There goes week 9! We would by lying if we said it was an easy week. We survived. We didn’t cave or sneak any dessert-like treats throughout the week. But we also strongly disliked this challenge.
We have begun to realize just how much we enjoy food. We find that giving up assorted consumables is more difficult than giving up various objects. We think this could be related to our mindset and perspective on the particular thing we are going without.
The weeks we gave up our blow dryer or Netflix we viewed as a challenge. We worked to find creative ways to live our lives as normal and thrive despite the inconvenience. Giving up certain foods or drinks is just not fun. There is no creative way to find a work around. We just have to face the fact that the thing we want is not an option this week. We think this could be the reason that weeks like this past week are such a struggle for us.
Another thing that contributes to the struggle is the way we already eat. We work hard to eat clean most of the time. That makes the occasional soda or dessert more special. Giving up these treats makes the struggle more intense.
Joshua struggled the most when he would get the munchies late at night. He tried grabbing an apple or some almonds, but they just didn’t satisfy the craving he had. That leads to a question that he considered multiple times throughout the week. Why did his body crave sweet things late at night? Maybe he has built that craving up over time. Joshua did enjoy trying to find alternatives to satisfy the munchy feelings, but he struggled to solve the problem in just one week. He is going to be working to find snack alternatives, or build up his resilience and intentionality when it comes to late night snacking.
Bethany struggled this week to say no when sweets were offered. It seems that whenever we decide to give up a specific item, we have more access to the items than normal. This week was no exception.
Thrive, the youth ministry at our church, celebrated a special birthday this week. All of the youth leaders were offered cheesecake, one of Bethany’s favorite dessert options. We turned it down multiple times. But in the end we took two pieces home and froze them to be consumed the following week.
Bethany was offered sweets multiple times throughout the week while she was at work. Luckily she has become a pro at kindly declining options and just monching some almonds.
The most difficult refusal came on Friday evening when we celebrated the birthday of Bethany’s grandmother. They had cake and ice cream. But not just any ice cream. It was one of Bethany’s favorite flavors: chocolate chip cookie dough. It took a lot of strength and determination, but we refused and partook in some post-dinner water while our family dined upon the desserts. (Bethany did end up making some delicious tea later to satisfy her sugar craving.)
We are excited to remove this restriction from our lives in the upcoming weeks. We usually limit ourselves to one dessert per week and we plan to keep that standard moving forward. We aren’t really sure we learned a lot about ourselves this week. But at the very least we are developing the ability to say no to things we really want. We are slowly re-wiring our brains. We are taking control of our choices.
Week 10 is going to require a lot of strategic planning and some sacrifice. But you will have to check out our next post to find out about that.