Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Goals

Jen inspired me to get a schedule figured out. We are just shy of eight weeks away from the half marathon! I need to get my butt in gear and get training!

My biggest obstacle is my kiddos. Don't get me wrong, love 'em. But crabby, sick, tired, etc all make for difficult trips to the gym. Not napping makes it hard for me to get in a workout at home.  Feeling guilty about leaving my family on the weekends to do long runs keep me from outside training.  All excuses. I need to bust through those and realize running is making me a better Mommy AND a better wife! That 45-60 min that I can run by myself? Those minutes make me better. I'm happier, I feel more accomplished and I'm not carting around a boatload of guilt about what I am NOT doing to prepare for this scary exciting race.

So here is the first few weeks of January on my calendar. As my son nears his first birthday(*sniff* in two weeks) he's starting to be able to get away with no morning nap. I'm going to use that to my advantage and start hitting the gym every school day (E is in preschool Mon & Wed AM) Tuesday mornings will be left open for play dates, trips to the children's museum and other errand needs, so I will be doing Jillian's 30 day Shred videos in my basement while the kids take quiet time/naps in the afternoon. Thursdays from 1/5-2/19, I have signed up for a pilates class at the Y. I am VERY excited about this! I took a pilates class years ago at Bally's and it was always a great workout. My YMCA only had cardio pilates last time I looked into it, so I was thrilled to see "regular" Pilates when I looked last week!  Friday mornings both kiddos are enrolled in swimming classes. Because A is a little guy, I will be with him in his class while E is unassisted in her class.  After the lesson, I think I will take hte kids to child watch and go for a swim myself. I used to be able to get a mile in under 30 minutes, so it will be interesting to see if I can still reach that goal!

I will be checking in here with my progress. But here's my calendar for the first two weeks of January. Feel free to hassle me about whether or not I've been to the gym or done my scheduled activity for the day :-)



So here goes nothing. 2011 was the year I started running, but 2012 will be the year I become a runner!





Thursday, December 29, 2011

Time to Move

I'm still here! I've just been swamped with working two jobs - one of which was retail during the Christmas holiday... Yikes! I haven't had time to consistently be in the gym like I would like to be, but I have been careful about what I eat. Like Nicole, my sweets have been allowed, but minimal. Rather than grab a dessert plate at Christmas, I picked one cookie and ate it off a napkin so I wouldn't be tempted to pile up the goodies. I peeked at the scale on Monday morning to have it read: 138.8! I am at my goal weight, even slightly below it! Of course, I still have muscles I'd like to improve. But I'm happy that I am at a healthy weight and have really changed my eating habits!


I went to put in my measurements on my WW tracker a couple weeks ago. To my surprise, one day several months ago I had put in my measurements! So here is the change to date:


Waist:
Feb 2011 38"
Nov 2011 30"
Change: -8"

Hips:
Feb 2011 42"
Nov 2011 36"
Change: -6"

Bust:
Feb 2011 41"
Nov 2011 40"
Change: -1"

Clothing:
Feb 2011 12 pants; XL or L shirts
Nov 2011 8 pants (loosely); M or S shirts
Change: 2 sizes



I didn't realize how far I had come. I still don't feel small. Just ask Nicole - I squirm or make a funny face when she calls me skinny, even more so when she adds the word "super" in front of it. I will try on, even buy, shirts that are a size or two too big because I just haven't adjusted to the reality that I can wear a small. The weight loss portion of this journey is over for me. I'm where I have spent the last several years dreaming about being. Honestly, it still kind of feels like a dream. It almost doesn't seem real.

But the journey of a healthy lifestyle is never over. Now, my focus becomes on my fitness. And with the half marathon less than two months ahead, the gym will easily become my second home. Here is the 8 week training plan I will begin and stick to



This is the training plan I used for my very first half marathon, so I know it works. It will have me in the gym 6 days a week - that's 6 more than I have been doing. But 2 or 3 miles will go quickly. I have a tendency to avoid the gym because getting off work at 10pm, I just don't have the energy to be working out until midnight. But if I keep telling myself "these miles will be done in just X number of minutes" it feels doable.

I'm still trying to figure out how many of my runs I should do outside versus on the treadmill at the gym. It's freezing right now, and it certainly won't be this cold in Florida - even in February. My current plan is to get outside and run the Sunday long runs at the lake if the weather is nice enough to do that. If not, then the treadmill will suffice. Any other tips or tricks or ideas for me as I jump into training?


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Post-Holiday

Well, we survived. :-)  Four days of family, food and fun! I'm still here to tell about it.  I did relax my restrictions on sugar a little. But something is different now.  Last year, I would eat a piece of candy, then another, then two more, then maybe another 3.....  until it was gone!

This year, my aunt flew in and made peppermint bark and espresso bark with my daughter when she got here. I tasted a small corner (maybe .5"?) and I was done.  I didn't want any more, I didn't crave any and I certainly didn't eat any! I did have a chocolate covered pretzel now and again (probably less than 10 over the last 5 days) but I wasn't compelled to eat them - I did it because I wanted to eat them!

I did gain 1lb this weekend, but I haven't tracked my WW points now since Thursday, so all in all, I do't think 1lb is too bad. I plan to get back on track starting tomorrow, EVEN with all the treats still in the house!

I knew I've reached a new place in my life on Christmas night. Everyone left for the hotel and I was cleaning up. I saw the top of a sugar cookie Chrsitmas tree and popped it in my mouth. I started chewing and thought "What the heck am I doing?!" and spat it out.  It just wasn't WORTH it to me to even finish chewing and definitely not to swallow it!

I have been getting my running in gear lately. Last Wednesday I ran 4 miles and today I went to the Y and ran 4.5! I'm getting my distance up by doing intervals. I am by no means a FAST runner, but I am trying to work on both running longer and further. The half marathon is officially TWO MONTHS from TODAY! Eeeekkkk!!!


So while nothing "bad" happened when I ate sugar, I do feel better when I don't. I plan on sticking with it, allowing incidentals and the occasional treat (most likely a 79% dark chocolate - 85% was too bitter for me still). I LOVE the way I feel, I am LOVING that I fit into smaller clothes (hello, it's been YEARS since I wore a medium ANYTHING!) and I love that people are starting to NOTICE the work I'm putting in! I am definitely staying on this track for awhile!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pre-holiday!

I have been keeping with no sugar, although I admit I'm getting more relaxed - I missed ketchup like you can't believe!! I tried some of my ALL TIME FAVORITE sugar cookie dough the other night - probably half the dough that it would take to make a typical sugar cookie. It made me I'LL. My stomach was in knots for HOURS!! Very eye-opening to see such a strong physical response!

The busy all starts here tomorrow am when my family starts flying in from Ohio & Georgia. I'm excited for my family to see me - I haven't been this light probably since shortly after my wedding!!

