Monday, May 24, 2010

You All Know What They Say About Absence

Here I am on the first day of week three of my sugar-free/bad carbohydrate-free lifestyle. In stead of getting easier, it seems like it's getting harder. *U_U* How does that work? Isn't all of this supposed to get a little easier as I go along? I mean, sure, it's an addiction and I'll always have a difficult time walking past the pastries in the bakery window, but come on!
At any rate, I'm sticking to it and don't really feel any different. The only thing I can honestly say has stopped is my obsession and constant thoughts of food. Now, when I'm working or wasting time online or even just reading my mind stays focused. Maybe this is because I'm finally getting all of the vital nutrients I should have been getting these twelve years past as a vegetarian? I'm certainly eating more fruits and veggies and whole grains than I ever did before. But now, all of the lovely things my body needs to function properly aren't getting all muddled up and overshadowed with refined sugars (any sugars but natural fructose, really) and empty calorie carbs. I love my body. It supports me in everything I do. It deserves to be treated better now that I have an idea of what I'm doing to myself and, finally, the willpower to change! I want to be able to trust myself, and I want my body to be able to trust me to make the right decisions to keep it healthy and strong for many, many, many years to come. If I'm going to live with a health problem, I will only allow hypothyroidism. I have no control over that, but I can live my life to the fullest while adhering to its rules. Obesity, diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure; these are all issues I have complete control over in my body. I am not obese and never will be because I can control it. I have never had diabetes and, as long as I am careful of what I put into my mouth as well as how active I am, I needn't worry about that. Heart problems follow bad lifestyle choices. So far, so good! *^_^* Being a (mostly) centered and calm person, going with the flow and smiling/laughing a lot, blood pressure has never been an issue, either. In fact, every time I go to the doctor, the tell me how perfect my vital signs are! (Not bragging, just sayin'.)
All in all, my life is what I make of it. My health is good. My soul is good. My life is good.
I was tooling around in Hulu the other day when, by odd chance, I came across a show called The Dresden Files. Having only read the first book, but looking forward to reading the entire series, I was intrigued! I had no idea that SciFi had turned the books into a program. Granted, it only lasted a twelve episode season, but thus far I have enjoyed it! The eighth episode, by the way is actually the first book. So everything's a bit out of order. For anyone who enjoyed Buffy: The Vampire Slayer or even Big Wolf on Campus, I highly recommend the show. For those of you who are fans of the books, you might be in for a few let downs. However, if you disassociate it from the novels, it really is very entertaining. I was looking forward to seeing their rendering of the pixie in the woods and the final fight scene in Storm Front, but, since it wasn't in full length feature form, I had to let those items go. But, I digress, I really have fun watching the show and still look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Work is hectic, as usual in these warmer months. I still adore it, though!
The old hole in the gums is healing nicely. I turned down the pain meds when they offered, so have been taking two ibuprofen whenever the dull throb gets to be too much. Other than that, the wound is closing and all is well. As for the extra dental trip to Boston next month, I'll find out tomorrow exactly if and when I'll be going. Nothing major, though; if my x-rays are accepted, I'll be getting a minor filling in a matter of two hours. Since it's an exam it won't be quick. But that's okay. No big. Besides, I say again, free night in Boston. The hotel room (from what the online site says) would be the same price for two people as it would for one. I'm thinking that I might mention bringing a friend so I won't be in Boston alone. I'm not afraid, but it's just not as much fun by myself!

I suppose that's enough for now. Type at ya later! *~_^*

Monday, May 17, 2010

Out of the blue!

