Hey, Sugar

“Hey baby, I could be your drug; I could be your new addiction…”
Everybody Talks – Neon Trees

If, in light of recent atrocities, you find it gauche that I’d write about something as frivolous as my ongoing (and yet somehow still brand new) battle with sugar and shape, then this place is either somewhere you’d be better off very far away from, or somewhere you most definitely need to be. 

If, in light of recent atrocities, you think for one second that I’m not disappointed in myself for my utter lack of rallying cry to unity in the face of horror, or the dissemination of a new and brilliant way for us all to connect in meaningful, active ways which somehow embetter the world, you don’t know me well enough yet.

Hey Sugar

If, in light of recent atrocities, there were any way I felt I could improve upon the rallying cries and suggestions for embetterment which have already been put Out There by others, which already exist to stir our collective hopes and galvanise us into action, I would most assuredly be doing that.

But…I feel at an utter loss, my brain swinging to and fro like a loose shutter on a stormy day, banging its empty fists against the insides of my skull, unable to put into words the enormity of all the Feels, all the Thinks, and all the maelstrom of trying to process the actions, the responses, the media circus, and the ways people are platforming off the back of such awfulness…

I suspect there are many of us at a loss. The pain of knowing such awful things happen, twinned with the further agony of knowing so many more awful things happen unbeknownst to us, is enough to render us speechless. We’re muted, waiting for the day we hear the ‘splash’, once whichever burden dropped into our soul has finished clanging off the sides on its way down.

I’ve seen such division. I’ve seen people decrying the racism which has been perpetuated in the wake of the Orlando shooting, and I’ve seen instances where those same people, moments later, have acted in utter hypocrisy. I’ve seen awful, endorsing words, shared in outrage to further proliferate the shock and hurt of those who stand baffled in the face of hatred. I’ve seen the stories used to corroborate long-held political stances, or cherry-picked to support whatever, and these reactions likewise leave me feeling incapable; unequal to the task of writing anything meaningful, which could in any way improve matters.

So I’m writing about sugar.

Specifically, the manner in which I’ve once again self-sabotaged and allowed myself to get flabbier than I’m happy with, and have ‘to hell with it’ed all the way nearly out of my clothes being able to fit. Oops!

There’s no point pretending I never liked sugar (though I’ve overcome former aversions to ice-cream (now veganised) and chocolate (preferably fair-trade, as well as vegan)) because let’s face it, it’s yummy and our brains are hard-wired to appreciate its quick-release energy. It’s one of those things we’re physiologically primed to enjoy, and that’s why, with an abundance of it readily available, so many of us struggle to resist.

I *used* to be ‘good’. I *used* to have it ‘under control’, but now I realise it’s been creeping in, insidiously, as I’ve hidden behind candy-coated blinkers, telling myself lies about how much it doesn’t matter, and how little effect it will really have.

Unfortunately for me, the cumulative effect is apparent to anyone with eyes to see my pudginess, and now I’m at the point of accepting empirical evidence, I’ve decided it’s time for it to go. For a month. With an accountability partner, because I know that on my own, I’m no good at sticking to Bright Ideas – I have a tendency to get bored halfway and just stop. And that’s just rubbish.

I’m taking back control (or re-establishing it) by axing biscuits, sweets, jam, fizzy drinks, and dried fruit (my particular Achilles heel (“because it’s healthy…“)) from my diet. I think it’s going to be hard work not to slip, because my palate is now used to the intense sweetness of these scrumptious things. And on the one hand, why shouldn’t it be? I’m fit and healthy; not super-skinny (or even close), but not FAt-fat, and some of what I fancy isn’t the end of the world. Heck, even if I get fatter, it’s not actually the end of the world, even though I might be grossly uncomfortable about it. I’ve learned that those who love me, will love me anyway, and that’s HUGE.

