My Best Friend on day 49 of 172 of giving up sweets

My oldest daughter puts my grandchildren on FaceTime to talk with me, aka Mamaw, so she can get dinner cooked. So, we are all entertained with whatever we get into together. The cutest thing is when my toddler granddaughter carries me around and my viewpoint is her forehead or her chubby cheeks and front of her shirt as she walks around with me in her hands. My favorite so far is she with her sippy cup and I with my water bottle drinking together and saying AHHH after each in between fits of giggles.

My best friend and I scheduled a FaceTime to open our gifts we mailed to each other together. My favorite part of our best friend’s FaceTime gift exchange was getting a tour of her house where she and her husband looked every bit Mr. and Mrs. Claus with their heartfelt gifts, preparations for a trip to visit grandchildren, and their beautiful decorations.

Before our call I was trying to remember how long we had been friends. We met in high school 38 years ago and she was a year ahead of me. She taught me to drive, how to dress, and how to put on makeup. But, what she has mostly taught me is how to stay in touch with a friend and make them feel special. She has always been the leader in that and I am so thankful.

Merry Christmas, Valerie!

I love you so much!

Your BFF, Julie

My viewpoint from most FaceTimes with my granddaughter

Gold Coated Dessert Videos on day 48 of 172 of Giving up sweets

We like to watch Buzzfeed’s “Worth It”. It’s where these guys go to three different restaurants and eat and compare expensive and inexpensive foods. Usually they like the less expensive versions.

Them biting into a gold covered donut made me cringe. But they said that it melted away in their mouth.

The guys are just a riot.

I mention watching the show because I thought it an interesting test as to how I might feel watching the sweet stuff since I am giving up sweets. And you know I didn’t even want any.

But, I can imagine myself now rationally enjoying a sweet treat after my 172 days are up. And, I’ve mentioned it before: I will be on the search at that time for the perfect chocolate cake.

But, no, I didn’t even want any, and I didn’t even want any when I made my gingerbread manger scene. And let me tell you, I had no idea that these jelly beans were so strange. Had to read on the bag… there were buttery popcorn flavored jelly beans in there. Yuck. They ruined the whole bag. Usually when I make a gingerbread house I am eating loads of candy and frosting.

In order to get my manger roof to stay up I had to cut holes and support with candy canes. Problem was I cut the holes a little large so the holes around the candy canes had to be reinforced with lots of frosting. This is my first gingerbread manger scene. I used the wall cutout from our usual houses and cut two walls and glued them together with frosting. The hay is shredded wheat cereal. On top is my attempt at an angel.

Below, here is my daughter’s gingerbread house.

She cut the tree out and then cut the triangle middle out and cleverly put peppermints in and baked in the oven (on parchment paper). Last year we left out the parchment paper and couldn’t peel our candy windows off the cookie sheets. I think the little gingerbread boy looks like he’s ready to go out and play in the snow.

Feverishly pounding the keys on day 47 of 172 giving up sweets

I had a latte yesterday and the foam swirled a little birdlike so of course I helped give it a few feathers. This has nothing to do with my topic today but it was so cute I wanted to share.

So pardon me while I turn my gears…

REMINISCING WRITING

I learned to type in high school on the old style typewriter with keys which must be struck hard unlike the soft touch of today’s iPad or computer keyboard. Our hands were up at carpal tunnel level before anyone knew the damage it could cause. Today I get numbness in my fingers if I do any task too long like crochet which I like to do. But if I keep my keyboard low enough I can type for hours.

Which is good because presently I’m feverishly typing my Art of Caregiving that I had in my laptop before it went blue screen. Fortunately I had printed stacks of paper so I didn’t lose my work. And I like the process of reinventing my writing while retyping it. It’s forced editing.

I like the sound of my fingers hitting the iPad keyboard. Sounds like rain to me. My favorite sound though had to be the IBM selectric. Oh the clickety clicks. I did college before computers. What a shame. I want a do over on that one!!! But Who knew the wonders of word processing at that time. We were our own word processors.

I do type fast. Where were those auto edits long ago when we typists had to be painstakingly perfect?

WORD/INFORMATION PROCESSING

So much of life changes with invention and discovery and of course for my blog right now I have researched giving up sugar. Make sure to look up Dr Robert Lustig on YouTube if you still think “a calorie is a calorie”.

We should be our own information processors. We have a wealth of information in our hands.

This is my 47th day of giving up sweets and I am my own scientific experiment. Yes. It can be done!!! Oh and were you wondering about the latte? Non sweet with no artificial sweeteners either. I never had to give that up because I prefer a non sweet coffee.

What’s the Cost? To give up sweets on day 46 of 172

Doesn’t the world selling addictive food use the word crave. I’ve seen “obey your thirst” and the ideas of overconsumption used as cute little advertising gimmicks like “the fourth meal”. But, I want to sell you an idea:

Lose your crave.

But, before we buy into something, don’t we weigh the cost/benefit?

