A Year End Challenge
I spent a good chunk of this morning purchasing tickets for the upcoming holiday season, even as we are roasting here in S. California with unpleasantly-high coastal temps currently of 90 - 100 degrees. Seems so odd to be buying tickets for concerts and plays featuring songs about winter like I'm Dreaming of A White Christmas and Frosty the Snowman when we are drowning in summer-like weather here!
Speaking of which, where did this year go???
Actually, as a result of tracking my year in A Sentence A Day starting this past March, I can see exactly how and where this year has gone by, but I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around next week being the start of November.
The biggest change this year seems to have brought to date is the realization that the boundless energy I've enjoyed pretty much my entire life is no longer something I can simply take for granted. I now need to both nurture and protect it, particular having recently moved from peri to post-menopause. Daytime naps, even little power naps, are no longer oddities, but rather fairly re-occurring events. Physical labor and highly focused activities are now best done in the morning hours, when my energy is consistently high. Reading and internet activities are now best done in the afternoons as a result. Mid-afternoon snacks are plotted carefully to ensure they are energy-boosting, meaning primarily soy, nuts and dried fruit.
Recognizing the increased connection between my diet and subsequent energy levels, I've decided to embark on a little experiment; that being to avoid refined sugar as much as I possibly can for the remainder of the year, starting today. It hasn't escaped my attention that I will predictably experience an energy-crash about 15-20 minutes after ingesting refined sugar, nor have I failed to notice the increasingly well-publicized articles about sugar's negative impact on overall health.
For a long time I've said that while I much enjoy sugar, it just doesn't enjoy me back. I've read that being addicted to sugar is not unlike being addicted to drugs with regard to how the brain lights up in response. That's rather daunting, I will say, so it will be interesting to monitor how I proceed over the next few days and weeks.
With family and friends set to visit pretty much non-stop in both November and December, I have no intentions of inflicting my experiment over onto them, so I'll stick with making desserts and cookies that I know I'll be able to resist, plus ensure we have plenty of fruit on hand to go along with. I think the key to success will be planning ahead, and visualizing what I'll be doing as my loved ones are happily munching away on their sweet treats. The key after all is to feel good about this change, not deprived!
Here are the areas of my life I'm interested in monitoring for improvement:
- Energy level through the day
- Quality of my sleep
- Ability to concentrate
- Cravings for sugar
I'll be back as the rest of the year goes along to provide updates and personal reflections. In the meantime, here is a link to a rather humorous article detailing how one sugar-abstaining Brit felt her life changed both during and after: The Hell of Giving Up Sugar.