This week I discovered the ‘why’ that made stopping sugar addiction right away a top priority. Can you guess what pushed me to make such a drastic decision one ordinary Tuesday morning?
Surprise! I’m Pregnant With Baby #6!
I know! I was shocked too. So surprised in fact, that I tested 4 times just to be sure. Those 2 little lines have a way of changing everything in an instant. What kind of things do you think run through a woman’s mind when she gets the news that she’s about to become a mother of six? Well my first thought was, “Are you serious?” I’m not sure who I was directing that question to. God maybe. Or myself. Either way, my next thought was “How am I going to do this?”
- How am I going to get through another pregnancy? My youngest daughter is only a year old. She’s still breastfeeding as well, so my body has had to sustain another life for a long time. This new little one inside is going to need me to provide it everything it needs to grow. That’s a massive amount of work to demand from my body. So I worried whether I could safely grow another healthy baby. It was going to take focused effort to make that happen.
- How am I going to keep myself healthy over the coming months? I’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes before. I don’t want to go through that again. In order to keep my blood sugar within normal limits, I will have to change some things in my life. Exercise is going to be very important. Building muscle works to keep down blood sugar levels. It also makes you stronger; a fact I’ll appreciate when I’m carrying around an extra 10 pound person.
- Another thought (or fear) that came to me may seem vain and superficial. I worried about how this pregnancy was going to make me look. What kind of toll would it take on my physical appearance? Yes, having already done this 5 times before, you’d think something like that wouldn’t bother me. But it does. Some things are unavoidable. Your breast will change. Your hips and feet may widen and never go back to the size they were before. The stretch marks and loose skin around your stomach will always remind you of motherhood. But you don’t have to gain too much weight. You don’t have to always carry around that added baby weight.
I don’t have many photos of me pregnant. I always put on more weight than I should. I always look awful, especially towards the last trimester. The extra weight, swelling and puffiness just aren’t attractive (in my opinion) so I avoid the camera. I have friends who can stay thin and look beautiful all through pregnancy. I admit to some jealousy when I see how easily they keep their looks. Could I finally work hard enough to do things differently this time? Could I finally be pregnant and still feel beautiful?
It’s a lot to take in and so much to consider. The choices I’m making are affecting my baby’s health as well as my own. This isn’t the time to sit around and worry but the time to take action! It’s time to kick my sugar addiction to the curb!
My New “Why”
Any time you want to do a difficult thing, you need a “why.” Your “why” is the reason you put yourself through the struggle. The reason you keep on pushing yourself when it gets hard. If your reason is weak, your resolve will be weak too. At the first sign of difficulty, you’ll crumble under the pressure.
Your “why” is your motivation. It’s true that motivation can come and go. It’s not easy to stay motivated. But some motives are stronger than others. If your motivation is shallow, you’ll probably decide to give up pretty soon. If you really want to change, make sure you have a solid reason that you feel passionate about.
This child immediately became my reason to change, my reason for stopping sugar addiction TODAY. There’s no putting it off any longer. I’m pregnant now so I need to be my healthiest now.
Sometimes in life, an unexpected change will come your way. Maybe the death of a loved one, loss of a job, a financial or health problem. Or it could be something wonderful, like meeting your future spouse. Either way, it causes a shift in your thinking, in your priorities. This is the opportunity to grab a hold of your new “why” and let it push you in a new direction.
Why Did I Choose to Quit Sugar When I Found Out I Was Pregnant?
I had wanted to tackle this problem for a long time. In fact, I’ve tried before but never with such an adamant determination.
For some reason, this time I want to beat my addiction more than ever before. I want to be healthy more than I want chocolate! I want to be pregnant and beautiful, more than I want to relax with a cup of coffee and some cookies. I want to give myself a strong body more than I want a treat. I want to avoid gestational diabetes so I don’t need to worry about complications that go along with it.
By the way, did you know if you have gestational diabetes, it’s a strong sign that you’re likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life? I’m taking it as a warning that now is the time to change before it’s too late. And yes, I do believe you can beat diabetes with the proper diet and lifestyle changes. More on that in another post!
