Sunday, February 27, 2011

Still Here!!

I have been such a slacker this week in blogging!!!  I apologize ...but I am still off the sugar and soda.  How is everyone else doing?  This is a new week and a new me!!! 

Since I talk about Tiffany and Erika so much, this is us.  I hope you all have a partner to do this with!!  It makes such a difference!!

Me, Tiffany, Erika, Baby Jake and Cute Gabby!!!

Hugs and Loves Laura

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How Do You Know When You're Full?

That is my question to all of you.  How do you know when you are full?  I wish I could stop at what I know I should stop at, but I don't.  I stop when it's gone. By that time I am sooo full and bloated it is only then I realize what I have done.  I am curious if this is just me or if it happens to others?

I have heard that when people have Gastric Bypass surgery done there is a "switch" or something that is usually missing for folks and part of the reason they overeat.  It also seems like there is a vitamin missing in you that does not send the information to your brain that says "STOP I AM FULL".  Has anyone else ever heard this?  I can't remember what it is called but I will continue to look and see if I can find it.

Thought it was interesting as I Googled "How do I know when I am full".  There were a variety of answers.  For the older generation (me) here are some things we used to hear:

  1. There are starving children in Africa.  We had to clear our plates no matter how full or how nasty the food was.  In elementary school we used to have mashed potatoes, and hamburger gravy on top.  I remember one time I did not eat it, and was told I had to not only eat it but also clear my plate before I could go to recess.  It only took that once and never again did they (the lunch ladies) make me clean my plate and especially eat the nasty hamburger gravy.  Yep, I tossed it all up, all over them!!!  
  2. Another thing was you were done eating when the TV program was over.  Ha Ha  Now imagine that being an hour long program compared to a 30 minute program.  How many of us have gone back during commercials for seconds.  Never thought about it till now but true.
  3. You were done eating when someone else was done eating.  I see myself doing this one too. Going along with this, as a child my brothers ate first.  So if I wanted seconds, I had to eat fast!!  Ugh all those bad habits I have today.
Now that we have identified things that we associate with "we are full" how do we stop them.  Again as you can see they are HABITS!!!  Habits can be formed and they can be broken!!! 

  1. Okay so the starving children n Africa, we know we can find other ways to help besides clean our plate.  
  2. As for our TV Shows, DON'T EAT IN FRONT OF THE TV.  In my case it is the computer.  
  3. This one will be a bit harder for me, BUT I know I simply have to slow down when I eat. I am not going to a fire!!!   Even after I left home and had roommates, I cannot begin to tell you the times I went to get something and it would be gone.  UGH!!  So if I did not eat it, someone else would!!!

I have not done this in a long time, and this just reminded me of a story.  If I had a favorite meal it would be SPAGHETTI!!! I love SPAGHETTI!!!  How much do I love spaghetti? 

True story:  My mom had made spaghetti for dinner when I was little and lived in Texas.  My dad was a police officer and worked the night shift.  My dad would go to work after we went to bed, and was there when we got up in the morning.  My mom would often pack his lunch for him.  This night she thought she would heat up some spaghetti (this was before microwave ovens-see I told you I was old!). My mom sent us to bed and I think they must have gone to lay down as well and then get up when my Dad had to get up to get ready for work. My mom went to get the spaghetti to heat up and put in my Dad's thermos and there was no spaghetti.  The bowl and all was gone! She could not figure out what happened to the spaghetti!  My dad ended up with a cold bolonga sandwich instead.  In the morning my mom came in to wake me up and her words to me as she told me this story was:  "I could have killed you!!!" She walked in my room and found the missing spaghetti!!!  I had the bowl with me in bed.  But there was spaghetti all on me, my bed, bedding, floor, ceiling, even in the closet.  Don't ask me how it got on the ceiling and in the closet!!!  I have no idea how I did it when I was only about 6 years old.  I was creative even then!!  So you can see my love for spaghetti.

As I got on my own spaghetti became my special meal. It is always the first meal when I move into a new apartment.  And just for the record, if you have never tried a bit of mustard in your spaghetti sauce, you should.  Good stuff!!  This one particular time I made some spaghetti and had some leftovers for the next day.  Or so I thought. I had even frozen it so my roommates would not be tempted to eat it.  Yes we had "big mice" and food seemed to walk away.  Imagine my surprise to go and get my spaghetti and I found TWO BITES left!!!  When I questioned my roommates, no one had eaten it.  Finally one confessed she had "just tasted it".  From there it went down hill as she always had to have a "taste" which was never really a taste, and then she had to critique my cooking.  Ugh!!  No wonder I am so messed up with food.

Anyway.....back to the blog.  How do we know when we are full?  Or do we?  I stop when the food is gone.  What do all of you do?  I really need to change this with me!!!  Looking for ideas!!!

Thanks all!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Up and at 'Em!!!

Okay I figure since I have been moaning and groaning about Tiffany and Erika getting me walking and I vowed to not complain any longer, I needed to put on my BGP (Big Girl Panties) and up my game.  I was very proud of myself, I was at the store yesterday and did not buy CHIPS!! Yeaa Me.  But that was not upping my game enough!

