Sunday, January 30, 2011

Who Are We To Blame?

 DAY 30!!!


It seems hard for me believe we have all been on this journey for 30 days!!!  The first time I ever did this, I never thought I could make it past a day or two.  This is the fourth time I have done the No Sugar, No Soda thing.  This time I have learned more than all the three times combined.

I have learned we have all had good days and a few bad days thrown in for good measure.  Somehow we manage to get through the day, whether good or bad, because we know there is another day coming. 

I have learned just because I have a bad day, it does not constitute having a bad week.  If I have a bad week, it was my choice.  I heard someone say today that the English language is one of the few languages that has the word "blame" in it. We are so quick to blame our actions or reactions on something or someone else.  The young man went on to give the example, "The egg fell off the counter and dropped" not "Laura dropped the egg".  Now we all know I didn't do it on purpose but do you see how easy it is to put the blame on a person?  Mainly ourselves?

So I got to thinking about all this "stuff" we need work through to keep us on our path and journey.  I am realizing more and more how much I beat myself up and blame myself for EVERYTHING.  I know it is from years and years of abuse, and blame, but that abuse and blame has stopped years ago and yet I continue to do it to myself. 

I truly believe that to figure out who you are, you have to know where you came from.  I understand more now about my parents because of their backgrounds they came from. I have come to have more passion, to forgive them and even come to love them.  With that said, then why do I struggle so much?  I know it is my self confidence and self image I struggle with the most.  I try, but one little thing can set it off and I go for a nose dive without even blinking.

So today as I heard the young man talk about the word "blame" he added we need to write the good things down, whatever they may be to keep us on our journey and to remind us of those better times to help boost us through the bad.

As we near the finish line of 45 days with No Sugar, No Soda, I want you to take a minute and think back through this month and write down 10 GOOD THINGS in your life this month.  Keep that list with you at all times.  When the temptation becomes hard and you want to reach for the M&M or Snickers or whatever it may be, reach for your list.  Remind yourself of the good things of you!!!

We have 15 more days and I must say this has been so much fun for me!!!  I am very proud of all of you!!!  GROUP HUG!!!  ((((((((HUG))))))))) 

I have also seen, even though we all have our challenges, I know the No Sugar, No Soda is the one thing I can control in my life.  Each day I have hope because I remember the good times I have had.  I have hope by my walking where a year ago I was on a cane, by the new friends I have made, by encouraging words from people I do not even know, by my perseverance of sticking to it, by my pants starting to fall off, by being able to interact more with people, by sharing my story that help strengthens me, by finding ways to give back to others, by learning to love myself is a process that takes time, and for this blog where you all listen to my rants and babbles.  Those are small things I am grateful for that will help get me through the next 15 days!!!  Bring it on!!!!

What are your TEN GOOD THINGS?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Are You Up For a Challenge?

I am just wondering.....Is anyone still out there?  Even though I have not blogged in a couple of days, I feel as though I have a responsibility to all of you.  It has been a very crazy week, but a very productive week in many ways.  Earlier in the week, I mentioned how I went walking. That was a huge milestone for me.  I can also tell you, I could have never done it without the support of my two friends who went with me and walked slowly with me. I hate to commit myself to something, because if I don't do it, then I feel like I have failed.  As I learned last Saturday, this is all a learning process and you only fail when you quit trying. What works for one may not work for others.  It is actually becoming quite easy for me to leave the sweets, cakes, pies, cookies, candy and soda alone.

Also as I mentioned earlier in a blog, I learned I swapped the sweets for other things, mainly chips.  But I now know, I can't get the big bag of chips.  At my local grocery store, they have a nice size bag for .50 cents, and also a size bigger for $1.00.  I allow myself one a week.

Then there is the bag of sugar free chocolate.  That I will not do again (see earlier post!  LOL)  I get myself one serving, instead of the bagful.  It works for me.

But anyway as I completed my third day of walking for the week, I decided I WAS READY to make some more challenges for me.  They are not huge ones, but things I can add to on this No Sugar, No Soda challenge.  Are you game?  I know others are doing this on Kathy's Blog, and they have three challenges, but I was not ready to make those challenges when they did.  To be a little different we are going with four.  Remember this is YOUR CHALLENGE, so no matter what you feel you need to do YOU CAN DO IT!!!  If you want to do three instead of four, you can.  Also, we can do these till Valentine's Day -- which by the way is SEVENTEEN DAYS AWAY!!!

Here are my new challenges:

1) Still sticking with my No Sugar and No Soda (sweets and pop)
2) Walk three times a week
3) Write down what I eat 3 times a week (I see a pattern there)
4) Eat in my car ONLY once a week.  If you ever saw the inside of my car, you would understand this one!  LOL

Okay see those are silly ones, especially the last two. But if I can get in a habit of doing it, I can increase the days and make a bigger change to my lifestyle.  And that is what we are really striving to do.  You all have done so well, but I want to hear from you.....good or bad.  Tell me what your thoughts are?  Did your moods change?  What did you learn?  Are you ready for another one after Valentine's Day?

Sorry I have been so bad at blogging this week, but I am still here and want to hear from all of you!!!!  Oh maybe that should be my FIFTH CHALLENGE!!!

DO YOU HAVE NEW CHALLENGES TO ADD?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Should We Start The Countdown?

I just realized as I began to write blog tonight that we have only 20 days to go!!!  (Okay so I started this last night on the 25th!- but none the less) Do you know what that means?  Yep ...time to start leaving hints for Valentine's Day!!  <g>  No but really, congratulations to all those who are sticking with this, whether you have slipped up and started again or just now starting.  It's all about changing those habits!!!

There are a couple of things I have been noticing about myself and wondered if anyone else was noticing any changes as well?  For me, one thing is I drink more water than before. Anyone else doing this?

1) I have also noticed that it has been getting easier for me to leave the soda and sugar alone.  Monday night I was at a gathering and there was carrot cake.  My favorite!!! I could have had a very small piece.  But I looked at everyone around me and KNEW that they KNEW I was off sugar and soda so the temptation was not even that great.  I filled up on Jalapeno chips and fruit instead.

2) I also find that I eat smaller meals more often. Not sure what that is really from, but I don't let myself get hungry.  I try to keep my blood sugar at an even level.  I find when I don't and I get hungry and inhale food, THEN I eat again.  But if I can have water nearby and a small snack of protein I seem to do okay.

3) Probably the biggest thing I see a change in are my emotions.  When I was back on sugar between Thanksgiving and Christmas I was an emotional roller coaster wreck.  But now I can feel myself more even keel.  Is it just me or can you feel when your sugar levels are out of whack and throw you on a wild roller coaster ride?  That is the only way I can describe it.

4) I have more energy.  Today I went walking for the second time this week!!! Gooo Me!!  Yesterday someone sent me an email telling me they saw me going into the Family History Center and said, "you are looking good!!!"  Made my whole day!!

So even though we can begin to countdown, and enjoy the successes we have had, I was curious as to what changes are you seeing in yourself?  Do you have a favorite thing you have been waiting for Valentine's Day for?  Come on spill it cuz I know there are some awesome changes out there!!

Hugs and Great Job Everyone!!!  Laura

Monday, January 24, 2011

Baby Step Monday

I actually went walking!!!  Thanks to my friend Erika!!!  Today we  met at the church and we walked around the building.  I drove it in my car before she got there and found out it was about .3 of a mile if we took in the end of the parking lot.  We didn't so it was somewhere in the .2 of a mile.  None the less I went walking.  Afterward, I went to the grocery store and then home.  Yes my little legs were sore.  SORRY LEGS!!!  But for those who know me, know almost a year ago at this time, I was using a cane.  Now today I did use my cane (it's actually a walking pole) only because I wanted to try and make it around the building.

Now you are probably saying, Okay Laura but that is really NOT very far.  It probably isn't, but for me it got me started for one.  And for two, I want to go do it again.  The pain is great in my legs today, so I have tried to nurse them a bit, but in the long run I know I need to do this in order to get to the next step of my weight  loss.

