I've been doing a lot of inner work the past few months--the past year, really--especially since I quit drinking 5 months ago. I also recently decided to remove sugar from my diet (refined sugar in processed foods, desserts, sweets; not honey in my morning chai or other healthy ways to receive sweetness, like fruit).
I made those decisions for health reasons, and had been trying to get off sugar...well, forever!! It's my go-to drug of choice for numbing, escape, distraction, energy, depression, etc. Alcohol is sugar and acts on the pancreas in an similar manner with insulin flooding and longer term insulin resistance, so I've been tinkering around with ending that habit as well...for several years now! There's just too much credible scientific data, from both Eastern and Western medicine, as well as Ayurvedic, holistic, and alternative health sources for me (or any of us) to deny the damage sugar and booze cause to our body--and of course to our American population!
I've been watching my Self this week... (Click read more, to the right)
Photo credit: Dr. Mark Hyman
... since my last sugary food was eaten a week ago, last Sunday April 3. I acknowledge a history of past eating disorders and sugar-addiction. I also am overtly aware of my tendency to "munch" and crave sugar at night; I know that's hardest time of the day for me, when I'll tend to overeat or binge on sugar, or not even binge--but want a sugary snack--is AT NIGHT! This time in the evening coincides with a desire for a glass of wine as well, to "shake off the day, relax, unwind", whatever the rationale was. Night time (after dinner, 7 or 8pm) I like to read or watch part of a movie, and even if I'm quite full after dinner, I have that hand-to-mouth habit of wanting to put something sweet or sweet/crunchy in my mouth. I know it's part stress-response, part habit, part escape mechanism, part coping mechanism, part learned behavior. But I'm tired of it!!
I started taking powdered L-Glutamine on Thursday, which is supposed to help curb sugar cravings. I've felt a subtle shift from that supplement. But what I've noticed is that even if I'm hungry, sated, full, etc., I want a sweet or a munchie or something after 7!!!
I did something I'm rather proud of early today. I am extremely tired today: sore from my run yesterday, and still feeling the emotional overload effects of being "on" all week at school, the internal pressure that comes from so much riding on this week, which culminated in an interview with 10 other teachers! I think I still have some emotional and physical exhaustion from the week. Earlier today, I felt really fatigued, and just wanted to lie down. But first I noticed a desire to eat. I sat with that and examined the feeling, desire, and the need, and determined that I would instead listen to a 45-minuteYoga Nidra session of deep relaxation. I thought about wanting to eat so that I could stay awake and continue what I was doing, thinking that food or eating would give me energy, distract me from fatigue, or keep me from "not doing" and "not being productive"! After sitting with those thoughts and noticing the behavior trend and thoughts, instead (!!!) I closed the iPad and the window blinds, and tuned into the 47-minute Yoga Nidra mp3. I came back refreshed, ate lunch because I was actually hungry, and had more energy. Hurrah for me for tuning in and honoring my physical needs instead of numbing them with food.
I'm going to be more aware at night and see where that leads as well.