The Day I Realized Sugar IS the Problem

Sugar Is the problem

You know how sometimes, no matter how many times people tell you something is bad for you, you just need to realize it and come to terms with it on your own before you’re willing to do anything about it?  That bad relationship, smoking, losing weight.. Whatever the thing is, and no matter how many times people warn you or try to help you, in order to truly do something about it for good, you have to decide for yourself.  Then it’s a whole new ball game. 

That’s what happened to me and my relationship with sugar this week.

Sugar is one of the hottest topics in health, fitness, and weight loss at the moment.  There are countless articles about why it is one of the most horrible things for your body.  While sugar is fat free, there are claims that a diet full of fat is better than a diet full of sugar.  I’ve been reading all of these articles (like the one I found this morning) for quite some time knowing that there is plenty of truth to them, but unwilling to admit that I was one of many that had a problem or suffered the consequences of excessive sugar intake. After all, I rocked the Weight Watchers Points Plus program. I knew exactly what foods to eat that kept me in my Points budget and still gave me treats that satisfied my sweet tooth.  I am nowhere near diabetic, and while I have some weight to lose (again), I’m not in any danger health-wise.  This sugar thing didn’t effect me at all… or so I thought.

After quite a physical and emotional struggle for awhile now, the other day I made a Facebook and Instagram post where I basically declared that I had finally gotten my health and fitness groove back.  For 4 or so days I was eating like a rockstar on the new Weight Watchers plan which, for good reason, cracks down on sugar intake. I was eating high protein, whole foods, and even found a few treats that satisfied a sugar craving without containing much sugar at all.  I noticed that I woke up on my own (I don’t usually set an alarm, as I don’t need to be anywhere, and with CMT, sleep is super important) earlier and feeling more energized. I was able to focus and get a lot done, both physically (like a 2.5 hr gym session and cleaning the house) and mentally with less distraction and exhaustion.  I was also able to fall asleep a bit faster AND my skin started to look clearer than it had in ages.  Granted, the skin thing could be thanks to the new skincare products I’m trying out, but you never know.  The last thing I noticed was my mood was also generally better. I felt closer to my husband romantically, and content with life in general, both of which can be challenges in the everyday life of the wife of a traveling businessman.  That topic will eventually get a whole post of it’s own.

Fast forward to two days ago.  **Prepare for some real honest confessions and real-talk here** I went shopping to get stuff for an Easter candy post I’m working on..which meant that the “stuff” was really a variety of Easter candies.  While I worked on photos for my post, I had to open some things to get pictures of the products.  Well, needless to say it was more than a few jellybeans or chocolates that made their way into my mouth. Lack of self control is definitely a big issue of mine.. Not only did I experience immediate regret for what I had consumed (especially after knowing all of the Smart Points values, as they were all written down in my notebook next to me), but a few hours later, my body started to feel a bit off.  

The next day was no better.  First, it was a snow day (winter weather advisory and I had no plans) so I decided to stay in.  I treated myself to the delicious Amish cinnamon roll that my mom had given me the night before.  Hey, I paired it with fruit, and I’m supposed to treat myself once and awhile.  But of course, the cinnamon roll wasn’t the only sugar I ate that day.  I might have tasted a few more types of the Easter candy stash after lunch..  The results of the 2 day sugar “binge” blew my mind, even in the midst of my sugary snacking.

First, it was no secret that even after I had more than enough sugar filled goodness, all I wanted was more! I realized just how insane and dark the sugary rabbit hole really was.  It didn’t matter how full I was or how much sugar I had already consumed, all I could think about was wanting more sugar! There was my lightbulb moment: It really is an addiction.  

I also paid close attention to how I was feeling, from the Easter candy photoshoot and throughout the next day.  I woke up groggy and sleepy, with little desire to do anything but sit on the couch (with sugary snacks) and watch Netflix all day.  At the same time, my mind and body were both racing, hopped up on sugar, but unable to focus on any one task.  It was a miracle I managed to get yesterday’s blog post up at all.  I was unsatisfied and unmotivated, energized (sugar rush) but exhausted at the same time, and my body felt gross; bloated, confused, and just blah. It was horrible.  Why did I let myself do that? Why would anyone let themselves do that??

I went to bed last night seriously reflecting on the past 48 hours and the over sugared hours they had been. It was then that I truly accepted that all I had been reading over the past several months about sugar and how bad really is for the body is TRUE.  It’s not something that should be considered by just some people, but everyone needs to take a look at what they’re eating.  To be honest, I don’t think that my sugar craze would have been such an “ah ha” moment if it wasn’t for how awesome I was feeling in the several days before.  There was clearly a direct connection between how awesome I was feeling when I was eating a healthy, balanced, low sugar diet versus how terrible I was feeling after those 2 days of the complete opposite.  Needless to say I woke up today making a different kind of commitment to myself.  Not only did I want to actually eat the way I was “supposed” to, but after acknowledging just how crappy the sweet stuff makes me feel, I knew I wanted to approach treats differently too.  