It seems like everything else in my life,  I have this fear in me to start for fear I will fail and people will laugh. What I have learned in my life it is really hard for me to fail.  Not because I don't stumble and fall miserably, but I am stubborn enough to keep trying until I get it done or get it right.  It's too bad that in our society and life we are compared to others, and judge by others whether we are pretty, smart, a success or a failure.  What may be classified as a failure to some is a success to others.

Story Time

This just reminded me of a story when I was in college.  I had a really good friend that I truly admired. I so wished I could be like her.  She had a ton of confidence, was in the Honor Society, had a mom who loved her and a little girl and you could tell she was going to go places.  As our time went on, I was sometimes included with her and sometimes not.  You know the old game of being picked last in Gym class it continued on in college.  But I put it all aside and all the hurt feelings because I felt she was such a great friend. Sadly enough, I thought this is what friends were. There was something that bothered me about her and  I could never put my finger on it. 

As friends we did several things together, but honestly I never felt I was ever good enough to be her friend. She talked about money, and grades, and society labels none of which I had any of.  The only place I knew I was as good as she was, was in the computer lab.  I worked in more of the classes than she did, and by going over the same things again and again I learned a great deal more than most of the other lab aides.  We were nearing the end of our program and there was a new class on Communications all the Computer Science students had to take.  We got in study groups.  When I went to meet with them, they informed me they were full.  Another friend invited me into her group. 

Everyone had already struggled in the class with tests and we knew there would be a curve, but the final was a big part of our grade. One of the things the teacher let us do was to create a "crib sheet"  Whatever we could fit on a 8x11 sheet of paper, front and back we could take into the testing center with us.  My group  split up different sections of the review, then we created a crib sheets for our section and combined them all together on one.  I was one of the last ones to go to the testing center, and I had heard through the grapevine that there was an answer sheet floating around.  I did not think too much of it. 

The day I went to take my test, I ran into my friend that I will refer to as the Honor Student friend.  She asked me how I did on the the test and I told her I was just going to take it now.  From her pocket she took a folded piece of paper and shoved it in my hands, and said, "Here you might as well get an A like everyone else is getting" and she walked away.  I opened up the paper to find her crib sheet and the answers to the test. I hurriedly folded it back up and shoved in my book bag.  In the testing center, I got out my own crib sheet, my pencil and ID and proceeded through to take my test.

Part of me was saying, "Laura you are so stupid! You had the answers!"  But the other half of me was saying, "No Laura you did what was right." I was a nervous wreck.  I knew I had slim chances of passing that test and the class, but I also knew if I failed, it would be me and not anyone else.  About five minutes into the test, I felt a tap on my shoulder.  I about jumped to the ceiling when the testing aide said, "I am sorry I didn't mean to scare you.  I just wanted to let you know your shirt was up in back."  I managed a very weak Thank You, and she said, "Are you okay?"  I said, "Oh yeah, I am now."

I went on to take my test with a confidence I had never had before.  When I left, I was thrilled to get a B- on it.  I was more thrilled to know that I was not a failure, but unfortunately my friend did not see it that way.  Walking out of the testing center I sat down outside and saw my friend from my study group.  "Did you take your test?"  she asked?  "Yes"  I said,  "How did you do?"  "B-" I said and then broke down into tears.  "Laura there is nothing wrong with a B-!! " she said.  "It's not that" I said. "Well wish me luck, I am going to take my test!!" she said.

I often think back to that day and to the "what if" I had taken my test from her notes.  When the lab aide came and tapped me on the shoulder, she could easily see my paper.  Had she seen the answers to the test, I would have been the one expelled and kicked out of school not her or the others who cheated.  I found my Honor Student friend afterward and gave her back her cheat sheet.  "How did you do?"  she asked.  I smiled and said, "I got a B-" and then I walked away. 

I am sure to her I was a complete failure.  After all, I did not get an A on the the test when I had a chance to.  She even mentioned one day how she could not see why everyone did not get an A on the test (looking at me).  Seven years later, I was talking with one of the teachers, and the subject of students came up.  "Laura when I talk about my success students do you know who I talk about?"  Shaking my head no, he said, "You are my success story.  You didn't cheat just to get a grade.You worked hard to learn something, and when you didn't understand you spent hours in the lab trying to figure it out.  You didn't always get A's, but you always tried your best and we saw that.  You also taught others in the lab, you were our success student."  I was a bit taken back but also very proud. Whenever I run into my "friend" and I hear her brag, I just grin.
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So it doesn't matter what it is, I am stubborn to a point.  I don't give up.  Since going back to school and working on a Bachelors Degree verrrry slowly (ha ha) I have managed to get A's.  I know now I am not dumb or stupid.  I have begun to see my talents. I decided I am not a society person and never will be.  One thing I have learned, is that when I make new friends, they are truly friends, and not society symbols. We take our baby steps together.  I will take all my baby step successes any day because I know eventually I will make it to the end.

I decided to call this Baby Step Monday.  On Monday's  I am going to make myself take some kind of small baby step that will help me on my journey.  Today it was walking.  Maybe next Monday, it will be two laps instead of one.  Whatever it is, in order to succeed at anything, we need to overcome the fear and just take baby steps!!!

Don't Give Up!!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Today is:

Day 23!!!!!

If you are still off the No Sugar and No Soda, it means you have made it half way through the challenge and are on the downhill side to day 45!!.  I am curious how everyone is doing?  Have you been able to stay off the sugar or cut back?  I know many of us were doing different things with it.  For some it opened their eyes to other habits. Kathy mentioned how although she had no sugar or soda, she found herself replacing it with other things.  That is true for me too.

I learned something yesterday at my Woman's Conference.  We live in a society where everything is instant gratification.  That is what we are accustomed to, how we live and how our society is.  If there is something we want we go and buy it. But when it comes to us having to learn something before we can do that task or skill, do we have the patience to learn it.  It takes alot of hard work.  We forget that all of life is a learning process and we must develop the patience to learn. 

So it is with the whole no sugar and no soda thing, it is something we have to learn.  Learning something most likely will not come over night or in a day or two.  We must develop the patience and perseverance to continue at it until we can eventually learn it.  As much as I got frustrated with myself last week, I know this is a learning curve for me.  One day I will be able to be dealt the curve balls I was last week and be able to catch them and throw them back rather than let them knock me down and out.  I just know I can't give up.

So with that said, and to "CELEBRATE" our success so far, I thought I would share with you a recipe I  saw.  I have not tried this, but it looks delicious!!!  If you make it please let us know what you think.  And now to the downhill side of Day 45 No Sugar No Soda Challenge!!!


Sugar Free Banana Chocolate Cheesecake
Ingredients:
Crust:
1/2 C. whole pitted dates
1/2 C. pecan halves (or any other nut)
splash of vanilla
1/2 t. water
! T. cocoa powder
optional: 1 T. unsweetened coconut flakes

Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese softened
1 very ripe banana, mine was black (I would use two next time)
1/4 C cocoa powder
3/4 C full-fat plain yogurt
1/2 C. Dates
1/2. C water
Optional topping: unsweetened coconut

What you will need: food processor, 9 inch pie plate, small saucepan, mixer, spoons

Directions:

Crust
Starting with your crust, dump all ingredients (dates, pecans, vanilla, water) into a food processor. Turn machine on for at least two minutes. Your crust is done when you can form a ball with your ingredients.
Press crust into a pie plate with your hands. Your crust will cover the bottom of the plate and a little on the sides. You can make it as thin or thick as you like. Set crust aside.

Cheesecake Filling
Use a stand-mixer or hand-mixer for the filling. Beat the cream cheese and banana together on low until smooth. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and mix again until the ingredients are incorporated and smooth. Set mixture aside.

Put dates in your food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add chopped dates to a small saucepan with 1/2 C. water. Turn heat to medium high and stir until the water begins to boil. Turn heat down and let simmer for five minutes. Take off heat and let cool to touch. Add dates to food processor, turn machine on for two minutes.

Add date puree to cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth. Pour filling over crust and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Makes 8 servings.

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I found this recipe on the website http://www.myallnaturalweightloss.com. If you make this please let me know how it turns out.  It just looked really good and delicious!!!  It looks like there are some other good recipes there, if you want to give it a look over.

