Seeking Calm … and Finding It

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It’s been three weeks since I started my “no sugar” journey, and I’m happy to say that I’ve stayed away from the sweet stuff with the exception of that one little accident I had before my trip home. I even went to Magpie twice and didn’t touch anything sweet. With the way I felt after I had that sloppy joe, I was convinced that I wasn’t interested. I was so convinced that Michael made me a delicious sourdough waffle, and I ate it with pure, sweet strawberries on top.

We had a dessert bar on St. Patrick’s Day, and I wasn’t even tempted. After the first week and a half, I really haven’t wanted anything sweet except fresh fruit. I take that back, I did have one instance at work where I got really stressed, and I immediately had this intense craving for something sweet. It was so intense that it shocked me. The desire to soothe my emotions was so obvious to me that I was able to make a better choice and eat something satisfying but without sugar. That was a sublime success! And the more I do it, the easier it becomes.

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I have been experiencing issues with sleep, though. The last time I came off sugar my sleep was amazing. But, I think the lack of my artificial energy source (that also drains me when I come down) and my typical anxiety has produced insomnia. My friend Gigi’s daughter has been having insomnia, and she has had some success with an app called Calm. When I told her I was having trouble sleeping, she told me about it, and I immediately downloaded it.

Calm is an app that belongs to the Calm.com website. Their mission is to help people naturally reduce anxiety and sleep better. I have fallen in love with this app. After reviewing what they offer, I signed up for a year’s membership which is about $5 per month. I get a “Daily Calm” session each day which helps me work on a different “calming” technique. I’ve listened to meditations on patience, calming anxiety and gratitude. They are about 10 minutes long, so they fit easily into my morning spiritual practice, and they really do restore me.

I’m doing a 7 day program on sleep. Each ten minute session includes a relaxation practice and tips for better sleep. The folks at Calm believe that we will sleep better if we work to relax ourselves in short sessions throughout the day instead of just trying to ramp down right before bed. And they offer specific meditations of varying lengths to help me get to sleep when the time comes. So far, it is working beautifully, and I’m feeling much more grounded and calm during the day, too.

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Remember as a kid when your parents would read you stories before going to bed? That was a time for everyone to connect and transition to bedtime. Well, Calm.com offers adult sleep stories. I listened to one the first night but fell asleep before it was over. I guess it worked!

In addition to these guided meditations and lessons, they also have meditation timers for unguided meditation, a tool for guiding a breathing practice and many other kinds of meditations designed to give you immediate relief during stressful situations. If you can’t tell, I’m loving this thing.  Yoga nidra has always been a lifesaver at keeping me sane and helping me sleep but they take 30-45 minutes to do. This app provides me some shorter solutions that I can practice during the day.

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So, here’s the update on my sugar journey:

Mood: I’ve been down. Some of that is situational, but I think the lack of my sugar high has produced a low-grade depression and has probably contributed to my anxiety.

Energy: My energy is lower than I like. Again, sugar has been a continual artificial energy source for my muscles and my cells for so long, my body has to adapt to its own internal fuel. I’ve been reading about it, and this is normal. But at least I don’t have the big drops in energy like I used to have. I don’t need a big hit after lunch to keep me awake, and even when I don’t sleep, I’m not super tired the next day. And when I get home from work, I’m not drained.

Cravings: I don’t really have sugar cravings anymore. When I’m hungry, I’m hungry ….NOT hangry. Emotionally I get cravings every now and then, but it’s much easier to make a better choice because the intensity of the cravings is lower. I’m starting to crave fruit. And I’ve lost weight!

Sleep: See above. I’m struggling with it a bit, but I’m working it out.

Have a great Sunday. It’s rainy here, so there will probably be no hiking unless the sun surprises us.

 

2 thoughts on “Seeking Calm … and Finding It

  1. Good for you. It is a challenge to avoid sugar.
    I gave up soda years ago and now it’s not a problem. I never buy candy, but its still hard to resist when it’s around.
    It gets easier as you go. I haven’t given up sugar, just cut back, so my situation is easier.
    Stick with it!

    • Thanks for the encouragement. I’m not sure I’ll give it up entirely long-term. But I want to stay clean of it for awhile in order to give my body a break. I want to see if it makes a difference for me over time. Have a great day!

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