C.R.O.W.N.E.D: An Anti-Binge List for Self-Care

an anti-binge list for self-care

Those of us who suffer from major sugar addiction (yes, I am soooo one of them) probably have to deal with binging as well. Because if we crave sugar and give into that craving easily, chances are we are eating too much sugar when we indulge the craving.

Last year, we spent a week of “No-Sugar September” talking about eating disorders. We learned about an E.D. called Binge Eating Disorder (BED). People with BED often can’t remember making the actual decision to binge. It just seems to “happen”. This binge behavior is followed by remorse and deep-seated guilt in people with BED.

Even if you don’t struggle with all of the symptoms of BED, we really don’t want live our lives feeling guilty. We certainly don’t need to live in fear of regretting our eating choices.

The goal for all of us is to look and feel healthy.

nosugarseptember2017title

When I, personally, am about to go on a binging spree, it is sooooo important for me to have my anti-binge list ready and rearing to keep me on the straight and narrow (or really just to keep me from feeling guilty afterward). If I don’t have something good to distract me, I will go through the McDonald’s drive-thru and get hot cakes and a happy meal and then eat it all in ten minutes.

This year, we’ve made a simple acronym so that it’s just a little bit easier to keep perspective. C.R.O.W.N.E.D.

The sound of it makes me feel royal. Royal. You can call me Queen Bee.

CROWNED: An Anti-Binge List

 

C= CALL

R= READ

O= ONLINE

W= WRITE

N= NOURISH

E= ENJOY

D= DRINK

Make your own acronym if you like – whatever works for you. I just like this one. It’s my Anti-Binge List. I can choose what I want to do instead of binging on sugar-filled foods.

Instead of going for McD’s hotcakes, I can CALL, text, or Skype someone on my pre-prepared support list – like my husband, a best friend, or a parent…

Rather than a burger, fries, and ice cream, I can have a good book ready. Because there’s not much better distraction than an action-packed novel to READ. And a nice self-help guide can be a very good support.

Instead of pining for a triple chocolate shake at midnight, I can go ONLINE to any positive site. Like Pinterest, Sevenly, or The Daily Positive, for example. I have made a board on Pinterest just for the occasion – a board filled with only positive quotes, happy pictures, and ways to treat myself. It’s called my “Take Care” board. There’s another board that I look at when I need food that good for me – my “Adrenal Fatigue/CFS Diet/Candida” board.

I will WRITE a list of blessings, an encouraging letter to myself, or a nice letter to someone that I know needs some cheering up.

I need to NOURISH myself, taking care of myself physically. I can take my multivitamins and eat a high protein snack or meal. That way I can feel proud of myself rather than holding on to guilt.

I can do something I truly ENJOY! Like going for a walk and picking flowers – or taking pictures of flowers. I can go to the beach. Or I can go sit at a café and drink coffee. I can do all of the above and get my Vitamin D and my caffeine all in one outing!

I’ll make it a point to DRINK something comforting – something non-alcoholic – like a warm tea (maybe even a chocolate tea…) or some fruit-infused water. I can stay hydrated and help my body out a little bit.

Use CROWNED this upcoming No-Sugar September and the rest of the year. Because when we have a plan in place, we are so much more likely to take care of ourselves – mind, body, and soul.

Love, Sugar, & Lifestyle

loveIt has been a whole month since we have cut out sugar! I really appreciate you guys doing this with me – it helps so much when it’s more than just yourself!

Every time I have tried to get off sugar, I’m reminded of how much it is a part of our lifestyle. We make desserts to cheer people up. Sometimes, we feel like dinner is not complete without something sweet to really finish it off well.

It’s amazing how much we encourage each other to eat – to eat a LOT and also to eat a lot of sugar. I think it’s because we really care about one another and sometimes making food is a way of showing that love. Because people love sugar and we love people, we make them cakes, brownies, and cookies as a visual gift of that love.

I will never, ever say that making a pie to tell someone you love them is wrong. Never. Because I grew up in that love, and now I identify that when people feed me, they love me.  I identify being fed with being loved and I like that. And there is nothing like my Mimi’s giant cookies or my Grandma’s rice krispie treats. I still believe – will always believe – that they heal all wounds in a way that an apple just can’t.

