From Self-Delusion to Self-Care(How I Got My Health Groove On)

I’ve gone 10 + days eating foods with NO ADDED SUGAR and no one has died.

NO. ADDED. SUGAR.

Those who know me well know this is a damn miracle!
My name is Cheryl René Washington(aka CReneCoach) and I’m a sugar-holic. And no, I’m not minimizing more serious addictions. I’m telling you I was hardcore Team Sugar and:
– loved being The Resource for the best desserts in town…actually MANY towns
– planned my entrées around what dessert I was having
– made the bread pudding at a local restaurant a requirement of the management training classes I managed ( I’m kidding…NOT kidding!)
– refused to entertain ANY demonization of sugar
– had an Eat Dessert First party during my ‘Year of 50’ celebrations that was a MEGA Sugga-Fest
– never got on the fake sugar train(still won’t)/go real or don’t go!

But at the beginning of the year, one of my top-of-the-list desires was to become food/weight obsessed-FREE and:
– make peace with the truth about sugar
– end yo-yo weight gain and loss
– end Counting & Tracking!
– look in the mirror and LOVE what I see
– deal with health issues I knew in my gut probably have a food connection

I Just Wanted To Live…and live in the healthiest way for ME. I’ve never been on the krazy diet bandwagon because my question was always: After you eat grapefruit everyday for two weeks, What’s Next??

I wanted a LIFE plan, not a quick and fake fix. I wanted to know what foods and exercises work for MY body, mind, and spirit and JUST DO THAT THANG!

My FIRST EXHALE: meeting life coach extraordinaire Susan Hyatt(shyatt.com) who speaks to this very thing through her BARE coaching process(book coming soon!). BARE teaches you how to LIVE! life joyfully and holistically without “the numbing, protective shield that overeating provides.”(shyatt.com) You learn to determine what your “Power Foods” are and how to incorporate “Pleasure Foods” without dieting and tracking. YAAAAAAAASSSSSSS!!!!!!!!! I’m a natural sharer of ‘news you can use’ AND a life coach so not only did I want to go through the BARE process, I want it to be part of my coaching services and HALLELUJAH!!, I will become a certified BARE Coach this fall! Stay tuned!

My SECOND EXHALE: A friend was raving about Whole30, which I first thought was just another krazy diet, but in checking it out, I became intrigued because its focus is health and food FREEDOM, NOT weight-loss(they strongly discourage weighing yourself because that supports the wrong focus). You don’t eat anything krazy and you eventually add back the eliminated food groups after 30 days to determine what specifically works for you(as in “power foods” mentioned above). Plus, it looked like a way for me to:

– Jumpstart the BARE process(CAN YOU TELL I’M EXCITED!!)
– FINALLY get control of a pesky health issue(leg swelling)

And this is how I gave up MY Life Love, sugar IN MY BIRTHDAY MONTH which has always been an automatic justification of having ALL the food celebrations and yummy desserts I want! So what have I learned 10 days in?

Be careful of the words I speak over myself. I’m not a sugar-holic! It’s not sugar, I’m missing. It’s legumes and air-popped popcorn. I’ve AMAZINGLY experienced no dessert cravings!!
Susan Hyatt is right, food has been a “protective shield” instead of simply sustenance…medication instead of manna.
Even without having done a lot of formal dieting, I have a diet mentality. I’m learning to trust that it’s ok to eat to fullness because I’m eating good food.
I LOVE NOT TRACKING & COUNTING!!!! MyFitNessPal worked for me for a while but I grew tired of how it kept me always obsessing about what was going in my mouth. Now, I’ll know what foods work for me and stick with those. And the fitness bands(various brands)kept malfunctioning(I guess my body chemistry hates tracking too!)
I’ve been a label reader for a long time but I’m now even more focused on them and the unnecessary additives in food are criminal! Why do we need sugar in bacon??
I now accept and believe that excessive added sugar feeds cancer(https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/may-2015/FOH-cancer-love-sugar.html).
I’ve had NO LEG SWELLING in the ten days since I started Whole30. I’ll know for sure what’s connected to that when I reintroduce the eliminated food categories but my guess is that it’s the sugar/fat combination. I already know I’m not going back on the sugar train and an occasional (it must be in my DELICIOUS Hall of Fame) pleasure will be it.
I can eat out without derailing myself food-wise. Sparkling water tastes even better in a martini glass with fruit and a flower!
For now, eating well may cost a little more but not only am I worth it, it would probably be a wash with the dessert/martini $$ I’m saving.
The same principle applies to exercise: do what works for me…No Excuses!
I’ve redefined my self-care mojo. It included a lot of treating myself to sugar and fat in various iterations but what I was really doing is tricking myself. Socializing with friends is a requirement for my mental health and I can keep the main thing the main thing. The road trips I love doing with my husband don’t have to devolve into junk food orgies.

And I gotta have my A-Team…the people I love and trust who will hold Accountability with me. My girl, Sharon Hamilton Broach is in the trenches of Whole30 discovery with me and my husband, Robert is beyond supportive. I’m Queen Independence but I also know that doing it by myself is a way to hide and operate in delusion.

Dining is a life pleasure that is to be enjoyed. I will never demonize ANY food but I also will no longer LIVE TO EAT. I’M gonna roll instead with EATING TO LIVE…and LIVE BEST!

Eating well is mainly a mental game and while Whole30 has me on the right track, BARE will seal the deal on my cementing DELICIOUS food and ‘move my butt’ habits for the long and wonderful lifetime of this FABULOUS TEMPLE: MY BODY.

C. René Washington

P.S. Have you been tricking yourself instead of treating yourself with the love you deserve? What’s  holding you back from the life you want to be living? Subscribe to my contact list for the encouragement, resources, and opportunities to make REAL CHANGE.

About CReneCoach
C. René Washington is a Professional Life Coach and owner of CReneCoach, a life coaching business specializing in helping highly motivated women achieve their personal and career goals. I honed my excellent coaching skills during a 27-year career with a major health insurance provider in various roles including Management Development Manager. It was in this position that I solidified my stellar reputation as the go-to resource for coaching people to excel in place, make smooth career transitions, or deal with the reality of being in the wrong role. Wanting the freedom of choosing my clients, I said goodbye to Corporate America, started my business, and remain passionately excited about the successes of the dynamic women I coach. I’m a Martha Beck, Inc. certified life coach residing in Birmingham, AL. When not working, I can be found city-hiking with my husband, traveling the globe, or reading something fabulous. I’d love to hear from you at CReneCoach@gmail.com.

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