What could you give up?

It’s not Lent, but I recently decided to go cold turkey on the sugar.  Why, you ask?  Well, I think I was a little out of it at the time.  🙂

Seriously, though, I’ve been doing a diet, or rather, a different way of eating, for about 40 days now.  Let me say that I hate dieting.  I don’t usually diet.  Diet is a dirty word to me.  The few times I have attempted to diet it lasted until about two o’clock in the afternoon, and I swore I’d never eat another plain broiled chicken breast again.  Bring on the chocolate!

But I was walking through Borders one day and saw a book, The Belly Fat Curehttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=foreverscarletA&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1401927181&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr.  The title sounds obnoxious, and the blurb line : “For people who don’t have the time or energy to exercise” should probably more truthfully read “For people who are too lazy to exercise”, but I paged through a bit and landed on a recipe for macaroni and cheese.  An eating plan that allows macaroni and cheese?  I’m in!  I bought the book and started reading the seemingly complicated instructions, but really, after a day of it, I had the plan mastered.

And this is what I learned the first day:  I’m a sugar addict.  I realize that sugar hides in almost everything we put in our mouths (fruit! bread! milk!), but for some reason those M&Ms I’d toss down all day, everyday, never really seemed substantial.  You know?  It’s just a few M&Ms, and heck, they have those healthy almonds in them!  And so what if I just ate six chocolate chip cookies, they were small.  And that rich chocolate dessert me and the hubby snarfed down after dinner?  We shared it.  And juice, don’t get me started on fruit juice.  Juice is healthy, yes?  Especially since I was so careful to buy the stuff without the high fructose corn syrup.  But I’d drink a couple glasses a day, everyday.  Juice, my friends, is my heroine.

So, I ventured on to this new way of eating.  The plan is very low sugar (15 grams a day; so you’re not entirely giving it up) and low carbs.  The first day I didn’t think I’d be able to do it.  15 grams of sugar?  There’s 25+ grams in one glass of juice! And then I started mentally adding up all those glasses of juice, and M&Ms and well, yep, the addict choked.  So, anticipating an extreme rough time giving up sweets, I warned the hubby that he may come home and find me sprawled on the floor in a catatonic state.  If that should happen, just pour juice down my throat.

Sugar skulls!

But you know what?  The rough time never happened.  I’m still knocking on wood because cutting back on the sugar didn’t bother me at all.  I didn’t crave chocolate (I still have the emergency bar of chocolate I bought at the beginning; half left), I didn’t drool to watch the hubby drink that delicious juice, my tummy didn’t complain that I wasn’t feeding it sugar.  Could it be my body was pleased I had finally started to treat it right?

Anyway, what I’m trying to say today is, sometimes we are more afraid of giving something up than we should be.  We make excuses (in my case for over a decade as I avoided changing my eating plan), we covet that which we adore most (give me sugar!), and we ignore the things we should at least give a try.  I gave it a go, and it’s still working for me.  I feel…better.  A little more clear.  A little lighter (lost 14 lbs so far; no exercise!).  A little happier because I know I did something good for myself.  And that puts a bounce in my step.

So what about you?  Have you given something up lately that made you feel better about yourself?  If not, what would you like to give up, or change, that would affect your life in a positive way?

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