Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My First Weight Loss Baby Step- Quit Drinking Soft Drinks!

I'm going to post my baby steps in how I have managed to lose over 100 pounds in the last 20 months. I'm doing it slowly, but for me, this is a lifestyle change and not a quick fix diet. The first step I took was to quit drinking all soft drinks. I still needed my caffeine fix so I switched to regular iced tea. I don't believe in artificial sweeteners so I used regular sugar but much less of it. I would make a gallon of tea and add a 1/2 cup of sugar. That wasn't very sweet at all. I also increased my water intake. I didn't feel like I was depriving myself. The best part was I started saving money by not spending $40-50 a month on soft drinks. Making a couple of gallons a tea weekly is so much cheaper. I was spending about $5 a month on tea and sugar. I did wean myself off the sugar by decreasing how much sugar I added. Once I got used to the 1/2 cup then I cut it down to a 1/4 cup. After a couple of months, I was using no sugar at all. I just squeeze a little lemon juice in it which helps. If I eat out, then I either order iced water or unsweet tea with lemon. I do occasionally drink a soft drink, but maybe like once a month to every 2-3months.

The desire to drink them is gone. I prefer to drink tea or water. I also like green and white tea. These teas are very good for you as they have a multitude of health benefits. The best benefit in drinking either green or white tea is they help with belly fat. There are numerous studies on this subject, but most show you have to consume at least 4-5 cups of 6oz daily. I do drink 24 oz of either one preferably after a meal. It cuts any sugar craving I might get, and green/white teas also help with digestion.

The best part was I lost 6 pounds in 10 days by not drinking soft drinks. That gave me great motivation to continue losing weight. The main reason I quit drinking soft drinks was for health reasons. I was suffering from heartburn on a daily basis. I kept thinking it was the red sauces, but once I quit drinking cokes, then my heartburn went away. It was amazing! Many people will drink diet drinks since it has no calories, but it still has all those awful ingredients, fake sweeteners and colors. Most people know that coke will eat away acid on a car battery. Well imagine what those same drinks are doing to your insides? Many people drink 2-3 a day! I find it quite scary, and that just reinforced my desire to quit drinking them. It's a major step that many people feel that they can't do it. I will say not only will your body thank you but so will your pocket book.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

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Welcome to Shrinking Cajun

This is my first official post of my new blog. I am a cajun living in South Louisiana, and this is my weight loss journey. This can be a challenge in itself living in an area that lives to eat! I really wished I would have started this blog from the beginning of my journey, but better late than never. I started my journey at the very end of August in 2009. I was thin in high school and even in college. I really didn't start gaining weight until 1997. I met my husband, and basically got lazy. There were some emotional reasons as well, but I will get into that on another post. I slowly gained weight and weighed a little over 200 pounds when I married my husband in 1998. I kept gaining, and was at 230 when I got pregnant with my first son. It didn't stop there but I was able to maintain for a couple of years and maybe even lost a few pounds. I didn't really pack on the weight until after we lost our second son. I got so depressed that I turned to food for comfort. I just stopped caring about myself.

Fast forward 6 years later where I finally turned a corner. I have tried several times during that time to lose weight like Atkins but I literally got sick on that diet. Each attempt always ended the same with me quitting after having lost some weight. I would go back to my old habits and pack on more weight. There are several reasons how I reached the point of sticking with it and not quitting. I really don't want to get into all that in this post, and have saved those reasons for a future post. The main thing was I wanted to be a better person for my son. I had to get my act together so I could help him.

I first started losing weight by not drinking soft drinks. Then I switched to eating whole grains and ditching refined white grains. I incorporated regular exercise a couple months later which gave me more motivation and energy. By taking small baby steps, I have been able to lose 100 pounds and keep it off 18 months later. I plan on sharing my success as well as what didn't work for me. I have reviews I want to do of exercise programs, diet tips, equipment and much more. I still have about 30-40 pounds to lose and have stalled for the last 4-5 months. I haven't had any loose skin by losing slowly. I am getting a little frustrated as to why I am still at this plateau. I'm excited to get this blog going. I am looking forward to hearing from others with their stories as well as share mine. Thanks for reading and I promise to add new material often.