My Year Without the White Stuff

Or the brown stuff. Or the powdered stuff that makes waffles so whimsical. Or the stuff called by any name ending with -ose (dextrose, glucouse, sucrose…).

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Sugar caused mischief for Gretel and Hansel and it has certainly caused mischief for me in the form of extra pounds. You are what you eat and I don’t want to become a gingerbread woman who is part of a fence!! 

For 2014, I am going a year without refined sugar as part of my resolve to live with more congruency.

What ‘No Sugar’ Means to Me

Basically, no desserts except fruit. Anything with added sugar is simply not invited.

For sweeteners, I’ll use applesauce or all fruit jams but super sparingly if any at all. Honey gets out of hand for me. It has really beneficial nutrients but is so dense in sugars, it’s something I overuse (as in chug). I’m still going for dairy, fruits, meats, and vegetables as well as carbs (which surprisingly I don’t have trouble with).

I’m not doing Splenda or anything like that, though I think there’s a little in my protein powder drink from Trader Joe’s, but it’s like 1 gram a glass or something so, fine.

I’ve become increasingly aware of sugar’s lurking presence in almost all processed food. Luckily, I already shop mostly from the outer aisles for produce, dairy, and meat. I’m going to keep staying away from those inner aisles of hell at the grocery store.

As of February, This Includes Whilst Traveling or Socializing!

The thought of traveling or socializing without experiencing interesting desserts makes me feel wackadoodle, and thus far I’ve been slipping in January on this point, thinking, I’ll tackle that next year. Or never.

But I was at a party last night and of the myriad sugary things I ate, only one was really worthy. That’s why from this point on I personally have to also just turn sweets off while traveling or socializing. Otherwise, I become a sugar vacuum that moves about the room as if on duty to personally clean up all sugar.

“But Cindy, Moderation…

Sugar has been my drug of choice and my crutch. It probably can be nominally harmful if used in moderation. But that’s the thing! With me, with sugar, there is no moderation. There are only boundless trysts.

Every tooth in this mouth is a sweet tooth!

I feel like each of us has weaknesses that can’t be bargained with. I can eat fried foods only once every couple weeks, no problem at all, but I can’t moderate sugar. Maybe someday. For some people, it’s drinking. Other people, smoking maybe. I’ve decided it doesn’t matter if my neighbor can be moderate about the suga-sug, what matters is, can I?! Uh, no.

I have to learn from my actions and be honest with what I’ve demonstrated.

Preach! (Sorry, goes with the territory…)

A year of no sugar can sound like Spartan insanity but I think it’s actually the baseline. I’ve come to believe that I, if not most of us in the United States, have acquired a warped sense of sugar. By eliminating refined sugar, I will simply be at the recommended daily amount for sugar intake (about 30 grams). That 30 grams goes fast and pretty much comes from fruits, vegetables, dairy, etc. as well as seemingly innocuous things like ketchup.

I’ll try not to be annoying about the whole thing, and have definitely determined not to talk much about it in public unless asked but this is a topic that’s definitely in my consciousness for 2014.

…More Why’s

I need to move away from potential diabetes, weight gain, and other things that make life harder. Life’s hard enough!

I’m pretty sure my pancreas or my liver or whatever is assigned to keep sugar from turning right to fat doesn’t work in me anymore. Now it’s on strike and I need to get back in its good graces.

Peace is another interesting concept when reasoning about food paradigms. I need to feel the peace I’ve sometimes felt when I’ve been congruent with my beliefs about what is healthy. As in other categories of life, peace should not be pushed aside for excitement to reign, or rather, excitement should never come at the expense of peace. If it does, forget the excitement and choose peace! It’s more faithful to you.

I hope this page’s ramblings are useful to more than just my own self-accountability, but if not, I’m a good enough audience. ‘Cause I’m stinkin’ doing this! Even if I have to try over and over again. (Planning on it!!!)

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My One Resolve for 2014: Congruency

Resolutions for 2014? I have but one. And just to be a diva I prefer to call it a resolve.

resolve to have greater congruency.

Living Life with Congruency! ~ That one on my neck is supposed to be over my congruent heart :).!

That one on my neck is supposed to be over my congruent heart :).

I’d like to officially be tired of the word resolution because it doesn’t serve me emotionally anymore (I hear it and think, oh those are those things I don’t keep!).

In my mind, a resolve I do keep. Tomaytoes, tomahtoes, maybe! But the word resolve just sounds less like a meeping intention and more of a well-thought-out and binding promise.

