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With sugar intake way down, the weight numbers are falling as well. Down 16 on the way to 40 pounds lost.

POSTED August 02, 2016
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: I’m pretty sure the makers of Gatorade and Ginger Ale have noticed the drop in sales.

After all, I have stopped piling both products into my shopping cart each week since becoming a non-user at the start of July.

This after finally reacting to being told for years that the sugar content that was in both of them was the cause of a rather large mid-section one would normally contribute to drinking large quantities of many forms of beer.

That was not the case. I may have a beer or two tops a week but was thoroughly addicted to the above mentioned products that are chocked full of sugar and kept me coming back for more.

Not only more of the drinks but of everything else I would eat.

I often compared my eating habits to a man eating like someone was trying to steal his food.

Sparks would fly from my fork as I worked my way through a meal in a way that just wasn’t normal.

Sure, I’m a sports writer who is used to eating horribly at every opportunity at every strange hour of the night.

A hot dog at 9:30 p.m. at a ball game? Sure, don’t mind if I do but I better wash it down with some soda because, well, just because.

Oh, is that a McDonalds or Burger King on the way home from a game? Okay, maybe just a couple of small burgers with fries and a soda.

A least I was legit enough not to pig out and then wash it down with a diet soda….

Putting food in front of sports writers brings out a certain feeling of delight. Think of it, I get to cover sports and people give me free food! Winning!

I could have passed many a meal up but somebody took the time to make the meal and who am I to be rude and not eat it?

I was raised polite you know.

That all changed on July 1, 2016 when I gave away my last three 32 ounce bottles of Gatorade and stopped guzzling the bubbly stuff in a can.

Heck, my friend Rich Elliott reminded me the other day that I would bring my own cans of ginger ale with me to UConn basketball games and also stop to grab a cold one on the ride home.

My motivation came from being named the Director of Kidsmarathon in the Northwest Corner for 2017.

I woke up one day and thought about the fact that I will be going to grammar schools starting in September and talking to kids about eating and drinking healthy.

All while tugging along far too much weight and maybe even a bottle of grape flavored Gatorade. It was after all, my favorite.

Former Olympian, Rod Dixon, is the founder of Kidsmarathon, a movement designed to try and stem the monstrous obesity tide amongst our kids with over 30 percent of all kids under the age of 12 already in the dangerous weight territory.

Talking to these kids as a guy clearly not heeding his own advice would be a bit hypocritical of me so I went about the business of changing how I ate and drank.

Sugar, it has been proven, is the root cause of so much of our weight gain and what also makes it so tough to lose any.

My sugar intake with roughly two, 32-ounce Gatorade’s and three to four cans of soda every day launched me far above the recommended daily intake amount by about noon every day.

There are approximately 4 grams of sugar in a teaspoon.

If you do the math for my intake, I was over 250 grams at times just in what I drank on a daily basis. Forget about the meals, snacks, cake or chips.

That adds up to a stunning 63 teaspoons of sugar a day.

It’s a wonder I’m still alive….

Now, one month in, the sugary drinks have been replaced by water and the conversion has been easier than I thought it would be.

I set a goal of dropping 40-pounds. Four, 10-pound segments at a time.

I reached the first goal within two weeks of starting, just from the loss of sugar and exercising five days a week while slowing down the intake of food along with the speed in which I devour it.

It’s a discipline, just like getting up and going to work, you have to build it into your schedule.

For the entire month of July, I dropped 15 pounds or about 38 percent of my overall goal.

This morning, after a two-mile walk/jog at the THS track, the number stands at 16 down.

I don’t call it a diet, it’s too easy to fail at those. I call it a change in my eating and drinking lifestyle.

Sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine. Think about that and repeat it. Eight times more addictive than cocaine.

The core of Kidsmarathon is 5-2-1-0.

Five fruits and vegetables a day, two hours of screen time, one hour of exercise and zero sugary drinks.

I’ve got the last two under control and am working on the other two as well.

Thanks to all my family and friends who have been very supportive of this effort.

I will be encouraging others to do the same.

Looking to hit the second 10-pound mark by the time school starts, later this month.

It’s been a fun journey. More to come.

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