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.

Llama Mama
I painted this llama mama inside a wooden purse for a local craft fair.

TEN THINGS to Commemorate being Ten Percent Finished on day 21 of 210 no sweets

To commemorate my 10% finish, here is my “10 List” of the surprising highlights of my giving up sweets for 21 days:

COMMEMORATIVE 10 LIST

1. I’m exercising! What????

I don’t like to exercise, but I feel like it. Who is this new person in my body? I’m now feeling like walking on my treadmill because I feel much better and therefore have felt like exercising.

2. I’m eating less! And, I’m eating better. For instance, I ordered chicken salad today at my favorite eatery instead of the usual chicken salad sandwich on croissant because I felt like eating a little lighter. I liked very much the lighter feeling better than eating the croissant and I told myself that if I wanted the croissant next time I could get it.


A little side note: Self talk is critical! Tell yourself that you are doing something massive! You are loving it! And it is fun more than it is difficult.


3. I don’t weigh. I am not measuring my success by my weight on the scale. In fact, I have not been on the scale at all. I have an idea of my weight prior to doing this because I used to weigh every day (and then eat a bag of candy, go figure!). I have sabotaged myself on many diets by being on the scale. For the record, I am probably about three sizes, or thirty pounds, larger than I ought to be. After the challenge I plan to weigh just for fun to see how much I lost. I would like to lose. Don’t get me wrong on that.

4. I never say diet. Not to anyone. I though am vocal about not eating sweets. People think I can’t do it or they think I’m crazy. And then I think they feel I might be judging them for eating sweets. I don’t bother with any of these head games. But, I do kinda like to prove myself and everyone that it is possible.

5. FUN! I am having fun with the challenge. Since this isn’t a diet but a challenge to see if I can go 210 days without eating sweets during what I decided to call “The Season of Sweeting,” defined as Halloween through Easter, I have decided to just do that and not complicate matters by a measurement of my weight.

6. What cravings? I don’t get intense cravings. I know, I was the one ate loads of Halloween candy on the night before I started this.

7. Less hunger. The out of control hunger I had before is gone. I think it is related to my blood sugar being regulated?

8. Clearer thinking and better memory. You know those moments when someone tells you their name and just as soon as they walk away you think, Oh no! But, I surprised myself by being able to better recall names.

9.  Not sure if it’s is a good side affect, but I’m not painting at all.  I think it’s because I’ve been otherwise occupied with cleaning out and fixing things and as well, writing.  When I begin painting again it will be with a purpose.  I have written several children’s books for my grandchildren but never kept a copy of them.  So, when I was visiting recently I took a picture of one of my favorite books that I plan to rework and try to publish.

10.  Spiritually settled.  I am operating my life on faith.

Holding Captive on day 20 of 210 no sweets

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HOLDING ONTO A FROG

What does it mean to hold anything captive? Most likely as a child you’ve captured a bug or other small creature to study it more closely or to run show your mother. When my children were little I swooped up a little frog that we found on a walking trail and I carried it all the way home, wiggling all the way, in my hands. The memory is strong for I am a squeamish type but the enjoyment of being able to have the frog for a little longer trumped.

So, in some sort of artistic mathematics I think the equation could be written as:

Love>fear

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HOLDING THOUGHTS CAPTIVE

Then there is the holding captive of a thought. If you don’t already do it, clap your hands around and carry a thought. Then, put it in a clear box so it can’t get out so you can study it from all directions. I am doing that right now with worry. I capture that worry and break it down to small components if possible and I ask questions. Usually the answer to a worry is to figure out all the things that are in my power to do. And, then make a plan to work on those things. Usually that works it all out. I think a lot of times the worry comes from my feeling things are out of my control. I am learning to acknowledge that I cannot push and do everything, so I listen to advice, I seek help, and I pray.

I’m holding captive the thought of eating sweets. It works. This is an example of the comparison of a rampant and a captive thought on eating sweets of which I’m abstaining presently.

Problem: Chocolate cake with inch high fudge icing is temptingly under the glass in the coffee shop surrounded by other similar icing drenched sweets.

~Rampant thought: I NEED that. (I’d feel a tug on my actual heart like a love pang… the feeling of puppy love, know what I mean!). Ok, just one piece and then I will be able to keep going on the no sweets challenge. Oh no! I have no self control! I might as well eat it.

(Notice the lies and the heightened emotion that goes with it. What is held captive? It is backwards! Let me tell you, the heart is the one held captive … by a piece of chocolate cake. Kinda funny, but, NOT if you are the one being held.) Now, picture that mean chocolate cake raising up and trying to take a punch at you but can’t because it’s under glass. Score: 0 for the chocolate cake. And you tell it to settle down you’ll have it on your own terms when it can be more rational.

~Captive thought: “It is possible to say no. Self control is a thing to be exercised by thinking it out. And, I made a decision to wait until after Easter to eat sweets. It is more enjoyable to me to do a long term exercise of self control in order to build it. Each time I say no it is easier for me. Goodbye thought.”

(Notice how the captive thought is telling the truth. It is a sweet victory!)

After I am done with this challenge I am planning to try to find or make the perfect chocolate cake and invite friends and family to my party.

The frog, we kept it for a day until we saw it wasn’t eating. Then, we tearfully took it to a little pond near us where it didn’t play the happy releasee by jumping into the pond. The little guy sat there un-jumping in, looking at us. One of the kids mentioned that maybe it missed it’s mother back on the trail where we found him. I assured that of course he would hear his mom calling and would hop home. We went home, shoulders low, and washed our hands.

Look up this verse on holding thoughts captive. I memorized it! 2 Corinthians 2:5


7A66E595-C967-40BF-A03E-98E1F3F1E332Ok, so I ate a muffin on the airplane!  But not all is lost, right?  I did say I’d eat no sweets – I will consider that it was just a tiny indescretion, not enough to throw me off.  You see, I am all or nothing generally and I can derail a good (anything) by not being perfect.  So I decided that the lesson for me is:

DON’T TRY TO BE PERFECT!  Life is a mess, just try.  Try, try, try!!!!

Today is my day 19 of “no sweets”!  Plus one muffin, but who’s counting?

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On Practicing Perfection

“Practice makes perfect”, the overhead lectures

Third graders’ clumsy cursive letters

And runners, knitters, dancers, bakers

Writers, poets, lovers, makers,

Perfection cannot truly be gained

Only sought.

Perfection is made, it cannot be bought

And as mere mortals, Yes! Seek it we ought!

We want it in gems and in dog breeds

Gold never tarnishing

Sparkling water from mountain streams

A mother’s love for her babies.

And in any pursuit with impurities rising,

The dross on the silver,

Or the stew pot frothing,

Life, impure, needs some refining.

But, don’t let perfection

Keep you from trying,

You run, you fall, you muffin, you sloggeth!

You human! “Practice Makes Progress!”

~Julie Robinson