My impossible challenge – No sugar for a year!

It has been 9 days since I’ve had sugar. September 1st has been described as the other New Year’s or even the real  New Year’s in terms of setting new goals and getting back on track after a summer of BBQs, camping trips, patios, a few too many ice cream cones and sugary drinks. This year I have decided to embrace this fake new year – and commit to a year of no sugar!

I feel like I spent the whole winter getting in shape – and the whole summer getting out of shape. All of my summer activities were just barely enough to offset the aforementioned summer indulgences and I was getting stuck in a rut of bad habits and letting stress control my eating.

One night after watching the show Addicted to Pleasure on Netflix, it really hit me that I needed to make a change. The series discusses different sources of pleasure that people get addicted to, including Whisky, cocaine, tobacco, and sugar. The back story of all these addictions had eerie similarities. The host of the show is a diabetic and talks about how he knows that he shouldn’t be eating a lot of sugar, but still does. It makes you think to yourself, “Come on guy, get it together, can’t you see that sugar will kill you. It can’t be that hard to just not eat sugar?!”

…or can it? It was one of those ideas that stuck with me and I mulled over it for a few days before telling anyone. It was making me nervous and scared, but excited all at once, so I knew it was the right thing to do.

I have done the 21 Day Sugar Detox using Diane Sanfilippo’s guide and I felt amazing staying away from sugar, but it seemed to creep its way back into my life and once I started eating it again I became an uncontrollable sugar monster. I want to see what life will be like with no sugar for a year.

What better way to keep myself in check, then to share my no sugar year with the internet? I’m going to be posting updates, food pictures, progress reports and any awesome recipes I come across. So I invite you into my life for a year to see how this plays out and we can learn together about the effects sugar has on our bodies!

Yours in Awesomeness,
Susan

Perfection – what I learned from wood

 

Walnut Display Board - Keane Woodworking

Walnut Display Board – Keane Woodworking

Perfection – something many of us strive for. But what does it really mean to be perfect? Think about it. Your idea of the perfect body can be wildly different from the person next to you. The perfect house, the perfect car, the perfect family – all of this is subjective. Your perfect life belongs to you.

Let’s take a moment to think about that. Your perfect life is unique to you and you alone.

So what is it that is holding you back from your perfection?

Perhaps it has to do with our perceptions and feeling gratitude. The past month or so I have set an alarm on my phone that just says “gratitude.” It goes off at 7:30 in the morning when I am getting ready for work or at the gym (and usually quite frustrated that I’m not still cozy in bed). It is a gentle reminder to take a deep breath and truly feel grateful. I try to focus on one thing and really bask in the feeling of gratefulness. Some days are harder than others, but it always calms me and puts me in a better mood.

It is so important for me to remember that right now, I am grateful for everything and everyone I have in my life. Honestly, it is making me realize that perfection is absolutely everywhere, I just need to choose to see it and appreciate it.

An amazing lesson my woodworker husband taught me was to see the beauty in nature’s “flaws”(shameless plug: www.facebook.com/keanewoodworking).

Manitoba Maple Wood Slab

Manitoba Maple Wood Slab – Keane Woodworking

When we were dating, he was showing me some of his projects from school and some of his favourite types of wood, one of which was a piece of curly maple. He was going on and on about how awesome the curl was and it made the wood so unique and beautiful. Then he looked at me and said, “Your stretch marks remind me of it.” It completely threw me off. Something I was absolutely ashamed of and hated about myself and here he was telling me that it reminds him of something so beautiful and unique. Does that mean I am beautiful and unique? Of course, we all are!

We can find beauty in imperfections in nature so quickly, but we ignore or hate those imperfections in ourselves.

Spalted Beech Coffee Table – Keane Woodworking

At one of my husband’s shows he had a cutting board made of spalted beech (similar to the coffee table above) that customers were nearly fighting over because of the different patterning. When wood is spalted, it is because the tree was diseased. How many of us end up with scars or battle wounds from life, but hide them and hate ourselves for it? We need to stop seeing all of these things as flaws and view them just as we would view nature. Flawed, but perfectly beautiful and unique.

 

Stay healthy my friends, 

Susan Keane

“Eat all the Junk Food you want as long as you cook it yourself.”

-Michael Pollan, Food Rules

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