This winter, I let myself go. What does that mean? This winter it was often snowy, icy, and cold outside, and homey, cozy, and warm inside, so what better activity was there to do but eat? I made a conscious decision to eat whatever I wanted to eat, as often as I wanted to eat it. I experienced so much freedom in the process. However, I do not recommend it because I went up a dress size. For those of you who are thinking, well you were small anyway. Well, let me share a fact with you. Thin people are not always healthy. An extra five pounds on my short frame, means higher blood pressure. An extra ten pounds means an increase in my blood pressure medication. Because high blood pressure runs in my family, I have to be extremely careful. While most people only worry about how they look in the mirror… I worry about what a few extra pounds may do to my heart.
I know I am sharing my personal health information, but I really don’t mind. I just need you to know that you CAN be an unhealthy size two and you can be healthy size 10. I am learning to focus less on my clothing size and more on what I put in my mouth. I admit, I am greedy. I love my Oreo cookies, vegan ice cream, pancakes with plenty of syrup, Captain Crunch…Oh yes, Captain Crunch with Silk Milk! Fruit Loops… and any number of sugary vegan treats! Let me not stay on this too long or I may end up taking a midnight trip to Shop Rite.
For all of you 0, 2, 4, 6ers, you can die of a stroke or heart attack, too. I have squeezed my sugary hips and thighs in a size 6 all winter, blood pressure just dancing all over the place! Mind you, I have a friend who is three sizes bigger than me and her heart pumps like a symphonic band. What is the difference? We both exercise regularly, but she, unlike me, is not a sugar addict. If you eat what you want, but think you are in great health because you exercise, I have news for you. I have been there and done that. All winter, on average, I worked out an hour a day, but I ate sugar like there was a sugar shortage! Well, guess what? It’s over.
For the past three days, I have stared at a box of Oreo cookies. Every time, I reach for one, I have to talk to myself. What do I say? Well, I say the same thing every time. “Shawn, you are not going to die if you do not have a cookie.” I had to tell myself the same thing when I was out having dinner with my husband. “Shawn, you are not going to die if you drink water instead of lemonade.” And the next day, “Shawn, you are not going to die if you have oatmeal without sugar.” Then for lunch, “Shawn you are not going to die if you do not have fries with your vegan burger.” Then earlier tonight, “Lord, thank you for helping me have self-control today.”
Whew! It has been days and I am still alive, even though I have not had sugar! And I got on the scale tonight to discover that I have already lost half the winter weight I gained. And even better than that, I joined the symphonic band. In a few months, I plan to be off of this medication.
Sugar, now you are where you belong, in the trash compactor with the rest of the junk!
By Shawn R. Jones
Author of the devotional book, Pictures in Glass Frames http://t.co/BxiNwWRG
and the poetry chapbook, Womb Rain,