Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sugar Update

I was a little delayed in writing the last post. I in fact stopped eating sweets on the 8th, and so today marks the beginning of my third week.

But lets rehash...

Week 1: easy peasy! I was full of resolve and also the support of my community here, as I made my intentions public (pride won't let me fail now!)

Early Week 2: Definitely a little withdrawal... I was grouchy one day and my co-worker said "Geez Ali, go eat some sugar or something!" but overall not too hard.

Really cool opportunity to observe my patterns:

While I have been quite aware of certain patterns (sweets as comfort, sweets as reward, sweets as distraction) I wasn't really aware of how much of my eating was quite impulsive and "under the radar"

how many times I almost just grabbed something and stuffed it in my mouth without being aware of whether or not I even wanted it (and realizing that my body pretty much never wants it, but my mind wants it a lot).

Late Week 2/Today: I just want something sweet! and NOT a fucking sweet potato! (but yes, they do taste sweeter than ever before)

The bakery is next door to veggie prep (where I work) and I swear they must be trying to make me fail.

The two days ago they put 3 (THREE!!) brownies on the drink table and I must've walked by them 18 times. Usually any bakery gifts are gone within minutes, but these sat there all. day. GAHHHH!

Then today, there was an entire pan on cranberry walnut muffins leftover from breakfast and the dining room staff just decided to give it to veggie prep... and, oh wait - the bakery gave us some cookies they messed up... AHHHH

I was told the day three would be hardest and cravings would subside after that, well apparently for me it's week 3.

Another interesting observation is that mealtime has gotten a whole lot less exciting for me. I used to spend a very good portion of my day thinking about food

what I had just eaten, what was for the next meal, what I was cutting, what I wanted to eat that night, what I might eat on my break, what I hadn't eaten in a while and missed

but it's really gotten less interesting... good? maybe.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


doo doo doo doot doo doo ohhh honey honey....

It's over. We're breaking up. And just like any other relationship, we need to spend some time apart before we can try to be friends again.

So I've decided to give up sweets for one month. This will be hard, as I have a ravenous sweet tooth, and use sweet things to make myself feel better when I feel sad, reward myself when I feel good, give me energy when I have none and several situations in between.

I thought about just giving up sugar, but in a place like Kripalu where honey, agave and brown rice syrup are available at any given moment and most baked goods are made with other sweeteners like maple syrup or sucanat, I figured that would be too easy.

Besides, it's the pattern of eating sweet things I want to address more than simply taking sugar out of my diet.

I will also continue to avoid gluten and dairy as I have been doing since I found out during my elimination diet that they don't do good things for my body, but the main focus will be sweets, so if I want a piece of bread sometime this month, I'm just gonna go for it.

Why give up sweets? I'm doing it for several reasons


I want to see how my body feels and what my energy levels are like without sweets in my system.

Sweets depress the immune system and with winter coming for me for the first time in 9 years, I can use all the sickness fighting ability I can get.


Besides the challenge of disciplining myself not to eat something I love and have probably eaten just about every day of my life until now, I want to unravel my patterns.

I know that I eat emotionally sometimes, and also use food as a reward, but despite analyzing this issue for a while now, I haven't made much progress on understanding it, and can't seem to make changes in my behavior.


As part of the volunteer program, we have weekly classes about yoga called "Off the Mat". Two weeks ago, we had a lecture about the yamas and niyamas (guiding principles/practices of yoga such as non-violence and contentment). Our teacher asked us to choose one to work with for the next several weeks and I chose Brahmacharya (restraint, conservation of energy, recognition of the divine as omnipresent).

I found it hard to keep this in my mind and so I devised this 1-month sweet restraint practice because I knew it would consistently remind me to examine Brahmacharya in my life.

Also, in general, one of the practices of yoga (as in buddhist mindfulness) is to be aware of your cravings and aversions, rather than simply reacting to them (that brownie looks delicious - hmm I find myself eating a brownie, how did this happen?)

So I'll keep you all posted about any discoveries I make on this journey. Support in the form of blog comments or snail mail is highly appreciated.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Thank you for all the wonderful birthday calls, cards, e-mails and facebook wall posts. They sure make a girl feel special.

I had quite a nice birthday here at Kripalu. A community member was leaving and we had a combined "Farewell Troy and Happy Birthday to all the Scorpios" party in the volunteer common area complete with drumming, dancing and a snackluck (we get free meals here, so instead of a potluck we all brought our favorite snack).

The next day I went bouldering with some friends

So fun!