Monday, June 01, 2015

Going Sugar-Free: One Year Later

About six months ago I let you know how we were doing health wise in regards to the way we were eating and the results we were seeing.  This post had the second highest number of views ever on this blog. I struggle writing about weight because it's tricky--I want people to feel confident just the way they are but I also want them to know that if they want to make a change, they can!

These two photos are the `before' ones and show us last May at our heaviest.  When we measured our waist circumference, we were both considered to have abdominal obesity (>35" for a woman and >40" for a man).

How are we doing a year after reducing the refined sugar and certain carbohydrates (white flour/rice/potatoes) in our home?  How was it going on holidays?  Do we feel like we are missing out?  

Well for starters, we have left the obese zone!  The first few months we were quite strict in limiting our sugars and unhealthy carbohydrates.  After getting to our goal weights, we have been more flexible in how we are eating. During our Las Vegas trip and surprise Disney World trip, I was nervous about how my body would respond to eating more carbohydrates than I was used to.   I did gain 3 lbs throughout those holidays, but once I went back to healthy eating, it came off again until I was at my set weight.  Overall, I would say that our diet is at about 60% less refined sugar than it used to be.

Because we want to be able to have a treat once in a while (okay, pretty much every day), we know that we need to compensate with exercise.  I've been faithful at trying to get my 10,000 steps each day by tracking it with my  Fitbit.   I also run about three times a week for 20-30 minutes each time.  This is not a chore--I love it.  I need it.   Although I am able to maintain my weight this way, I can see that having more treats has increased my bloating.  I would like to be a little bit more serious in the snack department; it's that balance between enjoying life in the short term and yet looking at the long term effects.   

Throughout this past year, we have discovered many new recipes and I'm very thankful that Gary enjoys cooking.  I love that we have opened our eyes to a whole new world of ingredients; who knew that there were so many great vegan recipes out there?  Who knew I would love Quinoa Chips?  Who knew that dates were a great sweetener in recipes (okay, probably everyone who has ever had a date square)?

{Awesome gluten-free Almond, Pistachio & Quinoa Dark Chocolate Bars.  There is sugar in the form of honey and dates but it's much better for you and these bars are so high in protein. This was a special treat.}

I have been able to take off the 18 lbs that I gained over 10 years of marriage and 3 kids.  Gary lost 20 lbs and is even smaller than when we got married!  I feel good.  I love how my clothes fit and I love the energy I have.   As Gary and I get older, I feel a greater desire to take care of these bodies of ours.  I know there is only so much in my control, but if I do my part, that will increase my chances of living a longer, healthier life.  

I am glad that I'm not hard on myself.  I am very content with my size 10 body and don't have any desire to be smaller.  This is where I feel I should be.

This recent photo of Gary and I shows that we are the same size as our wedding day!  I'm appreciative that Gary is on board with this as it would be difficult to do it on my own.  I'm very proud of him; he loves food more than I do and yet has chosen to embrace good-for-you good food.

 The biggest recommendation I will make is to really watch your refined sugar intake--especially in liquid form! Simple, right?   When you fuel yourself with more protein and less sugar then your energy levels can be maintained and you stay fuller longer.  If you are wanting to make a change then I would encourage you to start!  If you have already started, I would love to hear how you are doing.



  1. My FitBit has been a HUGE part of getting back on track with exercise and proper eating the last month since I got it. The motivation to get my 10,000 steps a day really works with me also, and if I'm short steps at the end of the day, I'll for a walk/run to get what I need. I also find the calorie counting part of the program incredibly helpful/user friendly and it makes keeping track of exercise/food so much easier. I just wish I would have got it months ago!!

    1. I was going to ask you how you were liking your Fitbit, Nancy! Glad to hear it's been a good motivator! Keep up the good work :)

  2. Has it really been a year? You guys look seriously amazing. I'm inspired by you! I'm sure it's way easier having Gary on board. I don't know if I could get Brayd to join me. Potatoes are his true love. Maybe we'll start just with watching our sugar intake.

    1. Gary's true love was pasta & bread--we just changed them a bit. Sprouted bread, brown rice pasta....Would Brayden be okay with sweet potatoes? That's what we do. You guys seem pretty healthy looking to me, not sure that you need to make too many changes!

  3. yeah, you guys look amazing!!! Well done! I need to invest a bit more into some of the other ingredients so I can bake refined-sugar-free; I have the dates but have not tried coconut oil yet (I can have olive oil, but that's not so great in baking...can't have veg oil); I will have 70% Cacoa dark chocolate but after being very good for a couple months, I cheated a bit and that's a slippery slope, so I am working on being strict again. (I will be blogging soon about why and how I'm changing my eating).