Monday, September 21, 2015

So, I’m pretty much fucked?

I read an article today.  Guess what the DISMAL reality is?  85% of people who achieve major weight loss gain it back.  This includes both people who lose weight through medical intervention (such as gastric bypass) as well as those that do it "on their own".

A British doctor was quoted as saying that for people who were obese they seem to be hard wired to eat a certain way and it is virtually impossible to fight this.  In additional, their bodies fight WAY more than normal people’s bodies to resist efforts to lose weight.  “For reasons that aren’t entirely understood”".”

Oh what happy news on a Monday!!!

As depressing as this is, it also came as a slight relief.  I mean I have been spending the last year believing I am a FAILURE.  That it is ME who is at fault. That I am defective.  If that is true, at least I'm not alone.  I am in very good company.  There are other people out there - kind hearted wonderful beautiful human beings that struggle and struggle and struggle with what I am struggling with. 

The reality is that maybe I am just not made to be thin.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't plan to sell my bike and throw my running shoes away.  And I won't be doing what I want to do EVERY SINGLE NIGHT - which is stop on my way home, buy a huge tray of brownies and frantically eat them.

I do want to continue to be healthy.  But I am just sick of hating myself and judging myself every single minute of every single day.  And let's get real - I'm not going to win any beauty or fitness contests no matter what.  So can I accept that it is not in the cards for me to be thin?  Tht somewhat chunky is my lot in life?

And if I do that, how do I accept that and be okay with it WITHOUT throwing up my hands and letting myself slide back into obesity?

The fine line people - a line of grey - not an extreme either way - that is a line that I am NOT familiar with!!!  Frankly I’m not sure that I have the skills to be in that greyland.

Just thinking about accepting my weight where I’m at makes me feel like I am copping out – taking the coward’s way out.  Surrendering because I’m just too fucking lazy to put in the work…

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Tour De Chaumont

Today was the Tour De Chaumont – a bike ride around the Chaumont NY area to benefit a local garden/touristy club.

The ride had 3 options, a 25, a 50, and a 100 mile route.  Marc was not interested in doing this and when I signed up I debated which length to go on.  25 miles is reasonably easy for me now, but 50 is a bit of a challenge.  100?  Uh…NO!

So I decided to challenge myself and do the 50.  It was a late starting ride, so I had plenty of time to get up and get ready.

I arrived at the fire hall, got myself signed in, readied my bike and took off.  It was mostly cloudy today and with a temperature in the low 70’s.  It would have been perfect except we are having a cold front move in and ahead of it was EXTREMELY strong winds. 

The start headed directly into it.  And we would make loops running along the shores of Lake Ontario – normally beautiful views, but on a windy day, the wind just tears across the water. 

At a measly 12 miles in, I was pedaling so hard and feeling like I was pedaling through quicksand the wind was so vicious.  I began to doubt myself – if I was this shot after only 12 miles?  I was going to be SCREWED trying to go 38 more!!

Here is a map of my travels from Runkeeper.

map  The second loop – the big one at the bottom – that was long – about 20 miles of the whole thing and it was definitely hard.  Lots of people were out and about – walking, mowing their lawns, painting – typical fall chores – I distracted myself by waving at people and commenting on the day.

Finally that loop was finished and I hit the main road again.  At 35 miles, I arrived back at the start where you could stop before the last push and get water, snacks and use the facilities if you wanted to.  I wanted to.  I was very surprised that was a whole group – all middle age men – who elected to not finish.  They were packing up their bikes and getting their ziti dinners. 
I’m not going to lie – I considered quitting as well.  But I didn’t want to give up.  There was no money or glory on the line – there was just my determination to do what I came to do – ride 50 miles. 

And so I mounted my bike and took off – telling myself the hard part was over – one more loop – 15 miles.  I could do it. 

And so I did.  With each CHIRP of my Garmin I counted down how many miles to go.  I arrived back at 3 hours 17 minutes and 49 seconds.  It was not fast, but given the battle against the wind, I am satisfied. 


I don’t even look that tore up!

I sat down and enjoyed the ziti dinner the garden club served – older ladies that were cheerful and shocked that I did the 50 – “All alone??!!” they gasped.  It was pretty cute.

