The Benefits of Breaking Sugar Addiction

This week’s newsletter is on breaking sugar addiction and contains suggested steps for breaking this addiction.  This is supplemental material for the newsletter (July 13, 2016) If you are interested in subscribing to my weekly electronic newsletter, please drop me an email:  lora@weightsandbalances.com

Breaking the sugar habit is not an easy one but there are many benefits.  Some people quit cold turkey; while others gradually reduce the amount of added sugars, they are eating.

 Signs of Addiction (including Sugar)

These include experiencing three or more of the following symptoms (listed at the Mayo Clinic) in any 12-month period:

  • Tolerance (typically, an increase),
  • Withdrawal symptoms when you cut down or stop using alcohol. (or sugar)
  • Drinking (or eating) more alcohol (sugar) than you intended or drinking (eating) over a longer period than you intended.
  • Having an ongoing desire to cut down on how much you drink (eat sugar) or making unsuccessful attempts to do so.
  • Spending a good deal of time drinking (eating sugar),getting alcohol (sugar) or recovering from alcohol (sugar) use.
  • Giving up important activities,including social, occupational or recreational activities.
  • Continuing to use alcohol(eating sugar) even though you know it’s causing physical and psychological problems.

 Practical Suggestions

  • Cut back on the amount of sugar you add to food and drinks such as coffee, cereal and pancakes
  • Compare food labels and select the products with the lowest amounts of added sugars.
  • When baking a cake, you can reduce sugar amount by one-third.
  • Replace sugar in recipes with extracts or spices such as cinnamon, ginger, almond or vanilla
  • Replace sugar on cereal with slices of fresh fruit.

These are benefits of breaking the sugar habit gathered from many places online and put into this one huge list!

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce your risk for heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, kidney damage, artery disease
  • Lower your bad cholesterol
  • Decrease your heart attack risk
  • Improve your memory and focus
  • Decrease your risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia
  • Lower your risk of Depression
  • Improve your skin and lessen the aging process
  • Improve the severity of acne
  • Lower your risk of diabetes
  • Help prevent fatty liver disease
  • Reduce your risk of certain cancers such as pancreatic cancer, breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Reduce your bad breath
  • Lessen your chances of asthma or COPD
  • Increase your energy levels
  • Lessen your cravings
  • Improve your immune system
  • Lessen your risk of obesity
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Lessen the amount of medications needed
  • Lessen joint pain and inflammation
  • More stable moods
  • Increased weight loss – your body burns fat!
  • Headaches will be drastically reduced and sometimes eliminated
  • Better overall health
  • Saving Money – no longer hitting the snack machines on a daily basis for a treat and not eating out as much
  • Reduced anxiety levels
  • Improved mental health
  • Improved digestion
  • Improve your cooking skills as you make more of your food from scratch. This helps to reduce the amounts of those hidden added sugars!

Breaking the addiction will not happen overnight but the benefits will be well worth the time investment it will take!

Sugar 9

Happy 240th Birthday America!

Happy Birthday America!  Today is your 240th birthday! You have been around awhile and many bled and died that you could come into existence and many have bled and died since this to assure your continuation.  Thank you to all the men and women who died to protect our freedoms and continued prayers for your safety as you patrol in foreign lands and for your safe return to your families and friends.

While not a theocracy, you have risen to protect those principles that we can worship without fear and without persecution.  Lately, it seems those principles have come into question.  It is sad when you have come to the point where as you are sitting in worship you think that some crazed gunman could burst through the doors or a suicidal person with an IUD strapped to their chest could shatter the lives of so many.  A country where religious freedom seems to have taken a U-turn, and the freedom of speech and tolerance seems to have become a one-way street.  A time where our leaders seem to lack character and principles while advocating everything and standing for nothing.

One of our greatest Presidents and leader once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  He was right then and that remains to be true now more than ever.  We must unite as one nation and stand firm against those that do not share the love of our freedoms but would come here to use our freedoms against us.

One reason many of our past generations and ancestors came here were to become Americans, not Italian-Americans, not Israeli-Americans, not Iranian-Americans, not French-Americans, not Polish-Americans, not British-Americans, not German-Americans, not Korean-Americans, not India-Americans, not Thai-Americans, not Mexican-Americans, not Egyptian-Americans, not Japanese-Americans, not Turkish-Americans, not Greek-Americans, not Irish-Americans, not Russian-Americans, not Scottish-Americans, not Spanish-Americans, but just for the opportunity to become an American.  Some ancestors did not come here by choice but brought rather by force but chose to stay and be Americans.

I pray that God blesses the United States with new leaders with values, ethics and character to move this country forward and may it continue to be one nation, under God with liberty and justice for all.

4th of July 2

The Success and Mental Anguish of Weight Maintenance

July 2, 2016
The upside is that I have maintained my original weight loss goal for two years as of July 5th!  My weight has never in my life been this stable.  Yay me!  HUGE accomplishment for sure! But I still have some mental struggles which is normal I understand.  Life is definitely a process/journey and trying to keep a healthy perspective is a challenge! It is so easy to get caught up in the moment that we forget the truly important big picture sometimes.  Today as been one of those times for me.  Here is why—

My Thoughts

This past month’s net gain/loss was +.4 so that is true maintenance! But I hate it!  Why do I hate it?  I still feel I should be losing every single week which is not the “goal” now but I fight this feeling all the time.   I wrote out some of my thoughts today.  I think we all struggle with your own thinking a lot on our journey.  I have been reading about the thoughts others have resolved about their weight loss and I still have some things I need to resolve.

It is a mental struggle now and I have been trying to become comfortable with the number I see on the scale.  This week’s number puts me back where I was when I came back from a ten-day cruise and I had gained six pounds.  I am not comfortable with the number I see at all.  In the big picture the number today is 75 pounds less than I was 3 years ago, 2.4 pounds less than 2 years ago but 9.6 pounds more than I was a year ago! OUCH!

I had worked extra hard (and lost a bit more on top of my original goal) to hit a specific number before I went to NYC and now I feel I need to hit that number again!  I felt so good mentally when I weighed less but my clothes all still fit and I physically feel good BUT I still want to see that number and maintain that number.  Obviously, I wasn’t able to maintain that number a year ago without the extra hard work.  So why am I expecting the scale to “magically” show me that number this year?  I have to put in the work or the number will not show.  Am I willing to put in the hard work again knowing I will have to keep working that hard to maintain it?

What happens if I reach that number again?

  • I will feel a great sense of accomplishment
  • I will start wondering if I can maintain it
  • I will feel a great deal of pressure to maintain it

What happens if I do not reach that number again?

  • Nothing in reality will happen to me
  • BUT –I will feel I somehow failed
  • It could play with my head and undermine my mindset

Why do I want to reach that number again?

  • Keep my ten pound plus cushion
  • Be able to say I still weigh the same
  • Feel more positive about the “number”
  • Knowing I was able to return to that number and feel proud did it

The bottom line this statement below is the truth and how I SHOULD feel:

Your weight loss goal is a behavior, not a number.

I feel I am trying to hang tight to a number and this is causing me issues with my thinking inside. I need to spend more time resolving this inside my head and finding peace one way or the other.