NANCYANNE55   84,869
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A Few Quick Oatmeal "Recipes"

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I love oatmeal and eat it almost every morning. But I also like variety, and have found ways to spruce it up and make it a complete meal with protein powder. The only brand I use is Beverly International, since I know their quality is sound. And for my oats I use their UMP (Ultimate Muscle Protein), which is mainly casein. I am sure other brands of casein protein would work, too. Casein works much better with heat than other protein powders.

Anyhow, here are a few of my favorite "recipes". I usually make these with 1/3 C of dry oats, but sometimes I'll got down to 1/4 C or up to 1/2 C, depending on my carb targets for the day:

- Peaches and Cream Oatmeal:
Cook oats with a little extra water (to absorb the protein powder). When done, stir in-
* 1 scoop of vanilla UMP
* pinch of salt
* 1 peach, diced with skin on
* 1 teaspoon coconut oil (optional, but I like the flavor this healthy fat adds) OR 1 teaspoon butter (if you use salted, omit the salt)
Put in an microwave-safe serving bowl and microwave for about 30-45 seconds to heat it back up, as the peaches will have cooled the oats down.

- Oatmeal Peanut butter Cookie Oats:
Cook oats with a little extra water (to absorb the protein powder). When done, stir in-
* 1 Tablespoon natural peanut butter
* Salt to taste
Mix well to distribute the peanut butter evenly. Then stir in:
* 1 Scoop Vanilla UMP
* 2 Tablespoons raisins

Chocolate Oats:
Cook oats with a little extra water (to absorb the protein powder). When done, stir in-
* 1 teaspoon coconut oil
* pinch of salt
* 1 scoop chocolate UMP
* 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder (optional, and when I use this, I often add a teaspoon or so of calorie-free sweetener to help offset some of the bitterness of the cocoa)
- If you like, substitute 1 T of natural peanut butter for the coconut oil.

Snickerdoodle Oats:
Cook oats with a little extra water (to absorb the protein powder). When done, stir in-
* 1 scoop vanilla UMP
* 1 teaspoon coconut oil or butter (if the butter is salted, omit the salt)
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
* pinch of salt

Apple Pie Oats:
Place oats in the pan you are going to cook them in. Cut up an apple into very small pieces and add to the oats. Put in less water than you would usually cook the oats in, as the apple will cook down and add to the liquid. Cook oats, stirring often (unless you do them in the microwave, then just let 'em cook), until done.
When cooked, stir in:
* 1 scoop Vanilla UMP
* 1 teaspoon butter (if it's salted, omit salt)
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
* pinch ground nutmeg (optional)
* pinch salt

I'll be that as you start using more variety with your oats, you will start coming up with your own combinations. I'd love to hear what you create!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTFOXXY 6/21/2014 8:31AM

    This is great for lovers of oatmeal. Unfortunately it makes my throat itch and I don't care for the texture. Any suggestions for anti oatmeal eaters?

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MARINEMAMA 6/18/2014 7:45AM

    These sounds yummy! Thank you for sharing! Will be trying some!

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LEWILL1982 6/17/2014 11:14AM

    I'm changing things up again and started eating oatmeal again this week. I cook with it, aside from oatmeal cookies, haha, I add it in my smoothies and I've been including it in my protein bars. So versatile!

Don't stop your blogs, they are helpful and informative. It's also good for you because you can get your thoughts down. My blogs don't get read much, but I keep writing, because it helps me. I also think people are in general, not around as much right now, during the summer months.

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HDHAWK 6/11/2014 2:20PM

    Yum! Thanks for sharing these. I've been known to throw and egg white or 2 in while the oats are cooking. I wasn't sure about it the first time I did it, but it turned out fine. You can't hardly taste them.

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IRP1114 6/11/2014 12:28PM

    Great ideas! Thanks for sharing : )!
I also like to mix my protein powders right into my oats. Sometimes hemp or both hemp and whey. Yummy way to sweeten without any sweetener too because almost all powders are sweet anyway. I like to grind a piece of cinnamon stick right along with the flax seeds that I mix in with chopped fresh apples and top with walnuts or cacao nibs. Easy way to make a higher calorie filling meal for the hubby in the mornings this way too!

