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.

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!