For the past six weeks,
I’ve had the pleasure of doing text-coaching with talented writer Anne Lamott,
who I had the pleasure of meeting after the fabulous talk she gave at her
church to launch her new, fabulous book, Help, Thanks, Wow. Anyhow, as a Sugar
Freedom Coach, I don’t want to leave Annie in the lurch with no encouragement
while I’m away for 10 days on a transformational retreat. So I came up with a
way to support Annie while I’m gone. I wrote her this letter, which she now has
given me permission to share with you.
I really want to be there for
you while I’m off healing and taking back my power. (As you know, I desperately
need to go on this transformational retreat until Feb. 10 to recover from My
Bittersweet Last Year with Mom, which, as I shared with you and on my Sugar
Shock Blog (www.SugarShockBlog.com) and my new Bittersweet Blog, www.BittersweetYear.com), was utterly
grueling, draining and heartbreaking.)
To support and stand by you so
you can continue to Savor Sugar Freedom, I’ve decided to create a 10 Ways to
Continue to Savor Sugar Freedom Checklist for you. I invite you to bring this
along with you wherever you go so you can whip it out if temptation strikes.
tempting sugary non-foods—what I call Sweet Baddies (certainly not “goodies” or
“treats”)—seem to tauntingly plead, “Eat me, eat me,” I urge you take the
following steps first.
Your Own Smart Advice. Holler Help!
Put a Sugar Freedom spin on the wisdom you eloquently impart in your
book, Help, Thanks, Wow. When you can’t quit obsessing about a gorgeous
cupcake, a chocolate-chip cookie or whatever sugary non-food or Sweet Baddie
you want right away, lean on God, divine intelligence, or, as you playfully put
Just imagine: You’re so close to shoving a Sweet Baddie in your mouth.
Your favorite dangerous, culprit-carb non-foods—which, for you and many others,
are sure-fire gateways to glutting, depression and Sugar Slavery—keep taunting
and tormenting you. They seem to be whispering, “It’s time to stop
feeling deprived. Go ahead, put one in your mouth. Now.”
Annie, when temptation like this strikes, it’s time to prove those Sweet
Baddies wrong! Let Providence whisk you to Savory Sugar Freedom instead.
You might want to pray like this. “Dear God, I could use a hand. Please
help me. I feel out of control when it comes to [name of Sweet Baddie you
want]. I know that I shouldn’t have them, but I want them anyhow.
Please, Divine Wisdom, show me exactly what steps to take so I have the
strength to turn away from [type of Sugary Temptation]. And, God, please help
me to remember that this [cake, cookie, etc.] is so very bad for me and can
lead to overeating, self-loathing and disease.”
Sugar Makes You Unspiritual.
Over-indulging in sweets, as you’ve been discovering, makes you so much
less than you can and want to be. Specifically, sugary non-foods can take you
down a path to non-spirituality. They can rob you of your sublime,
divine-loving essence. People who haven’t gone sugar-free (or close to it)
don’t understand this subtle connection, but you “get it.” So please ask
yourself before you cave in to sweets or culprit carbs, “Is a piece or bag of
[name of Temptation] worth straying off the spiritual path?”
How Clear-Headed & Better You Are When You Limit the Sugar.
As you know, eating lots of sugary non-foods can muddy up your thinking,
mess with your moods and strip you of your power. When a sugary non-food is
bugging you, instead delight in how wonderful you feel when you stick to such
wholesome foods as lentils, organic veggies, organic meats, and healthy fats.
Now ask yourself, “Is this [Name of Sugary Temptation] really worth losing my
clarity, energy, and peace of mind? Wouldn’t I rather be my best self?”
in Your Former Success & Then Challenge Yourself to Recreate it.
Think of the accomplishment of which you’re the most proud. Is it that
you’ve stayed away from alcohol for so long and enjoyed sweet sobriety? Perhaps
you’re delighted that you made your last book deadline? Now, stretch yourself.
Realize that, “Hey, if I did [quit alcohol or whatever else you picked], then I
can surely stay away from sugar, even if it is addictive.” Annie, you can even
have fun and quip, “I continue to choose Savor Sugar Freedom. It’s a piece of
cake!” (Pardon the pun!)
Sugar Procrastination. (Delay).
As we’ve discussed, one very effective sugar-avoidance approach is to
procrastinate on purpose. By that, I mean delay eating your temptation of the
moment. To refresh your memory about this simple tactic, just read this blog post I wrote about the power of delaying. http://www.sugarshockblog.com/2011/05/delay-away-your-sugar-cravings-.html
Away Your Cravings and Have Fun With It.
