Changing your relationship with sugar does not have to be a struggle. It can be a gentle inquiry that leans more on curiosity than willpower, more a process of discovery than of self-criticism, and more about calling on your strengths than unendingly whispering to yourself a litany of shortcomings and defeat.
People commonly decide to engage in this process because they want to naturally:
- Reduce the inflammation in their joints
- Clear up skin problems
- Eliminate bloating, heartburn and digestive discomfort
- Improve their cholesterol numbers
- Lose weight
- Banish food and sugar cravings
- Experience smoother and more positive emotions
- Reduce their blood pressure
- Get rid of brain fog and lethargy
- Become less insulin resistant and avoid diabetes
They seek another avenue after having:
- Diet plans that focus on a less than effective gimmick
- Used supplements that failed in their promise to take away food cravings
- Endured some kind of starvation diet that cut into the quality of life
- Discovered that the consensus methods of “eat less, move more” simply do not work
- Felt like a failure because they don’t match up with the ideal image they have in their mind
- Plenty of knowledge and information, but that did not translate into the desired change of habit or lifestyle
Journey Beyond Sugar
Why am I doing this?
In my years as an acupuncturist I have sought to get at the root causes of illness. From my clinical experience working with patients I have seen time and again how the inflammatory effects and metabolic disruption caused by sugar are at the root of conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, weight gain, digestive disorders and mood changes.
Over the years, I’ve thought to myself countless times, “If I could help my patients do just one thing to improve their health what would it be?” And the answer is, “get rid of the sugar.”
I know it sounds simplistic, but I’ve seen time and again how reducing sugar intake helps with a wide variety of issues for which people seek an acupuncturist. I’ve made a study over the years not just of Chinese medicine, but of metabolic science, the process of creating and sustaining change, and how mindfulness opens up a path where previously we only could see obstacles.
My job is not to create a patient for life, but to help each person get well, get out of my office, and get back to their life. Better yet, I love it when I have a way to help many more people than I can possible see in my clinic.
And so, I’ve created the Journey Beyond Sugar, a 45 day email guided inquiry that helps people to transform their relationship with sugar.
What you can expect from the Journey Beyond Sugar?
This is not a boot camp, blueprint or other process that involves grinding yourself against resistance or leaning on a formula. It’s more like a walkabout. The goal is of less importance than the road we travel through familiar territory with a different set of eyes.
In the 45 days of this journey we will explore our relationship with sugar by:
- Having a look at brain and metabolic science
- Engaging in mindfulness practices
- Leaning on the strength of our community and family connections
- Practicing compassion
- Having fun
- Looking our demons in the eye and inviting them in for a cup of tea
- Banging up against beliefs that just might not actually hold water
- Engaging the transformative power of slow change
- Discovering resources we didn’t know we had
This journey of transforming your relationship with sugar is not a “3 day shortcut,” a “10 day fix,” or “an instant transformation.” It is a process that eases you into a receptive sense of inquiry that allows change to emerge in surprising ways. This is not an exercise in will power and deprivation. You probably already know that, when in the process of fundamentally changing a long-standing habit, applying force is like punching one of those knock-down clowns. The harder you punch it down, the faster it pops back up.
Instead of using force, this program leans on the principles of mindfulness, small easy to apply daily practices, and slow incremental changes that allow you to grow into a sugar-free version of yourself.
What might happen?
Here’s the experience of fellow travelers who have already stepped onto this path—
“I really doubted I could go even a day without chocolate candy and then a few cookies followed by ice cream. The slow and gentle start really helped me to open my thinking to possibilities. The combination of different ways to see and learn about sugar and its impact on my life made it easier for me to slowly change. I did not go through the project with a goal of losing any weight, though I have lost about 10 pounds.”
“I’m not doing sugar any more. I can resist this stuff. Really. I can look those pieces of sugar fudge in the eye and just say, “Hey fellas…hope you find some takers, but it won't be me!”
“My awareness and attention about my food has changed. I don’t eat sugary treats, except for occasional ice cream. I have learned new foods to eat and new ways to appreciate what and how I eat them. I no longer am locked into the cycle of craving sweets.”
Who this is not for:
- This journey is not for those looking for an instant fix
- It is not for you if you are not willing to put in 15-20 minutes a day of guided inquiry
- If you think that results can come without making some changes in outlook and habit, then you should definitely pass on this
- If you think that only big dramatic changes can get you the results you want
- Those looking for a list or menu plan of low sugar recipes. Uncle Google can introduce you to a lifetime’s worth of recipes, no point in re-inventing that wheel
Here we are more concerned with your approach to eating, rather than what you eat
How will I know the juice will be worth the squeeze; that this 45-day journey will be worth my time?
Truthfully, there is no way to know at the beginning what the end will look or feel like. You can't know and I can't know in advance what insights or experiences will generate the pivotal moment that gently changes everything. Surprises and unexpected understanding cannot be demanded, but they can be invited. And you'll have 45 days of “invitations.”
Once you begin the journey, you will receive a daily email that could be informational, a mindfulness practice, a writing assignment, perspective to consider, or something just plain fun. You are busy, we all are; so these emails ask only for 15-20 minutes of your time each day. You can spend more time if you like, but please don’t spend less.
Remember, resistance will show up in this process and try to convince you that you don’t have 20 minutes. Resistance is, as usual, a liar.
What this takes on your part:
- Willingness to sit through the moments of discomfort that arise and fall away as you live into a different version of yourself
- Commitment to yourself to read each of the emails and set aside 15-20 minutes to engage the material for the day
- The recognition that your cravings for sugar can change, and this in turn may impact your relationship with others
- An open mind. It is easy to dismiss information when it suggests that something we like could be detrimental to our health and wellbeing
- Some kindness, mostly towards yourself, but also toward those who, with the best of intentions, will try to dissuade you from your path
We all know the health, emotional and energy issues that sugar brings about. We don't need to waste time with that here. If rational understanding and logic were effective forces for change you wouldn't be reading this. In this journey we will be relying on much more potent forces for change. And the key to these is gentle, relentless, mindful returning to the ever-present changing moment and reorienting ourselves to what we really want in our lives.
Too often we take failure as a personality flaw, or comment about who, in essence, we are. We could not be further from the truth. Failure is simply information and an opportunity to recalibrate, learn something new, or have a good hearty laugh at how our minds can so easily lead us astray. This journey will give you the opportunity to be both more gentle and accountable to yourself.
What if I find out this process is not for me?
We all have set out on a path with the best of intentions, only to discover that it honestly was not for us. If, after two weeks, you decide that the Journey Beyond Sugar is not for you, then let me know and a refund will be arranged. That being said, do yourself a favor and sign up with intention of applying yourself to the process. Change never happens if you are just a spectator in your life.
More from fellow travelers on the Journey Beyond Sugar
“I actually give up a LOT of sugar. I have tried many times before…but instead of an all-or-nothing, almost failure guaranteed, this journey was a positive, and supportive experience. I was an adult making choices for myself instead of (acting like) a child being punished.”
“Small incremental changes don't set off my resistance.”
“I was surprised that the change seemed to improve my sleep quality – I wasn't expecting that.”