9 Bags Of Sugar - Swampy's Kitchen Blog at Allrecipes.com - 273764

Swampy's Kitchen

9 Bags of Sugar 
Apr. 25, 2012 11:19 am 
Updated: May 15, 2012 9:09 am
One year ago, Dr. Killjoy sent me to my room without dessert. He told me that I had a bad heart, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and weak lungs. He also said that I needed to lose 45 pounds if I wanted to live long enough to see my three children grow up. While I will admit it was not unexpected, it was still quite a wakeup call. I needed to change my lifestyle and I needed to change it right now.
So I did.
I started eating cleaner and eating smarter. I cut out the extraneous sugar. I cut out the extra fats. I started exercising every day instead of weekends only. I started walking until my feet didn’t hurt as much. Then I started jog/walking until my shins didn’t hurt as much. Then I started jogging/running until my knees didn’t hurt as much. I made myself keep moving all the time in order to make myself pay for the extra weight that I was carrying and it started to work. Suits that had been in the back of the closet that hadn’t been seen in years began to see time in my regular rotation. I had to buy a new belt. I had to relearn how to tie my tie since my neck was smaller and my belly was smaller so suddenly my tie was a lot longer if I tied it the way I had previously. I didn’t have to unbutton my jeans because they just slipped right off. My wife said I was starting to appear somewhat gaunt. I hadn’t stepped on a scale after I broke through the 200 lbs. barrier, so at the end of August I finally got on one again. I had started my DIE-t at 225 and that morning I was 173. I had lost a total of 52 lbs. I was stunned. I also realized when I looked closely in the mirror that my wife was right. I actually needed to put on a few pounds which I happily did.
When I went back to see both my cardiologist and Dr. Killjoy this past fall, they were both amazed. They both told me how they tell people all the time to exercise & lose weight and that people just won’t & don’t do it. I have a hard time wrapping my head around why someone wouldn’t do what a doctor tells them to do when their life and the lives of their family are on the line. Maybe it’s just me but breaking old bad habits wasn’t hard to do when I started thinking about my kids & my wife and the possibility of them having to go through life without me. They might actually be happier but I know I wouldn’t be.
Today I weigh right around 180 lbs. I bounce between 177 and 181. I have lost the equivalent of 9 bags of sugar. I went to the store the other day and had my wife & kids pile 9 bags of sugar into my arms just so I could see what 45 extra pounds felt like and it really felt heavy. I don’t know how I carried that much extra weight around but I did. Now my cholesterol is lower, my lungs are stronger and my heart is better but I still have some hypertension so I am still taking my heart medication daily. I think that will go away when I go in for my next heart exam in June. I still have a little roll (or as my son calls it – fluff) around my middle but after all the time & money I invested in getting that roll/fluff, it’s hard to actually see it all go away. I know with time I may get a bag of sugar back but I’ll never let myself get back to where I was when this whole thing started.
So come back next time, when we finally open the three boxes of Girl Scout Cookies that I locked away in my bottom desk drawer a year ago when I started my DIE-t and don’t forget to eat clean, eat smart & keep moving. It worked for me and it should work for you.
Now does anyone need an extra 5lb bag of sugar ? The store made me buy them all 9 of them.
9 Bags of Sugar
Photo Detail
The 3 Boxes of Girl Scout Cookies
Photo Detail
Apr. 25, 2012 11:32 am
Congratulations on your new healthy life style. You are lucky to have doctors who are honest with you regarding your health. You gave your family the most precious gift of all...life.
Apr. 25, 2012 11:34 am
Thanks Marie C. - I'm trying day by day. It's too easy to backslide.
Apr. 25, 2012 11:36 am
Congrats Doug!It's so easy to put it on, and so much harder to take it off. Age doesn't help, the older we get the longer it takes. Good job!
Apr. 25, 2012 11:38 am
Hi sassyoldlady - I'll be 50 next week - it was lose it now or don't lose it at all. Thanks.
