Remember how I said that I quit smoking about 5 years ago? I know that if I had a cigarette today I would be back to a pack a day in about a week. Maybe a week and a half. I do occasionally crave them after all this time but that craving goes away in about 10 seconds. Could you imagine what would happen if I gave in to a 10 second craving? Disaster! Now…..why, when I believe so strongly that sugar is a terribly addictive substance that affects my health horribly, can I not treat it in the same way I would a cigarette?! Probably because it’s in absolutely everything and to practice complete abstinence (like one would do for tobacco/nicotine) is virtually impossible to do long-term. Not completely impossible…..but impossible enough.
Can you see that little gold glint there, right under my computer monitors at work? That is a Lindt milk chocolate bunny. Staring at me. I know EXACTLY what would happen if I ate it. First, the insanely smooth texture would melt across my tongue and light up every single “sweet” receptor. Then I would go home and eat a mango, four dried figs and a Rebar….until I couldn’t take it anymore and I started eating the dark chocolate chips in the cupboard by the handful. It would actually be less caloric intake to just go right to the chocolate chips…..
It also does something in my brain that is less simple to describe…..but it happens every time though. I once was sugar-free for almost three months….and then I had an M&M. One. ONE LOUSY M&M and it was lights out. I felt it in my brain when I put it in my mouth too, this huge UH-OH. So, Mr Bunny….you have GOT to stop staring at me. Obviously the easy choice is to put it away….but part of me feels empowered when I can sit here day after day and not eat it. The other part of me though…..knows that it’s only a matter of time. Could I treat sugar like I do cigarettes? Where do you draw the line? No chocolate/candy? No fruit? What about dried fruit? What about minimal amounts of sugar added to things like smoked salmon? What about wine, does that count? What about the sugar in a whey protein powder (after every gym date). Does that all keep the sugar-monster “active” in your system?
I have no answer to all of those questions. I really don’t. I struggle with sugar. Chocolate mostly. Read back in the archives….I rehash this little “addiction” on the regular. Nothing changes. I’ll go awhile being able to moderate myself with treats. Sometimes I can completely abstain. Other times it is off the rails. Of all the things in my health-life that I have addressed and corrected and revised, this one I haven’t. I can’t. Probably because I don’t really want to do what needs to be done….so much so that my brain refuses to formulate any sort of plan.
In other news…..similar news, I guess. I’ve joined two plans. The first I did this morning, the 7 Day Real Food Challenge. I mostly already only eat real food but I thought that joining up with a group might be a nice idea to kick out some of the extras (gee, sugar?) for 7 days. It’s April 21 – 27th and they have some absolutely awesome prizes to be won! I found the link through Melissa at Clothes Make The Girl and she explains it really well.
I then, after reading a new favourite blog, “hired” an asskicker for this coming week. Basically she is publically listing her weekly goals to increase her accountability….and she said that if anyone was looking for an ass kicking task master that she was up for hire. So, I listed my next week’s goals in her comments. Here they are again.
- I had a write off week that feels like I’ve been off the track for a month (isn’t it funny how we can perceive time!) and I need a kick in the pants to get back on! I’m going to go with Sunday to Saturday week….
1) GYM. T, W, F & S …. that is what I normally do and there is NO reason not to. ONE 5k dog walk can be subbed if desired
2) Ray is on afternoons….I cruise the kitchen before, during and after dinner for whatever I can find. NO snacks between meals (this is highly achievable)
3) STUDY! Jesus…I need to study. I’m gonna be in SHIT. Two hours Sunday, one hour minimum M, T, W, F
I believe in constant improvement. I believe that life runs in ebbs and flows; that we slip and slide and climb and dig. I think that there is real value in being honest with yourself and your actions, in admitting your shortfalls and struggles and, of course, in celebrating the wins and successes. We’re these strong, flexible, durable creatures living life in a less than “natural” environment and that environment can totally throw off nature’s balance. Sitting at desk jobs and being indoors all the time and having more to do in the day than time to do it. Having commitments and families and relationships that take so much of our attention and time that there is next to nothing left for ourselves. All of these things and more are what cause us to run aground or run into trouble.
It is 7-day food challenges and virtual-friend accountability that keep us going in the right direction when the easiest and most struggle-free thing to do would be to sit down. Give up. Give in. Join the masses and quit.
No. No Goddamn way. No way am I going to be sick and fat and tired and crabby and uncomfortable. No way am I going to disrespect myself in that way. We all start somewhere….and starting over or restarting is, to me, a sign the draw towards what is right is greater than the draw towards what is easiest.