Monday, February 22, 2010

First Week, No Sugar

First off, I would like to say that I am completely overwhelmed (tears-welling-up overwhelmed) by all you lovely folks who have commented and emailed me with kind words these past few days.  I am beside myself.  Thank you.  And for those of you who are new here, I offer my sincerest welcome.


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I'd like to explain a little bit about my decision to cut out sugar.  There are health benefits.  Their are weight benefits.  Some people give up sugar for Lent to experience a form of "suffering" by denying themselves something they enjoy.  All of these are very good reasons to rid sugar from your diet.  They just aren't my reasons.  Don't get me wrong.  If I'm healthier, lighter and more appreciative in the end, I will be very pleased.

The reason I've cut it out is because I was sick and tired of beating myself up over my lack of self-control.  I felt pathetic every time I over-indulged.  And, you know, once you're feeling pathetic, what's seven more cookies or half a bag of chocolate chips?

Just for the record, I am not suggesting everyone give up sugar.  If you are the kind of person who is able to enjoy their sweets in moderation without guilt and feelings of pathetic-ness, I am very, very happy for you.  That and a tad jealous.

Here's a glimpse into my first week.

Day 1:  I'm still reeling from my decision.  Breakfast was tricky since I made my no-sugar decision literally minutes beforehand.  I had an oatmeal roll with butter instead.  The toughest part of the day was when the rest of the family was eating Ice Cream Sandwich Cake after dinner.  I went and did Pilates instead.  I think this may actually be do-able.  I still need to decide how long I'm committed to this.  And I need to decide before I get desperate.

Day 2:  Today went pretty well, I guess. Chopping up candy and Oreo cookies for a cake for the kids' family birthday get-together was really hard.  It seemed very unnatural not to pop pieces into my mouth and reserve some for me to eat. 

In the afternoon, when I often get hungry, I had a snack- a good one.  One that should have satisfied my hunger, but it didn't.  I realized that what I really wanted was something bad for me.  Not something sweet, just something, anything I'm not supposed to eat.  Where did that come from, I wonder.  Talk about self-defeating.

I am finding that I feel more subdued.  I seem to have extra brain space that had been used up before to try and figure out what sweet snack or treat I could find or make.  Now, that space is empty and I'm finding that I am having an easier time getting myself in line in other aspects of my life that I'd like to change (decreasing my amount of computer time, increasing physical activity).  Taking care of myself has a snow ball effect.  I have discovered this in the past.  Why is this so easy to forget and not take advantage of?

Day 3:  This is going pretty well.  No huge temptations today.  I'm feeling in control.  For once, the issue is not control over what and who is around me (that could be a whole different series of posts), but for once I feel in control of myself.  That might make me sound like I was some kind of sugar-scavenger but...oh, wait.  I guess I was.  Also, I've decided.  I'm sticking with this through Lent.

Day 4:  A pretty easy day.  I'm wondering when/if I will feel physically different because of what I've cut out.  So far, it's more a mental change I've noticed (less stress over of what and if and when I'll find my next sugar fix).

Days 5-7:  We're out of town at my parents' house for the kids' family birthday party.  The desserts are tempting.  They look amazing and smell amazing and I am absolutely certain that they taste amazing.  Sorry you're not getting pictures of them this time.  I'm not into torturing myself, thank you very much.  But, you know what?  Not once have I gotten up from the table and thought to myself, "I sure wish I would've eaten a piece of cake."  

It's always that way, isn't it?  We never have regrets about what we didn't eat.  Or the self-control we did have.  It's just a matter of pushing past the temptation.  On the other side is a satisfaction of a different kind.  One we are meant to have.

An added bonus?  I lost 3 pounds this past week.

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"...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."  - Galatians 5:22



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14 comments:

  1. Good for you! And, I'm glad you're not having any sugar headaches.

    I, too, am giving up sugar and I'm quite certain I WILL be having headaches as a sort of "withdrawal." My migraines have come back and one thing that kept them at bay was no artificial sweeteners and almost no sugar.

    BTW - I LOVE your blog. I'm new to it and am trying out your recipes one by one.

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  2. this post kept 'teasing' me, because I couldn't pull it up, just delay in technology...maybe I wasn't back in my home(we've been on a trip), and wouldn't be motivated adequately by your sharing such good stuff.
    I've done this a few times, I've moved the tv out a few times, I've stopped xyz, a few times, but it just takes stopping/doing, whatever, over & over until it sticks. At least not giving up if the idea is a good one, if the plan is worth doing or keeping. I read thru Sarah's post regarding Lent/& her 40 bags in 40 days. she's right, inspiring thoughts to be found @ THHP.
    OK, the day's begun, I'm clearing off my 'desk' & getting with the plan. Lent or no official Lent, God calls us to do our best, refrain from that which we know will harm, and trust Him to carry us through with His grace & love.
    I'll be tip-toeing back over to this post to re-read. I'm beginning a food journey, as well as a mission statement. & what can I say, your family is inspirational! :) Have a super day, whatever Monday has brought to your door!

