Friday, December 31, 2010

Are You Ready For........

It is New Year's Eve and all I can say is GOODBYE 2010 – Hellooooo 2011!!! What a year and not in a good way. I am trying to remember than when we focus on the bad things all those “bad things” just seem to multiply. To kick off 2011 I am going to focus on the good things starting with So Long Sugar!! I am going to celebrate in leaving the sugar and soda behind!! How?

First of all, doing this blog and all your support has gotten me very excited and motivated. It is one thing to have a blog and a few followers, but our little group is growing. Now I have some accountability to me. If I fail, then I let all of you down and I can't do that.

Back in 1992 I heard a song called “Life's a Dance” I literally stopped dead in my tracks when I heard it on the radio because I felt someone had truly taken my life and put it into a song. I realized from that day that forward somedays I would be a leader, and some days I would be a follower. Today is my life's motto. Last year when I decided to give up sugar to gain some kind of control over my life, I never dreamed I would be able to inspire people just by giving up sugar.

Each week I have people come to me and tell me they can tell I have lost weight. It is a nice surprise in giving up the sugar and soda for 86 days and the weight loss, but that was really not my intent when I started. It was simply to gain some control in my life.

Then I thought maybe it was just a fluke. On Kathy's Blog One Bad Apple Dish Sue mentioned she had been off sugar for 4 months and lost 32 lbs!! So is it a fluke with both of us? I think not. Thanks Sue for the confirmation of the no sugar concept and the affect of weight loss.

Sugar is such a part of our lifestyles we think we can't do without it, but we can. We can find excuses, substitutes, work arounds (sorry I have done Tech Support for over 20 years ...there are always workarounds to things!) even variations of the things we truly like. We just need to start somewhere and begin with baby steps!! It's only a baby step!!!

My challenge to you is to give up sweets and soda till Valentine's Day – that is 45 days. Can you do it? I will start off by having some nuts, oranges and a couple of bottles of flavored water handy. Then if I crave sugar I will head for some Sugar Free Chocolate. Remember this is a great time to get some holiday stuff for cheap including Sugar Free Chocolate Marshmallow Santas!!!! LOL Okay I might get a couple, but I need to hide them!! You know make them harder to get to than in a sack by the computer?

So what are your plans for combatting this now that the New Year is upon us?

What do you all think about having a Countdown Calendar on the blog? Not sure if it is possible...but thought I could try it. And remember if you slip up, don't beat yourself up!!! Get back up, brush yourself off and try again. You only fail when you quit trying!!

Remember “Life's a Dance You Learn as You Go!” Here is a video with the song and lyrics if you have never heard the song...Life's A Dance

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bev's Story: Sugar, Friend or Fo?

Thank you Bev for sharing your story!!!

In March of 1988, four months before my youngest daughter Courtney turned 4 years old, we were told the heartbreaking news that our baby girl had diabetes. Some people have their God moments ....I consider this story to be one of ours.

Any mother of a three year old can tell you how demanding they can be. Courtney was no exception. It was when her whining and fussiness became abnormal that I started getting concerned. The constant thirst, so bad that I would pour her a drink and keep it within her reach in the refrigerator. Then out of the blue she started wetting the bed. What goes in must come out right? This was my reasoning anyway. Next she started complaining her eyes were hurting. I knew all of these were symptoms of something, but being a young mom, I wasn't sure what. And whatever it was, MY child didn't have it, right?

March is diabetes awareness month and the school nurse where my middle daughter Candace attended school, handed out Diabetes Awareness brochures to all of the 5th graders. Candace was only in 3rd grade so her class weren't to receive the brochures. That same evening before bedtime my husband (now ex-husband) was going through Candace's backpack, something he rarely had done before. Homework was my job. He found one of the Diabetes Awareness brochures and started reading it. One by one we began to recognize the symptoms as to what Courtney was experiencing. The next day I found an empty pill bottle and took a urine sample into her pediatrician. Arriving back at home, we could hear the phone ringing. It was her Dr. with the news there was sugar in her urine. I couldn't speak. The emotions overwhelmed me! "He's wrong"....."I didn't wash the pill bottle properly"....." It wasn't a sterile urine sample"...all of these things were said out loud to make this not seem real.

We picked her up and took her straight in to have her blood sugar tested. Sure enough it was 345, normal is 70-160. Reality baby was going to have to take shots FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE! How am I going to do this?? I am terrified of needles! All of the horrible things ran through my mind. It took the Dr. getting firm with me to bring me to where I needed to be. He acknowledged I had a reason to be upset, but I wasn't doing my daughter any favors by breaking down in front of her. I learned then to pull it together.

