's is now the same amount of points as a steak. Wow.  I guess chocolate is out for a while.....

Yeah, all of that hit me this weekend.

Thankfully, I did not stop trying.  I felt good about how I fought the mental battle this weekend.  But, I do have to figure out how to get my head around everything.

What is making the difference for me this time is the amount of support I am finally getting from the people around me.  I just wanted to take a moment to thank my husband for really cheering me on this weekend.  Living with someone who is really committed to being supportive makes a world of difference.

 Also, the other person who is quietly but actively supporting me is my karate Sensei.  Thanks Sensei.  I really appreciate you reading this blog.  Since I met you all I wanted was to be a black belt.  To follow in your foot steps.  Seeing that I have your support is really a big deal to me.  Thanks!

And, all of the kind people who take the time to read this blog-THANK YOU!    You are all really helping me to keep going.  I know you are busy people with a million other things you have to do all day so that you take the time to come here means so much to me!!!

Good luck to all of you.  Hopefully we can get to our goals together.  And, please if you are needing some support feel free to leave a message and I will get back to you!!