That’s what I want to do with you now. What are the costs? What benefits are there? Of course… I will tell you there are both. But I’ve got good news, of course, that’s it is really really

Really… worth it!

What would any of us pay to lose the out of control craving for (Anything… including sweets?) … the out of control desire that keeps us down, drugged, overweight, and unhealthy. Eating or using anything in a way that is self destructive is the very definition of insanity. So, I guess you might say I’m a recovering insane person? (Me laughing, not insanely)

Ok, so I am going to weigh the cost of giving it up:

  • “Naysayers” will in the smallest ways make fun of you and belittle your efforts, try to sabotage you, will not support you, and will be unable to understand, really, what you are doing! They really wish they could do the same but don’t believe they can. They may even be jealous of your efforts or success. How is that a cost? Well, it is a lot easier to go along with what everyone else thinks. It’s a lot harder to step outside of that and do something you know is right. It can be downright isolating. I think at some point the benefit that you find friends who actually care about you and maybe just perhaps you pull some people out of the mire of addiction as well. So, naysayers watch out!
  • Cravings, sometimes severe, mostly at the beginning. This only seems like a really big cost at the time! TRUST ME!
  • You have to find a plan which is a little difficult and stick to it, and ok… YES that is difficult. But, it will become your new way after all and will not take much effort to continue along in the process, the new strategy becomes your life
  • Effort – Saying no gets easier as you go
  • Weight loss. But maybe not right away. I am attempting NOT to concentrate on the weight loss (not that it is not needed) – it can be a trap because if you aren’t losing or are not losing at a rate you imagined when you gave up sweets and flipped out your calendar and pictured. your bikini bod on the beach in the summer… You know what I mean.
  • INCREASED energy. This is amazing. BUT only after the beginning few days of all out tiredness and you don’t have your DRUG OF CHOICE!
  • Clearer thinking. YES! This might be the best one of all.

OK so let’s weigh that against the opposing viewpoint which might be as follows:

“I know I have a problem but I don’t think I can do it. Am I right?”

Don’t wait to start. Start today. Though it’s the Christmas season and sweets sit calling your name… Go back and read my posts. I’ve been posting each day for the past 46 days! So, then, you will get new sweeter friends that understand and will support you in your effort.

Sweets Teetotaling Rehab on day 45 of 172 days of giving up sweets

I found this cool countdown app “Countdown Star” for my IPHONE! I think the background looks like sugar! How appropriate!

Ok, so first order of business here… I have to say a big whoops! I made an addition mistake – it’s not 210 days I’m giving up sweets. It’s 38 days fewer! I’m 45 days into a total of 172 days. I feel a little relieved by that mainly because I have planned to blog each day about the giving up sweets and then I am going to publish a do it yourself book to help people be able to get started… and stick with it.

Now, I’ll explain about where I get this teetotaling from…

Teetotalism pertains to people who make a lifestyle of giving up alcoholic beverages completely. And, I don’t subscribe to it for myself for alcohol. But that’s because I can drink a glass of wine but I don’t really care about drinking too much. I don’t have a problem with alcohol. I don’t crave it. Once I accidentally got drunk in a restaurant when I was 18 and newly married where everyone knew I wasn’t a drinker and they kept pouring their champagne in my glass. I had never had any alcohol before that and I weighed probably 120 pounds so I got drunk pretty quick and started crying in the middle of the restaurant because I couldn’t feel my face. It was really scary. You might say, I was scared straight from that time on. I have never wanted to be drunk again. I keep an unopened bottle of wine in the cabinet because sometimes I might like to serve it with a meal for guests. But, I haven’t ever craved alcohol. Come to think of it I haven’t craved anything except sweets.

So, for sweets, I have adopted the teetotaling philosophy but just for a period of time. II think teetotalism is the only way to go with sweets until the addiction cycle is broken.

Then after that I will move on to my second phase which is eating sweets sometimes, seldom, or for a special event (defined as not more than once a week and just only a serving).


So I’m presently a sweets teetotaler.


Why is it that so many people think they can get over an addiction to sweets by still eating sweets? I just bought a little magazine at the grocery store by Prevention Guide entitled “The Sugar Smart Diet, Sugar Detox Made Easy.” On the front cover is an apple pie with “Cure Your Cravings” in bold letters next to the pie. And inside the magazine there is lots of really good information for people like me who need to sugar detox. But, also, there are pages of pictures of sweets and recipes that make you think you can make them and still feed your sweets desire AND detox off the sweet cravings. That mess no sense!

My own sweet addicted life attests that curing cravings cannot happen while still eating sweets even if it’s low sugar or baked with fake sugar.

It has to be TOTALLY given up for a time. I’m doing 172 days. Don’t people go to drug rehab for 60 days? So, I’m over doing it for effect. So, you’d think by day 172 in my “sugar rehab” of sorts that I could kick that habit as well as the addiction, right!?

The Spirit helps us in our weakness. Romans 8:2!

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!