Apr. 25, 2012 11:41 am
You may have lost 9 bags of sugar, but you're still a sweetie! I am so proud of you. Many of us can lose the weight but have trouble keeping it off. It really is necessary to get the idea of a lifestyle change firmly planted. I have lost and kept off 3 bags of sugar and I am working on ridding myself of two more. Thanks for being such an inspiration.
Apr. 25, 2012 11:43 am
Hi BigShotsMom - GREAT JOB ! KEEP IT UP ! I knew we could all do it. DIE-ts come & go but a lifestyle change can make all the difference. Let me know when the next bag falls !
Apr. 25, 2012 11:54 am
Way to go! Changes in diet and exercise are hard! The motivation to do it can be so hard to face...but it's well worth the outcome of good health and feeling great! Keep it up Doug, this is a story to inspire!
Apr. 25, 2012 11:55 am
Doug, you are an inspiration!
Apr. 25, 2012 11:56 am
Thanks Lissa - I think the hardest part was paying for all my new business suits - my boss doesn't believe in Business Casual. I actually love the exercise now and can't imagine not doing it every day. Thanks again.
Apr. 25, 2012 11:56 am
You all kept me going Wyattdogster - thanks !
Apr. 25, 2012 12:01 pm
Doug, congratulations to you. I know its not easy. I've been there too. Still dieting too. I'm keeping it off like you. I am so proud of you. The best part is feeling better. Take good care of you.
Apr. 25, 2012 12:09 pm
Awesome job Doug!!!!!! This july will be one year since I stopped smoking... along with that a few extra pounds on to p of the few extra I already had... You have motivated me! I'm gonna keep it simple.. eat clean, eat smart and keep moving! Thanks Dear friend!
Apr. 25, 2012 12:09 pm
Way to go, Doug! I wish I had your committment and drive. I'm still trying to lose about 25 pounds and have little motivation. I lose a few and they come right back! I'm sure once I get going and keep going, the weight will come off....I just need to start!
Apr. 25, 2012 12:10 pm
Great Job Rosebud ! people ask me all the time how I feel and i tell them "I'm tired & hungry" but boy is it ever worth it. Keep up the great work. Thanks & Have a great day
Apr. 25, 2012 12:12 pm
Hi Terry - really proud of you for giving up the smoking. That is a real tough one to do but if you can do that, you can lose the weight too. I'm cheering for you !
Apr. 25, 2012 12:13 pm
Thanks Sugarnspice - I kept telling myself the same thing but never lost it. Once I really did start DIE-ting & exercising every day it just started to melt away. If anything, I'm addicted to exercise now. Good luck. I know you can do it.
Apr. 25, 2012 12:15 pm
Yay for you, Doug! I have not been as successful at keeping the weight off. Your words are an inspiration to me!
Apr. 25, 2012 12:22 pm
Wonderful story Doug! I am so glad that you explained the 9 bags of sugar. I was worried about you there for a bit! ;-) I know the drs. physical helped kick me in the butt too. I am slowly reducing the sat fat, sodium, and sugar in my diet and adding a lot more fresh veggies and fruits. Your results are amazing though, and something to be very proud of!
Apr. 25, 2012 12:22 pm
I know you can do it Bibi. If I could do it, so can you. Thanks and have a great day.
Apr. 25, 2012 12:25 pm
Hi Sarah & thanks - I think I bought that much sugar for Cookies Across America baking last December. Good luck with your lifestyle change too. I know you can do it and it is well worth it.
Apr. 25, 2012 12:41 pm
Congratulations!!!!What an accomplishment.You should be so proud of yourself .You are such an inspiration. :)
Apr. 25, 2012 12:51 pm
Toss the cookies :) they aren't worth it, after all your hard work! Only eat what you LOVE and...IMHO, homemade is tastier :) Congrats on your journey!
Apr. 25, 2012 12:57 pm
Congratulations on your weight loss!!!