So I can’t justify telling you to never eat sugar when it is given to you as a gift. I cannot hold myself to that, nor should I.

But, I do know that when I eat sugar, I go overboard. So I, personally, have to be careful. Too much love can be unhealthy, right? Well, you know what I mean. When I was little, there was a couple in our church that I loved dearly. They made these cookies that, again, I identified with love. So I’ve made them a couple of times here for people, but I made HUGE batches of them. And I ate sooooo many Thompson cookies that I got a little sick. One cookie may have been okay… maybe two or three. But I need to accept love/cookies in doses, in a healthy way. Balance.

And so I offer to you this proposition at the end of “No Sugar September”. Live a lifestyle where sugar does not consume you – where you do not binge on sugar. If someone gives you a huge batch of sweet treats, eat a piece and be grateful, then share with others. If you make a huge batch of sweet treats, eat a piece and enjoy it, then share it with others. Don’t be limited to giving sweet treats. Share fruit from your garden – love does not only come from sugar. Love is found in all sorts of places! This I also learned from my family.

do-not-live-a-life-where-sugar-reigns-food-is-not-to-be-our-focus-instead-live-a-lifestyleI’ve learned healthy love as I’ve grown up because I’ve been very, very lucky with the family I have – from grandparents to aunts and uncles to cousins to parents, and even great aunts and uncles and second/third cousins. Love means telling stories and praying for one another at least three times a day, whenever you sit down to eat. Love is often centered around the dining table. Love is being fed and feeding others. But love is also spending time with others. Love has nothing to do with sugar, really, and everything to do with people.

Do not live a life where sugar reigns. Food is not to be our focus. Instead, live a lifestyle of love, loving others – everyone – loving yourself, and being loved by others.

Caring for Me

caring-for-me

Today, I want to write about something very important – an art that I have not mastered – a mountain that may take me the rest of my life to conquer. Everyone has their vice. Their kryptonite. The thorn in their side. The one ring. Mine happens to be taking care of myself. I’m not good at it. I try and try, sometimes succeeding, but failing as well.

One of my personal goals in doing this blog is to help people learn to take care of themselves. In so doing, I hope to take better care of myself. And I hope to find answers along the way.

Why is this important? Why do we have to love ourselves and do ourselves no harm?

www-alittlesanctuary-orgI don’t know. But, I’m on a quest to find out. I’m trying to find the balance between Jesus’ command to “deny yourself daily” and believing that my body is “a temple”. I believe both to be true. They cannot be separate. Still, no “aha!” moment has come.

Yeah, I have some ideas that I’m working out. But, there’s something inside me that can’t quite get to the root of it. I will search until I figure it out, and then I think I will have discovered something extraordinary.

In the Harry Potter series, Harry is almost always questioning Dumbledore’s way of teaching him how to defeat evil. This relationship reminds me of how we come to God – questioning him as to why he doesn’t just give us the answer. If we knew how to do life and how to succeed, it would all just be better. Instead of merely telling Harry the steps he needs to take, Dumbledore gives him a path. He gives him clues. He lets Harry see parts of the plan, but he never shows him the whole picture. Harry is a better person for this because he experiences, learns, and grows along the way – in his own time. I see God working in something of the same way. He leads us along the path, shows us pieces, makes sure we have help when we need it, and is always available when we need him the most.

I struggle along this path, but I have peace in the struggle. I will continue to make progress along the path – progress by learning to care for myself – by choosing to believe what the Bible says about people. That we are God’s creation. That we are God’s children, “holy and dearly loved”. And so I do what I can in the meantime. And I practice. Here are some steps I have taken, some I’m wanting to take, and some other steps that I’m trying to take.

9 WAYS TO CARE FOR ME

1)      Eat. Three meals a day. Protein, fruits, vegetables, and favourite foods.

2)      Drink. Enough Water. Relaxing hot tea.

3)      Sleep. When I need to, whether someone else needs me or not.

4)      Relax. Take a hot bath. Read a book. Colour a picture.

5)      Enjoy. Enjoy life, nature, & love.

6)      Poison-Free. Cut out refined sugar. Consume good things, not bad.

7)      Commune. Be with people. Have friendships, groups, & family.

8)      Love. Allow myself to be loved, and continue loving others – but not at my own expense.

