The first thing that surprises me about food is how GOOD whole food tastes once I cleared all of the crap out of my diet. As I've mentioned, I cleaned up my eating beginning on July 1st. (mentioned in my Aug 15 post) About a month into that, the food I was eating began to taste SO GOOD. I mean crazy delicious, where I am just savoring every bite. Here are some examples. I made meatballs with Jenny O ground turkey and had that with spaghetti squash. OH MY GOSH, so good. I made brussel sprouts this week ( I had never liked them before) and I was so sad that there were no more left overs. Seriously, I could have eaten some every day. One thing I have to have at least twice a week is sliced sweet potatos sauteed in olive oil and sea salt. Those days where I feel like "snacking" that is my go to. Spinach with onions, steamed carrots with a little sea salt, all of it. So good. It is weird what all that sugar and fat and processed food does to our taste buds. And we have NO idea unless we try living without it. I did the 10 cleanse by Advocare. (To be honest, I had no intention of doing more than 10 days.) Yes, it was hard to break away from it, but I felt like I could make it through ten days. I mean, that isn't even two weeks. By the time day 11 hit, I decided I was feeling so much better that I would continue till the end of the month. By the time Aug 1 rolled around, I thought, I'm doing so well, I'll keep going until I reach my goal. Now, it is just how I eat and I have no intention of changing it. Once I hit my goal weight, I will probably add in sprouted/whole grain bread here and there, maybe a little cheese now and again. But I will continue eating the way that I do over all. Sure, I will allow for a treat once in a while, but after seeing what sugar does to how I feel...I have no desire to open those floodgates at all. Which brings me to the second thing that surprises me about food.
Sugar is evil. I have always assumed that sugar probably added to my depression/anxiety, but I had NO IDEA how much. I have had two rounds of anxiety since July 1.(which is amazing). Last Sunday I woke up SO anxious. I mean bad. I had to do the whole, "nothing is wrong. Everyone is happy and healthy. Nothing bad is on the horizon. This is not valid" talk to myself all morning. I headed to the gym because I know I always feel so much better after a good workout. I struggled through the whole class. My heart was racing so bad I had to keep backing off and walking around the gym. The trainer kept asking me if I was ok, he knew that was not me. It was awful. On top of the physical symptoms, I was so frustrated. I believed I had found the right combination of eating and exercise that would keep my depression/anxiety at bay, and I was so upset that this was still going to be something to fight. So I was praying all through class, asking God why this was happening, why was I feeling like this? What had I done to spur on these two attacks in the last month? And it occurs to me. Sugar. You had sugar, a LOT of sugar compared to what you had been eating. I had baked cookies the day before. That night I texted Rick and told him I was struggling with temptation. I lasted a little while, then gave in and ate 2 cookies before bed. At some point during the night I got up and ate I don't know how many more. Yes, I sleep walk and have eaten in my sleep for years. No, I am not kidding. Up until now, only Rick and the boys have known about this. It is so freaking frustrating. So I wake up with that familiar icky feeling in my stomach, and head down stairs. I see there are only two cookies left in the ziplock. I have no idea how many there were when I went to bed, but it was a full plate. That was the common denominator in those two rounds of anxiety. I had eaten cookies a few weeks earlier, the day before I had the first round of anxiety. I was making cookies and salsa for Rick and the boys to take to the ranch, and I was eating some as I cooked. I would pull a batch out of the oven and eat one (*cough* two or three). I'd pull another batch out of the oven and eat one (or three more). Then I decided that salsa looked so good, maybe some chips and salsa wouldn't be out of line. So chips and a LOT of cookies. (I probably pulled 4-5 batches out of the oven. Multiply that by 2-3...yah, not so great). Once I realized that, I felt so much better emotionally. I still felt like crap physically, but at least I knew what I was working with. I just had to get through the rest of the day and stay the heck away from that much sugar.
It all clicked. Such an eye opener. Yeah, those cookies were good, but not worth feeling like that. Then my twisted thinking kicked in. (you'll love this). I can NEVER make cookies for my family again. What kind of mother am I? I won't even be able to bake them cookies. No, seriously, I was feeling like I was going to completely jack with their quality of life. I was ashamed that I am such a weak person that my poor family will have to suffer like that. Oh. My. Gosh. I can be such a trainwreck in my thinking. It occured to me yesterday that if Tanner had to choose between a happy mom that is quick to throw the frisbee, or having cookies baked...he would probably choose the former and date a girl that is a good baker. And I know for a fact that given the choice Rick would gladly forfeit homemade cookies for the wife he has had as of late.
More often than I would like, I choose something that I know is not good for me. I know I am not the only one with this struggle. Jesus said to his disciples in Matthew 6:13, " Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." So I will continue to watch and pray. I know that my flesh is weak. When I stumble, I will remember this current weakness is one more opportunity for me to lean into the Lord, settle into his grace and focus on him and his will for me. God reminded Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness". Paul sums it up in the following verses by saying, "Therfore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." I, for one, am so grateful that perfection is not something to be desired or pursued. My struggles give me opportunity to seek the Lord. They also soften my heart for those around me who share similar burdens. Do you see your weaknesses as something to be grateful for or ashamed of?