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.

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!

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.

Jack going for a ride, painted for a friend, Acrylic on canvas

Driving Internally on Day 34 of 210 of giving up sweets

Pushing a stalled car where the driver is attempting to start it is dangerous because its possible to get run over. But, in my past before I ever heard about that, I helped push a friend’s stalled older car that needed a momentum to get going.

That gets me thinking, do we need a push when our motivation gets stalled out?

Both words have a common meaning. Motor and motivation: “to move”.

The former must have an external fuel source or push. The latter can come from another such as a motivational speaker. But the best motivation comes from within.

Sometimes an outside push helps but sometimes it just isn’t there. For instance I haven’t been able to find one person who is willing (as yet) to do the giving up sweets challenge with me. I thought for sure someone would be intrigued and give it a good try at least. I thought that I might have needed that kind of a push to keep going.

To be sure, there have been countless times in my life where I have needed to be the only one driving my success and pushing it! – like mastering a course or skill, beginning a new job, having a baby.

Maybe it’s helpful that no one else is doing the sweets challenge with me yet. Maybe it is better to solely depend on a continual conscious effort of heart and mind and internal drive. That way I am depending on God.

No coasting.

The top of our piano – full of nutcrackers which is what my daughter is playing for her Christmas recital. Listening to her play is a sweet thing indeed!

Near Sweets Suicide on day 33 of 210 of Giving Up Sweets

…Rewind to Ten Years Ago…

I wonder if other people keep video of major life changing events in their mind with full sound, thought, feeling, color, motion, and sight? I don’t remember everything, but some key moments are fully hyper-recorded and their memory protected by emotion. And, I like to replay those records and feel those emotions again, well the good ones, anyhow.

So, a “recording” I just love to push play on is the thought decision moment ten years ago where after suicidally eating sweets I gave up them up for a full two years.

It might be important to note that I had about killed myself on sweets: donuts, bags of candy, whole bags of any kind of cookies, cakes, frosting out of the can, cookies, anything, really! I developed an esophageal stricture from the constant stomach stretching and overproduction of acid caused by my suicidal eating and I had to go to the endodonist to get it stretched because I had gotten food stuck in my throat feeling like I was choking… I had to have it done twice in two years! It was just a horror! I don’t know if they didn’t have me sedated enough, but I felt like I was being choked to death. I also was showing signs of arthritis and had several root canals. All that was going on while I was raising children, caring for my husband, and running my husband’s busy law practice as office manager and he was in the very early stages of dementia, (though no one would have known, and – not even me, at the time.)


My desire for sweets was pathological.


I was binge eating sweets and then feeling bad about it and then I’d do better for half a day and blow it at three o’clock, the most tired and troublesome time for me. So if I’d already blown it, I’d eat more. Sweets were my drug. I always thought I’d do better the next day, on Monday, at the beginning of the school year, on January 1. But those days would come and go with defeat in store.

With the covers pulled up to my nose, I lay in my bed on a cold Colorado morning when (who wants to get out of bed in the cold) it was a little early to be getting up but in those first early morning minutes I decided to give up sweets.

Those first morning minutes are perfect for sorting thoughts and chunking bad ones down a destructive worry path and holding onto ones that by faith I’d solve or accept, no fear. Those “first thoughts” are golden clues to solving the puzzle of my life. And, in the way I do it, I can carry through and “see” if the solution might work and sort of already do it even before even getting out of bed.

That morning began with a tiny “What if” that I might have missed had I jumped out of bed too early. What if…


What if the next time I was feeling like eating a sweet or the next time I was offered one I just said no.

What if I just did it as long as a could? Could I do it for five minutes or five hours or five days? Of course I could do it for five seconds.


I think what worked in those “What if’s” was the gift to myself of a way out, the opportunity to have it, but just… later.

Of course after those two years of sweet abstaining I ate it a lot less (AT FIRST!). But that sugar monster had not been completely defeated (see yesterday’s post)… hah! NO!

So the change this time (a decade later) is to do it for a period of time set up at the beginning (210 days) – and to give it a meaning – “the season of sweeting” I call it, to pray and ask my Maker and Lover of my soul for his help and guidance.

It’s been with God’s sweet help only that I am at 33 of 210 with no sweets.