9)      Truth. Refuse Lies. Believe the truth.

What is your journey right now? On what path are you being led? Find peace along the way and trust that you will find what you need to know in the end.

10 Reasons to Say No to Sugar

10 ReasonsI taught high school for two years, and in that short amount of time, I learned soooooo much – about people, about life, and about stories. I was lucky with the principal and assistant principal that I had during those two years. Though neither of them specialized in teaching English, they taught me everything I needed and more, encouraging me along the way.

One of the main things they taught me (and this will stay with me the rest of my life) is that when you ask someone to do something, you need to explain “why” they are doing it. This gives them a goal, and ultimately, a purpose. There is nothing more powerful you can give to a student than purpose. It’s my belief, coming out of this philosophy of teaching, that the same works for adults. We find purpose when we ask why we are doing what we are doing. On this blog, we’ve already talked about how important it is to find purpose in everything you do. Another tip to finding purpose is to ask this question: “Why am I doing this?”

Now, I have invited you to join in “No Sugar September” with me, so I at least need to give you some reasons why…

And so we come to the ultimate question: Why should I stop eating sugar?

10 Reasons to Say No to Sugar

1)      Sugar poisons you.

poisonWe have known for a long time now that sugar can be a cause of cancer. It’s a slow poison, leading to an extensive range of diseases, illnesses, and syndromes. This includes, but is not limited to cancer, diabetes, heart & blood problems, and a multitude of other health issues.

2)      Sugar affects your mood.

angryfaceSugar is now being shown to cause depression, and even has links to nervousness & anxiety. It has an enormous effect on people with schizophrenia. And the effect it has on hormones is extraordinary. This in itself is a huge reason to cut out sugar. Even after a few days off sugar, I’m less moody. And I seem to be happier.

3)      Sugar rots your brain.

brainNot surprisingly, a continuous diet of refined sugar has been shown to lead to Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease. It’s also known to create brain-decay in pre-diabetic and diabetic women.

4)      Sugar destroys your gut function.

gutIn the book Suicide by Sugar, Appleton & Jacobs call sugar the “number one enemy of the bowel movement”. It slows down food in the gastrointestinal tract, destroys the enzyme phosphatase (which hinders digestion) as well as lowering other enzymes’ functioning ability, causes inflammation and constipation, and feeds Candida Albicans (or yeast infections). It’s possible that this can lead to food allergies as well.

5)      Sugar is detrimental to your children’s health, as well as their education.

chidrenWe know that sugar makes kids hyper – but it’s not just that. Sugar reduces one’s capacity for learning whether through lethargy or fatigue that comes with a sugar crash. In children, anxiety is higher and concentration is lower. Sugared children, statistically, are shown to have lower grades, and there is evidence that sugar can cause learning disorders in children.

6)      Sugar destroys not just your teeth, but your eyes as well.

eyeteethYou’ve been told to lay off sodas by your dentist – we all know that sugar rots our teeth and gives us cavities. What I was surprised to learn is that sugar can be a cause of cataracts – as well as near-sightedness.

7)      Sugar is highly, highly addictive – it’s a drug.

smokeEvidence in animal research consistently show that, when given a choice over an extended period of time, the tested animal always ends up choosing sugar more often than cocaine. This is echoed by the opinions of ex-drug addicts, who say that the addiction is more or less the same.

8)      Sugar affects the way you look.

oldfaceDon’t want to age pre-maturely or to increase the amount of varicose veins as you age? Don’t eat refined sugar. It can alter the structure of collagen, making you all wrinkly before your time. And because sugar intake often decreases your vitamin/mineral intake, your skin won’t glow as much, either – not too mention the link between acne and sugar. Too much sugar, we know, also leads to obesity and obese people continue a cycle of eating an excessive amount food. And that doesn’t make anyone feel good about how they look.

9)      Eating sugar causes vitamin & mineral deficiencies.

vitaminsPeople who eat a lot of sugar are found to be copper, chromium, calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin E deficient because sugar intake messes up balance in mineral relationships. It also seems to mess up protein absorption.

10)   Refined sugar has very little, if any, health benefit.

zeroI mean, how can it? Most foods have a good side and a bad side. But, there’s not much that can be said for white, processed, refined sugar.