Saturday, May 3, 2008

No Sugar Success?

I'm here in Santa Barbara and I dragged Jen to a yoga class yesterday in a new studio...boy, was it hot! When the class was over the studio offered a nice tray of fruit, mango, melon, strawberries, pineapple.....and....jelly beans, chocolate.....

Jelly beans and chocolate! I took a few pieces of fruit, but then I found my hand reaching for the small pkg of jelly beans before I stopped myself. I stopped myself because I had gotten used to not letting myself mindlessly reach for those pure sugar candy snacks.....until I realized, oh yea, I can have these now! Wow! That was weird.

And atlhough I did end up taking some jelly beans and chocolate, the feeling I had when making that choice was different than before. It was a much more conscious descision. A descision of control, a descision of conscious choice, not a compulsive reaction. But that conscious choice started to lead to a compulsive action.

So after yoga Jen and I went shopping and ended up at the grocery for some seafood before going back home to cook dinner. That's where I bought some more jelly beans! I had jelly beans on the brain. Now, if I hadn't been with Jen I would of totally been "down" for a jelly bean binge! But wanting to set an example and trying to be on my best behavior I only bought a small amount, and after one more handful I didn't eat anymore. Instead I chose to get back to the house, do my swing workout, take a shower and finish cooking a fabulous dinner, in which I chose to have seconds of some really good fresh healthy food, instead of more candy! I kept reminding myself that I could have the jelly beans if I wanted to, but not before my workout, or my dinner. And if after those two things, I still wanted them, which I didn't, I could choose them.

So I guess my point is that I started to establish a new habit of sugar awareness. An awareness of how much I waste, nutritionally, on empty calories when I choose to eat sugar unconsciously. More aware of how much more value my body gets from making mostly fresh nutritious food choices.....I don't have to be 100%, there's nothing horribly wrong with a little junk food. It's when a little bit turns into alot, and then alot turns into only.

And I admit, I had my share of a couple of cookie and ice cream/yogurt binges last month, but cutting way back on the sugar was a success. Enough so, although I don't have to keep it out of my diet completely, I will continue to try and cut back drastically.

This month the nuts and the oatmeal have got to go! I ended up gaining 3 lbs. last month by trading off sugar for fats and carbs. In just the past few days I feel lighter, and I can't wait to see how this works. Now I'm going to go try on my jeans again!

Life is good.


Keturah Y. said...

Congratulations on your sugar success!

Two weeks ago I cut out grains and sugar. And WOW! It has made a huge difference in my energy levels, mental clarity, and health. I've had no mental or physical cravings for any of it, either - not even chocolate! (Is that good or bad? LOL) However, I still enjoy a small sugary treat or some real buttered popcorn once in a while when I'm with friends. (My hope is it will help me reach my weight goals. But I've found it has done so much more for me than that, that I have no plans of ending it.)

Bummer about the fat and carbs causing you some gain. I love nuts too, but I'm trying to keep them in balance.

Kelly O said...

Tracy, I am so with you on your approach. I'm working really hard on eating more intuitively...and when I get a "craving", realizing and acknowledging, ok Kelly you are having a craving.....are you really HUNGRY or just wanting something for some other reason. And I'm not counting calories - just eating clean, I'm doing a 7-Day Detox Cleanse this week so on that note I cut out some of the last 'fake" food like diet soda and protein bars....the cleanse is going well and I'm just eating when I want, when I'm HUNGRY and trying not to spend the day obsessing about whether it was wrong/bad to eat a bran muffin (with no sugar, preservatives or flour!) Life will be good when I can keep this going.....I think it really is about getting a mindset of "abundance" vs. scarcity; if we think oh wow, I have to scarf down these jelly beans because tomorrow I'm back on track dieting, we'll want to shove as many down in that 24 hour period right? AT least that is what my mindset used to be. But if you know that any time you see something and you are HUNGRY you can eat a portion of it, the thrill is gone, that mental temptation to go for what you aren't allowed.....if it's allowed, it is not as appealing....odd but true.