I will say I had a total "Biggest Loser" moment the other day! I was going through jeans and held a pair of size 16s up to me - the difference is INCREDIBLE!! I didn't realize I've lost that much until that moment. I will be posting a picture of my "transformation moment" soon!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Eight Weeks - Complete!

Today is the END of week 8 for my detox! It's been a HUGE challenge to do this, but I'm so glad I did!

Here are my stats as of today:

So overall, I'm VERY pleased! This might give you an indication as to why I'm so thrilled:
If you'll notice, I was swimming right along until about July. Then - stopped. I didn't do anything different, I just went into a plateau mode.  And also notice - detox begins the day after I turn the big 3-0.  And look at me now!

Please excuse me blending into the wall...
I would like to note - my jeans are now 2 sizes smaller than the first picture (they were 16's in the first picture!) and the 12s I wore today actually have breathing room!

I've set a new goal weight (as you can see in my WW screen shot) of 150lbs. I would love to be down to that by the Disney Half Marathon, but we shall see. :-)

People have asked what I plan to do now. Heck if I know! :-)  I definitely won't be headed back to the lifestyle I was leading before! I do, however, look forward to some fruit being added back into my diet! I miss that a lot. Similarly, I won't be going back to my 4-bananas-a-day habit... but I do look forward to having ONE once in awhile!  I won't be SO militant about the "hidden sugars" (ie, I will eat at restaurants without having to fuss about ordering) but I won't be bringing HFCS/corn syrup/evaporated cane juice/agave into my house. We'll use Stevia when we can and leave it out as much as possible.

I went to a potluck Christmas party tonight and made whipped sweet potatoes (you know, the dish that is usually filled with brown sugar and topped with marshmallows??)  I didn't use *any* sugar - just sweet potatoes, butter and cinnamon/allspice and got RAVE reviews! It was a sign to me that you don't ALWAYS need the sugar. I almost slipped for a Christmas cookie that looked TDF, but I made it out without one.

So stick around. There are big things coming - half marathon training (must.run.more) and trying to navigate a detoxified life!!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cake Day!


(Subtitled: Congratulations, Adam & Hillary!!) ;-)

So my cake weekend (aka Hillary's wedding weekend) didn't turn out at ALL what I had expected.  Friday, I survived the airports, as I posted. However, by 2:30am, I was so sick, I could barely stand myself. I have an awesome friend in Canton who stopped at Target and got me meds, crackers and coconut water (with pineapple flavoring) and delivered them to my hotel. I almost blacked out going to meet her in the lobby. It was quite bad.

So I managed to drag myself out of bed for my friend's wedding.  I made it to the reception and was feeling pretty good (relatively speaking!)   I was able to eat some dinner and it tasted great.

Then came cake. She had a LOVELY display of cupcakes, all different flavors, but I went for the most beautiful of them all - red velvet.

I sat down and stared at it.  I was waging war - I SAID I was going to eat cake. I DECIDED I would allow cake (it wasn't an impulse, this was a conscious decision!) and now? My stomach rumbled just thinking about it!

I nibbled the corner. It was... okay. I mean, don't get me wrong, it was tasty cake! But it wasn't GRIPPING and SOUL CRUSHINGLY AMAZING like I remember cake to be. It was just .... cake. I ate about 1/4 of it, and happily put it aside.



I did have a bit of sugar on Saturday, just to try to get myself rehydrated. I still avoided hfcs but I did have the coconut water with pineapple juice (12g in the bottle) and a LifeWater that had Stevia in it.

Proud of myself that I didn't fall. I don't know how the story would be different (would I have fallen off in week 8 had I not been sick?) but I guess, in a round about way, my body was protecting me from it!

So I'm midway through week 8. I'm not being quite as militant about it - I'm allowing some incidental sugars in things that are harder to control (dining out primarily) but still avoiding all "obvious" sugars. 

Did anyone take me up on the one week sugar free? I'm curious to know how it went for you. I KNOW people think they can't do it, but it is doable. And it DOES change things!

I will definitely do an update post, but as of Monday, I am THREE POUNDS below my first goal weight!!!  Now to set my next goal :-) Onward to the Disney Half Marathon, which is in approximately 70 days!!










Friday, December 9, 2011

Airports are rough!!!

I'm on a mini trip to see a dear friend tie the knot tomorrow. I'm traveling alone, so I have no "busy tending to others" excuses to slip.

But MAN was the airport a challenge!! I was an hour early for my flight- my 6pm flight, so right around dinner time. I wandered around and saw Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robbins.... Sugar, sugar, sugar!!!! I wound up snacking on some nuts I had packed and mixed with cocoa nibs.

A note on cocoa nibs: I do not like them on their own. I DO like them mixed with nuts!! Yummy!

So my quick 36 hour trip has started. Tomorrow is wedding day!! I'm allowing myself to have cake - I'm interested to see how I feel afterwards!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Not a Diet, a Lifestyle




Although I didn't stick to the 8 week plan as flawlessly as my partner in crime (seriously... I am so impressed by and proud of Nicole!), I followed the plan for the most part. Yes, there were a couple slip ups. But I learned from WW that one bad night doesn't have to be followed by a bad day, and it doesn't undo all the progress you've made. It's life - there are bumps in the road, but you cross them and keep going. I love the quote by Robert Frost: "In three words I can summarize everything I've learned about life: it goes on." And I've found the same is true of this weight loss journey.






So now I've spent the last couple weeks not sugar-free, but more sugar-light. I eat fruits now (and oh, I appreciate them in a whole new way)! I had ketchup with my fries when I went out to eat last weekend. But I would rather put a teaspoon of olive oil and some spices on a salad instead of sugar-loaded dressings. I would rather have coffee with a tablespoon or two of a natural half & half than fill it with the sugary flavored creamers. I see ice cream as a rare, portion-controlled treat rather than a comfort from stress. I will go a few days in a row without any added and/or unnecessary sugars... and that's without even thinking about it!




This week the cold weather and snow flurries hit. It makes me want to snuggle up on the couch in my sweats under lots of blankets and watch Christmas movies. It also brings out my inner Betty Crocker and I feel the need to bake. My kitchen calls to me. So this week, I baked. I found a new chocolate chip cookie recipe that sounded good. I made it a little healthier using whole wheat flour and dark chocolate chips. When the gooey treats were out of the oven, I had a couple warm bites of heaven with my roommate. And then I stopped. I put them in Tupperware and didn't look at them again. Last night, I saw the container on the table and once again passed them without a single bite. I had what I needed. I got what I wanted, and that single serving was enough for me.