Good Job Everyone!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Class

I just returned from a woman's conference at my church.  The theme was Simply Joy. Basically it was finding many different ways that brought us joy. One class was titled Chocolate Chip Cookie and yes I attended.  We all love chocolate chip cookies, especially when they are still warm.  Yes they handed out chocolate chip cookies in class.  I had already made up my mind to turn the cookie down, but they ran out before they got to the back of the chapel. I also knew there were cookies and brownies for lunch and chose to stay away.  For me this was all a good choice.  I was in a good spot today.

In the Chocolate Chip Cookie class it was basically on things we have learned and been taught that bring us great joy. Some of it was related to food, some to outdoor activities, and some to learning a new hobby. Maybe something that was not our first choice, but once we got though the learning phase it was not so bad.   The point is, IT probably put us in a good spot of joy.  Remember how you feel when you get to that spot?  You feel like taking on the world because you know you can.

So it is with life.  We have to make choices.  Good choices are just as easy to make as bad choices - I think?  But it really depends on where we are at that moment. Notice I did not say life, but at that moment.  I believe there are some keys to have and be aware of to be in control of the choices at the moment.  If you are not in a "soft place" you are probably going to make some choices you will be kicking yourself for later.  A soft place is not being in turmoil, mad, upset, frustrated or out of control. It is that peaceful, warm safe feeling and you know if you needed to you could conquer the world.  Or at least what ever life throws at you at the moment.

So I thought about the things that I have learned that truly brought me joy.  I actually thought of one sitting in another class.  There are several, but the one that I think I will use as my soft place is learning I am loved in this life. Shortly afterward Candida's mother saw me and said, "Laura!!"  As she wrapped her arms around me and gave me a big hug and kiss.  This is a lady I met at Christmas.  And it was truly the unconditional love of a mother. Someone confided to me today, she first felt unconditional love when she met her new mother in law.  In her home she was expected to be perfect and when she was not, they let her know.  So she felt like she was never good enough.  She like me had to learn to be loved in this life. This is my soft place.  The spot I can go back to when I need to feel safe.

My challenge to all of you is to find your "soft place".  That memory or place that you can go back to in your mind and know you are happy, completely safe and in control of you.  If I can remember to do this, maybe I can continue to strengthen my relationship with food and not let it be my crutch and escape. 

I have the No Sugar and No Soda thing licked, it is all the other stuff I still need the help with.

By the way, the reason it is called a "soft place" is because it that peaceful place.  Think about getting in an argument with yelling and screaming.  How different would that argument be if you conversed in a softer voice than one of anger and turmoil?  You can call it what ever you want but for me it is my "soft place".  And on that note I know there will be faced with treats tomorrow again.  But I am ready!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sabotaging Ourselves-Do We Do It?

Sorry for the no blogging yesterday but I had to figure out a few things. The writing would just not come last night. My blog from Wednesday mentioned how I went into a tailspin and indulged on a few things.  So let me backup a bit.

Those that have been reading this blog know that this whole No Sugar No Soda thing is more than what we put in our mouths, it is more about why we do what we do and how we can break those habits.  This week a couple of things have come to light that just overwhelmed me and stressed me out.  It started out with a bad thing, then a good thing, then frustration, then to my breaking point I didn't know which way to go anymore.

Let me just preface this by all that have ever had parents I admire you and am a bit jealous.  I don't remember if I have shared this before here and when I think it is all behind me, I realize it is not.  My parents divorced when I was 7 and I always felt I was thrown to the wolves.  I never had a relationship with my Dad and I did try, and my mom and I, well there was always a barrier between us.  So although we each have two people who brought us into this world, and I know they are called my mom and dad, they are by no means the parents they should have been or who taught me the things I needed to know about life.  I have also learned because of their upbringing and past, they passed on to me only what they knew and probably felt comfortable in.  Funny thing though, I am a bit stubborn so it was never enough for me, I wanted more out of  life.

With that said, on Sunday afternoon I received an email from an Aunt I have just connected with.  It has been fun getting to know each other. My aunt is from Michigan where we spent many summers but I never met. We exchanged a few emails on Saturday night when the Osmonds came up.  I thought "hmm....maybe I should share my story with her."  So I did.  On Sunday afternoon I received an email from her that said, "WOW!!  Now it all makes sense.  The story I heard was that you ran away from home and joined a cult."  I broke down and cried. I did not run away from home and join a cult, and although I have shared this before, here it is again:  Laura's Journey  But then I remembered all the good things in my life and all the people I had found in my genealogical research and got on my knees and thanked my Heavenly Father for my blessings.....because  I do know I have many. 

Even though I thought I was through that and okay, on Tuesday my friend agreed to help me edit my book I am working on.  This book has been a part of me since 2002 and been very therapeutic for my whole healing process. It was not until Wednesday as we sat down to work on the first chapter the anxiety started to affect me.  This is something that happens to good people I thought, and  I am not good enough.  After our editing session we worked on some of her genealogy which was good for me.  It put me in my safe spot and again thought I was okay.  Then I went in search of an AC Adapter for my computer.

My adapter has a mind of it's own and sometimes it will work and sometimes it will not.  I live off my computer so I need it to work.  When I went to a Battery Plus shop, it had closed down.  UGH  Then coming home I freaked out. I bought a bag of sugar free candy, a bag of Munchos and a bag of Chex mix. and yes I ate it all!!!  On Thursday morning I had no energy, felt sluggish like I could hardly move.  I did not want to do anything. Finally at 12:30 I ate something, took a nap and was able to make it to my genealogical meeting Thursday night.

Last night as I was trying to write my blog, and I couldn't.  It then dawned on me what I had done to myself.  I sabotaged myself.  Why though?  The good things are surely outweighing the bad so why did I do this to myself?  I did some research saw the reasons others sabotage us.  Our lives change and so we get more attention that can often make friends or spouses jealous. As I continue to grow as a person I can see this  happening to me and it scares me.  I am doing this to myself.  It is not my friends it is me.  It is hard to really leave me, the old me behind.  We have been partners for a very long time and the only person I knew I could trust.  Now I have found others who I also know I can trust and I think a part of the inner me is getting a tad bit jealous.  There was a thought I noticed in the fall that said, "When you are reluctant to change, think of the beauty of Autumn." 

So why did I do all this to myself? Is it just because I am scared or is there something more I have not discovered yet? Either way the choices I made on Wednesday night was not worth the pain and torture I put myself through for two days.  Yet I know that whatever comes at me, I can handle and deal with I may just stumble a bit.

I am wondering if any of you see this in your own lives and not so much with friends and spouses but with your own self?  Have you found a way to work through it? I think for me I need to get regularity into my life.  With no job, it is hard to not stick to a routine.  I do have things I am doing and places I need to be, but I have no set routine but very few time frames..  Does that make sense? 

So I am curious, what does everyone else do or what you do if you were me? 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Fight For Our Lives

Every Wednesday morning I look forward to watching the Biggest Loser online from the Tuesday night airing.  I do not have a TV so that takes away my excuse of sitting down and watching TV for hours straight.  I don't want to be on the Biggest Loser because I don't like the Bob and Jillian yell at the contestants.  But I gain alot from the show by the stories that are share and other things.  This week a few things struck me.

1- You have to have your mind and heart in it, the weight loss will come.  It has to be YOUR decision to lose weight.  I have mixed emotions over Dan leaving last night.  Part of me just wants to say LOSER!!  He couldn't stick it out for his family, and there are so many others who want to be on that show.  But at the end when it showed how much weight he had lost, and his little girl, he is making progress and that is the important thing.  Maddie will now have her dad with her for a bit longer.  I love how she rode her scooter beside him as he jogged.  Obviously he is doing something right.

2 - We are in a battle for our lives....I think Rulon Gardner said this.  I remember watching Rulon Gardner winning his Gold Medal in the Olympics.  I was very much into the Olympics, anxiously awaiting for Salt Lake City to have their turn as Welcoming the World.  I also remember his snow mobile accident and the plane crash.  But you always think the people you admire for their victories will always be victorious. Rulon has a lot of stuff to deal with.  Expectations of what others now think of him, his family, career, and to come back to a place in glory he has been before.  One thing I noticed about Rulon was his heart.  His heart and mind are in the right place and I believe he is going to win his battle.

