Sugar, Sugar

So. It’s been a heck of a few weeks. Never home for more than a day or so and even when we are, we are on the road. And now summer is almost gone. *Sigh*

And in these last few weeks I was very discouraged because I had actually gained weight. Only a pound, but a gain is a gain. I ran into a friend in Academy one day (she’s very thin, but trying to build muscle and be healthy) and we began talking about what we were doing in terms of “diets” (those of you who know me know I abhor the “D” word). She said that she has a whole new respect for overweight people now because it is HARD to follow a diet plan and workout, AND count calories, AND resist temptation. Can I get an amen?!? She’s right you know. I log EVERY SINGLE THING I eat EVERY SINGLE DAY. And I log my exercise and then I have to subtract the exercise and the calories consumed to see where I came in for the day and week. Or, if I look up a food that is only listed as “serving” instead of a number of the item or ounces, then I get in to the whole “I’ll never use algebra in real life” and now I need it and can’t remember it. It’s hard y’all!

So in my struggles the last couple weeks I have been trying to balance what I eat, making sure I have enough carbs to fuel my body on long rides yet make sure I don’t consume too much sugar at the same time (that’s an algebraic expression on it’s own). Not too much red meat (my Sunday “treat” so to speak) and not too much processed, no artificial sweeteners- ugh- my head is hurting just writing about it!!!

So I decided to switch things up a bit. I cut my carb intake to 70  or less per day. Easy right? The USDA says the recommended daily allowance is 300! And you Atkins people get this because y’all get even less. But I read that the sugar is what goes to your gut and that happens to be my problem area right now. So now I’m stuck- do I go back to the dreaded, cancer causing, it’s gonna make you fat artificial sweetener in my coffee? Or do I just not drink coffee (yeah, that ain’t happening and don’t even THINK of telling me to drink it black!!) or what do I do?? My morning breakfast of 1/2 cup of granola and 2 tablespoons non-fat plain yogurt fresh raspberries or blueberries- gone. Wholly cow! I can have all the darn meat I want. Jeez! So I did it. For a week. And I lost FIVE pounds. But, like with Atkins, is it sustainable?? I don’t know. I guess I’ll just keep trying to tweak it and continue to pedal my ass off on that darn levee…

And that’s only a snippet. My entire life is consumed with “eat this, or that?” and “what can I cook for dinner that the family will eat and I CAN eat without cooking 2 different meals?” and when do I fit the workouts in? Consumes. My. Life. And now, no sugar. I’ve given up bread and pasta months ago. I’ve given up sleeping in during the summer (I get up at 5:30 every morning so I can fix the hubby’s lunch and go do some miles). I’ve given up being able to sit comfortably and sometimes walk comfortably because by the time the old bruises heal, I have new ones from falling off the dang bike (I WILL get the hang of the darn clipless yet!!!). I’ve given up being a sloth during the summer. The list goes on, and on, and on…

So the next time you see an overweight person, remember- it ain’t easy. I absolutely got myself here, and I’m working my butt off to get away from here. And it certainly is not easy when you are married to someone who can eat a half gallon of ice cream before bed and never gain an ounce. 

So here are the numbers:

35 pounds total

No new pant size or shirt size yet

70 or less grams of carbs/ day last week

1 bag of spinach last week (I’m getting tired of eating it- time to change it up)

All the broiled shrimp I could possibly eat yesterday 🙂

 

Life is good!

 

Set backs and ramblings…

Gained 2 pounds. UGH! Really, I hate scales. Funny thing is, my clothes are looser. I know, I know: muscle weighs more than fat, yada yada. However I did not do much biking last week because of my fall injuries and just never could back on track from when we went to Florida. On top of that I was not following my usual “diet” of no red meats (except for the occasional indulgence) and not consuming as much veggies as I had been. Now that things have settled back down I think I can get back in to a routine.

AND, I was still getting used to the clipless pedals and shoes. My average went down as well as my endurance. It’s been a very frustrating week. But I can’t give up, I’m too invested and don’t have any really large clothes left because I cleaned out my closet and vowed we would not go back. So onward and upward!