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DANALMILLAN 6/11/2014 11:46AM


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Only Undertake What You Know You Can Maintain

Thursday, June 05, 2014

One lesson I have learned the hard way in my fitness journey: Don't take on anything to lose weight that you aren't willing to do on a permanent basis.

If you do a bunch of nutty stuff to lose weight, you are very likely to gain the weight back once the nutty stuff is ceased. Why? You didn't learn a darned thing about how to exist in your real, day-to-day world.

I've been heavy and I've been very thin, and here is what I know: The stuff you did to lose weight is the stuff you will have to continue to do to maintain it.

The fact is that the difference between weight loss and weight maintenance for me is about 300 calories a day. Maybe. This is two cookies. So keeping up the weight loss methods, with a cookie or two (or whatever else equals 300 calories) added in, is what I must do to stay at my preferred weight.

Consequently, before I give up carbs after lunch, I ask myself: Can I live like this for the rest of my life?

Do I really want to live without ever eating sugar again?

And before I go to two workouts a day, I have to be honest about if that's something I can keep up after the weight is off.

If it's not, I don't do it. Maybe it means carrying around some excess weight a bit longer. That's Okay. I'd rather find and adapt to liveable solutions than go through the frustration of gaining back some or all of weight I'd sacrificed so much to lose.

It all goes back to that overused term "lifestyle". You WILL need to make changes, but find methods that fit into your lifestyle, or that you can build a new lifestyle around. Trust me, you will save yourself a LOT of frustration this way.

And, honestly, I think taking on methods that can't be maintained is the main reason there is such a discouragingly high percentage of weight regain.

The difference between maintaining and gaining is separated by a VERY THIN line. Make sure you don't make it even thinner by setting yourself up for failure with changes you can't maintain.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AGNEWH 7/15/2014 10:14AM

    Hello! I am new to SP and loved your story. I am 42 and wanting to loose 55 pounds. Looking for motivation and saw your blog section. A few friends at work started " the military diet". I even tried it myself but am not a fan of fad diets. What you are saying is completely true. I truly believe in a healthy lifestyle change and something I can live with for the rest of my life. Me I need to learn patience and be reminded that it's not going to come off overnight.

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EDWARDSC393 7/12/2014 10:57AM

    You,re so right. After life throws us loops, we have to change our goals. I,ve have to make new goals as my body will let me. This was a real good blog! Thx, Nancy

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ANNIEONLI 7/3/2014 5:05AM

    Well's been my own philosophy from the get-go! emoticon

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RUDITUDI2000 6/17/2014 11:09AM

    This was just what I needed today. I was thinking I should give up the few things left that I totally enjoy...peanut butter, avocados, teecino...all totally healthy things that I am just overdoing! SO in light of what you have said, I will continue enjoying them but measure them instead so its only one serving at a sitting vs overeating.
Thanks for the perspective, I think you are totally on the mark here! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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OHMEMEME 6/11/2014 8:41AM

    Very much needed reflections! Though I have "maintained" a 50 lb loss for about two years, I still have to revisit the things you've mentioned. I could at any moment return to old habits that lead to weight gain. That slippery slope can be very stressful and frustrating. I do slip and fall into old habits on both sides of the spectrum...I overeating the junk and don't track then I over exercise to counteract it. But I do have longer more balanced periods than I used to. I do enjoy exercise and many of its variations, but it must keep myself in check on how hard and how sustainable it is. I know "running" helps me to drop weight quicker than walking, but I enjoy walking so much more...right now I am working really hard on the mind game of eating and exercising for true maintenance. I have finally reached my original goal weight of 175lbs @ 5'7"in. That's not the ideal place on the charts but it's comfortable for me. I have to keep reminding myself that that's ok. Thanks for helping...Keep Sparking! emoticon

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IRP1114 6/10/2014 11:36AM

    Great blog! I have been debating with issues as this myself recently!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    True true:)

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HDHAWK 6/6/2014 7:37PM

    Well said Nancy. I don't think people realize the very small amount of calories you can have between losing and maintenance.

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    I feel the same way. As much as I want to slim down, I'm not trying to start a habit I can't maintain.

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    You do an awesome job including yourself in what you write but you do an even BETTER job at dispensing this priceless and helpful nugget of information.

