There is sugar in EVERYTHING. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but even GrapeNuts, the cereal that tastes like cardboard, has a whooping 18 grams of sugar mixed in with what I can only assume is packaging scraps and the driest cranberries ever. So while I have successfully cut out sugar in the form of Carmello bars and Phish Food ice cream 6 days a week, I’m having a harder time cutting sugar out of my normal foods. Which is ridiculous. On top of this, I’ve realized that I can cut processed sugar out of my diet and still not eat that healthy. Well, not unhealthy, but just missing all the veggies. I had this brilliant plan – stocked up on fresh veggies at the Commissary, chopped them up in the kitchen and stuck them in snack bags. Then I tossed them in the freezer. Where they froze into what becomes a soggy mess later on. There have a been more than a few pb&sugar-free j sandwiches in the past couple weeks. Still, this way of eating seems sustainable. I can do this without completely rearranging my whole life, there are things to eat that I can grab real quick from the kitchen between diaper changes and tickle matches in the living room (thank God for baby carrots and dates), and I can easily find enough calories to keep nursing. No crash diet here, just tiny itsy-bitsy steps toward healthy living. Not to say that I don’t count down the days until I can grab a spoon and dive into some Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, straight from the container.
Twenty minutes until 10pm. Until Margaux will wake up to eat and hopefully, HOPEFULLY, go right back to sleep. I want to sleep.
Sleepiness aside, this is my life:
I get super caught up in losing weight and being pretty. I mean, I know I’m pretty. I know I’m pretty healthy. I know that my pant size is considered…not small enough to a million people who DON’T MATTER. I know that I need to keep being healthy for the sake of health and hopeful life-longevity and taking care of my family and feeling good.
There is this stupid hunk of metal and plastic in my bathroom that tells me a magic number. A scale is meant to be a tool, not a punishment, not what I spend the rest of the day obsessing about non-stop. I firmly believe in scales. I do not plan on hiding my scale from myself (done that before) and just eating whatever and not thinking about health (hello, extra 20 pounds). But I need to find a balance. I need to be a woman after God’s heart, not the mirror/lady-in-the-magazine/body-type-that-is-not-mine woman.
So there is the no sugar. The running. The bi-weekly P90X. The mirror, the shorts that don’t quite fit. The pregnancy pounds I will lose, eventually. There is the slightly annoyed look Ethan is getting on his face when, for the millionth time, I want to go over my weight loss/exercise plan and frustrations.
My idol. No way around that.
Here’s to a new day tomorrow, a recognition of my failures and sins, His grace covering all of my vanity. For His word, laying out the path for my footsteps. Here’s to wisdom to pursue goals without giving them a pedestal.
Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
1 Peter 3:4
…not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
1 Timothy 2:9-10
1. Please go juice a sweet potato with mangos and pineapple.
2. In Japan, American size 4 translates to Japanese size XL. Fun.
3. Fried eggs on toast.
4. An unrelated chin-jiggling photo – if only you could hear the laugh along with it!
Here’s the thing – you can only tell a man you are giving up sugar so many times before he’ll respond with the world’s largest eye roll. I can’t blame him. I like to make sweeping declarations just about every other week. Mostly about sugar. And how little I’m going to eat of it for the rest of my life. Often I’ll make these sweeping declarations after consuming way too much candy – the unsophisticated, sickly-sweet kind marketed to middle-school kids. Gummi Rocks. Sour Straws. And yes, I usually am at a point of wanting to lose about 20 pounds and get desperate when I realize (over and over) my love for sugar does not make the scale move in the right direction. So I’ll “give up” sugar for about 48 hours before I realize that my will power is practically nonexistent and also that I really enjoy treats. Like candy. Jellybeans. Licorice. A spoonful of frosting.
But I’m getting older – I’ll be 25 in less than 2 months, halfway to my 30’s. Still young, yes, but moving in the older direction and my brain is starting to notice research on a diet heavy in sugar. Expanding waistline, mood swings, heart disease. I’m sure my sugar consumption is about average for an American, but holy hell, have you seen the average? According to Forbes.com, we consume a startling 130 POUNDS of sugar a year. This is bad news. This is not the sort of news I want to pass on to my children.
I decided that now is the time to get myself in the habit of not eating candy every single day. My goal is 6 non-sugary weeks to see how I feel. I’ll update after 3 and at 6 weeks. Since I just had a baby and am working off those pregnancy pounds, slowly but surely, right now seems perfect. And I’ve been seeing a few #imoversugar’s around Instagram and Facebook. I won’t tell you how long it took me to realize the tag said “I’m Over Sugar,” not “I Mover Sugar.” “I Mover Sugar”? Makes no sense at all.
So anyway, I love a good, healthy, positive bandwagon to climb aboard, and here I am, three days in and I’ve already messed up today and yesterday. First day was as easy as…sliced cucumbers. Super easy, non-sugar snack. And according to the #imoversugar rules, one day a week is a good day for a treat. I choose Sunday. You can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be at the NEX first chance I get for a big ‘ol chocolate bar. With caramel inside.
While my siblings and I were all at home earlier this month, my mom requested that we take some full family photos – my sister and I took turns setting each other up and snapping away, having our aunts take the cameras when we were both in the picture – they turned out pretty great! Only a couple of them look like they belong on AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com.
Sometimes you get exactly what you need. Little moments that add up to give you the gumption to rev you up and try your hardest and be your best to everyone around you, because someone has poured a little bit into you. Like a letter from your big sister, full of love and encouragement and kind words about who you are – a symbol of how far a relationship can travel. We have gone from childhood friends to teenage enemies and now, years later, to true friends. Like your husband asking for a moment to pray together before the baby wakes up to do her nightly crying routine, asking for patience in the face of your…impatience. Like two daughters napping for nearly THREE HOURS, letting you take a nap, cuddle and just sit, relaxing and letting the dishes stay dirty a while longer.
We have all these moments – tiny pieces of our day that we can accept with gratitude or not even notice as we move on to the next part of our day, the next box to tick off of our to-do list. Have I cleaned the living room today? Organized the girls’ dresser? Swept the floor or made the bed? No. I haven’t. It’s kind of driving me nuts. There are dishes in the sink. The counters aren’t clean and I’m pretty sure Niahmaya ground a cookie into the carpet.