Weekly Weigh-In

Happy New Year, friends!

One of my goals for 2018 is to share more, with greater consistency. I'm going to be posting weekly “weigh-ins” to reflect on my journey and progress from the previous week. I hope that this external accountability will help me connect with more of you. If you are also working toward your health goals, I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

Reflections: One of my intentions for the year is to be more flexible and intuitive with my food choices. I feel physically and mentally better when I limit carbs, but I also want the freedom to enjoy the pleasure and social connection of food. This deserves a dedicated post, but for context, I've been eating a mostly ketogenic diet since December 1, and I'm feeling terrific.

I spent New Years Eve weekend in Yosemite National Park and experienced some magical moments I will never forget. I got more steps than I have in awhile and it was wonderful to be outside. I brought plenty of healthy options for meals and snacks, but also the mindset that I would enjoy indulgences if I wanted to. For the most part, the food around the park is mediocre, but two occasions felt worth it: a few bites of a birthday skillet cookie a la mode and new years eve campfire dinner of hot dogs and s'mores. I am happy with those choices and have no regrets.

Unsurprisingly, the scale had gone up a few pounds when I got home, but I assumed this was water weight and trusted it to even out in a few days. That proved true, and I ended this week 5.2 pounds down from my Tuesday morning post-trip weigh-in.

Intentions: I've fallen way off track with my daily step habit. For years, I consistently walked ~10k steps per day, but this past year, I regressed. My intention for this week is to be more active and accumulate 70k steps over the course of the week. There is rain in the forecast, and I am traveling, which is why I chose a weekly goal instead of the pressure of a daily goal.

Instagram:  Instagram has been a huge source of inspiration and community for me and I'm making an effort to post more consistently. I know not everyone uses social media, so I want to share those posts here as well.

YOU ARE THE ONLY AUTHORITY ON YOUR HEALTH, YOUR BODY & YOUR DIET. I've been so tempted to do #januarywhole30 with friends, but my intuition keeps saying NO. Why? Probably because it's not MY program, it's @melissa_hartwig's program. Don't get me wrong; I think #whole30 is an incredible blueprint with awe-inspiring resources and a supportive community. In fact, the program rules are almost identical to the way I eat, but at this point in my journey, I'm not seeking rules, I'm seeking freedom. – A few years ago I hypothesized that carbohydrates were fueling my food addiction and discovered #keto when googling “Will I die if I don't eat carbohydrates?” I am a long-time advocate of real food and carried whole 30 / paleo principles into my 8-month experiment with a #ketogenic diet. I felt terrific, and my lifelong preoccupation with food went away. I was able to eat intuitively without counting or tracking and lost weight with ease. I didn't binge once, and my #hidradenitissuppurativa went into remission. I thought I had found the answer. – Then life happened. I lost sight of what DID work for me in favor of what I WANTED to work for me. While 2017 was the year I finally learned to have love and compassion for my body, my health rapidly declined as I stopped prioritizing foundational habits like walking, preparing meals at home, and eating vegetables every day. – Last month I recommitted to a #ketogenic diet because I felt like food was controlling me and I wanted to be able to think clearly. For whatever reason, my body and brain seem to perform better in #ketosis. I don't know what this looks like longterm, but I am focussing on being less rigid and more intuitive about it. My intention for 2018 is to honor physical and mental health while cultivating resilience and metabolic flexibility. – I think food stuff is hard for so many reasons, but mainly because it's unique for each of us. My most significant takeaway of 2017 is that we must be our own advocates. No one can understand you or your body better than you. Filter out the noise. I can't tell you what will work for you; I can only share my experience in hopes that it might inspire you on your own journey.

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Nothing went according to plan, but I’m pretty sure everything happened exactly as it was supposed to. Feeling grateful for a magical NYE in Yosemite with @artcampla and fam. – Just after midnight, we heard a mighty pack of coyotes singing across the valley. It sounded as though there were thousands of them and their otherworldly song is one we won’t soon forget. – I read that the coyote is often revered as an important messenger of personal transformation through self-reflection. It’s said that a coyote sighting can be a reminder to look at things you may have been avoiding. A call to see your full reflection and focus on your whole life instead of just one part. – This feels particularly relevant going into 2018. A few months ago I was feeling really down and did a thought experiment trying to imagine how my life might have different had it not been overshadowed by obesity. What else do I care about? What if I never overcome this struggle? What do I really love? – I don’t know why I feel self conscious to share how much I love photography. I’ve been taking pictures since I was 7 years old, but I rarely share them. I’m definitely a perfectionist, but also an introvert so it’s easy for me to keep things to myself. One of my intentions for 2018 is to embrace imperfection and share more of my work. – I’d also like to hike all of the major trails out of Yosemite Valley! This photo was taken as we unexpectedly caught the moon rising on our way back to camp.

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Stocking up at @wholefoods 25% off supplement sale! Double discounts on some of my favorites including #bulletproof and #vitalproteins. The sale starts today and runs through the weekend (January 5-7) in local stores across the country so don't miss it! – #ontheblog, I partnered with @wholefoodssanfrancisco and wrote about my top 3 keto supplements to help get into ketosis and prevent the keto flu. I compared different MCT oils and shared some of the ways to cut down on costs. I'd love to know what you think and if you have any other recommendations for me to try. (link in my profile or http://excessmatters.com/keto-supplements). – Y'all know I rely on real food for my nutrients, but I do supplement when needed so I'll be sharing a few more staples on my stories and I'd love to know what supplements help you optimize your health.