One of my biggest fears (I tell myself) is falling when I am out walking.  Tiffany says, "So, we will pick you up!" They just won't let me use excuses of any kind.  Last Friday I took very very baby steps to get around the building and it really bothered me that a little three year old could walk faster than I could!  Today a friend posted pictures of hiking to the Delicate Arch and I would love to do that, but know I can't with these legs.  So I need to up my game!

I want to get my legs better, if I can get them better I can really progress on myself.  Every morning I wake up and my right arm I can feel is somewhat swollen.  When I get on the computer in the morning, sometimes my fingers begin to go numb that I need to stop and exercise them.  At the grocery store I often have to sit down and rest my feet as the right bottom goes a bit numb and bugs me.  Once I sit down for five minutes, it is fine.

I decided this morning I need to find out what is wrong with me. I Googled "poor circulation for body" and found an interesting article I thought I would share with all of you. The article is entitled  "How to Improve Circulation Naturally".
  • Increase your water intake.  Everyone says, eight glasses of water a day but who has time to count.  If you get a 32 oz refillable cup and make sure you drink two of them a day, there will be your 64 oz.  I know there are different theories, but remember we are just looking to make changes.
  • Add lemon to your diet.  Lemon contains citrate which is good for blood circulation.  Various ways to do this!!  But need to add lemon.
  • Take a Multivitamin every day.  I do not do this but am going to start again.  I am awful at having good habits!!  Bad habits are so much easier to form!!!
Those three I thought were easy things I could do right away and change to begin making good habits.  Here are some other tips that were listed:

  • Follow a healthy diet plan.  I have a hard time with the word DIET....I need a life style change.  However it did say to limit your intake of sugar, alcohol, sodium, and caffeine.  Yeaaa us!!!
  • Exercise, yes we all know we need to get moving more!  Snoopy Dance everyone!!!
  • Apply heat to your body to help the blood flow move.
  • Get a foot massage " Visit a local spa or salon and have someone massage the reflex point on the bottom of each foot. This helps to increase blood flow to the various organs in your body".
Yes it really said to get a foot massage!!!  You think that can be done with health insurance?  <g>

Here is the link to the entire article How to Improve Circulation Naturally  (interesting read).  I am going to do the things in the first group and work on the ones in the second group.

I would love to know for any who try these if they make a difference for them.  I am going to start them as well and report back if I feel better.  We are starting on week two everyone!!!  Hang in there with everything you are doing!!!  Now let's get up and Snoopy Dance!!! (Your aerobic exercise for the day!!)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Revamping Life.....

Is it really ONLY day 4 of the No Sugar, No Soda challenge?  It seems like it has been a month and we should be on the downhill side of it!!  Yes it has been one of those weeks again that I am getting quite tired of.  It seems like it is week after week after week of this.

Today "my girls" Tiffany and Erika dragged me out to go walking AGAIN!!!  It was spitting rain and I really didn't want to go.  Erika reminded me since I don't have any sugar in me, I would not melt!  So we walked around the building, baby step by baby step for me. It was odd, just this morning I felt so puffy and thought I needed to get rid of this puffiness and thought about trying to eliminate salt from my diet as well as the sugar and soda.  I know that leaves very little to eat.  Actually maybe I will eat what I am supposed to eat!  Ha

As we were walking Tiffany said I am going to be your back seat driver (I think is what she called herself) and said, "We need to eliminate salt from our diet."  How weird that I had just thought the same thing this morning before we walked.  So with that on my mind, from walking I went to yet another staffing agency interview. I had some small hopes of maybe getting interviewed for a REAL JOB....but no that did not happen.  That has been the story lately.

Anyway, it was so hard for me to walk and I admit shed more tears than I have recently.  The rain and humidity makes my hair look as though I have not brushed it in a month.  It was just a rough day AGAIN.  Then I was on a wild goose chase for a package (I did not order - another story) and on my way home I stopped at the Family History Center to work on my community service.  Yes I have community service.

In December I was stopped and presented two gift certificates (tickets) from the Williamson County Sheriff.  I was told I was stopped for not coming to a complete three second stop at the stop sign.  Sorry about that, it was only 2 1/2 seconds!!  But that is not what the tickets were for.  One was for letting my registration expire the day before the other was for having a Utah Driver's license.  Because with no job or money to pay the ticket I was giving 15 hours of community service.  Where?  In the Family History Center where I love to be!!!

So here is my problem and why I need to revamp my life.  First of all I feel guilty for doing community service for the Family History Center, even though I know we service much of the community there. Everyone else has said, "What a great blessing" and I tell myself, "I don't deserve this." I feel as though I deserve to be put on display somewhere being laughed at and mocked. I was trying to figure out why I felt like this and it keeps going back to all the inside crap I keep carrying around with me.  I feel as though I have tried "everything" to rid myself of it.  Maybe I have not tried hard enough?  Maybe I am missing something?

Even though I can leave the sugar and soda alone, I still find myself reaching for food (any food) when I get stressed.  But I am going to work very hard on cutting back on the salt starting with the chips. So as far as revamping my life here is what I am going to try and do. You all also have my permission to call me on something I slip up on:

  1. Stop my complaining period!  I need to look at each day as a blessing and not burdens!
  2. Keep staying away from the sugar and soda.
  3. Keep not eating in my car (I am failing at this miserably!!)
  4. Drink at least 64 oz of water a day.
  5. Write down all I eat.  How do you all do this?  I do not have an Iphone so that is out.  Any ideas?
  6. Continue to walk 3 times a week, but really need to step it up to twice around the building instead of once.
  7. I need to learn how to LOVE MYSELF!!
I hope all of you have a partner you can do all this with.  I do not know what I would do if I did not have Erika and Tiffany.  One of the problems I have is that whether I want to admit it or not, I have a hard time accepting the fact that people love me and want to help me.  I hear the words, and know they care.  But inside of me I ask myself  "Why does anyone care?"  Soooo hard!!!  Harder than leaving a stupid piece of chocolate alone.