Apr. 25, 2012 1:08 pm
Thanks BramptonMommyof2 - I am proud. I have been waiting a whole month to write & post this one. Have a great rest of the week.
Apr. 25, 2012 1:13 pm
Hi & thanks FNChef - I think those cookies are going to stay in their original packaging for years to come as a reminder. (Though I do love me some Do-Si-Do's....)
Apr. 25, 2012 1:23 pm
Way to go Doug. I have managed to keep those nasty 30 pounds off and I feel GREAT just like Tony the Tiger!
Apr. 25, 2012 1:24 pm
Thanks Blondeprincess !
Apr. 25, 2012 1:31 pm
That"s awesone Dogfish. Keep that work up. Tony The tiger has nothing on you !
Apr. 25, 2012 1:57 pm
I am so proud of you Doug! Boy, you have really made quite a commitment to change in the past year between the diet and the dental work. Sticking to it is certainly the hardest part, but you sure show us how its done! Way to go :) And now for a quick hockey aside: I sure don't know what happened to Sidney, but you are right, he was certainly not himself. That whole series was just crazy! The Flyers have had the Pens number all season long, for some reason. Sigh. I am looking forward to the Rangers game tomorrow, but I tell you I could not be more surprised that this has gone to game 7. Number one seed vs. number 8? I thought it would be a sweep, or maybe be done in 5. These playoffs have been nothing if not surprising! I sure hope you can find somewhere in Louisiana to watch- it promises to be exciting!!!
Apr. 25, 2012 2:27 pm
Excellent work Doug! I have to start all over with my weight loss. I gained it all back after working my butt off to loose 50 lbs. I get so mad at myself for doing that :/ I need to get moving, thanks for helping to motivate me!
Apr. 25, 2012 5:45 pm
Doug, I couldn't let this milestone achievement go by without chiming in. You really set your mind to your DIEt and exercise routine and wow...the picture of carefully balancing those sugar bags really shows how that determination paid off....I think it was Vince Lombardi that said "The Good Lord gave us a body that can stand many things...it's the mind you have to convince". Way to go!
Apr. 25, 2012 6:35 pm
congrats doug!! i hope that i can too start taking off this extra weight. ugh. it's the losing and putting it back on that really stinks. you would think i would have learned by now! :-) you should be very proud of your acheivement!
Apr. 25, 2012 8:04 pm
Congrats! Makes me wanna put on my walkin' shoes!
Apr. 26, 2012 12:53 am
Way to go Doug! Not only will you see those kids grow up, but you'll enjoy them all the more with your new fit self. It takes a lot of self discipline to buckle down and do what you did. I only wish my in-laws could follow your example.
Apr. 26, 2012 2:19 am
Good morning Puck & thanks. I am turning 50 soon so I guess I needed to get myself fixed. Nice win by Caps last night and tonight my RANGERS will finish off the sens. Have a great day
Apr. 26, 2012 5:30 am
Excellent, Doug! The hard work has paid off for you. Congratulations!
Apr. 26, 2012 6:36 am
Hi rae & thanks - you have done it before so I am sure you can do it again. It will be worth it. Good luck.
Apr. 26, 2012 6:40 am
Hi ellie & thanks - love the Vince Lombardi quote - it was fun trying to get it all to balance. Not sure if I could have held that 10th bag. Have a great day.
Apr. 26, 2012 6:48 am
Hi njmom & thanks - I gave away almost all of my old clothes so I have nothing to wear if I gain more than a couple of pounds. I know you can do it too. Good luck & keep moving. Have a great day.
Apr. 26, 2012 6:50 am
Hi KGora - let me go grab my sneakers and I will join on that walk. Have a great one.
Apr. 26, 2012 6:58 am
Hi Vicky & thanks - I think it is safe to say that I have become addicted to the exercise & to the chane in lifestyle. I may be tired & hungry all the time but I do feel better. Good luck with the in-laws.
Apr. 26, 2012 7:01 am
Good morning & thanks Mike - it is a continuing battle but well worth it.