Also, to me a resolve is more carefully entered into because it means deciding once and not over and over again. It’s done and decided! As I define it, it’s more of a broad idea that can ricochet through many parts of one’s life as if traveling a Rube Goldberg machine.

Usually there’s some fundamental idea behind several things that need updating in one’s life. To that point, individual resolutions seem to throw me off balance and send me on a roller coaster of extremes and having compartmentalized goals makes no sense to me anymore.

Why I Chose Congruency

There’s a gap between what I believe and what I do on so many issues. I’m resolving to stop. In other words, if I believe in it, do it. If I don’t believe in it, don’t do it. Simple.

And terrifying. The implications of an idea can emotionally dwarf its conceptual simplicity, I’ve learned.

For example, I don’t believe refined sugar does anything beneficial for me. Simply, it’s not a treat, it’s poison. That’s what I believe if I’m honest with myself. Yet, I’m an enjoyer of life if not a sugar addict who wakes up wondering what sugar is in the house. So I’ve been at odds with myself.

In 2014, I’m giving up refined sugar for at least the year.

Another example. I simply don’t believe in having negative thoughts unless wailing and weeping to God in prayer form to let it all out (and letting it out is very important). Beyond that, I’m not ever letting myself have an episode of sadness or worry in 2014. I’m just not doing it this year. I mean, enough!!

A Preemptive Apology

This year I’m also writing a book about topics that can be emotionally charged. By being congruent, I will necessarily have to be opinionated about those. It’s terrifying, because I think differently than a lot of people on some of these subjects (being single, eating better, staying positive, somehow these realms manage to get messy).

Oh well! This is me hopefully having a more authentic (congruent) blog. I hope I don’t step on too many toes and apologize in advance if I do. I hope you’ll add your two cents to anything I write by leaving a comment!

What I Do and Don’t Love About National Women’s Equality Day

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On National Women’s Equality Day, August 26th, I am certainly glad that women in the U.S. are no longer harassed, manipulated, or shamed out of their fundamental and not male-conceded right to vote.

But I dislike the name of the holiday, only because:

  • Equality encompasses about a thousand things beyond voting.
  • How many other social groups were wrongfully delayed their right to vote in this country? A separate holiday for each may be warranted but is bound to get confusing.

Still, I’m definitely a fan of a day to reflect on suffragists and all they did for society.

Are We Sometimes Weird in How We Express Our Gratitude for Voting Rights?

This is a subtle thing, but I hope our language leans toward conveying that women always had every right to vote. It’s not that in the 1920s we got something, or that we now “get to” vote. It’s that bullies got out of the way and no longer denied what was always constitutionally ours. It’s not that those powerful people gave us permission and now we are so grateful to them.

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And sure, as in many cases of oppression, the oppressed bought into it to some degree until a large enough mass were able to organize against those with power. Tons of women opposed suffrage right along with men.

But I think the point still stands. Women always had every right to vote in this country. As we all know, small adjustments in language send incredibly different messages.

I overheard this today at the gas station: “I’m grateful that leaders had enough vision and wisdom to learn to let women vote?” Hmmm. Okay, kindof. 

I overheard this today at the thrift store: “I’m grateful that wise men realized our innately-caring natures as women, and that that means we should vote.” Yeah, not so much (I am an equality feminist not a difference feminist).

Instead of saying things relative to leaders giving us rights, I could choose to say I’m grateful to not have that issue on my plate along with so many other problems. Or that I’m grateful toward God for the situation I am in now, regarding my voting rights. Or that I’m grateful toward all the early suffragists who dedicated so much life-energy, so that after the 1920s, I would not be as bullied about my voting rights as they were.

Leveraging the National Toward the Global

I think it’s okay to have a national holiday about women’s suffrage, but it has even more value if we stay anchored in a realistic global perspective, framing the voting freedoms we enjoy alongside what life is like for others.

I think it’s helpful to think along these lines instead: Because suffragists fought off so much injustice, I get to be that much less-distracted and less-hampered in applying my courage toward global injustices against women.

What I mean is, many of the issues women face daily around the world are way worse experientially than the oppression of someone denying your right to vote, or the injustices I have encountered as a woman in the United States. It’s not like we can’t celebrate our right to vote, but it’s just an opportunity to leverage that feeling of gratitude toward something that could materially improve another woman’s life.

An opportunity to become like our heroine suffragists.

I’ve revisited this in 2014. Here’s an article from earlier this year that shows what really ignites my courage to do more, to live life more congruently

8 Women Who Already Made The World A Better Place In 2014 by Charlotte Alfred