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.

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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.

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.

 

The “No Sugar September” Preparation Guide & Toolkit

the no-sugar

So, how does one prepare for a very difficult month abstaining from sugar? Honestly, as soon as I went public in deciding to do such a horrible thing, I got nervous. But now is NOT the time for nerves to kick and defeat us! Now is the time to fight! Fight back SUGARRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!

“Sugar is poison.” This is our mantra.

This is the path we take. And we will conquer.

It’s the day before our warpath begins. Here is what we must do:

  1. Prepare our toolkit.

  2. Gather our support team.

  3. Start to write your Anti-Binge List.

  4. Record how you feel today.

  5. Put on our game-face.

Let us elaborate.

Firstly, go to the store and get your toolkit ready (some things on my list are in the last post). You may need to restock through the next thirty days, but make sure you are continuously replenishing it. You do NOT want to be craving chocolate and have nothing on hand. That’s just an opportunity for disaster. Always keep these things on hand:

  • a sugar-free treat (As you can see above, I have several. I like treats.)
  • good fats (I’ve stocked the fridge with avocados, and we have loads of fish ready)
  • lots of protein (I’m keeping canned chicken, salmon, & tuna handy for emergencies – plus lots of unsweetened Greek yogurt)
  • a sugar-alternative or two (stevia, xylitol, and coconut sugar are the best – loads better than refined sugar, but still to be used sparingly)
  • yummy drinks to take the place of sugary coffees and soda (sugar-free chocolate milk, carbonated water, fruit tea)
  • practical eats for meals & snacks (for me, yogurt, pineapple, & apricots are essential for easy snacks – I put them on oats)
  • greens! (I use kale powder lately, but you can use spinach, broccoli, kiwi fruit, whatever green things you like! They’ll give you magnesium, potassium, some iron, which will help you loads)
  • a multivitamin (keeping your vitamins and minerals up will reduce your cravings)
  • protein powder (for added nutrition to smooooooooothies!)
  • a meal plan (planning your meals ahead of time will help immensely)

no sugar september toolkit

Secondly, make sure you have a good solid support team. If you haven’t already, join our “No Sugar September” group on Facebook. And make sure you are a part of the “A Little Sanctuary” page as well. So, here are reasons why you need a team:

  • Two are better than one.
  • Being part of a team stirs passion. Being passionate about something makes that something enjoyable.
  • Enjoy the community: Feel free to post sugar-free recipes and what you’re doing instead of eating dessert.
  • When you mess up, there are people to be HONEST with you. None of us are perfect.
  • When you succeed, there are people to congratulate you!
  • You can help someone other than yourself. Your words of encouragement may keep someone else going.

Thirdly, you need to have an Anti-Binge List. This Anti-Binge list will serve to give you something to do when you really want to eat that entire chocolate cake that someone carelessly left in the work lounge. I have a journal that I will keep mine in, and I will plan to keep that journal in my purse over the next month. I want to decorate mine because colouring helps me.

  • Do something enjoyable.
    • Go for a walk.
    • Play the piano.
    • Have coffee with a friend.
  • Call or text someone.
    • Ellen, Mark, Reagan, Mom, Dad, etc.
  • Grab a mug.
    • Try a brand new tea (Green tea with Blueberry)
    • Chocolate milk
    • homemade mocha (sugar-free chocolate mix with instant coffee)
    • make cake in a mug
  • Read a book.
    • Harry Potter is in my TOOLBOX already.
  • Journal.
    • how I feel
    • why i’m doing this
    • make lists of blessings, friends, what I have to do tomorrow…
  • Nourish myself.
    • plan and eat a delicious meal
    • grab a hard-boiled egg or two from the fridge
    • have some yogurt with nuts and berries
    • make a smoothie!!!
    • allow myself to feel good about eating

the no-sugar (2)

In the same journal, fourthly, you should keep track of how you feel today. One month from now, you WILL feel better. Writing down how you feel now will not only give you motivation to kick the sweets, but it help you to see how far you’ve come later. And if you feel better, you’re more likely to want to keep feeling good. Here are some things I will write in my journal.

