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Using your unhealthy habits to improve, I think I'm proving it can be done.  RSS feed

 
Casie Becker
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I drink a lot of soda. I cringe when people ask me how much I actually drink. Consequently, despite a job that has me on my feet an moving more than 40 hours a week and a lot of yard work when I come home; I'm fat.

I finally bit the bullet and bought an adult tricycle to encourage me to engage in aerobic exercise that didn't cause uncomfortable bouncing or leave me feeling like I was about to fall over. The bike sat without being ridden for close to a week before I ran out of soda. There's a convenience store relatively close to me. I finally got on that bike to go satisfy my soda addiction. I think I'm spending twice what I was on soda from the grocery store, but drinking half the actual soda by buying small amounts each trip to the convenience store. On top of that, as I've become more confident on the trike, I've now made much longer trips to local books stores and nurseries.

I know the proper way to approach this would be to change my eating habits and force myself to go out and 'exercise' to lose the weight. I just don't work that way. The weight bothers me, but not enough to motivate me to waste my time just going in circles or jumping in place for hours every week. I have to have some tangible reward at the end of my activity to get me out. It's not the best, but the soda is working. I've been mapping out alternative destinations (see nursery and bookstore) to achieve the same result. I now have a good idea of every place with ice cream cones near me. As I do more of this and my stamina and leg strength builds up I expect it will require less and less to motivate me. Today's trip took me past the grocery store where we do most of our shopping. My basket's big enough for several bags. Eventually I'm gonna build up to regular grocery trips on my trike. Maybe I'll even cut back on the soda, cause I'm drinking a lot of water to rehydrate after these trips.
 
Todd Parr
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Good for you.  It sounds like you are on the right track.  I can give you one more tip that really helped me.  Whenever you crave a soda, tell yourself you can have it, but only after you drink a large glass of water.  Drink the water first no matter what.  You may quickly find (as I did) that the reason I was craving soda was that I was actually just thirsty.  Most times after drinking a big glass of water, I didn't even want the soda anymore.
 
Casie Becker
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I think I will try that. Cue an immediate trip to the kitchen Thanks for the suggestion.
 
r ranson
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I think what you are doing is fantastic. 

If you fight against your habits, then change becomes a struggle.   I like your style of using them as a motivator for change. 
 
Tracy Wandling
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Oh, boy, can I relate. When my nieces and nephews were little they used to call me Auntie Pepsi. I am rarely without a can of Pepsi in my hand. I am fortunate not to have the weight problem, but I do have arthritis, which is aggravated by caffeine. And it's very bad for the teeth. And it's just a nasty habit. I'm slowly working up to being ready to possibly consider thinking about the idea of eventually . . . cutting back a bit.   Baby steps.

Today is 2 months of not smoking cigarettes! So, I'm cutting down on the bad habits one by one. Pepsi and cigarettes are my two main ones. I consider chocolate a health food. I am using a vaporizer to quit smoking, but there isn't anything to replace the Pepsi with that doesn't taste like Pepsi.   It's gonna be a bitch to quit.

Good for you for taking the steps! Congratulations, and I wish you the best in your endeavours! Now, where did I put my Pepsi . . .
 
Bill Erickson
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I can empathize with you, Casie and Tracy - I'm a Dr Pepper addict myself, and fat from too much of it and not enough exercise. I like the idea of, "no you can't until...", that is a fine stratagem and one I'm going to incorporate starting today. Good luck on your ride to health.
 
Tracy Wandling
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Good luck, Bill! Us addicts gotta stick together and support one another.
 
Bill Erickson
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LOL!! Indeed we do.
 
Craig Dobbson
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I'm a procrastinator.  Big time.   Last minute, every time.  Barely on time, but always finished just in the nick of time.  I also have a bad habit of unexpected deep thought (day dreaming) that causes me to stop and stare off into the void while I fully engage my thoughts. 

In order to deal with this I've decided that rather than try to start projects early, I just put it off till I know I have no time left.  Now I use all my procrastination time in fits of brainstorming and deep thought and planning.  Often times I totally rethink plans and projects and end up saving myself a lot of hassle when I finally do set to working on something.  And being that I'm out of time to put it off, I work quickly and efficiently. 

