Thursday, March 1, 2012

Soda is my crack...

Lets see here…  Not quite sure where to start since it’s been awhile since my introductory post.
     Well, since I started training again in late January, I’ve lost 12 pounds!  It was kind of weird, though.  I was stuck at 195 pounds for about two weeks or so.  Then one day – bam! – I was down to 190.  I really can’t explain it - and I’m not going to try to figure it out - but I’m not complaining!  My clothes fit a little looser, I’m down another notch on my belt, and I’m running a hair bit quicker.
     So, how am I accomplishing this?  I’m pretty much sticking to the program I laid out in my intro blog.  The big difference in my eating habits has been here at work.  Instead of springing for the free, cholesterol-loaded, fat-laden lunch at work, I’ve been bringing in my own.  These are usually the Healthy Choice, Weight Watchers, or some sort of other healthy frozen lunch (whatever is on sale that week!)  I’ve also pretty much cut out the chocolate and candy my supervisor so devilishly brings in.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll sneak an occasional piece, but not as much as I was before Christmas.
     Home is a bit more of a challenge.  My mother-in-law lives with me, and she has a mega sweet tooth.  Enough said.  Some days it’s really tempting to delve into her stash, other days it’s not so bad.  My biggest enemy is still soda.  Back before this past Christmas, I would easily knock out a 2-liter bottle in about 2 or 3 days.  We were buying at least three 2-liter bottles every week, if not a little more often.  After I got back from Disney in January, I pretty much cut down the soda until I was only drinking it on the week-ends.  Now, I’ll have about two or three glasses during the week.  It’s something I just can’t help.  There are certain meals I need to have soda with, for some reason.
     And speaking of certain meals, last week wasn’t such a good eating week for me – especially at home.  Last Wednesday, it was Chipotle.  Thursday was McDonalds.  Friday was pizza.  Saturday was wings.  It’s not that my wife and I meant to eat like trash those days.  Life was pretty hectic last week for us.  But I did take solace in the fact that my portion s were smaller than what they usually are.  And yes, these are all meals that I must have soda with.  Soda is my crack.
     So, it’s pretty darn obvious what I need to start doing.  My next weight goal is 185 pounds.  I’d like to get down to that by late March.  I’ll have to cut down on the soda, and I’ll have to eliminate the week-day runs to McDonalds.  I’ll still eat a “pleasure” meal every week-end.  I can’t change that.  That’s my reward.  That’s what drives me.  And from what I understand, it starts getting a little tougher to lose weight after you lose the initial 10 to 15 pounds.  Must. Be. Mentally. Strong.
     In closing, I’d like to start closing my blogs with some sort of tip in regards to running.  As most of you know, I coach high school Cross Country and Track.  I’ve started incorporating a lot of what I’ve been coaching and preaching to my kids into my own work-outs.  Some you might find helpful, others not so much.  Some might be obvious, others not so much.  And yet others I might repeat throughout the course of the year just to emphasize it…
     So here’s my first “Zip-ah-dee-do-dah, Tip for the Day!”  (Anyone remember that from the resort TVs back in the early 2000s?):  Try shortening your running stride.  This was something I picked up on from a successful distance coach in New York.  If you want to know the full monty of it, send me an e-mail.  The first day I shortened my stride, I took off about 10 to 15 seconds per mile on a 3-mile training run.  It works.  It really takes an effort for the first few weeks to do this, but after awhile it becomes automatic.  Start using it with your week-day runs, and when you feel comfortable with it, use it on your week-end long runs.  It really does make a difference.
     Until next time…  Stay tuned…


  1. I know all too well about the pop (I'm from the has always been "pop" to me)! I used to take down 4-5 cans a day of the real stuff. When I did my first round of South Beach, I was introduced to just how much sugar there was in pop and promptly switched to the diet versions. Luckily over the past few months, I've even cut down on that and am trying to go with water most of the time.

    As for the stride - I was a sprinter back in school, so that's a hard habit to break. I'm still working on it, but I think I've finally broken the "stride out" mentality and am now trying to figure out just how far out to throw that leg. I think I'm still a heel-striker, but it's getting better. Great advice!

    1. Yeah, I've been reading stuff about the sugar content in pop and that's what has me drinking much less than before. I'm not sure if I can totally eliminate it, but I'd at least like to get down to maybe a couple glasses a week.

      The stride thing took me awhile to get used to. When you first start out, you really have to make an effort to stick with it. I was a 400-meter guy in in school, so it was an adjustment for me as well. I have a 6-mile run scheduled for tomorrow and I'm going to try it out for the whole run. I've been doing it for portions of my long week-end runs, but never for the whole distance.

  2. I'm trying to give up soda (I drink diet but I know it's also terrible for you) but I can't do it. I just love the bubbles! I drink a lot of seltzer but that's pretty boring. Our solution? We buy grape juice and dilute it heavily with seltzer. Like maybe a finger or two of juice in a pint glass and the rest filled up with seltzer. I also love seltzer with fresh lime squeezed into it. It's not diet Coke, but it's works most of the time for me.

    I'm a frozen lunch person too. I just bought a million of the Healthy Choice steamers because they were on sale. They were pretty good -- especially the Top Chef branded ones. I think I've enjoyed the change from Lean Cuisine since that's my go-to brand. I also recently tried the Lean Cuisine Chicken Poblano that comes in a steamer bag -- super yummy!

    1. Soda has been really tough for me to give up. For starters, it just tastes so good to me. And secondly, it's the cheapest drink at the grocery store. I used to kill seltzer when I was in high school. Not quite sure why I got away from it.

      The frozen lunches and the cut-back on soda I think have been my biggest reasons for the weight loss. I also stocked up on Healthy Choice a couple days ago because they were on sale. I'll have to try a steamer bag one of these days...