New Year’s Eve

First off, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

This year since Thanksgiving, I’ve completed a couple projects that have been hanging on. This includes making some decisions I’ve been putting off, making some purchases that I’ve been avoiding, and solving a minor problem or two. I’ve finished a book, made a commitment to my husband to help with a problem he’s been having. I put the energy into finishing the touch up painting in our newly remodeled office, and this past weekend, I made sure the craft room was emptied, carpet removed and replaced with tile, and the walls painted — I get to start the new year with a redecorated and organized craft room. And I’ve reconnected with some old, dear friends. A productive month.

I’m always inspired by the week of Christmas and New Year. There’s so much potential and motivation in the air this time of year. Christmas brings hope for the new year, and a reason to make needed changes. The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a good time to take a hard look at every aspect of your life and make decisions about what is working and what’s not. As the year ends, every one of us gets a fresh start. A cosmic and Spiritual opportunity to intentionally keep what works for us, and drop what doesn’t. Personally, I also take the time from November until Dec 31 to finish outstanding projects. The time between Christmas and New Year is perfect for finishing or eliminating old projects, fixing bad habits, and adjusting unfulfilling attitudes or thoughts.

Now that it’s New Year’s Eve, I’m looking at what works and what doesn’t. Taking a hard look at the things I’m doing which are not working for me, and what needs to go away, or change.

I’ve been resistant to a health concern experienced by a family member (yes, everyone’s okay. If we’ve talked at all about personal things, you already know what this is). It’s time for me to stop resisting, and take control of the situation, instead of allowing it to happen.

I’ve been lax about managing my own health lately. The MS is still wonderfully controlled, but I’ve gotten lazy?, complacent?, about my exercise program and my eating program. I know full well that if I continue to allow myself to fall into old habits I’ll start having MS symptoms. Now, is the time to double down and change those habits. I’m recommitting to healthy habits and reinforcing those things that keep the MS from taking over my life.

What are those things?

Sugar, not making my daily step count, and not lifting weights or doing body weight exercises.

As for the sugar, I’ve committed to a six-month added sugar fast. Starting tomorrow until the end of June I will actively avoid all added sugar and limit my fruit intake to one serving a day. To be truthful here, my issue with sugar has virtually nothing to do with “added sugar.” I make all our meals from scratch, and I only use fresh, real food, ingredients. No, my problem with sugar is that I’m easily addicted to it. I have a massive sweet tooth, and I love… LOVE chocolate. Once I give in and eat that first bite of chocolate I have a difficult time putting it down. And then I suffer from intense cravings for both chocolate and sugar. Now, I’m fully aware that a craving for chocolate is a sign of magnesium deficiency. I also know that I need more magnesium than the average person. Instead of giving into the chocolate craving, I should either eat a high magnesium food, or take a little extra supplement. And, usually I do. The problem starts when I decide it’s a “treat” or a “just this once” event. I justify it to myself and that starts me sliding backwards. Which is why I’ve committed to avoiding all sugar until June.

By now, I think most people are aware of the health destroying properties of sugar. For me the most critical of these is the creation of inflammation. When you have an autoimmune disease, or when you have asthma, uncontrolled inflammation within the body is a killer. (It’s damaging to everyone, but its crucial that those with immune system disorders closely monitor and control inflammation.)

The first couple weeks are going to rough. I already know that. I’m going to have cravings. The most difficult aspect of this will be limiting fruit to one serving a day. I love fruit. It’s my favorite food group and my “go to” snack. We always have fresh fruit in the house. It’s a staple for us, and it’s the one thing I can’t/won’t stop buying. I’m going to have to watch myself carefully to make sure I don’t grab a piece of fruit out of habit. To counter this, I’ve decided that I will pick one meal and eat my fruit with that meal every day. Habit and routine help breed change.

Another problem I’m going to have is that my husband has a habit of buying beef jerky or beef sticks when he and I go shopping together. Both have a good bit of added sugar in them. We’re going to need to find something to replace that. I’m thinking almonds, or another kind of nut. This will be self-limiting because nuts are high in oxalates. Everyone in my immediate family is oxalate sensitive. If I eat too high in oxalates over a period of a day or three, I suffer from a painful intestinal reaction. My husband experiences severe brain fog, and an upset stomach. So, we have to be careful with the nuts. But, in small amounts I think it’s doable.

I have a workable plan to make this needed change.

What’s the one thing you want to change in the coming year? The one commitment you want to make to yourself?

What’s your plan for achieving the change and keeping your commitment to yourself?

Tell me your thoughts.