I Am Allergic to Sugar – Sugar Addiction

I am allergic to sugar - it makes me break out in fat. http://www.BethSawickie.com

 

Allergic would be putting it mildly.  I actually have a full-blown sugar addiction!  An addiction that I have had for years but just started battling over the last 5 or so.

There was a time (a long, long, time ago) when I could eat ANYTHING I wanted and still be somewhat slim.  I used to joke that as long as when I looked down I saw my breasts and then my feet – with NO belly in between – then I was happy.  Well, my friends… the day came when that belly was sticking out so far that I could’ve passed for someone in early pregnancy.

Yes, I gained fat in the rest of my body too – but the amount hanging and pulling from my stomach was by far the worst.

I TRIED and I TRIED to cut down on the sugar.  But I was seriously – honest to God – addicted to it.  It gave me a high – for real – a high.  I could grab a few of those sugar cookies with icing on them and each bite would send this wave of almost euphoria through me.  But it wouldn’t last long – I’d have to consume more.

It was not unlike when I was a heavy smoker (1 pack+/day).  If you’ve ever been a smoker you know the nasty hold it has over you.  Your body craves nicotine and all the gross chemicals they add in with it.  That first puff is sheer delight….then you want MORE!

I went on special diets to help me kick my sugar habit.  But then I’d have just one lil ol’ piece of cake – ya know out to dinner.  And maybe I couldn’t finish it all cause it was just too sweet.  I’d take it home and eat it before going to bed that night.

I used to like these crap-tacular  sugar cookies from the supermarket in the bakery area.  They were soft with a heavy layer of icing on top – and sometimes sprinkles (I love sprinkles :).  I’d open them in the car and eat 3, 4 or more on the short drive home.  Needless to say – they didn’t last long in the house.

I know there are people who can eat sugar laden goodies in moderation.  I most definitely AM NOT one of those people.  It took me a long time to come to terms with that.  Like an alcoholic who can never have a drink again.  If I consume a sugary confection it’ll probably lead me into a sugar binge. Then I’ll have to detox from sugar all over again.

So I’ve taken to telling people that I am allergic to sugar.  If they want more info I then explain to them a bit about the addiction and how it makes me fat.

2 1/2 weeks ago I made the decision to finally cut out all processed sugar.

With that I also made a mind shift.  My ultimate goal with eating is to supply my body with as much quality nutrients as possible in the smallest amount of calories.  When I look at a piece of cake I see something high in calories and severally lacking in nutrients.  Contrast that with a bowl of fruit – pineapple, grapes, blueberries, melons, strawberries – loaded with nutrients and tastes delicious too…. PLUS… far fewer calories.  And that bowl of fruit will not spike my blood sugar so high that my body stores the excess as fat.  That is what would happen with the cake – blood sugar spike, then excess gets stored right on my expanding belly!

In the last 2 1/2 weeks I have lost 10 lbs. and 3 inches off of my waist.

Update:

The above blog post was originally written a few months ago.  Since then, sugar has crept it’s way back into my life.  Little things (and big things) here and there.  I’d forget my Stevia so I’d just put some processed sugar in my coffee.  I would think that just a little Ben & Jerry’s wouldn’t hurt – uh, yeah –  right! And I also gave into peer pressure…”surely you can have just once piece of cake – you can’t give up ALL sugar” (as if sugar has health benefits and is one of the  4 food groups!)

And… just as sugar entered my mouth, the pounds appeared back on my belly.  I’m still a bit smaller than when I started, but not anywhere near where I’d like to be.

So… this leads me to something…

Setting yourself up for success when kicking the sugar addiction.

Looking back on my relapse I can see where I goofed – I didn’t have a plan in place for those inevitable temptations.

Here are some of the challenges and solutions I’ve come up with:

Challenge:  Not having Stevia with me when grabbing a cup of coffee.  I would say ‘oh well’ and dump in processed sugar anyway.

Solution:  I bought Stevia packets (from SweetLeaf brand) and have them in my purse, car, bag…etc.  I’ll also be leaving a few at my Moms house too.

Challenge: Wanting something sweet to eat at night – usually a bowl of ice cream, preferably Ben & Jerrys.

Solution:  Keeping fruit on hand – especially FROZEN bananas. Some of my sweet tooth substitutes:

  • large bowl of fruit.
  • in my Nutribullet I mix up:  1 frozen banana (in pieces), some almond milk, a little vanilla and either some other fruit OR – when I have a chocolate craving – some cocoa powder (raw – not the sugary kind).
  • Fage greek yogurt 2%, some fruit (usually thawed strawberries, raspberries, blueberries), little bit of vanilla, cinnamon or apple pie spice, some crushed nuts or sunflower seeds. NOTE: I found this one took a little getting used to, it’s not as sweet as the others.

Challenge:  Going out to eat and ordering dessert.

Solution:  Yes, I could just say “no dessert for me”…but that is just NOT me!  Instead, I opt for a bowl of fruit – or even oatmeal with fresh fruit would be a good substitute.

I want to hear from you!

Do you have a sugar addiction?  What are some of your favorite substitutes?

Share with me in the comments below 🙂

Follow Your Intuition Mandala

Intuition Mandala http://bethsawickie.com/intuition-mandala

“I choose to follow my intuition” is what I’ve been saying over the last week or so. I’m learning to pay a little more attention to it….what a beautiful thing!
Read about how a yoga class lead me towards following my intuition more here.