I recently came across a quote that I liked and thought I would share here.

"Life is lived forward, but understood backwards." 

I do understand so much more now than I ever have.  I know that all of the garbage in me is from years of abuse by others and myself.  I just need to find the key to unlock the door and straighten it all out.

So there you last pity party and why I have been absent the last few days.  I am still here and still am going to do this to the best of my ability!!!  Sorry for dumping on you all again!!! 
How is everyone else doing?


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Phase II -- Here We Go Again !!

So here we are back at Day 1 again with new a new goal!!  We are going to go through Easter which is April 24, 2011 in the US.  If my calculations are correct we are on No Sugar, No Soda for 69 Days!!!!  Whew!!!  But I know we all can do this again!!!

For me I was a bit afraid I would not be able to go back to having No Sugar, No Soda after having it for one day. Today, though I have been just fine.  Maybe it is knowing that it will be there tomorrow and the next day and I don't have to have it all right now.  I really think though it is having to answer to all of you!!!

Now that we have all been through this once, I thought maybe we could step it up a bit (if you want).  Remember the three baby steps we were going to do before as our goals along with the No Sugar, No Soda?  I thought we could start them earlier in this process and maybe we might be more successful on them.  I know I failed miserably!!!  LOL  Kathy calls them "The Power of Three Checklist".  So here are my three again and this time I am going to do them!!!  Okay so math is not one of my strong points, I added a fourth to mine.  Ha Ha

1) Go Walking three times a week (you all need a friend like Erika!!  She keeps me going!)
2) Get in the habit of writing everyday what I eat and my feelings for the day.
3) Do not in the car while driving.  Big one of mine.  Bad me!
4) Drink water, water, water!!  I have a two quart bottle I try to down at least once a day.
This has been an interesting day and yes I know it is only Tuesday. I mentioned yesterday I had to go take care of a ticket.  Then today I had an interview with a staffing agency, but when I got there on the window next to the door was a sign that read:  "NO TRESPASSING!  THE POLICE HAVE BEEN INFORMED!"

My first thought was, "don't tell me they have shut down this office since yesterday!!"  I peaked in the window and it looked like it was still  open, the door was unlocked and I went inside.  I rang the bell to get the attention of someone and after several minutes someone finally came out.  Then I waited several more minutes before being taken back for my interview.  The first thing I was told was, "I am sorry to tell you this, but the position I talked to you yesterday about is not longer available but I did not cancel because I still wanted to interview you.  After going through a 30 minute interview, I asked what positions were available and she said, "None".  I felt as though I was going to be sent on my way, but stuck my foot out and asked to fill out paper work so I would not have to come back.  It was 20 miles one way.

Through this all I was a bit ticked because once again I felt it was a waste of time and here someone was making me jump through hoops for show.  It is frustrating.  Since getting home I have listened to a young man's commencement speech who has 90% hearing loss.  It reminded me, "Laura what do you have to complain about?"  So with this new beginning on another journey of No Sugar, No Soda  I am going to look for the positive things in life and on this journey and not complain so much.  We all know how to do that (complain) most of us probably don't need help in that department.  I am going to stand a little taller, and be a little stronger and step it up this go around.

Those pounds I want to lose this year are not going to just say one day, "Here you go Laura we are going to run away today" no. I am going to have to work for every ounce there is.  So all I am asking you all to do, is be a little stronger this go around!!  Good Luck  I know ya'all can do it!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!

After much thought and consideration, I too decided to take a break from the No Sugar, No Soda and enjoy today!!! Yes I indulged in some chocolate. Let me show you....Okay I didn't have 8, I had two.  But I decided to do it for a couple of reasons. 

First of all I did it for me and no one else.  Why?  Because I had to remind myself this was my challenge and no one else's.  When I even began to THINK about having a donut I felt so much opposition come at me.  It made me crazy.  On my way home from a hearing on my ticket (long story) I was going to head to the store and get a few things to make some goody bags for some friends.  Then I remembered, this was our FREE DAY....if I wanted to have sugar, this was the day.  And only one, not an all day sugar feast.  That is when I remembered I was by Round Rock Donuts and somehow my car just magically turned to go.   I must admit, they were tastie but not something I could eat everyday.  So today was sufficient. 

The second reason I did this, I want to see if I can go in challenges as we did, and pick up my no sugar again till the next goal.  I have set my mind to do this. Before when I tried this, I couldn't do it BECAUSE I was not committed to my goal as I am this time.  As I have said before, I could never do this with out all of you!!! 

Whether you know it or not, by sharing your stories you help all of us.  I can tell you as someone who has lived in an obese body, society and life is less than fair with us.  We have to grow thick skin in order to survive and tolerate just to survive sometimes. And though we my have a brave face on the outside, inside we must strive everyday to not let our hearts become harden because of this. 