Today is Sugar Free Day # 8, also known as Day #1 of Sugar Free Week #2!
That statement has many numbers.
So! I also had a tooth pulled today. It was a molar that, supposedly I had had a partial root canal done on in my early high school days. Though, today, I found out that this isn't so. My parents may have been charged for and paid for a partial (if not full) root canal, but my new dentist showed me the current x-ray. There was no root canal. Never was. No wonder I didn't think it was that bad. Huh.
At any rate, I had this tooth pulled today and it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I wasn't put under; only local anesthetic was used, and, ultimately, they had to break it out. This didn't bother me a bit, seeing as I had broken the tooth (stupidly) the night before the filling masquerading as a root canal happen upon my mouth. My dentist and his assistant are very sweet people. In fact, I never have any issues with doctors, nurses, dentist and assistants in the clinic where I am a patient. I find that my nervously cheery attitude carries very well into medical situations. If any of them are ever having a bad day when they're treating me, I've never noticed!
My kitchen is lightly stocked with juiceable items as well as soft foods. I don't want to over-stock, as I'm afraid of eating myself into oblivion. What I have, though is all naturally sweet (frozen orange juice and grape fruit concentrates and frozen blueberries, blackberries, mangoes and pitted cherries, Tazo Cinnamon tea with licorice root, Vermont applesauce(sans added sugars) and pure carrot juice) or savory but not salty (Cream of Wheat and organic veggie broth.) Difficult to get used to, but not impossible. *^_^*
Then, just as the numbness wore off, my dentist called to ask me if I'd be willing to be his patient for an exam he has to take in June.
"Sure! I wouldn't mind!"
"It's in Boston."
"That's fine."
"The exam is at seven in the morning."
"Ok." Was he trying to talk me out of it, now?
"I'll pay you for your time and, if you'd like, I'll book you a room in the area of the exam. It's in downtown Boston."
"That's fine." I smiled through the phone.
"You are such a nice person!"
Did I mention how sweet my dentist is? :P So, he's coming to talk to me about it on Wednesday at the farm. We've scheduled for lunchtime, so I won't be doing it on my bosses' dimes. I wouldn't anyway, but this makes it a little more appropriate if he's coming on a day that I'm working. We'll settle things then (he'll tell me what to expect and, I'm assuming where he'll be putting me up.) Pretty sweet! A night in Boston paid for by my dentist and more free dental work! If only I could bring someone with me. I wonder, if he's offered all of this already if he'll mention that I can bring someone. *shrugs* It's already a pretty sweet deal; I don't want to push my luck with Lady Fortuna.

Friday, May 14, 2010

And Five.

Thank you for the support and recommendations! Knowing that I have a little network of supportive friends and family really means a lot as I nervously navigate through the choppy waters of sugar addiction.
Today, I wanted bread and pastries so bad! But I held strong and stayed true to myself. I had a small bowl of black bean soup for lunch and it was incredibly delicious! When I got out of work I had a plum, and dinner will be brown rice and red kidney beans. I've only got a few days left of solid foods, anyway, since I'll be having a tooth pulled Monday morning. I'm going to turn down the pain killers (except for the over the counter stuff) and stick with liquids for a week. There are a couple of juice recipes I'm interested in trying out and tasting. Also, I'll have bananas to mash and veggie broth with barley. If it's cooked for long enough, I can enjoy the barley in "soup form" without feeling the need to chew it.
All in all, this is still hard, but it's getting better as the days roll by. This month, in general is nothing but a big ball of stress. So, if I can make it past June 1st without giving in, I think it will get much easier. I'd like to think that I could have a cookie in a year, but, knowing the severity of my addiction, I don't think that will ever be an option again. Maybe I can come up with some sort of sugar free(including honey and agave), totally natural fruit cookie sans flours and other bad carbs...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day Four

Wow! Resisting was really hard, today. Well, in the morning and during the day it isn't really difficult. But once I get home, the cravings are pretty wicked. I can only hope that after I've got a couple of weeks under my belt that this will get a bit easier. I could really go for some pizza and ice cream and brownies right now.
But! I've been good! Even at work, instead of a cup of coffee with sugar and cream, I've been having herbal teas straight! The Tazo Cinnamon Spice (I think is the name of it) has a pleasant, naturally sweet after taste that becomes an "all over the palette" sweetness the further into the cup you get. Thank you, licorice root! Who knew your amazing ability?!
On Monday I'm having a dead tooth pulled. I don't anticipate needing the strong pain killers or having to take time off of work. However, I won't be doing any heavy lifting there or eating solid foods for a week. I'm looking at it as the opportunity it is! If I can't drink it, I can't eat it. I've got a few lovely smoothies planned, a barley soup (really just barley and spices in veg broth) and various mashed fruits in mind. Maybe it'll make this whole thing a bit easier...?
I certainly hope so!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How Sweet It Is!

