No “Bulging” Brides Here!

Just over a week ago, a number of participants decided to forgo sugar for the month of March.  Were they crazy?  Perhaps!  Are they actually surviving this challenge? 

Read below to see how the lovely Astra, one of the original “no sugar march” crew, has made slight concessions in her choices of food and simultaneously forced an entire men’s hockey team to live without her baking.  I’m guessing there may be a few sad faces lined up along the bench this month…!

“Surviving No Sugar March”

- Or, is ‘surviving’ really the right word?

It started out as mild panic. What in the world did I agree to in that one little tweet? How was I going to do this?

The Dreaded Icing!

I love food, I love to eat, I love to bake, and while maintaining a balance is difficult when you have the resistance of a rubber band, I usually lean towards the ‘life’s too short not to indulge’ school of thought. So, at 11:50 p.m. on the night before No Sugar March, as a last hurrah, I found myself literally eating icing with a spoon. (What? I had icing left over from the last time I made homemade oreo cookies, ok?)

After picking out the sugar-coated raisins in my raisin bran, the first real test was coffee. To be honest, I skipped it on the first day, thinking that it just wasn’t going to be worth it without sugar. As it turns out, its only the crappy coffee that isn’t worth it. (I’m looking at you, free McD’s rubbish.) However, a Starbucks latte, with a bit of cinnamon, or freshly ground and brewed French press coffee is…actually…ok! ‘Eureka’ would not be an exaggeration here. My one morning coffee was the hardest thing for me to give up on a cleanse last year.

As the first 3 days passed, I was genuinely more excited for our kickoff support meeting than I was worried about not having sugar. All the tweets and facebook messages kept it light-hearted, engaging and fun, and seeing friends and new tweeps on the night was great!

Second test: grocery shopping and a review of the kitchen. Sugar is everywhere! It’s the 4th ingredient in bottled pasta sauce. I’m not kidding! Salad dressings, bbq sauce, ketchup? Ridiculous amounts. By now I was starting to realise why the reliance on sugar in the first world is often called an ‘epidemic’.

Out:  store-bought pasta sauce, raisin bran, ‘I’ll just grab whatever’ lunches, and Starbucks snacks. In:  homemade pasta sauce, plain oatmeal with wild blueberries, well thought-out lunches, and fruit.

It’s only just over a week in, but I’ve already discovered more than I thought I would:

1)  Sugar is everywhere, and is another great reason to be a label-reading nerd.

What? No Baking?

2)  Resisting things, however difficult for that one moment, gives you a way better feeling than the guilt of indulgence. (This one’s more of a re-discovery – I haven’t had that feeling since my WeightWatchers days.)

3)  Good coffee is worth it.

4)  The lucky men’s hockey team who are my guinea pigs every Sunday are, in fact, surviving without my baking…well, just. Poor things.

5)  Pretty people, physically fit friends, spring fashion and a looming pool season are all fantastic motivators. Not gonna lie about the vanity factor.

6)  I can actually DO this!

So for now, it’s panic over. It feels more like “Crushing No Sugar March” than “Surviving No Sugar March”! Reading Desiree Neilsen’s post last week was a great help, and as I write this, I’m looking forward to Tommy Europe’s words of wisdom as well.

With our awesome support group, we can all do it! Go team!

Bulging Brides

Many of you have seen Tommy Europe scare the chocolate croissant from a frightened contestant’s lips on “Bulging Brides”.   Others secretly wish that it was actually themselves who had to suffer through the drills in order to rid of their “muffin top” (as Tommy so often says!). 

Tommy Europe has kindly provided some tips to:

“Shed your Last 10 Pounds”

"A Moment on the Lips"

1.  Get started. That is the main thing, and it’s what stops most people from achieving their goals.

2.  Get interested in nutrition. It’s about what you put in your mouth, and when you put it in your mouth. Find a healthy balance in your diet.

3.  Empower yourself with knowledge. If you don’t really know your way around the gym, get yourself a trainer. If you are knowledgeable in the gym, but you’ve been doing the same thing over and over again, switch your program up. Go learn some new moves. Talk to others.

4.  Surround yourself with positive people. There are negative people all around, but you can’t worry about them or let them drag you down.

5.  Realize that the sky is the limit! You’re going to be more fit and healthier. You’ve got one life to live in this world, so you might as well live it to the fullest.

For more tips:

Check out his new book, The 10 Pound Shred – From flab to fit in 4 weeks – now on bookshelves.  OR check out his website at where you can access training tips and purchase weight loss meal plans from registered dietician Maria Thomas.

His shows, “The Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp” and “Bulging Brides” can be found at