Click Here For Free Blog Backgrounds!!!
Blogaholic Designs

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm Not in Hiding Gorging on Sweets...

It's been almost a month since my full confession. I haven't been hiding. Somehow, these past few weeks went by without me noticing. Or, I guess I noticed, but I couldn't believe that it was really almost June, and therefore it couldn't be. I've been off sugar for about a month. It hasn't been that bad. Yeah, I want need some chocolate. I pass by the local ice cream joint and my mouth salivates. I see commercials for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and I want to jump through the screen and live in that chocolatey, peanut-buttery world for a bit. But, it hasn't been that bad. I guess it depends on your definition of bad

I've been doing lots of baking. Peanut butter cookies, gingerbread cookies, shortbread, pineapple upside-down cake...all made with almond flour and honey as a sweetener. I'd like to say I haven't eaten any of the stuff I've baked, but I'd be lying. And since I'm in "full honesty" mode, I wouldn't want to do that, now would I? I don't know if it's physically possible for me to bake something I know is yummy and not eat some. I suppose I could make things taste nasty, and then sit and laugh as I forced my kids to eat it, knowing I was conquering my addiction, but I truly do find joy in baking for Superman and the kids. And, it's something they look forward to. It's the highest compliment to me when my kids say, "Mommy, that's sooooooo yummy! Can I have more?!" To which I reply, "HECK NO! That's MINE!" I jest, I jest. 

We've wrapped up school for the year, and although my incredible in-laws are going to continue to do math and reading with the kids over the summer, I'm taking the summer off. Initially, I felt that if they were working with the kids, I should probably be doing something too, but I eventually convinced myself that I need a break. I'll be a better teacher in the fall if I have a break from being "teacher." 

The weather has been downright strange these last few weeks. I'm longing for warm weather, but I'm sure in a few weeks I'll be complaining about the 100-degree heat. 

I've continued my ongoing list of 1,000 to be thankful for. Here's what I've written down over the last few weeks: 

102. Laying in the sun on a warm day
103. Watching my sister on t.v.! (She was on the show Yard Crashers!)
104. Skipping school on a day I just want to relax and enjoy the kids
105. Kids sleeping in
106. A stocked fridge
107. Kids making good choices
108. A husband who makes his family a priority (mine!)
109. The smell of alfalfa
110. Going to the fair
111. Wildflowers growing
112. Strawberry season
113. Morning walks with the kids
114. Homemade marshmallows!
115. Date nights with Superman
116. Reading my Bible in a quiet house
117. Cuddling baby animals
118. Hiking with the family
119. Hearing the kids recite memory verses
120. Dinner with friends
121. Seeing J-Man play his guitar on stage
122. Eating cold, fresh, ripe strawberries
123. Realizing how much I love running when I can't do it because of an injury
124. Finishing school!
125. Knowing that Superman has 88 days off of work soon!
126. Having grandparents who are still alive
127. People watching
128. Living in the country
129. Watching "Secret Millionaire."
130. Picking up our weekly fruits and veggies at a farm down the street
131. Purging
132. Seeing clean homeschooling cupboards after purging
133. Knowing there is still sun behind all the clouds
134. Living in a place that has local fruits and veggies year-round
135. Being spontaneous
136. Feeling close to the Lord
137. Seeing our kids be generous with each other
138. Finding a sports doctor who can help my Achilles tendon
139. Hearing birds chirping early in the morning
140. Seeing a hummingbird up close
141. Painted toes
142. Homemade waffles on a Sunday morning

I was participating in the 100 push-up challenge (for the second time), and for the second time, I hit the wall at 60 push-ups. I'm serious, I could NOT do another push-up. I stayed on that day for weeks, trying to gain more, but I couldn't. That's when I decided 60 is good. Sixty is just fine. Sixty is plenty. So, that's that. Tom, my friend, how are your push-ups coming along? 

I injured my Achilles tendon after running my fastest mile almost 3 weeks ago. I'm going to a sports therapist, and he has already helped me immensely, but I still have a few more weeks to go until I can run again. Thank goodness I just pulled it, and didn't tear it. I'll be patient, but in the meantime, I'm going stir crazy for some running. All in good time, I suppose. 

Now I'm trying to figure out how to continue my no-sugar commitment over this summer when birthdays and hot summer nights and memories with the kids all beckon me. Can someone please invent some type of virtual reality where I can binge on sugar and have the same satiety while not actually ingesting anything??

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hello, My Name is Shanti and I'm a Sugarholic.