I work best under pressure and that's what's up.  If I want to get something done, I put it off.  Sounds crazy but it always seems to work out.  And now I don't bother stressing out for weeks about something I know I won't start until two days before the deadline.   


As a side note to all the soda drinkers:  I found that substituting seltzer water (pick a flavor, there's dozens) for the soda was a relatively simple switch.  There's flavor, fizz and carbon dioxide.  Once you get used to not having the sugar syrup, it's a pretty nice way to kick the soda monster.  I suppose you could also try mixing the soda with some seltzer to start a more gentle transition.  Good luck
 
Anne Miller
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Casie, I think what you are doing is wonderful.  Think of all the health benefits as a reason for losing those unwanted habits.  As you get older there is a risk of high blood pressure and other ailments.  Keep extending those bike trips a little further each day, but be sure to carry some water with you, if you don't already.  And there is nothing wrong with treating yourself to a soda when you get there!

Craig Dobbelyu wrote:As a side note to all the soda drinkers:  I found that substituting seltzer water (pick a flavor, there's dozens) for the soda was a relatively simple switch.  There's flavor, fizz and carbon dioxide.  Once you get used to not having the sugar syrup, it's a pretty nice way to kick the soda monster.  I suppose you could also try mixing the soda with some seltzer to start a more gentle transition.  Good luck


I gave up sodas several years ago for lemonade.  Then I got into the habit of drinking 8 glasses of water a day, everyday.  My go to for a special treat is tonic water, as it provides some potassium and is fizzy.   I add it to my glass of water about 50/50 for that fizzy effect. Plus I like the taste.  I got in the habit of drinking tea this summer and need to get back to the tonic water though as I am having problems with feet cramping.  Tea and tonic water might be ok, I have to try that.

 
Linda Secker
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Well done Cassie - what a great plan!

My unhealthy habit is alcohol - of any description. However, if I'm craving beer or cider, I will quite often do what Todd suggests and it does work... will put off the first 'proper drink' for an hour or so.

I'm trying to replace alcoholic drinks with soda

Also, I'm trying to get (my husband) into the habit of only buying one bottle of wine at a time - then when we've drunk that we can't open another, without going to the shops to buy one. Doesn't always work though!!

 
Christopher Horton
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Alcohol is my drug of choice, but since I commenced making kombucha I no longer crave it.  It seems kombucha is a realistic replacement for soda.  I am 46 now and when I turned 17 I felt that I drank more than was good for me. To counteract this I put the price of a carton of beer in the bank every week, and my it stacks up.  I have been able to pay cash for houses and cars all my life.  Another strategy was to only drink expensive drinks to limit my consumption, unfortunately I have been successful in business so I have been able to afford very expensive drinks.  Last week I paid $30 dollars a litre for a carton of craft beer.  My frugality has meant I was able to retire at 40 while managing to get my three daughters through university.  Potentially I could have been another victim of Bacchus but in trying to avoid that, life has turned out well...
 
Kirk Schonfeldt
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Permaculture Zone Zero!!! The problem is the solution! I love it!
I'm sure you'll eventually totally replace your "bad" habits with good ones as you build your mind and body.

Great work! Keep it up!

PS - Consider water kefir or kombucha to replace your soda habit. Its MUCH cheaper than even soda when you make your own. Much less sugar, probiotics, still bubbly and delicious! Plus, particularly with water kefir as it doesn't have too much flavor on its own, you'll be more motivated to harvest those grapes, tart cherries, elderberries, aronia, wild plums or whatever else to flavor it.
 
Casie Becker
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I've never heard of water kefir (though I do sometimes drink milk kefir). I'll look into it.

I've tried kombucha and have yet to find one that I like the taste of. Not even the commercially marketed ones that are supposed to taste like sodas. Until relatively recently (less than ten years) I couldn't even stand the flavor of dill pickles.

