The power of persistance – overcoming your sugar addiction

Dear friends

Those of you who know me know that for most of my adult life, I have waged a battle with my weight, carrying far too much of it for my frame. My career choice so far hadn’t helped matters with baking on a regular basis even if just to feed an addiction to sugar that I really didn’t realize I had. Yes really! I just felt whenever I was emotional whether happy or sad I had a compulsion to bake, an excuse to fill a void within me that sadly never got filled through chocolate intake or cake consumption.image

I’m totally baring my soul here when I admit that I just couldn’t get enough sugar into myself. Years went by, my weight escalated and I went to the doctor so many times. Every joint in my body ached from Fibromyalgia. Sometimes I would crawl up the stairs from how my joints ached, but still I never addressed my over indulgence in sweet things and my weight.

Even recently, I was prescribed pills by my GP and I felt like I was tripping or something wierd. I knew that actually the root issue was not actually the weight but in reality the REAL issue was how I felt about myself deep down. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that in essence, I was deceived.

Why didn’t I actually ask myself the real question – why do I overeat? My ‘weight’ and yes I’m taking ownership here and accountability for my wrong choices and actions – was simply the by product of a deeper issue.

I could make all the excuses I wanted and blame circumstances, the death of my first husband, the life changing car crash I was involved in, people who had hurt me, bereavement,  loneliness or unhappiness. Any number of issues and emotional upsets could have caused me to turn to food as a comfort, in the same way an addict turns to drugs as an escape. And yes, I used every one of them to shield even my own heart from the real issues.

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But facing the next season of my life and having a long hard look at my body ( when most of my life I have avoided looking at it) gave me the gradual wake up call I needed to hear. Certainly my mum’s passing was also a game changer for me. There was no magic pill I could take, no super formula I could drink, no fairy godmother – no corrective surgery – just plain old persistance in being careful to eat sensibly and take regular exercise. I also realized how addicted I had become to sugar and began to gradually break it’s hold over me through regular juicing and eating fresh fruit instead of devouring chocolate.

I took the goggles of deception off. I looked at my body and apologised to it for all the abuse it had suffered because of what I had eaten. I looked at my puffy arms, my swollen ankles, my aching joints and my poor shoulders for what they had carried all those years. I decided to change. No amount of persuasion of my loved ones all those years could have reached until now. Finally I had seen the light. I prayed and asked God to help me overcome and change.

In my lifestyle change, I had moved back to our home and before we moved, my husband and I decided we would join a gym. It needed to have a swimming pool. Years before, I had joked with my husband that getting into a swimming costume in a public place was like the humiliation of walking naked into a stadium of people – I felt like everyone’s eyes would be upon me in disgust. However in this paradigm shift of mine, I decided to remove my contact lenses so that if I couldn’t see their embarrassed glances, then it wouldn’t bother me.

Together Paul and I joined a gym two months ago. I decided I could only face the swimming pool because there I was weightless. I didn’t have to look in a mirror just get myself into and out of the pool. I knew I wasn’t the strongest of swimmers and that it would just be a matter of continually willing myself to move even if it was two or three times a week. I’m more like a stealth swimmer rather than a speed swimmer.

It was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I told no one except my family what I was doing. Each time I visit the pool I go early in the morning and am now going three times a week at 6.30 am. This weekend I went twice. At first my joints ached and sometimes took two to three days to recover from the pain.

I didn’t give up – instead I developed the power of persistance within myself. I pushed myself even when I didn’t feel like it and told my mind that I actually enjoyed swimming. I get a buzz now once I’ve had a swim and feel more able to cope with my day. My joints don’t ache as much, I feel alive!

My clothes are getting looser and I respect what I put into my body. I’m on my way to where I want to be and life is good!  I want to encourage anyone who is wrestling with their weight to get moving! I can truly say it has worked for me. Find an exercise you enjoy and just do it!! Obviously if it’s cycling I wouldn’t recommend taking your lenses out! And never mind those negative people who frown upon your frame – just enjoy your moment and know that your loved ones are cheering you on xx

Mags.

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In defense of the humble cupcake

I’ve noticed that lately my little friend has been coming in for a lot of stick in the press. Perhaps because we’ve been friends for a long time I feel prompted to spring to her defence however for those of you reading this who have an aversion to cupcakes or cannot even bear to look upon her I must protest. Ever since I can remember, my Mum baked for us. As soon as we came through the door from school, famished from all our studying we immediately smelt the wonderful aroma of cakes or scones coming from our kitchen. The lure was irresistible; and over drinks of milk or squash we’d tell mum about our day at school and laugh around the table as we enjoyed the delights of sponge cakes and fairy cakes topped with icing and sprinkles.

So it comes as no surprise that today I love baking and seeing my children enjoy the same sense of appreciation around cupcakes and baking because it really does evoke such happy memories to me of what a home should be all about. Whilst I’m not implying that I’m the proverbial mother with apron on waiting for her children to skip through the door, I do actually make a business of my baking and supply local cafes and coffee shops with my cupcakes.

My husband has never understood the relationship women have with cupakes or cakes. He thinks it’s a girlie thing however I beg to differ because my boys can munch their way through cakes and still not put on an ounce of weight. And whilst hubby tut tuts about cake and icing he is actually partial to a bit of a sugar rush himself so I feel he’s a closet cakeaholic who’s actually in denial! Oh yes, well I remember our courting days spent hill walking working up an appetite for a cuppa at the end and yes you guessed it ….CAKE!

So back to my friend the cupcake. Yes, I have curves and I’m proud of them and to be truthful I’ve never joined the camp of the skinnies who deny themselves daily and sacrifice the delights of rich red velvet sponge topped with creamy cream cheese topping or even banoffee pie with oozing caramel inside and moist banana sponge that melts in your mouth. However you can have your cake and eat it provided it’s in moderation. Even Victoria Beckham and Gwynneth Paltrow are I’ve heard a bit partial to cupcakes so I guess they work off the calories after they’ve had their guilty pleasures!

And for those who’ve never even indulged –  they’ll never know how good that feels or tastes or perhaps, they too are salivating at their next cupcake fix, because in reality eating a cupcake brings out the child in all of us. It’s that first taste of soft icing adorning the eggy tasting sponge cake that gets the juices flowing, and brings back those oh-so- happy memories to us all. And I bet if they tasted my baking they’d be back for more!

Let’s go easy on our friend the cupcake and savour her pleasures just for a moment in time – ahhhhh that’s better now that wasn’t hard was it?