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I'm still figuring out how I want to format these weekly weigh-ins, which are about so much more than the number on the scale. What would you like to see? What would be helpful to you? I'd love to hear your thoughts if you have a minute to share!

Hi New Friends…

Hello! Welcome 🙂 I was not expecting you, but I'm glad you're here. My story was reposted to Yahoo and MSN so I've been receiving a lot of traffic the past few days. I've taken a step back from blogging/social as I started a new job in January. I have been trying to figure out how to combine this new role with my work here. Things are very exciting and I can't wait to start sharing more with y'all. My life's work and mission is to reverse the obesity epidemic and I feel so many steps closer to that than ever before. If you aren't already, please subscribe to my mailing list. I have a lot to update you about in the next week or so, part of that being a detailed log of my food and exercise alongside detailed 3D body scans. I wish I could have it ready for you now, but it is what it is. I hope you'll stick around, things are about to get really good around here!

How Rachel Graham Lost Over 90 Pounds and Found Balance

@LosingGravity Rachel Graham Weight Loss Story

Meet Rachel, a 24-year old mom from Nova Scotia. At 5'5, she has lost over 90 pounds, but more importantly, she gained confidence and control over her health. After suffering with an eating disorder in her teens and ballooning up to 245 pounds while pregnant, she has finally let go of the all-or-nothing mindset. Now she focusses on living a balanced, healthy lifestyle, day by day. I am excited to share her weight loss journey because she didn't just lose weight, she truly changed her life.

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What Are The Signs of Food Addiction?

If we are open, we can see signs everywhere. I don't talk too much about the spiritual side of my journey, but it's perhaps the most important. Being open to the universe and listening to that quiet voice within – that is where we find our truth.

The more I grow, the more I realize how little I know. I'm cool with that, it makes things interesting and reminds me not to get too complacent. There are, however, a few truths that are constant for me. When I'm feeling disconnected or lost, nature always brings me back.

Yesterday, I went hiking for the first time in a long time. It was hard. Harder than it should have been and even more humbling to see how far I've backslid. I've been struggling the last few months and my health and fitness have suffered. I can point my finger in so many directions as to why, but the why doesn't really matter.

What matters is the truth. Whether I like it or not, I'm in the midst of a lifelong battle with obesity, food addiction, and binge eating. There is no room for complacency in this fight. There is no finish line.

I can wish with all my might for a “normal” relationship with food and maybe someday I'll get there, but for today, that's not my reality. If I could eat certain foods in moderation, I wouldn't struggle with obesity. It's really that simple.

Last summer I reached a breaking point and realized that it wasn't just flour and sugar that triggered an addiction like responses in me, it was all starchy carbs – corn, potatoes, beans. I dove into the scientific research, taking a closer look at how our brains work with insulin response and metabolic resistance. I came to believe that I was addicted to carbohydrates and it was very clear to me that I had to eliminate these foods completely to find the freedom I was seeking.

So I googled “will i die if i don't eat carbohydrates?” and came across the concept of ketosis. I wasn't looking for another diet, I gave those up years ago. What I found was a community of people who were finally finding freedom from food, losing weight without starving themselves, and feeling hope after a lifetime of obesity. I'm grateful for those who embrace this lifestyle and show others that life goes on without bread.

I don't promote keto as the solution because i don't think it is. To me, keto is actually a byproduct of the solution – my diet falls under ketogenic/paleo/whole30 because of the foods I choose to eat/not eat. For most people, such a drastic shift is not feasible or sustainable as a starting point. It took me years of being honest about how the foods I eat affect me to reach this point and the process continues to this day.

Sure, I'd like to skip off into the horizon, forever cured of my issues with food, but that's not reality. For today, I'm grateful that I am able to go for a hike and see this sign. A reminder to STOP before plummeting off the cliff and of all the wonderful things we might discover when we choose to turn around and take a new path.

October 2016

Hey friends! I've just returned from a month in Europe, where I wandered the streets of Paris (eating croissants), hiked 100 miles around Mont Blanc (eating fondue), and discovered Budapest (one delicious restaurant at a time). My belly and heart are overflowing.

I indulged often, enjoyed everything, and have no regrets. I definitely gained some weight and that's OK – I know it's temporary. You see, my progress has never been linear and what I learned far outweighs any setback that might show up on a scale.

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How Meredith changed her life and lost 105 pounds in under a year.

Meet Meredith, from @bear_gets_skinny. She has lost an impressive 105 pounds over the last year. At 29, she was pushing 300 and her doctor recommended bariatric surgery. Instead, she started making changes in her daily habits and transformed her life. After watching her reach the 100-pound milestone, I was inspired to learn more about her story. Graciously, Meredith openly answered my questions, sharing her history and hopes for the future. I hope you will enjoy getting to know her as much as I have.

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Throwback Thursday,  Obesity Edition

The statistics are grim when it comes to weightloss. We all think we are different, that we are the exception. I know I did. I lost the weight through good ‘ole willpower – dieting and exercising, the traditional “eat less, move more” mantra of restriction and punishment. I wore a size 6 but I hated myself. Even though I was outwardly thin, I was mentally obese. I was miserable and ill equipped to deal with life. I needed food to cope with stress and anxiety and this fed my depression. I was hardly in that body for 30 seconds before I promptly started gaining the weight back – and then some. Ask anyone who's ever found themselves in this position and they'll tell you the same – they're not quite sure how it happened. It's insidious, obesity. Don't take it lightly and don't let your guard down.

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