Good morning and welcome to our weekly IQS update and advice. After a week full of parties, I’ve emerged a little worse for the wear as far as my sugar-quitting efforts go, but from all of this I’ve gained a healthy appreciation for moderation and grace.
With any lifestyle change there comes the temptation to adopt a militant attitude — all or nothing, hard and fast rules that restrict more than they build up good habits do nothing to encourage you in your journey, plus they’re off-putting to anyone who might be curious.
Last week I went to one going-away party, had an early Thanksgiving with my family, and then threw a huge shindig to say “see ya later” to our friends. There was cake, pie, cranberry punch, homemade cookies and banana cake. These sweets embodied family traditions as well as expressions of love from my kitchen-y friends. I wasn’t about to turn my nose up at these gifts for the sake of a “diet” in this time in my life. This is not to say that any party with cake is an opportunity to give up quitting sugar, because that is not the case. Free cupcakes do not a diet-break make. This time, it was less about me and more about the people I loved around me, and about showing them that their kindness and our relationship was more important to me than maintaining a straight week without sugar passing my lips.
Does this make sense? That people are more important that rules, that sometimes a tradition is more important than stringency, and that although you are making a long-term decision to benefit your overall health, it’s okay to relax a bit?
That being said, I’m getting back on track in a big way after all of the festivities. Breakfast has been kale and eggs, nighttime treats have been herbal teas and roasted sweet potatoes, and afternoon thirst-quenchers have been more along the lines of coconut water than whiskey gingers. It’s easy for me now to get back in the groove of quitting sugar, and I have no desire to go back for seconds on my friend’s warm banana cake or those doughnuts leftover from the party. It’s just not important to me to eat those things, but it is important to show my gratitude, and sometimes that entails eating a piece of cake.
What are your thoughts about militant rule-keeping? How do you maintain sanity when making a lifestyle change, starting a diet or exercise plan, or implementing good habits without becoming an unpleasant score keeper? Let me know, I’m always curious!