We all know that we shouldn’t eat too much sugar, and while I have taken great lengths to go from two or three teaspoons of sugar in my coffee to none, I haven’t given up chocolates (I mean, who gives up chocolate), biscuits, sweets and ice-cream. I guess there’s my weight right there…
Anyway, I have now decided to cut down on my sugar intake and to start eating more sensibly. I fear my brain may be so fried from all the sugar intake that this may be a more difficult feat than what I realise.
After my lunch at work yesterday, I had a slab of mint chocolate (my favourite). And I thought I would just have a small block or two. I finished the entire slab. The whole thing. In about five minutes I had flattened the entire slab of chocolate and that’s when I realised that I have a sugar addiction. I couldn’t get enough of the chocolate and I couldn’t get it fast enough.
It scared me.
I was always the girl who didn’t have a sweet tooth, who probably only ate one meal a day, who was teased for “eating like a bird”, who was the “naturally skinny” one in class – in her group of friends…
Now wolfing down a slab of chocolate in under five minutes flat.
This is not who I am.
It is only because I had this thought in my head that I have nurtured my entire life that there is something wrong with me, and that I had to start eating as much as I can to “fix” me! And that thought has grown and grown and now I see myself as this fat person – I feel comfortable where I am.
But, it is not me…
Because it hasn’t resolved any of my issues. I’m still completely body conscious, shy, insecure and overly analytical. Picking up weight and eating everything in sight has only caused me to well, pick up weight – I’m still just me. Well, a rather larger me.
So, now, I have to wean myself off sugar.
My first step is to stop eating chocolates and sweets. In fact, with Lent coming up, it’s a good thing to quite over the 40 days (and then to maintain it going forward). I’m also giving up wine from a Monday to a Thursday, and just having a glass over the weekend.
I do believe though that no diet or calorie restriction is going to work until I re-work my mind.
Ephesians 4:22-24 New International Version (NIV): 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self,created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
So, while I am reducing my sugar intake by starting off with cutting out sugar in sweets and chocolate, I need to renew my mind to see myself as a new person who weighs less and eats well.
I came across this article in a simple step plan to combat sugar cravings – the idea is to distract yourself:
1. If at All Hungry, Eat a Meal
2. Take a Hot Shower
3. Go For a Walk, Distance Yourself
Here are some other methods you may find useful.
Have a glass of water. Some people say that cravings can be caused by dehydration. I am quite good with drinking water every day.
Eat a fruit. Having a piece of fruit may help satisfy sugar cravings for some people. Bananas, apples, oranges work great. I am going to try this – just this afternoon I had an apple, which hopefully will help. It’s not going to help though if I keep dreaming of chocolate so I need to distract myself and focus on something else.
Avoid artificial sweeteners. If you feel that artificial sweeteners trigger cravings for you, then you might want to avoid them. I have never in my life had artificial sweetener – I can’t stand the taste, and would rather just cut sugar than resorting to using artificial sweetener.
Eat more protein. Protein is great for satiety, may help with cravings as well. Not always easy to do at work, but I am trying…
Talk to a friend. Call/go meet someone who understands what you’re going through. Explain that you’re going through a craving and ask for a few words of encouragement. If this doesn’t help, or if I don’t have anyone to call, I will talk to myself and reinforce the fact that I am not hungry, I have eaten, but I am having a craving that I don’t need to give into, because that is not who I am.
Sleep well. Getting proper, refreshing sleep is important for overall health and can help prevent cravings. Although I do have Baby Girl who loves to wake me up all the time, I do try sleep a healthy sleep when and where I can.
Avoid excess stress. Same as with sleep, avoiding stress can help prevent cravings. I find this sad, because stress used to make me not eat. Now I grab anything and everything.
Avoid certain triggers. Try to avoid specific activities or places that give you cravings, such as walking past McDonald’s. Once again, I never had any desire for fast food – at all. It used to make me feel queasy – now, I can quite happily have a burger every day. How is it my brain has changed so much.
Take a multivitamin. This will help prevent any deficiencies. I don’t like popping pills…
Read your list. It can be very helpful to carry with you a list of the reasons you want to eat healthy, because it can be hard to remember such things when you get a craving. This is important. Why I am doing this? Why can’t I just be happy as I am? Well, firstly, because its’ not me. If I was going to be overweight, I would’ve been as a child already. Secondly, the only reason that I am overweight is because I believed a lie – and now I’m paying the price and I want to get back to who God created me to be. Thirdly, I want to be healthy. Fourth, I want to be attractive to my husband, and finally, I want to run faster and look like an athlete instead of a blob.
Don’t starve yourself. Try to prevent yourself from becoming too hungry between meals. Nope, I get too hungry to even contemplate this…
I will keep you posted on how my combating the sugar disease is going.
One Foot Forward at a time...