So today, these yummy treats were a gift for the office. My coworkers love them! And even now, I pass them on the counter and they don't make my mouth water or my stomach growl the way homemade cookies used to. This is a big accomplishment for me! Old Jen would have easily taken the Tupperware container to my room and munched on countless cookies as a bedtime snack. I left a few cookies at home as a treats for my Roomie, who is spending late nights serving at church and is often rushed for meals and snacks. But I really don't want any more. They were delicious, but I had my fix. I'd rather eat an apple or a banana with some peanut butter! (Seriously, I missed fruit with all of my heart. I will never, ever take "nature's dessert" for granted again.) I feel like this really has become a lifestyle and it has changed what I eat and how I read nutrition labels and ingredient lists. I guess I'm in the "maintenance mode" of this experiment - and I'm only 3.0 pounds from being in maintenance mode of WW too.




What does that mean to me? I've changed my perspective on it a little. I realized it just means I'm going from a "diet," from trying to lose weight, to just keeping up with this healthy lifestyle. It means I've learned the lessons and reached my goals, but that I want to keep making the effort to stay healthy and active and being smart about what I eat to fuel my body with. It means that I refuse to let junk food or emotional eating or laziness control my life. Instead, I'm in control now. It's actually an empowering place to be and I'm excited to enter this new phase!




Monday, December 5, 2011

Cravings

This was almost my un-doing on Friday. 
It's my (former life) most favorite frosting recipe. And in this batch, I replaced the vanilla extract with peppermint. Peppermint chocolate is (was?) my favorite flavor combination.  In my favorite frosting. Why did I do this?!   I've been trying to use up the sugary treats in my pantry by making delicious desserts for my parents' group that meets Friday night. I thought "I've been 'sober' for 7 weeks now, I surely can handle this!" 

BOY WAS I WRONG!  My hubby found me in the kitchen, staring at my frosting covered hands. I felt like Jasper in the party part of "New Moon" (yes, Twilight fan, Team Jacob if it matters) - desperately wanting it, but knowing it just wasn't okay.  I KNEW I couldn't blow seven weeks without sugar, but I wanted it SO BADLY. I'd like to believe I'm strong enough to say no, but peppermint chocolate frosting has a LOUD voice!  I'm hoping to get to a place where it's just a whisper.

Then I started thinking.  This "experiment" is almost over - my eight week detox comes to an end on December 16. I've completed six weeks without sugar. Still, the cravings are there. At times, the cravings are bad.  I have planned to have wedding cake next weekend and now I wonder if I will be able to handle it! Will I be able to have a few bites and stop, or will the "old" me come out in a big way and devour all the sugar in sight? 

So to my friends who have quit before me - do the cravings go away? Once an addict, always an addict? I need a little perspective! Will I always turn into a lunatic at the smell of sugary goodness?!  

Don't get me wrong, I know I'm much healthier now. I feel better, I'm looking better - but I still crave that something sweet after meals. 

In the end, I DID NOT cheat, I didn't have any sugar on Friday. My hubby caught me just in time and started saying (in a VERY insistent voice) "Wash your hands! Wash your hands!", which I did.  I don't know that I could say that I didn't have sugar if he hadn't walked in at that moment. 


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stats

As promised and by request, my updated measurements.  Please note - I didn't measure my "gut" when I started. You know-he area between my waist and hip measurements, that has been shrinking? :-)  So I'm adding a "gut" measurement now, hoping to watch that number reflect my efforts!


So as you can see - loss across the board. It's not astronomical, but hey, it's only been a month! I am quite happy with the progress I'm making.   I am formulating a plan to help strengthen my body on the days I can't (or won't) make it to the gym. I will be talking about my training plan coming up soon.  We are a few short months (TWO! EEEEKK!) away from the Disney Princess Half Marathon in Florida!

Gotta get the booty in gear! (And get rid of MUCH more of it before then too :-)


Still Here

Hey, it's Jen! No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth *yet*! Where have I been? Busy. I work two jobs - including one in retail, so needless to say, my hours have been crazy, volunteer with the church kids, squeeze in some time with my parents and little brother even though we are spread out across the city, rarely get to see my friends, and for some reason think I still have time for dating too (although I've learned that online dating is not for me & that a set up from friends is really no less awkward).


On the sugar-free front, I have not stuck to the plan flawlessly. However, I stopped having cravings. I learned that I could portion out a serving of ice cream and be satisfied with that. I actually went to my family's Thanksgiving dinner and went completely dessert-free! (The women in my family love to bake... it's in our blood. We do it often and we do it well. So this was nothing short of a miracle, trust me!) :) Okay, maybe I was saving my sugar-consumption for wedding cake (and the pie buffet and her chocolate chip cookie pie favors) the day after. My "date" was one of my small group girls, whose older sisters both came with a date:




I realized that I will always want sweet treats, because my love of food reaches maximum happiness with desserts. But now I will chop an apple, spinkle it with cinnamon, microwave it for a minute, and I'm content with that. So I'm eating fruit on a normal basis again. But I'm not going back to sprinkling Truvia on everything, or even putting it in my coffee. I still check the labels and ingredient list and will pass on items I can find a better subsitute for, but I'm not avoiding all sugars at all costs. I jumped ahead to finding the balance and the lifestyle that will work for me long-term.


I'm happy with how far I've come. I've been consistently sitting in the 143's - just not losing as quickly as I was. But those last few pounds are always the most stubborn, and it's even more difficult since my work schedule hasn't allowed for much gym time the last couple weeks. But I'm determined to get back there. I have to find a new trainer since mine moved, but that's no excuse to stop going consistently. I have a 5K next Saturday that my legs will hate me for if I don't get in some quality treadmill time before then! Not to mention, our Half Marathon will be here before I know it. So tonight, maybe saying I have to go to the gym isn't an excuse to leave a date early, but really just getting my priorities in the right order! We'll see...


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"I could never do that!"

About four out of five people who hear I've "quit sugar" respond with "Oh, I could never do that!"

But you COULD.  It's not brain surgery, it's not something that requires years of study or patience or skill.  It's just something that, in my case, HAD to be done. I know now that sugar was standing between me and the life I want to (and was meant to!) be living!  I'm approaching my first goal weight. I'm able to run longer/faster/further than before. My emotions are in check. I FEEL better.

So for all of the people that comment on the blog saying I'm "inspiring" or "doing the impossible" - I URGE you. Try it. Give yourself a WEEK.   I'd tried "detoxing" before I did this. I would be talking to my hubby and would throw a handful of chocolate chips in my mouth - without even realizing I was doing it!

If I can go from mindless sugar binging to being sugar free for SIX WEEKS - So can you. 

I used to crave sugar to the points where I would eat marshmallows off the floor of my pantry - If I can quit emotional eating - So can you.

I could NOT drink coffee with less than 4Tbsp of flavored creamer -  If I can adjust to life (coffee!!!) without sugar - SO CAN YOU.