I do, however, wonder about folks who are desperate that have not yet started the journey, for me I know I had to experience a lot of hard knocks before I started to "get it" and while this insight you write is indisputable I can't shake the feeling that most who would read it and are at the beginning of their weight loss journey may not considered it because they ARE so desperate to lose weight and will go to any lengths to lose it a.s.a.p.

For those of us who HAVE been on this journey this is a GREAT reminder....

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WENDYSPARKS 6/6/2014 8:27AM


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ROCKMAN6797 6/6/2014 7:30AM

    Excellent blog!
I have come to the same conclusion. It really is all about what one can reasonably continue to do. Making drastic changes can lead to drastic results but is it doable in the future? Why not make those little changes that can lead to better health and tweak those changes as necessary. '
Once again, this is a very thought-provoking blog, one that should be read by all!
Thank you.


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MARINEMAMA 6/6/2014 5:49AM

    Thank you for sharing this! emoticon

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CLEARNIGHTSKY 6/5/2014 11:42PM

    Wow. Thank you so much for sharing your experience on this. I need to re-think some things.




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GETSTRONGRRR 6/5/2014 6:36PM

    You're absolutely right! It's a lifestyle change, not a "10-day detox to lose 10 lbs!"

I even program my workouts this way....How can I sustain this level of activity for the long term without overtraining or burning out

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    That is one of the things that is so GREAT about making the lifestyle changes that are suggested here at SparkPeople. We do not 'go on' anything with the intention of 'going off' anything once we reach our goal weight. That is the reason fad diets do not work, and the answer to losing weight and maintaining that weight loss for the rest of our lives.



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    Great reminders! Timely for me today. emoticon emoticon

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FITGIRL15 6/5/2014 5:32PM

    Well said! emoticon

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LADYOLIVER 6/5/2014 4:39PM

    emoticon for sharing this well needed reminder.

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My 4-M Method of Goal Setting

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

When it comes to fitness and weight loss, I have learned that if I have a specific and measurable method of both setting and looking at my goals it not only helps me with achieving and believing I an accomplish them, but also with visualizing and staying encouraged along the journey. I call it "My 4-M Method of goal setting". With this method, I break my goals down into four categories:


For the purposes of this blog, and because I'm currently trying to lose fat (again!), I will give examples of weight loss. But you can adapt this to whatever goal you are trying to achieve, be it a level of musculature, running a marathon, or even something non-fitness related like getting a degree.

Let's cover them one by one:

The first goal, Micro, is something that is easily achievable and very much within reach. For me, this is every 2 1/2 pound mark. So at my current weight of 170, "Under 170" is my micro goal. After I get there, it will be "Under 167.5", then "Under 165", etc. When I can tell I am getting very close to my Max goal, this will get narrower, since I lose much slower when I get leaner. I'll probably set my micro goals in 1-lb increments at that point.

The next in line is the Mini goal. Mini is something that is juuuuuuust out of reach, but you can see it's attainable. Usually for me this is the 5-pound mark (Under 170, 165, etc.). Mini lets me say I did something that would be worth mentioning to others. "I just lost fifteen pounds" sounds so much more impressive (and less weird) than "I just lost twelve and a half pounds".

The second to biggest goal, Moderate, is something that isn't quite easy to achieve and is a fairly impressive milestone. With weight loss, for me it's usually the next size down.

Now for the biggest goal: Max. In short, max goals are where you want to see as the end result of your current fitness journey.

Often at the beginning of the journey I'll have more a a general idea of what this goal might be. For instance, right now I know I want to have a figure similar to the actress Tamara Taylor's:

Isn't she stunning?

This is a fairly general goal for several reasons- While I believe I can achieve a look very similar to hers, I am NOT her. Specifically I am more muscular than her, have a (much) bigger bust-line, and we are of different ethnic backgrounds. But "Tamara Taylor More Muscular" is not an unrealistic look for me, since we have similar bone structures, height, and age. It gives me a general shape to keep in mind.

Another reason this is a general goal is that I don't know at what exact weight, body fat percentage, or even size (although I suspect it's my coveted size six) I will look like this. Nor am I sure of how long it will take to get a similar look. When I get closer to being there I will be able to narrow it down more, but for right now saying I want to look like her sister, sans skin tone, is about as specific as I can get.

