April was the month of no drink. May, I committed to something much more challenging, no dessert. The goal was – no added sugar with a heavy dose of freedom – alcohol and fruits and maybe a pancake or two for good measure.
Quite honestly, it wasn’t that big of a challenge at all. From May 1st – May 23rd I didn’t have a single urge, I simply just made decisions and consciously chose not to eat desserts. On May 24th the high school graduation celebrations began and sugar just slipped back in, it was just a choice.
Growing up our family motto was “Life’s Short, Eat Dessert First.” We lived this motto. There was a candy drawer, a refridge candy draw, cookies, pastries, donuts, cakes. Never did we over indulge, but dessert was always available and frankly was alway eaten after dinner as we settled in for evening TV.
My dad had a motto too, his I tend to agree with strongly. His motto – “our stomachs are round, meals are square, dessert fills all the open spaces.” It’s a little ditty that makes me smile now that he’s gone, but this ditty also adds insight into my love for dessert. It was, and is, culturally a very big part of our family make-up.
Sure, there have been times in my life when dessert and added sugars simply fell off my radar. Certainly never intentionally, but sometimes they just weren’t a priority. Well, lately, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. And frankly, I was no longer really enjoying them all that much.
I love cookie dough, ice cream, baked cookies, a good baked treat when done “right”, donuts and a yummy warm apple turnover. But, every other dessert can be hit or miss for my tastebuds.
After my successful April “No Drink” challenge, I figured it was time to take on a bigger beast. A more life changing beast. A beast I needed to address. S U G A R.
I clearly did not succeed in making it the entirety of May without sugar and I do see the error in my ways as a result. I believe it is good to set goals and meet them. But, I am also of the belief that there should be balance in our lives and frankly these journeys are about teaching myself to make conscious choices rather than mindless decisions.
So what did I learn…
1) I reconfirmed my love for sugar of the dessert kind. Despite not eating it for the first 23 days of May, I noticed dessert options and pastries and sweets. I reviewed menus and pastry counters at restaurants with a keen eye.
2) I learned I can live without dessert and be just fine. THIS was the lesson I was after. The lesson that when I choose not to eat the sweet, tomorrow still comes, the world continues to turn, I don’t regret not eating the sugar and in all honesty I cannot remember “missing out” even once.
3) Indulgence is a choice. I chose to partake in enjoying dessert during all of the grad festivities because it was a celebration and I chose to allow myself the balance of enjoying and celebrating with my family. I like that I am mentally in a place of understanding, that no matter the choice, the choice is mine. (I may have been lost in the sweet sugary rush leading into May and struggled to realize I am not at the bane of sugar.)
What’s next – making better decisions when it comes to sweets. More fruit. Less cake. But, still, cake.
And for the month of June … a technology detox. I work on my computer and I frankly live on my phone. I too often fill blank space and time with my phone; scrolling through feeds, coloring picture after picture in Sandbox (don’t knock it ’till you try it) and simply disengaging versus engaging in more healthy ways. Time to flip the switch and change course. I’ll definitely keep y’all posted!
*** Photo sourced on Pinterest from The Sweet and Simple Kitchen***