Top 10 Sugar-Free Lessons from 2015
10 Years Down, Many More to Go
Stop Being Sweet’s ten year anniversary passed quietly in October of 2015—I have been abstaining from sweets for ten years! It all began with this blog post.
There have been many ups and downs during that time but 2015 was mostly down. I hoped to release the Stop Being Sweet version 2.0 book and carry out other exciting plans that have been in the works for a while. Unfortunately, none of those things happened. It certainly wasn’t from a lack of trying. 2015 was a rough year for us. We moved several times and we still have one more to go.
Despite the roller coaster ride, there is always something to be learned.
Below are 10 lessons that I hope you find useful in your sugar-free journey.
1. Just Get Started
When I first began this blog, it didn’t look anything like it does now. I knew nothing about blogging and the rest of the world didn’t know much either. In fact, when I started writing this blog post I didn’t know what I was going to say. You won’t know the energy that’s inside you until you start to channel it.
2. Things Often Take Longer Than Expected
Good things take time. You can’t quit sugar forever by this afternoon and I can’t complete a book when my life is being turned upside down. However, that’s no reason to stop trying. You may make it to your destination later than you hoped but you will still feel good when you arrive. Keep getting there.
3. Who Said It Would Be Easy?
Version 2.0 of the Stop Being Sweet book is about 75% complete. I plan to make available a print version as well as an electronic version this time around. I am really excited about this book. The first Stop Being Sweet book was written before I ever worked with anyone to help them get off sweets. Now that I’ve worked with individuals and groups alike, I know that the information in version 2 will be valuable to anyone who wants to go sugar-free. When you are carrying out a large undertaking such as going sugar-free or writing a book about how to get off sugary junk food, take your time and do it well, which means doing your best and not rushing through the hard parts. That’s how difficulties become easies.
4. Your Path Ain’t Their Path
We’re all influenced by other people but that doesn’t mean you are going to have the same career that Martha Stewart or Mike Tyson had—and thankfully so. You are unique and even though you may follow a well beaten path, it’s not going to go for you the same way as it goes for the other people on that path. You have what you have; deal with it and own it. Make it yours. Bend it to your will.
5. Make Mistakes
Mistakes get a bad rap. Cheng Man Ching, renowned Tai Chi teacher, used to tell his students, “Invest in loss.” When you are practicing something, it’s the mistakes that teach you what works and what doesn’t work. So many cool inventions have resulted from what looked like a mistake. Go and make some.
6. Know Your Identity
I ate sugar this year. Not every day, mind you, but I had sweets here and there throughout 2015, which was a departure from the sugar abstinence plan I’ve employed over the past ten years. The reason? Stress. I thought I could have sweets now and again but whenever I consumed junk food I felt bad and stopped. What I learned is that I am in control (which I already knew). Anyhow, the point is that I was and still am sugar-free because that’s how I identify. A basketball player who misses the hoop a few times in their career is still a basketball player. Someone who takes one shot and quits because they missed isn’t.
6. Stay in the Game
When I was a kid, I took a photography class at the community college. My teacher was in his 30s. I asked him why he thought he was making a living as a photographer while his peers had gone on to other careers. He said, “Because I kept at it.” Why will you be a sugar-free master in ten years? Same answer.
8. You Can Learn the Same Lesson Over and Over
Good lessons have layers. Master the fundamentals and you will find a profound depth to your practice that you couldn’t see until you’ve been at it for a while. If you are new to going sugar-free, focus on the simple principle: avoid sweets.
9. Sometimes You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It
There are so many good, healthy, and natural foods out there! There are so many good, healthy, and natural people out there! Why waste your time with the junk? Nothing is sweeter than surrounding yourself with goodness, health, and nature.
10. Sometimes You Can’t, Don’t Hide
I couldn’t make it through the whole year without sweets, or at least I didn’t want to try. So I ate some junk. Looking back, I should’ve reached out to the Stop Being Sweet community here. That’s the trouble with us sweeties, we want to do everything alone and when we can’t we pretend that everything is just fine. Find community. Nobody knows to help you if you hide when things go bad.
Here’s to 2016!
Look out for version 2.0 of the Stop Being Sweet book this year. In the meantime, Stop Being Sweet 1.0 is on sale so you can stop being sweet right now!