So don't read this blog and think "Wow, that's admirable, but it's not for me."  Instead, I challenge you - ONE week. Give it ONE WEEK to try this whole "sugar free" experience. I promise you, you will FEEL better; you will LOOK better; you will be HEALTHIER than you've ever been.

So do it. Make a commitment. Start today. Post a comment and let me know you're with me. And if you need support, I will support you! Heck, I'll send you my number and if you have an emergency, we'll text until you're through it. I feel that strongly about this decision.





Sunday, November 27, 2011

Starting Week Six

Saturday started week 6 of my no sugar journey.  And I'm still learning things!
For example, my mom called me today and informed me that table salt has added -- yes, you got it -- SUGAR! Why? Apparently the process used to refine salt into "table" salt makes it bitter. Add some sugar (dextrose, specifically) and VoilĂ ! Table salt!

I feel like I'm becoming a more informed consumer. I'm reading a book called Suicide by Sugar.  In it, the author discusses different afflictions from sugar, the hazards and also the dangers of maltodextrin. Wikipedia defines maltodextrin as such:

Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide that is used as a food additive. It is produced from starch by partial hydrolysis and is usually found as a creamy-white hygroscopic spraydried powder. Maltodextrin is easily digestible, being absorbed as rapidly as glucose, and might be either moderately sweet or almost flavorless. It is commonly used for the production of sodas and candy. It can also be found as an ingredient in a variety of other processed foods.

 What I get from this scientific paragraph? "Maltodextrin is bad and we should avoid it." (ok, maybe it's from a combination of not understanding more than 10 words above and the stuff I have read in the Suicide by Sugar book. :-))

So I'm slowly moving my family to whole foods - maltodextrin is present in almost every pre-packaged food I've looked at, from spice mixes to marinated pork tenderloin.

I'm really leaning on a local produce co-op that we've been using for awesome veggies. I'm looking forward to getting back to some fruit soon (2 weeks!) and we always get lots of great tasting stuff!  I'm experimenting with different ways to make old favorites. I got a recipe from a friend for Oatmeal waffles that I'm just leaving the brown sugar out of the recipe. They taste GREAT now, with some pecans chopped up on top.  My daughter loved them with applesauce and hubby had a little powdered sugar and butter.   I made sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving - instead of putting in 1/2 cup of brown sugar and covering them in marshmallows, I used butter and cinnamon. They were a big hit!

My cravings aren't completely gone. I was making our Advent calendar for this Christmas season tonight and purchased a bag of my (formerly) favorite holiday candies -


Hershey's mint miniatures!  (The dark chocolate/mint was my favorite)    It was all I could do not to open every single one and eat them. So no, my cravings aren't GONE. But did I eat them all? Nope. Did I even eat one? Nope. Instead, I went and got some peppermint chocolate tea.  NOT the same, but definitely satisfied the craving in a sufficient way!


So here goes week 6 in the journey. I will be posting some updated stats soon. I will say that as of my weigh in last week, I was 1.5lbs from my first weight loss goal!



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My "Cheat" for Thanksgiving!

I'm allowing one "sweet" on Thanksgiving - some homemade cranberry sauce! 

I used Skinny Taste's recipe obviously taking out the agave/sugar.  I used 2-16oz bags of cranberries and four pears. I added about 2.5 cups of water as well. I did add some cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg to the mix as it cooked. I wanted to add cloves, but I couldn't track down cheesecloth to float them in!

I think tomorrow morning I will add a bit of orange zest, just to mix it up.  



 So excited to taste it tomorrow!!


Happy Thanksgiving! 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fifty Percent.

Today marks the end of my fourth sugar free week, halfway through the "I Quit Sugar" experiment.

Today I feel - even. I don't know how to put it into words, but I don't have mood swings, fiendish food cravings, emotional outbursts... I think this is how I am SUPPOSED to feel. It's interesting to think that all these years, I've been abusing sugar and it's been abusing me back, by making me moody, critical and dependent.

I realize now how much I leaned on mindless snacking, which has completely stopped! In fact, I'm having a hard time meeting my Weight Watchers daily points because of it! I'm spending more time playing with my kids, cleaning my house and working on my crafty projects instead of in the pantry, hunting down my next sugary snack.

I feel almost as though this process has given me my life back - a life I didn't know I had! I feel more confident, both in myself and in my ability to cut sugar out of my diet. Honestly, when we started this journey, I had my doubts. I relied on sugar emotionally, physically and socially.  Now I'm learning who I am aside from the baker, the cake girl, etc. And it's FUN!

Everyone keeps asking if I'm putting my family on a sugar-restricted diet too. My answer is no, but that's not entirely true. I do most of the grocery shopping and cooking and I'm not making those things anymore! So I guess I AM, in a way. And why wouldn't I? I don't want my kids to grow up with the same dependence on sugar that I have.  It's hard to keep my daughter from having sugar at school (preschool snacks are ALL sugar!).   (I have toyed with the idea of being a sh!t disturber, though - keep that on the back burner for now, I want to make friends at her school first ;-)   So yes, I have stopped feeding my family cake, candy and cookies at home. I've stopped using products with corn syrup in our cooking. I'm working on getting rid of maltodextrin (will try to do a post about that in the near future too). Am I FORCING them to go sugar free? Nope. I even bought my hubby a milk shake tonight when I went to pick up dinner. Did I steal a sip? Nope!  Did I sniff it? Yes :-)

So at the end of week four, I'm going strong. I love this lifestyle, I feel better and I can't wait to see what the next four weeks bring. Although I guarantee that I'll be breaking it the first day of week 8. I can't deny myself wedding cake. Let's call it a victory slice :-)


Monday, November 14, 2011

Scared Stupid

Last night when I got home from a store meeting for my second job, I was starving and I craved a little bit of everything. I had a healthy dinner planned - taco salad from the 93% lean ground beef I had made in the afternoon. But I ate that and was still hungry. So I had a serving of the leftover mac & cheese in the fridge. Still hungry. And as I was sitting on the couch watching Elf, I wanted to be Buddy the Elf... I wanted syrup on my pancakes. And candy by the handful. I haven't been craving sugar. But watching all the sweet goodness, I wanted it all and I wanted it now.

So I decided I would give in - just a little. I would have a tablespoon of the dark chocolate peanut butter I had carefully hidden in the back of the pantry. But rather than use my measuring spoon, I used a regular spoon. And one bite quickly led to me eating it out of the jar with a spoon (Gross, I know. But this blog is all about full-disclosure!). After a minute, I realized how awful that was so I put the jar away and returned to my movie. But the sweets had me wanting something salty. So I finished the movie munching on some blue corn tortilla chips.