On the other hand, there’s the constant niggling feeling that I’m subconsciously undermining my current lack of ‘driven’ weight-loss-behaviour by letting myself get large, and I’m afraid to find out whether those behaviours would reassert themselves in their former, unmanageable form. I’m also afraid to find out that I’m trying to get them back, so I’m hoping to nip things in the bud by getting back to a place where I’m comfortable with how I look. And preferably a place where I’m comfortable in what I’m wearing!

It’s vanity. It’s frippery. It absolutely, in the grander scheme of things, doesn’t matter one jot.

And yet…here’s the thing:

It really, really does matter, enormously very much, because it’s something which connects.

My desire to unsugarify myself led to a new friendship with the blogger who has agreed to be my accountability partner for the next month. It’s sparked conversations with friends and colleagues. It’s inspired this blog-post, and I suspect will be mentioned again in future posts. It’s something I might share on social media, seeking responses. It’s a smallish yet significantish challenge, which will go some way to embettering my own world, and the world of my accountability partner.

It’s an instance where a small negative has led to a big positive, and a directly associated plethora of opportunities for engagement, interaction, and building bridges between.

It’s a tiny little sugar-sprinkled microcosm of what I hope will happen on a larger scale, preferably globally, if we all can wrangle it.

There are Big Bad Negatives out there, as we know – ones which outrage, destabilise, and harrow – but the flip-side is something Bigger and Better and more gloriously positive, with the potential to establish ENORMOUS progress on the embettering. I know – WE know – it’s there, because we’ve seen it:

Each time someone uses their voice against stigma;

Each time someone uses their actions to help;

Each time someone behaves with compassion;

Each time people open their minds with a view to understanding;

Each time bridges are built between people, and connections are founded, and friendships are strengthened;

Each time people stand in solidarity against any of the Big Bads, and say “This HURTS and it needs to be made different, and right, and Good,” we are demonstrating over and over and over, that we are stronger together, and united, CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.

And each, teeny, weeny, tiny, almost-insignificant thought-which-leads-to-action-which-leads-to-change, COUNTS, because every time we shoulder the burden of our world and choose to love, anyway, we’re a step closer. Because #LoveWins.

SWEET, right?

So get yourselves out there, and do what it takes. Bring on the LOVE ❤

#LoveWins

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73 thoughts on “Hey, Sugar

  1. Hey Lizzi! I’m really loved reading this blog! I have been cutting sugar from my diet for a while now and it really has made a change for the better! Though admittedly, it is sometimes hard to stay on track and to just give in because everyone around me are eating food, such as chocolate brownies, which contain heaps of sugar. However, reading about the benefits of cutting sugar from my diet really does help with my mindset and motivate me to just keep going!

    Cutting sugar from my diet really did make my energy levels go up! My breakfast used to contain a lot of sugar, like strawberry jam on pancakes and using condensed milk to sweeten my morning coffee. I would always feel lethargic after breakfast which was quite disappointing since it was just the start of the day!

    I’ve now changed up my breakfast by eating more natural sugars or none at all. My breakfast would usually contain Greek, low fat yoghurt with museli, long black coffee and maybe a piece of fruit for the natural sweet boost. I definitely felt that a change in my diet has played a positive impact on my health!

    I’ve created a blogpost which lists the 15 Reasons Why We Should Decrease Our Daily Sugar Intake! I felt that a lot of people are unaware of how much healthier they would become if they cut even a little bit of sugar from their life. Sugar Sticks was created to encourage young people to look after themselves and to stick to their recommended daily sugar limit. It would be amazing if you could take some time to read this article and check out my website! Your thoughts and comments would be greatly appreciated!