  • My weight today.
  • My waist, hip, and arm measurements today.
  • My feelings today. I use an app on my phone to get adjective ideas. Do I feel melancholy or joyful? Am I fatigued or energetic? Am I frustrated with myself or confident? Am I achy or do I feel ok? Do I have stomach pain or nausea? Am I bloated?
  • My reasons for doing “No Sugar September”. I want to be less tired. I want to reduce candida overgrowth in my body. I want to protect myself from the long term effects of sugar. And so on…

Lastly, you  need to put on your game-face. You need to see yourself for the warrior you are because going off sugar is no easy task. Many health gurus even say that it is more difficult to stop eating sugar than it is to stop doing drugs – cocaine and heroine in particular. We will talk more about that so that you feel encouraged in the weeks to come. Don’t worry, though. We’re in this together, and together we are stronger.

No Sugar September

My dear compadres, I have come to a horrible, most dreadful, immensely desperate decision. It is not popular, it is highly scoffed by most, and shall not receive the accolades presented to Olympic champions. It is a difficult road I face with this decision – one that can only be tread by the bravest and most courageous of men.

Most do not survive. Many succumb to the fate of the enemy. But, I must face it. I must. For myself and for others.

Join us for

My decision is to go sugar-free in September.

*gasps rise from the other side of the computer screen*

Yes, there it is. I have said it. The truth is out there. And now that I have told you, I must do it. Or I will be embarrassed. And no one likes to be embarrassed.

BUT, I also have an invitation for you! Hey, here’s an idea —- Why don’t YOU do it with me???

*gasps, mummerings, sighs, and cries of agony rise from, again…, the other side of the computer screen*

Come on, guys and gals. It can’t be that bad… right?

I have done this sort of this before and survived. In fact, I felt better quite soon afterward. So, in thinking about this post today, which has been on my calendar for a couple of months, and kept getting pushed back week by week (mainly because I kept eating sugar-filled treats and didn’t want to be a hypocrite), I thought, What the heck! Why don’t we just make this into a whole month challenge?!  We can call it “No Sugar September” – like “No Shave November” but more hygienic. 🙂

Here are the guidelines I’m setting for myself. Feel free to shift and create your own guidelines.

 

–          Stay a part of the “No Sugar September” event page, encouraging & being encouraged.

–          Have no refined sugar for one full month, from September 1 to September 30.

–          Pay attention to packaging nutrition facts to insure no sugar enters my body, my temple.

–          Continue a mindset that after September, I will continue to live a sugar-free lifestyle.

–          Take the Sugar-Free posts on this blog to heart as a way to spur me on to freedom!

–          Keep a record of how I feel before and after, to be used later as inspiration for staying sugar-free.

–          Gather and keep a toolbox to use when the urge strikes! Include:

o   Fruit (limited to two servings a day)

o   Sugar-free (sweetened with xylitol, stevia, or coconut sugar) chocolate

o   Sugar-free (sweetened with xylitol, stevia, or coconut sugar) chocolate milk

o   Foods or supplements/vitamins containing Glutamine and other amino acids

o   Protein Powder (sugar-free)

o   A list of what I can do when I feel a sugar urge

o   My food diary

I’d like to explain my reasons for doing this, and encourage you to find your own before we begin. There are still two days until September. Reflecting can help us.

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As you have probably already divined, I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), which I have struggled with for the past five years. There was a period of about two years when I was able to teach. And the truth is that one of the huge reasons I was able to work during that time was that I cut out sugar, gluten, and dairy completely… and also coffee. But, I don’t want to deal with getting off coffee again right now. It’s just too much… too much…

Because I’ve been getting worse again, it’s obvious I need to get off sugar again. I had a couple of weeks last month when I was able to do this, then I started it up again. I need help. We all need help to get off sugar, I think. It’s a very difficult task that I’ve been researching quite a bit about lately. I was reminded last night at our friends’ engagement party how important it is to eat what nourishes you – not what destroys you.

I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of feeling sick after I eat things that hurt me. But I am held captive by them and I want to break free.

Throughout the month of September, we’ll be doing a series of posts to help you along – to help me along, as well as a week on Eating Disorders, including binge eating. We’ll talk about taking care of ourselves- why sugar is killing us, why getting off sugar helps us, how to cope with being sugar-free.

So, I give you this invitation that seems like a mountain: How about it? “No Sugar September”, here we come!