3- Obesity is a disease like cancer and must be treated aggressively as so.  Obesity is like cancer.  WOW!!  That struck a chord with me.  I think of all those I have know who have had cancer, those who survived and those who lost their battles.  How?  They didn't give up-I don't think anyway, but they lost their battle. Or did they?

So all this has put me in a mind set of where all this started with me and where I want to go.  I always used to be fairly active.  I could keep up with my friends and exercise. However, I have always been overweight.  It really all started I think one day when I did not feel well.  I had just started a new job and knew I could not miss.  That morning I woke up with chills, got in the shower and could not get warm.  I went to work anyway.  My manager seeing me said, "You look like crap!" I said, "Thanks I feel like crap!"  She said, "No something is wrong and you need to go to the doctor."  I didn't have a doctor and she told me to go see hers.  She made me go.  Long story short, I had a virus running through my body.  I was given some antibiotics and the next day my legs were as red as a stop sign and almost too hot to touch. I went back to the doctor and I got a double shot in my hip to help battle the virus.  That was the beginning of my immune system I feel going down hill.

When I began to write this in the morning, I was feeling pretty good about myself and the day.  Then a series of events tailspinned me into frustration and now I feel as though I have taken about five steps backwards. No Sugar and No Soda, but as was mentioned earlier, I went with my replacement food--chips. I need to get my head back in this and work on rebuilding my body, but I am emotionally exhausted from the day. So now I think it is time to call it a night as tomorrow is another day!!

So where are we with the fight for out lives?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to Say No to Soda

First of all to all who have been doing this now for EIGHTEEN Days!! Congratulations!!! But I know there are those who want to do this but can't seem to get a hold on actually quitting soda for our challenge. I did a bit of research and found some interesting things that might help us all.

1- Remember this is a challenge and there is an end in sight. Now remember all we are trying to do is break the habits and mix them up a bit.

2- Why do you want to quit soda? Is it the challenge? Is it to lose weight? To get healthy? For me the first time it was to prove to someone I was not addicted to sugar. I lost. But whatever the reason, find the reason that is going to help you stay motivated when the temptations are hard.

3- Do you have sodas stashed in the house for your family? Get rid of them or put them somewhere you would need to go work to get to them. Whether it be in the trunk of your car, in a locked fridge and you have no key.....you need to get rid of them.

4- Find a replacement for your soda. I know many don't like water, it is too bland. Lemon and lime are not enough for me. I do buy the flavored waters and have one occasionally. But I do find like other things, I need to limit myself with them. By the way, these are usually much cheaper than a soda also. I can buy a bottle twice the size of a soda for fifty cents, compared to 1.59 for a 12 oz bottle of Sprite.

5- Do you keep track of how much you are drinking? I think with not only your soda if you are still trying to kick the habit, but also water. You can then see how much you are drinking and try to cut back little by little until you reach your goal.

6- Carry a water bottle with you? I know this seems like a pain, but I have found this to be helpful. I always have water in my car and with me. Funny story, one day at church in Relief Society I got into a coughing fit, and one of my friends who is also a mother of two young girls wiped off the top of her daughters sippy cup and offered it to me for a drink. I was glad I had my bottle of water with me!! I did appreciate the thought although it made me giggle.

7- Are you sleeping enough? I have been battling my sleep patterns lately. We all think we can go on less than 8 hours of sleep a night. For me I do best on 8 hours of sleep and when I don't get it, I seem to just exist through out the day. I don't feel as productive or alert as I do when I do get my 8 hours of sleep. Sleeping also affect your weight loss by your hunger patterns. I have been working on a blog for this very thing and will try to polish it up and post it this week.

8- Keep Trying--PERSEVERE!!! If you are experiencing withdrawl symptoms like headaches, shakiness, anxiety, cravings, insomnia, or turmoil that you have never noticed before. Push through them, they will lessen as the time goes on.

If you have other ideas you are doing or have tried that has worked for you, please share them with all of us!!! Thanks again for doing this with me!!!  Just remember you only fail when you quit trying!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Winter Blah's?

Have you ever noticed when it is winter time how we tend to stay in and kind of hibernate?  There is nothing better than curling up with a good movie, or a good book and a mound of food!!!  My old preference would be a bag of Peanut M&M's and when the bag was done I was done.  Someone had mentioned it was the winter blahs that was getting them down and not controlling their eating.  That is easy to do.  Here in Texas we have had rain for three days, and this afternoon it finally eased up.  But I can tell you when it is dark and gloomy it is hard to get motivated to do much.  So I got to thinking, what can we do to break our traditional habits of winter so all our hard work does not go to waste. 

First of all did you know there are Winter fruits and vegetables?  There are and here is a list:

Bananas
Blood Oranges
Clementines
Cranberries
Grapes (Red)
Grapefruits
Kiwi

Kumquat
Oranges
Passion Fruit
Pears
Persimmons
Pomegranates
Pummelo

Rhubarb
Satsuma Oranges
Tangelo
Tangerine
Ugli Fruit

To read more about these fruits see Winter Fruit at Foodfit.com



Artichokes
Avocado
Bok Choy
Broccoli
Broccoli Rabe
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower

Celery Root
Chestnuts
Jerusalem Artichokes
Kale
Lettuce
Parsnips
Radishes

Rhubarb
Rutabaga
Salsify
Snow Peas
Squash (Winter)
Sweet Potatoes
Turnips (White)
Watercress


To read more about these fruits see Winter Vegetables at Foodfit.com

I have seen others mention the winter blahs.  What do you do to help fight those winter blues?  How do you turn those gloomy days into brighter days to keep your spirits and motivation up?  Please share your ideas!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Getting Healthy--All The Way!!

Much has been on my mind this week. One day I slept in until 8:30 and thought what is up with that!  You all heard about the scale escapade!  For me I know this is all a mind game and I am trying so hard to get my mind in the right spot and learn to eat better than I have in the past.  Last night I got an email from someone I did not know.  I opened it because it had an ancestor's name on the subject line.  Conversing back and forth with Dana sent a million emotions through me.  

Uncle Lee
I have shared some of my stories here so you can catch a glimpse into my past.  To make a long story short, I found out just this past year a great uncle had two marriages. You are probably asking, "What's the big deal Laura?"  If you are doing genealogy it becomes a VERY BIG DEAL.  It usually unlocks answers and helps you bust through brick walls you never thought you would get through.  My grandfather's family was just that, a solid brick wall.  It wasn't until I started researching his siblings that answers began to unravel.  With my Uncle Lee I found a document that he was married to Lizzie Westbrook.  My first thought was that is not his wife, then realized he had two marriages.  When I found the marriage record, the book opened to the page their record was located.  Anyway, I blogged about it and last night someone found that blog and contacted me. Dana's friends are his descendants. So once again here were cousins I had never met, never even knew  existed and we are connecting.  It is the same story it seems over and over again with me.  But then this afternoon I had an email from my aunt-an aunt I just recently connected with in the last month.  She told me what she had heard of me leaving home.  I had run away and joined a cult. Just for the record, that is not true!!  If you want to read my story, here is a link to Kathy's Blog-Laura's Journey (sorry if I have shared it before). I will admit, I broke down and cried and cried, BUT I didn't go for food.  I let the emotion and the pain come out.  And then I went to my stress reliever which is writing.

I think more anything I saw something today that was both in me and my mom--we both ran from the hurt and pain inside us. For me I took most of my comfort in food. Today a friend sat next to me in church.  She is someone I have come to love a great deal, because she was the one who said, Say it!  Say it!  Tell yourself you love yourself!  Today I felt like I could be there for her, little did I know her love and support would help me get through an email that was so painful.  Through it all I see myself getting healthy step by step.

Some of you have said, they do not see the pounds coming off yet. I have also heard you are replacing the sugar and soda with other things.  I do that too.  But today I decided it was okay if I did that sometimes, because I was breaking habits and cutting back in small ways.  And it is all those small things that will begin to add up to big things.

Kathys' blog a few days ago had some excellent ways to cut back on things and I wanted to share them with all of you. For those who follow Kathy's Blog....it's a repeat but knowledge is power right and the more ingrained into us, then the better off we will be. You can skip to the bottom if you would like.  Here is the list of ways to cut back:
 
1.   Serve dinner on a 9 or 10 inch plate (you'll eat up to 22 percent less).
2.   Serve popcorn in a small bucket instead of a huge bucket (you'll eat 34 percent more if popcorn is given in a very huge bucket).

