stinking dairy queen

Frank and I have been doing the sugar-free thing for a month.  The twitching and shaking has mostly subsided, which is excellent!  And we are starting to fully enjoy the benefits of being sugar-free, which include:

– weight loss!  I’ve lost approximately 10 lbs over the past month.

– no food anxiety! I used to dread holidays and date nights because I knew that either I ate sugar earlier in the day and a nice dinner was going to push me over my recommended caloric intake OR I would eat dessert at dinner and feel terrible later.  It had gotten to the point that I would stress before normally fun events – not good!

– no 5 p.m. panic!  So with my insulin biz, I would often crave carbs (I still do), which is ironic because it’s really the last thing my body actually needs.  My body is so efficient with dealing with sugar, that I get a sugar high followed by a sugar low that makes me feel SO hungry and irrational, that I didn’t understand how people took the time to pre-heat the oven to make pizza when they came home from work.  I was THAT hungry!  Now, I can leave work and stop at the grocery store without turning into a hot mess.  Sweet!

With all of these positives, it’s hard to imagine that sugar could still have a pull on my life.  I mean, the pluses clearly outweigh the negatives… and yet….

Dairy Queen is running a buy one Blizzard, get one for 25 cents promotion.  Yeah, that’s right – an entire delicious and frosty Blizzard for a mere quarter. I mean, if you turn a Blizzard upside down, it doesn’t fall out.  If that doesn’t say “gotta have it” what does??

Frank was actually the first one of us to bring up this outstanding promotion in conversation.  And it was tempting.  You know, what could ONE deviation from the no sugar policy really mean?

But then I thought about the three points above and I knew that if I caved once, I’d cave again… and again…  So for the first time in our marriage, I was the strong one.  I said “NO!” to DQ.  It was liberating.  It was freeing.

I will not give up! I will persevere!  NO MORE CRAZY!

a tale of two brownies

Two fudgey, chocolaty, delicious looking brownies are sitting all sultry-like in my refrigerator.  Untouched, unsniffed and uneaten.

Saddest thing you’ve ever seen. Truly.

But, this has been an exercise in resolve.  Determination. Perseverence. Discipline.

“Emmmmmily… oh, Emmmmmmmiiiiiilllyyyyy!”

Can you hear them too?  It’s the brownies! They are calling for me.

I. Must. Stay. Strong.

Ok, all kidding aside.  It has been rough giving up my refined sugar habit.  And I say habit because that is exactly what it became over the years.  If I couldn’t think of something, I’d just go get a “hit” of sugar.  If I finished lunch, but wanted to make the lunch hour more satisfying – Sugar!

Without it, I realize that I am somehow LESS anxious.  Less concerned about what I’m going to eat.  I know that if I eat a satisfying meal, I don’t have to stress because of all of the extra dessert calories.  I know that sounds strange, but I think that I would go into a nice meal that included dessert knowing that I was going to feel bad afterwards – knowing that I would regret it.  But now, I feel like I can eat a meal and be satisfied and not upset – does that make sense?

I wish I could tell you that I’ve lost a lot of weight doing this.  I’m down a total of 4 lbs.  It’s not great.  It’s the same 4 lbs that I feel like I am constantly losing and gaining and losing.  But at least I’m down and not up, right?

And really, it’s not the brownies that concern me right now anyway.  It’s the compromising situation that I found Ed in when I got home tonight.  It’s everything you’d expect to find on Entertainment Tonight: Scandalous. Scintillating. Skanky.

… more on that after the commercial break!

one week down…

One week of no sugar.  Whoa.

And today was a test to beat all tests!  I went to my parents’ house for dinner and there were huge chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake and carrot cake – all just laying there, smelling all sugary and delicious…  Heavens. to. Betsy!

I feel good about myself for staying in control of the no sugar business, even though I am dying for a hit… err… a cupcake.  I’ve been documenting what I’m eating again, another positive.  I stayed within my calories on a holiday usually reserved for lots of sweet, salty, delicious food.

My weight is about the same, no major changes.  I don’t expect to drop weight over night, but if I could lose a few pounds here and there, that would be some nice encouragement.  The three pounds I thought I lost earlier in the week came back.  Dirty pounds!

So, the name of the game is to keep trying and to start exercising more.  Only 51 more weeks to go!

sugar sugar, ah, honey honey…

So here we are at the end of day 3 of my life without refined sugar.  Well, my life MOSTLY without refined sugar.

First of all, holy addiction, Batman!  It is tough not having unlimited access to sweets.  Well, not that I had unlimited access to sweets.  But you know, I knew a guy who could get me some, if you know what I mean.  And by “some” I mean sweets.  And by “guy” I mean vending machine or those pesky candy bar fundraisers.  You know, the “honor” fundraisers where some aunt or mom or grandpa sets out the candy bars in the break room with a sign saying “raising money for guns for babies” and you see that and think, “huh, ok, sure, I’ll buy a candy bar” and then there is envelope and you put money it and you take a candy bar.

I always feel guilty when I only have a $5 bill and I have to make change out of the envelope.  “No, seriously, I put a $5 bill in and now I am getting four singles… see, one, two, three, four.  Seriously.”

Anyway.  We had one of those “fundraisers” in our second floor break room.  Let’s just say, there are a lot of babies with guns out there.

So back to the issue at hand, I have been thinking about sugar a lot more than I realized that I did.  Maybe it’s because I can’t have it?  And I realize that it is good to let this sugar biz go for a while.  I’m exploring new things – rice and veggies.  Lots of bananas and berries and apples.  Yum!

This is definitely going to take some time to get used to, but I think it is a worthwhile endeavor.

Have you ever noticed how many songs there are about candy?

“My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard…”

That’s about candy too, right?

