No Soda for Zombie Killers

I know that all my readers have been breathlessly awaiting my latest #ZAP progress report. Or not.
It’s easy to be gung ho when you start making a life change, but what about ten weeks in? Let’s check in with our beleaguered heroine, shall we?
So, I’d been running, running, running, every other day. And yet I had sort of plateaued as far as weight goals.
Please excuse my indelicacy, but it seemed like the fat was just sitting on top of the muscle. Thus, my pants felt tighter than ever. Even though I’m sure I was burning some fat, I wasn’t really monitoring my diet much.

For me, even if I exercise regularly, if I don’t eat better it doesn’t do much of anything apparently. So I was getting my legs much more toned and a better overall appearance but not losing all that much weight.

A casual glance at my daily diet would reveal why: fast food, lots of processed, high-salt and fat foods, lots of sugar. And, lots of soda.

Apparently this whole fitness revelation was going to involve even more pain and frustration than it already had – I was going to have to start cutting calories.

Allow me to preface this by saying that I am a female who has NEVER counted calories, never even really dieted. Oh sure, I would flirt with eating better occasionally, but I just could never turn down that bowl of crab bisque. Or that freshly baked Krispy Kreme donut. Or…okay, I’d better stop now.

I have a pretty positive body image, but even I couldn’t imagine putting on my wedding dress and having everything squish out. 
1) No Moar Soda
This was actually a hard one for me. Really hard. I love Coca Cola Classic. I cannot drink diet drinks, they leave a funny aftertaste on my tongue. But a 12 oz. can of Coke has 140 calories. And who can stop at one? My fiance pointed out that I’m likely one of those people who needs to stop cold turkey. So I did.
I had my last soda on Monday, October 22nd. It was delicious. But I also realized that it’s keeping me chubby. 1 soda/day x 365 days x 10 years = MANY POUNDS OF SUGAR FAT.
See how good I am at math? This calorie counting thing would be a breeze.
So, no soda. No lemonade or coffee (can only drink with major sugar anyway) or any other equally sugared substitute. I’ve only had water or a few glasses of orange juice since.
2) No Moar Fast Food
My last two years in Florida were a string of fast food meals. I mean it. Breakfast, lunch and dinner came in a little greasy bag. My car smelled like fries. When I cleaned it out, I would throw away 2-4 fast food bags filled with sticky wrappers. McDonalds, Wendys, Chik-fil-A, Arby’s, Sonic, Taco Bell, Burger King, you name it. 
There were two simple reasons for this. One, I was poorer than I have been in a long time. I could eat at McDonalds for $3.18. Two, I worked a great deal and was always in the car. I am not very organized when I am busy and grocery shopping became a time-consuming expense that I couldn’t manage.
Two years of this took its toll, which leads me to this moment when I am sharing all kinds of fun Anna facts with you.
3) No Moar Potato Chips, Candy or Other Delicious Junk Food
I have a sweet tooth and a major weakness for junk food. So I had to outsmart my brain. I found these new flavored Quaker Rice Cake Chips that crunch, so I feel like I am eating chips. The candy is more difficult. I do like Fruit Leathers, as they taste just like Fruit Roll-ups. 
I gave away all of our leftover Halloween candy in desperation, just took it into the office in a basket that had a hand-lettered sign that read:


Very poignant, neh? But moderation in all things. I did have some Skittles today…and they were yummy!
4) Face Stuffing Accountability
I got a handy little free app for my phone, courtesy of Angela Goff. It’s called MyFitnessPal and it allows me to log everything I eat. I turn it into a little game, trying to get under my 1400 daily calories. Not so easy. I had a banana mini-shake at Sonic, less than 10 bleeping ounces, and it was 542 CALORIES. 
So my learning curve was a little steep. But I’m doing much better now, except on Saturday when I misread the serving size for a dish. Apparently dieters eat a two-inch wrap portion whereas I would naturally eat all four inches. Sheesh.
5) Zombie Running
Let us not forget the central focus of #ZAP or Zombie Apocalypse Preparation: train like a moofawonker (sorry, this blog is PG-13). It is quite cold now by the time I get home, so I have to come up with some creative solutions as I can no longer run the neighborhood.

I have started high-speed Mall Walking with my mom, which I consider equally good #ZAP training. All the good zombie movies have a mall sequence. I’ll know where everything is. And yes, I haven’t missed the hilarity of it. 

Anyone have any innovative inside workout ideas that doesn’t involve a gym membership?
I’d love to hear your calorie counting/diet/exercise WINS and FAILS. 
Even with a FAIL, even when you fall down, the only rule is you have to pick yourself back up.

10 thoughts on “No Soda for Zombie Killers”

  1. Diet has a lot to do with it – fruit lady, I didn’t hear you mention fruit, and you live in Florida! Cut out dairy products (milk, cheese – don’t worry about butter), and only eat Fruit in the mornings (till mid-day) – as much as you like. Start with an Apple, as this is brilliant for your body and stimulates your system better than caffeine. (Caffeine stresses the system – so you cola would be doing that! I won’t give you the list of other damage cola will be doing to you, but good thing you don’t drink diet drinks – they are full of aspartame, very toxic! An ex of mine lost half of his teeth to cola – due to the phosphates in it!)

