May 30, 2017

Sugarless May, Day 30

No sugar update:

There is just over one more day left in the month of May, and just over one more day that I am 100% sugar-free. I wonder if perhaps my expectations were too high going into this month, because I really did think that by this time I would be feeling refreshed, energized, lighter, happier, less irritable, renewed, and all those positive wonder-womany things.

Instead, I find myself at the end of this month my usual amount of irritable (or more), not refreshed, not renewed, and still in definite need of naps as many days as possible. I am wondering if I did something wrong? Maybe I should have cut out fruit too? Or maybe sugar really hasn't been as much of an antagonist for me as I originally thought?

(Or maybe I need to give it more time? Of that I am skeptical.)

The one difference I can say is that my sugar cravings have decreased. They are most definitely still there, but most of the time at a lesser strength and vigor than before.

Even with the lack of one hundred eighty degree transformation, I still find myself a little reluctant to add sugar back in. Even though I most definitely want to add sugar back in. But it's been nice having the excuse of no sugar to keep myself from over indulging. And I don't know that I have the personal discipline to stop myself on my own.

Also, I've realized just how often we use food, specifically treats, to celebrate or treat ourselves or just because we feel like it. Wowzers.

Anyway, all in all, I suppose I'm still glad I did it. Even if it doesn't feel like there were any life-changing, wonder-woman, transformations. At least I know I can do it. And that's something to feel proud of, I guess.


May 9, 2017

Sugarless May Day 9

I feel no magic.

I am tired. I am moody. I am so over this.

The end.


Yes, yes, I know. I was not expecting to feel any magical energy or joy or whatever positive thing it is that one feels after giving up sugar for a month, not yet anyway. I know that it will (hopefully? maybe? IT BETTER!) happen by the end of the 31 days. BEFORE the end of the 31 days.

I was expecting to feel a lot of physical symptoms last week like headaches, dizziness, nausea, night sweats, SOMETHING. But, aside from that first night/day of dizziness, I didn't notice anything else. Which leads me to wonder am I 1) doing this wrong? 2) totally not addicted to sugar like I thought or 3) am sugared up via the copious amounts of fruit I'm eating and the milk I'm drinking and that is therefore keeping my body from detoxing from any sugar because IT'S STILL GETTING SUGAR!!!!

Also, I noticed more irritability last week. Like, particularly a couple nights of wanting to scream and bash my head against a wall. But it's hard to know, was it from my body missing it's sugar fix, my mind missing it's emotional sugar fix, or the fact that after putting the girls to bed at 8:30 they whined, cried, got up, called for us, etc etc ETC until they fell asleep at 10:30. Several nights IN. A. ROW.

Hmm, we may never know.

Now today, into week two, all I notice is being dog-tired and just feeling over it. Why did I think this was a good idea?

Only three weeks and one day to go. Not that I'm counting.



May 2, 2017

Sugarless May Day 2

Day 2 of no sugar is (almost) done.

Only 29 days to go. (Sad face.)

Day One was fine. I was feeling pretty motivated about this whole endeavor, so that kept me pretty upbeat and positive. To be honest, yesterday wasn't too difficult, although I'm under no illusion that it won't get significantly harder, and more painful. My coffee was pretty pathetic, half coffee half sugar, but I drank it. And, aside from making sure I didn't mindlessly lick a spoon or pop a piece of cereal in my mouth, it was, dare I say, an 'easy' day.

Nora woke up in the middle of the night last night, and when I went to her, I realized I was feeling a light-headed and dizzy. The dizziness lasted even after I went back to bed, which I figure is my body beginning to revolt at being denied sugar.

Luckily, this morning the dizziness had mostly subsided, although I still felt traces of it on and off all day, but I'm not assuming that this will be the end of my physical symptoms of sugar withdrawal. I have started to get a headache just tonight too.

Paige keeps telling me to just cheat and have some sugar. (Because apparently I was complaining a lot about it or something? Obviously that is totally an exaggeration. I have not been talking about it and being dramatic AT ALL.) I did remind her that even though I'm complaining some (ahem, a lot) this is something that I want to do. That (hopefully) it will be good for me and my body will (eventually) thank me.

I even managed to NOT eat ice cream when all three of my children had Dairy Queen tonight. I think I deserve a medal.


Apr 30, 2017

May Challenge (aka I must hate myself)

I have decided to give up sugar for the month of May.