Day two and, even though I still mourn the loss of chocolate, sweet and light coffee and tea and chips from my diet, I'm feeling grand! Knowing that there will be no dessert (except for a piece of fruit if I really must have something sweet) forces me to slow down and savor my food.
On my way home from work, I stopped at the the store and picked up a three-pack of portabella mushroom caps. Lightly "fried" in olive oil with some light seasoning, these buggers can taste like a burger! They've got an amazing, meaty, deep flavor that goes great with brown rice. So, I fried one up, threw my mixed vegetables in to thaw and seer them, then tossed in the brown rice.
It was heavenly! The beans, having been lightly fried had a creaminess that really shined through and enhanced the flavors of the other veggies, rice and, of course, the mushroom. I enjoyed it thoroughly, as it was a nice change from just rice, beans and veggies.
That was followed by a banana a half an hour later. My eating for the day was complete by 7:30. And, might I toot my own horn? I am quite proud of myself. Quite proud, indeed. *^_^*

Monday, May 10, 2010

One Day At ATime

Not too long ago, I posted a blog on my embarrassing history with sugar. (If you haven't read it, feel a compulsion to do so and have the time, click here.) Today, I embark on a journey that will last the rest of my life. I am giving up sugar.
Now, I realize that fruits are something I should have in my diet. They will not disappear from my plate. "But," you say, "fruit is loaded with sugars!" Yes, but those are the sorts of sugar I can have. Let me be more specific. I am giving up refined sugars and, for the most part, carbs. The good carbs, just like the natural sugars, I can keep.
Let me break this down for you. Fruits with a low Glycemic Index, such as bananas, kiwi, grapes, cherries, etc. will be kept on for nutritional value as well as "desserts." However, they will not be abused as desserts. For instance, I am now able to eat a serving of oatmeal for breakfast every morning without adding sugar and milk. (This has been a change within the past week. I went from originally adding about three or four tablespoons of sugar and about a 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup 2% milk, down to vanilla or honey Chobani yogurt to nothing. And, you know, with that middle step, I am able to appreciate the subtle flavors and texture of oatmeal that I couldn't before.) This morning, I added a banana to my plain oatmeal. What a treat! I feel that I could do that once in a while, but not feel as if I need it every time.
Whole grains (oatmeal, barley, brown rice, etc.) and legumes will be my carbs. No more bread, pasta, white rice. Also, I found a mixed bag of frozen veggies at the market labeled "Ranchero Mix." This will be mixed with my grains for lunch and dinner meals. It contains broccoli (which I can no longer eat raw due to my hypothyroid condition), red kidney beans, garbanzo beans, red peppers and green beans! Loads of good things to liven up the old brown rice! I've found, too, that adding some lemon juice and a touch of salt and pepper to the mix makes it a tasty and filling meal.
Yea! for being healthy!
Other items that I eat regularly that I will never eat again: cheese...this means the feta that I have been regularly adding to my lunch salad for the past month..., chocolate, coffee, wine (the only alcohol I've ever consumed, so I don't need to list any others, as I never intended to try them, anyway), Pocky(*U_U*)...the list goes on and on.
This all began today. I'm not looking forward to the withdrawals (who would?), but I am looking forward to being free of this chemical reaction in my mind and body. Who wants to be a slave to something so minute you can barely see one piece of it with the naked eye? I gave up meat thirteen years ago; I can certainly give up sugar!
It's just going to be a bit more difficult.
Other foods I must give up because of my thyroid are either because they are deemed goitrogenic, or because they simply interfere with my synthroid medication.