A few years ago I went and supported a friend who was in an AIDS bike ride.  I was "cautioned" and "counseled" I should not go because that meant I was supporting what AIDS stood for.  I shared the story of my friend I was going to support, but still his answer was, "Well I am just telling you if I was in this position I would not go."  When I asked him, "Why?" His answer was, "Because of the way I live my life I will never have to worry about AIDS."  It was that comment that confirmed to me I needed to go!!!  I am so glad I did.  Because as I sat at the closing ceremonies and heard who the riders were riding for, and heard the stories I realized the ride was not about AIDS.  It was for every person who had a passion and a fight for a cause in them. So many people I met touched my life forever with their stories. 

Obesity and abuse will always be my fights.  It has made me who I am.  Through it all I have had to learn to develop that tough skin, to forgive,  and to love.  But now instead of getting mad all the time I try to find a way to teach with love.  That is what I am going to do today.  Two little girls yesterday just made my day at church.  So today I will let their families know how much I appreciated them.  That is how I will spend Valentine's Day.

How about all of you?  Are you ready for a new challenge tomorrow?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Party Time!!

First of all I want to say thank you to all who have joined and shared their comments, challenges, ups and downs and support with all of us.  These last two weeks have been very challenging for me.  Haven't I said that before?  It just seems ever week becomes more and more challenging. 

This week I went into Walgreens and this little girl about 7 or 8 yelled, "Daddy look at the big fat ugly lady!  She is so fat."  I will admit it not only took me off guard, but knocked me back a few hundred steps.  A child said this.  And yes I know I have to remember she is just a child.  When all the customers turned and stared, and then glanced away, I decided I was not going to run this time.  I would stand there and take whatever was given to me. When nothing was said, I looked at the little girl and said, "I hope one day you can learn some manners."  The father who originally glanced my way and then turned away, looked at me and then her, and said, "What did you say?"  Did he not hear her the first time?  Everyone else did?  And then she repeated herself, grinning, "Look at that big fat ugly lady! She is so fat!"  It was then he got after her and said "You do not say things like that to people."  I thought that would be the end of it. But after they finished checking out, I was still standing there looking at the ad, and he came over and apologized for her. Or I thought.  Then he made her come over and apologize.  When he did that she got scared and began to cry.  I took her hand and told her, "I just want you to know I am a girl like you are and that hurt my feelings."  I gave her a hug, she was reluctant at first.  But once again her father made her accept the hug.  Her father then told me she has leukemia and that day was her first treatment.

Part of me felt bad that the situation turned into what it had, but at the same time I was tired of running.  As I picked up my few items the cashier told me, "I think you handled that very well."  Still it has been on my mind.  Today a little girl came up to me and hugged me. Her name is Mei. Mei at one time told me, "You are too big!" I think most of the time parents just tune out what children say, because when I said, "You think I am too big?"  "Yes" she said.  Her parents got after her for the comment.  I had Mei come to me so I could give her a hug. The one thing I have learned with children, is when they get in trouble because of me I want them to know I still like/love them.  Now when I see Mei she comes running up and hugs me.  I think it is that when they see someone who is so different than they are, they deal with it as they see others deal with it.  Not always parents, but somewhere they have gotten this idea.

So with all that said, as Valentine's Day approaches tomorrow I have contemplated how to "celebrate".  As an adult, Valentine's Day just comes and goes for me. I need to get out of this mood I am in and the only way I know how to get out of it is by serving.  So I am thinking tomorrow I am going to go to the store and get Valentine treats for two different families.  Just because I know it will make me feel better and feel more love, and that is what I need right now.  I know that is being selfish in a way.  But sometimes it is okay to be selfish.  And that is how I think I am going to celebrate tomorrow.  By giving to others.

So with all that said, I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day with your honey!!!  Enjoy your chocolate and/or celebrations and let's get ready for Round 2!!!  Thank you all for taking this journey with me!!  I am going to try very hard to not have so many emotional ups and downs as I did this time!! 


Friday, February 11, 2011

Ya Think???

How do you plan to celebrate February 14th, making it to our 45th day for the No Sugar, No Soda challenge?

I ask because I have noticed in about the last week, I have people coming out of the woodwork offering their advice on what I should and should not be doing with MY challenge. I am not saying "my challenge" as in this is what you must do.  Each one of us (I hope) has taken the No Sugar, No Soda guidelines and worked them according to what you needed in your life.

One person wanted to cut down their soda to one a day.  For them that was a big step. Others simply wanted to see if they could go 45 days with no sweets and no soda.  For me, I am continuously trying to break my habits that just because I am standing in line where the candy and sodas are, it does not mean I have to buy them.

Interesting I have been told, "Oh honey you shouldn't eliminate it all, just cut back."  Ya think?  If I could just cut back I would.  But I know if it is within range of me seeing it, it is a goner.  I have also been told when I mention that occasionally I have sugar free chocolate "Well that is even worse for you, you might as well eat the real stuff."  Erika (bless her heart and Thank You Erika!) gets me out to go walking three times a week around our church building.  If it was not for her I probably wouldn't go.  For me I am quite proud of myself for doing it.  But mentioning it to one person, "Well that is not very far, you need to walk more."  Ya think? My point is I simply gave guidelines to those who asked if they could join this challenge the next time I did it.  No Sugar, No Soda could be interpreted many different ways.