I did start scouting out the local sumac stands on today's bike ride. Interesting thing was I passed a full mile of wild grapevines and not one grape. Then there's the prickly pears that are nearly ripe and field of wild blackberry vines...  I think surveying the local foraging opportunities is definitely going to be another motivator for me.
 
Casie Becker
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Okay, that was actually pretty straightforward. Problem is that I'm very picky about fermented food. Most ferments just taste like rotting food to me. That's actually why I don't drink, I hate the flavor.

Since I do enjoy milk kefir, I'll try to remain open to the idea. Just as with the kombucha, if I see it available somewhere I will make a point to try it. I'm not at a point where I'm interested in brewing my own. Knowing about it and the associated health benefits now does at least make me willing to try it rather than dismiss it as a new gimmicky fad if I do find some. Thank you for the suggestion.
 
Roger Willcocks
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Anne Miller wrote:... 8 glasses of water...


Just to point out, that eight glasses comes from an OLD study.

And the media has always left out the next sentence.

"Most of which is provided by the food we eat"
 
Anne Miller
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Roger, great point!  I use it as a guideline only and this summer it has been 8 glasses of tea ...

"Everyone has heard the advice, "Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day." That's about 1.9 liters, which isn't that different from the Institute of Medicine recommendations. Although the "8 by 8" rule isn't supported by hard evidence, it remains popular because it's easy to remember. Just keep in mind that the rule should be reframed as: "Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day," because all fluids count toward the daily total."

Water: How much should you drink every day?
 
Casie Becker
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So today I'm taking my nieces on a bike ride and foraging sumac near where we live. It's an easy to identify plant, so after this ride I expect them to be able to find this one plant for themselves in the future. They're interested in the idea of making pink lemonade.

I also think I saw a western soapberry tree in the other direction. Nearly completely opposite growing needs and in the other direction from what we're foraging today, so I'm going to wait till tomorrow to do a closeup confirmation. It might just be a chinaberry.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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First I want to encourage anyone making efforts on their own behalf, and congratulate any progress made.

I know I have played many a mind game, made many a bargain with myself.  My best trick is to ask myself to just see what it would take to.... because when I enlist my curiosity I have had more success and more LASTING results than from just absolutely requiring some change of behavior, or the accomplishment of a dreaded project.  The way I am put together, that inner drill sargent can be mighty powerful, but over the long term more damage comes from that approach for me.

Anne Miller wrote:
Just keep in mind that the rule should be reframed as: "Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day," because all fluids count toward the daily total."

Water: How much should you drink every day?


Not to be argumentative, but there are plenty of beverages which should not be counted toward daily water consumption.  Coffee and beer in particular happen to be diuretics.  I think it would be a good idea to look further into the idea that "all fluids count toward the daily total" before integrating that into a mental picture of healthy habits.

I think one of the reasons drinking WATER is promoted is that water "rinses" metabolic byproducts out of the system through urine and sweat.  When the water carries compounds into our bodies, it is hard for our bodies to use that fluid for "clean up".  (My mental picture is rinse water.  You can't rinse anything cleaner than the water you are using to rinse in).  Some fluids, such as soda, carry multitudes of weird test tube molecules into our bodies, which then need to be flushed out some how.  Caffeine whether in soda, tea, coffee or other is considered a  diuretic, so, over time, drinking it can promote thirst rather than alleviate it, which increases a body's need for water, may be experienced as thirst, and may lead a person to drink another serving of soda.

It is possible to drink too much water, leading to a depletion of electrolytes which is a dire situation.  This condition is called "water intoxication".  It can lead to various symptoms, and may not be detected right away when medical treatment is sought, another dangerous situation.

Someone mentioned cramps in the feet.  Cramping can be alleviated with quinine, the bitter and anti malarial component in tonic water.  Unfortunately, most commercial tonic water is formulated with high fructose corn syrup, undoubtedly made from GMO corn.  A person can get cinchona bark and make their own tonic water, flavored and sweetened as they as they wish.  Important to read up on healthy amounts of quinine, because it is possible to take too much.  There are 23 species of Cinchona, there is cinchona available on amazon.