Goitrogenic foods: cabbage, broccoli, turnips, rutabaga, mustard greens, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, peaches, pears, strawberries, radishes, cauliflower, millet, African cassava, potatoes and corn. I have the option of eating these, but not in large quantities, and they must be cooked. I just can't do cooked spinach, so I suppose quinoa will have to take over for nutrition's sake.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I have been chosen!

Thank you, Wizardess Epi, for my Life is Good award. *^_^* Life is good, isn't it? (As I typed that, the sun shone through my stained glass pentagram!) Also, thanks for the insight into your life! What fun!

Alright, your questions, my answers.

1. What is your favorite dinosaur? You must choose even if you don't really like them at all. But I bet you do like them :)

~I love the brontosaurus! Triceratops aren't bad, but everyone knows "three horns never play with long necks!"

2. What is your favorite gemstone?

~Moonstone. It amazes me that each incarnation can look so different, yet, when I'm near moonstone jewelry, I somehow zero in on it amongst all the other bits and bobs.

3. Does Mercury in retrograde affect you?

~It doesn't seem to...when I'm not aware that it's going on, it might. But if I know it's happening, would I subconsciously make it right? Hmmm...

4. Owl or lark?

~I've never really had any specific connection or feeling one way or the other toward larks. A adore all birds, being flighty myself... However, for the sake of wisdom, knowledge and its species' wide variety, I say owl.

5. Dogs or cats?

~This is a hard one for me. I love cats. Love, love, love 'em! Ever since I lived with my ex and his darling pooch, Rosie, I have a growing love of dogs. Now, ask me what breed and I couldn't tell you, but medium sized are the most fun! *^_^*

6. Hedgehogs or hamsters?

~I've never owned either, and I love all animals dearly. Again, though, forced to choose, hedgies! Hamsters are cute, too, but the exotic excites me!

7. Daisies or roses?

~Gerbera daisies were all over my nightmares when I worked at a flower shop for about a year (more or less.) Not really, but they are just done to death! Roses even more so. So...
Light blue Forget-Me-Nots!

8. Squirrels or chipmunks?

~They're both so adorable!!!! Chipmunks, though. Squirrels get a little too hoardy and suspicious, if you ken my meaning.

9. If you could BE a movie star, who would you be?

~Nicole Kidman, in a heartbeat. Then I'd drop that sorry Keith Urban and get me a real man properly befitting my status, beauty, charm and fame!

10. If you could DO a movie star, who would you do?

~Ooh! At the moment, I would say Lee Pace. However, I wouldn't mind a bit of James Mcavoy...

Now, I'm supposed to give the award to 6 bloggers and ask them to answer ten questions of my making. However, as I've said before, I'm not really much of an award presenter. Maybe it's laziness. Maybe it's the decision making (hard because I'm a Libra and I think everyone deserves all of the awards, anyway...) Maybe it's the weather? I dunno.
Anyway! I cherish each and every one of you darlings that see fit to follow my ramblings (whenever I choose to ramble on...) Pick and choose or answer all ten! Have at them!

1.) Do you feel out of place in our time?
2.) What do you wish you had more time in your day/week/month/year/lifetime to accomplish? (Choose whatever space of time you'd like!)
3.) Do you have any regrets?
4.) What "stupid" decision did you make that, given the opportunity you would choose/do again?
5.) Is age just a number?
6.) Choose one: You wake up one morning to find yourself living in a world of complete, perfect harmony. Everything you could possibly want and/or need appears with a mere thought. You live here with only your family and you'll never see your friends again.
You wake up one morning to find yourself living in a world of complete, perfect harmony. Everything you could possibly want and/or need appears with a mere thought. You live here with only your friends and you'll never see your family again.
7.) Hand puppets or marionettes?
8.) You're Baba Yaga and there is no possible way the children can get away from you. Who do you eat first: Hansel or Gretel?
9.) If you could eat whatever you want for the rest of your life, not have to exercise and never experience any adverse effects (weight gain/loss/any sorts of disease/etc.), with the only consequence being your inability to read and write, would you take it or leave it?
10.) Medieval or Renaissance?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Moment of Epiphany

Why am I always thinking about food? Why do my cravings always gravitate to carbohydrates and, more often, sugar? Why, once I put that first, blissful bite of sweetness into my mouth, do I continue stuffing sweet after sweet, carb after carb into my gob?

