NO WHINERS – Part 4 of 10 of How I do it – on day 44 of 210 of giving up sweets

A little dab of plums or applesauce on the end of the spoon would get my babies to eat their green beans. They would all out gag on them otherwise. And, my toddlers, at the height of willfulness, would go hungry rather than eat something they didn’t want.

I would cook really nice dinners for my family and as my children got to school age they’d come in and complain about it. So, I instituted a “stand in the corner” rule for the offense of: complaining, asking what it was with intent to express dissatisfaction, crying, groaning, face-palming, or sighing heavily. The requirement was to try it but not eat the whole thing if they didn’t like it. And, it had to be a bite, not just some little lick.

It wasn’t good for any of us to come to the table like that. It wasn’t good for their development to think they could rule the roost on what I was making for dinner as well as create a fuss filled dinner time. But, it wasn’t easy for any of us for them to be in their separate corners and I ate alone. They figured it out really quick that I meant business. So, although they tell me they can still smell the wallpaper, I think we only did it a couple times. And, that made mealtime a nice place to be. I remember one of them saying that somebody’s mom makes them take a “no thank you” bite. I like that very much. Do you know, they learned to like the things I cooked that way. And, as well, they learned an important lesson: don’t mess with mom.

Raising children as a single parent… ouch!

Raising myself, even harder!

Aren’t we always raising ourselves? If there is something out of balance in our life – like (all kinds of too many to list things we do that aren’t so good for ourselves) and of course I add to that for many of us: eating too many sweets…

We must figure out a way to stop the whining that we can’t or don’t want to do it and stand ourselves in that proverbial corner.

SATIETY!- Part 3 of 10 of How I Give up Sweets on day 43 of 210 of Giving up Sweets

Today I will talk about the one key ingredient to giving up sweets, and that is #3 of 10 ways I’m giving up sweets for 210 days.

SATIETY!

My appetite has diminished although I still get hungry. I just don’t get ravenous. Desires and cravings have gone away. More than the craving for sweets has gone away. For instance, those old cravings for fast food have mostly subsided and I’m wanting to prepare more delicious meals at home.

When faced with too large a serving at a restaurant, I have no problem pushing it away when I’m pleasantly full. And, at home I don’t usually snack between meals. It’s not that I’m against the snacking. If I ever do, I am sure to reach for a Babybel cheese circle or some nuts.

Very Seldom do I Desire Sweets.

Besides blogging about it, I’m not consumed by thoughts of not being able to eat sweets. I don’t feel sorry for myself that I don’t get those Christmas cookies or that dessert that everyone’s having in front of me.

Instead I have found the pleasantness of NOT eating the sweet stuff.

It is safe to say that I have calmed down immensely my “sugar monster”. Click here to get acquainted…if you dare!

SET A GOAL – Part 2 of 10 of How I Give up Sweets on day 43 of 210 of Giving up Sweets

A right goal is a great gift!

Yesterday’s “how-to” was: “Thought Control”.

Today’s “how-to” is #2 of 10 ways to give up sweets: “Set an achievable goal”

ASK YOURSELF: “WHAT IS MY GOAL?”

A sweet addiction is complicated, and that is why going off of it must include a well designed goal that solves the problem. There’s nothing else like a sweet addiction because there is so much wrapped up in being alone with a chocolate cake. Right?

What goal do we all jump to? Weight loss. Of course, losing weight probably is a need as well as a desire for the sweets challenged person. But, it’s best not to have weight loss as a goal AT ALL because the giving up sweets needs to be the primary focus. And, perhaps the giving up sweets is all that is needed to reaching a desired weight loss.

I will tell you, though, that weight loss is happening for me… and I’m not even working at it beyond giving up the sweets. I’m over 11 pounds down in these 43 days!

So, OF COURSE the goal needs to be to either:

  • eat fewer sweets,
  • or never binge on sweets,
  • or stop eating sweets for a period of time,
  • or never eat sweets again for the rest of your life (what! Scream heard trailing off into the distance)

Here is what my goal is:

STOP EATING SWEETS FOR 210 DAYS.

Your goal could be:


STOP EATING SWEETS FOR _______ SECONDS/MINUTES/HOURS/DAYS/MONTHS/YEARS… (ok, maybe not years!)

Now whatever you put in that blank is an achievable goal.


ASK YOURSELF: “IS MY GOAL ACHIEVABLE… FOR ME?”

Of course, you all know by now if you’ve been reading my blog (at least for the past 43 days… that I set a 210 days without sweets goal. Here are some questions that might help you to ask yourself:

1. Instead of asking, should I... and instead of asking is it possible

Ask: Is it possible for me. Is it possible for me to go a particular time without sweets…

With my particular time I chose… 210 days… I had to say YES! because I once went much longer than that without eating sweets, so I know it’s possible for me.