3.   Use tall, thin glasses instead of short, wide ones (you'll pour 29 percent less).

4.   Store all your snacks in small single-serving food-storage bags (you'll eat up to 20 percent less).

5.   Keep the main serving dishes on the stove or counter (you'll eat 19 percent less than if you kept the food on the table).

6.   Move potato chips to the back of the pantry.
(I buy the $1 bags or so and when they are gone they are gone. I don't buy the huge bags!)
7.   Include a fruit and vegetable with your lunch and dinner.

8.   Don't eat white foods at dinner.

9.   Use the half-plate rule (fill half your plate with salad or veggies).

10. Have a sweet or salty afternoon snack only if you first eat a piece of fresh fruit.

11. Drink one glass of water before every meal or snack.

12. Use the Restaurant Rule of Two: Limit yourself to two items other than your entree.
13. Never eat in front of the TV.
(My problem is my car!!!)
14. Eat a piece of fruit on the way to work every day.

15. Freeze half of what you make, and serve the other half.

16. Save desserts for weekends.
 

This article was written by Brian Wansink who is the director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab and author of Mindless Eating.

I think there are some good ideas in here.  I like the smaller plate idea.  Last year I would get a burger and salad. Now I know that sounds like it is not healthy, BUT I didn't have seconds and leftovers and it really helped me to cut down on my appetite.  I am trying to have a salad every day, I have a 64 oz bottle I fill with water I try to drink every day.  There are many ways we can take these and incorporate them into our own plans.  Because I don't eat sweets, I think I am going to take it and apply it for pasta one day a week.  I do love a good plate of spaghetti!!!  Just remember if it doesn't work the first time, don't give up!!  This week is going to be a better week for me and you!!!  

Here is to more healthier us!!! We all can do this!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy 1/3 of the Way Eve...

to No Sugar, No Soda Valentine's Journey!!

Oh if only it was this easy!
Do you know what today is?  It is 1/3 of the way eve, No Sugar, No Soda to Valentine's Day!!!  Tomorrow when most of you will probably be reading this it will be January 15, 2011 and you would have been following this crazy idea of No Sugar, No Soda for 15 days.  You thought you could not even do it for one day!!!  Yea for all of you!!!  I know there are those that are struggling, but I think in some ways we all are.  For me, not so much with the whole sugar and soda thing because as Kathy brought to my attention (Gee Thanks Kathy!!!  <g>  Hugs) just because you give up one thing does not mean you can eat whatever you want.  And yes that is what I did.  As I stated yesterday, it is all a learning process.  I feel for me, it is more to break habits and addictions than anything.  I know what I SHOULD be eating, but other things just seem more appetizing.  And yet, when I eat them was it really all worth it?

One thing I have noticed is that I don't snack or munch as much as I used to.  Part of it is because I don't have it with me to munch on.  But trust me when I do, I EAT IT ALL (see yesterday blog about Strawberry Cremes).  Tonight my choices for dinner were: have a sandwich ( I really wasn't in the mood for one), have a pizza (I really wanted a pizza and so Pizza Hut was on my mind), or go to the store.  I drank some water, and didn't feel as hungry but still needed to eat.  Then I spotted it!!  A small can of Chef Boyardee spaghetti I picked up the other day to see if I liked it. So I tried it and it was okay, but probably not a staple on my shopping list.

The first thing I thought when I began to eat it was tomato sauce and tomato sauce.  Both Pizza and Spaghetti have a tomato saucy part of it so I was hoping it would fill me up enough tonight so I would not think about the pizza. Well, it did something! I am okay with not going to get a pizza or heading to the store tonight. For me this is all a mind game, and I have got to keep telling myself and tricking myself how to go about all this.  I know if I even let myself "slip" once and have a small piece of candy I am a GONER.

When Kathy found some good stuff in the AARP Magazine (ha ha it pays to get old!! I am saying ME not you Kathy) I had to check out their site and found something interesting on how to cut calories.

1.  Don't drink a calorie, eat one!!  Loved this!!!  Instead of having Apple Juice or Orange Juice eat an apple or an orange.
2.  Drink a glass of water when you are hungry.  I try to do this, because I have heard if you are hungry it could mean you are really just thirsty.
3. Rehydrate with water.  Yeah we all kind of know that!!!
4. Eat regularly.  Yeah we kind of know that too.
5. Replace oil with applesauce when baking.  According to ehow.com you substitute straight across the board.  So if the recipe calls for 1/2 cup Oil, use 1/2 cup Applesauce instead.  Also this is for oil based substitutes, not for butter or margarine.  Oil is considered a liquid, butter and margarine are not. (That is what the article said.  I am just the messenger not the Sugar or Recipe Police!!!)

I really liked the first two ideas and am going to put them to use for me. It is amazing sometimes how we forget that all those little things add up to big things.  And because I am doing a lot of little things, I hope it results in the big thing which is a smaller me and a healthier me.  It's hard.  I remember a story I heard and try to remember when my road seems so long and there is no end in site.  If you are driving from California to New York at night, you need to use your headlights.  You may only see a couple hundred feet in front of you at a time, but you know if you keep on that path eventually you will get to NY.  So it is with this journey, we can only see so far down the road but hopefully this will remind us to keep going and eventually we will get there.

What are other small changes you have done?

 and  

Happy 1/3 of the Way Eve to No Sugar, No Soda!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Learnnig As We Go!!!

Okay, it is story time right off the bat!!

STORY TIME

When I was six years old, my mom tried to teach me to tie my shoes. She tried (kind of), but I just could not catch on the couple times I remember her trying to show me how to tie a bow. She would be come so frustrated, she just told me to get up on the couch and she would do it herself. Of course when you are six and knowing you displeased your mother, then I was unhappy too and it just made matters worse.

I started first grade and did not know how to tie my shoes. Just for the record, I never went to Kindergarten so I didn’t learn there either. But I had a wonderful first grade teacher, Mrs. Fagan. Of all my teachers, she still remains my favorite. I still remember the afternoon we were going out for recess and she told me I had to tie my shoes before I could go out and play. I bent down and pretended to tie them as best I could, enough to get by with a glance and off I went to play for recess. When it was time to go home, she called my name and asked me to stay after school for a few minutes to talk to me. “You need to tie your shoe before you can go home”. I looked down at the floor and quietly said, “I don’t know how”. I was so ashamed because I didn’t know how to tie my shoes, but more importantly I had disappointed someone I cared about.

She grabbed my little chin in her hands, and pulled upward to make me look at her. “It’s okay” she said, “I will teach you.” So for 15 minutes every night after school for two weeks, she patiently taught me the process of how to tie my shoes. On the night I was finally able to show my mom, we were getting ready to go to the bowling alley. “Get up on the couch so I can tie your shoes!” she yelled. I looked at her and grinned, “I already did” and then proudly showed her my nice neat bows on my shoes. “How did you learn how to do that?” “Mrs. Fagan taught me.” I don’t remember the rest of what happened with this conversation, only that I learned to tie my shoes thanks to my first grade teacher.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So what has this got to do with No Sugar, No Soda you ask? Ha Ha I love reading your comments. Thank you, first of all for opening up and sharing your struggles and triumphs with us. I know often times that is not easy. Second of all I am learning (just as all of you are) we all don’t have the answers and we need to pull from one another for ideas and things that have worked for others.

Yesterday, I was frustrated because a stupid scale told me I was too fat to get on it. Why did I get upset over that? Someone else made a comment (maybe on Kathy’s Blog) that they thought if they gave up the sugar and soda we could have anything else we wanted. We can’t? (Ha Ha) But the point is, 

WE ALL HAVE TO KEEP TRYING!!

I think one of the things that really set me off with the whole scale thing (yes this is the rest of the story!) is that I discovered these wonderful New Sugar Free Strawberry Crèmes that are delicious!!! They are made by Russel Stover in case you are curious.  I was so confident in myself I bought some as a "treat".  Then when I got home and the scale wouldn't weigh me it set me off.  So my one little one I was going to have yesterday turned into a few little ones. I felt as though I failed so miserably TWICE yesterday.

