Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How to avoid soda

Different people have different ideas about what kind of diet makes you lose weight but I think that everyone can agree that full-sugar soda is bad. I have been trying to cut back on the amount of soda that I drink. One time that I get into trouble is when I go out to lunch. Most fast food restaurants have combo deals that includes a soda. That makes it easy for me to rationalize drinking soda. Fortunately, something happened at Burger King to make me rethink my strategy.

A week and a half ago Helen, the kids, and I went to Burger King for lunch. We had just seen Monsters vs. Aliens. Rachel got a 6 piece chicken kids meal and A.J. got a four piece. The total came to a little over twenty dollars. That seemed high to me so I studied the receipt. I noticed that Rachel's meal cost $1.40 more than A.J.'s even though it included just two extra chicken pieces. On the value menu you can buy 4 chicken pieces for a dollar.

Later that week I went to Burger King for lunch with Steve and I decided to order off of the value menu. I got a Whopper Junior, small fries, and a cup of water. The total, with tax, came to $2.15. Steve got some extra thick Whopper combo and it was over seven dollars. Steve noticed that he could have gotten three of my meals for the price of his and said that he was going to order off the value menu next time.

The value menu has several advantages. First, it's cheaper. Second, I eat less. And finally, I'm not tempted to get a soda since it would increase the price by 50%. It's funny that thinking about my health didn't stop me from drinking soda at lunch, but thinking about my wallet did. I haven't had any soda since that twenty dollar meal at BK.

My weigh-in was 195.5 today. I am happy about that. I have also not missed any commutes and my streak is up to 19. I only consider a streak broken if I go to work but don't commute both ways via bicycle, so not working on Good Friday won't break the streak.

I mentioned earlier that I gave up beer for Lent. This was Rachel's idea. She gave up candy and said that I should give up beer. I decided to do it just to prove to myself that I could. I figured that it was easy, I should do it because it was easy. If it was difficult, I should do it because I needed to. It really hasn't been too much of a hardship. There have been times where I've wished that I could have a beer but I've never been tempted to cheat. There has even been a bottle of beer in the fridge that I see every day. If it was too much of a struggle I would have moved it to somewhere that I wouldn't see it.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I've gotten a little frustrated lately because I've been comparing my riding stats for this year to 2007. That was my best year riding and my conditioning is not nearly as good now. I'm trying to concentrate on improving my current conditioning rather than comparing myself to two years ago.

There was a brevet today that I decided not to do. There was a 200K and a 300K option. It is very inconvenient to get to Edwardsville at 5:00 am. Since we have only one car, and since Helen needed the car today, I would either have had to find a ride or have Helen and the kids get up at 4:00 am and take me to the ride. I don't think that the 200K was worth that much driving. The 300K was pretty much out of the question because I don't know if I could do it. I certainly didn't to attempt 186 miles for my first long ride of the year.

Instead I decided to ease into the longer rides. I went on the ride this morning at Maplewood Bicycle. Only two other people showed up (Bill and Brian) but we had a good ride. We rode 35 miles which is not a long ride but it is my longest ride so far this year. I thought about riding some extra miles on my own but I decided to call that ride a win. This also makes my highest mileage week for the year (122 miles) since I commuted every day. Again this is not very impressive compared to 2007 but it's great compared to last year.

As I mentioned I rode every day this week. Last week I took 4 days off or work for the kids' spring break so I only rode one day. But that means that all of my commutes were by bicycle that week (one for one). That gives me a streak of 16 consecutive commutes.

My weight is not going down as quickly as I would like but it is going down (I think). In my last post I mentioned that my Wednesday weight was 197 but I thought it might be a low reading. This week I forgot to weigh in on Wednesday but my weight on Tuesday was 197 and on Thursday was 196. My my totally self imposed rules that makes my "official" weight for the week 197 but it gives me hope that I'm losing weight. We'll have to see what it is next week.