I then picked up the phone and called the school nurse to tell her what her brochure had done for our family. When I told her Candace had brought one home in her backpack she replied, " Isn't Candace in 3rd grade? Those were only given out to 5th graders." I then questioned my third grader on how she got her hands on a brochure. It seems someone had found it on the floor of the school bus and put it in her backpack. A coincidence? I think NOT!........a coincidence is nothing more than God hiding behind a cloud and smiling :) Word spread fast to the American Diabetes Association about our story. We were asked to film a PSA (public service announcement) . A film crew came to our home and interviewed us. We were even approached by Good Morning America to come on the show. They ended up opting to have a Dr. on instead....darn it...oh well, TV just adds 10 lbs right? ;)

There were articles written in two different magazines as well as our local newspaper telling our story. We spent a few days in the hospital, not so much because Courtney needed to be there, we caught the diabetes quickly, but to educate us as parents. I use the term "educate" loosely. They handed me an orange and a needle and told me to practice "shooting" the orange and sent us on our way. There wasn't internet then to research like there is now. We had to find a hospital 50 miles away in Temple,TX to find proper diabetes education.

Now, let's fast forward 6 years..... I received a phone call from my brother Steve asking if he could stop by. Seems he had some questions for Courtney and me. He was telling us about a few symptoms he was starting to experience. Steve is an avid fisherman....has been for as long as I have known him *smile*

He was describing to us his symptoms of thirst. Not just any normal thirst, but a thirst where he was dipping into the lake water to quench while he was fishing. He started taking bottles of water and keeping them within reach of his bed at night so he could drink all night. I knew then we had another diabetic in the family. Those sugar free desserts were going to become more prevalent at our family get-togethers.

Now remember my daughter Candace....the little third grader......she is now 29 years old and teaches 1st grade in Navasota, TX. After a family member, Matt, started selling life insurance this year, she and her husband Jim decided to take out a policy. With that policy comes BLOOD WORK......Yuck, how we all hate it, but in reality, it can be lifesaving, no matter what the reason for having it done! A few weeks passed and Matt returned with their policy premiums and test results. Candace's premium was alot higher than Jims. After looking for the reason for this, they discovered Candace's C-Peptide level was off. This sent her straight to see an endocrinologist. His initial thought was Type 2 diabetes...but she is not overweight....weighing only 115 lbs....and her blood sugars are only slightly elevated. He thinks she is Type 1.5 otherwise known as LADA. She is still in the process of being referred to Baylor Medical Center In Dallas, TX to confirm his suspicions.

Courtney today....her diabetes has never limited her from doing anything! While in school she played volleyball, basketball, cheerleading and her favorite sport, high school rodeos. She made it to state every year in her event, which was goat tying. In Oct., 2008, Courtney was married! Four months ago, on Aug. 26th, 2010, she gave birth to her first child,my third grandson, Lane Greyson!

As for my brother Steve....he is still quite the fisherman....providing all the fish for family fish fries!

Courtney, Josh and Lane Christmas 2010

Candace and Jim

Diabetes is a nuisance and can be a mean interruption of life, but with faith and trust in God, you can have the strength to live a normal life!

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor foresake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6

Symptoms of diabetes in children:
1. Extreme thirst and frequent urination
2. Extreme hunger
3. Weight loss
4. Fatigue
5. Irritability or unusual behavior
6. Blurred vision
7. Yeast infection

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Habits or Addictions?

So here is something to consider with this No Sugar and No Soda thing, is it a habit or an addiction or both? For me it is both but I don't know if I realized they were both.

Have you ever noticed where the Three Muskateers are?
(They are my favorite!) Yep in the checkout lines. Where are the Coke's and Dr. Peppers? Yep in the check out lines. I read an article once on how a store is laid out. The items a store is trying to push will be in the front of the store and in the aisles. Have you ever noticed that the “natural” food is all on the outskirts of the store? I am talking about the fruits, veggies, meats etc. Inside the aisles are the processed foods. I have to try and learn to shop the outside aisles first, then go to the inside aisles.

One store in Utah actually has their produce in the very back left corner of the store!!! You have to walk all the way through the store to get to the produce. What happens along the way? You pick up all the other deals you just can't pass up!!! I didn't make it to that end of the store very often. Sad but true.

Some people can make a list and just buy what is off the list, I can't. The list overwhelms me or I forget something and have to go back 10 aisles to get it. Because I have a hard time walking, I normally don't and won't do it. Therefore I look at my list and think FAILURE!! On my way to the checkout I pick up a few more “treats” to console myself because after all I just failed in the grocery store. So I don't make grocery lists.

Last year when I went off my sugar and soda, I knew to break my habits AND addictions (because they were both) I had to find substitutes for them. So for my sugar addictions, I would pick up fruit, nuts and yes even Sugar Free chocolate. Russel Stover (I think) makes a Pecan Delight bar I like and is the same cost as a regular candy bar. I also got in the habit of going through a checkstand (end one) that had no candy sitting in the aisle. After awhile it got easier to go through a checkstand with the candy and not pick it up because I knew I was on a mission of holding out to Thanksgiving for no sugar and no soda.

For the soda, I found some flavored water I liked that was fairly cheap. Yeah I know, I know....there is some carbonation in it, but it listed no calories and no sugar so I went for it. Plus the small bit of carbonation is nothing compared to soda. Sometimes I would get the lemonade packets to pour into my water. Plus I drank a lot of water. Just find what works for you. I am not a big lemon water fan, I will drink it......but would prefer just plain water. The point is, I was cutting down and trying to break my habits and addictions.

