Going Soft On Our Self… by Claire Sykes The ultimate aim to be strong enough to keep up the very passion which got us to the point of wanting to carry on our own personal journey to amelioration. A recent story in my local paper here prompted me to stop and think about sugar. The writer had shared her experience at trying to have a no sugar month. I will say it was a light-hearted approach, but at the same I finished reading, and was disappointed for her. My other emotion was slight annoyance that she had let herself be “led into temptation’’ by colleagues and family in the first week of her goal! I look back at my own experience and share some thoughts with you …if you are trying to eliminate something from your life the chances are it is a negative thing which has an undesirable impact on your wellbeing. Why just aim for a month? What happens after that? Surely it would be good to have it under control forever? I think having firm reasons to give up something is a very important point and we need to remind ourselves of these factors constantly. It’s a bit like crossing the road, we need to stop and look before we walk over, just a little chat to our self to give our permission to take the next step. It can take some time to adjust to the changes we may have to make, so slow down and allow ourselves to adjust accordingly, this may be a lifelong habit or ritual we are attempting to break. It may be a matter of just being aware of just exactly how much we are using, just that alone may be enough to want to cut down. There are many options to replace especially sugar for sweetness. Try taking a capsule of Vitality™ New Zealand Blackcurrant opened up in a warm glass of water and a teaspoon of honey stirred in. It’s a great way to reap the benefits of our favourite berry quickly! I take this before or after exercise. Be proud of what you are doing and the decisions you have made, back yourself up with the knowledge that many people actually want to do exactly what you are doing …I wonder how many times I have politely declined an offer of something I didn’t want to eat and their answer back is… “nah, I shouldn’t be eating this either. Oh well, I go for a run tomorrow”. They say scoffing it into their mouth… I grin to myself. When you have a life without whatever you set out to eliminate, you can reap the benefits, this however may not come after just a month…last week I came bounding down the steps out of the dentist’s clinic in great excitement with a clean bill of health! No follow up!! No big bill! Big testaments for ongoing changes in my diet over the last couple of years… yes the acidity of sugar.Another very simple benefit is chocolate… yes I am a long-time fan, but my taste has totally changed, now I can actually taste the rich cacao and I am not eating it to satisfy a “need” for sugar…so actually the darker the chocolate the better. 90% no problem! You could wrap it up around a piece of dried pineapple or apricot. I always maintain especially in my fitness classes, if you are racing through the workout not doing the full range of movement, or not completing the numbers, you are the one not getting the benefits… nobody else minds, it is actually just you cheating yourself! So, when it comes to our precious health, and giving up some of our detrimental habits, I would love to think most of us could be not put off quite so easily…the ultimate aim to be strong enough to keep up the very passion which got us to the point of wanting to carry on our own personal journey to amelioration.