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"Your RealAge is 38.6!" and the ugly fact about perception of obesity

Monday, November 23, 2009

DDOORN on here has an amusing tradition. Each year on his birthday he goes to realage.com to calculate how much YOUNGER he's getting, biologically, due to the improvements he's made in his health and fitness.
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2484941


This is a fun idea, and I've adopted it this year.

I went there and filled out the information for approximately what I did, ate, and weighed last year (around 330) and got the answer that I was 46.1 (3 years older than my calendar age). I can tell you, I FELT a lot older than that. I was already having trouble with my arthritic knee going up and down the stairs in my house and was starting to wonder how I was going to cope as I aged further.

Things happened (you can see my Spark Page for details) and I started losing weight again in early December. I had lost 40 lbs by the time I was introduced to SparkPeople in March.

Now, 160 lbs lighter than my maximum recorded weight and approximately 150 lbs lighter than last year, my supposed biological age is 38 and a half. It feels like less than that - I haven't felt this healthy or strong since I was in my 20s. Of course, I don't actually KNOW what it feels like to be biologically 38, because I was over 300 lbs for approximately the last 15 years...

Some other thoughts about the changes since my last birthday, some of which may be uncomfortable to read:

While talking with LAFAGG on the phone this morning we discussed how the world is different for me now. One of the things that came up is how it felt to be super morbidly obese and how people treat others who are obese.

I felt kind-of cushioned and "safe" in my "fat suit." My parents were very strict and physical disciplinarians. As a child I never considered myself to be "abused," as there was always a "reason" for hitting me - with the metal end of the belt, with a heavy hairbrush, etc.

One incident that sticks out in my mind is a day in third grade when I went to school in shorts and a classmate asked why there were giant, father-sized handprint-shaped welts on my thighs. I explained that I'd done something I wasn't supposed to the previous evening, and had been spanked. She was horrified and offered to tell her parents for me (her father was on the city council). I declined, and after that wore long pants to school. Looking back on it, this strikes me as the behavior of a child who might be experiencing a degree of physical abuse.

My mom wasn't the most nurturing person in the world, either. She was extremely tightly wound, insecure, and unhappy as a homemaker. Just about the only time I felt loved and accepted was when I was being fed. I came home for lunch in elementary school. She'd make me lunch and we'd watch Split Second and Password on TV, shouting suggestions to the contestants. I remember when I was 8 or so one of my favorite lunches was Kraft macaroni and cheese. I could have as much as I wanted. It was common for me to eat THE ENTIRE POT. I still love boxed macaroni and cheese, and for this reason studiously avoid it.

Don't get me wrong - you could do a lot worse for parents; they pushed me to excel in school, provided more than adequate food, shelter, and clothing, taught me how to read at 4, bought a 1972 World Book encyclopedia and put it in my bedroom, brought me on trips (Boston in 1970, San Diego in 1975, all around the US in 1976, England in 1977), taught me how to garden and fish, encouraged me in music and scouting, brought me camping every summer, etc. They were just from a different generation where kids were brought up strictly and a fat baby was a healthy baby (he was born in 1910; she, in 1921).

Anyhow, the result was that I associated food (quantity rather than quality) with emotional comfort and felt the need to protect myself physically from the world.

Fast forward to a year ago. Although I was physically uncomfortable, the fat suit made me feel safe. There was a physical buffer between myself and the rest of the world. And it also helped keep away people who didn't genuinely like me for my mind and my personality.

What I didn't factor in is that the fat suit also attracted people who saw me (rightfully) as emotionally vulnerable and used that information to get things from me by stroking my ego. I didn't factor in the fact that the fat suit, while acting as a physical buffer, also weighed me down and made me slower and weaker physically.

And here's the part that may be uncomfortable to read. Wearing a fat suit was blatant advertising that something was wrong with me, mentally and/or emotionally. It's not just that it made me physically less able. It broadcast to the world that I had serious problems that were interfering with taking care of myself.

I am not talking about the fat that constitutes "overweight," or even necessarily "obese." These conditions are the new "normal" in the US, and can sometimes be caused by medical problems. But when you get into "morbid obesity" and "super morbid obesity" (which is where I was a year ago), it's like wearing a big sign that says "I'm a mess. I may be high-functioning and in denial about it, but scratch below that veneer, and you'll find a messy unresolved issue."

