Who’s well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions or habits have somewhat fallen to the wayside?
Maybe you’re thinking – what’s the point, this is too much effort or it’s too hard.
You set out to change your sugar habits, address the blatant emotional eating and stop this on vs. off sugar insanity once and for all.
But things haven’t been working.
Is it even worth it?
I haven’t even noticed much difference.
Who want’s to really eat less sugar anyway? Maybe I am just a special case and things are too entrenched. I’ve got too much else going on at the moment.
Note all the thoughts that will pop up trying to revert you back, initiate the self sabotage and face plant you back into the carrot cake at lightening speed (or whatever your sugar fix of choice current is).
Well, it’s my job to keep you going and I’m here to remind you why.
I’ve broken this into two parts:
1) Your motivation for lower sugar life
2) Your motivation for a feeling of freedom around sugar & food in general
Let’s start with the first. Lower sugar life. Why bother?
I’m conscious not to just re-splurge all the sugar bashing stuff out there but it’s worth having the upper hand on sweetness for a number of commonly relayed reasons.
When you don’t eat loads of sugar, you can expect improvements to your immune system, disease risk reduction (especially diabetes), steady energy day to day, better cognitive function & potentially a load of physical stuff like improved skin, a shift in belly fat, weight loss etc. You can read a full 141 reasons here if you want.
Obviously everyone is very different here in terms of what benefits they see, but if you know you’re over-consuming on sweet, you’ve without a doubt got things to gain.
But in my opinion, the real benefits to consider are:
1) The internal peace that you feel day to day where you’re confident that you’re no longer abusing sugar to the detriment of your future health
2) The lack of frustration that it doesn’t cut short all your other healthy efforts (like exercise and other healthy meals)
3) No longer feeling crap about yourself (where you feel guilt at eating too much).
At the same time you crave a lot less so you aren’t constantly exerting willpower and resisting. All these things result in a in a day-to-day reduction of internal stress – the stress we create for ourselves.
Low sugar for your close ones
If you have a family or are hoping for one, then transitioning to a lower sugar lifestyle and changing your habits is obviously going to have a ripple effect on those around you too – especially children and parents (although parents are notably harder due to entrenched habits!).
For me, gently influencing my parents towards lower sugar lifestyle was, and still is, super important to me because of my interest in their long-term health.
I don’t preach but I can get my Mum excited about avocado on toast (instead of marmalade) and highlight some alternative wine gum options to my Dad. Small things can add up.
Getting suitably low sugar savvy in terms of knowledge (without being judgmental with it) is a worthwhile investment, not just for you but everyone around you that is important in your life.
Ok, so what about Part 2 – the feeling of freedom around sugar & food
I’ve had many people say to me, that they vividly remember their Mum or someone significant in their life restricting foods. They usually can recall an exact memory. Our relationship with food starts young, is heavily shaped by our environment and can be complicated to say the least.
For me, I know ‘dieting’ and restriction was happening early on in my life.
My brother used it to get more chocolate biscuits. It went something like this:
Me: *Reach out to get my favourite Orange Club biscuit
My loving brother: ‘Laura, I thought you weren’t eating Club bars this week – aren’t you on a diet? You don’t want to get fat do you?! Give them all to ME!!’
Sibling rivalry and pride played it’s part – my response usually took the following format:
Me: ‘Yeah I’m in control Paul and sticking to my diet so THERE. I’m not eating the Club bars – you can have them all – you greedy thing!’ …despite desperately wanting one.
However, an hour later I’d be sneaking off out of his view with the Ginger cake, nearly consuming the whole thing. It was surely my sugar shame habits developing in their infancy.
Just to add, my brother Paul is really a lovely guy, but he was something like 8 years old and taunting me as siblings naturally do. I called him a computer geek that was never going to get a girlfriend EVER so fairs fair.
And he’s now very happily married
And I’m very happily off the diet-restriction bandwagon eating Organe Club bars freely if I want to.
Getting the balance right
The fact of the matter is, you can live low sugar life – get all those benefits listed earlier, but a restriction diet mentality around it can be miserable, unbalanced and unhealthy too.
When you strike your own happy medium between these two camps you become truly free. Free of the negative health benefits of too much sugar, free of the guilt around sugar and free of craving it excessively.
You feel fearless in the face of sugar. You trust yourself. It’s calmer.
What do I like the most about this?
Hands down, it’s the mental capacity and emotional awareness.
These are the true benefits for me around my change.
I have more capacity write, to dream, to plan, to play, to travel. I know myself better that I ever did before. Through addressing emotional eating, I increased my emotional intelligence and I am much better at handling myself than previously. Not perfect mind, but better.
Like many woman, there are days when I think I want to lose weight and feel meh, but despite the urges I’ve resigned to never do it in that restrictive way again that drives the unhealthy thought patterns I used to have.
This has forced me to foster self-confidence separate from my body image – a worthwhile but challenging exercise for sure. Body confidence certainly does play into things. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about this in the future.
Get motivated: What will you learn and how will you change?
I want you to imagine who you will be when you’re relaxed around sugar but calling the shots, when you’re in tune with your emotions so you can deal with them in other ways that don’t involve chocolate (or any food for that matter). You’ll eat more in line with your hunger and settle at the natural weight for your body.
Yet you go to a party and you do have a slice of the homemade cake guilt free. Maybe one night you do fancy chocolate and again you eat it guilt free, knowing your day-to-day habits are healthy and you’ll never eat sugar like you used to.
Picture things when you inspire others around you to be healthier, be the role model to the children in your life and feel more confident in your body, your day-to-day actions and yourself.
THAT is your motivation my friend. The fire that will make your small daily actions and baby steps stick. So don’t lose motivation, take the action. It’s worth it, I promise.
Share the love
Of course share this with someone who needs a little extra motivation if you want.