Yesterday afternoon, I took Jelly to a birthday party for one of her friends in her class. I took Butter along - Peanut was out with her friend.
The party was being held at the park in the town where I teach. The park just happens to be just by a river. The kids were instructed to take along bathing suits so they could swim, being that the temperature was going to rise up close to 100 degrees.
We arrived at the park and the party table had been set up under two giant shade trees...thank goodness. The kids went off to swim, and I sat chatting with the other parents. I didn't know anyone, but it was nice to meet a couple of other parents.
Down the center of the party table were two giant trays of cupcakes. Pink cupcakes with purple icing. Just sitting there...right in front of me. The icing had begun to melt from the heat, which gave them an oozy, sugar glazed complexion.
I remember first looking at them and thinking "Oh great, I get to look at cupcakes for a couple of hours", but when I actually sat down and started chatting...the cupcakes didn't cross my mind at all. After about 30 minutes, it was time for the kids to get out of the water and eat cupcakes. All the kids were handed a cupcake, everyone sang Happy Birthday, and the kids started diving in to the sugary goodness. All of the adults were offered...all took one...except for me. I said no. A few minutes before, I'll admit, they had started to look a little more tempting. But, I still refused.
And then the kids were offered another cupcake. Jelly wasn't interested in another, but Butter went ahead and took a second. Even after two cupcakes a piece, there was still a tray full of cupcakes. The birthday girl opened up her presents and then all the kids went back to playing. The birthday girl's dad kept asking me if I wanted a cupcake. I kept refusing. He kept trying to persuade me to eat one, or they would just go to waste. I kept refusing.
Not because I was being all strong and committed. But, because I had helped Jelly open up her cupcake, and had licked some icing off of my finger. The taste was overpoweringly sweet... too much so. The surge of sweetness hit my taste buds and sent a riptide through my system... almost to the point of that one tiny lick making me feel nauseous.
I didn't take the cupcake because I knew that I wouldn't enjoy it. WHAT THE WHAT?? I wasn't being all macho. I wasn't standing strong in the face of temptation. Honestly, had I not had the little finger lick of icing, I may have faltered and accepted a cupcake. But, it was the taste of the icing that turned me off, made me not want one because I knew I wouldn't enjoy it.
Big Win For Me!
And I wish that could be the end of my blog post. Me soaking up my success of not wanting the taste of sugar that came from sweet, pretty cupcakes.
But, unfortunately it's not.
That evening, after being home and having eaten dinner, Hubby decided he wanted to go and get a movie from RedBox for us all to watch. We have a Redbox, two actually, just up the street from us so he took his bike and rode up there. When he came back, however, he wasn't just carrying a movie. He was also carrying a store bag.
He told us (Jelly, Butter, and me) that he'd picked up some stuff for us to snack on..a/k/a cookies to have with some milk while we watched the movie. I immediately said NO!
Then, after counting up my calories for the day, I noticed that I was a couple hundred calories short off my allowance. The willpower in my brain had apparently all been used up with the cupcake incident, and temptation started taking over and negotiating the fact that a couple of cookies with a glass of milk would be fine.
I had somehow forgotten all about my cupcake victory, the taste of icing that had turned me away from eating a cupcake. Cookies were different. One of my biggest weaknesses. Cupcakes have never really been a temptation for me. In fact, I've never really been a huge fan of any form of cake. But cookies on the other hand?
So, I decided right there and then that I hadn't eaten any chocolate or cookies in weeks. A couple of chocolate covered cookies weren't going to undo all of my hard work. It was just one time. I would be OK.
Famous last words, right?
So I ate the cookies. With milk.
After I had eaten them, I wasn't all tore up with guilt and remorse. I wasn't feeling devastated that I had gone so long without giving in to temptation. I wasn't disappointed that I had let my guard down, and went against everything I have been telling myself for three weeks.
I felt gross. Bloated. Like my body had just been pumped with a nasty concoction that caused my stomach to churn.
From four little cookies.
They had tasted OK going in, but once they were in there... my body wasn't happy about it. I started to feel little pangs of something in my stomach. Not exactly cramps, but a not happy feeling that comes right before a barf fest. There was no barf involved, but I felt like I could. Like I would be physically sick.
From four little cookies.
And that's when I realized, I just can't eat stuff like that anymore.
Somehow in the past three weeks, the avoidance of sugar has had a dramatic effect.
I've eaten sugar in the past three weeks. It's been an ingredient in a few of the things I've eaten. But, not in the quantity that goes in to something like icing or cookies. It's been listed as one of the last ingredients on the label of the things I've eaten, not one of the first. I've eaten sugar in minuscule portions, not massive doses. And, apparently, my body has started to notice the lack of sugar...and it's decided it doesn't want it invading.
For the first time in YEARS, my body is rejecting sugar. It has gone in to the mode that doesn't allow that crap without me feeling the harsh effects.
Despite having a minor setback, and giving in to temptation...it did come out as a good situation. It taught me a valuable lesson. I'm getting better! I'm healing! I'm overcoming my addition to sugar!
It's so much easier to avoid something that I know will make me feel sick than to just avoid it because I'm trying to tell myself that I'm not allowed it.
In my mind, that's a strong victory...even if it did have to come at the hand of being weak and faltering for a few minutes. I know now. I know that as long as I keep doing what I'm doing, I won't be able to eat sugar the way I'm used to eating it anymore. It won't be as easy as falling off the wagon and reverting back to my old ways. I'll have to go through some major stomach upset for that to happen. And I now have the pleasure of knowing that each and every time a temptation steps in to my line of sight.
Makes battling those temptations a lot easier, right?
Let's hope so.
I think it will. And that's all that really matters. I can hold on to the feelings I got in my stomach after eating those cookies last night, and remember that it's not worth it. Remember that I don't want to feel bloated and uncomfortable and nauseous just to satisfy an urge to have a sweet treat. That's not a treat at all. That's a punishment.
And no food is worth that!
So, I guess you could say I've had my first non-scale victory that involved eating something I shouldn't. Don't know how often I want to admit to that... but right now, at this moment, I'm OK with it. It's a valuable lesson learned, and I needed to learn it.
Always the optimist, right?
OK, time for me to get some grocery shopping done for the week.
Till next time!