I bought my Cinchona officinalis from San Francisco Herb Company, a company I trust after years of experience with them.  There, a pound costs $5.10.
http://www.sfherb.com/search.asp?keyword=cinchona&search=

I have recently seen recipes on line for tonic syrup to be used with seltzer or soda water, and several brands of craft quinine.  Making and selling quinine syrup might be a great cottage industry and provide a small income, as it is a fairly new product, and hard to find.
 
Casie Becker
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My family has a very simple remedy for most muscle cramps. A couple of teaspoons of mustard. Pickles or pickle juice are also very effective.
 
S Tonin
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Casie Becker wrote:My family has a very simple remedy for most muscle cramps. A couple of teaspoons of mustard. Pickles or pickle juice are also very effective.


Not to get off topic, but what kind of mustard?  Just normal, yellow plastic bottle stuff, or mustard powder/ seed?

(Also, congratulations on your positive life change!  I drink less than one soda a month, down from almost a full 2L bottle of diet Coke a day.  I only switched to seltzer, though, so I'm still consuming plastic and too many food miles.  Baby steps.)
 
Casie Becker
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Just common yellow mustard.

It's also the absolute best remedy burns that I've ever found. Stops blistering and pain and the pain doesn't come back.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Yay for working on habits!! Yay for bike riding!!

I wanted to throw in my 2 cents on habits, in hopes it will spark other people's ideas. The way I change a habit is kind of like dealing with a problem in permaculture. Analyze it closely "What need am I getting filled by this?" then "How could I supply that result in a better way?" (Some people have said things that suggest a way to fill their guess of your need alternately, but the important question I haven't seen anyone say is what EXACTLY is your need?) My usual example to explain this is I am a fingers in my mouth, snacky nibbly thing, if I have no snacks, I bite my nails, if I were someone else, I'd smoke. When I was a kid I sucked my fingers despite all the things anyone could think of to break me of it. It's a pretty deep rooted security and hand-mouth stimulation thing that seems to need to be done when my brain is busy but my body isn't. I substituted dry brushing my teeth. These days I always have a toothbrush within reach (stuck in the visor of my car, on my desk, with my books by the bed, in my purse) and when I need that hand-mouth stimulation thing, I brush my teeth (or something, it's not quite that structured.)  I haven't bit my nails in years!
Admittedly, it gets me some odd looks when I'm driving sometimes I asked a dentist years ago if this was a bad idea, he said no, wouldn't hurt my teeth. One day he pulled up beside me at a light and yelled "Good girl!! Brush your teeth! Brush your teeth! Floss! Floss! Floss!" and laughed like a loon Silly man... And I don't think flossing while driving could be safe

Anyways. Apply your permie problem solving skills to figuring out what exactly you get out of a habit you don't like, then figure out how to get that same result, or a close enough one, a better way. It's more simple AND more complex than you think....

I knew someone who kicked soda when he realized it was the cold he wanted, he was lazy about putting water in the fridge, but the soda always got put there after shopping. His answer was buy bottled water, put in the fridge like it was soda after grocery shopping and that let him break the caffeine and sugar habit. It let him put "water" into the niche in his head where "soda gets kept in the fridge" used to live.

Minds are SUCH weird things
 
Dan Boone
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:
Someone mentioned cramps in the feet.  Cramping can be alleviated with quinine, the bitter and anti malarial component in tonic water.  Unfortunately, most commercial tonic water is formulated with high fructose corn syrup, undoubtedly made from GMO corn.  A person can get cinchona bark and make their own tonic water, flavored and sweetened as they as they wish.  Important to read up on healthy amounts of quinine, because it is possible to take too much.  There are 23 species of Cinchona, there is cinchona available on amazon.


Three words of caution about this from a former leg cramps sufferer.  ("Former" because my leg cramps went away entirely when I resolved my venous insufficiency by means of a plant-based diet.)  Prior to about ten years ago there were over-the-counter quinine pills for cramps, and they were utterly effective.  The FDA issued a strongly worded safety warning that had the effect of removing them from sale because it would have been impossible to defend a liability suit in the face of that warning.  Thus it is no longer possible to get quinine in packaged form at a labeled dosage in the United States except by prescription for certain types of malaria.