Prints and cards of the “Intuition Mandala” are available here.

The Courage to Trust Your Intuition

Thrivin' Thinkin' #10 - Trust My Intuition http://www.BethSawickie.com

 

I’d Rather Trust My Intuition Than Dwell in Fear and “What Ifs”.

Tonight I had the opportunity to participate in an awesome yoga/meditation class.  There was a theme of courage for the class.  We were to think about what we needed courage for, what we could let in and what we could let go of.  While practicing movements and breathing we inhaled in what we wanted and let go, when we exhaled, of what we didn’t want.

What came up for me was to have the courage to trust my intuition while letting go of doubt and fear.

For me, intuition is that little knowing, that little nudge – it just comes from inside or from my higher self.  When I say ‘higher self’ I mean the part of us that is true, authentic and not bound by all the human nonsense that mucks up our thinking.  Nonsense that often keeps us paralyzed by fear.

My intuition keeps reminding me that I CAN help others by sharing my experience with getting back to loving life after depression. But then, some nonsense mucks up my thinking and lets fear in…. like:

  • That just doesn’t make sense – no one will want to hear that. (Based on my limited scope of what I have personally experienced which is minimal compared to the trillions of experiences and possibilities available to us).
  • No one makes a living doing THAT! (I hear this one usually in response to my desire to help others get back to feeling great, loving life and thriving after they’ve been knocked down by depression or something similar).
  • 9-to-5 till you’re 65 (or 75 or dead) is what I “should” be doing – (This was the norm for everyone around me growing up. Letting go of this old paradigm to create my life as I want it to be has been challenging.)

It’s seriously been like one of those bad repetitive knock-knock jokes…..who’s there?  intuition… intuition who? …  intuition reminding you to follow your calling and help others.  ….  knock-knock…. over and over!

So, ok… I AM listening…. Starting right here, right now I am mustering the courage to trust my intuition.  I am letting go of all that nonsense of doubt and fear.

After all, what is the WORST that could happen by sharing my experience with the goal of helping others?

  • No one reads any of it!  (I know that is not true because YOU are reading this!)
  • People read it but it doesn’t help anyone.  (In reality, there has to be SOMEONE out there that can relate to this – I know I’ve heard from some of you.)

And what is the BEST that could happen from me having the courage to trust my intuition?

  • I connect with others who are where I was – coming out of a depression, wanting to feel better but not knowing where to start.  People who are working on creating balance in their lives. People who are putting themselves first – not as an act of being uncaring towards others – but because they realize that if their well is empty then they will have nothing to give to others.  Taking care of themselves means they can better be there for others.
  • I am able to build a “tribe” of like-minded people who support each other in getting back to feeling great, loving life and thriving!
  • By choosing to take care of myself, I am able to help others even more.
  • I am supported.  The more I move in the direction that my intuition is nudging me towards, the more supported I am.

Now it’s your turn to do some Thrivin’ Thinkin’…

Grab a pen and paper and jot down what comes up for you…

  • Do you allow yourself to trust your intuition?
  • What is one thing that your intuition keeps on reminding you of? (no – it’s not – do the laundry!)
  • What is the WORST that could happen if you followed your intuition on this one thing?
  • What is the BEST that could happen if you followed your intuition on this one thing?
  • Say the BEST does happen….How would you FEEL? What would life be like for you?
Sunset Relax by Beth Sawickie http://www.BethSawickie.com

Sunset – a Daily Reminder to Relax

Sunset Relax by Beth Sawickie http://www.BethSawickie.comSunsets can be a daily reminder to step-back, chill-out and relax.  Plus they’re a beautiful work of art that is different every single day – heck, every few seconds they can change.

I was in the middle of doing work stuff the other evening. Then I looked outside and the sunset was throwing beautiful colors across the clouds. “Bummer – I’m going to miss it – again!”, I thought.

Then, duh! I can CHOOSE to step away for a few minutes and go watch that sunset.  No one was holding me to my desk.

The work I was doing would still be there when I got back – but that beautiful sunset – that EXACT sunset would only be around once.

I am happy I did for many reasons:

  1. I needed a breather. Getting away and clearing my head for a bit helps me to be more productive later on.
  2. I got to see a beautiful heron.  I’ve seen him (or her) before in the same spot.  Last time I wasn’t paying attention and he made me jump!  I startled him and he spread his giant wings and flew away.
  3. Watching the sunset just makes me HAPPY!

Here is the heron:
Heron at Sunset by Beth Sawickie http://www.bethsawickie.com

My only regret was that I did not stay and hang out longer.  I took some great photos and then the light got to the point where I would really need to be using a tripod – and I just don’t “do” tripods.  So… no more pictures for me. After I turned to head home, beautiful pinks and purples started to come out and intensify.  I could’ve stayed to enjoy it even if I wasn’t capturing it on (digital) film.

The next time you look out the window and see that hint of orange, pink or purple in the sky…  take a minute to stop what you are doing, relax and enjoy the unique art forming in front of you – the sunset.

I have a few favorite spots where I watch sunsets – bridge over a lake, cranberry bogs…etc.

Where is YOUR favorite place to watch the sun set?  Share it with me in the comments below…