I don’t just want to be a father. I want to be a great father. I want to be a Ned Stark kind of father, the kind that my kids grow up wistfully reminiscing about.
That isn’t just an ego trip (OK, maybe a little), it is about doing right by my kids. After all, the statistics about absentee fathers is clearly mapped by endless studies on the matter, and the more involved I am, the more positive the impact I can have on my tykes.
Recognition is the first step to change
With that being said, I think I have most of it down pretty well. One area where I sometimes faltered was in my own health, and I was guilty of making some of the common excuses: I was too busy, I wasn’t that unhealthy, I made sure my kids ate right. But in the end, I wasn’t an example and a good influence on them. Plus, my sugar addiction was lessening my lifespan.
My change actually started with a single cookie. I was at a party when my niece came and offered me a bit of chocolatey, chippy deliciousness. With my son standing next to me, and knowing he’d just seen me eat two cookies only minutes earlier, I declined the cookie offered by my niece. I realized just how closely my kids were watching me and found the resolve I needed to make some important changes to my diet and overall health.
Are you ready to make the same change? The further down the road I get, the more I’ve learned about the human body, the food industry, and just how easy it can be to take care of myself and feel loads better every day.
Sugar Is A Sneaky Addiction
An article by NPR addressed a study on sugar and the effects on the body and brain. It turns out that people can literally be addicted to sugar. On a scale of severity, researchers claim it is just as dangerous an addiction as cocaine. Let that sink in for a moment. Not only does it cause weight gain, diabetes, and a multitude of health problems, but kicking it is as hard as kicking drugs.
If you’re still not sold, consider the damage we’re doing to our kids if we’re always treating them to a cookie, handing them a pack of fruit snacks in between meals, or stuffing them full of cereal in the mornings. We’re sometimes unknowingly loading them with tons of added sugar, setting them up for addiction, weight gain, and possibly even depression and lack of self control.
Feeding Your Sweet Tooth Can Have Some Benefits
So what happens when the cravings strike? Even when you have the best intentions of kicking sugar and eating more fresh veggies, those cravings can come out of nowhere and really kick your butt. When we put our kids to bed, or if I just need a minute of quiet, I find myself reaching for a snack or treat to set the mood. That sort of craving has been conditioned to help me relieve stress from my day. It’s something that’s not only physical, but psychological. The best solution? DISTRACTIONS!
It may also be caused by a lack of energy. Your body wants energy, it wants sugar because glucose is such a quick and easy fix. A snack high in protein, or even healthy fats, can stomp it out.
Are you still craving? Try some natural sugars balanced by fiber and nutritional benefits (like a little fruit). Get some coconut cream, freeze it for a few hours, then separate the top cream from the water and a bit of stevia. Make a peanut butter, banana and soy milk smoothie. There are plenty of better alternatives with a much lower glycemic impact than refined sugar.
Wait For The Cravings To Pass
How long are you going to be craving sugar? According to a study, about six days. That was the average length of time people who cut sugar struggled with the desire to consume it. If you can push past less than a week of cravings you are going to come out the other side feeling like a champion, and get over the withdrawals with your head held high!
You can do this! It all starts with a single ‘No, thank you’.