Kombucha Hangover

I don’t know what Kombucha is.  Or at least I didn’t.  But I went in to a Planet Organic looking for something to eat that would make me feel healthy, and I ended up buying a raw organic drink called “Synergy” which has Black Chia in it and is a Kombucha drink.  I also bought a bag of organic apples (which were delicious).

I enjoyed the drink – it came in a 480ml bottle, and serving size was 240ml.  It is pretty low-cal so I felt I could drink the whole bottle.

I finished it and started feeling… drunk.  I knew enough about Kombucha to know it’s alcoholic, but less than 1%, and this is sold in a grocery store so I figured it must be less than 0,5%…  It wouldn’t make sense to me that I’d be drunk.

Anyway after some brief internet research I decided I must be feeling a “healing crisis” (source).  I have no doubt that my body is “toxic” as I’ve never done a cleanse or detoxified before.

This morning I woke up with a terrible headache, and I’ve been extremely emotional all day.

Has anyone else experienced this?  What should I do?  I wouldn’t mind detoxing with Kombucha but I cannot take these side effects for any length of time.  I realize I should cut my dose significantly if I continue, but I wanted to see if anyone else has had a similar experience.


Taking the bad weeks in stride, and staying on target.

Lately, things have been rough in my fitness regime.  7 of the last 10 days I’ve been over my calorie goal (1000 cal. deficit), many of those days by a lot of calories, the worst being 1300 over.

Unsurprisingly, I have not lost any more weight.  I have not enjoyed any new “added bonuses”.  My workouts have been fewer and less intense.  And in general my life feels more and more out of control.

My workouts have dwindled – I skipped Monday and Wednesday despite having time to exercise.  I told myself I would get ahead on the school work that I’ve been neglecting. That didn’t even happen.

My nutrition has been terrible.  In my “effort” to work on my school work I’ve been mindlessly snacking.  This week we had chips and candy in the house.  After yesterday we did not have chips and candy in the house anymore. I wish I could say they went in the trash.  But I’m going to avoid buying junk food moving forward.  For some reason I don’t always realize it that when I buy junk food it means I’m going to eat it.

I feel like I hit rock bottom yesterday, eating way too much junk and not exercising, but I had an epiphany moment in the evening.  I had a rehearsal for my choir concert coming up this Friday and we practiced with the University Orchestra for the first time. The sound of the strings overcame my mind and the noise and just put me at peace.

Leaving rehearsal I thought about how frustrated I am with the last two weeks health wise and realized that it’s okay.  I’m not going to be able to be perfect all the time.  But I can catch myself when I stumble, and that’s all it is – these last two weeks were a stumble.

I can make today better than yesterday, and make tomorrow better than today.

Traditionally I’ve found setbacks to be extremely difficult – in 2010, the first time I tried calorie counting, I weighed in at 240, lost about 6 lbs, plateaued for a while, and then gave  up. I’ve repeated that same cycle many times in the last 3 years.

This time I’m taking my little failure with a grain of salt, and I’m going to get right back on track.  This morning I swam 4km and I think I’m poised for a good nutritious food day.

How do you stay motivated after a disappointing week or two?

The bonuses of weight loss. More than just the number on the scale.

When people talk about weight loss, there’s a divide in opinion.  So many people say to disregard what the scale says and focus on other factors that have more of an impact on your happiness.  I personally find the numbers on the scale highly motivating.   It scares me that I may in fact be  a “numbers person”.  I’m still never going into accounting.

But as of late, I’m finding that many non-number benefits are stacking up, and honestly, it feels pretty great.

The scale tells me I’ve lost 25 lbs.  My weigh-in history tells me that I’m lighter than I’ve been since 2010 – a fact that surprises me, but shouldn’t.  I’m really happy with this progress, and the speed that it is occurring.  It’s a relatively moderate pace but I think it’s maintainable and I just keep telling myself that I just have to keep going.  My goal is to get to 188 lbs which is another 46 lbs away.  A long way to go, but I’m more than a third of the way there!

The non-scale variables have been adding up as of late!  Here’s a quick summary:

  • People are commenting on my weight loss!  A good family friend says I’m looking fit, one of my fiancee’s dancer friends says she doesn’t recognize me, and my future mother in law is telling random strangers that I’ve lost “a tonne of weight”.
  • My jeans are too big for me – I had to go shopping and buy some jeans that fit my new smaller waist-line
  • I fit into my High School graduation suit.  I can’t believe I’ve come that far, in fact I had thought that I would never fit that suit again.  But it fits and looks and feels great.
  • I fit into clothes at Lulu Lemon and the Gap.  I used to hate shopping and avoid trying on clothes at any store especially trendy ones because I knew nothing would fit with fewer than three X’s.  I found the experience demoralizing and uncomfortable.  But now my fiancee is encouraging me to try new clothes, and I love them.  They make me look and feel great.
  • I can tie the gym towels around my waist. I always hated the gym towels – I made fun of them for being ridiculously small, and when I walked to the shower I would have to hold both ends of the towel in one hand to keep it on.  Now I can tie the towel around my waist and comfortably walk to the showers, hands free!
  • I feel happier.  I saw a counselor six months ago for depression and to work on my binge eating.  He simply told me that exercise 3 times a week is as effective as most pharmaceutical anti-depressants.  I’m feeling happier, healthier, and way less bingier.

All in all, my life is improving from this weight loss journey.  I’m enjoying the process, and it’s amazing that I’m starting to enjoy the results of it, too.  I hope that the next time I feel discouraged or I fall out of my healthy-living routine that I can look back and remember all the benefits of committing to a lifestyle change and be motivated by this feeling.

What are some of the things that you notice when you get healthier?  Are you more motivated by the numbers on the scale or the other factors?