All of these goals are fluid and move as I progress, with the possible exception of my Max goal. But even it is subject to change if I get close and realize it's unrealistic or I'm not expecting enough of myself.

I guess my reason for categorizing goals like this is that it gives me reasons to celebrate alone the way, instead of just trudging along until I get to my ultimate goal. And I DO celebrate. Even if it's just to take a minute to sit alone, smile to myself, and feel truly proud that I made it past another goal. The more I do this, the more I am encouraged to press on.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKMINNY 7/18/2014 9:13PM

    i like it, im gonna try it out!

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AMANDAUNBIDDEN 5/13/2014 11:04AM

    Thanks for the tips on goal setting. I like the idea of having the four different types of goals. I try to set my goals in these ways too. Short term, mid term, and long term. It's easier to stay on track when you have those small goals to reach.

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FAITHMABE 5/10/2014 10:34AM

    Goal setting is so effective when you are celebrating the small successes along the way.

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HDHAWK 5/9/2014 10:45PM

    I like reaching shorter term goals too. It makes me feel like I am accomplishing something even if I'm not at my ultimate goal.

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LEWILL1982 5/7/2014 2:47PM

    I break mine off in chunks too; much more manageable!

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FITGIRL15 5/7/2014 10:46AM

    IMO: The end result is worth more when you enjoy the journey! emoticon
Sounds like a solid method of goal setting! Now go forth and conquer!!! I know you can do it! emoticon

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GETUP-N-GOGIRL 5/7/2014 9:22AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Thanks! I loved reading how you structure your goal setting!
. . . s u s y . . .

Comment edited on: 5/7/2014 9:23:07 AM

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ROCKMAN6797 5/7/2014 7:30AM

    Love this blog!
Your goals structure is very realistic and allows for small victories which build towards a large celebration. I love setting goals as it gives me something to aim for. When I have a goal in mind I find it much easier to complete the task at hand. I find this to be true in everything I do in life.
Good luck to you achieving the look you seek, I know that you will accomplish it!


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    These points sound very doable! Cheers to success, in whatever form :)

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BEST WISHES in reaching all of your goals.


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    Sounds like a good system!
Lots of things to look forward to and celebrate as you go!
The small goals are as important as the large.

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MARINEMAMA 5/6/2014 6:56PM

    I like the way that you celebrate the journey! Taylor is are you ! Best wishes on meeting all of your goals! emoticon

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Miraculous Menopause!

Thursday, May 01, 2014

In case the title wasn't enough, any men reading need to be informed that this blog is about "the change". Should male-types choose to continue reading, consider yourselves warned. emoticon

In November or 2011 I posted this blog on not having the horrible side-effects of menopause since getting into shape:
The blog you are reading now is "The rest of the story".

A year and a half ago I had my last cycle. They'd been sporadic for years, and even though some doctors tried to tell me I wasn't in pre-menopause, I knew better. I'd had signs since I was 34 that menopause was going to come early. I couldn't have been happier when I hit the one-year mark for being period-free last November, making me inarguably through menopause by medical standards. I did a little dance of joy.

I had someone once wonder aloud if my lack of cycles had something to do with my leanness and activity level. No way. During the 11 years leading up to the cessation of my cycles I was both obese/sedentary, and extremely lean/active. Right now I am about 20 pounds over where I want to be. And my cycles are gone. Kaput. Hasta la vista. Buh-bye. So obviously, it has had absolutely nothing to do with my fitness or body fat level.

Between menopause and aging I have found some wonderful benefits:

- I'm a lot nicer on a regular basis. I had cycles from hell- This is not much of an exaggeration. They were horrible. To the point where my family wanted to get away from me. I understood because I would have walked away from mySELF, had that been an option. I would go into rages, cry at the drop of a hat, and be inconsolable. It was terrible. I did get some relief from taking iron pills (turns out my heavy cycles were making me iron deficient), but it never completely released me from my hormonal torment. Now that I don't have those massive hormone surges going on any more I am more "level" and therefore better able to manage my emotions.

