I am away at Fit Bloggin’ this week, but I wanted to share this website about Sugar. I saw it posted on Twitter earlier this week.

About 3 weeks ago, I decided to quit eating refined sugar and white flour.  At the same time, I stopped eating artificial sweetener.  I’m allowing myself honey and maple syrup, which means if I want anything sweet, I need to make it myself.

It’s been amazing to see just how many everyday foods contain sugar.  It’s really challenging to find anything processed that is “sugar free”.   I think the Sugar Stacks website does a great job of showing sugar in a way that everyone can understand.



 Posted by at 9:00 PM

As I get ready to head to Fit Bloggin‘, I thought I should tell my weight story.  Life Lyn Style is just over 4 months old.  I started this blog to help me be more accountable with my food and exercise.  Since starting the blog, I’ve met many other bloggers (virtually) and have been amazed at the number of “fit blogs” that exist.  The web is full of other people just like me who are trying to better themselves and live healthy lives.

I’ve been overweight most of my life.  I remember being called “big butt” as early as elementary school.  I remember joining Weight Watchers for the first time during my senior year of high school.  At that point, I needed to lose about 50 pounds.  I came within 9 pounds of my goal, and then I started college.

At the University of Akron, I had unlimited access to the food court.  At that time, this consisted of a pizza place and McDonald’s.  I ate all of the time.  Looking back, it’s amazing to me just how much crap I ate during college.  My weight ballooned to around 260 pounds.  For the next 8-12 years, I weighed between 250 and 280.  I also have been a Weight Watchers member several times over the years.   My weight was fairly consistent.  I also tried to not let my weight get in my way.  I’d like to think that I’ve been successful.  I know that it has held me back here and there, but I don’t focus on that.  I’ve done 12 week-long bicycle rides.  I’ve walked 2 marathons and a couple of half marathons.  I met my husband Stephen while on one of the bicycle rides.  Since I met him in 2003, we’ve had 2 children.  With pregnancies came more weight gain.  The OB appointment before my daughter was born (Nov 2009), I weighed in at 344.  Yikes!  That is such a huge number to type!

Shortly after Sally was born, I rejoined Weight Watchers at 326 pounds.  In the past 18 months, since Sally was born, I’ve managed to get down to the 280’s.  I’ve been consistently there for a few months now.  Recently, I dropped my Weight Watcher membership since I wasn’t able to attend the meetings with two toddlers.  With over 100 pounds more to go, I try to focus on real food and exercise and know that the rest will come.


 Posted by at 5:00 PM

This is turning into a crazy week.  I ended up with my first physical therapy session at 7am this morning and the Cleveland Clinic main campus.

I met with Brian and had my evaluation done.  The first physical therapy appointment is always a mix of evaluation and figuring out what exercises need to be done.

Now I have about 5 exercise to do 2-6 times a day.  Most of them I can do while multitasking which is good.  After my therapy appointment, I got scheduled for my follow up appointments at the JCC office.  This will be convenient for the kids and I.  The physical therapist suggested a couple of pool sessions so I can learn exercises to do in the water.  This should be good since I have never had any water therapy.

It was also suggested that I do either the recumbent stationary bike or the Nu Step at this stage.  So, at the JCC, I did 30 minutes on the Nu Step.  This was NOT cardio.  This was a range of motion exercise, very slow pace activity.  There was no sweat involved.  30 minutes was actually too long.  My knee was pretty sore when I was done and I shouldn’t do things that aggravate it.  I’m really supposed to be mostly resting and icing, but it’s hard for me to sit still.

I’m taking a few days off from my food log.  I’m still sticking with no refined sugar (honey/maple syrup ok) and no white flour.  I also haven’t had any artificial sweeteners.  It’s been over 3 weeks.  Besides not eating enough vegetables, my food has been pretty good.  It really is just a matter of time.  Fit Bloggin‘ starts tomorrow in Baltimore and I will be gone until Sunday.  I plan to photograph at least one day of food to share with you when I return.

