Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 366!!!!!

Well, I DID IT!
My blog failed about 1/2 way through, but I didn't. I completed no sugar for 1 whole year. It feels terrific. It is 12:20 on the first day where sugar is allowed and I don't feel like having anything. The thought of it makes me a little sick inside. I'm sure it won't be long before I will try something just out of curiosity, but for now I am feeling good.

There is a book titled "Women, Food, and God" that I have just recently read. It has been very helpful to me as I have been sorting out a bunch of things after this last year. (It has a few words I don't care for, especially in the beginning, so I bought my own copy and I'm marking it out and up pretty good)

My weight has been pretty steady. I lost 16 pounds in the first 3 months. I stopped exercising regularly/consistently about 3 months after that. Gradually, I put on about 4-5 pounds which is where I am at today.

I have felt good. I haven't been dazed and tired like before. I have discovered that in general I do not get enough sleep every day and I can stop blaming the sugar for being tired all the time and blame myself for not getting to bed on time.

There are other health things I have discovered about myself. It is easy to blame eating habits for a lot of problems so it is interesting to see what remains after changing my diet.
In some ways I have substituted other not so good things to eat instead of sugar. This is not a good idea and again the book, "Women, food, and God" talks about this. After reading this book I don't feel as if I will ever do a "diet" again.

MODERATION in all/MOST things. This is a big thing I have learned. I would never be a good candidate for stomach surgery. This is probably because the last 6 months what I have really missed is the freedom to choose. I made the commitment to myself so I wasn't going to break it, but I really missed the freedom to exercise moderation. For me it has to be moderation not anything else.

So, it's time to move on to other things. Thanks for following. I weaseled out in my blog postings in the end, because even I was sick of myself and not disciplined enough to write consistently.

One of my favorite things I gained from this was my sense of smell. You can get great endorphins from the smell of baked goods without even touching them. Remember that! It really is satisfying. (Just try to keep to yourself though because you really do look like a weirdo!)

Another thing I learned is that there will always be good things to eat. If you turn it down today, it or something like it will be there tomorrow. I don't have to eat everything. Save up for the best and really enjoy it.

Thanks for all the support and encouragement! It meant a lot to me especially the first few weeks when it was difficult.

Now only time will tell, just like everything else. Moderation, Moderation, Moderation.
There are so many other things in life that are interesting other than constantly worrying about food, diet and appearance. While those are very important, it will be fun to think, enjoy, ponder other things in life. Try to love our selves just the way that we are. Everyone needs to eat well. Everyone needs to exercise, no matter what size or shape we are.

And that's that.

Take Care everyone. Happy Smelling!

Monday, April 26, 2010

1/2 way mark today!!!!

Hey, -6 months down, 6 to go. How 'bout that. It kind of snuck-up on me. I had it on my calendar but didn't realize it again until this morning.
So, I'm feeling good. I will look at my plans for the next 6 months and maybe reevaluate some exercise goals. I want to take advantage of the next 6 months to make sure I make the most of it. This first six months seems to have gone by pretty fast. Most things are in routine now, so I don't really struggle with saying no to sweets and treats anymore. From now on it's just stay the course and make the most of it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Still going strong, just bored of reporting it.

HI. It's been a while. I am still not eating sugar or corn syrup. It is no longer hard to refuse these items. But, I have grown bored of my own blog. :) It seems there is nothing of real significance to report. I could write how my weight has gone up slightly, only to go down slightly, then back up slightly and down again slightly. But, that is so boring and nobody including myself wants to hear about that anymore. I am still weighing and recording it in my personal journal every Monday.
Here is what I learned about myself over Spring break and Easter: I love Easter candy even if I am just looking at it and smelling it. I love peeps, malted egg milk balls, and smelled several Cadbury eggs and decided that was what Easter smells like. Also, it is easy to make it through the holidays by not cheating; but once the holiday is over, it is very hard. I am not sure why this is. Maybe because I think I made it through the holiday, but I am not prepared for right after the holiday. I see the easter candy on sale for 50% off and something inside makes me very depressed that I am not participating in that. It's a mental thing. Also, it is very hard to make good decisions when you are tired and extremely hungry. Defenses are down and it is hard because you are weak. Try to eat something every 3 hours.
After 4 weeks, that's about all I have.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Kill 'em with Consistency

