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Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:46 pm
by LifeisaBlessing
Hi Apprentice!

Just saw your post--I'll answer your questions a bit later today. :) Just wanted to let you know that I do have some answers for you, and to sit tight. I have a few errands to run, then I'll have some detailed advice for you. :)

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:58 pm
by Apprentice1981
Thank you Life! I cannot describe the peace and joy I have since you redirected me back to the sane way of eating foods I love and making the plan work for me. When I eat what I love I am more satisfied both physiologically and psychologically. I need to stay here and not veer off by the glittering vice of "healthy eating" that lures me in from time to time. :D


Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:58 pm
by Apprentice1981
Also, I put a flashcard of Colossians 3:20-23 by my kitchen sink. I need to make one for 1 Timothy 4:1-4 as well! I am so thankful that I ended up here. This is it. I've "tasted" a lot of styles of eating and this one is THE most liberating approach. I am truly tasting the fruit of self-control as I implement your mod. You mentioned "3-0-7 girl" entries. I read them and could relate to a lot of her experiences, especially waiting for the growl. Thank you, thank you for sharing your awesome MOD. By God's grace I intend to stay with it till I see Him face to face. I love how in one of your entries you shared St. Augustine's quote. I love that quote too!!

Re: Body fat % and other questions/comments

Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:49 am
by LifeisaBlessing
Thanks so much for you patience, Apprentice! Hopefully I'll be able to help you out a bit. :)

Apprentice1981 wrote:Greetings Life! I am so glad I reached out to you last week. I realized that I slowly drifted to eating foods that are "good" for me. I understand now why I was having bingy thoughts that eventually took over and became actions. I am back on track, enjoying my faves in moderation! My weight this morning was 117.4. Back to where I was before binging last week.
Congratulations on re-reaching your goal weight!!! I know from personal experience that it feels wonderful to be back on track, especially when you know you can do it in such a sane, manageable way. Like you, I find when I force myself to eat "healthy" foods, I drift back into an overly restrictive diet mindset where rebellion is sure to happen.

I think the most important takeaway from this is that ANY diet for successful weight/fat loss will involve a reduced calorie eating plan, including NoS. To make it something to live with over the long haul, this caloric restriction MUST be with foods YOU like, YOU enjoy, or else the diet is doomed.

Your personal food choices and preferences may change over time, so it's important to go with it when that happens. This is where I think the spirit of Intuitive Eating is so valuable--you really focus on what foods appeal to you and make you feel good. Build your eating plan around those foods, being flexible as time and life march on. Weighing yourself every day will keep you on track.

Also, sometimes your weight will go up simply because certain life events will occur at the same time, and it's a perfect storm for overeating. That happened to me just recently with a triple whammy: PMS, DH's birthday, and Easter! It was soooooooo easy to convince myself that the extra cookie/candy/scraped icing from the knife used to cut the cake won't matter--but it did! :o Luckily, since I weigh every day, I didn't let things get too far off the rails.

^^^This is why weighing daily is crucial. Honestly, it is so easy to convince yourself that things are okay, you really didn't eat THAT much...when in reality, you did. Calories count, and they don't take a break just because you do!

By looking in the mirror I still see areas where there is still plenty of visible fat left, mainly on my thighs. I am not happy with the way they look.

Apprentice, this is why I started modified NoS last year. Even though on paper, I was at a perfectly fine body fat, body weight, and BMI, I did not like how my body looked. After researching, I realized that fat loss really comes down to diet. Exercise plays a very minor role. So I knew that to lose the fat, I needed to eat less, and I needed to do it in a way that I could live with.
How did you decide to settle at your current weight? Was it by achieving certain body fat % or just by looking in the mirror and being satisfied with what you saw?
I had tried a non-NoS diet in the past, and remembered looking my best at 115 pounds. So that's why my initial goal was that weight. And even though I was happy with how I looked in clothes and the dressing room mirror at that weight, I wanted to see if I could improve even more. Like you, I did notice that there was still some unwanted thigh fat left, and I felt like I could do better. From my research, I had also read that women's legs don't really start to look lean until they hit around 18% body fat. Since my initial goal had me around 19-20%, I knew that in order to improve, I needed to lose more body fat.

It really helped me to think of fat loss like snow melting--and especially picture a shoveled area. A path is cleared, and beside it is a pile of snow from the cleared path. Now picture the melting process. The less snow-covered areas melt first, leaving visible piled-up areas of snow left. Eventually the piled-up areas will reduce, finally melting away altogether. Body fat and how fat is uniquely distributed in anyone's body can be compared to the shoveled snow example, with the obvious exception being that you'll never get rid of all the snow/fat completely (nor would you want to--you need some fat to live!). As you lose fat, the areas that have less will lose it first, then eventually, areas with more fat will start to lose. Depending on how your individual body distributes it, you may not notice fat loss in the areas you'd like to see it first (i.e., thighs, butt, etc.). But if you persist, it will happen eventually!