Now we have made it this far, we see the finish line in sight.  I was asked "How are you going to celebrate?"  At first I was going to go try the entire year through Thanksgiving again with No Sugar, No Soda.  But, lately I have been seeing this ad for donuts.  If you think Krispy Kreme donuts are wonderful, you should have Round Rock Donuts.  Yes, they are that good and even been featured on the Travel Channel.  I will do you a favor and not post the link to their website.  <g>  So I have been thinking maybe I will go get a Chocolate Round Rock donut on Monday.

Part of me knows, when I go to begin the challenge again it will be very very hard if I go off now and have sugar and especially that donut.  Part of me is saying "Laura it is one donut!"  LOL  That good and evil sitting on my shoulder.  So I have not quite decided what  will do yet.  There are have been those who have offered their opinions when I posted I was thinking of this.

Just as a side note, yes I am aware that artificial sweeteners are worse than real sugar, but again I need to break habits.  That was my whole purpose and to gain some kind of control for my sugar addiction.  Has it helped?  Yes.  I can pass up the sweets and I am okay.  But I have gotten a few opinions from others on this matter!!!  LOL  Through all the frustrations this year, I feel as though I have pulled through pretty well.  So I am looking forward to Monday as a milestone for me. Will I celebrate, now sure yet or if I do how will I do it.

Do you all want to do this again?  Kathy made the comment on her blog to go again till Easter.  I thought that was a good goal for Phase II of the No Sugar, No Soda.  What do you all think?  How have you all fared through all this and what have you learned?


Monday, February 7, 2011

501 Ways to Get The Sugar Out

No I am not going to list 501 ways, BUT I thought I would share with you a book that I love!!  In 2001 I was preparing for chance of a lifetime.  I was going to be a Volunteer for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games.  This had been a 2 year process of paper work, test events, training, FINALLY getting an assignment, my uniform etc.  The one thing I had not been able to do though was to lose weight.  One day my friend and I were at the library and I found a book called, "Get The Sugar Out".  It sounded interesting so I checked it out and read it.

I already knew I had a problem with sugar, but it was hard to admit it. I was on a last ditch effort to take off some weight before the games started.  On December 29th, I began to take all the sugar out of my diet.  This included, sweets, pasta, bread, potatoes, soda, all things sugar.  I mentioned to another friend on New Year's Eve how I was giving up sugar and she laughed at me.  She went on to say we all need sugar, and I could never give it up.  That go around, I went 6 months with no sugar before I caved in.  But by eliminating those things and walking 1 mile a day five times a week I lost over 40 lbs in a month.  The weight fell off.  Even though I had done it for six months, I felt like I failed.

However, after the Olympics were over, I heard my friend's voice over and over, You Can't Do It!!!  I was so mad at myself when I did cave in thinking I would simply go back off the sugar again.  It was not that easy.  Last September was the first time I had been able to give it up since 2002.  My thought when I think back to this is why couldn't she just be supportive?

This part of my life reminds me of a favorite children's story.  There is a series of books by Ricky Van Shelton called Tales From a Duck Named Quacker, Quacker meets Mrs, Moo, and Quacker Meets Candadian Geese.  There are four of them (I do not have the fourth one) and each one tells a different story and a different moral.  One of my favorites (if anyone really wants to know what the title is, leave a message and I will dig them out) tells the story of Quacker and a friend.  His friend asks him,
"Why do you wag your tail and bark like a dog?"
Quacker replies, "Because that is who I am."
His friend replies, "No you're not, that is a dog and you are a duck."
Quacker asks, "Don't you like me for who I am?  This is all I know how to be." 

This story always touches me because our true friends and those we love seem to accept us for who we are, yet they also sometimes want to mold us into what they want or what is acceptable to society or something!   I have not quite got that part figured out yet.  They don't mean the harm, but sometimes it is still there.  I have said before, I did this last September to gain control of my life, because somewhere I had to have some control over something.  Through it all there have been challenges, victories, defeats and downfalls.  But despite all of that it is the things I have learned that I know one day I will will by battle to become a healthier me. It all starts with doing what you can and building upon it.

Early in the book, "Get the Sugar Out" Ann Gittleman starts by listing the problems with sugar in heart disease, diabetes and cancer, the three leading disease killers.  Also listed on the list is your immune system.  I just thought of this while writing this blog.  Since being off the sugar in September I have been sick once.  I think it was more the stress than anything, but none the less I was a sick little puppy.  Now all my friends are getting sick and (knock on wood) I have avoided it all.  Could it be by being off the sugar my immune system has increased that I have avoided all the nasty bugs that are going around?  Hmmm interesting thought.

Back to the book, besides the obvious diseases and ailments listed above Ms. Gittleman lists many others.  Some that are included are:

Acne, Allergies, Arthritis, Cancer, Constipation (excuse me need to potty!!! LOL Sorry I couldn't resist!), Depression, Fatique, Mood Swings, Premature Aging and the list goes on.  But the point is, trying to get rid of the sugar is not just about losing weight, it is about getting healthier.  Here are the Top 10 Hints for getting sugar out of your diet::

1-Stop adding sugar to cereal and fruit.
2-Eliminate processed carbohydrates from your kitchen - yes white bread, white pasta, whit rice
3-Go with whole and unprocessed foods
4-Thin out sweeteners or sweet foods
5-Beware of "Fat Free" it does not mean they are less sugar
6-The more natural food the better
7-Become a food detectve
8-Eat for taste and nutrition
9-Listen to your body
10-Eat regular and balanced meals.