I read somewhere once that an early menopause can mean a shorter lifespan. I can say with utmost honesty that if that is the case I would much rather live a shorter life happy than a longer life miserable.

- My cycle was really heavy to the point where sometimes I wondered if I was hemorrhaging. My sheets were very familiar with the washing machine, regardless of how much I "reinforced" myself. Not having to deal with that anymore is fabulous.

- I get to use moisturizer! May sound like a silly benefit, but up until not long ago I was always an oil slick. People would talk about how good moisturizer felt and I didn't get it. All it did was make me slimy. I love that I can put a moisturizer on, feel it sink into my skin (which would now be classified as "normal"), and enjoy that feeling.

- I no longer have to wash my hair every day, since reduced oil production means it no longer looks like a bunch of greasy strings less than 24 hours after washing. I can go every-other day before it looks that way now. Big time saver!

- Zits are (almost) a thing of the past. The occasional pimple still sometimes rears it's ugly head, but as for the multiple volcano zits I used to sport on a regular basis? Gone!

- I can go without foundation and not look horrible. After 30+ years of slathering the stuff on I am no longer a slave to it. I either had to wear it before to cover my horrible acne or combined it with powder to soak up the oil from my face. Now I can just wear sunscreen and feel good about the way my "real" skin looks.

- When I do wear foundation, it's a moisturizing formula. This is cool because moisturizing foundation doesn't stick to my skin and dry before I am done blending it like the oil-absorbing varieties did.

- My body fat is distributing a bit better. I'll always be bottom-heavy, but now when I gain fat I get a bit more in my upper body. This is nice because I don't feel quite as disproportionate any more. My shadow on the ground more resembles and hour glass with more sand on the bottom than a bowling pin. I like that.

- I'm not so concerned with my appearance these days. I'll never be someone who is Okay with looking sloppy. But needing every hair in place and worrying about people seeing spider veins on my legs? Nah. I'd rather let it go and just enjoy myself.

Getting older isn't that bad, it turns out. In a lot of ways, it's beneficial. I'm happy to be 47 and through menopause. Now if I could just lose these blessed 20 pounds again.......................

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EDWARDSC393 5/6/2014 10:32AM

    As I'm getting older, I feel sexier, I do take hormones, but it helps you to feel womanly. Enjoy yourself! I like my curves, before I had the surgeries. Have a wonderful day!

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FAITHMABE 5/4/2014 9:26PM

    I'm glad to hear from someone who has reached the other side. It seems to be so different for so many people.

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  "I would much rather live a shorter life happy than a longer life miserable" - I totally agree!

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    Glad to see someone speaking positively about "the change."

Sounds like you're enjoying the freedom!

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ROCKMAN6797 5/2/2014 7:26AM

    I guess, congratulations! emoticon

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BERRY4 5/2/2014 1:13AM

    Lucky you...on being DONE. Granted, I have not had the TOM like you described (I know someone else who did, and yes, NO ONE wanted to be around said person.)
...some day it will be my turn. emoticon
(age 52 and still regular)...

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LJCANNON 5/1/2014 11:10PM

    emoticon Sometimes Menopause truly is a Gift!!

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LJCANNON 5/1/2014 8:46PM

    emoticon Sometimes Menopause truly is a Gift!!

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MARINEMAMA 5/1/2014 8:19PM

    YAY!!!! No missing that monthly friend!!!

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    emoticon for you, and CONGRATULATIONS on successfully making "THE CHANGE!" Been there, and done that myself! I do not have facts, so this is only my personal opinion, but I like to think that getting on the 'Healthy Lifestyle' path back in my early 20's had a whole lot to do with my two very easy pregnancies/deliveries, in addition to all of the stages of menopause being uneventful. I really believe there is something to this "Healthy Lifestyle" thing! emoticon Have a GREAT DAY! Best Wishes in reaching all of your goals.


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Sugar is NOT My Friend!

Monday, April 21, 2014

I won't say I gave up refined carbs for Lent, since I am not Catholic, but I will say that I gave them up for approximately the 6 weeks before Easter in an effort to become more of what I believe God created me to be.

I'm a firm believer that God calls me to be a good steward of this body He has entrusted me with. The truth is that I hadn't been doing a good enough job of that in the eating department. I didn't particularly like the idea of giving up refined carbs (white flour, sugar, white rice, etc.), but I really did feel that to do so would do nothing but good things for my health, so I relented and committed.

