Thursday, January 24, 2013

Clean Eating

I skimmed through a magazine recently and read this:


I was outraged for a minute, and argued (in my head, not out loud) with that theory.  Really??  Are you sure??  Because I have secretly been hoping that I could do that.  Start a running program, and still eat donuts for breakfast.  Consume mass quantities of sugar cookies and then work them off at the gym.  Well, according to that magazine, those aren't very realistic expectations.  Darn it...

I spent a lot of 2012 moving less and eating more.  I reintroduced things into my life and into my diet that I thought I had successfully purged.  And on Monday, I decided it was time to get rid of them again.  My body is craving better food and my mind is craving clarity.

Well, that was four whole days ago.  FOUR DAYS without sugar.  FOUR DAYS without chocolate chips in my Greek yogurt and homemade granola in the mornings.  FOUR DAYS of no desserts after dinner.  FOUR DAYS of fruit instead of candy.  The good news is that I'm still alive.  But holy cow!  Who knew this would be so hard??

Sugar is totally a drug, you know?  I can say that with absolute certainty because after 4 days of not having it, I'm kinda thinking that a syringe full of sprinkles shot intravenously into my body doesn't sound like such a bad thing.  

Here's what I've realized:

  • Coming down off of any drug, even the ones cleverly disguised in pink frosting, has some serious withdrawal effects.  I was ridiculously grumpy the first day.  One of my daughters said, "Good grief, someone please give Mommy a cookie!  She's unbearable."  I stayed strong and did not give in.

  • My weakest time is between lunch and dinner...that mid-afternoon slump just after everyone has gotten home from school.  I forage through drawers and cabinets looking for some dropped sprinkle, some stray chocolate chip, some leftover Sonic peppermint, like a bear who's been hibernating all winter.   The other day I found two fortune cookies that I had managed to avoid after a visit to Panda Express earlier in the week, and I almost gave in.  Apparently I need to find something to replace this afternoon activity.  

and this slightly more serious one is definitely the best...
I'm pretty sure this falls under the realm of things you can pray for help with.  And why wouldn't it?  Heavenly Father made us.  He has an interest in seeing us happy and thriving and living to our potential.  And we can't do that if we're heavy laden with excessive weight in a sugar coma on the couch.  I ask all the time to have motivation and discipline to exercise.  I ask for a desire to eat better food.  But until today, I had never tried asking in a more direct way.  I know that I cannot feel or hear the Spirit as well when I'm not eating well.  And I have a desire to hear the Spirit.  There are other, more obvious, destructive behaviors that I would never engage in because I know they would impair my ability to hear and act on the Spirit.  So why can't I just add sugar to that list?  I know that Heavenly Father and I both want the same things.  I have a righteous desire to stop eating crappy food, not because I want to look like a supermodel, but because I want to live the life that He has planned for me.   And that desire gives me the right to ask for more than just motivation and willpower.  I actually asked today that I would be as repelled by sugar as I am by cigarettes and alcohol.  I know, there is supposed to be moderation in all things, but for me, I can't manage moderation on my own.  I can't just have one Oreo.  I can't just have a little bite of dessert.  I have a toxic relationship with this particular thing.  And because I know I can't do this by myself, I decided to LAUNCH something different and ask for a totally different way of thinking about sugar.  

"The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single greatest skill that can be acquired in this life."  Julie B. Beck, General Conference, April 2010

I want to weigh less.  I want to look better.  I want to wear skinny jeans.  But more than all of those other things, I want that skill to be able to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation.  I don't want to miss anymore opportunities or calls to serve because I can't hear them.  

So, for the rest of this month and the next, I will be LAUNCHING a sugar free life.  After 6 weeks, I'll pick some other vice to get rid food? meat? procrastination? gossip? movie popcorn

I'm so grateful for the desire to do something better, for blogs that inspire, for results that are tangible, and for the willingness of a loving Heavenly Father to provide guidance and assurance.

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