Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Still Sweet

It’s been about a month now and I’m still sticking with my sugar free ways. I’m pleasantly surprised that I’ve managed this long, but I’m not going to knock it! I think part of my success is that I haven’t been as strict as some of the reading I’ve done suggests I should be. Maybe that lessens the impact of what I’ve achieved, but it has definitely helped me keep up with this lifestyle change without it feeling too much like the dreaded ‘diet’ that kept me unmotivated for so many years.

I have cut out deserts and sweets pretty much totally. I say pretty much because I did have a baby cup of my favourite ice cream during our recent cottage vacation. Shawn assured me that it wasn’t the worst thing in the world to indulge in a much loved treat now and then (and might keep him from coming home one night to find me passed out on the kitchen floor surrounded by candy wrappers). The ice cream was good, but it wasn’t the crazy, amazing good that I had thought before the sugar fast. I don’t feel all that compelled to have it on our next trip, which is a big change for me – usually I start plotting how soon we can get to the ice cream place the minute a cottage trip is planned.

And, while I’ve been much more conscious about reading labels and checking the sugar content in foods, I haven’t completely cut out any food with sugar in it. If the sugar content is low and sugar is far down the ingredients list I will sometimes still choose to eat that food. This has helped when Shawn isn’t home to cook and I have had to turn to a frozen Weight Watchers dinner or something similarly fast. It also means that I am not completely cut off from eating all of the foods that I love.

I worry that maybe by not fully committing to the process I’m still hurting my body, but I also want to make this change something I can really live with. So for now the occasional tablespoon of Kraft Peanut Butter still passes through these lips and even a teaspoon of my favourite homemade Dutch apple jam once in awhile too. And next week I’m meeting a friend at the Italian restaurant in the city that I love and I have already planned to indulge in the gnocci that I’ve been salivating for since sometime last year. I never wanted my food choices to rule my life and I’m hoping that this balance will keep that from happening.

Funnily enough, as I make better food choices overall I feel less inclined to make bad ones anyway. At Taste of the Danforth last weekend my friends and I decided to buy a gyro from a popular restaurant and I was shocked when they stuffed it half full of French fries. I’d never seen that done before! I haven’t had fries at all since I started eating better, but they are a food that I often enjoyed before, so I decided ‘what the heck?’ since it was a special outing with friends. I got maybe half done and was so full I could barely breathe, not to mention a little grossed out by the thing. In my old life I would have scarfed that sucker down and then had some baklava to top it off.

Instead, I went to The Big Carrot and geeked out because they had so many different flavours of Lara Bars that I hadn’t tried. Lately, that’s the kind of treat I enjoy when Shawn and I are out running errands on the weekend. I think they’re actually better then the doughnuts or candy I might have chosen before – and I even share them with him instead of wolfing down a full one!

So my pants are now a size 6 (sadly, shopping for pants still kind of sucks) and I’m feeling so much better than I have in years. I’m keeping up my workouts, getting more sleep, trying to sort out the stresses in my life and it feels good. Maybe licking the sugar habit has been paying off in more ways than one!

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