Friday, May 3, 2013

What I Learned from My Dessert Fast

As many of you know, after going without  Coke for 40 days (and now having almost no craving for it), I decided to do 40 days without desserts to see if that would help me control my appetite for sweets in general.

Today is the last day (I decided to end it a week early, since my friends are having an early birthday party for me tomorrow).

What have I learned?

1. Just because it's in the house, doesn't mean I have to eat it.

I know, this is basic right?  Well, before, if there was candy, chocolate, ice cream, cookies, whatever in our house... it didn't stand a chance just sitting around.    Since up until recently, Caleb was still waking up several times in the night, (and his room is on the other side of the house), I would make multiple trips Through the kitchen in the night.   Even in the middle of the night, I would grab stuff on my way (like jelly beans or chocolate chips).   Crazy, right!?  Or during the day, as I was working around the house, or preparing meals, I'd pop a cookie here, a candy there...  Not good.
Currently, there are two gallons of ice cream in our freezer (we forgot to serve it at Philip's promotion ceremony), Reese's peanut butter cups in the freezer, chocolate chips in the fridge, caramel bits in the pantry, marshmallows and Easter candy in the cupboard... and I'm okay not eating it.

2. My body craves what I give it.

Before, when I was giving my body large amounts of sugary foods - that's what it would crave.   That contributed to me having such a hard time saying no.    Now that I have reprogrammed my system, I rarely crave sweets.   When I do, a piece of fruit does the job nicely.

3. Don't reward myself (or my kids) with sweets.

If it had been a rough, or especially busy or productive day, I would often "reward" myself with a coke at the cash register when we were grocery shopping.   Or, for good behavior, I'd tell the kids we could drive thru and get ice cream cones, or that they could have a lollipop at home.  What a terrible habit to get into!

3. Sugary foods do not love you back.

Think about it, the only time that sugary stuff gives you any pleasure, is While It's In Your Mouth.  Once you swallow, it's over (unless you have another one).   Later, you may pay for it with how your gut feels, or how it looks on your hips, or how run down you feel after the sugar high is over.

4. THINK before digging in.

Is this dessert even really worth it?   If it's a handful of m&m's out of the cupboard - for me, not worth it.  A run of the mill store bought cookie, piece of cake or donut, probably not worth it.  If it's a piece of Alaina's homemade key lime pie?  Yes, a small piece is worth it.
I've also found that it helps me to know how many calories are in things (for example, a blizzard from DQ).  If I know that I would have to run for an Hour to burn off one dessert, I'm probably going to opt for something else. =)

5. Bake desserts to Take Somewhere, not just because I'm drooling over a recipe on Pinterest.

If each of us gets one serving of a dessert and I plan to take the rest of it to an event or to a friend's house, this works much better than if we have a couple dozen cookies or cupcakes or half a pie sitting around for us to eat up. =)

Along with cutting out sweets this last month, I've also started drinking a lot more water, as well as eating much closer to a plant based diet.   I feel much better, have a lot more energy, a flatter stomach and have lost 8 pounds.

Left - on vacation in March, Right - May 2nd


The Woodfords said...

Great job, Joia! I love all the things you learned and definitely will try to implement them in my life, too! Having been sick for the last two weeks has helped my "cravings", so I feel ahead a little already.

Now that we're feeling better, we need to reschedule that Skype date!! =)

Love you,

Mom W. said...

I am wondering if this works with salty stuff... that is my down fall!! I guess it could work with anything. How did the Birthday party go?