2. Will I be able to keep it up?

It was a quirky thing to do with a strange enjoyment factor for me – the 210 days is the time from Halloween to Easter: “The Season of Sweeting”. I think if a goal is possible to attain there must be some enjoyment factor to be able to keep you doing it. I think the fact that so many people are astounded that I do it makes me want to do it. To have someone tell me they don’t think they can do it strangely makes me want to continue. Why is that? I do like to go against the grain, artistically, it’s my personality.

3. Do I have a plans in place to achieve my goal?

My first plan was to binge out on that Halloween candy (click to read the Halloween post where I made that decision here) and then to test myself I left the remaining candy in the bowl right where I had binged out on it, right by the front door where I was handing out the candy to trick-o-treaters. It was like a “crime scene”. If I’d have thought about it at the time I’d have gotten some crime scene tape and made it such. But, it was enough of a memory of that crime that I had involved myself in – on purpose- right before I knew I’d be giving up the sweets – BUT it just about killed me. – I was so sick from having done that! (NOT RECOMMENDING THIS!!!)

The second plan was… so very simple!

Don’t eat anything hereafter defined as sweets. candy, cake, cookies, cobbler, sweet soda or tea or coffee, dessert, pie. But, I don’t go crazy on the other foods like ketchup or spaghetti sauce… or bread or potatoes or pasta ..or fruit… I deferred that to a later decision. ALSO, I made the decision, since I was quitting sweets not to eat sweets that contain fake sugar. I was worried that might feed my addiction.

Quite simply, I’m giving up my binge worthy food. Which is sweets.

Part 1 of 10 of How I Give up Sweets on day 42 of 210 of Giving up Sweets

BECAUSE IT’S…..NOT!… ALL ABOUT EXERCISING SELF CONTROL,

for the next ten days, I plan to give to you the ten ways I give up sweets that are not simply exercising a flabby muscular will.

So here goes – #1 of 10 ways I give up sweets:

Thought Control

Giving up sweets means learning the truth and debunking the lies. Lies like:

“There are starving people in the world, so hungry or not you must eat.”

“Life is short, eat dessert first.”

“I need chocolate because I have pms, a fight with my mom, a bad day at work….”

“A calorie is a calorie.”

“You might as well eat the whole thing.”

“I can just burn it off by exercising.”

“This _____ will make me feel better.”

“I deserve it.”

“On Monday I will start my diet.”

“I have no willpower, It’s because ______ made me this way.”

A right mindset based on truth has to be formed again and again towards food. And doing that takes answering back truth. This goes deep to the heart of the problem. The mind is a powerful place for truth to dwell. But, it can be riddled with lies from a lifetime of experiences surrounding food that are based in emotion.


But, how to get that truthful mindset? I use the “holding thoughts captive” method from II Corinthians 2:5. Here’s how I do it: I imagine the little thoughts under a bright light in a jar. Of course they can’t hold up to scrutiny if they are in error and then I reword the thoughts into what the truth is about the matter. It’s such a cool visual artistic way to do this.


With giving up sweets I have found it important to rethink a saying we all usually only giggle about:

“LIFE IS SHORT, EAT DESSERT FIRST”

This statement assumes you like dessert better than dinner. Maybe that isn’t always true. If you are off sweets or even eating sweets in small portions as a sometimes food you are calmed down enough to enjoy them in the smaller quantities.

Maybe your life could be shortened by eating too many sweets.

Perhaps you would be healthier and feel better if you ate fewer sweets.

Maybe there are decades of your life left so if you start now, you’d never eat dessert first.

Perhaps dessert is better enjoyed in a few bites at the end of a meal.

And a little further, is dessert better enjoyed when NOT hungry.

Perhaps the meal itself which can be quite yummy is better enjoyed without eating the dessert first.

So, the truth for me is: Put dessert in it’s place, at the end of the meal but only as a sometimes treat and only after my 210 day no sweets challenge is up. This is a radical shift in my thinking.

The thought control muscle needs exercise. The more it is applied the stronger it gets. But do we think of overeating as a problem solved in the thought process?

Tomorrow I will share #2 of the ten ways I am giving up sweets.

JOIN THE CHALLENGE! For those of you thinking about doing it, jump in with two feet. Just stop eating sweets for five minutes and lengthen the time from there. Watch your thought cues that will lead you to the truth. There are lies you’ve been telling yourself keeping you where you are: an unhealthier version of yourself than you wish to be.

You will be glad you did!

I will divulge to you the best way to cook a quick meal that is delicious and nutritious. You can cook it for any number of people from one on up…

Now that is sweet with no need for a dessert!

ROAST CHICKEN AND VEGETABLES

I use boneless breasts normally but have done it either way.