This is the ugly fact that Lisa pointed out, and I have to say I agree with her. No wonder people often give other Very Large People a wide berth. It isn't necessarily right or fair or kind, but it does make sense.

150 lbs of fat less, and "8" biological years younger, where does that leave me now? I still have a bunch of the issues that I had a year ago. With years of counseling and drugs they haven't disappeared; losing over 100 lbs isn't going to make them go away fast, either. But at least I'm no longer advertising them to the world or letting them get in the way of taking care of myself physically. And that's something.

If I have to be vulnerable (and it seems that I do, since that's basically the human condition) I can at least be in good physical shape to face it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALYFITN 12/6/2009 10:58AM

    Man, youíve come a long way. I saw you on youtube before I found SP and was inspired. Itís really something to run across you again here and read such insightful and helpful posts. You are a spark!!

Parents are rarely all good or bad. I pray I do a good job by my kids. The most important role in my life is mother. My eating habits have affected my kids. But overall, Iíve given them a lot of positive too.


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PRETTYPITHY 12/6/2009 2:10AM

    Thank you for this post. Just today, I was musing about writing a blog post on "why" I became overweight. I think it is necessary to wade through the issues and not just lose the weight. Thank you for showing me how it's done and congrats on your tremendous accomplishment!

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GEE-KNEE 12/2/2009 7:03PM

    The fat suit is a similar theme. I don't think we need our fat suits anymore, but we do need to get use to being vulnerable.

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STEVIECAT4 12/2/2009 3:40PM

    My "Real Age" computed to 56.1. I'm only 11 months younger than my real age. That's depressing!!! LOL!!!!

Your story both touched me and inspired me. I have so much respect for you.

Comment edited on: 12/2/2009 3:44:49 PM

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MAXBALLARD 11/24/2009 1:23PM

    Thank you for sharing this. Congrats on turning back the body clock 8 years! What an accomplishment - in a society that's rushing headlong in the the other direction!

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STEFFI264 11/23/2009 11:06PM

  the fat suit is one I was very comfortable in too
I hope I never go back to wearing it
but occasionally I get tired of the practice of keeping it off
I have to remind myself that it is easier to do the daily work than to take it off all over again

thank you for your comment on my blog
I laughed because I keep going back to the school of hard knocks expecting change
s

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TELERIE 11/23/2009 7:26PM

    Very moving blog. I think this is key to lasting change - to do the inside work. And to keep on doing it... I believe everyone alive are facets of messy unnresolved issues and brilliance, no matter if they are skinny or morbidly obese - but some people are just able to hide their mess better. As you said, when I was morbidly obese, I advertised some of my internal issues - they are easier to hide 80 pounds later.

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SLCB1023 11/23/2009 8:59AM

    Walking or wading through years of mental wiring on why we became obese is a lot of work. Keep up the good work and I know you will be well on your way to a healthy mental and physical self!! emoticon emoticon

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MORGANSMOM52 11/23/2009 8:10AM

    What a marvelous blog. Congratulations on your wt loss and "age" loss :).

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DDOORN 11/23/2009 7:44AM

    Wow! Through your SPARKIN' efforts you bought yourself EIGHT years of YOUTH! Woo hoo!

For many of us there are struggles from our past which play out into our weight and turning to food for a multitude of purposes for which it wasn't supposed to be: comfort? protection? safety? validation? We all have to figure that out.

Learning to disentangle all of that early training is such a TOUGH thing to do...! Congrats on your successes! Losing the weight alone doesn't give us a life with everything our heart desires, but we are certainly better poised to shape our lives toward that end...

Happy birthday to you! :-)

Don

Comment edited on: 11/23/2009 10:58:59 PM

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Enabling Technologies (Part I)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Normally when I think of technology I think of gadgets and gizmos and things that run on batteries. But there are other forms of technology, such as products that come out of food science labs and eventually make their way to consumers via the local grocery store or the internet.

I've been reflecting lately on all the different kinds of helpful foods I've discovered over the past 6 months or so, and there are so many of them that it seems like maybe they could be grouped together in a blog post for posterity. Most of the time I try to subsist on the organic produce from my CSA, yogurt, lean seafood, etc. but I've found these products to be useful in one way or another in this process.