So to answer your question, I settled at my current weight (which is less than 115 pounds) by reaching a sustainable body fat percent (15-16%) that got me to my goal of seeing leaner legs, with some muscle definition. From the time I reached my initial goal of 115 pounds/19-20% body fat, I did add in a very short (<15-minute), daily, doable, non-painful muscle-toning routine that helps to "pop" the muscles a bit, and to smooth out my legs even further.

It was helpful for me to realize that even some athletes, who work out much harder, longer, and who have stricter diets, have to deal with cellulite--some of them never getting rid of it completely.
Also, I noticed you posted your body fat %. How do you calculate that?
Again, than you so much for sharing your wisdom!
To calculate body fat %, I use two Weight Watchers body fat scales. My original one was fine for a long time (bought about 10 years ago), but recently started to show some glitchy signs. So I bought the new glass model Weight Watchers scale for back up and comparison. I utilize both of them, and track the trends daily, both morning and evening. The newer is the most accurate (not surprisingly) without the wild fluctuations with multiple weigh-ins that the older one was commonly known for. Based on the mirror and how my clothes fit, the percentages are accurate. I also compare myself to some of those internet "how bodies look at different body fat percentages" pictorial charts and find that the scale is accurate based on those comparisons.

Calipers (for me) have never been reliable simply because there is too much room for user error. The more expensive and supposedly super-accurate testing modalities (Bod Pod, underwater weighing, etc.) aren't on my radar simply because I feel confident using my at-home method.
Thank you Life! I cannot describe the peace and joy I have since you redirected me back to the sane way of eating foods I love and making the plan work for me. When I eat what I love I am more satisfied both physiologically and psychologically. I need to stay here and not veer off by the glittering vice of "healthy eating" that lures me in from time to time. :D
I'm so glad I could help! :) Truly, NoS is the way to go both for its sanity and ease of fitting into normal life patterns. I can't imagine being happy eating any other way!
Also, I put a flashcard of Colossians 3:20-23 by my kitchen sink. I need to make one for 1 Timothy 4:1-4 as well!
These quotes are perfect!!!! Great idea! :)
I am so thankful that I ended up here. This is it. I've "tasted" a lot of styles of eating and this one is THE most liberating approach. I am truly tasting the fruit of self-control as I implement your mod. You mentioned "3-0-7 girl" entries. I read them and could relate to a lot of her experiences, especially waiting for the growl. Thank you, thank you for sharing your awesome MOD. By God's grace I intend to stay with it till I see Him face to face. I love how in one of your entries you shared St. Augustine's quote. I love that quote too!!
You're so welcome, Apprentice! And I agree completely--the fact that NoS (modified, as it were) helped me achieve and surpass my goals, and more importantly, maintain, is so liberating. And I'd like to read more of St. Augustine--although sometimes his theology is a bit too deep for me for where I'm at in my spiritual journey right now! :o

Hopefully I've been able to help you out somewhat! I know that I have to stay vigilant daily in order to maintain my results. I think Jen1974 mentioned in one of her posts that it just doesn't come naturally to her to eat less, and she doubts it ever will. I am in agreement with her!

Thankful beyond words

Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:50 pm
by Apprentice1981
Wow! Simply wow! Your advice, in its complete meaning is PRICELESS. People spend lots and lots of money on personal trainers, life coaches, special diet programs/books/foods searching for THE answer. Advice that you give/ gave is sugar coating anything...just truth. I love that!! I know that God placed you at this point in my life after I cried out to Him in desperation. You have given me the means to achieve my goal! Your answer caused a paradigm shift in my thinking about fat loss. You have shed the light into my unsure mind. I read up so much on Starvation Mode that EVERYTIME my body rebelled at reduced food amounts below 120 lb. mark I eventually gave in into the the cravings to eat more or binge because I thought my body didn't want to lose more and was fighting me back to protect itself. Your snow analogy is excellent! have hope that I can achieve my goal and by God's willing stay vigilant maintain it!! Life, thank you is not enough to say how grateful I am to you for your zeal to help out a pilgrim like me to find my way home, to care for God's temple using the fruit of temperance, in the maze of confusion! May the Lord bless you!!

Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:41 pm
by LifeisaBlessing
Awwwww, Apprentice, thank you so much! :) I'm so glad I have been of help--I truly believe that is part of why God created us--to help each other in any way we can, with the gifts we've been uniquely given to accomplish our mission on Earth.

Your mention of "starvation mode" did prompt me to post a bit more on that topic.

I really like this guy's website in the link in this paragraph. Although I'm not totally on board with his exercise advice, his diet advice is spot on. He is straight, to the point, and doesn't mince words. Please read his take on starvation mode. I guarantee you'll become better educated about it. His language can be colorful, so be forewarned!

Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:52 pm
by Apprentice1981
Excellent article! You, as a real life tangible example and his eloquently :D written article put my mind completely to peace about this topic. He mentions diet breaks/refeeds when one is in consistent caloric deficit for extended period of time. Did you do any of that in your journey? Maybe it pertains to people who have a lot of weight to lose. Just want to know your take on it. My goal is to lose it safely without any hormonal issues.

Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:31 pm
by Apprentice1981
You mention daily 15 min. body shaping exercise. Are you still doing Slim in 6?

Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:18 pm
by LifeisaBlessing
Hi Apprentice! :)

To answer your questions, I don't really deliberately take diet breaks or refeeds, but I do notice that I kind of subconsciously do that right at PMS time, where I'll have a desire for more food, more sweets, etc. I usually go with it, and make up for any excess later. It's worked out so far!

I am no longer doing Slim in 6 formally, but I have created a hybrid exercise program from all fitness routines that I've done throughout the years. I've taken the most effective exercises, adapting them to my body and what I want to accomplish and work on. There's a little bit of ballet, Callanetics, isometrics, calisthenics, safe Yoga, safe stretching, and modified classic body weight exercises that I do. If you're interested, let me know by PM, and I can describe them in more detail! :)


Posted: Sun May 07, 2017 4:58 pm
by Apprentice1981
Hi Life! All is well with me. I've had so many aha moments in this past week. I've been mulling over everything you've said about fat loss. In the past ten years I lived in a dieting haze. What you said about making peace with reduced calorie lifestyle to reach/maintain a slim body quieted the dieting noise. Weight loss is all about calories. I seemed to disregard it since reading Good Calories Bad Calories. I kept trying low carb and failed everytime. I tried IF thinking I magically burned fat and disregarded amounts of food during "feeding time". I tried other methods to no avail. You shed so much light. I've made an agreement with my body that NoS with your mod is THE most sane way to eat. I have a daily choice and control over how much food I eat.
A question for you? I have always had issues with slow transit and constipation no matter what I eat. There are times I don't go 2-3 days. Since reducing the amount of food and not eating much of fruits and veggies I "go" even less. Some days I weigh and I am up a pound or even two even though I know I stayed on track with the plan. I get discouraged.I think I might have to start weighing on days after BM. What do you think? I know you said weighing daily helps you to see how much to eat the next day. You sad if the scale is up you eat less. How much less do you eat? What's your approximate calorie goal per meal when your weight is up. I've been hovering in 117-118 range for the last two weeks and want to gradually move it down.

Posted: Sun May 07, 2017 7:44 pm
by LifeisaBlessing
Hi Apprentice! :)

So glad to hear about all your successes! :) Congratulations on maintaining your weight loss.

It's so funny you brought up "slow transit"--my DH and I were having a conversation over the past few weeks over food "transit times," and how it varies so much depending on the individual, type of food intake, and their daily work schedule. It is definitely an issue that is highly individual based on many different factors, including genetics.

And it's also so ironic you mentioned about weighing AFTER having a BM. I actually weigh twice daily--once in the evening, and once in the morning after I've had a "good" bathroom visit lol. I am always amazed at the difference in weight and body fat percentage when you measure after a good clearing out of the system. I think it would be interesting to do this after a colonoscopy prep when your system would be completely cleared out. Not that I would want to do a colonoscopy prep voluntarily lol--I'm avoiding having one of those done for as long as I possibly can! :o

I think weighing yourself after a good BM would be your best bet, especially if you struggle with constipation.

And Easter really did a number on my NoS plan; it's really taken me a lot longer to get back on track. It's amazing how your body and mind can convince yourself that a little bit here and there won't hurt, then you discover some pounds have crept up that are harder to lose. So, back to basics and what got me to my goals initially!

For starters, I try to keep my meals roughly around 500 calories, with plenty of protein that I love. It's when I skimp on the protein that the trouble starts. Research has shown time and time again that increasing protein consumption is very important for aging, body composition improvements, retaining muscle, and for satiety.