The phrase is "Kill them with Kindness". But after the last few weeks I've had I am changing it/or adding to it "Kill them with Consistency". I was so excited because I had finally seen a drop in weight (3.5 lb.) for the first time since December. But the next week came and exactly 3.5 lb. were back. I was ticked. So the following week I didn't do anything special. In fact I exercised only one day and not very hard, and I felt like I had overeaten all week. I got on the scale feeling like I probably had gained 3-5 more pounds. And to tell the truth, my mental state felt like it was in the same state as it had been in many times before, when you feel the frustration of doing a lot of things and not getting any results and then giving up and doing what ever you want and not wanting to be held accountable for no exercise or eating a lot of junk. So I had kind of done that sort of "I don't care anymore" attitude, although of course, still within in my no sugar realm. So what I mean is too many late night Taco Time runs, a lot of popcorn with butter, too many cliff bars etc. Anyways, the next week I get on the scale (again thinking I had gained 3-5 pounds) and to my surprise I had lost 2.5 again. So what do I take away from all of this besides going insane?
#1 Life is Frustrating. It is for everyone, I am not immune.
#2 When I don't eat sugar or corn syrup, my binges are usually things with a lot of fiber and it is really hard to over eat because every thing is real food and it is filling. It is really easy to NOT OVER indulge, just because you are full. This is a BIG TIP for me to learn.
#3 My weight gain is small. I am used to big weight gains of 10-30 lbs. What I have been documenting is nothing in comparison. 1-3 pounds gained and lost each week is nothing compared to what I have had in the past. It is somewhat of a relief too that I am not on that roller coster.

So when I say "Kill em with Consistency", it's that balance over time that I have gained through my new eating habits. I have felt better (balanced) for the last 21 weeks. It's such a way of life for me now. I'm not counting all the things I pass up anymore. I eat when I am hungry. I stop when I am full. My weight loss has not been a lot, but again that was not my main reason for doing this, but rather a side event. Also, this week I am working on the consistency of my exercise which will be an interesting observation once I can coordinate these two once again.

I am still a smelling "fool", and I do mean "Fool". I love to smell things, but I have to really watch myself as I am turning into a weirdo. I have to remember to just keep that inside the walls of my own home. :) I really enjoy the aroma of something yummy.

This last week I read an article on MSN home page. It was talking about how breast cancer can be related to our poor exercise and eating habits. It doesn't discount the cancer being past down through the genes. It said that that has always been there through the ages of time. What they have seen through all these years, which is causing the number of breast cancer patients to incline, is a difference in the eating habits and exercise habits in women. Women are more sedentary now and the diet is filled with sugar and fat. When you weigh more you are at higher risk for breast cancer. They believe that the number of genes being past down is the same but the diet and exercise is worse and that is what is causing the number of breast cancer patients to go up. It was a very interesting article and if I can find it again, I will post it here.
Good health is all encompassing. It is worth it to be healthy. It affects every thing we do and our purpose of being here on this earth. I am glad that I am on a good path. I am going to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. It's the consistency of one year that I needed when I started this thing. I'll try to add a little Kindness too.

Monday, March 8, 2010

It takes a trip to Mexico...

Hola! The past two weeks have been very interesting. Last Tuesday, I returned from Cancun, Mexico. We had a fabulous trip full of exciting adventures. I ate lots and lots of fruit and vegetables. We had a wonderful time. My husband enjoyed any smoothie or virgin pina colada, or ice cream he could get his hands on. I drank a lot of bottled water and then had a lot of diet coke at lunch time. I can't drink it after 3:00 or I will be up at 3:00am. I am not a big fan of diet anything, but when you have nothing else, it started to taste good. So good that one day after I got home, I had to make a conscience decision that I absolutely do not want to trade a really bad habit (sugar) for another really bad habit (caffeinated pop). So I enjoyed one more (They had a diet Dr. Pepper at the Dairy Queen far away from my house), and have made the decision every day to NOT have one. That stuff is addicting and I am an addictive person, so I have to say no. BUT, what I did find was a new way to drink herbal tea and I absolutely love it. A lot of Mexican food is prepared with limes. I love it on every thing. One night they brought us some herbal tea. It was orange spice with a wedge of lime and some honey. Oooooh. The combination of the cinnamon, lime and honey was heaven. I had it every night after that as my little treat. I came home and bought a big bag of limes at Costco and I make my lime herbal tea every night. Delightful. Also, I make freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast every day. One day I did my regular 2-3 oranges and then I sliced a lime and juiced half of it with my orange juice. Wowza! That is an awesome drink. The lime adds a little kick to it and it is fantastic. -I also ate a lot of papaya. I love this fruit and haven't had any that good since I was a missionary in Brazil 19 years ago. I ate it and other fruits for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I also ate a lot of vegetables. Everything there was fresh and I relished in the fact that I didn't have to prepare or clean it up. It was heaven. It was so nice to have a change of pace, a variety of foods, and an adventure of new activities. We got lots of sleep, rest and relaxation. Just what I needed.

