It’s day 9 without sugar, and I am feeling fantastic. If you’re just now starting to follow my journey, I am on a 30 day quest to not only not have sugar for 30 days, but to change the way that I view food. Over the years, I have used it in many ways that were not healthy to my mind, spirit or body. While I believe that food is something meant for pleasure, I also believe that many of us use it not only for nourishment and as something to savor, but for a coping mechanism, an outlet for boredom, stress or sadness, or for a diversion for feeling.
So, I took this personal quest on, not as a ‘crazy diet’ or a way to lose weight, as I’m quite content with myself. I eat well for the most part, I exercise regularly, and I like the way that I look. What I don’t like is the amount of control that sugar exercises over me and the degree of mental energy I expend dealing with the thoughts of ‘to eat or not to eat’ and the guilt I’ll sometimes feel for having that cupcake, after I tried so hard to resist it for hours and finally gave in. For some of you, men or women, you have no idea what I’m talking about, and that’s ok. But those of you who do– you know who you are.
I am not sure why my mind or heart has become resolute, whereas I normally make excuses and give in to myself after just a few brief days. And, I’m not even sure why this doesn’t feel that hard. I think I just knew that it was time. And when you know that, it becomes harder to resist the impending transformation that is seeking you out, than to allow your soul to open up to the beauty of being changed.
I do know that I have practiced more awareness in the past 9 days. Of course, in reading more labels and being more conscious of what I am putting into my body. But, in deeper and more meaningful ways. I’ve been examining the ways in which I use food and exploring the emotions I feel that motivate many of my daily decisions. I have found that often, I use food as a filler because it lends to comfortable and convenient happiness.
This journey has taken me to deeper places than I would have guessed, allowing me to explore areas of my life that I love, things that make me feel special and happy- and even sexy. I’ve found that my body, soul and spirit are all feeling a little lighter. So, sit back: I’d love to share a few of those things with you.
I was walking home 3 nights ago from a long day, and I ducked into Whole Foods to get some long-awaited dinner. I love brown rice spicy salmon and avocado sushi from Whole Foods. Whenever I buy it, I feel giddy and special, like it’s a culinary gift to myself. On my way to the line, I passed the fresh flower section. I always admire their beauty, especially the tulips, but think to myself with over- sensibility, “Those are beautiful, but I don’t need to spend $15 on flowers that will die in a few days, especially when I’m not even home all day to enjoy them.” That night, I stopped. I thought to myself, “Who cares? Isn’t $15 worth a beautiful gift to give yourself, something that you can do for you that will make you feel special and happy?” And for the first time in my life (crazy, I know), I bought the tulips and came home and put them in my Anthropologie pitcher vase. For 3 days now, they have brought me joy. It was a liberating moment to not deny myself something of such beauty. Small, but significant. They sit on my desk now and smile at me as I type this.
I’ve been lighting candles. Candles make me feel like it’s a special and sexy night, even when it’s a normal one. Many times I don’t light them because I’m ‘saving’ them. For what? A special dinner? It dawned on me that anything that makes me feel special should be used, and used often. And so I sit here at my computer, my fragrant candle making my soul warm with its flickers of light.
I spent much of my early twenties in self doubt, questioning myself, my appearance, and not feeling, much due to the more conservative environment around me, that it was not ok to be feminine or the ‘s’ word. Yes, I am referring to sexy. I’ve come to realize that is one of the most beautiful things about being a woman. I love having polished nails and flowing hair and wearing high heels. Today, I woke up in the morning and danced in my apartment as I was getting ready, one of my favorite ways to start the day. I slipped into my black Betsy Johnson fishnet hose, put on a classy-but-sassy black dress and red heels, and headed off to work at my fashion office on Park Avenue, where creative dressing is not frowned upon. I felt powerful and like a lady all day long.
And finally, I have done things this week that I love. I went to the gorgeous Paris Theatre 2 nights ago that borders Central Park to meet some of my favorite gals and see “The Artist.” We sat in the velveteen chairs up in the balcony of this gorgeous theatre, built in 1948, and the thick velvet curtain were drawn to start the show. It was a magical night.
I am learning that when I do things that really fulfill me and make my spirit happy, decisions on eating a cupcake or not eating a cupcake aren’t so hard. I’d rather stick to my oatmeal and blueberries and get my fulfillment in other ways that are meaningful to me.
I hope you buy tulips and light a candle this week. And even maybe, slip into some fishnets.