Where did this come from and why?! I was in a great mood when I got back from the meeting, so it wasn't emotional eating. It wasn't that I was having a sugar craving, because I went from cheesy to sweet to salty - and could have easily just kept going. I peeked at the scale this morning to see a much-deserved gain from Saturday morning's weigh in at 143.2, but I sighed in relief as I realized I have until this coming Saturday to make up for my night of mindless eating. But in order to correct the problem, I need to admit that it was such and then figure out why I let it happen in the first place.

And this morning, I remembered texting Nicole over the weekend about being so close to goal. I admitted something that will sound strange to most people: I'm scared of being so close to goal. Shouldn't I be celebrating that in 3.2 pounds I will go from weight loss mode to maintenance mode? Shouldn't it excite me to be so close and know that I could potentially reach this in the next couple weeks? Why do I get anxious at the idea instead?

It's unfamiliar.

I've been struggling with weight loss since finishing my undergrad degree in 2007. I started WW the summer after I stepped on the scale and saw 180.0. In six months, I was at 145 - close to goal - and I stopped. I hung out with friends and went out for drinks when I knew I should have been at the gym. I chose to bake (and eat) lots of cookies instead of the salads I had gotten used to. And before I knew it, I was back to 170. I haven't been below 145 since then. This is new territory.

Reaching goal means my WW goes into maintenance mode. I get more points... I've never been given more than 29 daily points a day. (Granted, I have eaten way beyond my daily and weekly points. But it's never been the recommendation!) The freedom, the extra points, it makes me nervous. I've been in weight loss mode for so many years that the change makes me a little anxious. I know that sounds stupid, but I'm afraid the temptation to use those extra points on less healthy foods will get to me.

I refuse to let fear of the new phase of life and this weight loss journey get me down though. It is exciting! I am in better shape now than I think I've ever been in (read: not as skinny as I was in high school, but with stronger muscles and better endurance for physical activity). And I feel pretty (most days - especially when I take the time to do my hair and/or makeup). I refuse to be scared of maintenance, because I know that will lead me to making stupid decisions of what I eat; and I will not sabotage myself again - especially this close to goal! So today I'm drinking lots of tea and sticking to my daily points, working out with Ryan after work if job2 doesn't use my shift tonight, and I'm going after goal with a vengeance!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sweet Education

So now you know - if you've been following along - that sugar is hidden everywhere. But do you know how to find it?  Do you know all the different names it goes by?  

Let's play a game - how many times can you find sugar listed on this label? Go on, I'll give you a minute. 
 So, how many could you find? 

High fructose corn syrup; Corn syrup; Brown sugar; Sugar; Honey; Molasses

So what gooey goodness is this, you ask?  Brownies? Cookies? 
Nope. Plain bread crumbs. The sugar content on the label was 4g. If you were just to look at the sugar content, you wouldn't have noticed all the different (overkill) ingredients. 

So here's a list of what to look for, with the rule of thumb being anything ending in "-ose" is sugar. The exception here is lactose, which doesn't affect your blood sugars the way the others do and is okay to consume during a sugar detox.

list found at About.com
  • Agave Nectar
  • Barley Malt Syrup
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup, or corn syrup solids
  • Dehydrated Cane Juice
  • Dextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Glucose
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Rice Syrup
  • Saccharose
  • Sorghum or sorghum syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Syrup
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado Sugar
  • Xylose
Also - evaporated cane juice, which Wikipedia describes like this: "Nutritional benefits are minimal; evaporated cane juice contains trace minerals and vitamins but has the same amount of calories as table sugar."

The other thing to watch out for are "sugar alcohols." These are the things they add to "sugar free" products.  (Read more about them here). While there technically isn't sugar proper in these foods, the "fake" sugars are still fooling your body into thinking that sugar craving is being satisfied.  During a detox from the addiction to sugar, it's best to avoid this as well. 


I'm 20 days into this journey, only 1 1/2 hours from being a solid three weeks in. I must say, it's not as wholly-consuming as it was in the beginning. I've armed myself with "safe" snacks. I'm learning there are certain things I will need to make from scratch instead of purchase in order to avoid unnecessary sugars. I do still have cravings, mostly in the afternoon when lunch is over and I'm hurting for something sweet to "finish" my meal. But I'm staying strong, staying true to this journey. 

And that's what it is. A journey. People keep asking "are you ever going to eat sugar EVER AGAIN?" Why of course I will! But when I do, I'm praying I'm able to stop at one piece of candy, a reasonable amount of ice cream, a few bites of cake. I will evolve and get to that place. Right now? I don't think I could stop yet, as I still crave it. Every day I'm feeling stronger and more in control of my situation! 








Monday, November 7, 2011

A tune up

My laptop is getting a tune up this week, so my blogging will be pretty scarce until I get it back. Blogging on a phone just isn't fun!

I will say I am continually, every day shocked at where I find sugar. Yesterday I realized that my GARLIC SALT has added sugar. Really?!

So before long, I'll be back with some substantial posts. Sorry for the delay on my part!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Facts

As promised, I'm following in Nicole's footsteps and posting all my stats. Keep in mind, I've been doing the Weight Watcher journey for just over a year. So I am very close to my weight loss goal. But I'm still not in great shape. And I have unhealthy addictions (sugar) and habits (eating lots of junk food, emotional eating, etc.) which are my focus now. And I have been doing the no-sugar journey for almost three weeks now, just with several bumps along the way.
So, this is me... I just got up from my computer and took this in the only full-length mirror in my house.

Yesterday I weighed in and took my measurements. So as of 11/4/2011, here is where I stand:
Weight - 144.2 pounds
Arms - 10.5"
Hips - 36"
Bust - 40"
Waist - 30"
Thighs - 22.5"

I'm anxious to see if and how those measurements change through this! I wish I had been better about doing this from the beginning, but I know Ryan took measurements when I first started training with him at the gym (in March) so I may ask for those just to see how far I've come! If I get that information, I'll post it so you can see that there has in fact been some progress made already!








Friday, November 4, 2011

Dirty Words

There are four dirty words that Nic mentioned in one of her first blog posts that are really having quite an impact on me lately... high fructose corn syrup. I've seen the ads that say "high fructose corn syrup is made from corn and as healthy as natural sugar" and then there's the other side of the battle about how awful the stuff is for you. I'm not jumping in that debate, because honestly, I don't really care. I've learned how harmful the effects of the ridiculous amount of sugar that's been put into just about everything we eat is, so it doesn't really matter to me if HFCS is the same as sugar. Sugar is not really my body's friend - whether that's granulated sugar, HFCS, corn syrup, Splenda, etc.

My roommate had fruit snacks that were made with real fruit juice... with 14 grams of sugar in a tiny .5 oz package! A coworker had a single-serving cup of fruit with over 20 grams of sugar in it! The "healthy" ice cream bar a friend was eating had a whopping 30 grams of sugar. How is that healthy?! And now I've learned to look not only at the grams of sugar listed on the nutrition facts, but to also scope out the ingredient list for these sneaky little devils, it just gets me more frustrated than ever. Why do we put this stuff in everything??

