Hello Sugar! I Can't Get Enough of Your Sweetness

I over-indulged over the holidays and then in the new year, enjoyed a week of celebrations for my sixtieth birthday. The biggest culprit of my expanded waistline was sugar. I felt addicted. I craved scrumptious morsels of chocolate, fat and sugar and flour. I couldn’t stop!

Finally, I’ve lost three of the four pounds that I gained. How was I able to lose my sugar cravings and basically overcome my overeating habits that the holidays created? I’ve finally resorted to a techniques I tried with my initial fifty-pound weight loss 9 years ago.

  1. Do I really want that delicious source of instant gratification, or do I want to feel good and fit into my clothes? I ask myself that each time I feel the overwhelming urge to pop my favorite sweet, a peanut butter cup into my mouth. I must admit, sometimes that peanut butter cup wins, but I have one, not three or four.

  2. Pause and walk away from that doughnut sitting on the table at work in the break room. I’ve also been known to leave a note on the table that the doughnuts are in a cabinet out of my sight to lessen the temptation.

  3. When someone would bring me cookies or sweets, or they were left over from a party, I got rid of them. I give them away, and I have been known to throw cookies, pies and cakes away and take the trash out right away. No dumpster diving. (Sometimes, friends and family made it difficult during my weight loss journey, by bringing treats over. In order not to hurt their feelings or deal with their need to bake something, and that’s generally when I gave stuff away or threw it away. Asking them to not do so, didn’t seem to always work.)

  4. I didn’t buy treats in the first place.

  5. When the craving hit, I would go for walk.

  6. Soda, some juices, power drinks and sports drinks can have a great deal of sugar in them. I really have never been a soda or juice drinking. I feel fortunate in that respect. Again, limit soda, and diet is not necessarily a better alternative. Diet soda has its own issues, as do sports drink. READ THE LABELS!

  7. When it comes to alcohol (in the past I could down a bottle of wine in one night), limit your consumption. That is simply the way it is. I generally reserve pleasure in having a glass of wine for the weekend when I am with friends. Don’t drink when alone. I’ve worked with individuals during their weight loss journey, and that glass or two of wine a night seemed to be the most difficult habit to give up. I began by actually measuring out four ounces, then two, and finally quit having wine at night during the week (I found that I could not sleep, especially during menopause.) Alcohol can indeed affect sleep, which is another culprit to difficulties in weight loss and another blog topic—sleep or rather lack of increases weight gain or can inhibit the inability to shed extra pounds.

 

I hope this was helpful. What will work for you?

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Fitness and Food Fridays
Images

A new year. A time of reflection for many. I too am pondering on past years, unresolved resolutions, new resolutions, and my failures and my accomplishments. Thinking of my accomplishments remind me of the two figure competitions I competed in, which leads my thoughts back to a time when images of me were not my friend. I despised mirrors and avoided them. Posing for photographs was out too. I hated my picture being taken. My image disgusted me. Memories of my need to look away from the mirror that my personal trainer had me face so he could watch my form and spot for me rush back. Feelings of shame return, too, as I acknowledge how I would sneak snacks, not wanting my husband see what I consumed. My image, no matter how captured, made me face a reality that I wanted no part of. How I got to this point in my life is a different story. I will say part of the reason is that I quit caring about me. I loved wading in the river of denial, and one quick reflection ruined it. Mirrors and photos did not hide my lies. Nope, they kept them alive, no matter how hard I tried to prevent them catching me—my truth.

What happened? I did lose weight and with each pound of fat lost and with each bit of muscle tone gained, confidence returned. My image became my friend, a reality check. I’m also saddened because of the many times I did not allow my picture to be taken with my late husband, my children, my family and friends. I missed out on photo essays of me with them.

Let mirrors and photographs keep you accountable. Don’t hide from them and love the image that is before you today.

 

p.s. In my personal training studio, I keep two photos of me. One is a photograph at 192 pounds. Place below it the 120 pound picture of me when I competed. I positioned them in this fashion, because I praise my larger self. If it were not for her, I believe I would not have the health I have today, and in reality may not even be in this life. 

Fitness and Food Fridays

November 7, 2015

I attended Exercise Etc. Inc.'s Brains and Balance workshop. What about balance? Poor balance can lead to increased falls. What's the big deal about falls? 95% of falls result in hip fractures which increases mortality and falls are the primary culprit of traumatic brain injuries.  What can be done to help prevent falls? Speak to your physician about fall risk and review medications, have your eyes checked, ensure you take safety measures at home: grab bars and railings and perform strength and balance exercises. New ideas are emerging that cognitive decline as we age is no longer inevitable. Great news, uh!


November 1, 2015.

I'm two days behind writing a Friday post, and because I had a meaningful conversation with my friend Mary last.=, i made a decision to write about that exchange today.  We had walked on this All Hallows' Eve downtown to a local bar. I mention to Mary that the basil and lime martini tasted divine, but concern about my health and the calories contained in that libation had me slightly on edge. I worry that I will gain all my weight back. Poor food choices and a nightly glass of wine, or two contributed to my demise. She told me, "That won't happen to you again. I know it." She added, "I don't know how to say this, except that you're not that person anymore. You won't go there again." "That person." I had to think about this statement. No, I'm not "that person" anymore; however, "that person"  had the guts and determination to change her life and in doing so created a happier, healthier person who overall takes care of herself and has found herself worthy of doing so. I had forgotten that a few years ago, I put two pictures of me on my personal training studio wall: one of me at an obese weight and one in a figure competition bikini. I purposefully placed the photo of my larger self on top. She gave me the gift of health, strength, and confidence and a new life.

A little back story here: Eight years ago, I experienced squeezing chest pain that shook me out of denial about my poor health. AT five feet  four-and-a-half inches tall, I weighed 192 pounds. On the brink of a major health crisis, co-workers worried about me. I could no longer take a short walk without resting,, my ankles swelled, my face reddened frequently,, and  I played solitaire all the time because when I moved or bent over, I became dizzy and my held felt like it would ruptured (I thought I had ear troubles).  I was on one blood pressure medication, and  as a healthcare professional, I ignored these warning signs, until my good fortune of chest pain at work changed my life (high blood pressure is called the silent killer.) To shorten this story, I woke up, was placed on a second blood pressure medication, and slowly changed my lifestyle. After a sixty pound weight loss, blood pressure medication no longer was part of my daily regimen. I am compelled to include fitness and food on this site--Its part of me--healthy choices and exercise saved my life.


p.s. After my husband, Jeff died two-and-a-half years ago, I did not work out, ate junk food, and gained 15 pounds,  For weeks after his death, due to stress, blood pressure medication again was prescribed. Today,  I no longer take blood pressure medication, and I'm in the process of dropping those extra pounds (I've lost three!) and exercising routinely.