 

Those of you that know me know I have taken a whole “lifestyle” approach to this. Not a fad or Weight Watchers, but lots of reading and *ahem* common sense. I think we all know what is good and bad for us- I know I do, but living in south Louisiana where food is something we discuss while eating our meals and always talking about what our next meal is going to be plus frying anything that doesn’t move for 3 seconds, well it’s hard to make those choices. But as I am learning, most of the food we love here is not BAD for us, it is actually good for us. Seafood is lean by nature and does not have the effects of red meat (don’t get me wrong, I like a good steak). But our preparation of such delicacies are usually what trips us up- fried, smothered in butter, and don’t forget “the dip”- that ketchup/ mayo combination that we dip our seafood and potatoes in. And tarter sauce, and did I mention butter? And of course French bread to go with that butter…

So I now look for boiled and broiled seafood when I can or I prepare it that way at home. And I have replaced the mayo heavy “dip” with cocktail sauce IF I feel I have to dip it in something. I’ve been trying to stay away from bread, another weakness. I mean how can you pass up a crusty french bread loaf slathered in real butter? I used to serve bread as a side when I just didn’t feel like dealing with a dinner of a protein and 2 sides. Yep, I’m lazy too. I still keep some bread for those resistant to lifestyle changes but I just don’t eat it anymore. But the butter…that’s another story. 

In all of the reading I’ve been doing – and trust me, there is so much information out there about good and bad and you can find equally convincing information for the opposite of every article you read!! It will make your head spin! So how to decide? That’s where common sense comes in. Processed = added chemicals. Chemicals can’t be great for you, if they were we would be a society of uber-sexy super models instead of constantly battling the bulge. So cut out processed as much as possible. Let’s face it, you probably can’t cut it ALL out but we can certainly weed a lot of it out. Which brings me back to butter. Have you read your margarine label? Yikes! So we use butter, because butter is milk and salt and as long as we stick to portion sizes we should be good. And the handy thing about butter? The package has portion sizes marked: win-win! Every thing we need to exist is on the outside aisles of the grocery. And has less sodium and calories. 

So this was kind of my pep talk to get back to where I was. Putting down miles tomorrow, and hopefully bringing my average back up. They striped the levee path last week- so everyone has a guide now to stay on their own side 😉 I only hope they cut down the weeds by the diversion- I am scared to death of rounding the corner and hitting someone or something! 

Oh, and does anyone have any suggestions for headphones I can wear while riding? I’ve been looking at the bone conduction ones because you can hear outside noise too- a handy thing when you’re on a bike. Anyone have any experience with these?

Welcome! (yep, that’s as creative as I could get)

Image

So. I’ve had a couple people tell me I should start a blog. Only a couple- it’s not like I have a fan base.

 

So after some thought I decided to give it a go. And I’m not going to “justify” it, but merely explain what brought me to blogging. We all need some inspiration and motivation sometimes. And I have made my exercise and weight loss journey quite public. Many people have criticized me for that, but let me explain.

I’ve always been the “bigger” (heavyset, healthy, fat, overweight- whatever adjective you want to throw in there) girl. I also had trouble being motivated to do anything about it- so much got in the way. Excuses, excuses. And then I met someone extraordinary-  she lost at least half her weight (and she was “healthier” than me) AND has two boys (one with special needs), AND is a single parent, AND those 2 boys are involved in every extracurricular activity under the sun. So what the heck?? SHE still had time to exercise!! Then there is my niece, the particulars of her story I don’t know. What I do know is she has lost a whole bunch- the right way- slowly and with exercise. Time for me to get off my butt. 

So you see, they were my inspiration to do something about myself. It’s easy for thin people to tell you what you should do about your weight and tick off all the reasons you should- but unless you come from the “obese” side (rather than needing to lose that pesky 10-20), you can’t understand the undertaking that is. Sure we drop it quicker in the beginning, but it’s harder too. And those habits that got us here are hard to break. And exercise is tough when you’re larger- harder on our joints, and our bodies in general so it’s easy to cop out and say it’s too hard. But the 2 people I mentioned before did it. And so can I.

And so that is why I decided to start a blog. You don’t have to read it- you can go elsewhere, my feelings will not be hurt. But keep your hurtful and/ or snide comments to yourself. Change only comes from positive- and that’s all we will have here 🙂 And out of this I hope I can inspire someone. Even if it’s to park a little farther out in the parking lot or to give up soda or even take the stairs (yikes! let’s not get crazy). Every little bit counts. And that little bit leads to a little more and a little more.

So let’s look at where I started:

240 pounds (yep, 10 pounds from the max on most amusement park rides)
XXL Ladies shirt (XL in men’s or T-Shirts)

Size 20 Pants

And could hardly get myself off the floor if I sat down. And most of my clothes looked like modified tents, with no shape.

Now:

210 pounds

Large shirt (!!!!)

16 Pants

And feel a lot better. And my feet don’t hurt like they used to and I can get up and down off the floor so much better!

Yes, I am making a choice to make my struggle public because maybe I can inspire someone else to make a change. I did not want to end up the fat chick in the scooter at Disney, or diabetic, or on blood pressure meds. I wasn’t there yet- but I’m sure I was headed in that direction. And I want to be able to keep up with the grandkids- which I was having trouble doing.

So come along on my journey and see where we end up 🙂