Friday afternoon, as I was going over our weekend schedule, I realized I was teaching Adult Sunday School this Sunday. Summer Sunday school for adults is one big class of about 35 people, and a different church member teaches every week. Last year I spent about 45 hours (over the course of a week) on a lesson on Nebuchadnezzar. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it and I enjoyed the research, putting together the visual presentation, and the subject matter. I did well on it and received a lot of compliments.
This year, thankfully, I was given a Bible study guide that had all the material in one place for me to put together a lesson. My subject was Josiah, an Old Testament king who isn't well known but was one of the most important and faithful kings Israel ever had. I spent about 8 hours Saturday--4 in the morning (kids were at my mom's so it was uninterrupted), and 4 at night--getting it ready. It was a lot less intensive than last year, but still took up a great deal of time and energy that I hadn't realized I was even going to have to expend until late Friday.
Even so, my reading and research on Saturday morning was actually very moving and, I think, placed in my life when I needed it. So I was feeling spiritually filled, which gave me the energy to keep working until 11 pm on Saturday night to finish it up. (FYI-my food all day Saturday was healthy and on plan.)
Sunday's lesson went very well. It lasted about 35 minutes, and we had 25 minutes of lively and significant conversation. I received many compliments on the lesson.
If you know me, you know what's coming...... Sunday afternoon, I blew it.
We went out to lunch after church, and I had a salad with chicken and fruit, dressing on the side. There was a lot of fruit, and I'd have been fine if I'd only eaten half and taken the rest home. I hadn't eaten my usual big breakfast Sunday, because I got up late and was a tad nervous, and just wasn't that hungry. At lunch, then, I was starving, and I ate and ate and ate until that salad was gone. I ate 3 or 4 French fries off Sophie's plate.
I knew I was in trouble, yet I did nothing to stop it.
We got home, and I made a No Pudge Brownie, a single serving in the microwave. The first ingredient is pure cane sugar--how they get away with "No Pudge" is beyond me. A remnant of the "fat will make you fat, but sugar is FINE!" sales pitch, I guess. I used 1/2 cup mix, 1/4 cup LF yogurt, nuked it, and ate it up.
At half way finished, I was stuffed and thought about stopping, but played the food game and told myself "it's just a carb UP day, like the old 'Crack the Fat Loss Code' days. This will tell your body you're not on a diet, and you'll lose MORE weight. Yeah, that's what will happen. You'll have this one brownie, and that's all, and it will be fine."
I spent the next 3 hours in the recliner, in a food coma. I woke up feeling grouchy and bloated. When I woke up the kids were in the family room watching TV. They wanted ice cream; I was craving sugar, so as I dished up theirs, I ate a serving for myself right off the ice cream scoop. Like a robot. Didn't even think it through, just ate it.
And it wasn't enough.
I knew, then, that when more is never going to be enough, it was time to get a hold of myself. I had to make myself stop. I went in the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and gave myself a good talking to. I looked at my backside, and reminded myself that (a) the back fat rolls are nearly gone--and that didn't happen because I ate sugar nonstop, and (b) the saddle bags are never going to go away unless I stop this NOW.
I had been planning to organize my closet Saturday before the Sunday school lesson popped up, so I decided that would be a good way to redirect my energy. I have a small closet--the traditional bi-fold doors type that are found in most homes built in the early 1980s. I had cleaned out the clothes that didn't fit a month or two ago; now it was time to clean up the floor of mounds of purses and bags and books and shoes, and the two shelves of shoes and clothes and purses. I filled three big trash bags with stuff for Goodwill, and filled a regular trashbag with stuff to throw away.
It took me about an hour and a half to two hours, I guess, to get it all done and to take all the discarded stuff away where it belonged. I dropped off at Goodwill this morning.
I could still feel the sugar in my body all night. I was cranky with the kids. I still wanted sugar, but ate a bowl of LF yogurt and fruit around 9 pm, to try to get some semblance of "healthy normal" going again. I fell asleep okay but was wakened at 2 am by my husband who couldn't sleep and had the TV on, which woke me up (after his CFP exam is over next week, we are setting new ground rules about his night-time TV watching) and I couldn't get back to sleep.
I'd wanted to run this morning, but couldn't wake up. Instead, I woke around 6:45 am and was grouchy as hell. And not hungry. We were out of milk, so I drove to Walgreens and got a gallon. I got home and was still not hungry, but was still angry.
It was the sugar from Sunday afternoon. I could feel the white poison making me crazy. I calmed myself down by busying myself with making my usual morning latte, and by then Luke was up. I chilled out on the couch, but didn't get ready for work. I just couldn't make myself do it. I took the kids to daycare/daycamp around 8:30, then came back home and finally made an on-plan breakfast at 9:30. I got ready for work, and got lunch together, and headed to the office.
I am not feeling as sugar crazed now, after a solid (although late) breakfast and a healthy snack. I was not hungry for a full lunch since I ate breakfast so late, so I had my cottage cheese/fruit/walnut snack instead. It should hold me until an early dinner.
Yesterday afternoon, I truly had no idea that my "this is just a carb up day" food game was actually a bad case of The Afters. This morning, as I was getting ready and trying to figure out what the hell happened, it finally dawned on me what had been going on.
The unexpected work. The hours I had planned on doing anything but planning a Sunday school lesson. The time away from the kids. The lack of exercise. The energy of being in front of a group of people for an hour. The attention and compliments on my presentation abilities. The realization that my size 16 straight black skirt was quite loose and my size L black & white top didn't have back fat rolls showing through, but I still didn't feel "good enough" because nobody complimented me on how I looked (I know, I know; it's why I'm in therapy).
It all added up to more than I am still capable of dealing with, without food.
At least it only took me a day to realize what was going on.
And it only took me about 6 hours to realize that I've been feeling better and more even and had more energy the past two weeks not because of the medication I've been taking or because of a smattering of exercise. It's because I HAVE NOT BEEN EATING REFINED SUGAR. Period. End of story.
For me, sugar is the devil, and it turns me into a screaming, irritable harpy. For me, if I want to live my life well, I must eat clean, balanced food. For me, if I want to be awake for my life, I cannot play food games and pretend like "just this once" is okay.
I hope I don't have to keep learning this lesson over and over. I don't want to have another Sunday afternoon like yesterday's "lost hours" again. I felt yucky and miserable, and I will never get that day back again. That's a lesson I don't want to keep repeating. My days are already speeding past me too quickly. I don't want to lose them anymore to sugar.