Skidding Through Temptation
"Aaagh! It's my friend's birthday and for the 1st time in 45 years I am not eating a bite!!" -Eileen
Maybe, just maybe, at the age of 45 I can say "was".
December 30, 2008.
After devouring half of a birthday cake, prepared happily by my Roomie's girlfriend much in the same spirit as she baked the brownies covered in thick chocolate icing, I felt that I had hit bottom. Half of a birthday cake in one sitting. Only weeks after the half of a pan of chocolate brownies. Two cakes in one month. That was beyond excessive, even for me.
There I was, New Years Eve 08, feeling very much like the old days when an alcohol hangover made the thought of going out, celebrating, even standing up on the 31st intolerable. Now, it wasn't alcohol that created the hangover, but my final addiction, sugar.
I certainly impressed the New Years crowd by not tasting any of the sugar-filled goodies lining the counters. They didn't realize that one more tsp. and I would certainly keel over.
January 1 2009.
I went to the Crossfit Flagstaff Website. And there it was, the post that would change my life, even though I didn't know it yet.
Lisa Ray, owner of Crossfit Flagstaff, Athlete Extraordinare and Nutrition Goddess had issued the challenge. WHO AMONGST US IS READY TO EAT CLEAN FOR A MONTH? That means no sugar. No cane juice, corn syrup, processed stuff masking it's true idenity as sugar... none of it. Clean. Meats and Vegetables (for me, fish), nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, NO SUGAR. We would submit food logs every week.
Lighting fast I responded - I'M IN!
January 3, 2009.
I went to Crossfit Flagstaff after a 5 day absence. Since the first, I had dabbled in cutting out sugar entirely. A few leftover Hershey Kisses had made their way into my gleefully awaiting mouth while I thought - Oh balls. I have to put this on my log. When I laughed about that to LIsa, I saw the look cross her eyes. Disappointment. Confusion. It was a flash but it registered.
In that very moment it hit me hard that I made a commitment to DO this. DO IT. Not kind of laugh about it as I make a halfhearted attempt and roll my eyes, OH well that's me!. Not think of the day named SomeDay when I would have the balls to get off sugar and sort of deliciously indulge in my fix until then.
DO IT. MAKE IT REAL. NO SUGAR FOR A MONTH.
When the power of that commitment hit me, I got it. This challenge could easily be a life-transforming event. Again, not a wistful sigh between me and my midsection, but a commitment to ACT, FULFILL, COMPLETE a transformation I'd needed my whole life.
On day 21 of no sugar I do feel like my life has changed. The most notable change is that I don't chase the gnawing, unpleasant body experience called a craving all day long. My food feels pitifully bland and unexciting, but I'm JAZZED. I'm STOKED. I'm DOING it. Every day I wake up without having had my favorite drug the day before, I feel exponentially better about myself.
What can be cooler than that?
The night I did not take even a small bite of my friend's birthday cake was my victory. That is just unheard of. Period.
I'm not sure if I have more energy or feel more healthy. YET. I also haven't noticed the belly flab melt away. YET. But as Crossfit and Lisa Ray have inspired me to reach for that Next Level in physical fitness, I can see my mind reaching that way in nutritional fitness. Even though I swore I'd never become "one of those", I see a food scale and well defined lists of appropriate food quantities in my future.
What could feel better than that?