    Link to my blog: https://sugarsticksblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/06/15-reasons-why-you-should-decrease-your-daily-sugar-intake/

    I hope your journey to going sugar-free has been going well and I’m looking forward to reading more blogs from you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for sharing the article and your thoughts – I’ll definitely check it out. I think a lot of my ‘problem’ is getting the balance between sugars and healthy fats in my diet. Being vegan, it’s more challenging and so EASY to fall back on fruit, but also not great for me. I think I could do with another go at going sugar-free, or at least limiting my intake somewhat – things like jam on toast and hot-cross buns and biscuits seem to be creeping back into my diet, which is never a good thing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Same! It’s all about self control at the end of the day! Some days I’m able to live sugar-free, and it definitely feels rewarding! I have so much energy and could go about my day for longer! But sometimes, my mind tells me to treat myself and that’s when i start to fall back into my old habits! All the best with going sugar-free again! I have faith in you!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Village needs to SPEAK UP! | Considerings

  3. Have you tried planting Stevia in your attempts to de-sugar? Goes great with mint tea. 😉
    I did a sugar detox some while back, due to a heath issue that would only be solved by no sugar diet. and it was a grueling task. Even ate special no sugar and yeast bread.

    Anyhow as for the shock of current events, I think many of us are looking at it in utter stunned silence lacking in words to say. What does one even say to that? I made my peace on my blog about the power of words yesterday. Wrote that very much with current events in mind even though I’ve not spoken on them directly, including the Stanford case currently circling the blog sphere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve not tried Stevia. I’m not sure if I could grow it here, and I won’t have time anyway if I’m moving in November. The thing is, I tend to eat a lot of refined sugar IN things, rather than adding it to things (like drinks) so…if you see what I mean, I know where my downfall is. And I want to make sure I don’t cut out the sugar and just substitute with replacements – I want my palate to change so I crave sweet things less.

      The current events…geez, could they be any LESS sweet? And they keep getting worse and worse as more things happen and people react. Good grief. 😦 Glad you wrote around it, too 🙂

      Like

    • Heheh well thank you very much indeed, Rica! And I’m glad you forgive me for the chocolate covered almonds. They sound scrumptious. I always ALWAYS check these things, to see whether they make them in dark chocolate I can eat, but all the chocolate coated nuts seem to have dark chocolate which still somehow contains milk 😦 Boooo!

      Like

  4. Yes bring on the LOVE Lizzi the world could do with more of that at the moment. Sugar unfortunately is so addictive but you can do it and remove it from you diet. Good for trying! Sue from Sizzling Towards Sixty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heheh thanks so much Sue! It really IS addictive, and I thought I’d struggle less today, but there ya go! 30 more to go and I’m one down, so that’s SOMETHING, right?

      The world most definitely could do with more love!

      Like

  5. I’m also a sugar addict… and numb from what’s happening in this country lately. Are the two entwined? Maybe the need to be thinner is a need to feel in control. Maybe our bodies are the only things we seem to have power over these days. Still, I hate when that scale dips and peaks. Very relatable post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely think there’s something to be said for comfort-eating in the face of awfulness and the knowledge of how little of an impact we, alone, can have on the grander scheme of things…

      I definitely think there’s an element of control going on, but also with wanting things to be clear, comfy, and in alignment – internally, externally, and wider – societally. I don’t know.

      Day one is complete, for me, and I’m still connecting, so I’m counting it as a win 🙂

      Like

  6. Well you know, of course, that I love you no matter what you look like. I just hope you’re doing this for the right reasons and not to satisfy some phantom demand of society. We all love you just the way you are.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good luck on the sugar-free, you got this. If you need motivation I’ll send you pictures of my ex-wife she has seem to “fallen” off the wagon herself and I’m sure it would make for excellent motivation!.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “Oh…. sugar, sugar. You are my candy girl and you got me wanting you….” Good for you on starting this sugar-free trip, says the girl holding a milk chocolate moustache in front of her face.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hee hee hee! At least the chocolate moustache is there on purpose, not by accident, left over from a delicious chocolatey indulgence 😉

      That song’s AWESOME! I had that in my head last night, once I wrote this.

      Like

  9. Sugar, sugar, sugar…So good yet so evil. I love it and it loves me; it taunts me daily and flaunts its grainy self like a hooker, luring me into its white mound. It disguises itself and changes its name intentionally, invading the “healthy alternatives”, where it does not belong. It’s intoxicatingly delicious and highly addictive, leaving me desperately needing my fix. 🙂 (That was kind of fun).