Apr. 26, 2012 10:54 am
WOW Mike! You are amazing. I was pondering a dinner of Kalbi shortribs tonight at the Maui Lani Golf course and I think I'm going to skip it and enjoy something leaner instead. Time for me to get serious about my health too.Thanks so much for the great blog.
Apr. 26, 2012 4:55 pm
I bet Julie is wowing you, Doug! So far, the only wow factor I can claim is ... hmmm ... well, it's around somewhere!
Apr. 27, 2012 2:53 am
Hi Julie - Mike & I both say Mahalo and I would have started after the short ribs. And yes I am very jealous of where you are right now. My frequent flyer miles are almost there for the family but not quite. Have a great day and say aloha to Sistah Val on KPOA for me.
Apr. 27, 2012 5:27 am
Congratulations! I'm a Dietitian and believe me, people who are motivated and stick to their meal plan and exercise routine sometimes seem few and far between. There are so many excuses that one can use (I'm too busy to work out, I don't have time to cook, I can't afford healthy food, I've eaten this way for the past 50 yrs, etc.) You overcame your excuses and made a positive change in both you and your family's lives. Kudos and keep up the good work!!
Apr. 27, 2012 7:17 am
Doug, your story is truly inspiring! You definitely should be proud of what you accomplished! I'm only down 3 bags of sugar here, but that's still 3 bags I'm not carrying around any more. I am not a runner (even when I was skinny), but I love my treadmill and my yoga, and the day is not complete without at least one of those things. Like you, I think eating clean and exercise are the way to go, and while I still have a long way to go before I reach my goal, I do feel better already. Glad I read your blog today...it's more motivation for me!
Apr. 27, 2012 9:15 am
Doug, how wonderful that you are 9 bags of sugar lighter. I love the photo. Now, think of that weight loss in butter. My that would be a photo.
Apr. 27, 2012 9:29 am
Doug, Way to go! I always love hearing success stories. I, too, have been changing my eating habits. A little more green, a little less dirty. Let's keep going!
Apr. 27, 2012 10:18 am
I think you reached a fantastic goal and you were good enough to share your success with others to keep them motivated. My wake up call was diabetes. Once I lost weight through diet and exercise I no longer needed medication. That is a great motivator. There is also a clothing size that I refuse to go up to and that is my other motivator. I don't know if that will help anyone else who takes the weight off, then puts it back on again but it works for me. When I started reading your entry, I was surprised that sugar is still being sold in 5 pound bags. Everything we buy seems to be on their own diets in the quantity packaged! Remember 1 pound coffee? Anyway, congratulations and very best wishes on keeping the weight off. I am sure with your attitude, you will succeed. Treat yourself to a few of the Girl Scout cookies!
Apr. 27, 2012 2:04 pm
Hi & Thank You alaska - those first few weeks were the toughest but if I can do it, I know others can too. Have a great weekend.
Apr. 27, 2012 2:07 pm
Hi wisweetp and congrats on your 3 bags ! My wife is treadmill & yoga too and she says that the yoga can be even more of a workout than the treadmill. Keep it up ! Have a great weekend.
Apr. 27, 2012 2:11 pm
Hi Lela & thanks - I had to laugh trying to picture myself balancing 45 packages of butter. I had enough trouble with the 9 bags.
Apr. 27, 2012 7:26 pm
Yay! for Doug! Woo hoo! Not an easy task, at all, by any means! I am about to jump on your band wagon. [Actually, I started today (=] I am about 35 lbs shy of my high - and I refuse to go there yet again! When I lost before, it was with the help of a dietician. And when I lost it again, it was using the advice she had given me before. I have a appointment next week with my physician, and I am hoping she will make a referral to see a nutritionist. For me, a LARGE part of the whole process was portioning [realizing that a "serving" is not simply whatever I put on my plate (=], and a schedule. My schedule is so wacky now, that I really would like someone else to look at my hours and help me figure out where to stick meals and snacks! Keeping a food diary was another help - and knowing that someone else was going to look at it helped keep me on the straight and narrow (= Keep it up, Doug! You have done a great job!