I've always loved sugar. Really. Anything sugar. When I was younger, I used to eat spoonfuls of brown sugar as a snack, and I'm not exaggerating. How I didn't get my first cavity until a few years ago, I'll never know. I would still eat Fruity Pebbles every morning if I could...or Lucky Charms...Or Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch. It runs in the mama's got a sweet tooth, my grandpa's got a sweet brother and sister have sweet tooths. It's a curse, I tell you. When I was a teenager, I used to eat sugar cereal for breakfast, and for lunch, I'd buy something sweet like a Hostess cupcake or chocolate bar. I'd snack on candy in the afternoon and then force down a bit of food for dinner...and end the night with a bowl of ice cream or another bowl of sugar cereal. 

I've been lucky in that obesity does not run in our family, so I could pretty much eat as much junk as I wanted, and never "see" the repercussions. I mean, I would feel it...lethargy, irritability, aching muscles and joints, foggy-headedness, mental unclarity. It was all there, but I never attributed it to the sugar. Heavens no. 

Most of you know our family has been on the Paleo Diet since last year. It includes cutting out dairy, legumes, all grains and sugar. It was going great. My joint pain was gone, my energy level increased dramatically, my monthly cycles regulated, and I just felt more clear-headed. But a few months ago, I slipped. I ate a piece of cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory. For any normal, non-addicted person, this would be no big deal. But for me, it was like an alcoholic slipping and having a drink. After that, I could not stop thinking about sugar. I fought it for a few days, but in a moment of weakness when I was out by myself, the Kit Kat called my name. What would one little Kit Kat do? Surely nothing. But that one indulgence led to another....and another...and another. 

My sugar indulgences became a dirty little secret. Here I was, eating everything "right" at home, and any time I was around other people. But the moment I was by myself or just had the girls with me, it was "let's get an ice cream cone!" (vanilla soft serve dipped in chocolate? YES PLEASE!) or "let's have a little treat" or "let's share a cookie from that UH-MAZING cookie shop." It had now been months since my little secret had started. I felt like a cheating wife. I was the hypocrite of all hypocrites. I couldn't even tell Superman even though I knew he really wouldn't care.  The sugar cravings were consuming my thoughts. Every time I ate a meal, it was immediately followed by almost unbearable yearnings for something sweet...preferably chocolate. I realized my desire for sugar had become an idol for me. I felt like a total failure. And then, I hit bottom.

I was at Costco with the girls and was perusing the aisles, fighting off my urge to buy a bulk-sized box of chocolate bars. I casually picked up a container of chocolate-covered the ingredients. Corn syrup. That's a deal breaker for me. Ironic, I know. Moved on to the chocolate-covered caramel clusters...corn syrup again. Ok, ok, I knew I should have stopped there. But by now I was on a mission. And then I spotted it. A box of divine fudge made by a local Chocolatier. Ah, yes! I found it! I proceeded to polish off a POUND of chocolate over the next 24 hours. And I was sleeping for like 9 of that. 

And that was it. That's when I hit bottom. I was feeling physically awful...I was waking up a ton at night, getting up in the morning with that old joint and neck pain rearing its ugly head, and that nasty afternoon slump was in control of my life. It was time to confess. All day, I had butterflies in my stomach. I don't know why I was so scared to tell Superman, but I felt like I needed to confess this dirty secret to someone fast, or I was gonna keel over from anxiety. 

That night, we sat on the couch together after the kids went to bed, and I told him I needed to talk to him about something. It's not very often that I preface a conversation with those words, so he was thinking this was something serious. I proceeded to tell him everything...all about my slow fall to destruction, how sweets had totally consumed my mind and I couldn't wait for a "fix" after each meal. I said I felt this addiction had become an idol for me, and I was trying to figure out if there was an underlying psychological cause for me feeling I had to keep it "secret." Superman had a little smirk on his face. He was sympathetic, understanding and encouraging. Of course he didn't make fun of me, or scold me or tell me what a loser I was. 

He told me I was being really hard on myself, but said he would support me in getting off sugar if that's what I wanted. And I said yes. You see, I can't eat sugar in moderation. I don't believe I would ever offer a recovering alcoholic a drink and say, "It's's just one!" Likewise, I just cannot allow myself to indulge in sugary sweet delectable desserts. Sad? Yes, a bit. But there have been too many times when I have gone off sugar successfully, only to re-introduce it "just for special occasions" months later, and slowly have it become an obsession again. 