I’m excited to meet everyone tomorrow and have a great time this weekend.  Extra thanks to Stephen for taking 2 days off work to take care of the kids and make the Fit Bloggin’ trip possible.





The kids and I headed to the JCC today.  My knee was sore and getting used to my brace is exhausting.  I really felt like I had a good workout just getting into the JCC and walking down the long hall to the fitness area and Kid Kare.  The kids needed to play and I spent some time on the phone.  It was time well spent since I now have physical therapy starting tomorrow instead of June 1st.

After we left the JCC, we headed to Fairlawn for a stop at Great Harvest to stock up on bread, Earth Fare to check out the new store, and WalMart since Nick was out of Pull Ups.

It was a busy day.  I’m exhausted and PT is at 7am.  I’m now trying to prep for tomorrow while resting my knee.

1/2c oatmeal, 1T cashew butter, 1c milk, cinnamon, apple
Morning Snack
piece of Dakota bread
cheese, bread, banana w/nut butter
mashed potatoes
Late Snack
banana w/chocolate, maple syrup, nuts
 Posted by at 9:11 PM

I had my orthopedic appointment this morning.  I arrived at the correct desk at Cleveland Clinic’s main campus about 15 minutes before my appointment time.  I try to avoid main campus, but they could give me an appointment 4 days sooner if I braved the madness.  The woman at the desk asked me for my x-rays.  Um, I don’t have any x-rays.  She told me that I needed x-rays to see the doctor.  They sent me off to get x-rays at another desk.  About an hour later, I returned with my x-rays.

I filled out my paperwork and finally saw the doctor about an hour and a half past my original appointment time.  I’m so glad that my husband took Nick and Sally to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History while they waited for me.  It would have been torture for everyone to have them in the waiting rooms.

The doctor asked me a ton of questions about my knee, injury, past ACL injury etc.  He examined my walking and both knees.  This involved lots of pulling, pushing and tugging.

The verdict is that I have a Grade II MCL tear.  This means that the  medial collateral ligament is partially torn.  The MCL is one of the 4 main knee ligaments.

This should heal in 4-6 weeks.  I need to take it easy, wear a brace and go to physical therapy.  I’m not 100% sure what exercise will be allowed.  The doctor mentioned walking on level surfaces as acceptable.  So, I’m allowed to do the treadmill.  I asked him about the elliptical and that is ok also.  I didn’t get more specific and wish that I had asked about cycling.  Usually cycling is encouraged for knee injuries.  I’ll have to get some further instructions from the physical therapist.  The earliest appointment for physical therapy is June 1st.  I’m going to work on that tomorrow.  2 weeks seems way too long to wait.  I plan to call the main scheduling and try to get in sooner even if that means traveling to a further location.  My goal is to get therapy at the Cleveland Clinic JCC location, but I’m not sure if that will be possible.

I spent the evening loafing sleeping on the couch.  I’m not going to do a food post today.  I ate ok today.  I still am lacking in the vegetable department. I hope to get some veggies cut up for salads tomorrow.  That will help.

Next up: trying out the elliptical or treadmill with my knee brace in the morning.  I plan to take it easy.  I hope to read a bit and take a shower so I can allow the kids to play in Kid Kare for a while.



I got up at 4:30am so I could leave my house by 5am and catch the Rapid at Green and Shaker.  That is the most eastern spot to catch the Cleveland RTA train.  On Sunday, the 5:40am is the earliest train.  It gets you to Tower City at 6:03am (a little less than a mile from the start of the race).  The continuing train to the Browns Stadium doesn’t run until 9am on Sunday.

