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Baby Steps

Friday, January 11, 2013

Baby step #1-Exercise
I didn't exercise as much as I wanted to this week, but I did exercise. I made myself get up when I was warm and snuggly and would have been very happy to remain in bed asleep, and exercise. I got myself off the couch and took the baby for a walk. I moved, I danced (when no one was watching) and I put forth the effort to move extra this week. I didn't run a marathon, I didn't exercise until I was sweating buckets, but I started taking baby steps. And it was good.

Baby Step #2-dessert! (Yum!)
Or maybe the lack of dessert. OK, I've gotta admit it...I have a horrible sweet tooth. However, I didn't begin seeing how bad it was until the summer of 2012. I had gotten to the point where I (and those around me) could tell if I hadn't had any/enough sugar because I would get headaches, start shaking and get jittery and be *very* cranky, impatient and fuzzy-minded. This was not a good thing. I began to watch my sugar intake, not change anything, just observe. I found that I started my day with sugar, had another dose no more than 2 hours later, another dose 2 hours after that and so on, through the day. I was predictable. I would go for sugar at the same times every day and no one and nothing better get in my way or else the crankiness set in *very* quickly.

After a while of watching how obsessed I was with sugar and how horribly it was affecting me, I decided to do something. This was August of 2012. I tried going cold-turkey. No candy, no dessert, no juice, no fruit even. Nothing. No sugar. Oh, the torture! My head throbbed, I couldn't think straight. I snapped at the kids and each day I grew increasingly miserable and impatient and cranky. This lasted for 2 1/2 days and I caved. I decided there had to be a better way. I decided to try moderation, i.e. 4 pieces of candy instead of six, 1 glass of juice instead of 2, 1 1/2 pieces of dessert instead of...well, you get the point. Moderation didn't work. I went back to cold turkey, this time without cutting fruit. I consumed copious amounts of frozen fruit for the first few day; sucking on it through out the day when I needed a sugar fix. After a few days I cut out the fruit. I made it for 3 weeks and then I realized that I was developing a new vice, bread. Sweet breads. Cinnamon raisin, banana, zucchini...whoops. Guess that's got to go too, huh?

I've been doing this for 5 months now. Attempting to live a sugar free life. I've slipped up many times, but I find that the longer I do it, the easier it gets. I've had to get creative and find substitutions and sometimes, sometimes I just really want a good dose of sugar. However, knowing that if I eat the sugar today it will be *much* harder for me to resist tomorrow is generally good motivation to leave the sweet stuff alone. I've found ways to trick myself. For instance, after I eat lunch or supper I often will crave something sweet. These cravings are slowly lessening, sometimes I just plan on having fruit for dessert to cut the craving, other times when they hit I reach for gum. I try to keep sugar-free fruity gum around to pop in my mouth when a particularly strong craving hits.

I'm nowhere close to the finish line, but I'm getting farther and farther from the starting point. They're baby steps and eventually, they take you where you need to be.
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