Okay so looking at this list even I GET OVERWHELMED!  I am going to take three of them and work on them. I don't have a problem with number 1, but I need #2 and #3, and #10.

This is a very good book that explains all you ever want to know about sugar.  It talks about the Glycemic Index on foods.  The whole goal is to keep your blood sugar at an even level so as not to get the cravings, and binges etc.  It's all doable and all possible....with time.  There are several good books on the market that will help you understand your body and how it reacts to sugar. Someone has mentioned "Eating for your Body Type".  While we all need to watch what we eat and exercise, I believe there is more to it than that.  It means educating our selves on what is right for us and only we will know "that" is.

Have you found other books you like and are helpful?  Please share them with us here!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

37 Days Down 8 More To Go!!!

What have I learned from all of this?  What have you learned from the last 37 days? I think I learned this was a tiny step for me.  I have seen where I can cut the sugar and soda out and be okay.  But it is not the big challenge it was last year, or the beginning of January.   A friend at church mentioned how I should just "cut back" on the sweets and still enjoy them.  My mouth said, "yeah" but my mind was laughing.  Then Kathy said something that really stuck in me, "all or nothing".  That is me.  I am an all or nothing kind of girl.  So with that said, and looking back here is what I have learned.

1) Support. I have never had much support in my life.  I have always had to do things by myself.  Here when I wanted to quit I couldn't because I thought of all the support that was here for me and everyone else.  I know I have heard to have a support system, a friend to do things with because you will stay more committed and motivared.  But I guess I just figured I could just as easily do it alone.  I can't.  I need all the help I can get and it is okay to ask for that help.

2) Goals.  We all have to have some kind of goals to reach for.  I have never been a goal setter.  I think because if I didn't make them, then I wouldn't feel like such a failure.  For months, I have said I was going to go walking but I never did.  Not until a friend said, "I will go with you."  Last week was only our second week of walking.  On Tuesday when it was cold outside (Cold for Texas anyway) Erika was still waiting for me when I was 10 minutes late and she made me go walking!!!  She told me, I know you can do this.  I know now I can too!!!  So now I need to set my goals for my walking, food, exercise, etc to really make some progress.

3) Emotions.  Man I think this was one of the biggest things I learned this time. It is amazing to me how many emotions go through our mind set that thrust us into high gear to eat.  Last time I did the No Sugar and No Soda, it was to gain some self control.  But this time I can see how emotions played more into it to help us gain that self control.  When I needed to drown myself, it would be nothing to get a huge page of Peanut M&M's and drown myself.  All of a sudden they sound good!!  LOL  But now, I see myself not so much going for food, as taking a step back and figuring out (or trying to) why I got upset by someone's actions or words.  Just last week I did not get all my change back from a drive thru  I went through.  When I asked for the change as well, the employee got a bit perturbed and said, "Gosh it wasn't that much!"  She was right it wasn't. But if I had been asked to I want to donate to something, it would have been a different story.  She did not give me that choice, and so I asked for it.  Normally that would send me through a few drive thru's, but this time it didn't.

4) Ownership.  Maybe I am finally taking responsibility for me.  It's easy for me to say my weight gain is because of all the abuse I have gone through in my life, but eventually if I want to get smaller and healthy I need to stop putting the blame on others and especially my mom. 

5) Read Labels.   Oh yeah I so need to do this!!  It doesn't do me any good to eat it THEN read the label.  Duhh me. The old saying, "it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission". That is a cop out to me. I have a hard time with reading labels, so I have pretty much decided to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store when  go shopping until I can get better at reading the labels.  I get in trouble on the bread aisle.  =(

I am sure there are other things. I have not learned to write everything down, and my previous goals like no eating in the car  have not been conquered.  But in time I will conquer them.  But I am proud of myself for being able to do this once again.  But again I could never do it without all of your support.  Thank you again for sticking with me!!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

How Do You Define Healthy?

I ask because, I am realizing "healthy" means different things to different people. Now I know I need to read the labels more closely.  Actually I have tried on this particular product and couldn't find the labels and thought maybe it was one of those hidden ones where you have to peel something back to read the whole thing?  And it was  in a 4-Pack for .89 so I thought what the heck I will try it.

What is it?  Actvia Yogurt.  I know I posted early in all this about a label I found for my favorite yogurt (I am not a huge yogurt fan but do like them occasionally).  In taking off the top lid/label part of the yogurt, I just ripped it off and put it aside.  After two or three bites, I took off my glasses to read the label a bit clearer.  This is what it said:

Nonfat yogurt with Fructose, Aspartame, Acesfulame Potassium, and Sucraclose.  Now  I am no expert on ingredients, but I do know anything that ends with -ose is a form of sugar.  Asparteme is an artificial sweetener as well as the Acesfulame Potassium. This label also states less than 1/3 fewer calories than regular yogurt.  So I was confused.  If this was "healthy" for you what was their angle of "healthy".