I found myself surprised by a bunch of things in the process, and have arrived at a conclusion as a result. (You will probably guess the conclusion, but I'll save it for the end of this blog, anyhow.)

Surprise #1- Giving up refined carbs was not as hard as I thought it would be. I was anticipating/dreading horrible cravings and withdrawal-type symptoms. Really, these were minimal. This was a relief.

Surprise #2- I lost NO weight in the process. Some of you may recall that I'd started a "Journey to Size 6" blog series at the beginning of the year. In case you noticed it dropped off (only 1 person mentioned it), I stopped the series because a.) I was stuck at a plateau and I saw no reason to report the same results every week, and b.) I was giving up sugar and I didn't want to advertise it. To sound like a holy roller for just a minute, I wanted this to be between me and God, not something I used as a point in a blog. So I shut my yap and put my nose to the grindstone. Still, I thought by giving up such non-nutritive food I might have a weight loss to report, and I do not. I am EXACTLY the same weight that I was at the beginning of the 6-week period. Turns out, you can get ample calories without processed carbs. Imagine that!

Surprise #3- My joints didn't hurt as much. I have arthritis in a knee, and some aches and pains in my upper right side due to past injuries. (These have nothing to do with weight lifting, by the way. I always hurt myself by doing normal stuff like walking down the street or talking on the phone.) Anyhow, I started noticing about a week into my "no refined carbs" period that I wasn't aching as bad. It never went away entirely, since the arthritis and injuries will always be there, but dang! Did it get a LOT better! I started doing some research and turns out that arthritis is a inflammatory condition. As a matter of fact, most prior injuries are aggravated by inflammation. Refined carbs are inflammatory foods. So it makes perfect sense that my condition improved.

Surprise #4- There is sugar in all sorts of stuff I normally eat and consider healthy. Case in point: I was munching away on the organic whole-grain bread I always buy. Suddenly it occurred to me that it takes some kind of sugar, whether white or molasses, to feed yeast so that it can rise. I took a look at the bag and, sure enough, "Organic Cane Sugar" was listed in the ingredients. Dang. This meant that bread also exited my diet.

Surprise #5- Sugar-free "treats" (i.e. candy) give me gas. Not worth it. 'Nuff said.

Surprise #6- Fried foods don't necessarily contain refined carbs. I had pretty much given up fried foods prior to my "no refined carbs" implementation, but suddenly I found myself gleefully filling in the carb gap with french fries. Thankfully I was able to identify this as problematic and knock it off in fairly short order, but I can see where that could have caused me to emerge from this whole thing with diminished health and a higher body fat percentage.

If you are paying attention, you have noted that in addition to the refined carbs, I also wound up giving up bread, sugar-free "treats" (which really left me nowhere to go at the movies but water, since I also don't drink soda), and fried foods. My very satisfying consolation was that I knew none of these "sacrifices" were bad for me.

Surprise #7- My sleep improved. A LOT. I have often had issues with waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep for an hour or more. The only bonus to this is that I got a lot of recreational reading done. A few days into giving up refined carbs I was sleeping like a baby every night, not needing naps during the day (I used to nap like I was 85), and loving it! You know how much more you can get done when you aren't staggering through the day and have an entire extra hour in the afternoon to accomplish things? I didn't associate this with sugar until last night, which I will explain in the next paragraph.......

So, on Easter I allowed myself to eat refined carbs again. It actually kinda started the day before, because I was baking for Easter dinner and took a few licks and tastes. I could feel I was starting to mentally "let go", knowing that the next day I could eat whatever I wanted. That night I wasn't sleeping as soundly as usual and woke up several times aching where those old injuries are. I didn't make the connection until last night. I'd eaten plenty of goodies over Easter Sunday. My upper body was aching so bad that I went to bed thinking maybe I should have taken a Tylenol PM. I slept fitfully and finally woke up for real at 1:30am KNOWING I should have taken a Tylenol PM. The pain was easily twice what it had been the night before, and I was simply NOT sleepy. I read for at least an hour before I was able to go back to sleep.