Now for me, since I'm not a big meat eater, that means I will have to supplement with protein bars and protein chips. Protein shakes never agree with me (give me lots of gas--blech!), and I prefer having something to chew on rather than drink for my calories.

As far as eating less, I usually will cut out calories from treats first. That means reducing the sweets for a time, until I can get the weight back under control. Then, I can slowly introduce them back. The problem is that it is SO easy to overeat on sweets, often without realizing it. If you're going to use my mod (and I apply this advice to myself too lol), it's really better if your sweet is planned and in an exact portion, so you don't accidentally go calorically overboard. I admit that I still struggle with this, but the daily weigh-ins enable me to catch it before it gets out of hand and I end up right back where I started, or beyond.

I hope this helps a little! :)

Posted: Sun May 07, 2017 8:06 pm
by Apprentice1981
This absolutely helps! :D Thank you!! You are so right about that it doesn't take long to "relax" the plan in hopes that a little won't hurt....but it always add up!
I am not a huge meat eater myself. I am a dairy and egg lover. I have been enjoying protein bars as well. After trying several brands I keep coming back to Pure Protein bars you recommended. They are tasty, affordable and contain a good amount of protein. Occasionally I might have a protein ice cream creation as my protein source if I am craving one. Like you I prefer to chew my calories. Thank you again! Have a blessed week!!

Posted: Sun May 07, 2017 9:02 pm
by LifeisaBlessing
You're very welcome, Apprentice! :)

I'm also a dairy and egg lover, thank goodness, or else I'd probably have a lot of problems getting my protein requirements in each day. I aim for 60 - 100 grams.

I'm glad you like the Pure Protein bars--like you, I keep coming back to them because they give the best "bang for the buck" for protein, calories, and cost. Quest Protein Chips are great also, but they are a bit pricey--around $2.50 for a bag, roughly 130 calories, 20-22 grams of protein. I've also tried Premier Protein bars (a newer brand), but again, they are more expensive than Pure Protein with way more calories. They do have 30 grams of protein per bar, but the caloric count is 280-300 calories--that's trending a bit too high, IMHO.

Since you mentioned protein ice cream, give Halo Top a try (if it's available in your area)! I really love it (favorite flavors are sea salt caramel and oatmeal cookie), but again, the pints tend to be very pricey. Around here in western Pennsylvania, they go on sale for $4.49--but I've seen them as high as $5.99-$6.99. That's a bit too expensive for me to have consistently.

Hope you have a blessed week too! :)

Tracking steps

Posted: Wed May 10, 2017 3:44 pm
by Apprentice1981
Hi Life! What device do you use to track your steps?

Posted: Wed May 10, 2017 4:31 pm
by LifeisaBlessing
Hi Apprentice! :)

I use a FitBit Zip--I love it! :) Have been using it for almost a year and a half--one of the best investments I've made. It's simple but very motivating. And it's always interesting to see where you can get your steps in. Shopping at Walmart always racks up the steps, and I'm amazed at what simple housewalking can do. Some days, I get in more steps housewalking than walking outside! :o I highly recommend it! :)

Posted: Thu May 11, 2017 12:08 am
by Apprentice1981
Thank you sweet lady! Will look into it!

Posted: Thu May 11, 2017 5:00 am
by Skycat
If you're looking to count steps, another possibility might be an app. I have an iphone which already came with a health app which counts steps so I keep it on me as much as possible and use that. I'm sure there must be similar apps for other phones.

Posted: Thu May 11, 2017 12:49 pm
by LifeisaBlessing
Skycat - Great idea on the phone app! My DH actually used one on his iPhone and it was cool how it tracked a bunch of other things too. So that's definitely another option for step tracking.

Apprentice1981 - Please check your PMs. I have some advice on another "problem" you mentioned earlier, but didn't want to get into a TMI discussion publicly lol. :D

Posted: Thu May 11, 2017 1:22 pm
by Apprentice1981
Thank you Life and Skycat! I did download an app for my android. So far I like it. I also looked at Fitbit you mentioned and looks like a nice compact device. On my wish list!

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:28 pm
by Apprentice1981
Hi Life! How are you? You haven't been active lately so wanted to check on you! I sent you a PM. Hope all is well 😊

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:08 am
by LifeisaBlessing
Doing great, Apprentice! :) I sent you a PM response! :)

Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:46 pm
by oolala53
LIB, did you start another check-in thread or just feeling you don't need it anymore? Just curious. I see you post on other threads.

Happy New Year!

Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:18 pm
by LifeisaBlessing
Hi oolala! Happy New Year to you too! :) I haven't started another check-in thread; I keep tabs on this one in case someone asks me a question on mods, compliance, etc.