Here are some things I've found recently that have HFCS in them that I would never have given a second thought to before this journey: Nyquil/Robitussin/Delsym (only the liquid kind, but of course that's the only cold medicine that actually knocks me out), Land O Lakes fat-free half & half, Pepperidge Farms' line of 100% whole grain bread, Ritz crackers, sweet pickle relish and most jarred pickles, all varieties of Miracle Whip, Campbell's vegetable soup (the microwave cup kind), etc.

Obviously, HFCS is found in a lot more foods than these. But I didn't expect it to be in most of these! I have never before read the label to my cold medicine. I had to run to the store this morning to find a truly sugar-free half & half I could put in my coffee at work. These things sneak up on me and I'm realizing like never before how much sugar and sugar-substitutes I have really been consuming. It almost makes me sick to think about. No wonder I was getting sick all the time. No wonder I craved sugar on a daily - if not hourly - basis. Have you found these hidden sugars in any other surprising foods?

When I first downloaded the e-book and told Nicole I was going to try not eating sugar for awhile, I thought it would be easy. I had no idea how many varieties of sugar are out there or the extreme amount that is in most of my normal "healthy foods." I'm learning a lot of foods aren't nearly as healthy as I once thought they were. And I'm not surprised that although I was losing weight on WW, I wasn't really getting much healthier. In fact, after a year on WW, I was getting physically sick and spending a lot more money on doctor (and even Emergency Room) visits with stomach issues.

I'm anxious to see after several weeks of diligently sticking to this plan if and how that changes. I know I was feeling like a new person after my first sugar-free week. And yes, I've made mistakes and I've eaten sugar along the way - some intentional and some not. But I'm back on track and I'm committing to see this through. I will be posting my stats - weight, measurements, photo, etc. - sometime this weekend in hopes that will be another thing to keep me accountable to this. But for now, it's back to work now that my really sugar-free coffee is kicking in! Happy Friday, friends!





Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Day in the Sugar Free Life

Two weeks ago, this would have been my typical day:
Breakfast:
Coffee with about 2-3 Tbsp flavored fat free creamer
Either: Cereal (not "bad" but definitely containing sugar), oatmeal w/brown sugar or some baked good - pancakes or waffles - with plenty of syrup

Mid morning:
banana and/or Greek yogurt with added fruit

Lunch:
Crackers & cheese

Afternoon:
Something sweet, always. Cookies, ice cream, Nutella (BIG ONE!), candy - something sweet while the kids nap.

Dinner:
Dinner wasn't too bad, I guess, except when you count ketchup, bbq, salad dressings...

Dessert:
Every night there was something sweet. A bowl of ice cream, Nutella s'mores, bananas and pb were a few of my favorites. I also love to bake, so there's usually something yummy lying around.

 My menu plan has changed drastically since then!

NOW, Breakfast:
Coffee with half & half
slice of bread with turkey sausage, egg & cheese (or PLAIN Greek yogurt with walnuts and cinnamon)

Midmorning: nuts or cheese

Lunch:
Crackers, cheese and lunch meat OR Leftovers from dinner

Afternoon:
Veggie sticks - like potato chips, but with spinach and tomato. There IS a little bit of sugar added to these, but I figure this is a lesser evil than a cookie
Cottage cheese with spices from an Italian seasoning grinder

Dinner:
LOTS of fresh veggies now - more than before for sure.  A lot less "convenience" things

Dessert:
I use that term loosely. Definitely no sweets! I've been relying a lot on popcorn (even buttered popcorn which I usually don't even enjoy) and beer. :-)


Other additions to my life:
Jillian Michael's Detox water - 60oz water/1Tbsp pure cranberry juice (I got mine at Trader Joe's)/2 Tbsp lemon juice/dandelion tea

Chia seed - while it might just be a fad, it WORKS.  I sprinkle about a tsp on my meals and it keeps me full for hours! Also, it can be added to liquid to be turned into a gel that can be used to replace up to half of the fat in baked goods! I've done this now with two different kinds of dinner rolls and it works!


Breakfast is the hardest meal of the day for me. Most days lately I wind up skipping it. However, I'm also on Weight Watchers and having 10+ points left at the end of the day is killing me - I don't have any high point snacks to fall back on!   So what are some of your favorite {quick} breakfast ideas that don't include sugars???



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Big Oops

Unfortunately, my Halloween was quite the opposite of Nicole's. My Mom brought over some candy several days before the holiday because she had drastically overbought. And when she sat the bag in front of me, the smell of Reese's drifted to my nose. I literally hid the bag. I can not; I will not.


I woke up Halloween morning so proud that I had resisted! The day was here and I hadn't caved at all! Then I got to work to find a little pile of candy on my desk from a coworker... Uh oh. So I quickly gave it to another coworker. Do not let me eat this. But the work day went from bad to worse, and by the afternoon I was stressed to the max and couldn't think about much other than the candy I had so joyfully handed over that morning. So I gave in. I went crawling to the desk next to mine and begged him for a piece of mine back. And he said "Here is one Reese's peanut butter cup. That's all you get!"



But I went home and pulled out my little pumpkin with over 100 pieces of candy inside. That one piece was so good! I'll just have one more. And one more turned into a few more. I didn't eat dinner... I ate candy and a cookie. I was just waiting for our trick-or-treaters to come and take it all away (we had 2 kids all night), but then I got into an argument with my ex and the tears just made that candy taste a little sweeter. And it added in the need for a nice cherry vodka & diet coke to wash it all down with.

Needless to say, after a solid two weeks of no sugar, this was more than a little shock to my system. I woke up yesterday morning violently ill. I spent all day throwing up and my stomach still aches beyond belief. I've always been one of those girls who learns most life lessons the hard way, and this is no different. I now know that I cannot overindulge in the sugar no matter how much I want to. My body just can't handle it anymore. It's exciting because that means there has been a big change (seriously, I used to be able to eat half the candy bowl without even a slight stomach ache), but I'm definitely paying for my mistake.


Now that I can stomach more than wheat crackers and mashed potatoes, I'm back. Back to the basics. Back to no sugar. And after work today, back to the gym for a workout with my trainer.






Tuesday, November 1, 2011

First Small Victory

In past years, hubby and I would buy our Halloween candy a week early, which wouldn't have been an issue if I didn't have a sugar addiction.

It's not like I took a piece of candy here and there. If I started taking one in the morning, I'd eat three more by noon. Then 3-4 pieces in the afternoon. More after dinner, maybe 2-3?  No matter how much was left over after Halloween, it never lasted long.

