rolling into the final week of 2015

Posted: December 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

We’re now in what is generally one of my favorite weeks of the year – the space between Christmas and New Year’s.  I love this time because I always use it to ponder the year behind me and dream for the year ahead.  I actually kind of started that early this year, dating clear back to day 1 of my 40 day prayer journey (which will conclude on New Year’s Day), when I asked God for a “word” for 2016 and He gave it to me, the very same day that I asked.  I’ve been having fun poking around at that word ever since – it is REST.  Left to my own devices, I’d have set it aside for 2016, but then God has kept bringing it to my attention, pretty much daily.

I had 2 words for 2015:  DISCIPLINE and INTENTION.  It amuses me greatly to say that even when I derailed for awhile and wasn’t *intentionally* being intentional, God arranged for me to have some experiences that ended up playing out as intentionality.  Most pointedly:  my try at the Virgin Diet, in which I learned that the cause of my post-nasal drip is dairy (it’s WAY easy to mostly give it up, knowing this!), that highly processed foods cause me to crave more highly processed foods, and that sugar is a major force for evil that drags me around by the throat and laughs while it owns me, if I indulge in it – that a lifetime of wanting all the food, all the time, was simply caused by sugar flipping some switch or something in my brain that just robs me of all self-control, and that when I don’t do sugar, I don’t suffer from cravings.

Having learned all that, I kind of have to roll my eyes at myself over a holiday season decision I made:  I gave myself some specific days around Thanksgiving and Christmas when I could have cookies and other sugary stuff.

At Thanksgiving, it was not overwhelmingly terrible – I indulged and then stepped right back over the line to good behavior, with very little repercussion.  But over Christmas – OY.  I made a triple batch of peanut butter cookies, a quadruple batch of chocolate chip cookies, and 2 large pans of brownies.  Some of these were for taking to church on Christmas Eve, where they were added to plates of Christmas cookies that we each took after the service, to give out to people who had to work that night.  G and I had fun delivering to 3 different locations, serving 5 different groups.  Some of these were for Christmas Day, to take to Timothy House, where homeless people were being served a meal.  And some of them were to take to my daughter’s house.

I did not plan to eat any of them at first.  But I really love chocolate chip cookies.  So I ate one, which was so good that I ate two more (chocolate chip cookies, homemade, are my kryptonite), plus some brownie crumbs left over from the cutting process.  Then over the space of about a day and a half, I kept sneaking to pull more chocolate chip cookies out – always 2 or even 3 at a time, since eating sugar also makes me sure that enough is never enough and one can’t possibly be sufficient.

Christmas morning, I decided to just have my usual Virgin Diet shake for breakfast.  I knew the power the sugar from those cookies was holding over me when I was “shaky hungry” just an hour or two after that – when I’m off sugar, there is no such thing as between-meal snacking for me.  I just don’t need it.  It was Christmas, so I let myself have permission to eat even more sugary stuff.  The day after Christmas, I woke up way before sunrise thinking about the cookies and how soon I could eat more of them.  I ate cookies before I even ate breakfast that day. Sunday I spent time with my daughter’s family, and gave myself permission some more.

Ugh.  Now I’m in the process of digging that hook back out of my lip that sugar set so hard.  My morning at work was awash with craving; I drank water and talked myself off the ledge.  I was so hungry at lunch and still so affected by sugar brain that I ordered a bigger lunch than usual, sure that normal lunch couldn’t possibly sustain me (but at least it was a healthy lunch).  As of the beginning of writing this blog, it’s an hour or so before supper and cravings are about to kill me, despite having done a wise lunch.  The good news is that I know it will take 3 days at the longest to detox again from sugar, and return to the happy land of food being just food.  I’d love to say I won’t do this again, but I can’t imagine ever coming to a place where I just never eat another cookie again.  Is the treat worth falling off the wagon and the pain of climbing back on?  I don’t know.  But it’s how I roll.  I’m grateful to be able to work toward it.  Grateful that I can still work on DISCIPLINE and INTENTION as I roll on into 2016.

I’m dying to share with you about what we did for Christmas gifts, but a couple of the recipients have yet to get their gifts, so mum’s the word for now.  You’re gonna love it!

I’ve scheduled myself off work on Thursday to spend a lot more time in reflection (which will in part turn up as blogs, no doubt.)  I’ve set aside Friday, New Year’s Day, to look ahead into 2016.  To pray, to meditate, to maybe write, and for sure to make goals of all sorts.

I hope you’re enjoying this last week of 2015.  I’d love to hear all about it.

  1. Cindy Maynard says:

    Karen, I am right there with you about the effects sugar has on our bodies, our minds, everything! Doggone stuff! I allowed myself some “rope”, if only to hang myself (LOL!), with carbs and sugar. And I can see the pull it has on me. I have to get back off of it! I don’t feel well, I am bloated, I have gotten the shakes back, and I just feel plain rotten! Short-tempered, anxious, grouchy, you name it, I feel it. On Jan 1st it will be gone from my sight, from my reach. If hubby wants it, he will have to hide it. A girl’s gotta do, what a girl’s gotta do! Sending my prayers that you and I will have ease in eliminating this poison from our diets!

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