Coming home, my weigh in date was one day late. I weighed in on Tuesday instead of Monday. I was down .3 . Somewhat depressing as I had such a wonderful vacation and had better expectations. I do think I was retaining water because of the flight however.
Today, Monday, is my next weigh in and to my joy and surprise, I am down 3.5 from last week. My total is now 17.1. I have been on a plateau since December, so I have felt good about the loss and feel renewed to get my exercise going again in hopes of continuing the loss.

The sugar/corn syrup is not even a temptation any more. It is so weird because I have many other things to worry about, I am glad this is not included in that anymore. This is a blessing and exactly what I was hoping for when I started this whole thing.

This week was my daughter's birthday. I made cupcakes for her school class, and cake and ice cream for our family. I also went to a bridal shower where they served the most beautiful looking cupcakes -chocolate, angel food cake, and strawberry. I didn't try one, but was tempted because they were so pretty. My friend had half of one and couldn't finish the rest. She said they looked prettier than they tasted. I believed her and was disappointed even though I wasn't eating it. Isn't that funny? In my former life of eating treats, I would have eaten the whole thing, taking home extras, trying every flavor, even admitting that it wasn't that good. What is up with that? See why I am trying to change? It doesn't make sense sometimes. For me it is a mental game that I'm not playing anymore. However, I really do like to smell the things I am not eating. Does that make me a weirdo? When we were in Mexico, Scott got so used to me asking to smell that he would shove it into my nose before taking a bite. We always got a good laugh at that.
Well, to summarize, I think it is always good to try different things, to shake up our normal routine a bit. I think that is what has helped me get through that plateau. Variety is good for the body and mind. It took me a trip to Mexico, but I feel ready to face everything again, to try a little harder, exercise a little more, try a little more variety in my diet.
My vacation did it's job!

Monday, February 22, 2010

And I'm off to a healthy vacation!

I am off to Cancun, Mexico this week for a much needed vacation. Probably more so for my husband than me but nevertheless I am taking it. We haven't really been any where so this is all new to me. My husband booked an all inclusive at the hotel. I guess that means we can order whatever and how much ever we want anytime of day. My husband is really excited for this. I am not so sure how happy I'll be ordering an extra plate of steamed vegetables, another glass of water with a lemon wedge, or my second salad, just because I can. When you go on vacation you're supposed to live a little and overindulge. At least that is what my old life used to be. Now that I am changing myself, the part that makes me really excited is to have fresh fruit, salads, seafood, and yes, vegetables available to me all the time without me having to buy, pay, prepare, and clean it up. What a dream! I think if I were to indulge in all that extra stuff I would get extremely sick since I am not used to it. One little cheat would lead to another, then try another and another. Then I would be back to where I started from or worse off. The truth is, I like eating healthy and I feel like I have already changed. It's just a test of time now to really drill it into my psyche. I've had some people tell me to just go ahead and eat whatever you want. You're on vacation. Or, you have to try this or that when you're there. It's the only place you can experience it. Or, when is the next time you'll make it back to Mexico? All of these are valid excuses, except I am not going to make any excuses. I have made a commitment to myself and I will keep it. There is always going to be a fantastic treat around the corner that you just HAVE to try. Well, I don't like that stuff anymore. So, hoping I can have seconds with the fresh shrimp or crab, and how about another plate of fresh fruit. Yum!
Now, having said that, this is an interesting observation for me. On Valentine's day weekend, I didn't cheat one time, yet, I had the urge to make a lot of treats and deliver them to all of my friends, neighbors, and church people. I made two batches of sugar cookies, 3 batches of frosting (different colors), 2 pans of a new recipe (something like a crumb cheesecake) and one sided homemade oreos with a little conversation heart on each one. (So cute). This took a lot of effort, money, and time. And then on top of all that I made my husband deliver all of the plates to friends, neighbors and church people because I ran out of time and I was too tired. When he delivered it to my friends, they later told me, that he told them, "This is a silly thing to do for someone who isn't eating any sugar for a year." After I heard he had said that a couple of times, I thought, you know he is right. Why am I doing all this? Of course it was for my friends and also I had a lot of fun creating these beautiful things. But I know some people that got plates are trying to watch their weight also and I am not sure they even appreciated having it around. The more I thought about this, the more disappointed in myself I became. Here's why. I am trying to change my self. This whole project should have been a lot simpler. I don't need to spend that much time and money and energy doing something that is going to make other people unhealthy, and especially my own kids. Also, through my example, I am teaching my kids this is the thing you do every Valentine's Day. I was disappointed because it was a bad example to them and also "Much ado about nothing". I love that phase and am going to try to avoid doing just that in the future. I think the thought was great and it could of been just one type of cookie or just a simple little non -food item from Target or a craft store to celebrate the holiday instead of a 3 day project. Yikes. -Well this is why I am on this journey. I am learning lots of things about my thoughts, actions/behavior. Live and learn. Off to enjoy the sun and clear skies!