Now, for those that know me, I am a chocoholic through and through, so I’m definitely not saying I’m giving up sugar for good.  I personally don’t believe in depriving yourself of any specific food unless it causes a legitimate health issue (like eating peanut butter if you’re highly allergic to peanuts), because feeling deprived can lead to bigger binges and other problems.  However, my approach will definitely be different from here on out.  I am going to continue the trend I had going (until my candy run at Target) which was to have very minimal dessert options at home (which were low sugar to begin with) and treat myself to the “real” desserts every so often, like taking dessert home after a dinner out.  That way, there’s only one serving, and when it’s gone, it’s gone.  I’m sure I’ll have a post on managing a sweet tooth later on.  

I guess my whole point to my really long ramble is this: Friends, what you are reading about sugar is 110% true. I’m not basing that statement on any scientific research whatsoever. I’m simply basing that on my personal experience, and for me, that is enough of a reason to reconsider my relationship with sugar entirely.  Get educated, read the articles you see floating around blogs and Facebook, and believe me when I say that cutting down your sugar intake will impact your body and mind in a positive way. The other day I actually said “I felt like superwoman for a few hours.”  That’s a pretty awesome way to feel.  If cutting back on sugar can make me feel like that for a little while every day, it’s totally worth it.  

What have your experiences with sugar been? Let me know in the comments below! I want to know your story, knowledge, and thoughts on this hot button topic.  

 

Chocolate Overnight Oats |Weight Watchers Friendly, High Protien

Chocolate Overnight Oats

The other day I accidentally made a creation that is certainly going to become a staple in my breakfast routine.  I’ve seen overnight oats on blogs and Instagram photos a ton lately, and they always look so pretty and sound so good.  I was feeling inspired and decided to try my own twist on it.  I went over to Trader Joe’s and found rolled oats at a reasonable price (I’ll be honest, I don’t even know if rolled oats are the  “proper” oats to use) and the adventure began.

Many recipes called for using almond milk and many have things in it that, while healthy, makes the Smart Points values add up quickly.  Since I wanted more protein, I oped to try mixing them in with my fat free Greek yogurt (2 Smart Points) instead.  I used 1/4 C, mixed it up, and let it sit. It turned out to be quite thick, but to the point of dry and not all that awesome.  Back to the drawing board.

Thursday night I had a thought..because you know, I’m always thinking about food and random inspiration can strike at any time..  What if I used almond milk but put my Quest protein powder in it first??  Genius!  Guess what? It worked!  I ended up with the richest, chocolatey-est, dessert-esqe breakfast that only cost me 6 Smart points.  While it might not be the prettiest looking thing, I don’t care, because to me, it tastes awesome.

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What No One Tells You About Hitting Your Goal Weight

What No One Tells You About Hitting Your Goal Weight

Many of us have been on a weight loss journey of some kind at some point in our lives.  There are also many of us who are on one as we speak (myself included).  Whether the goal was to lose 10 lbs, 50 lbs, or 150 lbs, there are so many of us working hard to get to a specific goal weight. You can see the number, can’t you?  You know exactly what you want that scale to say.  Some people are using any crash diet you can think of to lose weight, while others are taking the slow and steady approach.  Whatever method you’re using (be it a proper one or not..), you are working hard and making sacrifices all in an effort to see that magic goal weight number appear on the scale.

Time passes.  Countless hours have been spent in the gym or outside running trying to burn some extra calories. Many pieces of pizza and cupcakes have heard the word “no” and been sacrificed all for the sake of this magic number.  And then, one day, you step on the scale and there it is.  You weigh yourself again to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, but when you look down, you see that glorious goal weight number staring back at you.  You feel victorious, sexy, strong, and like nothing can bring you down.  You’ve made it to your goal weight.  The wait is over. The diet is over.  Right??

Wrong..

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Weekly Weigh In #1

Weekly Weigh In Title


Since I am so focused on getting my body back in shape this year (along with several other goals), I’ve decided to try weekly weigh in posts for awhile.  That will make you, my readers, my accountability partners.  I haven’t quite decided how I want to approach these weigh in posts, but I’m going to give it a shot anyway.  My weigh in day is Friday, so when I talk about the week, it will mean from the previous to current Friday..just so we’re all on the same page.

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Food

I’ll admit, the weekend was rough.  Saturday we had a potluck at my church after the evening worship service. While all the food there is tasty, it isn’t always the most nutritious situation to be in.  While I did take the time to enjoy some goodies like home made enchiladas, pasta, and caramels,  I made it a point to only have a taste of the things I wanted. That ended up giving me a full enough plate, and guess what: I was full and didn’t go back for more!  Score: Brianna: 1 Potluck: 0

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Bounce Back After the Thanksgiving (or any) Binge

Tips for getting back on track after eating all those treats on Thanksgiving weekend. Win the week after Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend is over for the year, and I’m sure some of us are feeling a little bit of regret (or at the very least, a bit of extra bloating) after the few days of Thanksgiving goodies piled on our plates. The day was full of turkey, gravy, stuffing, casseroles, and of course, pies. Of course, the days following are also filled with those foods as we try to empty the refrigerator of all of the delicious leftovers. While our tastebuds are enjoying every second, or bodies probably are not.

