Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 6th, 2014 This Is Part Of The Deal

July 6th, 2014 This Is Part Of The Deal

This has been a wonderfully long day! I started the day with a small portion of yellow watermelon instead of a big breakfast, my usual weekend brunch type meal. I did this because I knew I would be picking mom up and we'd be dining out for lunch at our favorite Stillwater Mexican place. I do my best to have some variety when I'm preparing meals at home, but when I'm eating out in a restaurant I don't like variety, I prefer certainty.

I know the single order of chicken fajitas at Mexico Joe's in my hometown is a precisely measured 4 ounces of chicken on a bed of grilled onions and peppers. I know that if I order corn tortillas instead of the flour it normally comes with, I'll save considerable calories. I know for certain, I can get in and out of there within my calorie budget, no worries. I shared the order with mom and we each were satisfied. We talked about how different things could be there--and how easy it would be to consume a couple thousand calories like we had so many times before. Then, we talked about our approach now and how satisfied we were-- full, but not stuffed--satisfied and confident, content and certain in our resolve and commitment in taking better care.

On the way into the restaurant I met the organizer of my 25th high school reunion in the parking lot. I paid my dues to join the festivities later this month. Deciding to attend this reunion is a big deal for me. I don't have time right now to explain why it's a big deal to me, but I will soon, right here in these pages.

Mom and I made our way back to Ponca City in just enough time to make it into the store for Noah's birthday party supplies, to the studio to give some family members a tour of the downtown studios where I work and then to my grandson's 1st birthday party.

I bought five quarts of ice cream today.  So if you're local to me and you witnessed me grabbing the giant container from the freezer section--and you thought, oh no--he's jumping off the wagon!! Nope! I was responsible for a certain portion of the party supply list and ice cream just happened to be one of the items.

The party was a fantastic event. Noah was overwhelmed with so much love and attention. He really got into ripping open his seemingly endless stream of gifts (even if he was more fascinated with the paper and packaging then the actual presents--hey, he's 1!!). The "smash cake" was a fun 10 minutes. He tore through that little chocolate cake like a man on a mission to destroy! He consumed very little cake. He was too busy annihilating it into a giant mess. It was cute.

I helped pass out the cake and ice cream. I felt like a recovering alcoholic volunteering to be the bartender. I was distributing a substance that's basically my kryptonite.  Accepting and embracing this truth about me has given me a wonderful clarity and freedom. It wasn't will power that kept me from eating the cake and ice cream, because I didn't want it. It was knowing that one bite, let alone a plate full, would certainly send me spiraling. Like a recovering alcoholic avoids vodka, so it goes with me and sugar.

I'm not willing to trade this wonderful feeling I have these days for 5 minutes with cake and ice cream. It's not that I can't. Because I could easily make that transaction, just like I have hundreds of times in my past. It's that I won't, period. It feels good. It's not a case of deprivation or feeling left out--not at all...it's a matter of taking extraordinary care, and understanding, for me--this is part of the deal. Everyone at the party understood where I am at this point in my life and not one of them said a word to the contrary. It was a wonderful experience.

Mom and I hurried back to my place after the party for a good dinner. I made some lean beef tacos, homemade guacamole and rice chips. It was delicious and exceptionally satisfying.

Mom is going to work with me in the morning. If you're interested in listening to "The Sean and Mom In The Morning" Show, simply click this link anytime between 6am and 9am Central: http://player.authorizedstream.com/?pid=593 I can't wait to have mom in studio again! It'll be fun!    

Thank you for reading,
Strength,
Sean

12 comments:

  1. Your determination shines through in your writing about the day, Sean, and causing me to seriously consider whether my current "moderation in all things" is the best approach or not. I've been going with the idea that going "cold turkey" on sugar would cause me to feel deprived and thus to crave it more, but from what you're saying, distancing yourself from sugar has actually caused some kind of biochemical change to take place and allows you to crave it LESS. If so, that is fascinating.

    Here's a question along the same lines. Forgive me if it seems like I'm overthinking, but I'm just really interested. Do you have any kind of sugar-like reaction when you eat grain foods, like corn tortillas or bread? I ask this because apparently grain foods cause blood sugar to spike just as much or more than sugar (regular cane sugar, that is). I learned about that when I was studying about the glycemic index, and have always wondered how it played out in real life.

    I guess I could just use myself as a guinea pig rather than asking you!

    You are going to look amazing for your class reunion, no question!

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    1. Becky - I started my weight loss program a few weeks ago with a ten day cleanse that eliminated all sugar, grains and dairy. I was very doubtful that I would be able to stick to it, especially the sugar part as I used to inhale big portions of ice cream on a daily basis for the last couple of years, in addition to lots of chocolate bars in the office because I was so stressed. I was quite worried about going cold turkey and no one was more surprised than me how well it went! I cut the sugar and barely had any cravings at all. Since then I've had a couple of binge days with ice cream consumption but now I am back on no processed sugar. Sweets have been my comfort food for all my life and while I still have a long way to go I feel more confident now that I can do this. Give it a try for ten days and see how you feel :)

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    2. Interesting, Kerstin-- sweets have always been my main problem, too, but I also love grains and dairy and could never stay on a low-carb diet for very long. For the long term, have you just given up the sugar, or are you still off grains and dairy, as well?

