I’m a January baby, and while many people choose the start of the new year to refocus on goals – often the same one’s year after year! – for the last few years, I’ve made Birthday Resolutions.
I never particularly liked having my birthday so soon after Christmas when I was younger, although it often made for some decent deals on gifts. As a teenager, it often meant studying for or writing exams. As a twenty-something, my friends were often still recovering from the holiday season to celebrate in a big way. Now, I appreciate that I have a couple of extra weeks to truly think about what my goals are going to be as I celebrate my birth milestone.
Then Halloween would arrive, and my kids would come home from trick or treating, excited to assess their massive haul. Of course, as a “good parent”, I would sift through and then give them an appropriate amount…and then take my favourites! OK, perhaps I sifted through, took my favourites and then let them have a reasonable amount!
By the time the new year arrived, I had experienced 3 months of a sugar high, and realized that I wasn’t feeling so good AND my clothes were no longer fitting so well. After realizing the extent of my habit, I made a commitment the following year to NOT EAT ONE Halloween candy. I knew that if I indulged in just one, it would take away the power I felt at staying committed to my goal. I won’t lie, it was incredibly hard at first, but the empowerment I felt for staying true to myself and not eating any kept me motivated. I just celebrated my 8th year of this commitment. My focus and determination wavered a little with the Christmas treats this year, but now I’m preparing for this year’s Birthday resolution.
This year I want to extend my commitment and focus and not indulge in refined sugar for 30 days. I have discovered some alternative sweeteners that I’ve tried, and they don’t react with blood sugar levels the way that refined sugar tends to. I will be conscientiously choosing those if I need something sweet or if I need to sweeten a dish I’m preparing. The whole family will benefit (or suffer, depending on how they look at it) to this to some degree. I will avoid the simple carbohydrates that don't offer dense nutrition. Who knows, the improved mental clarity that I have enjoyed when staying true to this commitment will spur me to go beyond 30 days. I’ll happily share some of my recipes and what I learn through the process.