Monday, October 4, 2010

Can’t Sugar-Coat This

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I know the title of my blog says in bold letters, “Sassy-Classy Me”, but the brutal honesty is that’s not always me, and often I’m more not-so-sassy-classy. (And I’m sure most you already figured or knew that). Yet, this is really about trying to be a better me…a “sassy-classy me”…and the process, experiences, feelings, and thoughts that I have along the way.
Part of that is being honest with myself.  I can’t improve myself if I don’t recognize what needs improvement and how I can help myself.  But being honest with oneself can be really hard, scary, ugly.  But I am going to do it right now.
Self:  Are you addicted to anything?
Self: Yes. I believe I am addicted to sugar.
Self: I agree. The fact that you practically ate the entire pantry of every sugary item in there yesterday is not healthy.
Self: Well, I was PMS-ing.
Self: No excuses. You still did it, and have been doing it a lot lately. You are up 10 pounds from five months ago!
Self: I know :(
Honestly though, my love problem with sugar is nothing new.  It’s partly hugely the reason I’ve stressed about my weight since I was 13.  I’m a dessert girl. The problem is I would rather skip the breakfast, lunch, dinner portion, and go straight to the dessert.  Cookies for breakfast—sure! I did today (the pumpkin ones I made a few days ago). 
Then I went for an hour long walk and did some serious thinking. Came home. Called my sister while I did my dishes (a usual with us), and we discussed our sugar issues—we were both born with a sweet tooth. Except she eats cake for breakfast and gets to stay a size 4. Me—not so much. But, we had a good talk as always.
Then I sat down at my computer and did some googling. (Now I’m here posting ALL about it)
Found this site: 10 Steps to Control Sugar Cravings
So, with the biggest sugar holiday of the year just around the corner, and if you might be struggling with this cur-sed sugar problem with me, then let’s take a look to see if it can be controlled.
The author, Karly Randolph-Pitman, lists ten “beginner” steps to break sugar addiction:
1. Add Self Care
If I eliminate sugar from my life, I am going to feel a void, so I need to fill it with something positive (self care). The author suggests a good book or a hobby. Well, I do have a book that I need to read before it’s due at the library, so maybe if read it in my room, far away from the kitchen, then I won’t keep popping in for my hourly cookie fix. Only problem is I have to pass through the kitchen to get to the kid’s room AND the laundry room—can’t ignore either of those. I’ll figure something out.
2. Keep Your Blood Sugar Stable
I need to eat breakfast. And not cookies for breakfast, but a protein. Apparently every meal or snack should be a protein. See, that’s the problem, I’m not a protein person. I’m going to have to look up some protein options…more googling. The author explains I am craving sugar from being hungry from my reduced caloric intake I am trying to do to lose those recently gained pounds.  That puzzles me because I don’t feel hungry, like no hunger pains or anything, when I grab that sugary snack—I do it just because I want it. But maybe my body is expressing it’s needs differently. Interesting. Basic principle is I need to eat enough so that I feel satisfied, and regularly enough so that I feel stable, and I won’t crave so much junk.
3. Treat Yourself like You are in Detox
Do I sense “mommy monster” coming on? Yeah, no sugar can get a little scary.  This is where I just have to be the better person and “find my happy place”…other then in the pantry. The author suggests: Go bed earlier. Take naps. Cook simple meals. Spend time in prayer and meditation. Call on others for support and encouragement.  I may be calling you ;)
4. Don’t Focus on Weight Loss
I haven’t been able to NOT focus on weight loss since I was 13, so…????  But, this is what the author says: While weight loss is usually a natural consequence of giving up sugar, don’t make it your focus. It’s better to channel your energy towards one goal at a time. So put aside your weight loss goals for now and focus on getting sugar free. Then, when you’ve achieved sugar abstinence, you can work on losing the excess weight. Weight loss is the side effect of loving your body and freeing yourself from food addiction; not the focus. Furthermore, you might be delightfully surprised to see how much easier it is to lose weight when you’re not eating sugar in the first place. Again, all I kept hearing was weight loss. This may take QUITE some none focusing.
5. Know Your True Value
I am not a sugar monster!  I need to picture myself free from sugar. I guess find the inner “skinny sugar-free me”…wait, I was supposed to NOT focus on weight loss. Okay. Re-focus.
6. Create a Supportive Environment
Time to clear out the pantry. Check. Did that yesterday when I consumed it all. Seriously though, the author says to avoid baking (shriek!), situations that involve sweets like movie theaters, or just flat out not buying sweets at the store and avoiding those aisles all together. I am to give myself the structure I need so I feel supported says the author.
7. Be a Detective.
By this she means that I am to observe my body…after I eat certain things, not how tight my butt is in my jeans.  She uses the example that she observed her body and discovered she craved sweets after eating tortilla chips. This may actually be quite insightful. Is there a method to my madness?
8. Give up Fake Sugars
Sorry Diet Coke Suc-ka’s. (I say as I stare at the empty can next to my computer). Here’s what the author claims…and I guess some scientific proof or something: Many women rely on Diet sodas when they’re craving something sweet. But in my experience, aspartame, Nutrasweet, Splenda, and even low carb sugar products (protein bars that are “low sugar”) don’t quell sugar cravings, but increase them. A study at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio found that a person’s risk for obesity went up a whopping 41% for each daily can of Diet soda. Okay, so maybe I can see if this actually true and test it out for myself.
9. Just Start Over when you Slip and Fall
Which I will!  Hey, I’m just being honest here, isn’t that what this is all about.  But I will give this an honest try. I will focus the heck out of myself and RESIST. It’s been six hours since my breakfast cookies and I am already sugar free…aside from the Diet Coke, but I drank that before I got to #8. The author encourages : Be kind to yourself when you mess up, and get right back on track. Create a positive affirmation to use: “I am resilient,” or “I am starting over,” when you make a mistake. Have some protein, make a cup of mint tea, and brush your teeth. Then remove yourself from your food source: take a walk, call a friend, go outside, go to the library. Do something to change your environment so you can switch gears. Good Stuff. Good Stuff. I’ll need it.
10. Forgive Yourself
The author sympathizes that sugar addiction is not a character defect. It’s often due to biology, imprinting, long ingrained habits, our environment and a whole host of other factors – many of which are not in our control. So—self, I forgive you for eating those cookies for breakfast—just DON’T DO IT AGAIN!!
How’s this for a mantra, “Don’t consume Sugar, and Sugar won’t consume you.” (I’m sure I didn’t just make that up, must have heard it somewhere, but I’m using it for now).
Okay, time to post and go sugar free…until Friday. I’ll take it from there.
Hey—just being honest here!
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Jamie said...

Wow, that's pretty ambitious of you! Whenever I try to cut something out completely it always backfires on me! Let me know how it goes! Plus right now I LOVE the candy corn, and that's hard to give up. But, it does help to just not buy that stuff or have it in your house.

Heather Lytle said...

Those are some great tips. I really DO need to add protein to my diet and cut out the sweet. Let me know what sort of protein snacks you find. I'll never be able to cut out sweets completely, I just want to get to a point where I'm not eating it at every meal.

Sara @ Our Best Bites said...

Oh my gosh I could have written this post! Well, not all of the self-help good advice stuff, the part about having a crazy sugar addiction. Case in point: I completely detoxed off of sugar for 7 days. Until today. I was going to cheat just a *little*. So I ate oreos for breakfast. And m&m's for lunch. And then I baked cookies. And made french toast for dinner. And topped it off with ice cream for dessert. What the crap is wrong with me?! lol

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"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. "

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