When I was 15 (man was than an interesting year in my life!) my brother and I got into a typical fight.  Only instead of beating me he threw a knife at me.  I put up my hand and the knife sliced through my right thumb.  My mom had told us we were never to call her at work, so when she got home and saw the blood (she was not too happy) and I had to go to the hospital for stitches.  This probably had happened about 10 or 11 in the morning and it was about 6 or so when she got home.  So I had lost alot of blood.  I got stitched up.  I believe I had about 20 some stitches in my thumb.  They had to sew the inside and the outside. The doctor prescribed among other things, YOGURT!  I had never had yogurt before, none of us had.  We went to the store and picked out some yogurt.  I think I had to eat one a day or so for a week.  I picked up some vanilla, and some kind of berry one.  I took one bite of it and thought this stuff is awful!!  I could not understand why people would want to BUY YOGURT!!  My mom made me eat it anyway and we finally realized after a few that not all tasted that bad.  The first couple I had that were nasty were spoiled.  Needless to say, it took me a long time to try yogurt again!  My point is, the yogurt was supposed to help me build up my immune system that was on a fast nose dive downwards.

So with what I saw on the label this week and what I remember from my teenage years, I decided to find out what yogurt was really for.  According to WebMD Healthy Eating and Diet there are good things about Yogurt.  According to  Elaine Magee, MPH, RD our bodies need a certain amount of "good bacteria" in our digestive tracts.  This article also goes on to state that yogurt may help prevent Osteoporosis, reduce the risk of high blood pressure, active cultures to help the gut (I think this is where they are politely telling us it helps us go potty better or more?), discourage vaginal infections (I am just saying what they are saying) and may help you feel fuller. Here is the link to the entire article if you need a good read.  Benefits of Yogurt.

Okay with all that said, I am having a hard time being convinced that this stuff with all the forms of sugar in it, is really that healthy and good for you? What do you all think?  I would love some feedback on this.

I thought it was interesting the other day, after Institute class at our church people come into the Family History Center to work on Genealogy.  Lately the teacher has been bringing the best tangelos.  I think they are called?  The small oranges.  They peel beautifully!!  I hate peeling oranges!!!  Anyway one of the girls will usually bring me one knowing I do not eat sugar.  Let me just add there is a bowl of candy that sits at our sign in table.  Another friend popped in and picked up a piece of chocolate and I said to him (teasingly) "Where is your orange?"  He knows I am off the sugar.  He said, "I don't eat oranges because of all the acid in them." I said, "And sugar is okay?"  He laughed and said, "Yes".  Now I know that bodies that become too acidic can have problems as well.  So where do we draw the line?

For me I truly believe if I can get rid of the junk I have put inside me for years, I can begin to get on a path to better health.  I know I need to eat the stuff on the perimeter of the store and not down the aisles.  LOL  But sometimes I just can't help myself.  So I guess in the mean time, I just try to get better and educate myself more than before. 

The yogurt thing really flipped me out.  I did notice though that eating it do I say this lady likesh?  Make my trips to the bathroom more productive?  <g>  I would love your thoughts!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

What Are Your Triggers?

All I can say for being late blogging is WHAT A WEEK!!!  Today is Friday, we have an inch of snow on the ground and the whole city is closed down for the day.  I LOVE TEXAS!!!  This week has produced some interesting challenges for me.  I think the thing I have learned is the triggers that are sending me to comfort foods, and how I deal with them.  This week I felt "my space" was once again violated. 

Pixie Stix
When I was a kid, there was an easy way to make money.  You found an empty pop bottle and took it to any store and they would give you 3 cents for the bottle.  It was easy to find pop bottles and never any shortage of them.  Back in those days also there was "penny candy".  I remember a little store near where I lived where you could go get a small brown bag and just about fill it up with candy.  Most the candy was like 4 or 5 pieces for a penny.  Smarties was one, Bit of Honey, Pixie Stix and the other names escape me.  If you wanted a full fledged candy bar, they were a nickle. Yes I am old!!!   
Penny Candy

Looking at the pictures now of the penny candy I forgot about the Rootbeer Barrels!!  Which reminds me, as a kid in the 60's when soda was making a big splash were you allowed to have the Coke's, Pepsi's and other caffeinated drinks there are now?  My mom bought them for her, but for us was the 7-Up and Rootbeer.  It seems like most of the time we had Rootbeer.

The other cool thing about those days, was that when it snowed you could go out and shovel peoples sidewalks for a couple of bucks and the money added up fast.  I was quite proud of myself saving my money in a jar and putting it in my desk, hidden away.  Or so I thought.  I don't remember what I was saving it for, only that I was saving it.  There was probably close to $20 in it.  And when you are only 10 or 11 around 1970, that was a lot of money!!!  

I came home one day to find my jar completely empty!!!  I knew my brothers had taken it.  I just knew it.  I went crying to my mom.  I am sure she told me to quit crying (she always did) and then told me, she took it because she needed it.  From then I took my jar everywhere with me, until I dropped the jar and it broke.  Money went flying everywhere. So today when I find anyone has been in my space I have a very difficult time.

I rented a basement apartment in Provo, where the lady let her grandkids into my apartment to play with my Disney collectibles. "Well they are just toys" she said. She didn't get it why I locked my door to the downstairs every day.  She did not like having to break through that door.  I am sorry, but when I am sleeping or on the toilet you do not need to come in and ask me if I want a piece of pie.  So yes I have a big problem with people in my space.  So with that said, I will just say this week my spaced was violated.

