breaking free from six decades of tyranny

Posts tagged ‘weight loss’

Worry-Free Holiday Eating

This is an epic holiday season for me. Epic.

For 60 years, I have dreaded the holiday season while salivating uncontrollably. MyBrattyTasteBuds would be screaming “Bring It On!” while my Brain was cowering in the corner of the kitchen in the fetal position, not an ounce of fight left in it.

My non-Paleo signature treat

My non-Paleo signature treat

My signature holiday goodie was a recipe a friend shared with me years ago that was actually on the back of a chocolate chip bag. Amazingly, no one in my circle of friends and family ever saw that recipe, so it gradually became Mine. If someone would have handed me a plate of these More Delicious Than Snickers bars and I ate one or two, Brain would have been OK. But BrattyTasteBuds would insist on making double recipes, cutting off the ragged sides to make perfect bars, and eating said ragged edges so thoroughly no one ever knew they existed. There are a lot of ragged sides on my double recipes.

Back to the Epic Nature of this holiday season. MyBrattyTasteBuds and my Brain are so very happy together now that there is no war. There are no little battles. There is true joy and peace in this household. There are some Paleo goodies around, and they are so satisfying that BrattyTasteBuds politely enjoy a reasonable amount, and then take a long nap. Brain is free to think about more important things than taming taste buds.

Paleo Treats

Paleo Treats made by my daughter. Full of healthy fats and protein!

It is the most amazing thing to be craving-free during the holiday season. It is the most amazing thing to be guilt-free at this time of the year. Amazing. And Epic.

(Recipes for Paleo Treats are easily found online!)

Summer Paleo Cobbler

Farmer’s Markets are the BEST! I scoped out the Boise (Idaho) Saturday Market this week with my daughter and two of her daughters. Three-generational outings make my heart smile!

Boise has a strong population of refugees. Many hard-working men, women and children lovingly nurture mini-farms as part of the Global Gardens program. We stopped at one of their stands and bought green beans and one bunch of a leafy African green (I can’t remember their name, but it started with an “m”. Let me know if YOU know what they are called and I’ll update this post.)

It was Berry Day at the Market. I picked up blackberries and boysenberries to share with my 92-year-old berry-lovin’ mother-in-law. (She loved them!)

In the evening I used them to make my No-Bake Paleo “Cobbler”.

Berry Cobbler

Coconut Milk, Agave Nectar, Go Raw Ginger Cookies

Making this Cobbler involves placing berries, coconut milk, cinnamon, and a squirt of agave nectar (depending on sweetness of berries) in a bowl, and crumbling the cookies on top. That’s it.

Summer Yummer, for sure!

Current Weight/Fitness Stats

Went to my dietician today. I’ve been going to her since Jan. 31, 2012.

First number is from that date. Second is from today.

Weight: 152 / 137 (lost 15 lbs.)

BMI: 26.7 / 24 (was overweight, now in normal range)

Body Fat Pct: 38.6 / 33.8 (was high, now normal for my age)

Skeletal/Muscle Pct: 26.4 / 28 (was mid-normal, now high normal)

Body Age: 60 / 53 (I’m getting younger! Calendar age is 60)

Visceral Fat Level: 8 / 7 (less than 9 is normal)

I’d like to elaborate a little on the Skeletal/Muscle Percentage. From the end of January until the first part of April, I went to the gym to do weight machines every other day or so. I was really focused on cardio, and was walk/jogging or using the elliptical machine for 45 minutes seven days a week. I would aim to burn about 350 or more calories through cardio. My skeletal/muscle percentage showed an average monthly gain of 0.2%.

I started Crossfit in early April, 2012 and my average monthly skeletal/muscle percentage growth doubled to 0.4%. Not surprising, but validating. I will emphasize here that I go to a well-run Crossfit gym that knows how to work with all ages and body types/needs. I am a Careful Crossfitter as well and am pushing myself *slowly* to get stronger.

I adopted *mostly* Paleo eating ideas right when I started going to my dietician. She is very open-minded and did not discourage me from Paleo. She asked me to watch calories, however and I’m glad I did. There are a LOT of calorie-dense Paleo foods that are exactly like non-Paleo treats in terms of Taste Bud trickers and can lead to overindulgence. My dietician sees these pitfalls in almost all eating plans. She worked with me to develop healthy attitudes about them and strategies for enjoying them without going over the top.

One of the best outcomes: I have more and more days of a tremendously content stomach/body connection. Truly, truly eating when hungry …. stopping when about 80% full … truly, truly feeling emotionally full as well as physically rejuvenated.

Not Food

Thanks to https://twitter.com/#!/balancedbites for the idea! Grocery shopping is so much easier on Paleo! All of the items listed in this ad are NOT FOOD in my world, and there is no need to think twice about any of them. All have been manufactured to one degree or another. Manufacturing might lower prices, but it also dramatically reduces health.

Grocery Ad

Resource for Stubborn Taste Buds

www.amazon.com

My daughter, who has been my role model for my journey this last year, recommended this book. So I just got the Kindle version, and now I can have everything at my fingertips.

This book has a great section on eating Paleo (which I’ve been *mostly* doing since January and dramatically reduced my LDL cholesterol) and a great section on the kinds of exercise I’ve been doing for 2 months (dramatically reducing the number of migraines I’ve had while increasing muscle tone, strength, flexibility). I don’t think the exercises are called Crossfit in the book, but the moves are the ones I do at my Crossfit gym.

It shows how to feed kids the Paleo way, and tells of how the author’s children benefitted (including some behavior improvements).

I am excited to try some new recipes!

