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Sugar Free

I have decided.

I’ve drawn the line. I’m off sugar. Again. As addictions go, there is the painful part, the bargaining, the fear and the resistance…the decision. Even after the acceptance there has to be the doing.

Perfectly timed, just minutes after I stated my intention out loud, I was thumbing my way through the used bookstore. I like to test a book I’m interested in by opening it up to a random place and seeing if it speaks to me in those first few sentences.

This one did. It spoke about fear and resistance. I never really thought about going off sugar having to do with fear. The message in the book was about having curiosity around the fear and welcoming it in. Greeting it at the door rather than slamming the door in its face and pushing a chair under the knob. Launching a battle against the fear is another common tactic, I’m gonna beat this thing! A new approach is welcome.

I was reminded of when I had my babies and I learned that a good tool for greeting contractions was not with clenching or resistance, but with curiosity. When you become curious about something there is more likelihood it can flow through you than when you clench and resist. Curiosity also becomes a good diversion for the mind, for while you are distracted being curious the thing can come and go.

I spent my first day noticing my cravings for a sweet thing. I often had my cravings in the car. Why the car? Was I bored? Was it really a craving or a hunger? I took a drink of water and pretty soon decided there was too much involved in having a craving.  All the analyzing had made the craving just too much work!

I know I have to get through the first week or ten days to get this need out of my system. I know after that is freedom. I know because I’ve been there before and it is glorious. To release the pain from my joints and the ten pounds from my hips and the drama from my brain is way worth it.  Even better is the freedom from the need, the casual no thanks and meaning it when the birthday cake is passed around.  Jack Canfield says 100% is heaven and 99% is hell. Not having to decide whether you’ll just have one bite and argue in your mind that it’s okay and so forth is released to the stars. Freedom is a nonchalant glance at the sweet treat and turning away with disinterest.

I thought about what it would be like to write about this and share it. I thought of the celebrities that go on Jenny Craig and next thing they are right back where they started. I realized though, even though I have been off sugar before and got seduced back into it that I am still a better person for it. I know things about myself that I didn’t know before. I know I have the personal power to make a dramatic change, with food.

Today in yoga my teacher talked about how a baby learns to walk. Just because the baby falls down and has to try again doesn’t mean that baby made a mistake. It’s all progress.

I’m on day six right now with a slight headache. It’s okay because I’m doing so much better than the fear would have me believe I could. Even if I fall, I will get up again, better for the trying and eventually I will be confidently walking.


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Gina Myer - June 7, 2012 - 8:39 pm

You know, it’s funny how all the times I have contemplated cutting sugar out of my life I always got stuck on how challenging it would be. Especially since I am a baking goddess! I never considered the driving emotion to be fear, and that is exactly it. Good luck on this journey, it is a brave one indead. Maybe I’ll find the courage to join you!

Renee Bell - November 26, 2012 - 4:41 am

such wise words!!! i have 95% done it :) i don’t drink anything other than water, no dairy, very little fruit, no processed and packaged foods, but i do like to bake!!! always gluten and dairy free with coconut sugar which is slightly “better” than refined white sugar… that and the occasional blow out if we are out to dinner…