Monday, July 25, 2011

Five Days Sugar Free!

I think I can...

I think I can...

I think I can...

And I am!

Whenever I get a craving for something sweet, I eat fruit, or fruit sweetened bars. (They are really yummy!) And my sweet Bonny even made me some sugar free molasses cookies the other day. They were great!

I'm finding that if I eat meals on time, then I don't crave sweets as much. BUT, if I don't eat when hunger starts to set in, then I want SUGAR almost immediately.

I've also found that drinking water often helps, because sometimes my body misinterprets my thirst for hunger. So I'm working on being more hydrated, too.

Thanks for all the support! It really helps me A LOT, because I now have lots of folks to answer to. YAY! I appreciate y'all cheering me on! :-D

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Conquering a Sugar Addiction

I have ALWAYS had a sweet tooth. You know the obsession that kids have with candy and how they want it all the time, and would eat it all the time, if they could? That was me. As a grown-up.

And no, ladies, I am not big on chocolate. I'll eat it, it's fine. But. I. Love. CANDY. (And Cookies.)

You know that kind of person who buys the marshmallow Peeps as soon as they hit the shelves, and then keep them stocked in their cupboards until that particular holiday is over? (Did you know they have Peeps for pretty much every holiday but Labor Day now? It's true!)

That was me.

Until now.

See, this thing called "getting older" has been happening to me. (dang!) I feel out of balance, my teeth are not doing well, and I'm having issues with my thyroid. (Whee... I told you I was getting old.)

It is not pretty, let me tell you!

I've been justifying my sweets-munching habit, because I started drinking green smoothies, exercising, eating more veggies, drinking kefir, and trying to be more conscious of the portion size on my plate.

So I figured I didn't need to give up my beloved sweets.

And then, yesterday morning I woke up knowing that I had to do more to take care of the body the Lord has given me. I realized that I have been an unwise steward, and it's coming back to bite me in my ever-expanding-you-know-what...

So, I decided that just for yesterday I would go 24 hours without ANY sugar. None. Zip. Na-da.

And I did it! I was so proud! But I figured that was a good test of my self-control, and that I would be free and clear to dive into the ice cream today.

THEN, I posted about my successful 24 hours on Facebook and voiced my uncertainty about going off sugar completely.

WOW! I had a huge response! My friends gave me so much support, encouragement, and even recipes, I started to think more seriously about quitting.

Honey: my new best friend!

I've decided to take it one day at a time, which feels less daunting to me at this stage in the game. After going today without ANY sugar, I feel much more balanced, my teeth are not bothering me, and I have more energy. My mind isn't as foggy.

Who knew?!

I think I CAN do this!

One day at a time.

*For more help in conquering my sugar addiction, I have found a great article that I highly recommend to others who might be battling their craving for sweets: Slay the Sugar Monster in Four Doable Steps

Friday, July 15, 2011

Honoring Our Grandparents

Summertime in the North is a beautiful time of year-- like heaven! We had a wonderful time visiting family, playing outside, and staying up WAAAYY too late.

We had some very tender and sweet experiences with grandparents-- the kids' great-grandparents-- that made big impressions and beautiful memories.

My beautiful Grandma Nielsen is so elegant!
 My Grandma Nielsen is one of my personal heroes. She works harder than any other person I've ever met, and her strong faith, her love of country, and her indomitable spirit hold our extended family together in a bond that is amazing.

She has some health problems and has been without my Grandpa for nine years, but she keeps herself busy doing Church Humanitarian projects, participating in the Daughters of Utah Pioneers organization, and-- most of all-- actively serving in her ward (church congregation). In fact, one weekend we were up North, she spoke in church. (And I understand from my mom that she did a great job!)

Her excellent example effects me everyday, and I know that I have my strong convictions about right and wrong in great measure because of her strong faith and example.

Grandma Nielsen with all the kids
We also got to visit with Russell's Pike grandparents. He was very close to them when he was growing up, and they have always treated me like one of their own grandkids. In fact, it was meeting his grandparents for the first time that made me see how much I loved Russell and how much I wanted the kind of relationship they have. (I often joke with him that I married him for his grandparents!)

At our first meeting they sat and told us how they met; singing in the county fair talent show. Russell and I met in a community production of "My Fair Lady" and used to sing together all the time. We occasionally sing together as a family, too.

Granny Pike, meeting her namesake Eryn Mildred
When they came over to Russell's parents' house during the family reunion, Brennan played a song on the guitar that Granny Pike had once sent us. And she sat there and sang along with him as he played.

When we visited their home a few days later, Russell, Lliam, and Brennan sat on Grandpa's bed and talked while Granny and I visited in the livingroom and the other kids chased around their two enormous dogs. Grandpa honored us in the sweetest way by bestowing one of his beautiful guitars on Brennan, who's been learning the instrument. It was so wonderful to spend time with them, yet it was so hard to see them struggling with their health. We love them so much!

Russell with his Grandma
At the end of our visit, they asked us to please sing for them. It's the only thing they've ever asked of us and we were so thrilled to fill that one little request. The feelings were so sweet and tender as we stood in their little bedroom-- Grandpa laying in his bed with Granny sitting close by, her eyes twinkling-- and sang our hearts out to these amazing people. As we left, Grandpa held my hand and thanked me, and then he asked us to send them a recording of all of us singing together. I said that we would.

We are so grateful for the heritage of love and faith all of our grandparents have given us! I pray that we will always honor them by the living the way they have shown us to live.