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     It's true that sugar is addicting.  I'm sorry to say that I'm addicted.  I have had a hard time my whole life being addicted to this stuff.  Growing up, my mother had a treat drawer for the grandkids, I was always in it.  My mother always made donuts for Christmas, because it was a tradition!  Can't sway from tradition!  We always had gum in the cupboard, and when I was 3 years old I climbed up on the counter to get to the gum, fell and broke my arm.  I don't remember the pain from that fall, but I do remember the cast.  I remember walking to the neighborhood store to buy penny candy, and eating most of it even before I got home. 

     When I was a bit older in school we had a field trip to the Wonder Bread factory.  We each got a little loaf of bread, and a bottle of chocolate milk.  I was pudgy in my junior high years, and didn't really start losing weight until I got to high school and got a boyfriend, I guess I just lived on love and stopped eating.  However, there was 7-11 across the street where we would go to get sugar in the form of sodas, and cheap treats! 

     As I got a bit older, and got married and had my family, sugar has always played a roll in our home.  It's a cultural thing in our church.  Go to an activity, have a treat.  I baked quite frequently for my family.  Always had cookies in the cookie jar etc.  I was helping my children to become addicted, and it worked!  My kids also have a sweet tooth.  Vicious cycle. 

     It wasn't until I became a plant based eater that I really learned the truth behind sugar.  I love to listen to Chef AJ.  She talks a lot about calorie density.  That woman eats a lot, and is thin!!  This past week, I listened to a webinar that was posted to Youtube.  I don't think it's available anymore as this is what she uses for her plan, and it's her business.  She talked in great detail how calorie density plays a huge roll in how a body loses weight.  She demonstrates how many apples you could eat compared to how many M&Ms for the same amount of calories.  I had heard her say it before, but for some reason it caught my attention this time.  She also talks how sugar can be so addicting.  There is a pleasure center in our brains.  When we eat sugar or complex carbs ie breads, pancakes etc it turns on our pleasure centers on with dopamine much like drugs.  The more we eat, the more we have to have.  Isn't that how drugs work?  Very addicting!

     I have tried several times to quit the sugar addiction.  I haven't quite yet figured out how to overcome this problem.  I don't have a problem with meat, dairy or oils but sugar is a whole different problem.  I know, don't have it in the house, but I still work full time in a hospital full of nurses that like to bring junk to our break rooms, and a nurse that has chocolate in her office.  I have NO willpower!  If it's in front of me, I sir-come to temptation.  Then I feel badly with stomach aches etc.  When I pack my lunch for work, I pack good things to eat but then the sweet tooth comes to bite me in the butt.  I guess it all boils down to what you want to do with your health with your weight.

     I do know that when my hubby gets a job, I'm going to join Chef AJ and her program for ultimate weight loss.  I have seen people that have had great results working with her.  We all have our crosses to bear, and mine is sugar. 



     Just a fair warning, this blog post is going to be a bit different than my entries in the past.  A lot has been happening in my life, and I felt so many emotions this last couple of days.  If I said I wasn't depressed, I would be lying. 

     As many of you know, I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons).  There is so much expected of us as members of his church.  At times it's overwhelming, for example 3 hours of church every Sunday, visiting members, sometimes meetings in the middle of the week.  My ward is so incredibly hard to get to know.  We have lived here over a year, and I have an acquaintance is all.  No one that I can really be friends with.

     When we moved here from Coeur D Alene, I left my dear friend behind that I loved like a sister, heartbroken to leave her.  I miss her everyday! 

     I work in a hospital full time, and I work 3 twelve hour shifts, and mostly 3 in a row.  This is so I can have multiple days off.  I have been learning a new job over this past 2 weeks.  I am a MA - CNA by trade, but my body is breaking down so I have decided to work at the front desk.  My heart aches because I love patient care, to get to know your patients has been such a blessing in my life.  I have seen so many sad cases and miracles as I have worked in the rehab hospital.  Truly blessed my life.  I will miss this work immensely!  However, as we age we can't do as much.  My knees are shot from years of abuse ie, skiing, water skiing and patient care.

     I have also had some challenges in just this last couple of months.  In November I suffered a pulmonary embolism as I'm sure you have read.  This was a devastating diagnosis.  Put on blood thinners, wakeful nights thinking I may not wake up, seriously frightening!  On top of that news, my husband lost his job.  Now I have that to worry about as well.  He is an older gent, and employers do look at that. 

     This past Saturday, I lost one of my dear friends to cancer.  She struggled with this for months, years....She and I had some wonderful memories, why would she be taken so young from her family that loved her, from her friends, and she was so talented in quilting!  She was a wealth of info when it came to sewing.  She had so many talents.  As I'm writing this, tears fill my eyes just thinking about all the great times we had together.  I met her just after we were married 32 years ago.  She became my fast friend.  I have lost too many friends to cancer, and while my husband is my best friend, he's not a girl!  There is just something about girlfriends you know?

     I don't tell you all this to depress you, but it is all kind of depressing.  I tell you this because life is a challenge.  Yesterday I didn't go to church because I was tired, and beat from the news of my friend.  I just needed some time to wrap my head around it.  I also began to think about my future or the week ahead.  Do I really want to wallow in self pity?  Do I want to sit in a dark house all alone and just watch endless hours of Netflix? 

     The answer to the above question, was at first yes!  Then I got to thinking that God really would be upset with me.  My ward is so difficult, but I know he wouldn't want me to give up.  He wants me to endure until the end.  He wants me to fight!  He wants me to be happy!  How can we attain happiness in our lives?  We can follow the Savior, I believe in his atonement!  He died for me!  He paid for my sins.  I must go to the church that is unfriendly because that's where I'm supposed to be!  I can learn more about the Savior, I can do this for me!!!  I'm not there for others, I'm there for me.  I can also be an example to those at church, and be nice to them.

     Another way to come out of the doldrums, is to count my blessings!  I have so much to be thankful for!  I have an amazing husband that supports my every whim!  He loves ME!  We have 3 great children, all who served as missionaries for our church!  One oldest son is married to an awesome girl whom I love dearly, and they have 2 beautiful little girls.  That in itself is so great! 

     Life is so hard!  We all have challenges, no one is exempt!  We are here on this earth to overcome our challenges.  We are here to see how we handle things.  We are here to prove ourselves to do what we know is right.  Life is too short to be sad!  The sun WILL come out!  Things always work out.  I need to have the faith that things will be fine.  It's an ongoing challenge, but I'm sick and tired of being unhappy!  It's time to find things that make me happy.  I need to serve others, to reach out to those that are in need, that way I forget about me and find happiness in serving others. 

     I hope all that read this are doing well.  I hope you are eating healthy and are happy.  Life is what YOU make it! 
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