First word of caution: you can still find pills labeled "homeopathic quinine" in many pill stores.  They contain essentially zero actual quinine, and are not effective against leg cramps. 

Second word of caution: If you make your own tonic water, it may need to be unpleasantly strong.  When the OTC pills vanished from the market I did a lot of research, the upshot of which is that the amounts of quinine in commercial tonic water are so low it is impossible to get leg cramp relief from that source.  Which matched my own experience.  Obviously if making quinine preparations from the bark, you face the difficulty of preparing a reliable known dose.  My thought is that your own liquid preparations that are strong enough are going to be a lot more bitter than the commercial tonic water, which had like a factor-of-100 too little quinine in a liter bottle to be useful.  Assuming your herbalist skills are strong it ought to be possible to thread the needle between too little for effectiveness and too much for safety, although working with a different batch of bark every time is going to make it kind of a hair-raising experience.  But I fear it may be a lot harder to swallow (literally) than commercial tonic water. 


Thekla McDaniels wrote:
I have recently seen recipes on line for tonic syrup to be used with seltzer or soda water, and several brands of craft quinine.  Making and selling quinine syrup might be a great cottage industry and provide a small income, as it is a fairly new product, and hard to find.


Third word of caution: Given that ugly FDA warning, even a cottage industrialist might be at risk of getting sued if somebody had an adverse reaction to their quinine-containing product.  That would be an ignominious way to lose the farm, and it definitely wouldn't be an insurable risk.  Ways to minimize the risk might include being judgment proof, staying pretty under-the-table and word-of-mouth, being very careful not to put advertising online where Google and various departments-of-making-you-sad can see, and so forth.  I'm not saying it's a bad idea commercially -- there's demand, and a long history of successful use of the product for a real and common malady -- I'm just saying it's a line of business that should be approached with great care, both on the preparation side and on the marketing side.
 
Anne Miller
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Casie, I am sorry that my water and tonic water comments has lead to so many off topic discussions, though all good info.  Thanks for the info on mustard and pickle juice. Since I went back to the tonic water (no HFCS)I have not had the problems at all. Mine are usually after I go to bed and don't want to get out of bed due to the cramps.

Keep up the bike rides and the healthy habits.
 
Casie Becker
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Nothing to apologize about. The meandering conversations on this board are constantly teaching me things. I even think cramping remedies are proactively on topic. On that day when I overexert myself and muscles start seizing up, I've already got a good supply of suggestions to fix it.
 
Casie Becker
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Okay, the foraging results: it's a little late for Sumac but I located two productive thickets. I harvested the taller plants and filled one grocery tote. They're drying in preparation for turning into spice.

I also finally found some fruiting grape vines. Also a little late for the grapes.  I may have picked as much as three pounds. My sister had specifically asked for some to try her hand at canning. Actually, that's not true. She wanted to buy some conventionally grown grapes from the store to try canning. I convinced her wild grapes were so much tastier that she should just wait till they were in season. I'm just glad I was traveling with harvesting equipment for the sumac when I found them.

No soap berries at all. I couldn't get close enough (other side of a poison ivy covered drainage creek) to be sure, but I suspect it was just a very large example of privet. In that area especially (though they're all over) it was the dominant plant. I was really excited for a bit, thinking it might be Wax Myrtle but further research squashed that notion. Does anyone know any use for privet berries? I could probably fill a dump truck with them in a few weeks.

In pursuit of all this information I think I've taken my longest bike trip yet, and no soda at the end. I reserved the larger thicket with the shorter plants for the girls to harvest.  So that's another trip in my future with no junk food at the end.
 
Casie Becker
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I've continued to bike ride everyday since starting this thread. Most of my bike rides are now for reasons other than getting soda. I may be a victim of my own success, I felt horribly ill for several hours yesterday (until into the wee hours of morning) and now I'm wondering if burning fat is releasing stored toxins that I've accumulated over the years.