So 3 hours is a long time to spend with your own thoughts.  I am not a person who likes to be alone.  I am surrounded by others in my work and rarely do things like this without Marc.  I try to stay as far away from me as I can.

But today I had a LOT of time to think.  I haven’t felt like posting here because I feel like most of you who read this want to be inspired or get the lowdown on how to maintain a weight loss.  And I can’t give that to you because I’m failing miserably in that department.

So I tried, very hard – especially during the long and lonely stretch of that 2nd loop to figure some things out.  Where I am and, more importantly, where I am going.  I don’t know that I reached any solution, resolution, or any inner peace.  But I did spend some time with me and did meet a goal I had set for myself.

And I know one thing – I will sleep well tonight!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Do we need purpose?

Marc and I were watching a tv show. There was a guy on the show that was talking about his lifestyle. He is in his 30's and has almost no possessions. He lives out of his van. He has a menial job that allows him just enough to afford gas and other upkeep on his vehicle.

He is off the grid so to speak. He doesn’t own a house or have a bank account or a credit card - not even a cell phone! Not because he is one of these paranoid types who think the government is out to get him.

No, he just wants to live this life where he gets up every day and goes out to the mountains and rock climbs and enjoys nature. He rarely worries about time or commitments. He doesn’t stress about his menial job because there are other menial jobs waiting to be had if he loses this one.

He is not tied down to anything. He doesn’t have a fridge and doesn’t know where his next meal is coming from or what he’ll have. He eats when he is hungry. He is incredibly fit from spending his days climbing and hiking and not overeating.

I turned to Marc and said “I would LOVE to live like that!!” We were both quiet for a few moments. “For about 2 weeks...” I admitted and we both laughed. The idea of living this way is so appealing in some ways. But realistically? I like my THINGS. I like a nice pillow top mattress to sleep on. And clearly I like a well stocked fridge.  As well as my home and other possessions.

So I was telling my friend about this and she was absolutely horrified. You should have seen the look on her face. It was like I told her I wanted to become a serial killer!!

“You can’t do that!!” She said “You have to have a PURPOSE in life!!”

“Says who?” I asked her.

“Well, you just DO! You can’t just live life without contributing!”

“You sure can!” I insisted. “Look at people who retire and just travel around in an RV - they stay wherever they want for however long they want and then move on. I think that’s awesome!”

“NO. WAY. I would hate that!” My friend said.

I was thinking about this today. Right now I feel as if I am purposeless. I think I help people in my job, but if I were to drop off the face of this earth there would be someone else who could help them. I am so concerned about my weight gain and looking terrible and not running well and the reality is that no one but me is worried about it. And I don’t mean that in the “nobody cares about me way.” I mean that in the way that almost no one (not including my hater ;)) ) thinks more or less of me if I wear a size 6 instead of a size 2. Or if I run an 9:30 mile instead of a 8:00 mile. It’s pretty irrelevant in the scope of life, right?

And yet, I still wake up and obsess about my fat stomach and my lack of self control and how pathetic I am.

Maybe I need a purpose.  Or maybe I just need to go find a rock to climb!!


Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday regrets…

It’s so ridiculously absurd that it’s almost funny.  In fact if it wasn’t about me, I’d probably find it funny.

I wonder if I’ll ever wake up again on a Monday morning and not totally and completely regret my weekend. 

I’m thinking not.

I’m caught in a veritable Groundhog Week similar to the terrible Bill Murray movie.

Yes, it’s wake up Monday morning feeling horrible about my weekend eating.  Vow to do better.  Be completely on plan Monday and slide a little bit every day until Friday.  When I then get the Friday “fuck its” and begin cramming food in my mouth the entire goddamn weekend.

Go to bed on Sunday night feeling like a fat miserable loser.  Wake up Monday morning with regrets and staring at my naked self in the mirror and seeing how fat I am and vow to do better.




Lots of people use a weekend day for a cheat day.  And that would probably work for me if I could contain it to on day and not just go crazy.  But I’m not succeeding in that.

The only way to stop having regrets is to stop fucking up.  It’s that simple and that hard.