::Dramatic pause to let that idea sink in::

See, I was originally thinking of doing something even more crazy intense like the Whole 30 diet I recently heard about. (I know, I'm way late on that bandwagon. Apparently it's been around forever, but I only started hearing about it a few weeks ago.) In any case, I was seriously, honestly, truly contemplating attempting the Whole 30. The "whole" problem? (Get it? Hardy har.) I don't eat meat. And, for those that don't know, Whole 30 basically only allows you to eat veggies, fruits, eggs, and meat. Um, for a non-meat eater who also isn't the biggest fan of eggs, that doesn't leave me much as far as calories go. (Also, sidenote: even if I LOVED eggs, can you imagine it being your only source of protein for 30 days. How sick of eggs would you be by the end of the month!? Gag.)

So, needless to say, my thoughts on that died down pretty swiftly. The things is, I wanted to try the Whole 30 because I had read about what an amazing "lifestyle change" it was that helped figure out how your body reacts to different foods. And to help one adopt better eating habits. Both of which sounded VERY useful to this over-tired, low-energy, sugar and carb addicted girl.

About a week ago it dawned on me that I could perhaps do something similar, but not quite as extreme. If I wanted to find out how my body reacts to different foods, instead of giving up grains, dairy, sugar, etc etc etc (ALL THE FOOD) at once, I could do one food "group" at a time.

And because I hate myself, I chose sugar.

No, I actually chose sugar because I have the biggest addiction to it, and it is the most likely culprit to all my low-energy and moodiness woes. Apparently sugar can really be problematic. I know, I know, it's not "apparently" at all. I've known this for a LOOOONG time, I just have never had the desire or willpower to do anything about it. (Sometimes I still don't have the desire because, hello!? Sugar!)

So, starting May 1st (tomorrow! nooooo!!) I will cut out all added sugar and sweeteners. No sugar, no raw sugar, no corn syrup or cane sugar. No pure maple syrup, no honey, no stevia. No nothing. Basically if I want something sweet I'm going to die. I mean, basically if I want something sweet I can only have fruit.

Yes, that even means I will either have to 1. have no coffee or 2. have coffee without any type of sweetener in it. If you know me at all you know that either of these options might be the end of me already.

But I'm committed. At least, I'm committed to trying. Which is why I have told my therapist. And my sister. My husband and my family. And why I am announcing it here. Perhaps then I will keep myself more accountable.

Plus, as far as telling my husband and family... well, let's face it, I'm more like warning them. I have no delusions that this is going to be easy and that my body won't revolt as it suffers sugar withdrawals. I mean, I haven't even started and I already miss it in my coffee.

Oooooh, tomorrow's gonna be a goo-ood day.

Excuse me while I shove cookies, ice cream, candy, and spoonfuls of sugar into my mouth. I've got 56 minutes until May 1st.


Apr 20, 2017

In Sickness

All joking aside, giving up Caribou mochas for the past two weeks was actually been (mostly) a good thing. Every time I had a craving, I used it as an opportunity to remember to have a conversation with God. Whether it was praying for others, giving thanks, or asking for forgiveness. And because during those two weeks there were many instances I thought about and craved getting my coffee from Caribou, there were many instances (more than in a usual two week period) where I found myself talking with God.


Easter came, and I got my Caribou mocha, and it was delicious. (wink) But what actually made the day so beautiful was the warm sunshine and being with family and friends. Our niece sang in church on Easter morning and witnessing her as part of the children's choir brought tears to my eyes. (Which, to anyone who knows me knows that's not such a surprise. I'm a crier. Especially when it comes to music in church.)

My parents have the perfect yard for egg hunts and the seven kids spent a good chunk of time scavenging the trees and flowers and rocks to find their 20 eggs each. The grown-ups *may* have spent some time searching too. There was only one egg casualty when a purple egg disappeared into the abyss between two boulders. A sweet Easter treat for whatever critter can squeeze in and get to it.

Unfortunately by the afternoon the bug I'd been fighting for the past several days over powered my immune defenses and I spent Sunday night and Monday mostly horizontal and mostly miserable. Poor Hope kept looking at me and saying, "I'm sorry, Mom." As wonderful as it is to see her empathy, it's hard as the mother to see your daughter trying to comfort and take care of you, when it feels like your job to be comforting and caring for her.

Health is such an important aspect of our well-being and it is so incredibly easy to take for granted. As my body was overcome with fever and chills, as my muscles ached as if someone was stepping on them and my joints burned as though being lit with matches, I had thoughts of awe and amazement at what our bodies can and do endure, and how many people with chronic and terminal pain suffer so much worse than those few days I did.

Luckily by Tuesday morning my body was feeling a significant difference, but instead of pain and fighting it was exhaustion and recovering. It's been ages since I've worked out, but the overwhelming sensation my body had was that I'd just fought through a marathon without the proper training. Every one of my cells was tender from the fight and I was so weak I could barely stand long enough to shower before having to lay back down again.