I've spent some time finding the best prices, and the suppliers listed here are my current favorites.

1) Noodles.

While many people are familiar with Tofu Shirataki, fewer know about the original kind, Konjac Shirataki. This is a solid substance made entirely of soluble fiber that has no calories whatsover. It can be made into very nice thin noodles suitable for Asian-style cusine, especially brothy soups.

I like to rinse the angel hair variety in a sieve and microwave it in a big bowl of water with mushrooms, tuna or shrimp, greens or kelp, minced onions, and some miso. This makes a nice satisfying bowl of noodle soup.

Don has reminded me (Thanx, Don!) that in the summer I like to make a version of cold spicy sesame noodles with shrimp and konjac shirataki. In fact, here's a link to the recipe:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=811669

(I guess I forgot 'cuz I'm in winter soup mode rather than summer salad mode! LOL)

I order my konjac shirataki from here:
www.konjacfoods.com/product/noodles.
htm


2) Sugar Free Meringues.

Sometimes you have to go to parties, especially this time of year. And you don't know what they're going to have there, but you can be sure there will be things to eat. The best defense, at least for me, is a strong offense, in the form of bringing something to share that I know I will be able to eat safely.

Recently I discovered at Wegmans that Miss Meringue makes SUGARLESS mini meringues. And after doing some research online I discovered that they make not only chocolate, but vanilla as well. (Only the chocolate was available at the Ithaca Wegmans, and neither is available at the one in Geneva.)

13 of these is 40 cal. That means you could eat the ENTIRE CONTAINER and it would still be only 120 cal (I don't recommend this since they contain isomalt which has unpleasant digestive effects if too much is eaten at once).

They are kind-of mediocre taste-wise (the chocolate are better stand-alone than the vanilla ones), but they're not terrible. The vanilla ones are actually really good if paired with a strong herbal citrus tea like Tazo Wild Sweet Orange. I imagine the chocolate ones would be, too. You can order them online from Amazon in batches of 6 containers for a decent price:
www.amazon.com/Miss-Meringue-Chocola
te-oz-Ounce-Containers/dp/B001EQ5H2K?t
ag=mainfolds-20


www.amazon.com/Miss-Meringue-Vanilla
-oz-Ounce-Containers/dp/B001EO5ML8?tag
=manifolds-20


If you want to get just one container, you can get them for a decent price from netrition.com:
www6.netrition.com/cgi/prices.cgi?ma
nu_id=475


3. Hot Chocolate.

It's getting cold. And while I love my herbal tea, sometimes I want something with a little more "oomph." Both Swiss Miss (25 cal) and Nestle (20 cal) make fat-free sugar-free hot cocoa mixes. I tried both today with a friend and we agreed that the Nestle variety tastes more chocolatey and mixes with fewer lumps. The best price I've found for the Nestle mix is in tubs at Amazon:
www.amazon.com/Nestle-Cocoa-Free-7-3
3-Ounce-Canisters/dp/B001EQ4H7G?tag=ma
nifolds-20


4. Cereal.

I'm picky about my cereal. Not how it tastes, but what kind of nutritional profile it has. If it doesn't have at least as much fiber and protein and as few calories as Kashi Go Lean (original), then I don't want to hear about it. But there's only so much Go Lean a person can eat every single morning, day after day, after day.

Which is why I was pleased to find the varieties available at netrition.com - so far I've tried the Hi-Lo Original Flavor, the Nutlettes and the Smaps. None of them have artificial sweeteners.

Nutritious Living Hi-Lo cereal resembles cornflakes. It tastes a bit like soy cornflakes, and the flakes are a bit thicker than the corn ones. But it tastes good to me (I had it with some Chobani blueberry nonfat Greek yoghurt). 30 grams doesn't look like much in the bowl but it's actually pretty satisfying.

Nutlettes look a lot like Grape Nuts but they are not as rock-hard, and taste more like soy. They actually look and taste a lot like toasted TVP, and given the ingredients, I bet that's pretty close to what they are. I don't mind the taste, but reviewers on Amazon who were expecting Grape Nuts weren't pleased. They're pretty good mixed half and half with the Kashi.

Smaps are more of a texture like puffed rice and have a maple sort of flavor, and I think the taste is pretty good.

www6.netrition.com/cgi/product_categ
ories_display.cgi?categories=VLC,CERL


Netrition.com also sells a "carbalose" low-carb wheat-based flour that looks really interesting. I may get some next time I order from them.