Do any of you know what I'm talking about? Are any of you closet eaters, to boot? I am. A pantry is just a dining room for me! More to the point, though, is that I am addicted to sugar. This is something that I have been consciously aware of for a while, now. Subconsciously, as a kid, I would think, "Gee, this cereal is already sweet enough, but why not make it sweeter?" I think that it was at the age of twelve that I finally really realized just what sort of a deep rut I was in already; making it deeper and far more difficult to climb out of. When I was twelve, I decided one day that I would stop eating two, big bowls of cereal every morning for breakfast.
Twelve. I was twelve and I was used to eating as much cereal loaded with as much sugar as I liked. No one stopped me. No one said anything to me about it. It just clicked that something about this wasn't right. I would go to bed at night wondering just what tasty cereal I would eat in the morning, only to end up having a bowl of each. Or, you know, it's Saturday, why not a third mixing the two?
That isn't right. I wish someone had stopped me, but, food, sweet food, starchy food has always been my comfort blanket. It's always performed a seductive, mouth-watering dance in my mind that I have never, ever been free of. Practically every second of every day of my life since I can remember has been filled with thoughts of "What will I be able to eat next? Will it be sweet? Will it be salty? Will there be dessert. There better be dessert." And if there wasn't dessert, I went to bed disappointed, hoping breakfast would be sweet as candy.
I am 26, now. One day, in my early twenties, I had a candy craving. No candy in the house, so I began to fantasize about the candies that I enjoyed. In marched the candies that I adored, but ate only once in a while. My fantasies enhanced my craving and I went to the grocery store, headed straight for the candy aisle (when they had certain candies available in bulk) and found just what I was looking for: sour gummi worms. I bought another type of candy, too, but these are what I recall from this particular episode. I think I bought a half a pound, but it might have been a full pound. I drove home, mission accomplished, stash in hand. Though I offered a few to my housemates, I ate that entire load within two hours. I knew I was going to be sick, but I didn't care. The bright, dreamland-colored drugs were satisfying whatever it was that made me desire them above all else. I don't even know what else was going on as I shoved worm after worm into my mouth, torn up by then by all of the sour-sweetness. Even now, if you can believe it, my mouth waters just thinking about them.
I was sick that night. I haven't had them since.
But there have been times when I will drive to the store for "something sweet" to stop the craving, to feed the addiction. I never knew, save that time with the gummi worms, just what I would end up with. I would go in, most of the time thinking, "Maybe a pint of Ben&Jerry's will do me," knowing full well that it would be gone within the hour of returning home. More often than not, I would peruse the ice cream aisle, then the cookies, then the chips, finding at least one thing from each row to bring home and make myself ill. I would convince myself, "Hey! It's been a while since I've had a junk food and movie night. This is okay." Then, I'd get to the self check out lane and make up a story in my head of last minute party shopping. You know, just in case anyone asked.
This was, and still is, my shame. I am by no means obese; a little overweight, yes, but not obese. I am 5'8" and my weight fluctuates between 165 to 170.
Is all of this a side effect of my hypothyroidism? Maybe, but there is no denying that I am addicted, full on drug addicted to sugar.
And it was only an hour ago that I finally looked up "overcome sugar addiction" in the search bar. I have been going through withdrawals because I'll think, "I've been good, a cookie wouldn't hurt." It's never just a cookie. Then I'm mad at myself again for giving in to this drug! A drug that is completely legal and, for all the world knows, the majority of us are under its happy-comatose inducing spell.
I won't have it! I just won't let myself be a slave to some chemical anymore! I won't!
So, I found some sites, but one really stood out. I'm hoping they can all help me. I certainly identify with Karly Randolph-Pitman in the audio file on the first page of the linked site. 10 Steps to Control Sugar Cravings

In the words of the wise GI Joe, "Knowing is half the battle." Anyone else feel lost in their fight against Sugar Addiction?

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