Report for last week: Up 1.2 pounds. Frustrating, as I started running the last 2 weeks. Good thing I am in it for the long run, or typically this would be the point where I'd have to call on Ben and Jerry, and the Dr. (Dr. Pepper) to feed my frustration.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sugar is sugar is sugar. Really?

3 weeks gone and no blog posts. I have been lame. But, and this is lame also, I wrote on someone's facebook trying to be funny and somewhat of a smart aleck and when someone whom I don't even know fired back at me, I had to take some time off to think about what it is I really believe. So here goes...
A friend of mine was writing on her facebook how she is becoming a flexitarian. I have never heard that term before and wondered what she was talking about. From her facebook entries, I understood it to be like someone who is gradually changing her normal eating habits, to adding a lot more vegetables into the diet. It was not clear to me if the person goes full vegetarian eventually or just consumes more vegetables and less meat. Anyways, after reading that I thought it would be funny to add a comment. I said something like... You should try Anti-sugatarianism. (If you read my blog, you'll remember this is a made up term for the pretend movement I am starting. My position is as one who enjoys meat and all food groups, sugar is the only one our body doesn't need to survive or thrive.) Not even more than 30 seconds later, someone who I don't know, and at 7:30 am in the morning, replied back with a thread for an article titled, "Diabetes-The myths about sugar". I was surprised at how fast this was brought to my attention. I read through the article and actually agreed with everything in it and even replied to this person who I don't know, that it was correct. BUT, it has continued to bother me for 3 weeks now, so read on if you're interested in knowing why. For me it will just be cathartic to get it out of my system.
http://www.new-fitness.com/Diabetes/sugar.html This is the article if anyone is interested in reading it. I've tried to pin point it down to the two paragraphs that bother me the most. It is this:
"All sugars are essentially the same and none offers significant nutritional advantages over another. Therefore, there is no difference between honey or brown sugar and table sugar. The sugar in fruit is no better than the sugar in a a candy bar. Fruit actually contains a combination of fructose, sucrose, and glucose. Fructose is very low on the gylcemic index and has a slower entry rate in the bloodstream than glucose. Also when you eat fruit, the fiber slows down absorption into the bloodstream. The health bonus that comes from eating fruit lies in their vitamin, mineral, and fiber content, not in the type of sugar they contain.

The body needs sugar. Glucose, the main sugar in the blood and a basic fuel for the body, is essential to the functioning of all cells, particularly brain cells. But you don't need to eat any sugar to supply your body with glucose. All you need is complex carbohydrates, also known as starches, which are found in foods derived from plants- grains, vegetables, and fruits. Starchy foods such as breads, rice, pasta, potatoes, cereals, corn or any food made with grain or flour, do not usually taste 'sweet', but they are changed into sugar through the process of digestion."

