I haven’t eaten sweets in the last few days, and I plan to keep it that way for a little more. In case I hadn’t stated it before, I LOVE dessert. Chocolate, ice cream, and baked goods always have room in my stomach. I started noticing that I was eating my emotions and feeding a terrible relationship with food; I want to enjoy food and not be possessed by it. My bingeing was getting out of control and I decided that it was time to make a change.
Surprisingly, the experience has been more enriching than tortuous. It is easier for me to not do something at all than to do it in a limited way. I miss eating sweets but what I miss the most is just eating carelessly. My habit has showed me during moments that I have been bored, frustrated, or celebrating, that my remedy was ice cream or one of its companions. Sweets were always there for me and made me increasingly hungry for more of them. Today, I still eat all my meals but I am not as hungry or as enthusiastic as I was previously. Food has turned into what it is supposed to be: delicious nourishment for my body.
Being away from sweets for almost two weeks now has also uncovered other bad habits. Looking for a way to soothe myself, I would go to my phone or TV as a distraction. I’ve caught myself constantly looking for that fix in either of those, in shock. I never thought that I was just pushing through my feelings and emotions. I have always supported the respectful expression of them. The pain and frustration that would come with tough circumstances and the daily responsibilities were overwhelming me and I was medicating myself with what I had on hand. Feeling strengthened to hold on to some boundaries, the other night I watched a little TV, got ready for bed, and didn’t feel drained or exhausted. I even went to bed at a decent hour!
In case you are curious of what I have resorted to and has allowed me to get this far, it has been prayer. I say prayers throughout the day and take time to think things through. Praying helps me lift up my heart as it is and ask for help. Thinking unravels me to the core of my behavior, and clarifies what the next step is. I am strengthened to face the day and have the confidence to continue asking for help. I decided to face what is coming at me, but never alone. God is always with me.
Right now my spirit is strengthened, my mind is more focused and my waistline is smaller. Should I ever go back? I don’t want to. I have a few ideas on how to reduce my exposure to sugar, since like I said before, self-control is not my forte. I want to continue down this path where I am more dependent on God and less on stuff. I am happier when the distractions are out of the way and my focus is where it needs to be.
The biggest lesson to date is that one small change can lead to other ones. I never would have thought that removing treats would show me more weaknesses and empower me to confidently make better decisions for myself. One step forward represented miles ahead. I want to use this to encourage you to take that first step to help you stop the bad chain reactions in your life. It might be a very small one, but it will take you closer to a life more focused on what is truly important to you. Keep your eyes on the prize and you will get there.