Apr. 28, 2012 7:50 am
Good for you Doug! So happy :) you took what the doctors said seriously and that you love your family and self enough to do what you did. Good for you all!!
Apr. 28, 2012 1:11 pm
Hi jabberwokky - I love that, "a little more green & a little less dirty" - I may have to borrow it myself. Good luck and keep it up.
Apr. 29, 2012 2:07 am
Btw, Doug, that picture is such a powerful illustration!
Apr. 29, 2012 2:09 am
[I was referring to the sugar, not the GS cookies =D] [I am a sucker for fundraisers - after having to do my own and then my kids' - and, so, of course I had to buy GS cookies from my co-worker. I saved them and put them in my kids' "Easter baskets" (=]
Apr. 29, 2012 6:50 am
Congrats, I'm in the battle myself with a long term goal to lose 80 lbs. I love hearing stories like this.
Apr. 29, 2012 3:05 pm
Good job Doug! Stories like this are just inspiring!
May 1, 2012 5:29 am
Way to go Doug! You are an inspiration to all who need to make a change to their ways (including myself). Keep it up, your family is very blessed. :)
May 1, 2012 6:06 am
Good morning Susan's saved recipes - sorry it took me a few days to get back to you. The picture my doctor painted for me was direct and not pretty. The results have been far better. As for the sugar, I heard from several people when we talked "bags of sugar" in earlier blogs that a lot of stores are indeed selling 4lb bags. I don't know but 11 or 12 bags may have been a bit unwieldy. Keep it up and thanks for stopping in.
May 1, 2012 6:09 am
Hi Barb and way to go - I know you can do it because you have your mind set to it. No day is easy but it's all worth it. And thanks for the picture comment - Oprah did a wagon full of fat all those years ago and that kind of grossed me out. Since the main focus of my initial weight loss was cutting out the extraneous sugar I thought the bags would work. I just didn't realize how heavy they would be. Kind of made me feel good. Have a great day !
May 1, 2012 6:09 am
Hi Linda (LMT) - thanks for stopping by and thanks for the encouragement. Have a great day.
May 1, 2012 6:12 am
Good morning DianaS - 80 lbs is a big goal but it sounds like one that you have sight of and can & will achieve. Just keep plugging away & stay positive. Good luck & have a great day.
May 1, 2012 6:13 am
Good morning CookandBakeGirl - I have had nothing but support from everyone here and probably the main reason I first wrote about it last year. Great community. Thanks for your support & have a great day.
May 1, 2012 6:16 am
Good morning DomesticatedGoddess and thank you. Everyone here helped me so if I can help someone too, I think it's great. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day
May 1, 2012 8:01 am
I'm a teenager and still in middle school, so it's the time where I'm growing turning into an adult. My weight is normal for my age, about 88 pounds. parents tell me tell me that if I load on a lot of junk food, I'll have trouble in the future. Before, I never believed, cuz I think ill stay skinny no matter how much I eat. Now I've read your experience, I guess their right!
May 1, 2012 8:02 am
got a few typos there, ...
May 1, 2012 8:28 am
Good morning iRock - junk food may fill you up for the moment but longterm it will harm you. The better decision is to eat smarter but if you are going to have something "bad" for you, then do it in moderation. It's a lot easier at your age to gain & lose but it will also take a toll on you. Good luck and thanks for commenting. (No worries about typos - I make them all the time)
May 1, 2012 10:28 am
Congratulations! I, too, have lost 9 bags of sugar since my diabetes diagnosis. I am walking every day for 60 minutes, eating smarter, loving the new clothes (hehe!) and just generally more aware of my body and especially the amount of carbohydrates I consume. God bless!!
May 1, 2012 9:13 pm
bakeholic - I think we all think like that when we are young. I'm glad you are realizing different NOW (= It's like being in school - so much easier to start out well and keep it up, rather than start out with poor grades and trying to bring it up! [My duaghter learned THAT lesson the hard way!]
