Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Breaking the habit before I break a (sweet) tooth

I am on a real streak...make that a "sweet" streak. Between the chocolate ganache cupcakes my neighbor brought over recently, the Easter candy sitting in my cupboard (in those fun, oh-so-springy colors), and the string of birthdays we've had, for which I've made batches upon batches of homemade cookies...my sweet tooth is in full effect.

I've always had a sweet tooth - homemade cookies are my favorite, with ice cream being a close second - but I've usually been able to get away with it. I balance it out with plenty of fruits and vegetables, chicken, beans, and the like, and do my best to fit in a few rounds of exercise each week. I feel good grabbing a treat here and there - because I know it's not my go-to.

Until now.

Recently, I've found myself reaching for a cupcake instead of an apple in the afternoon, and grabbing a bowl of ice cream instead of a bowl of strawberries sprinkled with a little powdered sugar. (Okay, make that a lot of powdered sugar) after dinner. And when I say "and", I mean "and." I'm no longer choosing to satisfy my sweet tooth with a treat once a day...I'm now supplementing my diet with a handful of M&M's in the morning, a couple of cookies in the afternoon, and then helping myself to dessert after dinner. It's awful - but my body has completely become accustomed to the sugar.

So now, it's time for a little detox. Nothing super severe...like emptying my cabinets or ridding the house of everything sugary and sweet (although that would help.) I'm not pulling out all the stops quite yet, just gently persuading myself to get back on track by re-instilling the concept of "the choice."

Choosing either the M&M's OR the cookies OR the after-dinner dessert. I make choices in my life with lupus everyday - now it's time to make a few choices in the kitchen. It's merely a matter of becoming conscious of the habit I've gotten into (and grown comfortable with), and turning it on its head.

I remember doing the same thing with fatigue years ago. For so long (all TOO long, that is), I functioned half the day on empty...running myself far past the point of exhaustion every afternoon before stopping for a nap. I'd become accustomed to functioning like that, and the bleary eyed, spacey, almost painful state of fatigue that I experienced every day was just part of the deal.

Until I wised up.

I started taking my nap BEFORE I reached that breaking point, and that's when life started to get a whole lot better. Today, I avoid that point of exhaustion like the plague...it's not fun, and I don't want to ever get into that routine again. It's a habit that I've broken - hopefully for good.

Now to work my habit-breaking magic on my sweet tooth.

4 comments:

  1. What a neat post! Looking forward for more post from you. Thank you for sharing!

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  2. Sometimes we want a feeling of normalcy so we tend to push ourselves and pay later. I think everyone does that time to time.

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  3. I've always considered myself a healthy eater - and especially since becoming sick. But for some crazy reason, this winter I just "gave up". What I have realized is that somewhere along the way I started telling myself little "permission statements". "You deserve this". "Your on steroids, people expect you to gain weight", "I'll just let go for a while"..... almost unconscious statements, but when I slow things way down...they are there. Now, I have completely allowed myself this choice to the point that healthy food just doesn't "sound good". Well...AMEN to making right choices. Dang, why did I let it get to this. And not that I have gained THAT much weight (about 10), but it's the psychological lesson that has to be relearned - retrained. Yuck. That takes work, for heavens sake! But I'm right there with you. Now is the time. Get back on track. What, exactly, do I want my cells made up of - sugar, ice cream, bagels and chocolate...or green leafy vegies and colorful fruits???? Seems pretty obvious to me. Plus, I'm tired of the short term fatigue relief...Bring on the good stuff!
    Thanks for the inspiration!!

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  4. Sistergirl - I agree...and according to a girlfriend of mine who also has lupus, sometimes, it's worth it. As I say in my book, inspired by her words, you have to indulge wisely, you know?

    Thanks for stopping by

    And Theresa - I am so right there with you! Stepping back and realizing that the oreos sound so much better than an apple or banana does make you think for a minute, at least in my case it did! You're on the right track now, I'm sure. Thanks so much for sharing. Helps me to stay on track, too.

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