What I’ve Tried in the Past
My diet is mostly what you would call Paleo or Primal. Mostly. Like maybe 70% other than the sugary stuff. In the past I had worked harder at being more Paleo compliant with some success. When life got hectic or stressful I let things slide. On the positive side, it did teach me how I want to eventually eat the majority of the time. It’s something for me to work towards.
Then there was the Whole 30. I tried that a couple of times. I made it 20-something days before I totally cheated. Not a total loss–It helped me see that it really is possible to cut out sugar which I had done for 3 weeks. Not having any dairy showed me I’m sensitive to milk, something I didn’t know before. Milk makes my throat sore for some reason. I learned how to meal prep ahead of time so I could quickly make dinner during the week. And I added a few more recipes to my repertoire.
The last time I tried a Whole30 just happened to be the day I found out I was pregnant with my 5th child. OK, so I’m really good at making babies 😉 And not very good at sticking to a diet! I did manage to stick to it for a week before morning sickness kicked in and I didn’t want to eat any of the foods I was supposed to be eating. Instead of forcing myself through the aversion to meat, I gave up and ate what I wanted instead. Mostly yogurt.
My life until now feels like a long series of trying…and failing…hitting bottom, then trying again. Just to fail again. It can get so frustrating and depressing. Have you ever felt the same way? After failing so many times to beat my sugar addiction, it can seem impossible. Why even try again?
Then I did a search on YouTube on “how to stop failing” and found some great videos that put me on the path to better thinking. First of all, it’s OK to fail! Failure is part of the learning process. Every successful person failed too, many times over! The only difference between a successful person and a failure is that the successful person didn’t give up. No matter how many times you mess up, you can try again. It comes down to a choice. Choose to stay down or choose to carry on.
I thought about that. I thought about the many times I had “failed” to clean up my diet. All the times I “failed” to control my cravings. Instead of thinking of those times as failures, now I realize they were essential times of learning and exploring my options. I learned about nutrition. I improved my cooking skills. I figured out how food labels can be misleading and how to choose better products. Overall, my habits did improve. There are lots of foods I used to buy that I just don’t anymore. No matter how it seemed at the time, I realize I had made progress over the years.
You can experience the same thing. When you decide to fight your sugar demons, it’s possible you will “fail.” Remember above all else, you don’t have to stay down. Accept what happens, learn something from it and try again. Eventually you are going to make it! Just don’t give up!
The First Week
The day before I took the pregnancy test, I had pigged out on sugar. We had stopped to get some groceries a few days before. We had gone without a list, which everyone knows is a bad idea. Pumpkin pie with whipped cream, Pop Tarts, Oreo candy bars, Twix minis, pretzels with chocolate dip, lollipops for the kids- all ended up in the cart.
Not thinking much of it, other than the usual nagging feeling of guilt, I ate a small pile of candy while I worked on the computer. Totally oblivious to the 180 turn I was going to take in the morning.
It’s been six days since then and I haven’t eaten any more of those treats we bought. My husband and kids have but there’s still a lot of it left in the cupboard. Usually I would not be able to see it, or know that it’s there, without taking some. I’m grateful that for now, the urge to indulge isn’t strong enough to make me give in.
As you can see, I also started this site about my journey. That’s another reason why this first week off sugar has been easier. I want to show the world that this is an addiction we can beat. A few times when I’ve wanted a treat, I’ve thought about YOU! My reader, you are also my “why.” I want to be strong for you, to be an example you can follow in your own journey. I can’t promise you perfection. But I can promise to be real. I can promise to be here for you.
Do You Have A Reason To Try?
Now you know my story and the reason why stopping my sugar addiction is of the utmost importance. If you think it’s a crazy choice to make or not worth the struggle, I hope you’ll read up on what kind of damage sugar can do to your body.
- If you already know how bad your sugar habit is for your health, may I ask what’s holding you back from trying to quit?
- What would have to happen to you or change in your life to make you want to quit?
- If you’re ready to quit, have you tried before and failed? Tell us what you learned!
- Are you ready to try again? What’s your “why?”
Join in the discussion in the comments below. Remember, beating an addiction is so much easier when you have a community of support. Thanks for following along and cheering me on! It really does make a difference to me on days when I get down.