By Wednesday I was well enough, but then poor Nora came down with something. And as miserable as I felt when I was sick, I would take it a hundred times over to take away my baby's misery. I was pretty convinced she got whatever I had, but a call from the doctor today informed us it's strep. The one benefit of that is that we can give her antibiotics to help speed up the recovery process instead of just waiting for her body to fight off a virus.

(The downfall being that Paige is now pretty much guaranteed to get strep because anytime there's a whisper that someone she knows has strep, Paige seems to manage to get it.)

Being sick this week, watching my baby be sick the past day and half, I have a renewed appreciation for our health, and the fact that for millions (if not even billions) of people in the world, health is being fought for every single moment of every single day.

My baby is sick, yes, and it tears my mamaheart out. But she only has strep. She will not stay in the hospital. But we have access to a hospital if she needed it. She won't have to take anything stronger than a low-dose antibiotic. And that medication is easily available to us. She will be happy and healthy and running around like herself again within a day or two.

My heart is full of love for those who do not have the same access to the healthcare they need. Who don't have the money or resources, who can't just run to the pharmacy to get medication. And I hold space in my heart for those whose health is not so easily fixed as ours have been. For those who are in and out of the hospital, who are watching their babies suffering and fighting. Who are living every day on the edge, hoping for a cure, praying for a miracle. I'm praying too.


Apr 14, 2017

Countdown to Coffee

Whose dumb idea was it to give up going out for coffee the last two weeks of Lent when one of those weeks is also spring break. If I thought last week was hard...this week has almost been torture. A shopping day without handcrafted tasty Caribou mocha? A rainy morning sipping a bland so-so drip coffee from home?

My husband, bless his little heart, told me that this two week fast might be good for breaking my Caribou coffee addiction. (It's true, that addiction is a verified medical affliction -- ahem.) After laughing hysterically in his face for a good five minutes, I gently explained to him that no, depriving myself of the life-giving caffeine, that is delivered to me through that critical invention of the drive-thru window, for two weeks will not, in fact, curb my addiction. If anything, I will spend the next week (okay, let's be real, two weeks) binging.

I know. Trust me, I know. #FirstWorldProblems and #SpendingWayTooMuchOnCoffee and #YouAreALittleRidiculousChristine But give me this vice. I don't smoke. I don't drink wine. So I think a *minor* Caribou addiction is doable. (Just please don't ask me to calculate the math on how much I spend going out for coffee...)

Only two more days and I can celebrate Easter with a big fat made-specially-for-this-Caribou-obsessed-girl mocha. Hallelujah. Amen.


Apr 7, 2017

One Year Later


A year. A year? Has it already been so long? Where does the time go? And yet it feels like so much longer than just one year. When I sit down during the day, or at night, or any time, the thought of getting on the computer hardly a blip on my radar, so long has it been that I have fueled my desire to write.

So many things have come and gone, birthdays, vacations, seasons, and holidays. Scariness and craziness the whole world over. There is so much to say and yet the words feel frozen.

When faced with the realities of the world, of the country, of being a grown up, I find myself with a deep desire to curl up in my bed Rip Van Winkle style and sleep it all away. Which is occasionally overcome by an ignited fire to get out and run for office, start a world-helping organization, sell all my possessions and give them money to people truly in need.


Time keeps on slipping...

My baby is no longer a baby, well on her way to being three years old this summer. She is still as spicy as ever (although not so much today as she seems to be feeling quite punk -- hopefully better soon with the help of a healthy dose of Tylenol and a nap). She knows what she wants and what she doesn't and she will tell you with a wild screamy whine and sometimes even body flailing. She adores her big sisters (of course, who wouldn't?) and is constantly copying whatever it is they are doing or saying or wearing.

I'm sure Hope and Paige are tired of hearing about being a good example to her.

Hope and Paige. The two big girls. My big girls. My nine-year-old and just-turned seven-year-old. Have I mentioned how time has kept on going? They are amazing and I know that I have played only a minuscule part in that.

I am so in love with these girls.


In recent news, I have given up Caribou for the last two weeks of lent. Well, I should rephrase. I've given up going out to get my coffee. I am still very much drinking it brewed at home. (No need to worry about the safety of my family.) It has only been five days and I'm mostly over it. Sad, I know. Definitely makes my addiction that much more obvious. (Although I never questioned that it was there.) It kinda sucks. But I know it's not that bad. First world problem and all. So every time I think about the sweet creaminess of my favorite mocha, I try to take it as an opportunity to have a conversation with God and to be thankful for what I have.

I've had a lot of conversations with God these past five days.

So, cheers to home-brewed coffee, being a grown-up, writing again, and time.