Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sugar update

Well, it's been an interesting month of trying to decrease my consumption of sugar. The first few days were especially difficult because I was thinking about it so much that it made me want to eat it more than usual!

Some of my most challenging moments were parties and group gatherings, because of the multiple dessert choices. In an ordinary situation, I would choose 2 or maybe even 3 of these offerings. So selecting just one made me more intentional about my choices.

I did, for the most part, uphold this challenge, and I'm actually quite proud of myself for being more disciplined in an area where I do not really restrict myself. There were two times that I willfully overindulged--one was at the end of a very long day when Nathan had been particularly disrespectful and disagreeable. Once he was in bed, all I wanted was to unwind with some chocolate! The second instance occurred just this past weekend. We went to a graduation party with the most gorgeous display of delectable cupcakes. Two of the flavors were lemon and coconut, neither of which Eric will eat. The temptation proved too great, and I had one of each!

I have to admit I debated for quite awhile about the second cupcake. I even brought it home so I could have it the next day, but I gave in. I felt a bit like the mairie (mayor) in the movie Chocolat, who does not allow himself to partake of even the smallest treat, until the tension builds, and the town awakens one morning to find the mayor sleeping, covered in chocolate, in the display window of the local confection store. (When I used the word "willfully" in the paragraph above--I meant it. We humans have a funny relationship with food, don't we?!)

Now that it is June, I hope I will strike a happy medium with my sugar intake--being somewhat less restrictive than I was this past month, but still making intentional choices, and showing more discipline in this area. As I said when I began, everything in moderation!

If you're wondering about the details of my challenge, more specifically, I made up a few of my own guidelines:

1. If we were having oatmeal for breakfast, I did not count adding brown sugar to my portion as my sugar serving for the day; however, I tried to use less than usual. Same with jam for PB&J sandwiches. For me, the challenge was about sugary desserts and snacks, not these less regular instances that were part of meals.

2. On some days, I did have something sugary twice, but I only allowed myself half a serving each time. Again, for me, it was not about being legalistic, but about making better choices. I considered that it was better to have half a serving twice a day, than a full serving twice a day!

3. When I was craving something sweet, my go-to choices were smoothies, Kashi granola bars, and fruity sugar-free gum.

I can't say that my headaches have decreased, but I have no doubt that eating less sugar offers some health benefit! I'd love to hear your thoughts--do any of you have certain restrictions regarding dessert/sugary treats? Is sugar a temptation for you, or notsomuch?


Mom said...

Good for you!! Though I'm sorry you are still having headaches. I've been trying to have smaller portions of dessert and limit myself to one Coke a day (except on weekends!) -- easier said than done. Thanks for the update -- love you, Mom

Katie said...

Great progress, Carrie ~ and I love how it's all about being real, intentional, and progress forward!! I definitely have a sweet tooth (when you mentioned those cupcakes at the grad party...the wheels got turning about my next cupcake creation time ~ ha!) My struggle of late has been my affection for Dr. Pepper! We rarely have soda in the house, so when we are out, I'm quick to purchase a large Dr.P! And sometimes I find myself making a trip out just in pursuit of that! I'm thinking I need to set some guidelines...and get back to drinking mostly water. I think your go-to choices to satisfy your sweet tooth are great ~ it's definitely creative smoothie time around here! Thanks for the inspiration and honesty ~ will look forward to the next update! =)

Mrs. Claus said...

Moderation is the key in every choice. Sometimes what helps me when I am "limiting" myself (I hate the word "dieting"), is to tell myself. . . "You already know what that tastes like, so you don't need to taste it again." or "You have had chocolate cupcakes before, so you can pass on those."

I admit it doesn't always work, but the more times I practice it the better I get at doing it.

Great job! Keep it up. . . 21 days in a row make a habit.

Leah in Iowa said...

You have done well, Carrie! Good for you! I am liking your word choices: intentional, happy medium, and moderation. That about sums it up, doesn't it? Going cold-turkey is really hard - I think you chose the right way. Here's to hoping your headaches are less frequent!

Debra said...

Good job! I have a major sweet tooth too so I know how you feel. I have heard more than one person say that they have given up sugar & now don't even miss it- oh how I wish that was me. We buy agave nector & use it for anything you use sugar for. It's sweet but supposedly doesn't raise your blood sugar. Even my husband likes it. We also use it on waffles. You should be able to find it in the syrup section of your market.

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

Ordinarily, I have a major sweet tooth, but in pregnancy, I've found that I don't crave sweets nearly as much. Actually, I'm eating more like my husband, which is part of what had us wondering if we're having a boy! (We are.)

Interestingly, when I went off candy last year for Lent, my migraines decreased a bit. I thought it was the sugar, but it turns out it was Red 40. When I wasn't eating candy anymore with that chemical, life got better. Once I figured out that connection, my consumption of sweets has greatly diminished. I already don't eat chocolate because of migraine, and now I can't eat candy in my favorite flavors (cherry, grape, strawberry--basically all the ones with red coloring in them), so that leaves my dessert options often quite limited. That alone has decreased my sugar consumption, which certainly isn't a bad thing.