Right??

uhoh…

the last 24 hours without sweets…

… has been … OK.

Just OK.  It’s been hard.  I’ve thought about sweets a lot.  The things I loved AND sweets replacements (ie. honey roasted peanuts… not a candy… but coated in sugary goodness…).

Now, this doesn’t mean that I cannot do my job or live my life – I haven’t started sweating and shaking, but I did lose 3 lbs.  So, there’s that good news.

But it appears that I am not alone in my struggle to cut out things I don’t need.  A recent study talked about the addictive nature of meat, chocolate, sugar and coffee.

stopping the insanity

So, clearly, this weekend appeared to be a weekend of excess.  And could I have eaten less pasta and bread?  Yeah, probably.  And could I have eaten less candy/chocolate/ice cream?  Probably.  But I would also say that I didn’t eat as much of the candy/chocolate/ice cream as I wanted. And that poses a problem for me.

As I learned back in January, I am hypoglycemic.  This means that carbs are a particular problem for me because my body absorbs and distributes the carbs so quickly that I CRASH after carbo-loading.  Eating carbs causes me to have a blood sugar low within an hour or so that makes me FEEL super hungry.

As a matter of fact, when I eat candy mid-afternoon, by the time I get home at 5:30, I am irrationally hungry.  I don’t even bother to stop at the store because I am SO hungry that I am not sure how I will make it through the store without A) forgetting half of my list or B) maiming the first person who tries to abscond with my cart.

And don’t get me started with the parking lot.Let’s just assume there would be much carnage.

So anyway, I do not make wise decisions when I am on a sugar low.

Plus, my body converts these carbs to fat faster than you can say “Put down the butter Paula Deen!”  And if that wasn’t enough to make me pass on the sugary delights, the fact that we would like to get pregnant again means that I am at high risk for developing gestational diabetes.  While a high birth weight for our babies has always been a real possibility (my dear husband rocked the scales at a mighty 13 1/2 lbs and 24 inches of pure baby delight), gestational diabetes ups the ante significantly.  If that was the only serious side affect of gestational diabetes, that would be one thing.  Unfortunately, there are several other unfortunate potential by-products of gestational diabetes that give me pause for concern.

I realize that the idea of giving up all sweets seems … well… un-American.

I mean, who does that?

But after taking a long, hard look at myself in the mirror, reviewing the scale, and looking in the mirror again, I decided that I need to do just that.

Oh, not to worry, the idea of giving up all sweets did not come without serious mental protest and angst.  My poor, sugar-addicted brain said, “But dear Emily, what about BIRTHDAY cake?  What knd of person says NO to BIRTHDAY cake?? What about having something sweet to make eating healthy worth it?  Just a little bit of sweet stuff won’t hurt!”

Does a birthday cake make the birthday, I ask you?  Do I need a 3 p.m. sugar fix?  Do I need dessert after EVERY DINNER?  The fact that I tried to find reasons NOT to give it up was the biggest indicator that I SHOULD give it up.

I submit to you this: the celebration is to be augmented by the food.  The food is not to be augmented by the celebration.  This is a VERY difficult decision for me to give up sweets.  But I realized I was putting my desire to have a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup ahead of being healthy.  I was putting a slice of amazing, gooey chocolate cake ahead of feeling good.

Not any more.  Starting tomorrow (I had ice cream before I made the decision today), Frank and I are quitting the sweets cold turkey.  It’s going to be difficult because I am going to have to be really honest about what is a sweet and what is not.  I thought about buying some Fiber-One bars for their fiber-related benefits and because… wait for it… they also have a chocolate product.  Houston, I have a problem.  Using a Fiber-One bar to “replace” candy is not right.

And, of course, I realize that my eating habits are causing a rift with God and in my marriage.  I know that sounds far-fetched, but bear with me.  When I eat poorly, I feel bad about myself.  Instead of focusing on becoming the person that God wants me to be, I focus on how bad I feel about myself.  And if that’s not enough, I happen to have a wonderful, sweet, adoring husband who thinks that I am beautiful, no matter what, but I turn him away so I can have a self-loathing pity party.  Now, Frank muscles through it, but I think about how much BETTER my marriage would be if we avoided these kinds of pity parties all together.

So anyway.  This is my new adventure.  Anyone else want to join me?  I plan on discussing this frequently on the blog as I am anticipating a lot of withdrawal symptoms that may include “the shakes” and inexplicable crying/anger.  But once I get through the detox portion, I expect that I will feel MUCH better.  Right?  ::scratches arms, looks for a candy bar:: Right??

Amazing Pot Pie Recipe

I can’t take credit for this invention – it is totally thanks to my old boss.  It’s the easiest recipe and so delicious and PERFECT for the winter. 

What you need:

  • 1 Rotisserie Chicken
  • 2 pie crusts
  • 1 can of 98% fat free condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 bag of frozen mixed veggies (I like the corn, carrots, asparagus mix – the ones with peas get to pea-y tasting)
  • Seasonings that you like (pepper, salt, garlic powder, etc)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Shred the chicken into a bowl (I throw away the skin and bones).  Mix in veggies, entire can of soup and seasonings.  Set aside.

Spray a pie tin/glass baking dish with Pam, unroll pie crust and pat firmly into the pan.  Pour the chicken mixture into the pie crust.  Unroll second pie crust  on top of the creation and pinch the edges.  Puncture the top for venting (read: cut cute designs into the top of your dinner – it’s always good to play with your food) and put in the oven for 30-40 minutes until pie crust is done.

This is one of Frank’s favorite things I make for him.  It’s super easy, and aside from the pie crust (yum) it’s not too bad for you.  And it’s DELICIOUS as leftovers.  Yum-my.

I would have taken a picture, but we were too hungry to wait 🙂