Friday, February 27, 2015

Diet Hardball and Happy Hiking

During the past few days I have slowly gotten my groove back.  I am in the process of getting back into ketosis, and getting my workouts in.  I'm trying to approach this with a spirit of enthusiasm.

There have been a number of positive influences on me in the past week.  A number of my blogger friends have posted about food addiction and eating.  Here is a great post by my friend Wendy at Fitter At Fourtyish "A New Dietary Paradigm", and one from Gwen at The Sunny Coconut "My Observations on Deprivation in Maintenance." 

Wendy reported on a recent Low Carb/High Fat Summit held in Cape Town, South Africa this week.  Scientists and physicians from all over the world met to discuss their new findings and issue a call for further research on a LCHF diet to treat obesity.  Yes!  I think the research is starting to trickle in and it looks promising.  It is a nice read if you get the chance.

Gwen took the time to address the reality that for some, moderation just isn't going to work.  For many of us, myself included, we just can't eat certain foods that are triggers for our food addiction.  This is something that I've been giving serious self-reflection time to.  I know in my heart, at this time, that there are certain foods that trigger a flood of overeating.  Foods that I keep going back to.  I liked Gwen's "put your big kid pants on" approach to making food choices.  Ultimately we are all responsible for making the choices that we we know to be the most healthy for us.  Sometimes those choices are hard, but that's life.

I gave some thought to both of those issues.  I know that by and large, I need to decrease my carbs.  Bread, peanut butter and cereal are trigger foods for me.  I want them, and when I eat them, I can't stop myself.  It is a scientific fact that carbs, especially refined carbs, cause insulin spikes that lead to weight gain.  Barbara Berkeley, in her book "Refuse to Regain"  saw this time and again with her formerly obese patients.  A body that has lost lots of weight wants to regain that weight and is very receptive to insulin spikes.  So I have to put my big girl pants on, and if I love living a healthy, active, slim life, I need to abstain from certain foods. It is what it is, even though I might go through times trying to justify "trying moderation".  Nope, I can't do that, and really, it's not the end of the world.  It's not like I won't find other wonderful foods to enjoy in my life.  As many have said, the longer you live without something, the less you want it.  I look forward to feeling that way, but I'm in the withdrawal phase right now.  Another great blogger who has a steel spine when it comes to abstinence is Karen at Garden Girl.  She just finished two interesting posts on food addiction.  You should take a peek at her story if you need to bolster your resolve.

Sometimes when I'm feeling low and out of control with regard to my diet, I watch "My 600 Pound Life."  This week I watched an episode (while jogging in place to get some exercise - LOL), and watched in admiration when someone with unimaginable obstacles managed to own up to the fact that they are going to have strong cravings for foods, but they just won't be able to eat them anymore.  Some of the people featured on that show achieve, in my mind, miraculous life changes - not just physical, but emotional.

Sometime though, there are people who have such deeply entrenched denial that they have convinced themselves that they aren't overeating, and are surprised at why they can't lose weight.  I recognize that behavior in me sometimes.  Since I began this journey, I have been better able to call myself on that bullshit.  It's a hopeful sign when I can own up to my behavioral resistance, and forgive and move on in a more positive but firm mindset. In the past, I'd spend far too much time feeling shame, and getting stuck in those behaviors.

So those are my ramblings about my diet these days.  You are a saint for reading this far.

Now on to exercise.

I am blessed to live in a mild climate, so while much of the country is socked in with snow, I've been able to exercise outside.  I've had several lovely hikes that really blew me away.  They were TOUGH, but totally worth it.  My hiking buddy, Mary and I try and hit a trail each week.  Here are some photos from two wonderful hikes.

On the way up to the top of Mt. Woodson and Potato Chip Rock.   Steep, straight-up hike that was about 4 miles round trip (due to parking farther away).  But beautiful and totally worth it!

I collect heart-shaped rocks, and found this on the trail.  The pic was taken at the top of Iron Mountain.  A six mile hike with beautiful terrain, wildflowers and vistas.  A great workout, too. 
I've also been strength training and challenging myself on the treadmill at the gym.  I am finally able to run 2 miles without walking.  Yay for progress!  Thank God for kick-ass music lists that literally carry me on my walking/running workouts, and make me feel like some kind of athletic goddess in my own mind.  I love it!

That's all for me.  I'm still in the game and I'll keep you posted about my journey into ketosis.  I'll post my weight next time -- I'm up about 5 pounds, unfortunately.  


Gwen said...

awww, thanks SO much for the shout out! I can't wait to see you find the joys that come from abstaining from trigger foods. :)

happyinca said...

Thanks Gwen! I'm bolstered and doing fine. Just read your post from yesterday. Very interesting discussions in the comments! When I do very low carb, I always get a strange empty feeling in my stomach. I think it's the body adjusting to the lack of carbs. I've never done a zero carb day, but when I've lowered my carbs significantly, I've felt this way. Anyhoo, sounds like you're doing just find with your veggies, and we really can't deny that they do have nutritional value, and personally, I think there is much to be discovered about the nutritional and medicinal qualities of plants.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout-out to me, too! That means a lot, that my post spoke to you.

Your post speaks to me, and I don't just mean the INSANE JEALOUSY I feel at your hikes! LOL.

Gwen and Karen are both great about addressing food addiction. I want people to talk about this more. For me, I am starting to feel my alcohol is an addiction. Not at the life-destroying level, but still.

I watch My 600 Lb Life too. Their stories help put our own struggle in perspective, no? And yes, the denial is heartbreaking, and also a good reminder.

Running for 2 miles straight - again, straight up jealousy. You must be so proud of yourself! I would be!

happyinca said...

Thanks Wendy! I hope that wherever you are, Spring starts arriving soon. I have to watch alcohol as well. It tends to be a diet buster for me, so I'm trying to only drink once a week - red wine, because I like it. But I recognize that it is easy to slip into daily drinking. I've gone through periods of that. Being on this weight loss journey sure has make me think about drinking in a new way - not just the calories of the beverage, but the eating that often occurs with it - so I think that has helped.

Anonymous said...

Oh, another question - How do you measure your ketosis - with a blood drop meter, or strips, or a more organic "test" like breath or something?
How long does it take you to get in ketosis? I'm thinking abot trying it periodically.
Maybe the answers to my questions are in-depth enough for a post -? Or maybe you already have a post on this? TIA! Have a great day!

happyinca said...

Hi Wendy, the urine ketosis test strips have never worked for me, so i just follow a low carb diet and when I pee a lot, I know that I'm there. I also get a metallic taste in my mouth sometimes.