    Banana’s are good as they fill you up. But Melon etc. You are in a sunshine state, you can make a cocktail all you like. But ONLY fruit until mid-day – but DO have breakfast as this starts your metabolism.

    Up your fluids to lose weight, as much food as you cut out – drink! We have things called cordials here in the UK/Europe, concentrate that you water down (Lemon, Blackcurrant, Orange). I believe it comes in powder form in the US, like Tang or something? I have a big glass of this when I find myself in the kitchen hunting for snack food! Often dehydration presents as hungry sweet tooth – so drinks something, then see if you are still hungry!

    And remember, you can still have a cookie, and chocolate, but just one cookie – not the whole pack, and just one strip of chocolate – not the whole bar!

    Keep going! You are doing brilliantly. I fell off the running bandwagon, am just doing home aerobics now (roughly 2-3 hrs a week). I need to diet too though, as you are right, it only shapes, doesn’t shift, the weight!

    Go YOU!

  2. Best of luck, sounds like you’re doing great! SELF magazine’s last issue (idk if their new one’s out yet) had some exercises you do against a wall–no equipment necessary. (Is it bad I can’t do them, though? 😉

  3. Anna!

    Bravo for you. Seriously, bravo. I used to be so good about counting calories. I have such a terrible metabolism that it doesn’t matter how much I work out; if I don’t eat below a certain threshold, I continually gain weight.

    Soda is such a huge thing. It doesn’t seem like it would do much, but it really does. When I cut out soda (and alcohol, wah), I started losing weight.

    That was a while ago now. Now each pound feels like a war in which I’m a scrawny pipsqueak and the opponents are all gladiators.

  4. Keep up the good work, Anna! Healthy eating is definitely key. Lots of fruits and veggies will keep you full. I also highly recommend sweet potatoes as a quick energy burst before and after workout (plus they’re SWEET so you can pretend they’re like candy!). Apples are full of fiber, and coconut water is great for you post-workout. Keep it up, girlie!

  5. Like the others have said giving up soda does help! My best tip is the same as Miranda’s when you’re hungry and go into the kitchen drink something instead…I wander in there and have a full glass of water, and suddenly I’m less hungry. It also helps you eat less to have a glass of water before each meal. Definitely helped my daughter and I.
    Good luck with it all!

  6. I don’t count calories of fruit and vegetables, so I am more likely to fill up on them and not fill up as much on other food.

    Also, on one of the many occasions that my elliptical crosstrainer was broken, I used to run up and down my stairs (holding handweights). I have a three story house, so two flights of stairs. I’d run up and down it about 60 times, which would be the equivalent of running up and down 120 flights of stairs daily.

    You are doing really well! 🙂

  7. Hey Anna! As someone who’s struggled w/weight issues since I was a teen (a lot longer ago than for you, lol…) I agree, all the exercise in the world keeps you cardio healthy, but I’ve found doesn’t do much weight wise unless I’m also watching calories. Which I didn’t, for years, but as soon as I started again…bye-bye adipose.

    Well done with your “no moars”! Sodas are…killers. Literally. Did you know that the phosphates they use to make the bubbles leeches calcium from your bones? esp. women. Nice, eh. And those “diet” alternates…? Like Miranda Kate says, Aspertame is toxic. (they even knew that it wreaked havoc on rats’ nervous systems when they put it on the market, but…well, don’t get me started.) (Oh. You didn’t. I did.)

    I also second Miranda Kate re breakfasts. And water (as others said too). And fruit (though I don’t eat after 2, rather than noon.) Berries are great – supposedly raspberries up your metabolism, but I suspect you have to eat about a wheelbarrow load to get that benefit. Oh, and lemon juice…try starting the day w/half a lemon in hot water. Supposedly revs the digestive system. And drinking hot green tea or herbal teas (mint, love) can help too.

    Also like Eva says: veg veg veg! Green leafies! Kale! Broccoli! Spinach! (Popeye had it right) They help alkalize the blood, which neutralizes all the (acid/health hazardous) sugar, Also great for energy levels.

    Also, protein. (Emmy, are you eating enough?) Different metabolisms need different foods, and protein can definitely up it for some people, like me. Mine is sluggish, but protein seems to help.

    So with all this, I should be svelte, right? Well…I’m still a WIP. But having peaked in porkitude last December, I’ve dropped about 20lb since then, and no longer gasp in horror when I catch sight of myself in the mirror. Another 10 in ’13 and I’ll be a happy puppy instead of a not-so-happy piggy.

  8. Good for you, Anna. As I pen this note to you I am waiting for my laundry to finish so that I may head out to the garage and work my treadmill. I haven’t given anything up, so much as watched what I eat, and absently count those calories. I’m pushing 44 this coming March. I love my coffee in the morning and my adult beverage in the evening; however, I know that whatever I intake is going to have to be burned off.
    Wishing you the best as you fight that good fight. 🙂


  9. Setting and meeting goals is really important in life. I’m glad you’re on the path to a healthier you. 🙂 that being said, don’t get too involved in calorie counting as a way of life. It’s not representative of a healthy eating strategy. You want to know what works for me? It’s called the “Run For Your Life” workout.

    Get a friend to dress up in a hockey mask and chase you around with a machete for 20 min, or set a mountain lion loose on you. You’ll activate those dormant weight-loss genes that kept our African ancestors thin and trim…GUARANTEED!


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