Regardless, I ran out of soda and so onto the bike I went. I really didn't feel like it today. After the bike ride I felt much better and so my mother and I have made plans to go out to a local Vietnamese restaurant a few miles from here, tonight. She's an avid bike rider and there's a very safe bike route there.

She's making sounds about taking the whole family on a bike ride from our city to the other side of Austin, where my brother lives. Not likely, but maybe she can get me on the bike trail to Round Rock. That's only one city width along a shaded nature trail. I can continue looking for a wild soap nut tree.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Bravo, Casie.  Way to hang in there.  There are a couple of books that talk about fat metabolism, one being "Big Fat Surprise" and the other place where the symptoms of metabolism changing over from carbs (which get converted to and deposited as fat who'd a thunk it?) are the books about the atkins diet.

I have no idea whether you could be experiencing symptoms related to toxins stored in fat being released, but my first thoughts are that it would be a very small amount of toxin released as you metabolize your stored energy.  I guess you'll likely be on the look out for if it is a chronic feeling as opposed to a single episode.  The way I picture it, you might get a micro dose of stored weird stuff as you slowly metabolize your fat resources, and with any luck at all, your body will use its regular means of discarding unwanted substances.  Still, keep an eye on it!  And keep up the good work!
 
Pearl Sutton
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Cassie: YAY for riding a lot!!! YAY for cutting down soda!!

My experience (YMMV) is that yes, you are releasing stored toxins. Some of it is "as you burn fat" but more of it is the increased circulation flow allowing the cells to clean out old waste that they have had stored, because it couldn't be cleaned out. Drink more water BEFORE you ride (which many people miss) as well as during and after so there is enough liquid in you to wash it all out. Drinking a good amount of water before you ride makes it so as soon as you start riding, and your body starts circulating blood more and cells start throwing out old waste, there is water ready to flush it out right away. If you wait until you are thirsty from riding to drink water, at that point there has already been a lot of toxin dumping going on, possibly without enough water to clean it all out. Right now it's REALLY hard for you to be drinking too much water. You are increasing your circulation, and need to be sure you are giving the cells all the water they want to wash out old stuff. This is an awesome stage of beginning exercise, and one the most important, metabolically. This is what will reverse years of old damage and make you feel younger and healthier!   KEEP IT UP!!

Part of what people miss is that soda is a net negative water intake, the amount of water it takes to flush out the bad stuff that comes with it is less than the water you take in when you drink it. So you not only have old garbage from the soda itself, but also just normal body waste that wasn't able to be flushed out before, due to low water intake, as the soda was not only not water, it uses up extra. That is a lot of the "fat" you see on your body, as well as excess calories stored.

YAY!! You are doing excellent!! I happy dance at you!!!
 
stacy satter
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Do try combining food as should be eaten. Sweet fruit breaks down starch (AM) Acid fruits break down proteins (PM). Ideally fruit comes 30 minutes ahead. Our bodies are charged up this way and imbalance comes from lacking proper charge. I have heard of huge results in weight loss when applied. Need not go without though many common combinations such as pizza and cereal w/milk holds challenges for many including myself. A friend made chart many years ago if interested i can get and share with permies. Not long ago more information on this process; Saliva is catalyst working with stomach acid some taste is part of what makes digestion work properly in breaking down food. As with most things and being w/o funds I apply as much as can be where at whenever. In conclusion one thing our bodies have nothing in way to overcome (through eating process) is eating more than one type of protein and especially w/o acid fruits in meals. Congrats on recognizing anew and applying anything toward change We know change to be good and so it is. Lovin' you
 
Casie Becker
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Hard to believe it's only been about a week. The scale isn't showing improvement, but I've already had to pull out my belt because my pants are starting to feel loose. Toddy, your suggestion about drinking the water before the soda has been fantastic. It's taking me almost a week to go through what was a days worth of soda.

I just finished my first grocery trip on the bike. I'm still tired when I get home, but it's not as bad as when I first started. The added weight doesn't make things any worse. I'm even thinking about a second trip, nearly as long later today.
 
Todd Parr
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I'm really glad to hear that my suggestion helped you as it did me.  And congrats, you should be very proud of yourself.  As you are finding out, the scale doesn't matter as much as the more intangibles, like your clothes getting looser and how you feel.  The weight loss with follow.
 
