As a healthy lifestyle coach who coaches driven ladies to be their best selves while THRIVING in their core life purpose it seems like many of them desire to gain better control of their health, especially around certain holiday seasons.  I don’t necessarily mean losing weight.  I mean ensuring that they’re mindful of what they’re feeding their bodies, spiritually, mentally, and physically so that they have more energy, clarity, and focus. How about you?  Do you regularly take self-assessments and look for opportunities to improve?  Or, do you sometimes let life pass you by and forget to self-reflect?  Does life sometimes get way out of control like it has for me? I know you’ve probably heard this many times before, but I want to emphasize today that it is entirely ok to start from where you are right now in this moment.  You can start afresh even if you feel like you’ve let yourself go beyond the point of knowing how to get back on track.  When you say to yourself that you’re just going to give up on yourself because too much time has gone by and that you don’t know how to get back on track, you’re also saying that you’re not open to people helping you get to your goal.  Investing in furthering yourself not only helps you, but helps everyone around you because we all benefit from serving one another and feeling great about ourselves.  

My Sugar Dilemma

  I know what it’s like to think that I’ve gotten way out of control!  Not too long ago I started to consume way more sugar than usual.  Although I was working out I just couldn’t stop eating sugar.  It’s like everything with sugar just tasted so good and I was giving myself permission to eat as much as I wanted to because I was still exercising and eating other healthy foods.  Well, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that if you’re consuming more sugar than your metabolism is burning off then you’re going to gain extra body fat. I was gaining more fat around my midsection, my butt and thighs.  Even though the weight was well-proportioned on my body my clothes were getting smaller and I started to feel more lethargic and lacked focus at certain points in the day.  It doesn’t seem like a lot to some people, but I had gained 6 pounds in about 2 months.  Since I have a small frame that 6 pounds definitely shows if I wear tight clothes or a swim suit. Now, let me reiterate.  I actually still loved the way my body looked.  I thought I was a cute and curvy little diva.  I’ve never been one to get overly excited and stress about having a six-pack and perfectly sculpted physique.  But, the additional 6 pounds was an indication that I was definitely consuming way too much sugar.  I would prefer to gain extra weight knowing that it was either muscle mass or that I was still eating healthy, good quality foods and not excess sugar!  To give you some perspective I was probably drinking about 50-75 grams of sugar a day in fruit juices, eating ice cream or cake about 3-4 times a week and not exercising nearly enough to burn off the excess calories.  This was a huge jump in sugar grams for me because I was used to drinking only water and only ate ice cream or cake about once per week.  I excused the behavior because I was still exercising and thought I still looked good naked.  

Releasing Sugar Triggers

  I usually ask ladies to identify what triggers them to engage in certain behaviors and I began to ask myself the same questions.  I said to myself, ”Ebonie, why are you eating all this sugar all of a sudden?”  Initially, the only answer I could think of was that it just tasted good.  But, if I looked deeper another reason why I was consuming more was that I was simply BUYING more.  You see, I’ve never been a healthy lifestyle coach that eats clean/healthy 90% or more of the time.  I don’t even aspire to ever be that way.   If it happens, so be it.  But I’m not striving for that.  Instead, I’m striving for eating well about 80% of the time as long as I exercise regularly.  I think I had fallen to somewhere around 50% of the time.  Sugary food was beginning to taste better to me and I kept feeding the habit by purchasing more of it. One recommendation I can give to you today is to remove as much sugar from your surroundings as you can if you are looking to curb the habit.  If you know that buying candy for your colleagues at work is going to prompt you to eat some then stop buying it and replace it with another type of low sugar snack that you still enjoy.  I replaced my candy for nut and rice crackers.  I LOVE those type of crackers and the brand that I buy does not contain any sugar.  I also substituted some of my processed sugar for fresh fruit.  I believe that eating a fair amount of fresh ripe fruit is good for me because it also gives my body the other nutrients it needs to run efficiently.    I also started to buy more gallons of water.  When I started drinking more water my stomach felt fuller throughout the day and I experienced fewer cravings. Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “Well, that’s wonderful for you Ebonie.  But I get severe headaches and feel too fatigued to function properly when I eliminate sugar.”  Just like with any addiction, no matter how minor or major, it takes the body some time to readjust to new changes.  Think about people you know who said they wanted to break a spending, drug, alcohol, smoking, or social media addiction.  Did all of those people who said they wanted to break the addiction go cold turkey to never return to their pleasure?  NO!  Some went cold turkey.  But many did not!  That just goes to show that the chemical dopamine rush we receive in our brains from continuing to feed our desires can be very strong.  In many cases unless a person has extensively trained their mind to overcome the addiction, fully understand their reasons WHY they want to discontinue, and have some level of support it may be more feasible to take baby steps while looking for healthy alternatives.  Every small step in the “right” direction is still progress! I would love to help you right from where you are right now!  When I decided that I was going to curb my sugar consumption I didn’t just sit there and say, “Oh!  That sure would be nice to eat less sugar.”  I did something about it.  I started a brand new online 7-Day Sugar Reduction challenge with ladies who also wanted to gain better control of their health.  Maybe you happen to be reading this article and remember being a part of that expeience. Or, maybe you’ve been thinking that you also need a strong support group to help you seek healthier alternatives to sugar.  Whichever you are I can help you get started with treating your mind and body better today.  Just click here to enter my 7-Day self-paced challenge and once you’ve successfully reached the seventh day I will reward you for your diligence. So, what do you say?  Do you believe in yourself enough to know that you too can curb your sugar habit?  I believe in you.  But the point is for you to believe in yourself! Let’s get started!  I’ll help guide you.  And by the way, it’s not as difficult as some believe it is.  I’ll show you what I mean by that by sharing a story of a woman who used to be addicted to sugar in the 7-Day series. P.S.  If you can’t stand sugar and haven’t eaten it in ages then just do me a favor and share this article with a family or friend who may be struggling.  I invite both of you into my Nutrition 4 Busy Women Facebook group where you’ll meet purpose-driven women so that you can receive support in other areas of your life as well.  See ya on the other side!   To Our Health & Happiness, Ebonie xoxo