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


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
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!


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.


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 ( 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!!