I think it is odd for me, I can sit there and not get angry at someone who I felt was judging me (see earlier post about Challenging Day) yet I can get mad at a stupid scale.  Go Figure. Someone mentioned they would have laid into the lady, but the one thing I have learned to control my anger and temper because YES I DO HAVE ONE!  I have learned I have to stay somewhat calm and even keeled or watch out!  My whole life has been like an emotional roller coaster ride.  I was once told I was Jekyll/Hyde and they never knew which one of me was coming out that day. I have only recently learned how to control my anger (I think) anyway.  I learned that when ever I was in drama mode or turmoil that is when I would get frustrated, upset and then get just plain mad.  I saw in giving up sugar, that I did not have the emotional roller coaster in me that has lived for so long.  The moment I went back on sugar the ride started again. 

So why is it, I can handle people okay but not a stupid scale? I think I have decided it is not time for a scale yet, so I am going to take it back and let someone else enjoy it.  Tying this all into the beginning, this whole weight loss, dieting, life style change - what ever you call it is a journey. There is not wrong or right way to do something, just what works for you. We are all just learning as we go!!  My friend Shaleen reminded me when my mom passed away, "Laura, if you were never taught how to love or how to give--then how do you know how to do that?" She made me realize that everything is something we have learned some way.  So it is with this journey.  There are so many good ideas on how to help each of us, different options for different lifestyles, food likes etc that we can do this. I had a very patient first grade teacher who taught me to tie my shoe, just like all of us (including myself) need to be patient with ourselves as we try to learn what works for us.

With all that said, what is it that has surprised you the most that you have learned so far?  It can be anything!!!  Just think, tomorrow is January 14 and we will have been doing this for 14 Days!

Good Job Everyone!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How Do You Track Progress?

Yesterday on Kathy's blog One Bad Apple Dish she said something that has been on my mind. 

"I've been on Laura's no sugar - no soda diet. One of the benefits may be that I have more energy and don't need to sleep as much. I'll keep going to see if this continues. As far as the weight goes, I am going to have to count calories. Even though I'm not eating sugar and drinking soda, I am eating too much. I've been replacing the sugar with other carbohydrates instead of vegetables and fruits. I guess I have to keep track of everything I eat in order to lose weight."

By the way Kathy has done great with the No Sugar, No Soda, even with a hubby we all love who tempts her!!!  Way to go Kathy!!  And if you have never read her blog, you should take a peak at it!!  She does a great job and has been my inspiration and encouraged me to share my story.  Which I have benn able to do more and more thanks to her.

Anyway, when I moved from Utah to Texas I sold everything including my bathroom scale that I loved!!!  Sometimes it was so discouraging to get on the stupid thing and see the same 40 lbs lost over and over again.  So last year when the weight started to come off I could tell it in my clothes.  I could see it in the pictures.  Some of my pants actually fall off me now.  I knew by the way my clothes fit I easily lost in the neighborhood of 70 lbs and I was okay with that.  I wanted to make sure I was not just tooting my horn so I wanted a way to measure this progress.  So today I decided to take the plunge and use up a Christmas Gift card and buy another  scale. I got the scale home and got on it and wanted to CRY!!!  Wahhhh!!!  The scale did not go high enough to weigh me.  Sad but true.  I look in the mirror and saw my little cheeks begin to flush red. It was the same story again and again. I felt like a failure and yet I knew I wasn't.  So yeah my bubble busted today!

I have contemplated all day as to what I was going to do with the scales.  Take them back?  Or keep them and use as a goal to get to.  I know there are other things I could do to measure my progress but I really wanted some numbers in pounds. Kathy mentioned how she had been substituting her no sugar and no soda with other things and they were not fruits and veggies.  When she said that, I took a good look at what I Had been eating as well.  I see all the things I need to do, write down what I am eating, and exercise.  For writing things down, I don't have a phone app where I can just put it on my phone (I know a louse excuse).  My friend Lisa told me about My Fitness Pal, I glanced at it maybe I need to look a bit harder at it.  As for exercise it is hard when you can't walk very far. Yet I know there are chair exercises I can do and need to start doing them. 

So I am curious what do you all do to track your progress? Do you go by the scales?  Count calories? I would be interested to know.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Are Our Emotions Eating Us Alive?

Being overweight is a touchy subject.  People have told me bluntly, "If you know you are overweight, why can you just lose weight?"  One friend even told me, "You are only overweight because you want to be."  This weight issue has always frustrated me, because it was my excuse and scape goat for EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE that went wrong.

I have never known what it was like to be small.  For me I came into this world over weight at almost 13 lbs I was told.  It frustrates me.  A friend once said when she saw my chubby baby pictures, "I love chubby babies, they are so cute!"  Why is it acceptable to love chubby babies, but not chubby adults?  Why can't people just accept us as we are?  The truth is as adults we are not accepted into society, because the people who are quick to judge have most likely never been in these shoes.

Before, all this would overwhelm me to the point I would give up and learned to live within society's snickers and laughs.  I have asked myself since beginning to drop weight, what changed this time?  I wish I had an answer, I think I would be rich!!!  Ha Ha  I don't, but I have seen a few observations.

There were two things I had to come to grip with.  One I had to accept the fact I was "obese" and not just overweight, big boned, or fat.  I was obese.  That was a hard word for me to say.  After all if I was considered overweight at only 20 lbs above my ideal weight, then maybe being called obese at this size was just a society thing and I wasn't really obese. Right? I could still walk and take care of my self and obese people I had seen on the news could not even get out of bed.  Yeah, I was playing with my mind.  So first of all I finally had to accept and tell myself I was obese.  According to reference.com, a person is considered obese if their BMI is 30 or above.  Between 25-29.9 is overweight.

I thought admitting I was obese was hard to do, but it was not as hard as the second thing. The second thing is not just one big thing, it is a million little things all together. But it all ties back to one thing, emotions.
I have a friend who has watched my weight loss journey unfold.  She talked to me about her daughter and her struggles with weight loss.  She made me stop and take a look back at life--again!!  Have you ever felt:
  • Angry? 
  • Hopeless? 
  • Out of control?  
  • Unappreciated?  
  • Bored?  
If you have (and I am betting all of us have) what do you do?  I was all of the above.  The one thing that got me going was the "out of control" trigger.  Giving up sugar and soda was the only thing I could do to begin to have some control over my life.

Now I can go back on my life and see other areas I need to get a grip on and work on those as well.  My anger has pretty much dissolved by leaving the sugar alone it seems.  The hopelessness, with no job for almost two years (it gets hairy at times) but somehow little miracles show up and I am okay for another month.  I probably have the hardest time with unappreciated, I know I am appreciated and loved but I have a very hard time telling myself this.  A couple of weeks ago a friend at church called me on the carpet for it, "Go ahead say it!!  Say it!"  I just teared up,  "Say you love yourself Laura" I couldn't.  I am trying, and it is very hard for me.

I try to tell every person that will listen to me, this journey is not all about the food and exercise you do or do not do. Everyone has the perfect diet for me to try,  I remember I am on a journey and this is a life style change not a quick fix. It is only one piece of the puzzle.  We need to remember there are many pieces, and we have to continue to find those pieces we are missing and those pieces we have found where they go in our lives. 

This was me at 18.  Do I look like I am an animal?  Or that I need to lose 100lbs?  That's what I was often called and told.  At this size, I was referred to, as a cow, horse, ox and bull in a china closet.  I was about 190 at the time, so I thought everyone was suppose to weigh 100 lbs.  So as my life progressed, my weight was always an issue.  I was never good enough for anyone or anything.  Do you now see how emotions play such an affect on the whole weight loss cycle?

For those that have been losing weight Congrats!!!  For those who are struggling and not losing what they think they should, don't give up.  Take a look at these five emotions.  For me, I think that I need to tape them to my fridge as a reminder to me of why I am eating.  Remember this is a work in progress.  If sugar and soda overwhelm you, go with one.  Then the next step, is maybe to eliminate another.