And, turns out that when you haven't had refined carbs for a while they cause gas, too. I am certain that didn't help my sleep state, either. emoticon

So now I sit here, aching as I type, occasionally stopping to rub out or rotate my shoulder. I was hurting so bad when I woke up this morning that I foam rolled first thing. I almost lost my cookies when I lifted weights this morning, and all I had to eat for breakfast was the smallest bowl of oatmeal imaginable. I'm pretty sure that this is my digestive system continuing it's rebellion.

Obvious conclusion? I'm going back to my "no refined carbs" rule. I've always been able to reason myself out of things like drug use and bulimia (neither of which I have ever done) because I could see nothing truly good that would come of it other than momentarily pleasure or relief. The negatives far outweighed the benefits. And now I see the same applies to refined carbs.

Now, I'm not going to go checking Organic whole grain bread labels. But when it comes to things like desserts and white bread, it will do nothing but benefit me to cut them out of my diet almost completely. If something is new, or it's a holiday and I know I won't see this food for another year, I'll try taking just a bite or two so I have have a taste (I can't imagine not having tried the fabulous German chocolate our exchange student's family sent). Honestly, I could have done that yesterday and been just as happy and a lot less miserable.

My point is not that everyone should give up refined carbs. We each have our own fitness path. But maybe my experience can give someone else an "aha" moment and help them to avoid pain, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAYBURNER1969 5/1/2014 8:32AM

    Gee, are you my twin? I'm even the same age you are, and my prayer life is also very important to me. Found your profile under SP's suggestions on my page. I loved this blog entry. I gave up cake, cookies, candy, pie and ice cream ("No C3PI") for Lent. I have done this before, and it always amazes me how much better I feel when I do. Did you also experience fruit suddenly tasting even better than it did before? My aha moment was realizing that it's easier to focus on my health when it's tied to my prayer life. I hope it's ok if I add you as a friend. emoticon

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EDWARDSC393 4/24/2014 1:57PM

    I,ll have to pay attension in relation to how foods make me feel. Had a piece of cake yesterday, had to nap. WoW.....Thanks, Cherie

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BERRY4 4/24/2014 12:30AM

    You have hit close to home...and I very much respect your personal journey shared. I want you to know you challenge me to do better AND to be better.

Thanks for spelling things out so what you observed...outcomes! You helped me take the next step in realizing that even though I would not take a dose of poison if offered, I have been very quick to do the sugar thing without thought of poisoning my body.

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    I'm glad it's working out for you! I don't eat quite the same as you, but over the past year I too changed my nutrition in ways that brought me surprising health benefits, like more energy, less cravings, less allergies, and less sinus infections. In the past year, I can't even remember catching a cold--if I did, it only lasted a day or two and was too mild to remember. The lack of cravings was a big surprise for me, too. Something else I found recently is that omega-3 foods are great for my skin. I normally don't pay much attention to my skin, but my face is practically glowing now instead of dry and scraped up from shaving. Everyone focuses on weight loss, but it's amazing what other improvements can happen from eating healthier.

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FAITHMABE 4/23/2014 10:32AM

    Thank you for sharing your insight. You seem to be in tune with your body. I am glad you experienced less pain and surprised by your revelation about it didn't affect your weight.

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MRS.CARLY 4/22/2014 6:45PM

    Refined carbs do the exact same thing to me! I went home for Easter and ate lots of stuff I don't normally eat and I have a migraine, I've been so tired and exhausted all day, and just basically overall do not feel good.

I feel your pain! Sugar is not good for the body or soul.

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PSCHIAVONE2 4/22/2014 4:41PM

    That is awesome. I have started to limit the refined carbs and sugar. It's the fructose in the sugar I am trying to avoid. My doctor told me it made my liver fat. My trigger finger went away within 3 weeks of sugar limitation. But this is where I become a complete lunatic. I will not eat any bread because I cannot ensure that the wheat is non GMO. I do eat cereal carbs in the form of whole Groats, Farro, Amaranth, and other ancient grains. I do allow myself to eat anything I want every other month. I am usually sick the day after so even that kind of eating has been becoming more limited as time goes on. emoticon

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LEWILL1982 4/22/2014 1:36PM

    I noticed that as well, when I went Paleo for awhile. It made such a difference for me, less aches when I run, less soreness when I lift weights. Its enough of a difference to make you want to stick with it. I never had problems sleeping. I also noticed that I had less phlegm, if you want to call it that, during my work outs or when running. I don't fee the need to spit nearly as often. I stick with the Paleo plan pretty closely during the week, allowing for a little flexibility on the weekends, mainly in the name of cheese and a beer or two!