Here’s the way I did it last night:

In your roasting pan place the chicken in the middle like they are the castle.

And then surround the castle with a moat of:

  • Potatoes, any kind (cut up, not peeled). I like to use sweet potatoes or those little round purple and white ones because they look so festive.
  • Carrots, cut up – peel if you care about having peeled carrots. (I don’t always put the carrots.)
  • Brussels sprouts*, quartered
  • Onion (yellow or white)

Drizzle with olive oil and stir around to make sure to get those veggies a good coat.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning

Roast, uncovered, at 375 for 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and the veggies are fork tender.

Prep time is about ten minutes. And, it’s more delicious than anything you will find out to dine. Really. And, it’s always good!

Let me know if you plan to try it!

The bottom of the roasting pan has some nice juices which I pour over the chicken when serving but next time I may even whip up a nice gravy out of those crusty flavorful drippings. To do that all’s you have to do is add a little flour and milk. But, the clear juices are really tasty and take no work.

Since I sometimes think I must be a real chef, I will even slice the chicken and pour the juice over it and surround the plate with the vegetables.

I’ve found that you can cute it up and feed even the pickiest eater.

The sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts look so festive. It smells so nice cooking and it serves up real nice looking. And, besides the knife and cutting board, the cleanup only requires the washing of the roasting pan, plates and forks. That chicken’s so tender so no knife needed.

*When I was a kid my family served boiled Brussels sprouts (as well as okra) and I sure didn’t like them even though my mom would say they were so cute, like little cabbages. But, the roasting makes them just delightful. Try it!

Cinnamon rolls – top – rose for the amount of time in the recipe – and below – rose for a lot longer because I got busy doing something else… So, moral to the story – let ‘em rise!

Cinnamon Rolls on day 40 of 210 of Giving up Sweets

I made homemade cinnamon rolls for a family gathering recently and I just threw the remainder out. (Before 40 days ago I would have made sure to eat out the gooey middles first, at least!)

No, I didn’t eat them nor did I want any. I made them a couple of weeks ago as well for a church potluck and they vanished. A man came to tell me he liked them better than Whataburger. My family just loved them. So, therefore, I didn’t need to try any to know they were good.

Well, they aren’t chocolate cake.

Sometimes, like yesterday, I have difficult moments.

But, don’t get me wrong, this is much easier than dieting. And, today I had a good friend tell me she could tell I was losing weight. I haven’t wanted to make a big deal of it, but I’ve taken off about ten pounds so far.

And, at the beginning because I was just so focused on the giving up sweets challenge, I didn’t want to put any focus on losing weight. But, now that I am losing, that makes me want to lose as much as I can to get out of the “obese” weight range. I have 20 pounds to go to get to the simply “overweight” category and then 30 more if I want to just be normal weight. But who likes “normal”? I just hate the word normal, but I am quoting the BMI calculator I just put my height and weight into. Again, I hope I don’t get off track from my most important expedition which is:

STOPPING THE INSANE SWEETS ADDICTION!

But I can’t help but imagine just how nice it would be to carry around a little less baggage. I wonder if at the rate I’m losing – 10 pounds in 40 days – if by day 210 I might just achieve the goal without any dieting! Just giving up the sweets.

Isn’t it so cool that the length of time (210 days) that I chose because it is the “season of sweeting” as I so named it… because it’s Halloween to Easter where sweets abound, multiplies out perfectly for the weight loss I need to drop.

Nothing’s an accident.

Sad and Frantic on Day 39 of 210 of no sweets

Can you believe that here on day 39 I had a fleeting desire to eat sweets that started with a sadness that seized me and demanded I make an exception for it with any kind of sweet I could lay my hands on

I felt momentarily hugely FRANTIC about it. But why?

And, it is an unusual thing to happen to me quite like this, out of left field really. But, it happened nonetheless.

Ok. So in all reality I think the whole experience lasted less than five minutes. However short a period of time, it was still a huge difficult torment that could have been much worse.

It’s so much better, instead of stuffing it down under a bunch of chocolate, to experience the sadness.

And, being sad can be endured. Thinking through it helps or perhaps calling a friend or even having a good cry is all that’s needed. And, I’ve never wanted to eat while crying. Funny that.

And of course the best solution is sought through prayer because “The Lore is near to the broken-hearted….” Psalm 34:18

Now, that is of course better than any chocolate cake.

What have I learned today? That the problem of sugar addiction has no simple fix – even if you get to day 39.

Because: There really is a sugar monster for a picture of him click here.)

Sweets for the heart on day 38 of 210 of giving up sweets

Gingerbread house in my kitchen.

Oh, let the tears roll!!!

First of all, have you heard of the “hearties” – those who watched “When Calls The Heart” – What a big deal that show was that I just finished binge watching.

