Today is the first official day after my 30 day turned 7 week challenge. We were supposed to go to the dutch bakery here in town to celebrate but of course Matt got busy as usual and it is postponed, hopefully until tomorrow.
As I look back on the past weeks I feel like I accomplished something amazing. I originally started this challenge to rid myself of my sugar addiction. Before I started, sweets were all I could think about. I would wake up in the morning wondering what I was going to eat that day that was sweet, and then berate myself for thinking about it because certainly it was much too early to be eating sweets before noon. There were many days where I couldn't even make it until noon before I had to satisfy my sweet tooth. I would eat some of the candy we kept for Lily's potty training or just eat a few handfuls of chocolate chips. I always made sure we had something dessert like in the house and I would indulge in way too much every day, usually more than once a day. I would constantly think about how I wasn't supposed to be thinking about it and then since I was craving it so badly I would give in and immediately feel guilty about it.
When I first started the challenge, it was very difficult for me to stay out of the candy, especially when I still had to give it to Lily as a reward for using the potty, or when I watched my husband eat dessert in front of me. (I usually had to make myself scarce while he was eating the dessert because the temptation was too great, I couldn't even watch him eat it!) I also found that when I went over to people's houses and I was offered sweets I was embarrassed that I couldn't eat them and I felt like I had to explain myself, which I did.
As the weeks passed, I experienced the most rapid weight loss since I started this journey. Keep in mind around week two I also re-configured what I ate and started eating much healthier food and cooking much healthier as well. As time went on I found it was getting easier to say no to sweets and that many forms of sugar were no longer appetizing to me. It took even longer for the desire to eat them and especially the cravings to stop. I am glad that my challenge went longer than 30 days as I really don't think that would have been enough time.
I also realized that over the course of the 7 weeks, I was able to appreciate the natural sweetness in other foods, especially fruit. I also discovered that I liked other foods I didn't use to like, such as Zucchini and cucumbers, and I can even eat bell peppers as long as they are chopped up and mixed in with other foods like rice or quinoa. Here is a picture of my salad I ate for dinner last night. I don't even need fatty salad dressing anymore, I flavor it with lots of yummy toppings and some balsamic vinegar.
I have also been branching out and experimenting in the protein shake arena. I finally bought some protein powder, and after looking at several direct sales companies (since I am a Pampered Chef consultant, I try to support other direct selling companies by purchasing gifts and other things I might need from them when I can) I decided to just get some vanilla flavored whey protein from Costco since it was MUCH cheaper, not as fancy but cheaper and right now that is what I need.
Anyway, I made a protein shake with almond milk, vanilla protein, spinach, mixed berries, splenda, flax seed, and a dash of vanilla extract. It was different that is for sure (with the spinach in it) but everyone in the family loved it, especially Lily
But over the course of the past weeks I have come to realize that I don't need sweets to survive, and in fact I am doing much better without them in my life. I used to think that in order to enjoy life I needed to eat desserts every day and that I could never pass them up if I had the opportunity to eat them. I still think that I would enjoy desserts and I am not saying that I want to cut them out of my life completely. I think that eating two desserts a week would be a very happy place to be once I get to weight maintenance. That would give me a few treats a week and it wouldn't be over abundant.
I have decided that during the rest of my weight loss, since I have experienced such great weight loss success during this challenge, I will allow myself one serving of dessert a week, but candy will still be off limits. That doesn't mean that I can eat a whole batch of cookies once a week, but a serving of two cookies. This will require some planning on my part. If there is an event during the week that will have desserts available I will save my dessert for that day, and then the rest of the week, desserts will be off limits again. I don't want to go back to where I was. I want to make a permanent change that I can keep up for the rest of my life. Now that I know that I don't kneed to have desserts to survive and that I can live a happy and full life without them I want to work on having a healthy relationship with desserts. Maybe once I reach maintenance I will make candy off limits and one of my two treats can be candy, my choice. But for now, who needs candy? Its just junk anyway, and not anywhere near as good as baked goods.
I am very glad that I gave myself this challenge and that I was able to complete it. Now I look forward to the coming weeks with a new view, and maybe a little wiser too.
If you would like to see other posts related to my challenge see the list below:
Pulling my Sweet Tooth