May 1, 2012 9:14 pm
Doug, thank you for the encouragement (= I started Friday - 4 down, loads more to go (=
May 1, 2012 10:07 pm
Doug, (my father's name), thanks for the great blog! I lost 60 lbs in 5 months. My plan was eat less and excerise more. And, it worked. My hat is off to you, Doug!
May 2, 2012 5:21 am
Hi Karen - that is tremendous news ! The exercise (and new clothes) become addicting once you start. Congratulations ! Thanks for stopping by and keep up the great work !
May 2, 2012 9:34 am
That is great news Barb ! Keep it up ! Have another great day !
May 2, 2012 9:35 am
good morning Cactus Rose - 12 bags ! 60 lbs ! I am Tebowing in your general direction. Keep it up !
May 2, 2012 1:45 pm
Fantastic story Doug! I really enjoyed reading it and I am glad that you were a success!
May 2, 2012 4:57 pm
Doug, last year around this same time I was pretty unhappy with what I looked like and more importantly what I felt like. I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs. I was 5 foot 9 inches, 227 pounds, size 16/18. Nothing felt good, I was sticky, sickly and sad. I didn't plan to do anything, I didn't set out to make any changes- I just got sick of everything and stopped eating everything that passed in front of me. Then I found zumba and started dancing at my local gym three times a week. The pounds started to fall off. I'm now 165-170 pounds, size 8/10, and love to hike, be happy, and find motivation in something besides my next meal. If I can do it, anyone can. I still eat the same foods I used to, just 1/3 the volume. Instead of eating family style, I make a plate with the appropriate amount on it. Instead of sitting in front of the tv snacking, I dance around my house or hang out with my new boyfriend who saw a picture of the old me and said "still beautiful, just not you". Nice to see someone else in the same spot.
May 2, 2012 9:50 pm
May 3, 2012 6:15 am
Thanks MSC - it's a daily struggle. my bad habits are still there, I just keep them somewhat hidden these days. Of course your pictures & blogs don't always help B-)
May 3, 2012 6:18 am
Good morning nymbus and WOW ! Congratulations. That is an awesome & inspiring story. It is pretty simple, eat smart & exercise. By the way, your boyfriend has quite the way with words. Love it. I am bowing down in your general direction. Keep it up and have a great day.
May 3, 2012 6:18 am
Thanks skmccormick
May 12, 2012 5:31 am
Way to go. I know how much the holding of the extra weight really hits home. Way to go my friend. Keep us posted. :}
May 15, 2012 9:09 am
Thanks JPaul. That extra weight definitely effected my arms in the photo.
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Doug Matthews

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Princeton, New Jersey, USA
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About Me
My mother decided early on that her sons would never have to rely on someone to feed them so we all learned to cook at an early age. I really started to branch out when I moved out west to Denver, SF & Dallas. Combine that with extended business travel to Louisiana & my growing love of spices and you get a real mix of flavors.
My favorite things to cook
Love to make cajun food with my favorites being crawfish pie, alligator stew & alligator chili - I go nuts on Super Bowl Sunday
My favorite family cooking traditions
We didn't have a lot of traditions per se but you could count on pancakes or waffles on sundays - dad making scrambled eggs twice a year on christmas morning & mother's day - veal parmagiana on christmas eve, Thanksgiving with Grandma Matthews and any menu of your choice on your birthday. We weren't a spicy family so I learned a lot of good strong basics in the kitchen from Mom that I have carried over into my cooking today.
My cooking triumphs
I love to experiment with variations of dishes I try around the country. My biggest success is here on allrecipes where I had 2 recipes published in the same cookbook - Southwestern Turkey Soup & Curried Carrot Soup. I think my corn muffins are a great starting point and my alligator chili has become a much requested Super Bowl favorite.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few times in the past where I tossed everything and took everyone to a restaurant instead. I'm not too proud to say my cooking is awful when it really is.
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