By Beck Beverage
Alright, confession time: I had a major sweet tooth. Although I “had it under control,” I didn’t want to think of a world in which I couldn’t have desert or put honey in my tea. Not only could I not imagine this world, I didn’t want to live in it. What would life be without ice cream, homemade pie, or cake on my birthday?
Wait, what?! I don’t want to live in a world without sweets? Talk about an A-HA moment.
I started thinking about that consideration a lot. What would life be like if I didn’t eat added sugar? Would I be miserable? Could I do it? Could I still enjoy every moment of my life, even while everyone around me was eating something that I wasn’t?
Those questions peaked my interest. I have to be able to enjoy life without a certain flavor profile. There is so much to enjoy. Why be beholden to food? What am I sacrificing in order to have desert? Is the sacrifice worth it?
Ultimately, I decided that I didn’t know, but that I had to try. I was on a cross country road trip and my sister reached to the back seat where I was reclined, and handed me a few pieces of chocolate. I looked at the candy and realized I wasn’t even hungry and I didn’t really want it. I gave it back to her and haven’t had added sugar since.
Here’s what I’ve realized:
Eliminating our vices can be one of the most powerful gifts we can give ourselves, but you have to do it right. You have to change the way you think about restriction. When you give up something that doesn’t serve you, you create more freedom in your life to do the things you actually want to do, and to experience life in a way you didn’t think was possible.
I eliminated added sugar with curiosity. I didn’t give anything up; rather I opened myself to a new possibility for my life.
You also have to eliminate your vice as an option altogether. If you’re going to start again in 21 days, or even in a year, it will always be on the table. You’ll count down the days until you have it again. Here’s an example: If you’ve never had a cigarette and you go to the gas station, you probably never think, “Maybe I’ll buy a pack of smokes.” Cigarettes are not an option for you, even when they’re readily available. Just because something has always been an option in the past, it doesn’t mean it has to continue to be one in the future.
The truth is, I never want sugar anymore. It’s not because sweets don’t sound good, but because it’s just not an interesting option, nor is it an option at all. I can fill that space with focus on other things. Doing yoga before bed is much more relaxing than desert, and going to a restaurant with the intention of being with my friends and family is more memorable than anything I ate.
So, I’ll leave you with a few final questions: Is there anything in your life that isn’t serving you, that you don’t want to live without? That is, anything that actually does more harm to your health and wellness than good, that you do/eat/think? What would your life be like without that thing? What would you have more freedom to do and experience?
Let me know what you discover! And of course, if you’re considering your options for fitness coaches in PDX, I’d love to be the one to support you. Call or email anytime to chat about your goals: 503-232-1353 or firstname.lastname@example.org