So, there you have it. I'm a Sugarholic. I'm on Day 4 of no sugar, and the first few days were...well, let's just say, NOT FUN. It could be a combination of not feeling well in general and sugar withdrawal, but all I know is that I did not fell well this weekend. Today is better. The cravings are starting to subside a bit. 

I struggled with whether to confess this publicly. It's quite humiliating, really. Especially because I am constantly preaching about how wonderful the Paleo diet is. And it is. If you follow it. I know that progress in a situation like this comes from openly confessing it. I know once I share a struggle, I'm more likely to stay accountable. So as embarrassing as it is, it is what it is. 

I apologize for being hypocritical. Those dirty, dark secrets can sure take over when you let them. I'm sorry for misrepresenting myself. I have always strove to be an open book, allowing others to see my struggles and triumphs, wanting to be authentic. I hope you are able to forgive me, and if you see me, ask me, "Have you had any sugar lately?" I want to be held accountable! 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lent Recap

So, you may remember that back in March, I made a commitment to pray for Superman during Lent. It was something I chose to do, getting up 45 minutes early each morning to cover my soul mate in prayer. I'm not talking a typical quick "Please bless Superman" prayer, but a thoughtful, desperate plea for the Lord to heal him. I created a private prayer blog, something I could go back and read to remind myself what the Lord had or hadn't done. It was something new for me...making those moments the center of my day, the most important thing I did each morning. I mean, I regularly pray and read my Bible, but never anything like this. There were days when I truly felt the Lord was listening to me, answering my cry for help. There were other days, however, when I wondered if I was wasting my time by praying. Here's a sample of one of those days:

"Lord, I'm feeling discouraged. Is it worth it for me to pray? It seems that Chris is just as bad now as he was 26 days ago when I started praying for him. Last night I begged you to help him wake up this morning feeling energetic and encouraged, and that his inflammation would be better. Lord, what is the purpose of his pain? I know you don't have to answer me, but I am so frustrated. I feel like it is pointless for me to get up early each morning and pray for him if you have no intention of healing him. Am I wasting my time? It hurts me to see him so discouraged and beat down. The poor man is at his wit's end. Please, please, please help him! Help him to at least see a glimmer of hope at the end of this trial, Lord. I know you are Lord of all, and you have plans to prosper Chris and not harm him, but I feel like I (and he) need a little bit of encouragement. Are you still there? Do you care that he is suffering? Please, Lord, give us some guidance. I love you and we just want to be in your will. Help us to have clean hearts that can hear you speaking to us. Take away anything that may be hindering us from that closeness with you. Thank you for all our blessings. Help us to remember gratitude even in the midst of discouragement."

It was rough at times. There were mornings following sleepless nights, when I wanted to turn off the alarm and roll over in bed. There were even tears of discouragement, feeling as though my prayers were being shot off somewhere into space, floating through the unknown. I ultimately felt I needed to press on; I knew the Lord had not forgotten me or my requests. He's all about his timing, not mine. All I needed to do was put Him first, and He would take care of the rest. 

So pray I did. And by Easter Sunday, Superman was having more "good" days than "bad." It wasn't an overnight healing miracle. It was a gradual transition that would probably have gone unnoticed if not for our fervent unrelenting prayers, and our conscious attention to the details. I would still say he's not 100% healed. However, I think this portion of my "Eve of Easter" prayer sums it up: 

"...Lord, this night concludes my Lent commitment to rise early each morning and pray for Chris' healing. Although we may not have seen a dramatic healing miracle overnight, I thank you for the obvious strides he has made over these last 46 days. Thank you for healing him piece by piece, bit by bit. Thank you for giving us encouragement when we felt as though all hope was lost in regards to his health. Thank you for reminding us that you are fully in control, weaving an intricate tapestry, and we are merely the tools you use to accomplish your tasks. Lord, I pray that you would continue to heal Chris' body. I pray that you would continue to bless me with the commitment and energy to get up early until we can call his body "healed." Please, Lord, help us to notice positive changes in Chris' health and to give you and only you the glory. May we never forget who healing comes from and never be shy about sharing the good news with those around us. I pray that Chris would feel your presence so evidently that he can be nothing but joyful when he wakes up each morning..."

You know what? Last night, Superman said that he had the best day he has had in probably a decade. For the first time in years, he was pain free. I don't know whether that will last consistently or not, but I do know that he's on the healing track. I know he is being healed. It's just happening on the Lord's timetable. So, I'll be patient. I'll keep praying early every morning until that glorious day when we can sing praise: Superman is healed! 
Related Posts with Thumbnails