The first thing to go through my mind was all the past anger, getting frustrated and mad and then wanting to just say "The heck with everything".  I know one of my safe places is the Family History Center and workng on genealogy.  On our sign in table, there is a bowl of chocolate and candy that our director diligently fills each day.  I thought about that bowl all day long and knew I could get there early, have a few pieces, drown my sorrows and no one would know the difference.  

But then this blog came to my mind and I knew more than anything I could not let anyone down. It was hard.  I cried and told myself how stupid I was for even starting such a thing, all the doubt and negativeness was creeping in.  Then I said a prayer, many many prayers.  Because I truly needed to get through this without the reliance of food and especially sugar and soda.

I wish I could say that was the end of it, but it wasn't, when I dropped into bed that night and woke the next morning I felt the same way I did the day I didn't eat and had alot of turmoil in me.  Plus it did not help that I had only 5.5 hours of sleep.  I just couldn't go back to sleep.  All the things I keep preaching to all of you. So yesterday once again I had to deal with it again!!!  How I wanted that chocolate!!!  I even went to the store and found a parking spot and then just sat there.  This blog came to my mind and some of the things I have mentioned in here played out in my head.  And yesterday once again was I not only tempted by the candy bowl, but someone had brought cookies as well.  So you all kept me inline!

So through it all, I can proudly say I had no sugar and no soda.  But I also realized one of the things that triggers me into these temptations.  One of the things that was said to me was, "You never answer your phone".  I have tried to explain over and over I do not answer my phone and to leave a message.  It is a prepaid phone and right now there are 0 units of time on it.  How do you find a job with no phone?  I also explained to this person that I was "working" in the Family History Center, helping a client and could not answer my phone.  To which she said, "Are you getting paid?  I think not!  SO YOU ARE NOT WORKING!"  I took a deep breath and left and got in my car and cried.  We were able to smooth everything out, but it was rough and I realize I have my guards back up.

I know I have few triggers in my life.  Invasion of space is definitely one of them.  I also know that I cannot change anyone, only myself and how I deal with it.  Even though I made it through okay, it was a rough ride.  So my question to all of you today is:

What are you triggers?

Triggers are the things that set us off and make us go from "I can do this" to "I can't do this".  It doesn't have to do with food.  It can be anything that takes you from your safe place and puts you on the emotional roller coaster.  Once we can begin to identify these we can take the next steps in our journeys to get healthier.  

For me, I think my triggers are:

Invasion of my space
My weight --several things on that one
My Mother -- again several issues on this one
My family -- same as above

That is why I mentioned earlier we need to write 10 things we like about ourselves. It will be all the good that will overcome the bad, and I do believe "Good Guys always win in the end!!"

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sleep and Sugar--AreThey Related?

Have you ever stopped to think about when you get tired?  What is the first thing you reach for?  Something to pop your energy level up to give you more energy?  Next time stop and think about how you slept the night before?  If you say, I got the same amount of sleep I always do, 6 hours then you may have just stumbled on to something. 

Doctors have preached for years we need 8 hours of sleep to rejuvenate our bodies.  Our bodies have the ability to heal themselves for the most part if we allow them.  I am not saying quit going to the doctor, we all need doctors!!!  Consider this, I have a friend who stays up until Midnight or 1 in the morning and then up at 5.  Their excuse is, "I don't need 8 hours of sleep".  But when I watch them, I see how they are always  down (depressed), no energy and very agitated all at the same time. I also see how everything has to go on their schedule and everyone has to accommodate them.  So is this someone who doesn't need 8 hours of sleep or someone who just THINKS because they can survive on 5 hours sleep, they don't need the 8 hours of sleep? Trust me, they need EIGHT hours of  sleep!!!  LOL

There is a direct link to weight loss with sleep habits.  Recently, I found an article by Samantha Gibble entitled "10 Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Lose Weight Naturally.  Will it surprise you if I told you the #1 change was eliminating liquid sugars such as soda, and the #5 change was sleeping?  According to Ms. Gibble, when we do not sleep enough our appetite magnifies. This is interesting to me, because I TRY to go to bed at 10.  99% of the time this does not happen.  Yet if I do not wake by 7 I feel as though my day is wasting away, and when I get up I start eating.  But I can see how when I get to bed sooner than midnight and sleep 8 hours, I feel better, not as sluggish and not eating everything in sight. 

Another thing I noticed with me, several years ago when I eliminated sugar and carbs, I slept very soundly through the night.  Most nights I am up a few times to go to the bathroom.  The first time I slept through the night I did not know what was happening.  That had never happened before!! I thought, so this is what it is to not be tired.  So I know there is a correlation between sugar, sleeping and how it all affects you and whether you are "tolerable" the next day. When I say tolerable, I am meaning are people able to stand being around you for the day?  Been there, done that one too!!  LOL

I can tell you from someone who have lived 50+ years on an emotional roller coaster, it is not fun and very exhausting.  So with all that said, I am going to find ways for me to eliminate MORE SUGAR from my diet. I have a book I want to share with you in the future on how to get more sugar out of your diet.

But for now, know you all have done BEAUTIMOUS!!!  I am so proud of everyone!!!  Just keep going and don't get discouraged!!!  It will all come!!!