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.
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.