Sunday, May 18, 2014

Weekend Readings and Links

Well, thankfully the fires have been conquered!

In between loads of laundry and schlepping kids to and fro, I've had the chance to do some fun reading on diet and fitness this weekend.  It seems that everyone has an opinion on how to measure healthiness and what to eat to maintain optimal weight and health.  These are two subjects that are on my mind right now, and that I'm exploring.

The first subject is the reliability of the BMI (Body Mass Index).  For me, it's the scary, judgmental measure of "ideal body weight" a person needs to maintain to be healthy.  I started my journey in the terrifying "morbidly obese" range.  But this well-used measure is controversial.  When you look at the population as a whole, studies have shown this old measure to be a statistically reliable predictor of the relationship between body weight and health risks.  However, when applied to individuals, it doesn't work quite as well.  If you are athletic, have large or dense bones, or are muscular - you may be perfectly thin and healthy while at a higher weight and BMI.  This may cause undue stress or financial penalties (in the case of insurance).    Here is a great little OpEd article, The Top 10 Reasons Why the BMI is Bogus, that explains this well.  I enjoyed reading the comments section even more.

I started reading about the BMI while thinking about my goal weight.  I haven't been anywhere near my normal BMI since I was in high school (30 years ago).  It's a foggy memory.  So when I listed my goal weight for Optifast, I aimed for the upper limit of "normal" on the BMI scale, because the lower level seemed like I would have been very very thin.  Reading MyFitnessPal posts and the like, I have noticed that many people struggle with the question of goal weight, and the answers and thoughts on the issue that resonated with me were of people who said that they let their clothing size and physical appearance decide for them.  That makes sense to me, so I'm keeping an open mind.

I've written a bunch about my explorations of the best way for me to eat to maintain my weight loss. My husband, sister and brother-in-law are all eating a low carb high fat diet for weight loss.  Hubby loves this, and based on what I see him eating, I'm thinking this is a contender for our new "lifestyle".  He has been very successful so far and I think his diet can be easily adjusted for maintenance.  I recently came across a blog that was really interesting.  It is written by a dietitian who also cites peer-reviewed journal articles at the end of her blog posts.  Here is the link to The Low Carb Dietitian.  Since she is a Registered Dietitian and a diabetes educator, I feel comfortable with her thoughts on eating based on recent medical studies.  The tide is always shifting when it comes to dietary conventional wisdom. Over my adult dieting years, many different "truths" have been shared, but yet they keep changing (especially the viewpoints on eggs, carbs and fat.)  If I were to listen to my body, I'd have to say that lower carb is probably better for me in the long run given my strong cravings.

I love getting the chance to read information on health.  This weight loss transformation is an amazing experience, and I'm highly motivated to keep myself here.  I can't even imagine myself at 140 lbs.  A few months ago, I would never have dreamed that I'd be able to lose this much weight and be able to function in long-term ketosis.  It has been a dream come true so far.  But keeping it off in the long run will require equal focus.  Optifastmom wrote a great post on this topic called Weekend Woes.  For many of us who work hard to lose significant amounts of weight, developing and sustaining a healthy Way of Eating (WOE) can certainly be a woe sometimes and will require lifelong vigilance.


Anonymous said...

Just read your post ... and then the last paragraph and then realized 'oh hey, that's me :)' Thanks for the link in your post. I'm happy to say this is the first weekend in ages that I weighed less at the end of than at the beginning. :) It's really good that you are looking into ways to maintain your weight loss. Don't be afraid to use meal replacements too, they are good low cal ways to get through tricky parts of your day sometimes. Keep up your blog too - it helps to keep you accountable.... You got this!

happyinca said...

Congrats on the awesome weekend, and thank for your suggestions about the meal replacements. It has been very helpful to read your blog and a couple of others who are now chronicling their weight maintenance. When I started this blog, I never dreamed that it would be so helpful, so I'm hoping to keep using it as a tool and a place to work things out! Have a great week!