Saturday, September 12, 2015

2015 Run for Recovery

Gavin Tedford was a brother, a son, an extremely talented musician, a friend, a valedictorian, a teacher, and a runner.  In fact, one of my happiest running memories is running a half marathon that Gavin also ran in. 

Have you ever seen someone who was clearly just designed to do something?  Gavin was born to run.  He didn’t run as much as GLIDE – fast and effortless - it was a beautiful thing to watch.  In the half marathon we ran together, the course took us in and out of a cul-de-sac.  Gavin was exiting there just as I was entering it.  Seeing me, he grinned, changed where he was running so that he could cross over and give me a high 5 and continued on. 

Gavin was also a horrific heroin addict.  Through hard work he got clean and began establishing a new life for himself.  For reasons that we will never know, though, he fell back into the darkness and last year, at age 29, he lost his battle with this horrible disease.

Today, there was a race to remember him and to raise money and awareness to combat addiction.  Having a goal to reduce the number of people that succumb to their disease.

Since my injury in May, I’ve been really struggling with my running.  I haven’t been running often or far.  But I really wanted to run this race – for Gavin and for myself.

I went to bed last night worried that I wouldn’t even be able to run the whole thing.  I kept telling myself that if I had to walk some of it, it was no big deal – to stop being so ridiculous.  But it was a restless night.

After weeks and weeks of hot humid weather – it was over 80 degrees, sunny and HOT yesterday – today dawned extremely cool (55 degrees) and raining. 

I surprisingly felt at peace as we got dressed to go. 


We arrived, signed in, pinned our numbers on and headed over to the start line.  It was raining, but not hard and while some shivered I actually found myself relishing the cooler weather.

Since I have felt almost like I am no longer a true runner, when I guy that I see at many races (who always seems to be a positive person) came sprinting up to me and threw his arms around me – it made me feel great!  Several people wanted to know where my tutu was, and I told them past experience has shown me that tutus absorb a surprising amount of water, and I didn’t want to any more weight on me.  This was met with laughter.

The airhorn blew and we took off and I concentrated hard on pacing myself.  The start was extremely crowded as we weaved our way through the first mile.  As usually happens at these combined races, we hit the 5K turnaround and the crowd thinned out.  I felt good.  The Achilles was hardly bothering me at all.

I ran next to a girl for a while that I’ve seen at some other races.  As we hit 2.5 miles in, I saw that 3 FAST runners were already on their way back.  I felt no pressure as I knew I was not going to remotely competitive this year, so seeing several women that were ahead of me didn’t stress me out. 

We ran around the cones at 3.1 in and I headed back, both giving to and receiving encouragement from those I ran by. 

It was mile 4 when I started to feel fatigued – my lack of training and conditioning as well as the weight gain was starting to take its toll.  I slowed at a water stop and sipped some water.  I saw ahead of me dozens of walkers and knew I didn’t have all that far to go.  I thought about Gavin and carried on. 

The last mile went fast as I dodged in and out of walkers – in packs with strollers and kids and umbrellas.  It was both an annoying and welcome distraction.

I crossed the finish line and was happy to have just made it the 6.2 miles.

Finish time was 55:13.  That is a terrible time compared to my times in the past, but since my goal was to finish in under 1 hour I was content.

I made my way back to the venue and looked for Marc.  He has been battling his own leg injury and hasn’t been running.  He had decided to give the 5K a shot, knowing he could walk if it started acting up.  We met up and I was so happy when he told me that his leg felt great and he was cautiously optimistic that he was healed.

I changed out of my soaking wet running clothes and put on the “Team Gavin” t-shirt that his mother gave me last year. 

We ate the provided lunch and then waited for the awards ceremony to start.  I had been behind so many people I had no idea where I stood.  I socialized with other runners that I have seen at races as well as members of the recovery community – counselors, recovering addicts, and family members. 

While waiting, Gavin’s sister came up and introduced herself.  As we were talking, his mother came over and I was also introduced to his brother.  His mom was obviously emotional, but the whole family was clearly focused on using this day and the run to celebrate his life, not mourn his death.  

As the awards got started, they asked Gavin’s mother to come up and say a few words and as she talked about Gavin I unexpectedly burst into tears.