So that is what I did to get me through the no sugar and no soda. I am not the Sugar Police here so do what you feel you can do. For me it was ways to cut down on the sugar and soda in take and it is the only way I can lose weight. Also it mean I had to step away from sweets and soda, just limiting myself to one a week did not work.

Bev shared a bit of her story on another blog and I hope I can get her to share it here (hint hint Bev). Diabetes. I have been checked time and time again and told I am not diabetic. On the same hand, have been told that because of my high level of estrogen it masks my blood work so it looks perfect, but underneath it is not. Double whammy for me!! Again whatever our reason is we can do this. Even if you fall and fall and fall....keep getting back up and don't give up!!!

I will be anxious to hear what you all are doing to bypass the sugar and soda. Please Share!!

Two more days to go....Let's Do It!!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Where Do I Start?

So you want to join the challenge huh? Where do you start? If you are single it may be a bit easier, give away all all the candy, cookies, cake, pies, ice cream, soda etc in the house. After all if you are alone you won't need them – right?

Don't try to reason with yourself-

But I spent GOOD HARD MONEY on this stuff! Yes you did. So now that you recognize that get rid of it. Give it to some neighbors, friends, grandchildren or whoever will take it- just get rid of it!

Another good excuse is-What if I only eat one piece a day? WRONG!!! You and I both know that will not happen!!!

Well this package isn't open so I can keep it right? WRONG!! Because once that package is opened guess what it falls into excuse number 2.

I am sure there are others, but these are my biggest three.

If you are a mom or grandma and have young children around your story and situation will be different. I am not in this situation, so any comments are welcome!! I have thought how I would go about this and I would get a plastic bin with lid and put the sweets in them. I have also found in the past if I put them up high, or down low when I have to work to get to them, it helps. Ideas on this one?

What about the Soda? I am not a big soda drinker BUT I have realized when ever I am in a store it was very easy to say, “Oh that sounds good” and pick one up on the way out. For me soda is more of a habit than an addiction; but still it needs to be broken.

Maybe you are the one saying, “Laura more power to you!!! I need to cut down on them but I am not giving them up!!” Have you thought about designating one day a week to have sweets and/or soda? I have done this before too, and it is just as hard as giving it up for a period of time as it is to have it once a week but both are doable.

I know this is doable by all of us for whatever reason we want to do it. Whether it is just proving to someone you are not addicted to sugar or it is proving to yourself and others giving up sugar is no big deal and anyone can do it. Maybe it is a friend you know could use a No Sugar/No Soda Buddy.....what a great gift of service and friendship!!! Whatever the reason WE CAN DO THIS!!

Get ready only five more days and the journey begins!!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I'm Laura and I'm a Sugarholic....

Sad but true. When a friend first told me I was addicted to sugar I laughed! “I am not addicted to anything!” I boldy told her. After all addicts were all about drugs and alcohol, right? None of which I did. “Prove it then” she said to me.

“If you are not addicted to sugar, then you will have no problems giving it up for two weeks, right?” I thought piece of cake!!!

She challenged me to go on the Atkins diet for two weeks, just meat and vegetables. I took that challenge and learned a great deal about myself. I was indeed addicted to sugar. My first three days on Atkins I lost 21 lbs, could sleep all night long soundly, and went from having a hard time walking the driveway to my mailbox and back to walking a mile – all within three days. That was over 10 years ago and today I still battle that addiction.

Over the years I have learned a few things: when I tell people I am going off sugar they tell me I won't last and I normally don't. But I have had some successful runs, my longest being six months. This past year I decided to go off sugar and soda and simply gave up chocolate, sweets (pies, cakes, etc) and candy, as well as the soda. My last run was 86 days, and I am sorry I ever took that first bite of sugar again.

So here it is almost a new year and I am going to go at it again....are you with me? In my 86 days of being off sugar and soda I had people ask me how much weight I loss!!! Someone could tell I lost weight? Woo hoo!!! For me the only way I can lose weight, is by giving up the sugar and soda. It was a such a simple thing to do that I was not overwhelmed.

When I have gone on diets before, I think of all the things "I can't have". I see now I am focusing on large amount of "cant's" where when I give up the sugar they are all grouped together in two groups and it is less overwhelming for me. It's a step right?

Here are some pictures of the last year. What do you think?

The photo on the left was taken October 2009, the one on the right October 2010.

This was taken December 18, 2010.

One of the reasons I decided to give up sugar in September was because I felt my life was so out of control and that was the only thing I could control. I made it through Halloween with no candy and through various parties and other events passing each time on the sweets and candy. I know if I can o this so can you!!! So beginning January 1, 2011 we are going to start again, one step at a time and one day at a time.

There are a few ways we can do this, in quarters like businesses do? For holidays? I have not decided which way I am doing yet. I do know with the support here, we can all do it together. I have a favorite saying (I made it up myself) “Alone we cannot win the battles, but together we can win the wars.” This is a war we are fighting and we need to ban together.

If you want to join us, please come introduce yourself and