5. Whey Protein.

OK, so the deal with whey is that if you want a good price you have to buy a LOT. In Bulk. But how do you know if you'd even LIKE the flavor if you can't purchase it in an amount less than a 1-lb tub? Over the past 6 months I've been the beneficiary of three different purchases by friends of protein supplements that they bought and turned out not to like. (It means I'm drinking GNC Banana Creme for months, but hey, the price is right, so I'm not complaining. Much.)

I found a link on a bodybuilding forum to vitalady.com and it turns out that they will sell a 1-serving sample of just about anything for $2. Which is expensive for the actual product you're getting, but a darn good price for figuring out if you want to drop $70 on a 10-lb batch of protein powder.
www.vitalady.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cg
i?search=action&keywords=protsamp&Sort
Key=sku&SortOrder=ascending

They also have a handy chart listing the nutritional composition of each supplement and the type of sweetener (if any):
www.vitalady.com/ComparisonChart.htm
You might not want to purchase the bulk protein from them (I've seen good prices at bodybuilding.com), but you can certainly buy the samples from them.

Here is a table with the kinds of whey I've tried so far and what I think of 'em:
tinyurl.com/whey-samples

For whey with no sweeteners, I recommend Swanson brand vanilla. (This is one of the tubs of whey I got from a friend who didn't want it anymore.)
www.swansonvitamins.com/SW1233/ItemD
etail?n=0

It mixes well and tastes great. It has a lot of protein per calories, which is the whole point, if you're taking whey.

Also, I just want to give a shout out to Body Fortress whey that can be purchased from Wal-Mart. It gets good reviews on bodybuilding forums and is a fantastic price because it is a combination of whey isolate (90-98% protein, expensive) and whey concentrate (70-85% protein, cheap). I've tried the vanilla flavor, and it's pretty good, if on the sweet side.

Most of the products listed above are strictly whey isolate. People who are lactose intolerant should stick with pure whey isolate, but otherwise, whey concentrate isn't really a problem unless you want a really high protein content.
www.bodybuildingforyou.com/protein/w
hey-protein-isolate-concentrate.htm


ezinearticles.com/?Muscle-Building-P
rotein---Whey-Isolate-vs-Whey-Concentr
ate&id=594527


See a different blog post about my other sources of protein, and how much I take per day, etc.
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2536501

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWIM_2_SLIM 11/23/2009 10:42PM

    Wow, you did a really great job on this blog!!!

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SECRETMUSIC 11/11/2009 10:26AM

    Thanks for all the suggestions!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/10/2009 11:39PM

    @GEE-KNEE

Yes Ma'am, that's right.

Straight shirataki noodles have zero net calories. ZERO.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wi
ki/Shirataki_n
oodles
>Since you're in CA, you can probably find them in plastic pouches in the refrigerated section of your local Asian market, and not have to pay for shipping.

I've never personally seen them packaged as dry, only in liquid, although the Wikipedia article says they are sometimes sold that way.

The Hungry Girl website has popularized tofu shirataki, which do have calories, and an odd taste that I don't love. Also, the HG site has recipes that use shirataki in Western style recipes and that just doesn't work for me. Maybe because I expect Asian-style noodles in Asian-style food...

P.S. I miss TJs!!!!!
emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/10/2009 11:42:13 PM

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GEE-KNEE 11/10/2009 11:16PM

    I just might have to try those noodles. No calories, really?

I bought these mini meringues at Traders Joes and they have 1 calorie each. They're good when I just want a little something sweet.

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JAZZYDOC 11/10/2009 11:59AM

    Thanks for the infomation. Really.

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YARELL 11/8/2009 7:55AM

    wow, what alot of great information, you are awesome to take the time to share it.

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JANICEMD1 11/8/2009 7:01AM

    I have really been avoiding artificial sweeteners, and so no meringues or hot chocolate ( both of which I used on previous diets that did not work, and are pretty toxic). Thanks so much for the heads up on the noodles. I have just ordered some and can't wait to try. I am getting a little tired of sweet potato as my main starch, and cannot control my portion size well enough with real pasta.

