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Kara Allbaugh Lost 80 Pounds – “I Was a Food Addict and then Something Shifted. I’m So Glad.”

My name is Kara, I’m from Nebraska, and I was a food addict. This was my first introduction to Kara Allbaugh, this week’s True Weight Loss Story inspiration. When I received Kara’s email I was struck by her honesty and touched by her story. This mama said, “No more. I’m worthy,” and then she put in the hard work to lose 80 pounds.

Kara Allbaugh 1

More from Kara in her own words -

Tell me when your weight struggles began. After I finished with school and settled down, it seemed like a downhill slide from there. When I got pregnant, I just gave up on how I looked. I just assumed that’s what happens.

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I thought I needed to eat for two, and I did. Fast food became an addiction.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? Wow, so many things. My biggest reason was that I wanted to stop being miserable. I didn’t want to be trapped in a flabby body anymore. I wanted to wear anything I wanted, not search forever for something that might make my body look cute.


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Ride Your Way Into the Record Books on the Last Day of Bike Month

As we reach the end of May, we’re also coming to the end of Bike Month. Though many of us can barely imagine going on a weekly bike ride, there is a group of people that rely on their bikes to get them around every single day.

bicycles

They are people like Christina Calhoun, who is not only a cycling enthusiast and bike commuter; she’s also the event coordinator for a World Record attempt ride.

On May 31, the last day of Bike Month, in Wichita, Kansas, she hopes to assemble the longest line of bike/riders ever. At 1:00 p.m., the goal is to have 1,200 riders gather at the annual River Festival and set a new World Record.


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The No-Helmet Bicycling Movement is Harmful to Your Health

Every sport has its own built-in factions: If you’re a runner do you wear minimal shoes or full-support ones? If you do yoga, do you like traditional yoga or hot yoga? When I started cycling I was pretty surprised to find that the point of division was whether or not your wore a helmet.

bike helmet

“Who doesn’t wear a helmet?” was my initial thought when I saw fellow cyclists pedaling without any protection on their heads. Hadn’t they seen the stats showing that helmet save lives? I’m squarely in the helmet-wearing camp, using science (and common sense) to back-up my position. Because of that, I continue to be surprised that people on the no-helmet side of the argument also use science to support their claims. But it shouldn’t be too unexpected: The interesting thing with numbers is that you can spin them to support just about anything you want. (For a good example, see this tongue-in-cheek article on why seat belts and child restraints are hazardous.)

But back to bicycling. Yesterday, via Facebook, I was directed to yet another anti-helmet argument, this one written by a student at Yale. He had all sorts of supporting documents, pie charts, etc., that claimed to show: A.) that cycling is less dangerous than walking down the street, among other things; and B.) that helmets may actually be harmful.

I read the piece. Then I checked his math. And he was spinning the statistics to make his case. Here’s the beginning, and cornerstone, of his argument:
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5 Bad Weather Bike Rides You May Not Want to Sign Up for

This weekend I’ll be pedaling 18 miles around Portland, OR, in the Worst Day of the Year Ride, a bike event scheduled for the weekend that has historically had the worst weather each year. I’m hoping for sun and temps in the 70s; it’s looking more like rain and snow in the 30s.

rainy bike

Sounds pretty miserable, right? So why do so many people sign up for this ride, and sporting events like it? To remind ourselves that bad weather isn’t a good enough reason to stay inside? To get out of our comfort zones? To check another box on the bucket list?  Whatever the reason, if you register for a ride you’re bound to find like-minded souls out there, sweating and suffering right alongside you.


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Work it Off: Biscuits and Gravy

When I have visitors to my (new) hometown of Portland, Oregon, they all want to go on the same sort of sightseeing tour—one that focuses on all of the delicious food available. So when my friend Beth arrived last week from Colorado I had all of my hot spots queued up: Pok Pok for its Asian Wings, Salt and Straw for its Salted Caramel Ice Cream, and Olympic Provisions for its killer brunch. But of all of the indulgences we shared, the one I was most worried about burning off was a large plate of biscuits and gravy from Portland’s J&M Cafe.

biscuits and gravy

I did some searching online and found a big range for the calorie count in a serving of biscuits and gravy—estimates were anywhere between 200 and 530 calories. Judging from the flakiness of the biscuits, the size of the serving, and the sausage that was blended into the thick gravy, I’m going to guess the plate I ate was packed with about 450 calories. Eek!

Just how does one burn off a meal of that size? I grabbed a calculator—and the American College of Sports Medicine’s Compendium of Physical Activities—to find out. Here are three ways I could have burned off a 450 calorie breakfast of biscuits and gravy:


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