Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What's Not Working for Me

Yesterday afternoon, I had a battle with sugar - and the sugar won.

I truly believe that there is always room for a little sugar in your diet, but where to draw the line is not always clear. Although I prefer to choose honey and natural sweeteners when I can, sometimes when good old regular sugar makes an appearance  it is hard to resist. Since I was a child, I have always loved bullseyes - the chewy caramel candy with the white confectioner's sugar in the middle. I sometimes salivate just thinking about them!  And, yesterday, I could not stop eating them!

I can tell that sugar and my body don't get along because my skin breaks out in a red, itchy rash a few hours after I eat it, usually on my hands, arms, knees, or feet - a strange combination of places, I know.  I can tell my body is talking to me and that it is saying "I don't like sugar!". But, even knowing what I do about clean eating and healthy living, I sometimes I don't listen to what my body is saying.

The question I had to ask myself is "Why am I eating these bullseyes?" Yes, they are sweet and chewy and tasty, but what is making me eat so many? I wasn't feeling stressed or hormonal or tired or cranky. I didn't have a craving for them.

This may sound simplistic, but I think it was because I COULD eat them. They were available and there was nothing to stop me. No peer pressure, no self-pressure, no shortage of supply.  It was easy and I could do it.

Even though as of late I very clearly have found that "it's not about the food", and that instead it is about everything else in our lives that make us not eat well - our stresses, our worries, our lack of time and planning, our habits, and, most importantly, our mind-talk - I realize that it is also because of our ability to choose.  Frankly, yesterday, I chose poorly. I chose a food that gave me a skin rash, upset stomach, and tired body, even though, based on past experience, I KNEW that my body would react that way.

The ability to make choices is very powerful.  Sometimes that is easy to forget. I ignored my responsibility to my body to make a healthy choice in what I eat, and I paid a price for it. I have been thinking long and hard about how important it is to remember to choose well and to take care of my body...for no other reason than just because I can.