They then began giving out the medals and I was surprised that I came in second in my age group.


I was 33rd out of 92 runners.  12th out of 56 females

Marc came in 23rd out of 117 5K runners, and posted his 2nd fastest 5K time – pretty awesome since he hasn’t been running at all.

Although I can’t help but be somewhat disappointed in my performance – it’s just the way I’m built – I’m glad that I could be there and honor Gavin’s memory and spend some time with his family.

I also am relieved to know that my running career is not over.  Is winning a 10K again ever going to be in my future?  Probably not.  And maybe that’s ok. 

Friday, September 11, 2015


I read an article today about the lasting effects that the September 11th attacks have had. One of the things that they talked about is the “new normal” that was experienced after the attacks. The new normal of everything from rules of flying to how we relate to people of middle eastern descent to our sense of safety in the world.

And then there are those who have to live with their new normal after losing someone in the attacks and/or being there during the attacks and surviving. They had to adjust to a new normal in a much more personal, rather than global way.

The author of the article reflected on how amazingly adaptable we are as humans and how we adjust to “new normals” - both minor and life altering.

It was interesting to read this because Marc and I were just talking about our lives not so many years ago and now. Even though the vast amount of time Marc and I have known each other we lived a certain way, that life – which was so normal to us -seems so foreign now we can’t even believe that that is who we used to be.

We adjusted to a new normal. The life of fitness and eating well and a revolutionary change in priorities and lifestyle.  That became out routine, our normal.

As this week has progressed I wonder if I have settled into a NEW new normal. I went from one extreme of incredibly unhealthy obesity to another somewhat extreme of strict rigid eating and fitness demands on myself.

Over the last year, I have obviously been sliding from that. Which has meant gaining weight and less fitness. I still exercise, but I haven’t been running 35 miles a week like I used to. I was “supposed” to run yesterday at lunch and didn’t feel like it. I went for a walk instead. Getting home I took the dogs for 5 miles. We ran some and walked some, which was previously not acceptable and I was ALMOST okay with that. I have lessened the demands on myself.

I eat more than I should. There are some previously forbidden foods that I now allow myself to eat. I used to be completely and perfectly on track 90% of the time. That’s not true anymore.

Depending on the day. HA! Depending on the MINUTE - I either HATE myself for this and live in terror and certainty that this means that I am turning back into the old me, OR I see this as a normal and healthy evolution in my process of change.

I never want to go back to the old me.  But is this new normal an okay thing?  I’m not sure.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Thanks for the concern…

As a psychology major I took several sociology classes.  I really enjoyed those classes and I particularly liked studying/learning/talking about social cultures and norms and why people act as they do in groups.  I tend to think of things on a global level and get a little too excited sometimes.  Be that as it may, something happened today and it struck me that it really is almost a social commentary and I wanted to share with you guys and get your thoughts.

When I weighed over 300 pounds NOBODY -  and certainly not strangers - expressed concern to me about my weight.  Now I had people laugh at me, yell things out windows, whisper behind my back and things like that.  But as far as stopping me and expressing genuine concern for my health?  Nope.  It never happened.

Because THAT my friends would certainly violate some sort of social code.  I mean we don't stop someone we don't don't know and say "Hey, you are clearly hugely obese.  You are putting yourself at risk of all sorts of health problems and are eating yourself into an early grave!”  No - laughing at someone - that's pretty accepted, but not sticking your nose in to express a concern about someone’s health!

Then I lost weight and started running.  And since I started running I've been told - on a unsolicited basis mind you - by complete strangers (as well as people I know) that:

  • Running is bad for your knees
  • Running is too much stress on the heart
  • “John Tesh said on his radio show that you shouldn't run more than 20 miles in a week. you know!”
  • Running is terrible for your joints and you'll be in a wheelchair by age 60

I've been stopped while out running for "being dressed in too light clothes for the weather” and told I would get hypothermia.

Today it was still hot and humid, but very cloudy and I headed out to run.  It felt good at first but as I narrowed in on  4 miles the 78% humidity was catching up with me and I was sweating pretty good and breathing hard.  I approached an intersection where a very large woman in a tank top was walking slowly and sweating profusely.