I noticed that you stopped posting your Journey back to size 6 blogs, but I couldn't figure out how to ask or say something without sounding like a nag, so I decided silence was best, haha.

Comment edited on: 4/22/2014 1:36:50 PM

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ROCKMAN6797 4/22/2014 2:29AM

    Interesting discoveries. Who would have a thought that sugar and pain were so closely associated.

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CHANTENAY 4/21/2014 10:06PM

    It's interesting, I read a news story about a family that gave up sugar too and got the same results you did. They slept better and her kids missed less school. But there was no mention of weight loss. I was surprised by that, then thought about how the other benefits are plenty reason enough to change my eating habits. I need to cut sugar out to avoid diabetes. It does contribute to diabetes by raising insulin levels which causes one to pile on the pounds.

Great blog. Thanks for writing with your report and observations.


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    Sleeping like a baby and having less pain! I'm glad that you had that conversation with your body- and I too love that you don't preach but that you share. emoticon

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HDHAWK 4/21/2014 6:43PM

    I did notice you hadn't posted any results, I just hadn't said anything. Old age and I probably forgot! I feel the same way about sugar and carbs. I'm surprised at how easy it is to cut way back on them and not miss them much. Good luck!

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GETSTRONGRRR 4/21/2014 6:42PM

    Congrats kiddo! I am totally with you on the refined carbs....and pretty much all processed never know what gets sneaked in there. My rule of thumb is to not eat anything with more than 3 ingredients in it.

I noticed the same thing about joint pain when I cut down the disappeared after I drastically cut down.

Find some good snack substitutes. I like almonds or pistachios in the shell....peeling them takes time and cuts down on the amount I eat. Nut butters are good too...I like almond butter and Smucker's Peanut Butter

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REALRADIANT1 4/21/2014 3:50PM

    Thank you for always being so brave and sharing your ups, downs and struggles.

I have been off of refined carbs for a year and 3 months. I started at 181 pounds and I got down to nearly 150 by June of last year. My goal is 138. However, over the last year, every time I get close to 150 pounds, I freak out and gain some weight back.

Back in January, I had gotten down to almost 150 and I've had such a rough go of it the last few months and now I weigh 161. And this is all without eating refined carbohydrates.

However, I am back on my weight loss food plan for 4 days now.

I've been getting in touch with the subconscious fears that get triggered every time I get close to 150. I've been doing a lot of work on that over the last few months and I finally had a breakthrough that finally allowed me to get back on my weight loss food plan.

I'll keep praying for the willingness and the strength to let go of every pound that is not truly who I am.

Thank you for all your blogs. I don't have to courage to be as public with my struggles as you do. But your blogs are a huge inspiration for me.

I'll be praying for you too.


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    CONGRATULATIONS! BEST WISHES in reaching all of your goals. I don't eat sugar either, but it took me a while to actually give it up. When I would eat sugary foods, (while I was going through the giving them up stage), I would notice how HORRIBLE I would feel. Finally, I asked myself, "Is this really worth it?" I decided a few sugary treats were NOT worth the awful way I felt afterwards. That was over 20 years ago, and I still haven't forgotten that feeling.


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    I enjoy your blog posts. I identify with lots of what you say because I gained back weight and my body seems more reluctant this time to release it.

I think it's great when we find healthy changes that work for us. Our individual bodies react differently to things but it's very helpful when we share what works for us.

Thanks for being candid and always willing to share your journey.

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CHICA_BORICUA 4/21/2014 2:22PM


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MLHAYES17 4/21/2014 1:29PM


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OPTIMIST1948 4/21/2014 1:00PM

    As always - love your writing and analysis. I also love the "non-preachy" message that I hear. Namely "This worked for me...but you are your own best judge." While you may not have lost weight, clearly you have gained in knowledge which is always a plus.

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