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.


Steph Smith said...

I wonder how my discipline to avoid certain substances would fare in New York City. What you describe sounds so attractive to try to see how my body reacts, decompresses, etc. The city forces me to rely on autopilot so much. I selfishly wish I was at a yoga retreat center to try it (avoiding foods) out.

Jennifer said...

Good luck avoiding those chocolate Earth balls in the Kripalu store. Those things kept me going during my YTT! :)