Moderation, People, Moderation!

Pre-Kale Chips…Good stuff, Maynard!

Pre-Kale Chips…Good stuff, Maynard!

I received a phone call from my dear friend, She Who Shall Not Be Named, the other night. Now, if you’ve read my earlier posts, you are probably thinking, “Oh, this is going to be good!” because something funny usually surrounds She Who. 😉 If that’s what you are thinking, then you are not wrong. *snicker*

Back in October, She Who got really serious about healthy eating, weight loss and getting fit. She didn’t advertise, and pretty much flew under the radar for the past twenty weeks. She’d enlisted the help of a personal trainer friend, cleaned up her diet, ditched her favorite ice cream and beloved potato chips, and stocked her fridge and cabinets with healthy ingredients and snacks.

“Kale, Jules,” she told me. “I even have coconut water in my fridge, if you can believe it!” I smiled, because I was really proud of her. She went on to tell me that she had gone from about ten minutes on the treadmill to a straight ninety over the past twenty weeks and was planning on picking up her free weights in the coming days, using the power cage I have been secretly coveting. She proudly reported that she consistently worked out 3-4 times per week, with the exception of four weeks peppered within the twenty due to illness.

She’s been logging all her food and beverages to keep track of her calories, protein, fat, carb and sugar intakes. Based on her goals, she and her trainer came up with a wonderful nutrition plan to help her succeed. She was shooting for a 421 calorie deficit per week, 1542 carbs and 224 sugars per week, and as logged, she found she was coming in at 208 grams of sugar weekly. Sounded to me like she was doing everything right.

Except for her weight. She’s been yo yo-ing since she started her plan. She dropped an impressive 4.4 pounds after her first week, but then, over time, she was finding her weight going up and down and overall, had lost somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-5 pounds over the past several months, and wasn’t sure why. Granted, she was also losing inches, but not at the rate she thought she should have been.

She’d all but stopped drinking her favorite diet soda, but out of sheer frustration, she poured a glass, popped a piece of Double Bubble in her mouth, sat down and contacted her trainer. The two of them went over her food diary and workout logs with a fine tooth comb and could not find anything amiss. On paper, she was well within her calorie and macro limits. They were both stumped.

During their conversation, She Who Shall Not Be Named would take a sip of soda and inadvertently pop her gum.

Her trainer asked, “What was that?”

“I’m drinking a diet soda,” replied She Who.

“No. That other sound!”

“Oh…Gum.”

The light came on. Her trainer asked her what kind of gum. She Who told her that it was Double Bubble. (We all have our little addictions. She Who’s was Double Bubble bubble gum. Maybe y’all remember what happened when she visited the ENT some time back?)

Her trainer asked her if she had the nutrition information for the demon gum. She Who sure did. The package, based on ONE pack, read as follows: 280 calories, 112 grams carbs and 112 grams of sugar. And how many packs was this addict going through in a given day? Only about three or four. Per day. That’d be up to 28 packs per week. Turns out that in gum alone, she was consuming 6860 calories per week (good-bye, calorie deficit; hello, surplus!), 2352 grams of sugar and 3136 grams of carbs. In gum. ONLY gum.

Damn you, Double Bubble, and all your sweet, chewy GAS INDUCING goodness...

Damn you, Double Bubble, and all your sweet, chewy goodness…

Is it wrong that I am still, two days later, stifling giggles as I type this? Was it wrong that I literally howled laughter when she gave me the numbers the other night? She called because she KNEW I would want to post about this…In fact, the voice mail she’d left me earlier in the day stated that she had something really blog worthy for me, and it included GUM. Y’all, that was all I needed to know.

Seems that She Who Shall Not Be Named has unknowingly been in the neighborhood of maintaining weight and is exercising so that she can have gum. I’m guessing that her gum consumption is going to be darn near zero in the coming weeks.

So the lesson here is this: If you are counting calories? You have to count every single thing (yes, even gum) that passes through your lips. I am just as guilty of not counting gum, because honestly? Gum’s innocuous, right? Ok, maybe not. Who knew?

Until next time…

Addiction-The Good, The Bad, The Funny!

This evening I’d like to discuss addictions.

For our first example, we’ll use me and my new-found addiction to heavy lifting. This covers “The Good” and “The Bad.” (And you may even file this under “The Funny.”)

I have one of these heavy buggers! :)

I have one of these heavy buggers! 🙂

Back in early February I knew I was going to need some upper body strength for the upcoming Hog Wild Extreme Mud Run. My friend, She Who Shall Not Be Named was telling me about a book she’d picked up called “The New Rules of Lifting for Women” and I was interested immediately. Of course, readers of this blog know that I ended up starting my lifting program with the StrongLifts 5×5 program. I started my lifts at 20 pounds – squats, bench presses, deadlifts, overhead presses, and barbell rows – all at a starting weight of 20 measly pounds, which was kind of a big deal to me.

