Friday, March 28, 2014

Confessions of a Sugar Addict-Body Image

Body is something we all have to deal with and has been a cause for controversy for many many years. As models get skinnier the debate begins about “what is too thin?” Parents of girls worry about how body image will impact their teenaged daughters; and rightfully so. Dolls who are disproportionate and unrealistic are alway a source of controversy. This debate about body image is constant. Hollywood pushes the image of sexy on everyone; men, women, teenagers (both boys and girls). Somehow our society has decided that sexy means a size 2 (or worse size 0) figure and gives this unrealistic expectation that thin is pretty. People forget that magazines and movies are not real. Every single picture that appears in most magazines has been airbrushed. I would lose several inches and acne too if I were airbrushed. What is this mentality that thin is sexy and attractive? This is a thought that I have ingrained into my head as well. I have thought for many years that thin was attractive. I have spent years putting myself down because I have gained some weight and am currently in the overweight category. Being in that category has been a struggle for me. A struggle on my self-esteem and my outward appearance. I used to be super thin and super tiny. So gaining all that weight really had a great impact on how I thought about myself. Where did this sense come from because that is not how I was raised. I was raised to be healthy. After having a conversation with my husband this week, I realized a shift in my thinking. Beautiful is not determined by size. It is determined by character, personality and in how you take care of yourself and others. I have been thinking about celebrities who are heavier set that I still think are gorgeous; Melissa McCarthy, Brooke Elliot. These women are gorgeous and so talented. It doesn’t matter that they are not hollywood stick thin. They are still beautiful and successful. That is not what it is about. It is about being healthy and this is the first time I have really grasped that thought. Previously it has always been for vein reasons. My journey with my new company has also helped me realized that. For the first time I really realize, understand and am embracing that fact that what I eat is about health; not about being thin. I am taking greens everyday and drinking enough water. It is a world of difference by just these small changes. It is about how I feel after a meal and eating foods that allow me to be productive in my day. As I chart my foods and really pay attention to what I am eating; I realize that I have a huge reaction to sugar (as most people do). As I cut out sugar and journal how I feel after I eat, I have realized that sugar and white breads make me so incredibly tired. Well, I know you are all thinking, “well of course! Everyone knows those are not good for you!” I know that too and have for years but it wasn’t until I realized exactly how it was making me feel that I have been able to slowly cut them out. Over the last two weeks, I have journaled in what I call my BDA journal (Before I eat, During, and After). I keep track of my motivations and why I chose to eat sugar. I am becoming more in touch with my emotions and why I am eating the way I am eating. It is emotions or stress, feelings of inadequacy (typically from my visions of body image). I have also made small changes in my sugar habit by cutting out hidden sugars. I have switched to breads that do not have added sugar (now sprouted wheat bread), gone to plain yogurt that I add my own fruit to and using honey as often as I can (like in my coffee instead of white sugar). I have learned that small, slow steps that keep weight off are more important than yo yo dieting just to gain the weight back. I am celebrating successes, keeping God in my journey, and remembering how far I have come; not how far I have left to go. Since my son was born, I have lost a total of 60 pound and kept it off. I have done this even when I fall off the band wagon for months at a time. This is a huge success. I have now lost more than I have left to lose!!!! My next steps: Substitute my sweet tooth with more healthy treats. I figure my sugar addiction is not going to just go away so I am attempting to replace my sweet treats with treats that have nutritional value. As I try them I will update and give recipes to you guys. My ideas so far are coconut rolled dates, apples with honey and crushed up pistachios, and coconut milk/frozen pineapple “ice cream”. What are some of your favorite treat substitutions? I would love to hear from you and find some great ideas!

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