December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, sweet friends!
It started snowing this morning and it has been such a magical Christmas Eve!! I brought my camera to church since the kids were already dolled up and we stopped at a park near our house to snap a few pictures. I am so excited to have a white Christmas!!
This year we are just hanging out at home with the kids all day, and I think this will be the first year we've ever done that. It's been so relaxing not having anything to prepare for. Just wrapping presents while listening to Christmas music with the (fake) fireplace going and drinking coffee. Ahhhh.
I hope your Christmas is relaxing and peaceful, or chaotic and exciting, but merry either way!


December 20, 2017

A Year Without Sugar

I decided to commit to a year without sugar.  I remember reading about a family that did that a few years ago and I thought: "How crazy and extreme and tough that would be!" But it must have planted a seed of inspiration in my head, because here I am.

I've talked to you before about going without sugar, and why. Basically, I was incredibly addicted to sugar, and it was making me sick. Also nervous, because diabetes is all over both sides of my family. Back in the beginning of last year I decided to go a couple of months without sugar or any other sweeteners (with my vanilla soy milk coffee creamer as my only exception) and it turned into 5 months because I felt so good. My energy and moods were much more balanced, my skin was clearer, my mind was clearer, and I'd lost 20 pounds, without any additional lifestyle chances. Pretty cool. But then I was at a work camp our church goes to for a week and had to eat what was provided. I tried to eat well, but by the end of the week I was eating pizza and brownies, and that swung me back into sugar-overload mode until autumn, when I went another 3 months without sugar. Buuuut then Christmas.

One thing I know: I cannot moderate myself. I am like a cocaine addict. I go off, then I go back on. I try hard, I pray about it, I make plans, but as soon as my "two months" or whatever is up, I go right back. (Incidentally, this has given me a lot more compassion and insight into the struggle of drug addicts.) I cannot eat sugar in moderation. At least at this point in my life. And the life of a sugar addict...well I'm just too good for it. Thinking of sugar first thing every morning? Letting it control my mood? Being a slave to cravings? Nah. We were meant for better things.
So I thought maybe if I committed to a full year, this time with no soy milk, and no exceptions whatsoever, I could reset my mind and body and get over it somehow.  I was thinking maybe after the end of it, I might even be able to do what I've known I should probably do, but wasn't ready to: commit to a lifestyle of no sugar. That's a tough one, because who wants to be the weird girl who "can't eat that" all the time? The one that nobody wants to have over for dinner because her diet is "special", and not even for real medical reasons. You know what I'm talking about. Also, can I really commit to the rest of my life without Brach's candy corn?? (Not a sponsor, haha. But you know that's the ONLY brand.)

A couple of months into this year without sweeteners, I had already realized that this is the life I want. I want to feel good. I want to rest within my "None at all" boundaries, so I don't have to struggle with moderation. I know it seems like it wouldn't be this way, but I actually find it easier to eat strictly no sweeteners than to try to only eat a little now and then. Because I can put it out of my mind completely, like it doesn't even exist. So after this year of no sweeteners is finished (July 2 of '18), I'm going to just continue, and make it a lifestyle. However, I'm toying with the idea of allowing something on my birthday and/or Christmas. That way I don't have to feel like I can never have a certain thing ever again. I'll try it on my birthday in July, and if it causes too many cravings or problems, I won't do it again. But I know myself pretty well here and I think it will be ok, as long as I know that it's just for that day.

So yeah. A year without sugar. It's not as crazy as I thought it would be, it's actually awesome. I'm over 5 months in, and by now I'm pretty familiar with which foods have sweeteners in the ingredient list (everything. just, everything.) and which restaurants I can eat at (It's a long list: Chipotle.) and most people are pretty understanding about why I'm doing it. And I feel so, so good. When you're eating nothing with sweeteners, you're almost always eating pretty healthy food, which is so nice. I never worry about my weight anymore, because it's almost impossible to gain too much eating like this. It's so funny, because with all the restrictions of eating this way, what I really feel! So apparently there is something to this "self control" thing. Looks like my Creator was right again. Thank you, God, for giving us advice that gives us freedom.

Love you :)


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