Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Its over - or is it?

The month of September is finished. One whole month without sugar and one whole month with the tv in the crawl space (with a couple of exceptions.)

TV -
What have I learned?
Most notably, I learned that I'm not missing a whole lot and that I don't miss it. I watched a couple of the season premiers on the internet over the last couple of days. I've been called a cheater for doing this - which is probably accurate, but technically it isn't. While I was watching them and afterward I realized that I really didn't miss anything by not watching them. Even The Office wasn't spectacular or really worth watching. In fact, I kind of felt that the shows were pretty dumb and not worth watching at all... So will I add them back? I'm not sure. As of right now, I feel like I may do one night of TV per week - Thursday - but I'm not even sure I care too much about that anymore (before I watched those shows I was more adamant about wanting that one night.) I simply did not miss it and I would prefer to not get in the habit of turning the tv on when I'm bored.

In addition, I learned that it is really, really nice to not be deluged with advertisements all the time. The nice thing about watching shows on the internet is the lack of advertising. The breaks are much shorter (30 seconds) and you can turn the sound off.

I also learned that tv was much more of a habit than anything else... put the girls to bed, get my soup, sit on the couch, flip the tv on and stare at it for 2 hours before heading up to bed, get ready for bed, flip the tv on again to watch what I may have missed on a previous night or to watch a sitcom, then roll over and go to sleep. It was a routine. And it was the routine that was harder to let go than the actual shows.

I used to say that after a long day of dealing with the girls, all I wanted was some mindless entertainment - tv definitely provided that. I've learned that I enjoy life more when I have mindful entertainment like reading, talking, doing a puzzle, listening to a ballgame while picturing it in my mind. Its better - it is really much, much better!

How will we phase the tv back in?
This has been an ongoing discussion between me and Cornbread for the last 1/2 of a month. Neither of us are wanting to bring the tv back full force - we both greatly enjoyed the last month. We discussed bringing a couch to the basement and only having a tv in the basement. We also discussed allowing the girls to have a set amount of time every day to be able to watch - or allow them to pick one show per day and limit their watching to that show.

My opposition: it is so easy (for me) to allow the tv to become the babysitter. I get so absorbed in things that I'm doing and when they're quiet and not bugging me I get more of it done and don't realize how long they've been sitting in front of the tv. They also fight more when they watch more tv - not sure why that is. And if the tv is around it is very easy for them to come down in the morning and put cartoons on until it is breakfast time.

They haven't missed the tv at all.

Our solution: have the tv out (whether upstairs or in the basement) but take the cable cord off of it. If anyone is going to watch anything, then there is a bit off a hassle to doing so - and the girls can't reach the cord or attach it themselves.

We are still working on this phasing it back in issue. I could be ready to get rid of it all together, however, the White Sox just made the playoffs, it is Bears season and the debates are on - so we will have tv in some way for a while yet and maybe forever.

This was such a good exercise for our family - and probably mostly for me.

Sugar -
What have I learned?
That I can live without it. What a major epiphany for me! I love sugar. I love sweets. But I don't have to have them and I can go without them and I'm not missing out on anything. I've also learned that I feel better about myself when I'm not allowing a little here and a little there.

And as I've noted in previous posts, I've learned that having no option is better for me than telling myself that I'm going to eat better and then allowing myself to indulge because the situation warrants it. I've learned that parties and get togethers are just as fun without it and I've learned that I was eating more than I realized.

I've also learned that it could have been contributing to a weight loss plateau that I was experiencing. Before my sugar fast I was consistently bouncing between 126.6 & 129.8. I could not break 126.6. On September 2 I weighed 132 (Labor Day weekend at the cottage:) Today I weighed 124.0! Now I'm pretty certain that most of that was water retention (since my weight went from 132 to 127.6 in 3 days), however, I was finally able to break 126.6 and have seen pretty consistent small losses in the last month... or at least have been able to maintain lower weights than I previously had. Did I lose a ton? No (however, 3 pounds on me is pretty noticable), however, I think it helped break a plateau.

Where do I go from here?
I've thought a lot about this, actually. I don't miss sugar at all. Do I really want to phase it back in? No. So my thoughts on this:
* continue complete sugar fast until middle of October when Cornbread and I go to Mexico
* after vacation, continue sugar fast, however, allow myself to indulge on things that are worth indulging in - like homemade chocolate chip cookies, GOOD cheesecake, homemade desserts, etc.

My conclusion is that there really isn't much that is worth indulging in. Eating sugar for the sake of eating something sweet is not a good reason for me any longer. It is now time for me to be intentional in what I indulge in and when - no more allowances and justifications. I can do it. I'm afraid, though, that one sweet thing will launch my slippery slope - so we will see how this goes. Its likely that sugar will forever be a struggle for me.

Whats next?
I'm considering my next eliminations - but I won't start until November due to our vacation in the middle of the month. I've considered dairy, red meat (which isn't that difficult since I don't eat a whole lot of it anyway), gluten (that one would be tough), caffeine, alcohol, internet, etc.

I have a month to think about what things I am too dependent on.


April 4:05 PM  

I think you are amazing! What a wonderful month to learn more about yourself and indeed to be more intentional!! Well done!

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