Thursday, February 25, 2010

Miracle Weight Loss Cult

In a waiting room in a hospital I struck up a conversation with a big man who felt the need to tell me that he was going to have gastric bypass surgery. He was there waiting for news of a family member who was only 54 and had suffered a heart attack. He told me that many of his family died young because they were so overweight and that he didn't want to die young too. He said he had lost 150 pounds twice and twice gained it back and now he felt there was no other solution.

It was his enthusiasm that triggered this new observation on my part. He was so enthusiastic, like he found a panacea, a cure, a miracle cure and I suddenly felt really badly for him. I took it upon myself to tell him what I thought and I guess I kind of burst his bubble, but I believe I gave him the best advice he will ever have.

He never took into consideration that his cravings and obsession with overeating and eating horribly wrong food would not end because he had surgically shrunk his stomach. He really didn't want to face all the info out there about what people have gone through gaining their weight back after the surgery. He really didn't think about the restrictive diet he would have to be on either. This was the best advice he will ever have, that he needs to be sure he really faces that he will have to eat properly after the operation and make sure that he is positive that he can do it otherwise he is going into this half blind to the facts. I asked him what made him think that if he lost all the weight he wouldn't go back like he did twice before. He admitted that he didn't want to think about it, that he just wanted to lose weight.

Now this was my observation: It was his enthusiasm, it was just like all the enthusiasm I have seen with others and felt myself throughout my life everytime a new pill or new miracle diet plan comes out. It is not just enthusiasm it is like a trance, it is a self-brainwashing. We belong to a self made cult!!! It is the Miracle Weight Loss Cult. We want to believe in a miracle cure so badly that when some Marketer comes along with a "diet"we just automatically turn off all our reasoning and blindly go forth following our new Saviour!

My conclusion: Never forget that losing weight requires a whole lifestyle change, not just a "diet". What is the point of starving yourself or eating packaged food if you can't do it for the rest of your life? What is the point of getting a gastric bypass (the sure fire way to lose weight) if you don't change your eating habits. Get out of the Weight Loss Cult, there is NO miracle... there is only YOU changing yourself for life and make it a change that makes you happy, that is do-able for life!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs

After YEARS of studying the subject regarding the balance of carbohydrates, fats & proteins in our bodies I've concluded that how our physical chemistry turns food into energy is very complicated but the way we should eat is very simple. According to all the info out there we need a substantial amount of carbs daily and we've heard repeatedly that there are good carbs and bad carbs.

The simplest way to understand this good carb vs bad carb is to fully understand that the longer it takes for our bodies to convert carbohydrates to sugar/glycogen the better.

Processed food like white sugar or white flour converts much faster than a whole grain or whole fruit and vegetables. The reason is that the whole grain is complex and the body takes much longer to digest it and break it down. I know that it's elementary, but here is one step further in the process:

Insulin: In the most simplest explanation, Insulin is a BRILLIANT GENIUS hormone that reacts to our blood glucose/sugar and then it knows what to do with it. Insulin is secreted/made when it receives this blood sugar then its function is primarily to send it to the liver to be stored as glycogen(similar to alcohol)..too much insulin (from too much blood sugar) and the liver then stores it as fat! That is the reason that sugar causes obesity when it's so low calorie per tsp.

The release of Insulin should be nice and slow and in the Complex unrefined unprocessed carbohydrates allow for this to happen. Too much sugar in the blood in ANY form can cause the production of too much insulin which the liver will then store it as FAT or lipids. Lipids are also the fat that over time can clog your arteries. So even too high of GOOD carbs can be bad for people if they have too much other sugars charging their blood stream creating insulin.

Diabetes is when this Insulin hormone is out of whack either because of hereditary(most likely) or something else. I bet it makes sense now that when a Diabetic changes their sugary/bad carb intake they lose weight even if they don't decrease their calorie intake.
And one more thing...Insulin is so important for so many functions including our brains that it is so wise to look after it by feeding it good healthy whole grains and avoiding all processed food.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if you found out that you could lose weight, feel great and not be hungry simply by being considerate of your Insulin Hormone and eating only NON processed food. Your liver will love you too, it really hates being force fed all this sugar and constantly storing it as fat.

So much happiness by just giving up BAD CARBS.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Posting about my weight loss experience

The "Lights" go ON!

I always had a weight problem but kept in total control by never eating white flour or sugar and ate only healthy natural fats. Around the age of 45 I started to go off my way of eating just a teeny wee bit here and there...a little sugar, a little flour, a little butter...and I knew I gained...but only 5 pounds that year. Within in a few years I saw that I was gaining at a rate of about 5-6 lbs a year. I went into DENIAL and stopped getting on the scale.

