To start off our new blog series “Stepping up Your Game” we will talk about the dreaded sugar beast and how to defeat him.
Sugar is the number #1 enemy and needs to be destroyed. There are no ifs ands or butts about it. Sugar intake needs to be reduced if you are to going to lead a long and healthy life.
I am not going to go into the reasons why the sugar beast inside of us needs to be destroyed, but you can check out this article on Authority Nutrition for that information.
Instead, this post is going to be all about how to battle the sugar beast and come out victorious.
Let’s get started!
Round One: The Arena
In order to reduce your added sugar intake the arena needs to be set. Imagine how Captain America would wage the war against sugar? Do you really think he would go down without a fight? Just picture Captain America’s shield smashing the sugar beast right in the face and silencing him forever!
But first, Don’t you think he should set the stage for his own success? It is my guess that he would do some or all of the following things to set the stage for victory:
- Captain America would bring his friends along to the fight in order to have a better chance of success. Never feel like you are alone in this fight. Someone out there is struggling with the same thing, and you just need to look for them in order to find a great partner. Fighting off the sugar beast is much easier when you have a friend!
- He would make sure to bring his A-game. The sugar beast is no slouch, and defeating him requires a measure of willpower that might just be unprecedented. Just when you feel full, there it is. There is the urge to gorge yourself on any and all delicious sweets in the vicinity. Fighting off these urges requires you to be on the ball and ready for a fight. Saying “NO!” to the chocolate cookie that is calling your name isn’t easy, but it is definitely doable. And guess what? It gets easier with time!
- He would arrange the battlefield to his liking. The sugar beast would not like it if there were carrots and celery sticks aplenty instead of being surrounded by lollipops, Starburst, and jelly beans! The point is to set yourself up for success so when you are finished with dinner and ready for a treat, you have to do more than reach into the cookie jar.
Once you have the stage set you will need to start the fight. Often the scariest and most difficult part about beating the sugar beast is standing up to him face to face.
In round two Let me share a victory that I just had tonight.
Round Two: The Battle
Tonight during supper service I was offered dessert. No, not only was I offered dessert, the entire dessert trolley was in full view of my greedy, chocolate lusting eyes. It is so difficult for my wife and I to turn down dessert when we have to see it first. Yikes!
However, tonight, the Fiber Guardian inside of me enabled me able to turn it down. The struggle was so real. I could taste the sweetness of a soft cookie and the smoothness of ice cream. It was so close, and all I had to do was mutter a simple “yes.” And yet, a voice in my head said “resist!” Somehow, I summoned the inner courage and defeated the sugar beast, even for just this once.
Does this struggle sound familiar?
Okay, maybe you don’t have a cart that is wheeled to you for each and every meal! But most of us have a sugar stash, or at least a local ice cream parlor down the road. There is ALWAYS temptation to eat dessert after a meal.
And what’s more?
Sugar is found in ALL kinds of different foods. The battle is all around us, and we are constantly being assaulted from all fronts. It may seem impossible to make the right choices over and over again, but there is hope.
“If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down.” –Mary Pickford
Hope is found in the practical steps you can take. There are always different strategies you can utilize and ways to succeed in any endeavor.
Round Three: Crush the Sugar Beast
As you look at the sugar beast what comes to mind? Doesn’t it look like such a cute and enticing friend? Well let me tell you. This cute monster is NOT your friend, and he never will be your friend. He wants you to eat cookies and cake for breakfast, donuts for lunch, and candy corn for lunch. He is always there ready to strike, and defeating him is no easy task.
Crushing the Sugar Beast is done by gaining momentum by making positive small changes. Turning down a cookie once is a great first step. Drinking water instead of soda is a great step. Staring down your friend’s milkshake and opting for a smoothie instead is a great step.
Every win that you have propels you in the right direction towards long term success. The key is to pile those wins on until it gets EASIER to turn down sweets and sugary drinks. For most of us, it would probably never be EASY, but making it EASIER in the long run is what counts here.
I have been soda free since August 8th 2015. On that day I decided never to drink soda again. Quitting cold-turkey was the best way for me to resist my temptation to drink soda all the time. In a way, it was freeing. In my mind and in practice I just wasn’t able to drink soda anymore, ever. In some ways, this has made abstaining easier, as I cant be tempted because I just CAN’T have it again.
This way might not be the best way for everyone, but this was the way that I was able to conquer the sugar beast in my struggle with drinking too much soda.
What are your biggest struggles?
What does the Sugar beast tempt you with?
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
-Jordan, Your Fiber Gaardian