March Forth!

UnknownThis is one of my favorite days of the year.

Here in the Sierra Foothills, the daffodils are blooming, and we’re so grateful for the rain, and the snow that has finally come to the mountains this year.

Yes, it can be windy, wet, and cold this time of year, but green buds hint at spring, and the time to shed our winter coats.  This year, March 4th is also Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, the day before the start of 40 days of lent.  These coming 40 days are very important for me too, as my 50th birthday comes just 9 days after Easter this year.

50 is an important milestone for all of us.  Who doesn’t assess health, family, work, and relationships at age 50?  For me, the message is of 50 is that The Time Is Now.

It’s time to be more than an apprentice or a journeyman in my life.  It’s time to become a master at what I’ve chosen to do.  Is it time for you to do the same?

For those of us who are physically addicted to sugar, and the starches that break right down to sugar when we eat them, the cheating game has to stop so that we can reach our goals and achieve peace and balance with food.  I used to dream that reaching my goal weight would cause me to be spontaneously healed from my addiction.  It simply isn’t so.  I can eat well, feel satisfied, and get on with the life I love only when I abstain from sugar and grains.  In addition, I’m sad to have to admit that my last binge was triggered by…

A Banana.Unknown-1

This is how powerful my dopamine response to fructose is.  I eat one banana, and I must have sugar, sugar, sugar, until I’m so full that I can’t eat another bite.  Back in 2010, I was completely abstinent from sugar and grains for 9 months.  I dropped all of the fat I wanted, even to that point where people started asking me when I was going to stop losing weight.

“You’re so tiny, Your face is so thin, You’re going to disappear on us!”

Those are a small sample of the comments I heard.  Then, I threw my abstinence away when I read a diet book that told me I could eat whatever I wanted one day a week, and get leaner than ever.  One problem: the book was written by a young man who had never been overweight: let alone obese and addicted to sugar and flour!  Ever since that first Saturday binge, I have had to struggle again with the call of the sweets and starches that so many of my family members, friends, and colleagues can eat.  Now I have to accept that just because they can enjoy cheat meals and cheat days, I simply can’t if I want to stay healthy, happy, and sane.

As a personal trainer and fitness studio owner, I travel to conferences and maintain contacts with amazing fitness pros who have been training clients for so much longer than my two years.  They write and develop powerful programs that get great results for their clients, and the truth is that my research indicates that only 15% of the overweight population is genuinely addicted to food in the same way that I am.  How many of you who are reading this blog are addicted?  Please take the test that you will find at this website: http://www.yaleruddcenter.org/resources/upload/docs/what/addiction/FoodAddictionScale09.pdf.  It will give you powerful insights in to the behavior that indicates food addiction.

If you don’t recognize yourself and your habits in this questionnaire, you may be free to enjoy a much broader menu of fat releasing foods than you find on Sugar Freedom.  That’s wonderful, and the truth is that those of us who are addicted have certainly had our share of sweets and starches, and it’s time to leave those goodies to somebody else who can handle them.

As for me, I have accepted that it’s time to go back to the peace and happiness I had before I let sugar back into my life.  So Sugar Freedom is no longer just for dieting, or getting ready for summer, or even for Lent.  It is a way of eating for life, one day at a time.

Now, the brief pleasure I might have found in snacks will be replaced by enjoying my family, friends, students, and the beauty of the coming Spring.

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