I finally admitted I had a problem with sugar when I realized that, even without thinking about it, I would "hide" my candy wrappers. I would push it down in the trash, layer something on top of it, make sure no one could "prove" how much I'd eaten.

This year, we bought the candy only the day before. I knew I haven't been doing this long enough to resist the candy. I did tempt myself, though ,the morning of Halloween I opened the big Sam's Club bags and poured them in our cauldron. And I smelled them. Really - I stuck my nose in the bucket and took a long deep breath.

And it stopped there.

The first Halloween of my life, I did not have one single solitary piece of candy. I won't lie and say it was easy. I won't say I didn't also sniff the candy in my daughter's Trick or Treat bag this morning. But not one bite crossed my lips!

I'm sure I will fail, I'm sure there will be a doughnut that calls my name just a little too persistently, birthday cake at a party, or a taste of cookie dough while making them for friends...  but I haven't hit that place yet. It's been 11 days and I haven't had fruit, dessert and I've been trying VERY hard to avoid all "hidden" sugars as well!  I know I haven't been 100% successful, but considering I never though I could do it for one day,  11 is a victory, however small.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Full Disclosure

I am invested in this process 100%.  So I'm laying it all on the line and posting not only my before and during pictures, but also my measurements and *gasp!* my weight change. Mostly because I know the scale can only go down from here.  

I turned 30 one week ago. A few days before my birthday, I told everyone I knew that my 30s are going to be my "best decade EVER!" I'm doing more for my health now than ever before - things I never would have done (primarily running and quitting sugar!) have become the center of my inward focus. I want to be HEALTHY for my kiddos. I want to run and play and feel GOOD, not dread them asking me to run around outside with them. 

So, here is it, the nitty gritty. It's not pretty, friends. But it will be... oh, I know it will be! 


So here I am on October 25, 3 days into the sugar detox. I'm hoping that the pooch around my middle is going to start shrinking now!





































 For some reference, I was 173 when I quit sugar on 10/22/11!
 

Keep an eye on those hips/waist numbers! I have a feeling cutting out sugar is going to get those numbers dropping very quickly.


 My goal is to start running 2-3 times a week (as soon as I can kick this nasty cold I've had all week!)  in an effort to train for the Disney half marathon.  I would also like to run another 10K before the end of December!

Anyone else want to share their fitness/weight loss goals?


Friday, October 28, 2011

Munchies

I'm a snacker. I always have been and I don't anticipate that changing anytime soon. Before Weight Watchers, snacks could be anything from M&M's to an entire bag of ranch potato chips. On WW, my go to snacks were fruits because almost all are 0 Points. But after finding out that fruits are sugar-filled little gems that we have to elminate from meal plans during the detox, I panicked. What in the world am I going to eat?!

I've been at this for exactly two weeks now (with a bump in the road, but two weeks none the less)! And in that time I've realized that while I still snack, I snack a lot less. I'm realizing that most of my mid-day munching was out of boredom or habit. Even when I was choosing fruit as a healthy option, I still didn't need it. I wasn't doing it because I was hungry, but rather I was just looking for something to do, a way to pass the time.

Feeling limited in my options made me realize that I have been consuming a lot of unncessary calories/Points/grams of sugar/whatever measurement you care to use without needing to. But there were and still are times when my stomach growls at me for food and it's not quite a meal time (or more likely I'm running behind and just don't have dinner ready yet). So what then?

My new go-to snacks these last couple weeks have become:
- Ridiculous amounts of hot tea
- Raw veggies like carrots, cucumber, jicama, cherry tomatoes
- Lean turkey lunchmeat with a slice or two of cheese
- Whole wheat crackers with a tablespoon of sugar-free peanut butter
- 94% fat-free popcorn
- Hardboiled eggs
- 1/4 cup of almonds
- Celery sticks filled with a mix of Swanson's canned chicken & Frank's Red Hot Sauce (an amazing buffalo chicken replacement during these exciting baseball games too!)

Any other filling, yet sugar-free ideas for me?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

There's sugar in my WHAT?!

Going into this "giving up sugar" thing, I figured I'd be giving up all my loves - cake, cookies and ice cream.  I never imagined that this would require me to also give up fruit. Salad dressing. Bread crumbs?!

Giving up sugar isn't for the faint of heart. It requires label reading and lots of attention to ingredients! My PLAIN bread crumbs ingredients list looks like this:
bread; high fructose corn syrup; corn syrup

What?! Not only is sugar the second ingredient, but also the third??? And the more I read, the more I'm finding sugar in weird (well, weird to me) places. Canned beans and tomatoes all have added sugar, things I use to make savory dishes have, surprisingly, a lot of added sugar.

When you're looking at labels, you can't simply look at the sugar content. It can be deceiving! "Sugar free candy" still has a sugar replacement, which won't help you kick the sugar addiction -- you're still feeding the "need" for sugar.  You have to read ingredients. The following are all forms of sugar that you should be avoiding:
  • evaporated cane juice
  • high fructose corn syrup/corn syrup
  • stevia (more on this later)
  • fruit juice
  • sugar
  • dextrose
  • sucralose
  • aspartame
  • Splenda
Sneaky, isn't it, how many words there are for our beloved sugar?

Italian dressing mix for my favorite comfort food recipe? Sugar is the FIRST ingredient. Obviously I was disappointed (and terrified!) when I started to fire up my crock pot this morning. Never fear, off to the internet I went. I found a recipe at Mom Advice  for homemade Italian dressing mix and decided to go for it, omitting the sugar in the recipe.  So here it is, your first repalcement for something that really shouldn't need sugar in the first place! I also omitted dried celery flakes, as I didn't have that on hand.


Homemade Italian Dressing Seasoning Mix
Recipe from Mom Advice
Ingredients
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp ground oregano
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp granulated sugar

2 tbsp salt (adjust to your own personal preference)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground basil
¼ tsp ground thyme
½ tsp dried celery flakes
Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.  To prepare the dressing: Mix two tablespoons of the mix with ¼ cup vinegar, 2 tablespoons of water, and ½ to 2/3 cup olive oil or canola oil.

And, in case you're wondering how my favorite comfort food turned out, my three year old daughter looked at me during dinner and said "Mommy, dinner turned out PERFECT!" I love her sweet little self!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Girly Goodness

I just have to say that sometimes I could do without the hormones. I began my sugar-free journey almost two weeks ago. It started out surprisingly easy for me. I was so motivated after doing some research and finding out the obscene amount of sugar in a lot of foods I was eating, not to mention the damage that was potentially doing to my body. I braced myself for the worst and just stopped cold turkey...