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DDOORN 11/7/2009 10:09PM

    I remember the noodles from the kayaking Spark Rally earlier this summer in Whitney Point...you made a shrimp / poppy-seed type of salad with them...pretty tasty!

And the chocolate meringues you brought to our last gathering...definitely as close as one can get to a "legal" cookie...lol!

Every once in a while I enjoy adding a sugar-free hot cocoa mix to my coffee for a tasty "mocha" of sorts.

Thx for your tips & sources!

Don

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Protein

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I've copied this from my front page because I thought it might be helpful to have clickable links for some of this material.

I eat a high protein (30-40%), low fat (10-20%), low carb (40-50%) nutrition profile. The most important factor in my nutrition seems to be the protein. I aim for at least 100g per day to maintain/ build lean muscle while removing fat. I am lifting weights regularly.

I got the number from this formula:
[0.6 to 1.5 g of protein per pound of target weight]
Here's where the formula came from:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strength_train
ing#Nutrition


Getting this much protein into my body early in the day (by 5pm) also helps control my cravings and curbs night eating. My body seems to run really well on protein.

I spread the protein into about 4-5 mini-meals, since the body cannot absorb more than 20-30g per hour.

Here are my top 7 lean protein sources (in no particular order):

1) Nasoya Lite Firm Tofu
2) Poultry breast meat
3) Lean seafood (shrimp, tilapia, cod, tuna, etc)
4) Whey protein powder (and/or egg white powder)
5) Nonfat Greek yoghurt or Skyr
6) Seitan
7) Textured Vegetable Protein

For emergencies I stash low carb protein bars in the car, my purse, my backpack, my life vest, etc. I buy them online at bodybuilding.com , vitalady.com and netrition.com and freeze whatever isn't actively stashed. Sometimes for a treat I buy a Zone Perfect protein bar at the store - those are just like candy, so I can't be trusted to have them in the house, LOL.

In general what I look for is the # of calories equal or less than 10x the grams of protein.

So, for example, a Dixie Diner's Crunchy Apple with Flax bar is 90 calories and has 10g of protein. That's an excellent protein/calorie ratio. Compare that with a Promax Bar, which has 290 calories and 20g of protein. Not so good. You could have TWO Crunchy Apple bars and get the same amount of protein in 180 calories. You'd feel fuller and it would keep you going just as long.

My favorite flavors are:

Optimum Nutrition
- mint chocolate
- toasted coconut

Doctor's
- chocolate brownie
- lemon meringue
- cookie dough
- blueberry cheesecake

Genisoy
- Protein crunch peanut butter
- Protein crunch chocolate
- Protein crunch chocolate chip

Dixie Diner's Soy Rocks
- Crunchy Apple with Flax
- Crunchy Chocolate with Flax

Vitalady
- lemon meringue

You can also buy Pure Protein brand bars at pharmacies and grocery stores, and they have a really good protein to calorie ratio, too. I like the peanut butter chocolate, chocolate deluxe, and revolution chocolate peanut caramel flavors the most. S'mores is a bit too sweet for my taste. The other flavors are rare to find.

I've been trying different Optimum Nutrition and Syntrax Nectar whey isolate flavors and logging my impressions here:
tinyurl.com/whey-samples

See another blog post for information about whey samples and sources.
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2542899


In case you're wondering, here is a ranking based on how closely the amino acid profile of various protein sources compares with human dietary needs (the higher the rank, the more "complete" the protein source)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDCAAS

The theory now is that the body stores amino acids so you don't necessarily have to have ALL the essential amino acids together in the same meal.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VALKYRIA- 2/12/2012 11:02AM

    Thanks for the info about completeness of protein. I have recently started eating high protein low carb and am finding it difficult to meet my protein needs. I do enjoy optimum nutrition whey protein, so that is a source I will likely continue with... and I will definitely try their coconut flavor now.

I have been reading through your page and blogs and have been truly inspired by your maintenance. I hope to be there with you in a little over a year.