Since then, I’ve purchased an Oly bar and plates to add to the rack/bench set that we picked up in mid-February. I can happily say that my stats are as follows:
Squats – 95 lbs.
Bench Press – 60 lbs.
Rows – 70 lbs. with a recent deload to 55 lbs. (form IS important)
Overhead Press – 50 lbs.
Deadlift – 115 lbs., deloaded to 95 due to injury.

Given that I hate to miss a lift, I probably over-did it more than a little bit.

About a week ago, I noticed a “catch” in my lower back. It was a dull ache that seemed to start in my tailbone, and would occasionally radiate down my left leg. Not cool.

I deloaded on rows, skipped a deadlift last week, and pressed on. My workout Saturday was amazing! Annnnnd I had the added bonus of feeling it yesterday…all down my leg and into my back. Turns out that it’s NOT my back, but some screwed up muscle in my BUTT that’s all knotted up. WTH? Who pulls a muscle in their ASS??? That said, I picked up a foam roller earlier tonight. In certain circles it’s also known as a pain inducing device and feels uber good when you stop. *shrug*

Now onto “The Bad” and “The Funny.”

Y’all remember the blog I wrote about the bubble gum addiction that She Who Shall Not Be Named was suffering? Well, we all thought that she had kicked it. We were wrong.

Damn you, Double Bubble, and all your sweet, chewy GAS INDUCING goodness...

Damn you, Double Bubble, and all your sweet, chewy GAS INDUCING goodness…

She’s been a little more careful about her chewing habits, but I got a call from her this afternoon. “She Who” has been having some gallbladder and other issues, and she’s had to pretty much cut out a lot of the food items she adores: tomatoes, onions, caffeine, dark soda products, etc. She’s actually held up really well, all things considered. Or so we thought. Apparently the freaking bubble gum has been keeping her sane. (I thought she seemed too happy for a person that had her favorite foods and bevies axed…)

Turns out, she had a lot of pain this past weekend. So she turned to her friend, the gum. The more she hurt, the more she chewed. The more she chewed, the more she hurt. After some Googling this afternoon, she learned that chewing gum creates air that, in some circumstances, creates painful gas. That’s when she called and ‘fessed up that she’d been chewing like a fiend, but was going to have to quit. I talked with her, in hopes of putting a positive spin on things.

The first thing she said was that she would save about $50 a month in gum expenses. I mentioned calories. Seems that a serving of her favorite is about 50 calories. One of those long bricks of gum contains about 600 calories. She was aghast! She figured she was consuming an exorbitant amount of calories just from BUBBLE GUM!

The only thing I could think to tell her is that she was becoming blog fodder for the Type A Workaholic!

So addictions, while they CAN have an up-side? Most usually do not. These are the days that I wish I was her dentist…

Until Next Time…

The Evils of Addiction…

When I start this blog by saying, “I have this friend…” you have to know that I am seriously not talking about myself. I really do have this friend who the blog is about. I will not give out her name, however, so that she will maintain some semblance of privacy.

So, I have this friend who has been having some health problems. Most of them had previously been diagnosed, but one especially troublesome issue had not.

She was experiencing headaches. Lots of them. SEVERE headaches; you know, the kind that make it difficult to function without tearing someone’s head off and spitting down their neck?

I can’t tell you the number of doctors she had seen pertaining to these headaches, yet none of them could find the cause.

Those of us close to her were starting to seriously worry about her and what was going on with her. I mean, who wouldn’t? We’ve known her forever, she’s like family to us, and when one of our own is in trouble, we pull together in that dysfunctional way we have, to support whomever needs it.

Not to long ago, our friend went to see a specialist about said issue. We were all kind of on pins and needles, you know…hoping for the absolute best, but still kind of fearing the worst. (Human nature at its finest, right?)

She returned from her appointment with a sheepish look on her face, and came in and told me about her diagnosis. It seemed that my dear friend is suffering from an addiction.

What could she be addicted to that was causing those kinds of headaches, you may be asking.

Here, dear readers, is the culprit:

Damn you, Double Bubble, and all your sweet, chewy goodness…

Yes. Bubble gum. Specifically Double Bubble 1928. No, really!! The bubble gum was the culprit. I swear, it was almost like being at our very own Gum-aholics Anonymous meeting. Our girl was putting away three boxes of this stuff per week. And when I say boxes, I mean please refer to the image above. THREE of those per week. In case you are wondering, there are twenty-four bars in each of these boxes. From the Old Time Candy web site: “This Big Bar of Dubble Bubble Gum (1928 flavor) is over 9 inches long and 3/4 of an inch in diameter. Chop it up into pieces and share them with your friends.” Only she wasn’t sharing it with friends. She wasn’t sharing it with anyone.

As a result, she was diagnosed with TMJ (temporomandibular disorder), and this is what was causing the headaches.

Who would have thought that something as innocuous as bubble gum could cause something so painful?

It just goes to show you that too much of anything, even a good thing, is not good for you.

I am happy, however, to share with you that our favorite gum-aholic is down to one box per week and appears to be on the road to recovery.