Friday, June 29, 2012

Living with sugar. or without.

We all know that I love sugar.  I do, I do, I do.  

I wish my husband shared my addiction.  

I wish I could eat one cupcake.  (not all the cupcakes)

I wish vanilla cream and chocolate did not have a voice.

I wish that snickers were health food.

I wish that donuts grew on trees.  I would be sure to eat only the organic ones. 

I wish that sugar didn't override my 'off' switch.

I wish that sugar could be banned, not sold at stores, not sitting in my pantry, not wafting through the air at the fair.

If only my wishes could be reality.

Unfortunately, I am one of millions of people who live fully addicted to sugar and sweets.

About a year ago I wrote a post, confessions of a sugar addict.  I have to admit I've been shocked at the amount of views that one post gets.  Since so many of us seem to struggle with this, I thought I'd share more about what I am doing to free myself of this addiction.

Last year, I tried ridding my diet of all sugars/sweets.  I managed to do so for about 2-3 weeks, but then fell into a bowl of ice cream and just had to take a bite.

After being off of sugar, reintroducing it to my diet, at first, is met with complete rejection.  I usually can't eat much and it makes me feel pretty sick.  Then, slowly it begins to build -  the need for more.  Until I'm once more groaning on the floor, pulling one more powdered sugar coated eclair into my mouth, barely finding the strength to chew.  Not even tasting it's delicious sweetness.

Have you seen Something About Mary?  No?  Well, I won't recommend it, but there's a sub story about a guy who was off of coke and his friend gets him to take a drink of a beer, telling him of course this won't restart your addiction.  Which it does, because we are all just a moment away from being coke heads - duh!  (Don't do drugs - you will be addicted to heroin if you smoke pot!  yes, I believe this.  It's kept me drug free.)  
Anyway, back to the coke guy - who is also one of my favorite actors - he eventually gets eaten by his python.  

And that, folks, is what sugar will do to you.  It's just one bite between you and python crushing death.

I'd rather live! and be beautiful while doing it.  There is nothing more toxic for my complexion than sweets.  Even knowing this and just imagining what it must be doing on a cellular level, it's been incredibly difficult to keep away from them.

As of today I have been off of refined sugar for 5 days.  Yay for me!!  However, unlike last year I am not doing a complete ban of all sweets.  I will happily indulge in any treat made with honey, grade B maple syrup, molasses, sucanot, rhapadura, or agave.   (I am careful with agave and maple syrup, because both of these tend to cause me to overeat - just not quite to the caramel dripping off my chin - eyes glazed over - state.)

I think we need treats.  They're like medicine to a long day or a special splurge for a job well done.  However, choosing to eat only the best sweets helps hold them in higher regard and keeps us from those very embarrassing moments, such as when you're husband comes downstairs at 2am only to find you in the middle of the kitchen, pie tin in hand with the whole carton of ice cream in the middle.  Oh, that hasn't happened to you?  

Here's to my quest for a healthy body, beautiful skin, organic energy, and invitations to more events - now that everyone knows I won't be writhing ecstatically in the middle of the dessert table.  It's always a little awkward when that happens.

And. . . yesterday at our small group get together - I didn't eat a brownie or lick the pan or sneak one when no one was looking or come home and have a giant bowl of ice cream or take a bite of the whipped cream and chocolate on my husband's frappaccino.  Can you believe my level of self control?!  I am amazing.   If only I knew I were invincible.  But I know I'm really just a sip away from that python's stomach. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Stepping into the sea of trust.


It is something that can be given, abused, treasured, broken, retracted.

How often does someone hurt us or lie to us and we respond with, 'now my trust is broken!'  It leaves one lost and separated.  There is not an easy return from broken trust.  The simple reason being that we leave the responsibility of repairing our trust on the one who harmed it in the first place.

I forgive you.  I just don't trust you right now.

Is not forgiveness the full return of trust.  A giving away of grace?

Danny Silk from Bethel Church once said that 'trust is a choice'.

That is something that has stuck with me.  I process it.  I try to live it.  It's taken me quite a while to understand how to exist, choosing to trust.

My past is a constant blunder of pain.  There would be moments that things would seem to flow in a small sense of security, then my world would turn upside down.  When it righted itself, I would be left desperate to preserve my safety and my peace.  Trust was left trailing far behind my need to protect myself.

I was able to talk to an amazing friend, Charis Scofield, a few weeks ago and she said very simply, 'you need to trust that God has good for you'.

And like I do.  I  pondered and mulled on that one statement.  God, what is trust supposed to look like?  In my experience, the moment I let my guard down and trust, I am met with heart rending pain.  What does it mean to believe that you have good for me?  My experience doesn't line up with that.

I have hedged myself in, desperately trying to guard against the worst possible scenarios.  Allowing what could hurt me most- to play often through my thoughts, that I may be prepared for the times that pain will come.  Because it will, pain will strike.  It will blind, break and make us bleed.  It is a guarantee of life.

I stand guarded.  Clenched and ready.  I am always prepared for the blows to strike, the friends to leave, the lover to dismiss me, the sickness to come.  I'm waiting.

And because we cannot exist in this state.  I have been breaking.  My constant stance against pain, causing me to only be aware of the very worst things in life.  I cannot see joy when I am looking for suffering.  I cannot believe there is good, when I am only waiting for bad.

Attempting to control my world, desperately trying to protect myself - has left me broken.

They say that when someone falls from a high height, the only way to sustain the fall is to be completely relaxed.  When you clench and prepare for the hit, you break every bone.

I want to share the little I've learned about trust.  I am not an expert - just a sojourner seeking peace, hungry for truth.

Trust is.

A resting place.  In my mind it is lying in a cool stream.  Head back, the hand of God beneath your neck, fully supported.  Knowing that waves of pain may come, choosing to rest and breath through them.  You cannot float if you are tense.  You have to completely let go of fighting the water and as you do - your body lifts, weightless, to rest on top the sea of life.

When you live as though trust is a choice you take back your power.  Choosing to believe the best and the good.  If someone wrongs you or fails you, don't search for it.  Allow it to come in it's wave.  Then wash off of you.  Step back into trust.  It is a great tool in your hand.  It is not meant as a weapon.

Trust is a place of peace, safety, and security.  All of the things, that in my life, I thought had been broken, were only taken because I rebelled against trust.  I refused to rest through the pain and instead sought to protect myself against it - this only caused me MORE pain.  I created the very thing I sought so desperately to avoid.

When you clench and struggle, you drown.  Every time.  Sometimes it's better to be punched in the face so someone can save you, then to carry both of you under.

There have been moments that dark imaginings and doubts creep so quietly through my place of trust.  I start to feel myself tensing, falling into old habits.  Then I pull back my mental wanderings and I choose to remember that I am letting my fear go.  I am resting in the stream of life.  My place of control is what I believe, and I believe that the promises are good.

People may fail me, but I am not going to set them up to fall.  I am not going to look for their mistakes or their struggles, to hold in front of myself, to remind me not to trust.

Rather, I live hand and heart open.

If joy is to come then I will dance and sing and live in the moment without fear of the shadows growing on the horizon of my mind.

If it is pain then I will let it wash over me, I will scream and cry, then let it go - let it run it's course and continue, even through the process, of resting in trust and peace.

I am amazed at the freedom I have found here.  As what once controlled me, no longer holds dominion over my thoughts.

Each day is a sweet treasure of peace.  The promises are - yes and amen.