So I guess what is bothering me is that not everyone thinks the same way I do and I assume that we're all on the same page when we're not. Let me explain.
This article says "The body needs sugar". I say it doesn't. The article counts all kinds of fruits and vegetables and grains as sugar. I don't. An apple is a fruit. A carrot is a vegetable. And a potato, white rice, and corn are grains, milk is dairy. All the food groups are represented. The body gets what it needs. No dessert (or what I call sugar) needed. Maybe I'm just old school and just don't want to change the way I talk or think even though we are saying the same thing.

The other thing that bothered me is the part about high glycemic and low glycemic. What the article said about low glycemic is true, but we need to stress and understand the differences. I understand and agree with the point that some foods that don't appear to be treats, will turn into sugar in our body after we eat them just like we are eating a candy bar. I get that.
My whole point is that sugars are different. There is a difference between low glycemic sugars and high glycemic sugars. Anything with white or brown sugar, or corn syrup is HIGH glycemic and that is the sugar that gives a really bad reaction in my body. i.e. headaches, sweating, tired, sluggish, cloudy thinking etc. It also never satisfies. Which is why I want to keep eating, and eating until the whole package is gone. This is usually empty calories and does nothing for the body. This is what I am talking about when I say I am going without sugar for a year. It's the reaction that takes place in my mind and body. I do eat other things that have sweeteners in them such as honey, molasses, brown rice syrup, fruit, vegetables, whole grains etc. These are low glycemic. These can be tasty, and don't give the same reaction that the other sugars do. Also, it satisfies. I can eat one cliff bar, or one TLC Kashi granola bar and be done. I don't feel the need to eat another one, and then another one and so on until the box is empty. It's the same thing with fruit. How many people eat one apple and then another until all the apples in your house are gone? That is ridiculous. No one does that. The reaction is different even though "technically" it is sugar. Also, I still have a desire to eat fruit and vegetables and all the healthy things I am supposed to when I eat low glycemic sugar. When I eat the high glycemic sugar, I have no desire to eat anything healthy. The balanced meal thing goes out the window, and from then it's just eat whatever feels good. When you are strung out on high glycemic sugar you don't want fruit, vegetables, and healthy well balanced meals. You just want more of what you have been eating, treats! So my whole point is... I agree with the article about "fructose is very low on the glycemic index and has a slower entry rate in the bloodstream", I just feel the need to stress or add/clarify there is a difference between low glycemic sugars and high glycemic sugars. I wish the article would have discriminated between the two because to me there is an absolute difference in the way I feel and what follows after I have eaten whichever one.
Now I am considering changing my movement name. Since I know that Anti-sugatarianism has to explain itself every time and requires lengthy discussions usually to conclude that we are both talking about the same thing just different terms, I need a title that expresses my feelings of an anti- high glycemic sugatarian.
Anti- Treatarian?
Anti-High glycemic sugatarian meaning no white/ brown sugar or high fructose corn syrup?

Ahhh! See why this is so difficult and why I have been peeved for the last 3 weeks? Everything has to be so technical now. We can't just say sugar and people know we're talking about cookies, cupcakes, pies, candy, pop, and all forms of dessert. Some will be confused and think we're talking about potatoes, and carrots and I have to start this thing all over again.

Ok official name: Anti-HG Sugatarian or Anti-HG Sugatarianism. I'll shorten high glycemic to HG that way I'll just have to describe the initials and anyone who cares enough to have a discussion about it or fire off some article at me should already know what I am talking about.

Whew! I feel so better now. Now for the last 3 weeks:
My weight has stayed the same after 3 weeks of not writing. The first of the 3 weeks it went up 1.8, then the next week up .3, then the 3rd week it was down 1.8 which puts me almost to the lowest I've been. Total lost from October 26th: 14.5 lbs
I started running this last week any where from 30-60 minutes a day. I haven't really seen any results from it this week, but I know that consistency will make the difference. And really, what else am I going to do until October 26th 2010 any ways? So I'll just wait it out.
Side note:
This week my son and husband were watching the opening ceremony to the Olympics. They were complaining because of no treats or candy in the house. They wanted me to get out of my pj's, go to the store, and get them some ice cream. Ha! That was not going to happen. So in my sarcastic way, I told them we had plenty of potatoes, and white rice or apples they could go get, and I thought we had a couple of hot dog buns they could eat. To their groans, I added "Why not? It's all the same! Sugar is sugar."
Like I said earlier. It's not.