I knew I had ballooned way beyond any weight I had ever been. By now I had stopped weighing myself for years...the truth would have been too much to bear, besides I was really trying to lose and couldn't imagine that I wasn't losing and it had to be impossible that I was still gaining.

It had to be impossible because I hardly ate! Well, what I mean is I could go for 2 or 3 days eating very little so that I could have that BIG MEAL without worrying about gaining. Eventually I would eat very little during the day so that I could have that BIG dinner with my husband. Because I ate so little, I knew I could add on that extra butter in the mashed potatoes, fry the fish in lots of oil and no problem with all that salad dressing, butter in the peas and on fresh crusty bread and of course my icecream for dessert was SUGAR FREE so that meant I could eat some YUMMM chocolate. Potato chips as an evening snack, were ok, cause I knew I would hardly eat "tomorrow". (did I mention the second helpings?)

I had no idea who that woman was in the mirrors or in the reflection in store windows. Whenever there was a photograph of me I had to believe it was the angle of the shot that made me look 3times bigger than anyone else...I had to believe it.

In retrospect, was I depressed? Was I under extreme stress? Answer YES, but today...the root of my sadness still exists and the cause of my extreme stress has never been resolved. The truth is: only when I had momentary sanity about how big I was did I have any real hugely deep emotional distress!!! If I was an emotional eater it was mostly because I was in HELL about gaining so much weight.

I often asked for thyroid tests. Both parents needed thyroid meds and it was just a matter of time that I needed them, I was sure! I read every word on Thyroid symptoms..each word was ME, but tests always came back that I was within normal range. My blood sugar was normal, my Cholesterol WHY WASN'T I NORMAL!

The worst was I became so tired, could hardly move, seriously...could hardly move! A friend told me about a Naturopathic Doctor who (get this) worked 3 blocks away from my home and I made an appt. I was looking for the blood work to tell me why I was so big...and why I was so tired. This is the honest truth...I stood on the Dr.'s scale backwards so that I wouldn't know how much I weighed. How's that for DENIAL?

After much blood work she put me on a Thyroid Support, my thyroid was in HIGH normal range and there is proof that high normal can be too high for some people. I did not get Thyroid Replacement meds because I just do not need them! Period! Thyroid support is just some herbs that help feed the thyroid to do it's job.

OK, here is what the Dr. did do! (By the way she is a young magnificent beauty who is Tops in her field-I do have THAT kind of luck) The Dr. made me write out everything I ate for 7 days...that is when she said I wasn't eating enough and the blood tests showed that I was in starvation mode. When you are in starvation mode you do not automatically convert to burning mode when you eat! You are still in starvation mode which means that your body is going to STORE whatever you eat for when it will be in starvation mode again. It stores it as FAT.

OK- she got me off all processed food. Had me on a food plan that made me eat 3 meals a day with real food snacks between meals. The bulk of my meals became fresh vegetables. She still reminds me how I was positive I would gain eating so much and argued with her. By the way I asked her to let me know when I lost 20lbs then I would look at the scale. When I did, I WAS SHOCKED. I had obviously gained almost 80 lbs over the years since I was 45.

I don't expect to weigh what I did in my 20's to 40's, I'm 5'9 and was model thin at that time. Now my skin is getting pretty wrinkly and so I will be happy to be heavier by 15 lbs.

I've lost about 55lbs at this point in time by EATING. ( I don't do enough exercise, but am trying)

The light is "ON" that I am the type that must always beware of Food Land Mines..some people can eat a piece of cake, I am taking my life into my hands if I even have a taste! I can not let my Emotional Attachment to food to ruin my hopes for myself and there is no question whatsoever it has total potential to be the start of my road to ruin.

If I have proven anything at all to myself it's that a person can lose weight at any any size...but..they first must once and for all change their ways. No it's not the hard part! The hard part is not giving up. The hard part is really facing that deep emotional depression that comes with being powerless over food, the hard part becomes so easy(for the most part) when you start to lose by eating right!!!

I am an advocate for not eating processed food, for not eating at night and for planning, counting calories by weighing and measuring. It may not be the way you want to lose, or the way you have lost...but if you are like ME, it is the only way!

Fast forward to today...I am not perfect, I have my screw-ups but I am so HAPPY! As long as I don't let myself get too hungry I can make the right choices. And I eat a LOT, all day!