I could barely watch the last episode without blubbering. Good thing my daughter went to a basketball game with some friends so I could sit here with my Kleenex and embarrassingly ball along with this series on Amazon Prime. A friend of mine suggested it so strongly and so mostly I stayed with all of the five seasons because of her. It was a sweet show, but too sweet at times, sooo predictable, but… at the end they got me! I was surprised at how I had gotten used to those characters like they were my close friends. For awhile, I think I was living in Hope Valley – the fictional town where people love each other and pull together during good and bad. Anyhow, if you watch it, remember I said it was really good, but then, it was sorta bad. I had to write this poem after I couldn’t stop crying, I know! So embarrassing!

Of course, I had to weave in my “give up sweets” since it’s what I’m all about right now.

Sweet Salve

Can a hurting heart

Be tended with sweets,

Ably mended with marshmallow treats,

Cuddled by cupcake or chocolate, in heaps?

Time’s the tender touch it’s needing,

A messy healing, flowing, bleeding,

No sweet salve but only grieving.

It’s bittersweet, without the eating.

~Julie Robinson

By the way! In yesterday’s post, (scroll down to see) I added a picture of myself with my container of Quaker Oat Meal. I about cracked myself up… I think I’m beginning to look a little like him! Vote in the comments if you agree.

Let’s play ball on day 37 of 210 of no sweets

Me and Mr Quaker

Steel cut vs rolled oats

Sounds like a football match! Well, it is!

Yes. And I unashamedly suit up for I the

ROLLED OATS

And it’s the old fashioned Quaker kind. No quick cooking. No little packets with flavors added. I add some kind of fruit and nuts and cinnamon. That’s it. Oh and no milk.


I wrote a poem about them even! What!?


But, I, lover of oatmeal this morning gave the steel cut a try because I’d thought maybe they’d be healthier.

First off, what’s the difference?

The rolled oats are creamy and the steel cut are kinda nutty/chewy.

Are the steel cut healthier?

Yes. But not by a lot. They foul out on mouth feel and texture when chewing. They take longer to cook and seem dry. The dreamy creamy rolled oats get the touchdown with me. They stay with me very well, sticking to my ribs. I will keep on cheering them on!

Sweet Insanity of Day 36 of 210 of No Sweets

Of all the addictive substances that hook people in by the promise of a better “now”, a temporary life changing good feeling, an escape, would you consider “sugar” as one. You might laugh at the prospect since you probably think of addictive substances as drugs, cigarettes and alcohol.

Take a bag of Oreos.  How many does it take fill that sweet tooth?   Before you read any further, think about your favorite sweet food, how much does it take?  True, three Oreos are a serving.  But quite simply I would rather not eat any at all.  (The old me, 36 days ago anyhow).  If you only eat three Oreos and are satisfied then can we safely say that you are not an addict.  I’m no expert… but uh, yes. But for the rest of us, how many does it take?  I’ve eaten a lot of Oreos in a sitting just keeping dunking, staring into space, each one in a glass of milk – and I’ve been surprised how most of the bag would be empty.  And, I think, “Hey, they’re making these Oreo bags smaller!” or “Who’s eating my Oreos?” while looking over my shoulder to see whatever gremlin might be sneaking them.  The whole bag feeds twelve I notice as I’m waking up from the sugar induced temporary insanity.  What have I done!  It is SWEET INSANITY!

First of all, let’s talk a little about insanity in view of:

“What is a sound mind?”

I have witnessed countless wills my husband prepared for his clients over the years.  And, he always asked the same questions of the persons attesting to their wills.   “Are you of sound mind?”   Even the most morose will signer would giggle a second over this standard question.

We all hope to have our wits about us in our lives.

So, in studying, trying to figure out where a sweet addiction comes from, I was trying to find the etymology of the word sound in the relation to a sane or “sound mind” in order to consider what that means regarding insanely eating sweets.

No joking!  There is a sweet insanity!

First, the word “sound” used in this way “sound mind” is also used in other similar ways:

sound footing (financial),

sound advice,

sound judgment,

sound decision,

sound asleep.

I’m sure you know more…

Common element here:  a lack of defect.

A cause of insanity, or the lack of a sound mind, can of course be a defect caused by illness or by unrealistic fear.  Or, by addiction.

I tread carefully calling the cause of a sweets binge insanity, but it sure doesn’t seem to be the action that begins from a sound mind.  But, there is a fix for it, don’t worry!   I’m excited to announce that it is possible to make sound decisions regarding food as I am doing presently.  And, I hope, after I complete my 210 days off sweets to add it back in “soundly”.

Come along with me, join me.  I won’t promise that it is easy.  But, that it is possible, I think, is the best news I can give!

………………..

The Apostle Paul addresses this powerfully in 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a strong mind.  …………………