This year is about changing the way I do things, finding a new “thin” lifestyle that I will be happy to repeat. My hubby and I have decided that I will do a full year with the nutritionist so that, among other things, I cover all the holidays. Thanksgiving, my birthday, Easter have all been easy to adapt or work around. Smaller dessert portions, removing grains for a few days after the big meal, and occasionally swapping out a dessert for a similar, but healthier, option have generally done the trick. This week I ran into a holiday that I don’t think I will be able to swap out.
Trick or treat, smell my feet, giving me something good to eat… considering we hand out some of the worst foods their bodies will have to digest, I think we would be better off smelling their feet! Yes, All Hallows’ Eve, which was originally designed to prepare the villages for All Saint’s day (All Hallowed means all holy) is not a holiday I will be able to redeem. I have a few more years before my youngest stops going around the neighbourhood and bringing it back home. Then, provided my teenagers or husband will hand out the poison, I will be good. Till then, other strategies will have to be explored because once he is home with that big bag of candy, as I have mentioned before, once sugary foods enter, I’m a goner. As my nutritionist put it, like many, there is no middle ground for me.
Sigh. Thank goodness it is only one day!
To deal with impossible cravings, I’m back on a cleanse to clear out the system and reset the temptation fuses. Day two over and though it has been hard, it has been doable. The cravings for Kit Kats and Smarties have all but disappeared. It should go without saying that it started with a prayer to God and St. Michael. I know when I’m in over my head, and when I am weak He is strong.
Like the post wedding, I’ve had to recognize that sugar and I are not friends. Naturally occurring sugars in fruit and maple syrup do not seem to trigger quite the same response as the super refined ones, which is why I could have the pumpkin custard at Thanksgiving, or the black bean and chia seed brownies without loosing control. But I can’t swap out a healthier treat, because this holiday is no longer about homemade treats (yes folks, I’m old enough to remember my neighbours candied apples, before the razor blade scares). On so many levels this holiday really has gone to the enemy… but that is a post for another day.
Changing my life is about a lot more than just new recipes, its also about ways to undo mistakes. Monday night and Tuesday morning were mistakes, and I’m glad it happened. I need to practice this now, because it is unrealistic to say I will never have those nights when I’m at some goal weight. The cleanse removes all grains for five days, cuts back on fruit somewhat, and adds in a few good things like chlorophyll and lemon water to start the day. It is a very minor fast, but because it is used after a large caloric flub-up, well, it feels like a major fast (at least at first). And so the circle back to my faith is complete – this is a minor penitential fast.
I wish I could go all new agey on you and say it increases my personal power and its all me, but it doesn’t. It humbles me and connects me back to the real power. I doubt I could do this without the graces that God chose to answer my prayers with. A penitential fast reminds me of how merciful God is in helping me because I don’t deserve it. I just ate x number of mini candy bars in one shot, and then kept on munching in the morning! I am not conquering my cravings, God is the one resetting the fuses. He is the one to bolster me in those while knuckle moments. I have prayed more in the last few days than I had the week prior. This brought me to my knees. Confession, daily mass, an extra rosary, its all needed.
Yes, I do my part, I am the one choosing to stay away from grains (though I am certainly tempted to leave off early, after all I’m no longer sneaking and gorging on candy…). This is not to say God is doing it all – but He is with me everytime my stomach growls to remind me He designed me to be able to survive this. He is there to remind me He went through it too. He is also there to give me hope for the future. Everytime we do penance, we accept the grace of the sacrament and are made stronger against tempatation. Its why regular confession helps with addictions in a way simply telling someone else does. This is the road that will lead to a permanent change, not because its perfect, but because it shows me how to strive to be perfect. So yeah, next year doesn’t scare me. Likely, I’ll do better, and if I don’t He’s got a plan out of it.
Oh, and folks, it takes a while for a binge to show up on the scale, so God-incidentally my weight in was my lowest weight yet. With the penitential cleanse I may never see the impact of that binge, that’s one cool coincidence, don’t ya think? He’s got my back, and yours too.