As we neared each other she shook her head and said something to me.  I pulled off one ear of my headphones and said "What?" "You need to stop running! " she said earnestly "It's too hot! You're going to get heat stroke!"

I laughed, told her I would be fine and carried on.  And as I ran I reflected that it is so funny that now that I'm doing something healthy, people feel that they can comment on their concern for my well being!  NOW they are concerned about my health!

What if, after she said that, I had told her I appreciated her concern but that she should really think about losing some weight because she is at much higher risk of dying of a heart attack than I am of dying of heat stroke! No, that would have been rude, right?

What would be the reaction the next time someone decides to comment on running being horrible for my knees I told them that eating that donut is horrible for their heart?

I don’t mean in a malicious or snotty way – what if it was meant out of true concern – presumably like the comments on my running.

I imagine it would go over about as well as a huge fart in church as the saying goes.  But it’s funny how the social norms allow for this type of butting the nose in is perfectly acceptable but weight comments – not so much!


Monday, September 7, 2015

Cramming it in…

This time I’m not talking about food – although I have certainly done my fair share of that this weekend!

But no, I’m talking about using this holiday weekend to end the summer doing everything I can to take advantage.  You see, Labor Day in Northern NY often sucks!  It usually rains and the temps begin to drop.

Not so this weekend!  No, we have had incredibly HOT and HUMID weather – it has been pretty effing glorious. 

I have walked, ran, hiked, biked, and swam.  For a weekend total of over 70 miles!   I have not spent a minute in the house longer than necessary.

Yesterday morning Marc and I went on a 30+ mile bike ride, returned home long enough to stuff our faces and then were out the door with the dogs to hike to the beach. 

We got home very late.  There is no better feeling in my book than arriving home late on Sunday knowing you don’t have to work the next day!!

I feel like I need to cram everything in because the cold weather will be here all too soon and will ruin my party.

Today, after a long walk, Marc and I stopped in Target to pick up a few things and I counted no fewer than 4 parents that were CLEARLY ready for their kids to go back to school.  That includes one mother who was arguing with her age 10-ish son who she finally smacked across the back of the head.  He calmly told her that he was going to call child protective services.  She SCREAMED “Good!  Maybe they’ll take you!  I could certainly use the break!!”

Does it make us evil that Marc and I barely made it around the corner before laughing our asses off?

I have also spent this weekend in a mental argument with myself – alternating between telling myself that I will never ever get my shit together and I’m just going to eat myself into oblivion and telling myself that I need to chill out, eat reasonably, but enjoy life.

This was compounded by an interesting article I read about a recent study.  Basically the researchers followed a whole bunch of people in the US and UK and asked them if they thought they were overweight and/or worried about their weight.  Across the board, those who worried about their weight – whether they were actually overweight per the charts or not – GAINED more than people who didn’t worry about their weight!!  The researchers said that they believe the stress of worrying about weight gain actually caused people to eat more!! 


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Fall into time management!

School is in session!  With a return of the kids to school, I hear parents lamenting that they just don't have the time to eat healthy and exercise.  I am not a parent, but I get it, I really do!  I know how much harder parents have it - especially when your kids get to the age where they are joining every sport and activity there is.  I don't envy how difficult it is to fit everything in!

But as the old saying goes you can have RESULTS or EXCUSES – you can’t have both!!

So first let's talk about food choices.  When you live a busy life, it might not be realistic to sit down every night to a nice home baked full meal.  But that is no excuse to shove Big Macs or pizza down your or your child's throat.  It's just going to take some planning but you can eat healthy on the go!

Some companies have even made it easier by having 100 calorie snack packs filled with almonds, dried fruit and other healthy choices.  You can stock up on these OR an even better choice is to take some time to buy nuts in bulk, weigh them out and package them - you can easily pack several weeks worth in one fell swoop.

How about investing in a food dehydrator?  It sounds like a lot of work, but it's not.  Slice up fruits like bananas, strawberries and pineapple, slice up some lean beef, throw it on the dehydrator and walk away.  Several hours later you can grab the dehydrated fruit and meat off the dehydrator and package it up for uber healthy snacks.