One of the most powerful ways to kick your pesky cravings is to get in
touch with the feelings behind them. Journaling is highly effective, research
shows. So take 10 minutes before you put anything sugary in your mouth and
write about it. And be playful, too. You, of all people, could write the most
amusing, entertaining, enlightening Sugar Danger poems or musings. When I
return, I’ll look forward to reading what you write. (Even if you weren’t a
writer, I’d recommend this. Jotting down your thoughts and feelings is that
powerful. Anyone—writer or not—can do it.) Also, read this article I wrote
about cravings. http://www.healyourlife.com/author-connie-bennett/2013/01/wisdom/inspiration/craving-sugar-and-carbs
up with PFF.
As you know, one sure-fire way to become vulnerable to sweets is to skip
eating something healthy when you get up in the morning. Temptation also has a
way of getting to you when you don’t re-fuel your body at least three times a
day with ample protein, fiber, and fat. So make sure to fill up regularly on
those quality foods.
8) Ask Yourself the 5 W’s & 1 H.
Of course, knowledge is power. So whenever you’re tempted, ask yourself
the questions every journalist needs to answer when writing a story. You want
to discover the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. In doing your sugar
discovery or Sugary Soul Searching, ask yourself, “Who do I become when I
indulge? What is it I really want? When do my sugar cravings get most
powerful? Where could I go instead (someplace more nurturing and fulfilling)?
Why, oh why, do I want those sugary non-foods? And how would eating those Sweet
Baddies make me feel? (Read more about this process in pages 65 to 66 of
my book, Beyond Sugar Shock, which I gave you.)
Yourself with the Sour News. Then, Create Your Sugar-is-My-Foe List.
Whenever you really, really, really want something sugary, I urge you to
get the sour news first. Just take out Beyond Sugar Shock, and read
Chapter 3, which tells you about “The Big Preventable Killers: Your Sweet Tooth
Can Kill You.” Then write down 5 Reasons Why Sugar is My Foe. In other words,
what are the worst things that can happen to you when you eat the sugary stuff.
Then rewrite your reasons to avoid Sweet Baddies on a 3-by-5 index card and
carry it with you wherever you go so you’ll remember why it’s important to
overcome those cravings.
Me & Then Text Yourself, Too.
Finally, since I can’t read your texts for the next 10 days, text me
anyhow when you’re having a challenging time. Just pretend that I’m there on
the other end of the phone and that I’ll be replying shortly. Then, until I return
on Feb. 10 or 11, reply to yourself with what you think I’d say. Now, if you’re
unclear as to how I’d text-coach you, pull out your copy of Beyond Sugar
Shock, shut your eyes and open a page. That’s what I’d say to you. In
other words, your inner wisdom will guide you to the exact page with the exact
information you need. (By the way, I do this technique a lot with your book, Help,
Thanks, Wow and with books by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Louise Hay, and Dr. Ken
Druck. Just trust that you’ll be guided to get the advice or guidance you need.
It has worked every time for me.)
your challenges on my Facebook page.
If or when something sweet tempts you, just rely on people who understand
how dangerous it is to go down that sugary path. Post something on Facebook—on
both my (www.Facebook.com/SmartHabitsFans)
and your (www.Facebook.com/AnneLamott)
fan pages. I’ll bet you that someone who “gets it” will write to you with just
the wisdom you’re seeking. Make sure to dash me an email each time (marked high
importance) so that I can read these inspirational words upon my return and
thank the person.
Annie, I know that you
can continue to Savor Sugar Freedom.
Remember, you have the
power to say no. Remind yourself that eating sugar and other quickie carbs is a
choice. It’s yours to make—or not make. What you put in your mouth helps create
your future and the way you handle it. Why not choose the path of joy, inner
peace, and health?
I’ll be with you in
spirit and rooting for you to continue to Savor Sugar Freedom. Talk to you
P.S. Since you like to
share your musings and inspirational thoughts on Facebook, feel free to post
this entire letter from me to you. It would be my honor to help your
sugar-addicted fans. And feel free to take tidbits and tweet them, too.
Thanks again for your very kind words and letting me share them here.
“I was so sick and tired of feeling sick and
tired beyond my sugar. With the help of Beyond Sugar Shock and Connie’s smart,
caring text-coaching, I am beginning my 6th week of being off sugar.
To me, that is a miracle. I feel so much happier and healthier, more energetic
and free.” …I most like to know you are on the other end of the phone and get
my texts, help me through temptations, remind me what works and why I am trying
a new way of life.” —Anne Lamott