A reflection on Easter Dinner & Holiday Meals: Where diets go to die.

Ah, Easter.  The bane of my diet.  I went in with the best of intentions, and went out with the worst of results.  To be clear, the day I’m talking about was March 29, Good Friday, which was when my family had their big Easter dinner.

I don’t know why I find holidays so hard.  Partly I think this day was the first day off I’ve had in months – if you can call it that.  I woke up in Okotoks in the morning  as we had to attend the Good Friday church service that Jocelyn was playing at, and after we went to a marriage prep course.  Jocelyn’s parents are amazing and made us delicious whole grain, flax seed waffles which were amazing, but it’s always hard to start off a day with a 700 calorie hit just from Breakfast.

Throughout the day, we had to go all over town doing errands, and we kept stopping places for snacks.  First it was Starbucks where we succumbed to the delight of Cake Pops.  Then we were near Crave Cupcakes which we never are and decided it would be a fantastic idea to split 6 mini cupcakes – to get the full experience of the different flavors.  It was amazing.  But by the time I arrived at my parents’ house for Easter Dinner, I had already used up my 1700 calories for the day.  And I hadn’t exercised, so I did not earn any extras.  And it was Easter, so I ate Easter dinner.   After dinner, we impulsively went to a movie where I ate popcorn (a moderate amount, for me haha).

All in all, this totally overboard day put me back a total of 4031 calories.  Which felt good in a way, because I love food and I love to eat.  But it was a surplus of 2381 calories which amounts to almost 0.7 lbs of fat gained in one day.

So I’m conflicted.  Was it worth it to have a day of shameless cheating on my diet, or is it something to be ashamed of and avoid in the future?  What is a good excuse for going morbidly over my calorie goal?  I feel like a cupcake?  I really want to see a movie?  It’s Easter?

For now, I’m not going to let myself be bothered by this one bad day, as long as this type of day doesn’t occur too frequently.

Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming…….

SO I took a peek at last week’s goals, and neither went very well.  To my credit I did do better calorie-wise partially because I was swimming my calories away almost every day.

Here’s a summary of my swimming mileage last week:

  • Monday:  3.5km (120 lengths)
  • Tuesday: 2km (80 lengths)
  • Wedensday: Rode the bike for 30 minutes, sweat my butt off
  • Thursday: 5km (200 lengths)
  • Friday: 5km
  • Saturday 5km
  • Sunday 5km

Over the course of the week I swam 25km!  I’m very excited about that.  The motivation was a guys vs. girls swimming challenge where the goal was number of lengths swum.  My team lost, but I feel  like not for lack of effort on my part!  But swimming felt great, and swimming 5km is a great accomplishment.  When I was a kid swimming competitively we always had one day a year that was “Swim-a-thon” and we would do 5km.  My best time was finishing in 1hr and 25min, which I came close to on a couple of days this week.

Swimming is awesome and doing it for 90+ minutes earned me lots of calories, so I ate big last week.  I was a little bit worried that I was priming my appetite to want more and more food so that when I wasn’t swimming so much this week I would over eat.  Luckily that didn’t happen.

And my calorie deficit from last week was over 1000 calories, so it perfectly makes up for my bad week last week.

This morning I hit 233.8 lbs which is an awesome weigh-in.  I did some brief research and realized that I haven’t been this light since before 2010.  Which I didn’t really realize.  Looking back at the numbers I realized that I’ve been yo-yoing between 240 and 260 for three whole years at least.  Here I was thinking that I had gradually gained from 200 to 260 over the last 5 years.  Really between 2009 and 2010 I inflated from a slim 200 to 240 and from there it was on to yo-yo country.

The take away from this realization is that I just need to keep at it this time.  Even when I hit my goal weight of 188lbs (to finally for the first time since Grade 3 have a “normal” BMI) I need to keep tracking calories and weight.

There’s some other interesting data that I’ll be posting in the next couple of days around my BMI decrease so far as well as my body fat composition.  What can I say? I love metrics!

I also hope to do some before/after photos just of my face because it’s amazing how much it’s slimmed down already.  But every time I sit down to do it I feel like a bit of a narcissist so if I can get through it without feeling too self absorbed I will.

Thanks for reading, and happy fitness!

Last week in review


Last week was a good week that ended poorly.

I got on the scale at the end of the day and it was not encouraging. I generally weigh myself every day in the morning. I find this the most encouraging practice since I tend to weigh less first thing in the morning.

Anyway, yesterday was a busy day. I was performing out of town in the morning and I didn’t get up in time to make breakfast. I swung by a McDonalds drive through for the first time since I started calorie counting. I was proud of myself to make the healthy choice and get my breakfast sandwich without cheese. Hah! All in I consumed 700 calories. I was off to a bad start.

After the performance I had a day planned. Marriage prep followed by family time with the in-laws to be. Marriage prep made for a late lunch at Dairy Queen while we picked up the ice cream cake for Aunt Shelley’s birthday. Fast food twice in a day! I did exercise control just eating one 99 cent burger. Just enough to hold me over to dinner. What I didn’t realize was that little seemingly innocuous burger had 350 calories!! Yikes. So I had about 550 calories remaining for dinner. Factor in plans to eat ice cream cake later? I knew I was out of luck.

So yeah with one poorly planned day I felt like my week was out of control. In reality I didn’t do too bad but it is an indicator that I eat too much fast food and poor planning shouldn’t be a good enough excuse to do so.

I also drank 5 cups of coffee in the evening in order to stay awake for the drive home. I hope that’s what caused my surprising weight reading on the scale last night. Who knows. I’ll weigh in officially tomorrow first thing tomorrow to get back on track.

Here’s to this week being a better one! Goals:

  • Make better nutrition choices
  • Take steps towards starting strength training

Happy weight loss!