Balancing the Guilt Factor

We are on a working vacation. So it’s not really a vacation. I’m away from my routine, my Vitamix, my Crossfit gym, and many of my go to foods. And currently watching slender Giada on the Today Show making sorbets and ice cream treats. Does she REALLY eat what she cooks? Unbelievable!

Last night after a day of running, walking, packing, cleaning and eating reasonably, we went to dinner. Here in California, every item on the menu lists its calories. So I chose well and had a great Paleo meal. But, hungry and tired, I gave into bread and wine.

Now that’s not a grave sin. But My Bratty Taste Buds are gloating a little. It feels like they won a little tug of war and I don’t like giving them even that at this point on my journey. If I had gone into the restaurant with a PLAN to have bread and wine, I’d be OK. But they snuck one in on me.

So I’m dealing with some guilt over this.

The Weight Watchers Years

If you want to see how something can grow and change over time, study Weight Watchers.

My first introduction was via a work friend’s roly-poly aunt. I was 18 and thinking I was plump. I worked at a typesetting job (sitting) for eight hours a day, with breaks to amble next door to the Jack in the Box [the original building that was indeed a box with a Jack coming out of the top]. After I started the Weight Watcher’s plan, I ordered my hamburger with mustard only and choked it down with a diet soda. Oh, and there was tuna salad with mustard only on cold lunch days. And, I believe, lots of carrots, celery and meat with no condiments, perhaps half-slices of bread, and very, very little fruit. I could be wrong about what the actual plan was, but that’s what I remember eating. I did not go to any meetings, and I dropped the (maybe) 15 pounds I wanted to lose pretty quickly. Whew! That was easy!

Fast forward to birth of first daughter. NOW I am not just thinking I am plump, I AM plump. Very plump. And I’m here to tell you that breastfeeding had the opposite effect on me than it apparently had on every other nursing mother I knew, read about, or imagined. I stayed plump. So when the baby was 15 months old [and well-weaned] I ambled back to Weight Watchers … but the right way: meetings, booklets, weigh-ins, pep talks, hints, sharing, cheering, food plans, can’t eats, must eats, should eats, food logs …

And I lost weight. And kept it off. Until daughter #2, when the whole thing repeated. Back to Weight Watchers and now there were Points, and a different food plan, with more can eats and a few less can’t eats, the same should eats, and a better organized exercise component. And I lost weight. And I kept it off.

Until son #1. A big strapping ninepoundfiveounce chunka boy that made me a chunka mom. I gave it the usual 15 months to see if the breastfeeding myth would reverse itself for me, sighed and headed back to WW [by now we were on nickname basis]. I already knew the drill: there would be new booklets, a new food plan, I’d have to relearn Points [got a special WW Points calculator this time], learn the new can eats, get out the food scale, weigh and measure, get weighed, get cheered on … and exercise.

Which I did. And I lost weight. And I kept it off. Until my final “baby”. I became a teacher. With three children at home, 25 more at school … and no time to weigh and measure and exercise.

I put on about 5 pounds per year while teaching. I taught for 22 years. If you do the math, you will see how I got to the very precipice of 200 pounds. H…E…double you know what … I WAS the freakin’ precipice!

Brats, behave!

It’s beeen said before. The older you get, the harder it is to lose weight, to get in shape. In my previous efforts to drop pounds, it was hard at first, but soon I’d get over a hump and it got easier. Not that way so much anymore.

Every ounce has been residing comfortably in my body for decades, aided and abetted by my bratty taste buds. Every ounce wants to stay, make no mistake about this. The longer I let them stay, the more stubborn they become.

There is some good news. I am making progress with my bratty taste buds, but the battles continue. Just as I tame the sugar-monsters, the salty-dogs rise up to cause trouble, sneaking in when I’m not looking. I don’t see them coming. Plus I tend to underestimate their power.

Bratty Taste Buds, give me a break here!

A little history …

My five pound, some-odd-ounce birth weight did not foreshadow a petite physique. My bratty taste buds started getting me in trouble early on. When I was seven, I got a little brother who needed to be fed. He was kind of like a doll who could sit up in his Baby Tenda and open his mouth for incoming baby food. Or not. If not, I’d eat the spoonful. Soon I could easily eat the jar of Fruit Dessert, sparing him a few slurps along the way. I was fired from feeding duty. No more Fruit Dessert for my bratty taste buds.

My bratty taste buds (MBTBs) started with small victories such as these, but quickly moved on. They demanded, cried, wrung their little tentacles and pitched fits. And I got sucked into their game … just fed ’em whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted it. The junior high school chefs made glorious deep fried cinnamon rolls the size of my head; eating one every morning after breakfast kept MBTBs smiling. After lunch, an individual pecan pie satisfied the brats. After school, I would get off the bus in front of the 7Eleven, head in and blow my allowance on convenience store cuisine; MBTBs wanted that haul before dinner.

My bratty taste buds were verrrry sly. I didn’t even know they were there. They just waited quietly in the wings like a predator waiting for prey: anything with sugar. And fat. And a little salt. Well, they didn’t always just wait. Sometimes they controlled me like a robot, sniffing out prey and moving me into range for the kill. There was no escaping MBTBs in a feeding frenzy. None.

But finally, the day came when the world discovered Twiggy and I discovered my bratty taste buds. I wasn’t exactly fat. But I had heft. Like a fool, I thought I could beat MBTBs into submission easily. Oh, I had no idea what I was in for!

Brattiness defined

Some people call some children brats. When they want their own way. When they think only of themselves. When they can’t listen to others. When they don’t give a dime about anyone else’s needs. Brats make life difficult, bump up a smooth road, throw gale force winds into a restful mood, irritate and anger friends and enemies alike. They must have control and they will get it through demands, manipulations, pity parties, tears, whining, screaming, tantrums, and at times even (gasp!) flattery!

My taste buds are brats.

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