If you know you're going to have a busy week, take some time to cook up several chicken breasts.  Slice them into small pieces and put them in a container in the fridge.  Have fresh veggies on hand.  Before you run out the door, take out a whole wheat pita pocket, stuff it with chicken and veggies and you and your kids have a healthy dinner on hand.

You can also find DOZENS of easy slow cooker recipes online.  Take a weekend morning and package a bunch of veggies, spices, meats from these recipes and put one meal each in several freezer bags and throw them in the freezer.  The next time you know you're going to get home late, throw a bag full in the slow cooker, hit low and when you arrive at home you have a healthy meal ready and waiting.

You should also have on hand soups from Healthy Choice or Progresso.  While they often have quite a bit of sodium, there are low sodium options and they are easily heated up in the microwave.  Even though they may not be the BEST choice, they are WAY healthier than fast food choices!  Do what you can!

Now how about exercise?  Finding the time can feel impossible.  Ideally, getting up early and getting it done is the way to go.  If you can do that, great!  But if you're like me, morning exercise ain't gonna happen.  Do you have a lunch hour?  What are you doing on that hour?  Can you go for a walk?  Need to run to the store?  Can you walk there with a backpack and then walk back?

Are your kids involved in sports?  Do you sit in a chair on the sidelines?  How about getting up and running up and down the side of the field with the players following the ball?  Is your child older and doesn't need you there watching?  If you're at a school, does it have a track you can walk or run while your child practices?

When you get home you might want to just collapse.  But even a short walk on the tready or riding an exercise bike while you watch TV will end up actually giving you MORE energy in the long run and will allow you to sleep better.

One more note – I know parents can feel that they are on their own with their meals.  If you are trying to eat healthy, why would you feed your kids CRAP?  They should also be eating healthy, helping you prepare meals, going for walks with you!  Make this a FAMILY thing!

I know that it can be challenging but it is also possible. Any readers have suggestions on how they make time to eat right and exercise in the midst of chaos?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Review: Extend Nutrition Bars

I was contacted a couple of weeks ago by ExtendNutrition who asked if I would be interested in trying and reviewing a couple of their products. I was not familiar with their company, but a quick look at their website showed me that they have a variety of products for those looking for healthy snack options. I agreed and they sent me 3 different flavors of nutrition bars. While the bars were provided to me free of charge to sample and review, the opinions are entirely my own and I received no other compensation for writing this review.

The bars arrived and consisted of 3 different flavors: chocolate peanut butter, chocolate and caramel, and cookies and cream. These bars are described as an “anytime bar”. Which means that they can be used as a meal addition/replacement, a snack or - like more traditional energy bars - for athletic performance.


The bars I was sent contain sugar substitutes. The cookies and cream and chocolate and caramel contain Stevia and the chocolate peanut butter contains sucralose. Anyone who reads my blog knows that I believe that sugar substitutes are perfectly fine to use in moderation.

The artificial sugar in these bars allows for them to be much lower in calories than a traditional energy bar. While some other bars like Clif, Quest or Balance contain 200-300 calories, the Extend bars have half that, coming in at a cool 130-150.

What I was really happy to see is that despite the calorie difference, these bars do NOT skimp on the protein. While some snack granola bars have a measly 3-4 grams of protein per bar - completely useless for athletic performance, Extend Bars have 10-12 grams of protein per bar which is perfect for sustained performance.

Because these bars are high in protein and have a slow release of carbs, they are also marketed as being a perfect snack for diabetics. While many traditional power bars have a “spike” of energy - which some body-builders, people playing team sports and professional athletes might be looking for - the Extend Bars instead are described as having a slow release of carbs which produces no spike but instead provides lasting and stable blood sugar for up to 6 hours.

I was intrigued.

The first bar I tried was on a Wednesday morning in place of my usual breakfast. I ate it at mid-morning which is when I usually have my oatmeal. The bar I chose was the chocolate and caramel and upon opening it I saw that the Extend bar was about the size of other power bars I have used in the past.