Never fear, it is possible to bounce back from this holiday of food and more food.  Here are a few things you can do right now to help lose that bloat and the few pounds you might have put on this past weekend:

**PS, this works when you need to bounce back from any extra indulgent time, not just Thanksgiving weekend**

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Stay Lean Tea 14 Day Detox Review (and GIVEAWAY!)

Stay Lean Tea 14 Day Detox Review- Finally, a tea detox that doesn't use laxatives.

Tea detoxes are a pretty common thing to see around the internet lately, especially on Instagram. As many of you know, I gave the Teami Blends 30 day detox a try and really liked it. Today, I’ve got a different tea detox to tell you about from a company all the way on the other side of the world (at least for me): Stay Lean Tea.

Stay Lean Tea is an Australian company that focuses on promoting a healthy lifestyle. The tea itself is full of bioactive tea leaves and antioxidant rich Goji Berries, and their key ingredient, Longjing. which is full of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and catechins.  These work together to stimulate fat loss and detoxify the body. Read more

Is Sitting the New Smoking?

Sitting

I’ve got your attention now, don’t I?  We all know that smoking is terrible for us. Studies show direct connections with cancer and early death, and for obvious reasons.  So why in the world would I dare ask if sitting is the new smoking?  Surely sitting seems like a plate of veggies in terms of health when compared with smoking!

Truth is, sitting is just as bad for you as smoking.  In fact, it might actually be worse.

In this day and age there are so many people that pride themselves over their big time office job, where they make the big bucks by working long hours and being fully dedicated to their work.  Your dedication of being chained to your desk could come something major like a promotion…or diabetes, obesity, a slew of health problems, or even death.

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My Weight Watchers Friendly Grocery Cart

Everyone has their go-to items at the grocery store.  Being a Weight Watchers lifetime member has been a long journey.  Along the way, I’ve discovered many things that keep finding their way into my grocery cart, and I figured I’d share them with you, as these items are all Weight Watchers friendly, and have led me to weight loss success.

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SLIMQUICK Pure Extra Strength Drink Mix Review

SlimQuick

Before I even start this review, I’m just going to put this out there:

DISCLAIMER: I do not support any sort of “quick fix” diet and weight loss system.  Healthy living and weight loss/maintenance is a lifestyle, not a several week diet.  There is no substitute for eating right and exercising/moving to keep the body healthy.  That being said, I do believe that certain products out there can help aid your weight loss journey by assisting the body as you put forth the effort to watch your diet and activity.

Okay, now that my disclaimer is out of the way, we can get to why I’m here today.  I was given the chance to try out the Slimquick Pure extra strength drink mix, which is a newer addition to the Slimquick family.  If you want the bottom line, I enjoyed this product so much that I reached out to the company saying I wanted to work with them even more, so I am now on their 13 week challenge, which is great, because as you all know, I have some weight that I need to get rid of.  I am so excited to get to try all of their products that are designed just for women.  You’ll get more on the entire Slimquick line later.  For now, lets talk about the drink mix that got me hooked in the first place. Read more

Why I’m Hitting the Weight Loss Reset Button

Weight Loss Reset

Starting over…

Reset..

Square one..

Let’s be honest: when it comes to weight loss, these are probably not terms you want to hear.  When you think about going back to square one on your weight loss journey, you typically think about how you ended up back at the very beginning because you failed at losing (or keeping off) the weight.

After 6 months of constantly changing life and living situations (living in Japan, living with our friends, living with my in-laws, and finally, living where we currently are staying for about 6 months), it is no news that I have failed to maintain my weight loss.  I’ve gained, and I hate it. I’ve gained enough where some of my clothes don’t fit right, and my husband has clearly noticed (although is being kinder to me than I am being to myself). It’s made me feel slow, unattractive, and all together pretty crappy.  I’m sure there is someone out there who can relate.

Despite my consistent “efforts” to get back on track, it seems none of those efforts amounted to anything that changed my body or the scale. I’ve pretty much avoided the scale, except for a few times a month to check in, while I cross my fingers hoping the number goes down (it didn’t). A few days ago, after finally feeling settled in to our new, temporary home,  I stepped on the scale in our housemate’s downstairs bathroom, saw the number, cringed and decided enough was enough!

I decided to throw in the towel on the last year’s worth of weight maintenance efforts, which mostly failed, and decided to take a new (but not so new) approach to my current problem.

I’ve decided to start over.

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