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ALYFITN 10/27/2010 3:31PM

    Hey, this is a great discussion on protein. I eat a 20/40/40 split of my calories from fat/protein/carbs respectively. It fits in the ranges by Spark people--toward the high end for protein and low end for fat and carbs. I feel amazing. My energy level is fantastic. My cravings are GONE! I read about others having difficulty at Halloween. That would have been me last year, but now I have no desire for that kind of eating. I've been at social events and the same thing is true. I have CHANGED. It does not feel like a sacrifice. I don't pity myself. I don't give myself gold stars for "good". I've simply--changed.
Anyhow, I just caught up with your old blog from your comment to BOTZZ. Thanks for being you.
PS_Just now got in from a great kayak 'round the lake in the fall myself. emoticon

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BREWMASTERBILL 4/20/2010 2:16PM

    I had been focusing my protein before the workout to have energy to complete. In your experience, would you flip the protein injection to the end of the workout, or maybe do before and after?

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WILDRICE99 11/21/2009 11:38PM

    I need to get more protein in my diet. I think it'll help me tremendously with those last 10 pounds.



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LADY_SHERRA 11/10/2009 11:48AM

    Great Blog.

I have been increasing my protein as well. I have tried DESIGNER WHEY & a few Store Brands (Kroger). Like TWOCAN, I have tried the Body Fortress and I am hooked. This will now be my go-to whey protein powder. I am also slowly ading Protein bars as a substitute for candy bars. Usually these I enjoy over the week-end, when I am on the go all day and not as diligent in getting my 5-6 mini meals.

There is always room for improvement, and I am always looking for ways to add more good healthy, things to my diet.

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FIT_ARTIST 11/10/2009 12:34AM

    Good Protein! I vary my protein from 104-138 grams a day. emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/6/2009 7:06AM

    @CARRIE
LOL. That just goes to show that each has her own taste - I personally can't stand the peanut butter bars!
emoticon

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CARRIE1948 11/6/2009 6:36AM

    I have learned to love the protein bars, especially peanut butter. I have one a day with a cup of tea after my longest exercise session. I also keep them for emergencies and they got me through a week of being at the US Open with only stadium food available.

I've been playing around with the getting rid of weight thing for nearly a year and find my success has been much greater since I stated paying attention to protein.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/5/2009 2:34PM

    @TWOCANS
Good call. BF gets good reviews at bodybuilding.com

http://foru
m.bodybuilding.com/showthread.p
hp?t=599956

@DDOORN
You can get plain unflavored unsweetened whey and other protein isolates. Those are processed, but they at least don't have extra weird things added, like artificial sweeteners, etc.

Here is an explanation for why many people take protein supplements when losing weight:

http://www.vitalady.com/faq
s.htm#why_use_protein_supps

(Much of what is true for WLS patients is true for the rest of us as well, in terms of nutrition.)

Comment edited on: 11/6/2009 12:00:59 AM

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DDOORN 11/5/2009 2:33PM

    Hmm...tempting, but I have some qualms over the seemingly highly processed nature of these protein bars & powders...otherwise, I'm all for the foods you've listed although have to get into using tofu more often. I'm forgetting what seitan is...haven't had this.

Don

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TWOCANS 11/5/2009 1:58PM

    Good blog! I too am keeping tabs of my protein and have increased it! I use as a supplement the Body Fortress Whey Protein that Walmart sells for $15.00 for a 2lb cannister; it offers a whopping 26 grams of protein per scoop!

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Calorie and Macronutrient Consumption by Country

Monday, November 02, 2009

I was chatting with my niece Martha on FaceBook late last night and we were talking about how my diet has changed since starting to lose the weight.

I remarked that I eat mostly vegetables and lean protein, and my daily average calories is somewhere between 1000 and 1200. My fat intake is on average around 15-25g per day. I try to get a minimum of 100g of protein per day. She asked what the average American eats. I didn't know.

So I went and looked it up.
faostat.fao.org/site/609/DesktopDefa
ult.aspx?PageID=609#ancor


According to the FAO, as of 2003 the average American diet contained
155g fat
114g protein
3753 kcal

PER DAY.
(My own diet in 2003 was probably more than that on everything except the protein.)