Craig Dobbson
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Here's the funny thing about scales, they only give you a weight.  They tell you nothing about where that weight is coming from.  For instance 1 pound of muscle tissue takes up 1/3rd the volume of 1 pound of fat.  This explains why you have to tighten your belt but the scale still tells you that you weigh the same.  You're burning fat and building muscle, so the net change in weight will be negligible for a period of time.  Once you have enough muscle to meet the demands of your physical exertion, you'll begin to simply burn fat and lose weight.  My weight never fluctuates more than 5 pounds over the course of a year but my physical build is always in flux.  I use different muscle groups more at different times of year so while I almost always weigh the same, my strengths and fitness levels change quite a bit annually.  For instance my upper body is in much better shape when I'm working on cutting wood and stacking it for winter but my lower body and spine are much stronger in summer when I'm hauling materials up and down the hills to feed and water animals.  It's pretty interesting to see how a body chages in response to it's environment and physical needs.

Congratulations on your success and all of your hard work.  Keep it up. You're doing great.
 
Casie Becker
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Another bike ride, somewhere close to a mile past the grocery store to purchase new bike accessories and athletic shoes. I stopped at the grocery store for one item on the way back, and then my mother biked out to meet me at the Vietnamese restaurant that's on my way home.

I hadn't realized, but the use all organic meat there. On top of that, most of their menu uses rice or rice noodles as the main starch/grain. My gluten sensitive mother can eat nearly everything on the menu. So, now we've made plans to have the whole family bike down there together for a meal.

This is just one of many small businesses that I never noticed when I drove by. Lots of potential destinations for the future. I also think I'm going to take a day where I travel around with a pair of pruning shears (the large ones) and clear all the branches and grape vines out of the sidewalks around here. I can fit, but I don't actually like being whipped by all these branches.
 
Casie Becker
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Work is only barely more than two miles more (counting both directions) The muscles I use at work are completely different from those I use on the trike, so my work shift would actually function as an eight hour rest for those. Starting next Tuesday (or whatever my first days off next week are) I'm going to start practicing riding there and back.

If I can do both directions, without that long rest between, I should be able to start riding my trike to and from work. I'd just need to carry a clean pair of work clothes and basic grooming supplies to clean up and change when I get there.

 
Casie Becker
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Okay, in just a few minutes I'm leaving for my test run of biking to work. I just got home after an ten hour shift. The plan is to bike to the small hamburger stand in the same parking lot, eat lunch and then bike home. If it's successful I'll start biking to work during good weather. I'm super excited to try. Wish me luck.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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may the road rise with you,
may the sun be always at your back,
may the rain fall gently on your fields
until we meet again
may Gaia hold you
in the hollow of her hands

(there is a nice sufi dance that goes along with it)

All the luck in the world to you Casie.

Don't forget, Andrew Weil says it takes a month to get a new habit fully integrated into your way of life, and it can be self sabotaging to take on too much too soon.  What you want is something you can continue with ad infinitum.

 
Anne Miller
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I hope you have a nice lunch!  Best wishes on the ride!  You are doing such an outstanding job of "proving it can be done".
 
Casie Becker
gardener
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Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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Changed plans when we were just short of the burger stand and went another half a mile further to a different local restaurant. Brought the round trip over ten miles. There's a couple of spots where there's no sidewalk, on a busy street. Tomorrow is supposed to be thunderstorms during my commute, but I'm off the next two days. So, Tuesday I'll repeat the route one more time to confirm the best path; where I can safely ride on the side and where I need to get into the street. Then Thursday night I'll leave the house well before my shift starts so that I have time to cool down and change into my uniform after the ride.

Took much longer to chart the route than actually riding it will. We got distracted by overgrowth on some of the less used trails. Since I do travel with pruning shears (these aren't the first over grown paths I've traveled) we stopped to clear some brush. Nothing was impassable, but who likes to be whipped as they travel. This is especially important because I work nights. I'm going to be traveling at least half the time in the dark.
 
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