    I stand behind you, Honeybee! xoxoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • *dying laughing* Ohhhh Sugar’s such a SLUT the way you write her! Heheh she cheats on us all, and lies her way onto our tongues…

      *hugs* My dear Honeybee, I can always count on you to proliferate love and goodness.

      Like

        • Ohh WELL DONE YOU! And yes – salt and sugar is INCREDIBLE and totally addictive. For all of those physiological reasons we already know, but which are so SO hard to resist.

          Like

            • It’s ok. Not the end of the world. Not sure what a teddy graham is, but I assume it’s some kind of cracker. I liked graham crackers, though we have better-tasting biscuit things here. I like crispy flatbreads with loads of seeds in. *sigh* STILL! There’s tomorrow to get back on track. *HUGS*

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  10. Lizzi, thank you for writing about sugar and the hope that can come with doing the small things when the big things are too big. Pessimism is so easy to come by this week. Toss it out the front door and it tries to sneak in the back way, etc. BTW, I just learned that “etc” (along with “&”, “i.e.”, and others) as an abbreviation was invented by a Roman slave, Tiro, who was secretary to the politician and orator Cicero for most of his master’s life, as part of his private shorthand which was published and used by Churchmen and Scholars for long after the fall of the Empire, and by that route came into English. OK, where was I? Oh, I am very fond of a quote attributed to Samuel Butler: “He who would do good must so so in minute particulars; the general good is the plea of patriots, politicians, and knaves.” That is so often the joy and wonder of what we do here where Love Wins, those minute particulars of good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like that quote immensely, and I think it’s probably quite true that it’s easy enough to do Big Noisy Good (or at least, SAY you’re going to), and much harder to actually, consistently, follow through with good behaviours.

      Now I’ve gone off into a reverie about ampersands and i.e., and (presumably) e.g.? And what a wonderful, most educated and incredible man Tiro must have been. I know enough of Cicero to have heard of him, but no more than that. My history is woefully lacking, but THIS, I find fascinating. I don’t know if you’ve ever read books by a chap called David Crystal, but he writes everything through the lens of language (book titles include things like ‘Just a phrase I’m going through’) and I think you’d really, really enjoy him.

      NERTS to pessimism. There’s too much of it about.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, by Lynne Truss is another good one. The bit about Tiro came in the introduction to Robert Harris’ novel, “Dictator” which is his attempt to recreate what Tiro’s lost biography of Cicero might have been, and told from his point of view, covering Cicero’s exile and return to power.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ohhh I LOVED that book! Had it somewhere along the way of life, and couldn’t tell you where it is now, but probably in a box in mum’s attic. I don’t think I’ve ever read Robert Harris. Worth a try?

          Liked by 1 person

              • How it turns out is easy, that’s in the history books. The fun of good Historical Fiction is in how they fill in the bits of the story History left out along the way. The fun, like the devil, is in the details. I also find it near impossible to resist anything, straight history, biography, or historical fiction featuring the Tudors and their court (Wolf Hall, for example), or the marvelously dysfunctional family of Henry II and Elinor of Aquitaine (a favorite movie: The Lion In Winter, the old version with Hepburn and O’Toole)

                Liked by 1 person

  11. FUCKYAHFRIST.
    So all the stuff in all the world. It’s too much and I know you’re not alone in feeling hopeless and helpless but you’re also not alone in knowing that standing together saying “NOT OKAY” is how slaves became free, how women won the right to vote, how kids with special needs are included in mainstream classrooms WITH THE SUPPORT THEY NEED (because everybody deserves education in the way they’re able to process it), how gay people earned the right to marry legally and and and and… standing with you in love, demanding change.

    Liked by 2 people

    • #LoveWins
      #LoveWins
      #LoveWins

      And in all that we do, we are stronger standing together in unity, for the things we know are good, and will make the world a better place.

      Times are changing. We are changing. There is a slow but certain turn of the wheels of society in favour of making things RIGHT, for everyone.

      I’m glad you’re standing. You always have, and it’s always inspired me to stand too. With love ❤

      Liked by 2 people

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