I bit in and the taste was delicious. It was soft and chewy. The caramel actually stretched out - one of my favorite things from my past was eating Snickers and the long ropes of caramel! But that unhealthy candy bar is no longer on my menu! So it was fantastic to eat a chewy caramel treat knowing that it was healthy. The chocolate was rich, but not overly sweet and tasted genuine - not artificial at all. As far as the taste and texture, I loved every bit of it.









For my lunch hour that day I did a 15 mile bike ride. Often when I get back after exercising at lunch I am extremely hungry. Not that day! As advertised, I felt no “spike” of energy, but when I finished the ride I felt content and was in no hurry to make my lunch. The bar digested easily and didn’t sit heavily in my stomach as I sometimes find with other dense power bars.

The next test came on the weekend when Marc and I went on a long bike ride. We ate a hearty brunch before leaving. About 30 miles in we stopped at a park. According to my heart rate monitor, I had burned about 1,000 calories to that point. We opened up both the cookies and cream and the chocolate peanut butter flavored bars. It was a warm day and we had carried the bars in our small bike bags. We noticed that the chocolate from the cookies and cream had melted quite a bit. This did not happen with the peanut butter.






We split the bars and each ate half. The chocolate peanut butter was crunchy and dry. It had only a faint taste of peanut butter and had less chocolate than the other bars. Both Marc and I thought that it tasted a lot like a rice crispy treat (even though it contains no rice at all). The taste was good, and it held together much better in the heat than the cookies and cream.


We then tasted the cookies and cream. To my complete surprise it was like biting into a chocolate covered cookie. Again, the chocolate was rich and tasty. The cookie bar part was especially yummy, with a strong cookie taste that I loved.


We mounted our bikes and began the 27 mile trip to home. Again, I was extremely happy with how the bars made me satisfied but not “full” at all. When we arrived home, I was tired, but to my surprise, not hungry!

It seems that these bars perform as promised!

For our last experiment, we headed out to climb Owls Head Mountain. Before climbing I ate a bar. True to my experience previously, the bar sustained me through the climb. I hate having a large meal in my stomach whenever I engage in intense physical activity. So having a small bar that didn’t fill up my stomach but gave me energy was perfect.

Some final thoughts - these bars were delicious and I loved the calorie savings. They all seemed to “perform” equally. The peanut butter was both Marc and my least favorite as the taste was not as flavorful as the other bars. Plus, it would be nice to see ExtendNutrition sweeten these bars with a more natural sugar substitute, like the stevia they are using in the other bars. However, if you are going some place that is warm the peanut butter seems to hold up better against the heat as it doesn’t melt all over the package.

The cookies and cream flavor was definitely my favorite. A strong but not overly sweet cookie and chocolate taste. The chocolate and caramel was also absolutely delicious.

You can find these bars on the ExtendNutrition website. A 15 pack sells for $23.99. That’s about $1.60 per bar. That’s quite a bit more expensive than energy bars that sell for about $1.00 per bar. However, since these seem to last longer, they might be considered more equivalent to a meal replacement item which makes them more in the same price range.

You can also buy these bars at a number of stores like Publix, Walgreens and Kroger. sells them in a range of $16-$20 for a 15 pack, which is a significant savings.

I was very impressed with the Extend Bars and would definitely recommend them not just to athletes, but diabetics and others who might be looking for a quick and easy snack and/or meal replacement.

Goodbye summer :(

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

I realized today that in my dreading of the thought of summer leaving and fall arriving that I was thinking of this happening and that the arrival of September means that 2015 is over. And I was reflecting on what a dismal horrific failure I have been this year.

Then I stepped back and took stock of what entering September really means. It means that there are 4 months left in 2015! We are only a mere 2/3's done with 2015. There is a lot of living left in 2015.

There is time to change. There is time to make better choices. There are many, many days left to do the right thing and accomplish my goals.

My track record this far this year? Not good. But that doesn’t mean I can’t turn it around does it?

I can’t put a finger on why I started this journey 5 years ago. And why and how it suddenly became - not easy exactly - but not impossible like I felt it once was. I also can’t tell you why now it is so fricking hard and why I am struggling so badly to get back to a healthy weight.

I still feel like giving up sometimes but not today. Today I am choosing to see the start of September as a new opportunity. Like the seasons, a time for change.

How do you see September?