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  3. I LOVE this post. I too have been trying to give up sugar. I suffer tremendous guilt and have just felt crummy for the past year as I've spiraled out-of-control with the sweets. I have now made it 3 days...hey, it's a start! I feel better and have more energy. I actually am doing a post as we speak about getting healthier...seems to be what's on a lot of people's minds. You're an inspiration

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  4. Great post! I can SO relate to these feeling you're talking about (guilt, lack of self-control, etc). Yesterday, a friend reminded me of this: "Food is not comfort. Food is not a problem solver. GOD is these things. Turn to Him. Ask Him to be your comfort. Let Him walk you through your trials. You will find that He will satisfy."
    Thanks for so candidly sharing your journey with us. I'm new here, but I'll definitely be bookmarking your page and checking back for encouragement (and recipes!)!

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  5. I think you will quickly find how sweet everything tastes after you've not had refined sugar for a little while. I have not completely given up sugar, but greatly reduced my intake over the past year and a half. I did loose weight, about 15 lbs. I can easily turn down sugary desserts (unlike before). I use agave nectar quite a bit for a sweetener. It has a very low glycemic index which means our body doesn't absorb it well. Also, when you start indroducing sugar back into your life, I have found that if I keep a chocolate bar with a very high cocoa content on hand, one little square really satisfies the craving as well as provides the health benefits of cocoa. Good luck!

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  6. "Pushing pass the temptation"... that's a good line. Good job thyhand... self control is awesome :)

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  7. You hit the nail on the head with that last line: "We never have regrets about what we didn't eat. Or the self-control we did have. It's just a matter of pushing past the temptation." So right you are (about a lot of things, not just this one, my sweet friend).

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  8. Hi, I'm new to your blog. Stumbled across it after reading your interview with cloverlane. I just wanted to say "You go ," as a Mennonite myself I know this will be more challenging some days then others. When we have Bible Study at 9am there is "sweets", when we have Small Group at 7pm there are "sweets", Sunday Morning Coffee (in S.S) coffee and donuts. Get togethers with family and friends--"sweets" and on a good day when nothing seems to be able to get in the way a "friend" may bring a whole pan of Cinnabons (yes, this happened)! So hang in there you are an inspiration! God bless you for sharing you and your families journey. I really enjoyed your re-cap of the past few years!

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  9. Just wanted to leave a little note to let you know how much I'm enjoying your blog. I discovered it through your wonderful interview over at CloverLane. Thank you for putting the time and energy into such an informative and thoughtful blog!
    Congrats on giving up sugar! I'm trying to cut back, failing miserably, but still trying.
    ~Janna

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  10. Way to go! I find that when I am tired, all sugary temptations speak in a roar! I find that a spoon of peanut butter (no sugar kind) usually helps curb that sweet tooth. Of course, you could gain back those three pounds doing this too often. I only reserve this for emergency attacks that are really bad - once or twice a week. Sundays, or one other day of the week only, I allow myself a quality sugar treat. This helps me in the long run, but would be best after you've had a period of fasting from sugar all together. Hang in there; you can do it!

    (FYI - I had a technology glitch pulling this post up, too. I accessed it from my web page's blog roll instead of my reader.)

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  11. I apologize for the "technical glitch" that occurred with this post earlier. It wasn't a glitch really. It was me. I accidentally posted it before I was ready. I removed it, but I guess it stayed on everyone's blogroll and dashboard. I'm so sorry. I'll try to be more technologically savvy. It's a constant challenge:-).

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  12. Way to go! AND three pounds!! Good for you! Hang in there and maybe when Lent is over you won't even crave sugar. :)

    Oh...and the verse about self control is very convicting...there is also one about gluttony and even when you are naturally thin (like I have been) it is still possible to be a glutton. (Which I have been too many times to count)! Thanks for the prod in the right direction. Now...if I will only get on the bandwagon. :)

    Blessings,
    Camille

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  13. A new follower here (thought I posted earlier, but it disappeared). Any-hoo...I'm with you..in spirit. I've done it - actually GOD did it - delivered me from my sugar addiction. Four years ago. Don't EVEN miss it. Beth Moore has a great quote: "If you're about to do something so far out of the ordinary that you could not do it without God, then it has God written all over it." Blessings!

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  14. Virginia TJ, Welcome! I'm sorry your comment disappeared. Thanks for the vote of confidence. It's nice to hear others have tackled this and have kept it at bay for years. Thanks, too, for the quote. I just love Beth Moore:-).

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Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

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