Contrast this with Burundi, where the average daily diet contained
10g fat
44g protein
1647 kcal

What's particularly upsetting about a stat like that is that it's an AVERAGE. Which means a lot of people are getting a lot less. And not, like me, because they're trying to lose weight. They probably don't have any weight TO lose, in the first place...
emoticon

Here are all the countries where people had less than 2000 cal per day on average:

country kcal protein g fat g
Eritrea 1519 45 31
Congo, Democratic Republic of 1605 24 26
Burundi 1647 44 10
Comoros 1760 43 41
Ethiopia 1858 53 19
Tajikistan 1906 50 40
Liberia 1929 30 54
Central African Republic 1932 45 66
Sierra Leone 1943 44 45
Tanzania, United Republic of 1959 47 32
Zambia 1974 49 26

Nowhere in the 2003 world did they have an average diet like mine, so high in protein, so low in fat. In all of the countries where they ate on average more than 100g of protein per day they also ate between 2557 and 3753 kcal and 55-168 g of fat.

Which is a measure of the luxury I have, to be able to design my daily food intake the way that I do.

Here is a handy interactive site that shows the amount of different macronutrients the average American consumes daily, and how it has changed since 1975:
www.thecooksden.com/calories/
I find the 50% drop in price of protein and sugar to be particularly stunning.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SECRETMUSIC 11/2/2009 8:55PM

    Wow. Thought-provoking!

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NRLB75 11/2/2009 8:34PM

    This is both interesting and depressing. I've been doing a crap job of documenting my food lately, so I'm not sure what my break down is, but I can guarantee that my old eating habits were way above the average Burundi.

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MOMMAROLEMODEL 11/2/2009 2:49PM

    Wow-- thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great day!

Love,
Timberlee

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EVETROY 11/2/2009 1:00PM

    Certainly eye opening!!!!!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/2/2009 12:53PM

    @THEWILBERFORCE

You're one up on me then; I've only been to these places (in order of most to least hungry)

country kcal protein fat
Dominican Republic 2280 51 72
Philippines
2480 57 48
C√īte d'Ivoire 2644 55 59
Japan 2767 9
1 86
Chile 2872 80 86
Aus
tralia 3134 111 132
Mexico 3
170 90 89
New Zealand 3199 92 118
Sweden 3208
108 126
United Kingdom 3449 105 134
Denmark 347
2 108 138
Canada 3604 104 14
8
France 3623 117 168
Ita
ly 3674 113 156
United States of America 3753 114 155


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THEWILBERFORCE 11/2/2009 12:28PM

    I have visited a ton of the countries listed and certainly even in the more affluent ones, there is a real difference in where we are as americans. Interesting stuff! Thanks for posting! I just need to eat like a Brazilian!

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DDOORN 11/2/2009 10:34AM

    Incredible documentation of where this "obesity epidemic" is coming from...argh!

Don

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What a rolling lesson looks like...

Monday, November 02, 2009


Today we had our final session in the pool. Here's a video shot by one of the instructors while instructing me (I asked him to, so I could watch it later and see what I need to improve).

In the video I roll several times (badly) on my "on" (right) side, and at the end once on my "off" (left) side, which now unfortunately looks better than the "on" side. *sigh* These things can always use work! ...at least I'm getting up pretty consistently...

I tried rolling in the lake on Saturday but it was so windy I almost couldn't launch through the surf, and once I got out there (after paddling back to shore twice to communicate with the photographer) I was unsuccessful at rolling. The waves were pretty big and there were whitecaps on some of them. I ended popping out of the boat, which promptly was blown away from me while I tried swimming after it.

There is video of this fiasco, but it's not very exciting. I like the part where my friend Linda (who is holding the camera) says, "Oh sh1t." when I pop out of the boat. LOL. www.flickr.com/photos/origamifreak/4
067112641/

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NRLB75 11/2/2009 8:28PM

    That is so freakin cool! I think I would drown. Does someone jump in to save you if you can't turn over?

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/2/2009 9:29AM

    @DDOORN
Oh, the water aerobics went well, I think - thanks for asking! They seemed to like it. Some even asked if I was going to be teaching regularly. If I do, I'm definitely picking better music.

I was sore yesterday (and even some today). Not sure if it was from the weight lifting on Friday or the water aerobics on Saturday. (or maybe both!) It took me a little time to loosen up in the pool yesterday so I could roll comfortably. (my lower back was tight)

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DDOORN 11/2/2009 8:55AM

    Great to see you going at it full steam ahead!

Oh, how'd the water aerobics class go...?

Don

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YARELL 11/2/2009 6:55AM

    That's awesome!

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SUGARPUNK52 11/2/2009 2:22AM

  Looks like fun.Hard work too.Thanks for sharing!

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