And it was great! I felt amazing after just a couple of days. I had a lot more energy and I actually wanted to use that energy at the gym. I even nixed my typical half-marathon fuel foods and drinks for some sugar free substitutes. Specifically: I typically would have alternated between the water and the Gatorade/Cytomax at each hydration stop. But realizing how much sugar is in the sports drink, I filled my water belt with Powerade Zero and took only water from the stations. I also usually used one GU gel about halfway through, but yet again: it's full of sugar! So I packed a tiny bag of almonds and munched on a few of those instead. I finished the 13.1 mile trek feeling great - and I did it without getting off track! I also passed up on the finish line treats (Snickers Marathon bars, bananas, & cinnamon raisin bagels) and instead ate the wheat crackers with sugar-free peanut butter I had packed.

After my first week, I hopped on the scale to find *drumroll please* I lost 2.8 pounds! For any of you familiar with Weight Watchers, I still had all of my weekly points remaining and most of my activity points. I was shocked, but ecstatic. I've been gaining and losing and gaining and losing the same 2-3 pounds for over a month. So a significant loss boosted my morale and my drive to keep going.

Then, a certain hormonal visitor showed up. And now I feel like I sprinted head-first into a wall. Giving up sugar was a really easy transition for me and my body took it surprisingly well. Until now. I've always gotten cravings when my hormones are raging like this, but right now they are the worst I've experienced. I want anything sweet or salty - and I want it now! TV commercials, Pinterest, even my WW Online friends - everything triggers a new "need" and I confess... I gave in. I didn't go crazy, but I had ice cream *eeek* twice this week. I have to face facts: I ate sugar, and I ate a lot of it.

So it's back to the beginning for me. It's Day One all over again. I know it's an addiction because having ice cream one night made me "need" it even more the next night. So I'm reluctantly throwing away the remaining carton in the freezer. I'm downing detox tea like it's my job and revisiting my meal plans from those first days I was adjusting to the change. This was just a bump in the road, and hopefully by next month I'll have this better under control. The rest buton has been hit. Here we go (again)!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Story: Nic

You will notice the blog happens in two voices - myself and one of my best friends, Jen.  She and I have the same health goals right now - quit the sugar addiction and to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February 2012.

I go through periods of time where I work out, eat healthily, do what I need to do. But I always yo-yo back up to my uncomfortable weight.  I had infertility problems when trying to get pregnant and the fertility medications shot my weight up to an all time high of 180. I had my first baby (E) in 2008. I took until she was 18 months old to really get into caring for myself again. Shortly after a miscarriage in February 2010, I started running. I have always HATED running (I have bad knees!) but had an epiphany one night watching The Biggest Loser. "If that guy who is 400 lbs can run - so can I!"  And I did. I started running like crazy and I joined Weight Watchers. I watched my baby weight (using that term loosely, she was almost 2 years old :-)) melt away!

And then? I found out I was pregnant.  Because of my miscarriage I was afraid to keep running. I kept moving, though, taking E on walks and to the zoo.  The end of my pregnancy found me at 210lbs!! I had A in January 2011. I went back on Weight Watchers as soon as I was approved and went back to running when I was able (which wound up being around May).

I was sitting at 180lbs and couldn't shake it! No wonder - my days and nights were filled with Nutella s'mores, ice cream, cakes and cookies!! I can't eat just ONE cookie, I have to have four. There are days I would eat 20+ points in sugary substances!

July 2011 I ran my first 5K with Jen.  It was a balmy 97 degrees at 8am when we started the race. But we survived, we even THRIVED doing it!


 
Before 

 
Beer After ;-)

The kids make regular training pretty challenging, so I wasn't running regularly throughout the summer (that and most days this summer were over 100 degrees!!).  I started running more in the fall and try to get out for at least one run a week.

In October, Jen and I ran in a 10K. I finished in 1hr, 27min!  I know I'm not breaking any speed records, but I'm beating everyone on the couch :-)

I'm still hanging between 171-173lbs. My first goal is 165, stretch being 150 (DREAM being 145!)  Most recently, I've come to the realization that my body is addicted to sugar. My current plan is to cut out all sugar to wean my body. 

Which brings us to today - day three of my detox.  I'm horribly sick - head cold, my whole body aches, a number of things we won't discuss here....  but I haven't had any sugar since Saturday!! AND I am down 2lbs since then as well!


Jen will be introducing herself in the next few days at well. I will be posting again soon about my experience and plan so far for cutting the sugar.

Jen

Hey! I'm Jen and I'm joining in the journey to kick the sugar addiction and maybe somehow become addicted to running (or exercise in general) instead. Since I'll be chiming in and sharing the up's and down's of my experiences, I guess it would help to know who I am and how I got here.


I'm 26 and busy. I work two jobs, volunteer as a youth leader at our church, work out with a personal trainer a couple of times a week if/when my schedule allows, and attempt to have some semblance of a social life. I'm single, but have an awesome roommate who rents the basement of my house and helps me stay somewhat accountable to eating well and exercising (she's a personal trainer... just not mine). I don't have "baby weight" to lose since I've never been pregnant, but knowing that I one day want to have a family is a huge motivator in wanting to get and stay healthy and active.

I'm an emotional eater and a six year off-and-on relationship had me spending a lot of quality time with Ben & Jerry. So the girl who graduated high school weighing around 115 pounds ended up graduating college at 180. That's when I finally had enough and turned to Weight Watchers. I lost 40 pounds in less than a year. But along came another boy - this one who wanted to hang out when I should have been at the gym, who baked cookies with me and had a freezer full of ice cream for me to raid while we worked on our laptops. And before I knew it, 30 of those pounds were right back on my waistline. So back to Weight Watchers I turned! I'm now less than 10 pounds from my goal weight.

It's been a very slow process, but I am determined to make this the last time. I have a personal trainer who keeps me mixing up my workouts with strength training and cardio. I have finished a 5K, two 10K's, and three half-marathons. I'm a walker much more than a runner though - which is something I want to get better at. For me, this is all about being the best possible version of me. I am happy when I am healthy.

So to avoid a family history of cancer and diseases, to be in good shape to hopefully one day fit into a gorgeous wedding dress, to someday have healthy pregnancies and then be a Mom who is actively running around in the backyard with her kids... for these reasons and so many more, I'm going to break the unhealthy addictions and become the woman I believe I was born to be. As Helen Keller once said "Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."

An explanation

I am really bad at coming up with titles for things :-)  "For my tummy" is my daughter's (E, she's three) response to everything - even when it doesn't make sense. "Mommy, we should get a car with sliding doors." "What made you say that?" "My tummy".   "Mommy, we should get a crayon" "For what?" "For my tummy."

HOWEVER, this blog? It really will be about things "for my tummy."  But make no mistake, this isn't a recipe blog. I have one of those (http://spaghettionmywall.blogspot.com/). No, this is going to be about my adventure LOSING my tummy. I'm training for a half marathon. I'm quitting a sugar addiction.  No holds barred, I'm laying it all on the table here!!