I arrived at the Rapid Station without incident.  I didn’t see one car during my commute until I approached the station.  About 8 other cars pulled in.  All but one carried runners.  I was dressed to spectate and it was easy to strike up conversation with the runners.  5:40am came and went.  Then, it was 5:53am and a couple of the runners got in their car and headed downtown.  Right after that a bus pulled up to the station with “GREEN LINE” on it’s sign.  We’re taking the bus?  We all hurried on.  At this point, there were many nervous and running late runners.

Apparently, there was a flipped car on the tracks and the train couldn’t get to the station.  We asked the bus driver if he was taking us all the way to the stadium or downtown and he didn’t know.  He was flying west since there wasn’t really any traffic.  We passed the accident.  You can’t really tell in this photo since it was still dark, but there were a few emergency vehicles and a bit further down, a mangled car upside down on the tracks.


The driver ended up taking us to Van Aken.  He honked his horn to get the attention of an approaching blue line train and we all hopped on.  About 6:25am, we arrived at Tower City.  After purchasing my fare card, I headed to the starting line.  The race started and finished near Cleveland Browns Stadium.  This was especially nice since the stadium was open for restrooms and cover from the elements.


It quickly became clear that I was not going to be able to see my family before the race.  I did make it close to the start line in time to hear the national anthem and watch the start of the race.  Once the corrals cleared, I met up with the other spectators.


After chatting with Maureen, Erin and Frank, I headed to the finish area and they headed to mile 7.  All of our family/friends seemed to be doing the half marathon distance.

At the finish area, I saw Katie and Alicia.  I’ll be meeting up with them later in the week at Fit Bloggin’.  They were volunteers who spent a few hours passing out medals.


There were also lots of bananas waiting for the runners.


It was cold, foggy, drizzly and not the best spectating weather, but the races were fun to watch.  I was able to see the finish of the 10K, wheelchair races, 1/2 marathon and full marathon events.

I was alerted via text message as runners completed 10K and when they finished.  All of the runners that I followed completed the race and many had personal records or met their goals.  Here are the runners in our group from left to right – Carol, Holly, Mom and Justin.


Next up: orthopedic appointment for my knee in the morning.

1/2c oatmeal, 1c milk, 1 apple, 1T cashew butter, cinnamon (packed in a thermos to take to the race)
Morning Snack
piece of toast with honey
Outback (late lunch)
sweet potato with just cinnamon
chopped salad w/crumbed blue cheese (no pecans or dressing)
Afternoon Snack
few cheddar curds
Ohio City whole wheat pasta w/sauce and cheese
 Posted by at 8:08 PM

My day started out with a Local Flora class at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  We had a brief classroom session and then headed on a field trip to take a look at live plants and trees.  We talked and walked around for a couple of hours.  It was a great learning experience and we didn’t get wet.

After the class, I headed to the Cleveland Marathon, 1/2 Marathon and 10K race expo.  My 2 sisters and mom are running along with a bunch of other people that I know.

I met my family at the expo. My mom and dad and all four siblings don’t get together very often.  My youngest sister lives out of town and my brother is moving this week for a coop job.  We took the opportunity for a few photos.



Erin traveled into town with my sister.  I’ve met her before a few times and I am staying with her when I go to Fit Bloggin’ next week.


My family and friends are all doing the 1/2 marathon (13.1 miles).  I think that the weather will be less than ideal with rain predicted most of the race.  Erin and I are spectating and I’m leaving the house really early to take a train downtown and arrive around 6am.  The race starts at 7am.  I hope everyone has a GREAT run.

1/2c oatmeal, 1 pear, 1T fresh cashew butter, 1c milk, cinnamon
Morning Snack
banana w/almond butter&honey
piece of High Five blueberry bread
(more like early lunch)
(then late lunch)
5 pumpkin ravioli
Afternoon Snack
few fresh cheddar cheese curds
whole wheat Ohio City pasta
Italian sausage
salad w/shrooms, cucumber, honey, greens, wheatberries
Late Snack
piece of High Five w/creamed honey
1c of milk
 Posted by at 7:51 PM