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    3. I haven't noticed a change with the grains or corn tortillas, I also eat plenty of dairy. Cutting out the sugar has made a monumental difference in everything. I didn't believe it could be so dramatic, but for me, it most certainly has been. I still get a very small amount in my coffee creamer...I even bought some almond milk recently in an attempt to cut out the creamer--but it just wasn't the same. And I'm okay with being 97% sugar free... It seems to be working well for me. I've been told by more than one person with more than 20 years of maintenance under their belt, that many in recovery will allow products where sugar is the 5th ingredient or lower on a nutrition label. It seems the more concentrated amounts are the ones capable of triggering an addictive reaction/cycle... I'm okay with avoiding it altogether--if it means feeling like I do now, I'm happily done with sugar. I agree with Kerstin, give it 10 days and see how you feel.

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    4. Becky - I have also reduced my grains and dairy. Right now I allow grains about twice a week and that actually works well for me, too. Dairy gives me heartburn so that was easy to give up. I just have some cream in my coffee and some cheeses like feta or mozzarella every now and then. My body seems to genuinely feel better on a low grain/no sugar diet. However, all our bodies are different and there are people who are better of with a more vegetarian type diet that includes grains and some amounts of dairy. That's why I loved the 10 day cleanse because it kind of reset my body to zero and then, as I added things back in, I was able to read my body's reactions in a much clearer way. If your body feels better with grains it will tell you. In general I think the most important thing is to stay away from heavily processed foods as much as possible. Good luck!

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  2. PS-- I am so excited about hearing you and your mom on the radio that I have my alarm set for 3:45 a.m. here in California!

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    1. Did you listen this morning? Thank you Becky!

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  3. Ice cream is my kryptonite, too. I have cut it out for now but admit to still be dreaming of a day where I can add it back in and enjoy a normal portion and feel satisfied and move on. This may well just be a dream, time will tell. What you write about here reminds me of something I once read about boxing foods "in" or "out". Some people are ok with boxing them in and enjoying in moderation while others (most I would say) are better off at boxing out their kryptonite. You are a wonderful inspiration, thank you!

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    1. Kerstin--for me...oh my, I wanted to believe I could--and I tried and tried---and I struggled and struggled... I finally came to a place of acceptance and have found a peace I've never known. It's precisely this kind of over-dramatic sounding type testimonial that would often leave me in disbelief. I finally had to try it for myself. Glad I got past myself. Because I was bent on getting in my own way. I hope and pray you're not having addictive reactions--and someday you can add it back in, in moderation. For some, I believe it's totally possible. For me, I'm certain it's not. My goodness--Ice cream and I go way back... It's not ice cream's fault that I developed an unhealthy dependence on it and started abusing it-- it was me... Deciding to go our separate ways in a way, seems like parting with an old friend--but then, when you consider the abusive relationship that developed over the years, it's clear there isn't any other way to proceed. I can no longer be friends with ice cream. It's still great, for others-- but not for me. :)

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  4. I definitely stay away from sugar it just leads to binge eating which leads to guilt. Better to stay on the wagon and keep moving forwards :) Good job Sean!!

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    1. Couldn't agree more, Suzanne. So right--the guilt found in the bottom of a binge is the worst for someone like me. Much better to stay on the wagon and moving in a positive direction!

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  5. Well said Sean. I'm amazed how similar our stance against sugar is alike. It's a great feeling knowing we will no longer allow ourselves a piece of cake or bowl of ice cream. This understanding, how great we are feeling, no longer being influenced by added sugar. Makes it very easy to understand why individuals like us decide to continue to avoid 97% of added sugar for life. Knowing how well we do without the added sugar makes it a very important and easy choice to resist the continuous temptations for life.

    As far as the grains go, I have noticed a difference and do much better without them. I notice I do very well replacing the grains I used to eat with starchy vegetables, primary onions & potatoes mixed seems to curb my hunger ten fold over bread, rice and grains. Huge difference is when not being no longer influenced by sugar I find I crave starchy vegetables more than bread and grains. Which made my recent decision to avoid grains all together an easy one.

    Your doing great Sean, including grains in your diet and see no reason to change. If your a person who reads this blog everyday and find cutting back on sugar is not helping. My first suggestion is cut out all artificial sweeteners first as it effects me more than sugar. Once all the artificial sweeteners are out and most of added sugar is out and still noticing hunger issues, then maybe a good time to try no grains. Like Sean said, everyone is different how they are affected by sugar and possibly grains. I can not emphasize enough, think outside the box as me and Sean did with stop eating the foods we loved the most, experiment give things a 10 day or month trial see how it effects you. Which you did not think would have been possible may surprise you. I certainly did me.

    I love the new look to this page.

    Jon

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