I just want you all to know,  I know this is not an easy journey but the rewards at the end will be so worth it.  I was telling a friend today, one of my next steps is to get my hair cut and go back to wearing make up etc. She looked at me as though she wanted to ask "Why not now?"  and I said, "Because I am not there yet."  This is your journey!!  Don't let anyone else tell you how you are going to do it.  All I ask is that you not give up.  And if you get to the point you want to--remember to give back!  Find a way to serve.  I promise it will boost those emotions and put you back on track!!!

Don't forget to take before pictures to refer back to on this journey.
Thank you again everyone for reading the blog!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Good, Bad, and Evil of Sugar

You didn't know sugar had three sides to it did you?

The Good -- I saw the good last night of what sugar can do for a person that needs it.  I hear every Sunday about being prepared, having knowledge, having faith, and believing in miracles.  Last night, I saw all of them come together in a matter of minutes when my friend went into diabetic shock.

The Bad --Everything has sugar.  There are good and bad sugars and we need to educate ourselves on them, how they affect us, and what to do for others when they are in trouble.

The Evil -- Addiction.  Sugar gets the bad rap because it is an addictive legal drug.  I know, you are not addicted to sugar right? If you can pass up that piece of cake or candy you really want for a week then I can probably side with you. But if all you are thinking about right now is the piece of cake you want, then I would be re-evaluating the whole sugar addiction thing.

What happened?

For those who know me or have been reading my blog, you probably know I love Family History.  It's just part of who I am.  I was looking forward to last night because I would get to see my friend from the FHC (Family History Center).  Last Thursday we got into a discussion about soda and her blood sugar levels, and part of me felt a bit guilty.  I knew she was a big girl and I decided it was not my "right" to come down on her.  That changed last night. As her friend, I am glad I called her out on when I saw a change in her last week.

As we were sitting in our FHC meeting last night, I noticed she tilted her head back.  She then moved it back down, and a few seconds later she tilted it back again.  The first thought that came to me, was "something is not right."  I had seen her before sitting at a computer before and tilting her head back to read the monitor, but this was a large screen.  The third time she tilted back, her friend next to her leaned over to talk to her.  Her friend gave me the "something is wrong" look and I looked over to my other friend Karen.  Let' me just say I am so grateful these two ladies were there last night.  To make a long story short, our friend went into a Diabetic Shock.  I had no idea what to do!!

I knew about the Glucose tablets and we gave her one, but it was not working.  We learned later, we needed to put it under her tongue. So I am curious, if you were in my situation last night, would you have known what to do?  Have you ever been there before?

A few things we learned:
We learned how to give a glucose tablet. Just putting in the mouth does not work you need to get it UNDER the tongue.

Call 911

Luckily our church building was packed with people and in the midst of all these people were a doctor and a nurse.  A miracle they were there!  My friend's bishop (like a pastor) had her information for the paramedics and EMT's. He knew how to contact her husband. I saw some incredible and knowledgeable people at work last night.

We were asked, do you have sugar packets? Do you have any Orange Juice? We had none.  They gave her an IV of sugar and water.  This saved my friend. 

Here are things I now KNOW from last night:

  1. Orange Juice – A Diabetic's friend.  Make sure you have a small can on hand (with a straw). It acts fast into the blood stream. If you are diabetic, do you carry one in your purse or in the car with you?  If you are in an office, do you have a can or two on hand for emergency purposes?
  2. Stress-- Stress can cause blood sugars to rise and nose dive.  Rep. Giffords who was shot in Tuscon over the weekend, is my friend's cousin. I am sure part of the reason for her diabetic shock was her worry for her cousin.
  3. Behavior Change – Are they agitated? Have a glazed look? Unresponsive or short answers such as “yeahh” “ noooo”. Something could be wrong. Keep asking questions to keep them alert and get as much information as you can. Remember it is always better to be safe than sorry.
  4. Prepare – Ask your diabetic friends what you need to do in order to help them should the time arise. Do they wear a glucose pump? Do you have emergency contact numbers? Do you know how to give them a glucose tablet? Do they carry tablets with them?
If you think this is not your problem, you are wrong.  We need to be there for each other, even when some of us think we can do it on our own.  I have many friends who are diabetic, and I never really thought of any of this before. I need to know how to be there for them if this happens and I am there. Ask your friends what you need to know and do, if this should happen to them. If they tell you not to worry, make them humor you!!! Be persistence!! Not mean, but persistence and then share this story!!!  My friend wears a pump, I have no clue how to work the pump, but tomorrow we are getting together so I can learn how.  Last night it was the EMT's who knew to turn it off.

Sugar is a big part of our lives, both for the good and the bad. We need to be educated on it and what are the affects it has on us. Not only what the signs are for us, but what they are for someone going into shock and what can we do till they get their sugar level back up.  As much as I think sugar is not my friend, last night I realized it was.

I know we all need some kind of sugar for our bodies.  There are different kinds we can get and my whole purpose of this blog is to just help us do the best we can with the sugar and soda in our lives.  There is alot of natural sugar in fruits.  I often see where bananas are not a "dieter's friend" due to the high level of carbs and sugars.  But at the same time, it is a better alternative for me than sitting down with a bag of M&M's (and yes I can eat the whole bag!) We all need to educate ourselves on our limits, and what sugar and soda do for us.  I saw the good of sugar last night, and maybe there is some good in soda as well.

In the beginning stages of my blog Bev shared her story as a mother of diabetic children.  I feel it needs to be shared again.  This is her story of being a Mom with diabetic children.

Bev's Story

Again, thank you Bev for shsaring your story!  By the way, I am looking for Guest Bloggers!!!  If anyone has ideas and would like to be a Guest Blogger please email me. I know you all have some great ideas!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Break Time....

Just taking a break from blogging today!!!  Sounds like everyone is doing good though.  Congrats on one week down!!! Look for some exciting blogs this coming week!!!

Laura

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Week 2--Seeing Any Changes Yet?

This week my friend and I were talking about the affects that sugar play on us.  She is diabetic and all of a sudden I could tell a huge difference in her temperament and how she was handling small things.  I asked her if she had checked her sugar level?  She glared at me and scowled a bit and then checked her blood sugar.  A few months ago I had begun to notice a change and when she checked her blood sugar she found it to be low.  I suggested she bring a snack with her to keep her blood sugar up.  So today when she checked it, she came and said, "you think you are so smart don't you?"  and grinned.  Her sugar was low again.  She turned to me with a very confused look and said, "How did you know?"  I said, "Because I saw your temperament go from calm and sweet to very agitated."  This was not my sweet friend I loved, I knew something was out of sync.  And so it is with all of us.

 I know we all think we know ourselves better than anyone else, and for the most part we do.  But there are  times that we change and do not recognize it, but others do.  We all do this!!!  I suspect one of the biggest culprits of our yo yo of emotions is our sugar levels.  When I was off sugar I was pretty even keeled, not getting agitated, stressed or impatient.  I realized a couple of days into back on my sugar I was on a emotional roller coaster ride again.  I had been off it for so long, I forgot what it was like to be on it!!!  It is not a fun ride. I had more nights of tears than I care to ever remember.  I was so ready for January 1st to start to go back off the sugar and soda, I could hardly wait.  But I didn't realize how bad the sugar affected me until I was talking to my friend.

I have been asked if I have more energy by going off the sugar and soda.  Some days I do, other days I don't notice it as much. The thing I see more change than anything is my temperance. I know this sounds crazy, but let me tell you a little story.

STORY TIME
At one point in my life I was taking a different approach on weight loss and started attending a diet clinic.  Every week you were weighed and your blood pressure taken.  Interesting enough each week my blood pressure was "different". One week it would be really low, and the next week sky high, then low again and then sky high.  After three or four weeks of this, they had me see one of the "boss's" of the clinic.  She looked at my file and looked at me and said, "You are 46?"  I said "Yes". Then came the list of questions. How much did you weigh when you were born?  Are you tired all the time?  Do you feel like an emotional roller coaster?  The one I remember when I saw the light bulb come on was when she asked me if I had ever had blood work done?

To give you a bit of background on this, at one time I worked for Vanderbilt University in the OBGYN department of the medical school.  I had the best and most knowledgeable doctors there.  I had blood work taken THREE times because they were shocked with my results.  I was told my blood work was perfect and people would pay me good money for my results.  After all blood work doesn't lie does it?

