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Thursday, June 20, 2013

12 months on

It’s been 12 months since my last post and I’m not sure if anyone is even still there, prepared to listen to my ramblings.

But I need to write this down. A type of therapy if you will.

I’ve continued, with reasonable success to keep sugar to a minimum in my diet. For myself, I still believe in the basis that sugar is addictive and should be avoided. However, I enjoy fruit every day and I also treat myself to sugar laden goodies when the occasion calls for it.

In my work as a Personal Trainer I don’t recommend the sugar free diet to my clients. If they specifically ask about it, I explain the success I have had with it, point them in the direction of the resources I have and suggest they decipher if it is right for them. 

In general, since embarking on the I Quit Sugar program, life has been blissful.  I feel healthier, more balanced and proud of what I eat (most of the time… trust me there are still undignified moments of gluttony).
But, and here comes the need for therapy, I am concerned that I have tipped the scales. I came across the term recently:  orthorexia nervosa – the excessive preoccupation with avoiding foods perceived to be unhealthy.  I feel to an extent I fall into this category.

The sheer existence of “unhealthy” food in a room makes me feel uncomfortable. I recently stayed at a motel and went to enjoy a buffet breakfast with my family – Danishes, delicious breads and various condiments, sweet cereals, fruit juices, hot chocolates, pancakes…  I was almost frozen to my seat with the fear of battling through the mine field of sugar, fat and calories. I bee-lined (numerous times) to the juicer and eventually, guiltily, enjoyed some Bircher muesli and a slice of sourdough toast.

If my children attend parties or events where sweets and treats are easily accessible, I firstly do my best to move them out of sight and reach of my kids. And then (when my attempts have been frugal and to be honest embarrassing), I sit full of anxiety, discomfort and a fair bit of contempt unfairly towards the host.

It’s the impact that I am having on my children that scares me the most. When I hear my 4 year daughter say “oh that’s naughty” at the sight of someone drinking Coke, I’m caught somewhere between proud and concerned.
When my 6 year old son literally gorges himself on junk food at a friends’ house, because he rarely sees the sight of it at his own, it makes me ashamed and afraid (for him or me, I’m still not sure).

As a self-confessed control freak, I’m drawing the conclusion that because I’ve always found it so difficult to control my eating, I’m attempting (as they say, to live through your children) to control my children’s eating. And I’m sure that can’t end well.

So I’ve decided, and still with angst and uncertainty, that one day a week in this house will be “open pantry day.” (Ok, I’ll be honest, I started with the notion that we will have “Party Day”, but I have reined that in).
I’ll fill the pantry with treats and give the kids the opportunity to help themselves to anything at any time.

Anything.

Any time.

(heart racing).

I purchased some of the treats today in preparation for my I-can-be mum-with-yummy-food-once-a-week debut.

Smarties. (Family size pack – right, I’ll split that into cups and this pack will do us for a few weeks). Pringles. (Are these made in Australia? Corn oil?, is that the came as high fructose corn syrup. Oh god they have maltodextrose in them).
Snakes. (Natural ones. Shit, open pantry will have to be closed pantry well before bed time, how will I get that off their teeth?).

Thoughts went on –

Maybe I should bake everything, at least then I know what goes in. No that defeats the purpose.

I’ll make the rule that we always go for a nice long walk on open pantry day. Hello – guilt! Stop with the rules! Control freak!

I can’t do it this weekend – they baby sitter is coming. They’ll be high on sugar.

Crap I can’t do it the next day either. They’re off to grandmas in the afternoon. Double sugar hit.

You can do this Naomi! Let go…..

Heart. Racing.

Needless to say the trip to the supermarket was filled with a fair bit of anxiety. I nearly didn’t want to handover my loyalty card to the checkout attendant for fear of my name being linked with purchasing these items. I envisioned alarm bells going off at head office – “woooap woooap customer 997584 has just made an uncharacteristic purchase. Flag stolen card.”

Anyway, so this weekend – Saturday or Sunday (the debate in my mind continues... maybe Friday night?...) - will be Open Pantry Day at my house.  I could be a nervous wreck, or I could be on a massive sugar high myself (and if so probably attempting to run off the calories and the guilt at some ludicrous hour).

I’m bracing myself to go with the sugar highs, go with the surge of gluttony from my children (overarching this is the hope that they will learn to be responsible around food….. has this theory every been founded?), smile as smarties get inhaled before lunch time and trust that for 6 other days of the week my kids eat pretty well.