Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Today of all days, even though we don't do a special gratitude activity, prayer or custom, I do try and take a moment to remember all the things I am thankful for: my smiling kids, the fact that my husband and I are still in love and are great partners (crime, parenting, and otherwise), my animals who make me laugh and remember to slow down, a roof over our heads, enough healthy food to fill our bellies, books to read and a warm wood stove to chase off even the dampest chill.

Thanksgiving for most people also marks the beginning of the holidays season. For me, it marks the beginning of many things like the holidays but also my personal (and silent) sugar free lifestyle.

Before I had kids, I used to not consume processed sugar between Thanksgiving and my birthday two weeks later. The first time I decided to do it, I thought it would be really hard but it wasn't. I was surprised how easy it was even with my dad's birthday smack dab in the middle. For whatever reason - be it that it was only two weeks or that I just didn't crave it - it was really easy. On my birthday I had my cake. It was delicious but very sweet. That first year marked the turning point for me in sweets and dessert. I had been seriously dating my future husband for a little while and he would always say to me "it's too sweet, I can feel the sugar" and he would rub his lips together disapprovingly. I would always think to myself, "well duh, it is dessert!" and secretly think he was nuts. He prefers more European desserts that aren't very sweet but have more flavor instead of the flavor of white sugar. After those two weeks, I knew exactly what he was talking about.

The last two years though I had just had a baby and then was pregnant so I didn't even think about it. This year though, I am thinking about doing it again. With nursing and running around I dropped all my L2 baby weight plus 10 pounds before he was 3 months old so it isn't a weight "thing." The last two months I have been craving sugar all the time and gobbling candy. I am normally a believer that when your body craves something you should feed the craving because your body needs something out of whatever food you are craving. The exception to that rule is sugar. While nursing I crave chocolate. I can not get enough but now, once the chocolate cravings pass, my body has started craving sugar. I know the reason: I need energy because I have two kids, a job, a home and am running on too little sleep. Candy and sugar are not good for my body or my mental health. When I have too much sugar, I am prone to crankiness and have trouble focusing.

So again, I am going to give it a go. From Black Friday (Thanksgiving being my last day) until December 6th, I plan to avoid all processed sugar. This gives me an end date. It also will make me feel like I can indulge a little during the holidays and not worry about gaining those extra 10 lbs back. I try not to make health decisions based on my weight because I am at a healthy weight but it still feels good to be 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m) and under 150 lbs and I would like to stay that way. I refuse to be one of those women who constantly thinks about their weight. I care about how I feel about myself and whether I fit into my clothes but not the number, never have and hopefully never will.

Anyway, so as of today I will be cutting all processed sugar from my diet. Yes I already do this for my kids but I use it in brownies, coffee, cream of wheat, etc. for myself. So for these few weeks, I will enjoy the opportunity to say "no thank you" to sugar and all the sweets that are often passed around. I don't tell others about why I decline, why spoil their fun? Everyone gets to enjoy the holidays in their own way. It helps me end the year feeling like I know how to take care of myself. And after the two weeks are over, I notice that I make healthier and more satisfying choices through the rest of the holiday season. Is this what everyone should do? Probably not but it works for me. Giving me a boost emotionally and physically. What better gift could I give myself for my birthday?

Anyone else have any post Thanksgiving goals?

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