In another time in trying to take off the weight and discussing this with a dietitian she said, "Oh no someone did something wrong."  They were having a cholesterol screening at her clinic and challenged me to get  free testing done.  I tried to explain they would not find anything but she insisted that I be tested, which I was --- THREE TIMES!!!  Why?  Because they could not get a reading out of me.  And they too told me there was nothing wrong with me except basically I was very obese and had to find a way to take the weight off.

So back at the clinic where I was being asked if I had ever had blood work done, I related the scenarios above. "Ahhhhhh, let's go chat."  I got scared, because I knew for the first time in my life someone was going to be able to tell me what was wrong with me and it was just not all in my head.  I had been told all my life if I just ate less and excerised more I could lose the weight.  No wonder I beat myself up over weight loss!

She explained I had what was called Estrogen Dominance.  Most women will have a 50-50 balance and I had a very elevated level, more like a 90% instead of a 50%.  Due to the high level of Estrogen she thought it masked my blood work.  So it may be I have diabetes or high cholesterol and once I began to lose weight it would more than likely show up.  When I asked her how I could lose the weight, she told me by leaving the sugar, soda and carbs alone like the pasta, potatoes, bread etc.  I sat there in amazement!!!  Because when I had done that and everyone told me how wrong it was.  "For you" she said, "It was the best thing you could have done."

So you are asking yourself, well duh Laura if you know this why are you not doing it?  Because it is so hard to give it up! I also forgot how much better I felt.  As I said earlier, I realized really today how much better I was feeling being off the sugar.  So I am just wondering if any of you are seeing changes yet?  Now that we are starting week 2, how does everyone else feel and do you see any changes?  I know Wendy S has lost 10 lbs!!!  For me I can sure feel a difference.  Mainly the roller coaster and emotions have stopped!!!  Yeaa Me!!

I know seeing less pounds helps us know that we are doing something right, but sometimes the biggest changes are not in the pounds but in emotions or clothes?  Anyone seen a change?  Please share!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Is It Really Day 7?

It seems hard that we have been doing this No Sugar No Soda for an entire week now!!! Congrats to all!!! Other than the one small challenge on Tuesday I have not really been tempted at all by all the other stuff because I am finally beginning to see the changes I made before are coming back very easily to me now.

So here is my question for you today? Looking back on your week, what were your challenges? How did you overcome them? I really believe that no matter who you are and how you feel you did, others can relate to you. Whether it be you had to have a soda this week, or that one piece of sugar, or you were perfect to a T. I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts of how your first week went.

On Kathy's blog someone had asked if Diet Soda was okay. Again I am not the Sugar Police, but I can tell you, part of the reason we are all so addicted to Sugar and Soda is because of the ingredients used to make us addicted. As I have said before, we often think of addiction as drugs, or tobacco, or alcohol. WRONG!!! So many things whether good or bad can be addictive. Is that a bad thing? What are you thoughts?

Going back to the no sugar and no soda thing for me, once again I am doing what works for me. I will have a future blog that discusses the affects of sweeteners and carbonation on us. I like to think that when the various sodas were made, they were made with the intent of satisfying a soul on a hot Midwestern summer day. There was nothing like getting a Big G

ulp full of ice and your favorite soda and playing the rest of the day. I feel very fortunate I got stuck with the 7-UP's and Root Beers growing up. Maybe that is why me getting off the soda is a bit easier for me, because I never had the headache withdrawals that others have spoken of.

So today I really want to hear from you! What were your challenges? Your most triumphant moment? Have you been able to inspire someone else this week? And before I forget, make sure you take a BEFORE picture so you can compare it to yourself on Valentine's Day!!!

Open Floor....let's hear it!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I AM SO PROUD OF ALL OF YOU!!!

Today we start Day 6 of our challenge. Some are only doing the Sugar and some the Soda and some are doing both. But did you ever THINK you could do this for even five days? Now we are almost through our first week and look what you all have done. Last September when I did this I was a bit shocked I made it my first week, but then I knew I was on my way! And when others starting asking me “What day is it?” I just kept going!! So Congratulations to all of you!! I know it was hard to even begin to think you could do it.....but I knew you could!!! You are all an inspiration to me!!

So I have an incentive (kind of) for all of you. We have 39 days left right? Yesterday my friend Kirsten and I were talking about the blog (with her soda sitting next to her <g>) and she said, “not to mention the cost of it.” I stopped and said, “yeah, you just gave me an idea for my next blog!!"

Stop and think for a second. How many times a day do you go and get a soda from the convenience store? Figure they are at least $1 each. Just by giving up one of those soda's for the next 39 days, you would save $39 dollars? Do you know what you can do with that? If you buy the plastic bottles, they are about $1.59 here in Austin. What about a candy bar? Normally 89 cents here or so. Do you see how much that can add up to? Now what if every time you took that $1 or $1.50 and put it in a coin jar or savings container and let it add up over the next 39 days. At the end of this challenge, you can have a bit of mad money to do something for you!!! It is not taking away from the food budget, or other budgets. Lets face it, that money was never really in our budget. Right?

My thinking is when I spend $1, it's only $1, it's not that much. But just like everything else in life when it adds up, that is where I begin to see my problems. I did this years ago with every pound I lost I would put $1 into a jar I had. Then when I got to the end of my weight loss I was going to buy a new wardrobe. I did really really good at first, then my friend I was going with stopped going. I didn't drive at the time and there were no buses so I had no way of going and went back to my old ways.  Guess what I did with the money I had saved? Spent it on soda and sugar because I became frustrated.

STORY TIME

I used to live in Nashville and work in downtown for the st ate. As a state employee I could park free in the parking lot that was about 1.5 miles away and take the shuttle up to my building everyday. Yes that would have been the smart thing to do, but it also added an extra 15 minutes each way (at least) just to get to my building and back to my car at night. There were also paid parking lots near by that ranged from $5-$7 a day. When it was raining, or cold, or too hot that was my excuse as to use them. But then everyday I had an excuse and it became a habit.

Also very seldom did I bring a lunch, it was easier to go out and get something quick. Downtown Nashville has a lot of little eateries and on a good weather day I enjoyed the walk downtown. Subway was down the street, easy to go to grab a sandwich, drink, and chips for $5 and then head back to work. In addition we had the vending machines. Soda and chocolate for an afternoon snack, $1.50, wasn't that much!  My mom used to have a saying, "It doesn't cost very much if you say it real fast!"  So true!!!

I was paid very well at my job and could not understand why I struggled to make ends meet after my first month. I looked at my budget to see where I could cut back costs. I had just taken money out that day and I noticed there was nothing left of my $20 I had just taken out that morning.  That is when I began to look at what I had spent that day and gasped at the amount of money I could spend EACH DAY! I decided for one month to cut back on some of those things mentioned above. I parked in the state parking lot four times a week, and brought my lunch at least 4 days a week. I tried to leave the snacks alone but my cravings were so fierce. I did  manage to cut them down to once a day instead of 2 or 3 times a day. How did I do it? I only brought enough cash with me for the machines once a day. I also changed my driving pattern to work so  was not tempted to park in a parking lot.  If I didn't make my lunch, I didn't eat. No extra cash for anything.

I learned very quickly after just a few days, the money I was saving. I figured it was at least $300 a month, but that extra money sure made finishing out the month a whole lost easier. Think of that $300 over a years time. It was at least a few thousand I saved. I was totally amazed!

So like everything else, I have learned it is not chopping out the big things in our lives,but the little things that add up. This goes for everything!!! One of the things I noticed right away was that I was so much more peaceful and calm off sugar than back on. I was an emotional roller coaster and my temperament went through the roof. I hated that because I had worked so hard on getting control of myself then I went back on sugar.  UGH Me!! . Now I can tell I am coming back into sync again. And see, it is all fixable I don't need to beat myself up although I did give myself a good scolding.

So for me every time I THINK about getting a soda or candy bar, I am going to put an IOU in my jar. Ha Ha I don't have a job so no money, so I will have to owe myself like everyone else!! Ha Ha

Thanks Kirsten for the inspiration for today!!!! 

What will your savings container look like?