The package arrived unexpectedly. The package that was full of all the foods that we normally don't let our children eat. But I smiled happily as I passed the contents around and my kids dived right in.
For the past few years, my husband and I have been slowly cleaning up our diets. For several months, we've been embracing the clean food movement. It helped that we started it in summer, at the peak of deliciousness as far as fresh food goes. The farmer's market is right down the street from our house, and twice a week we filled our canvas bags with all the fresh, locally grown, pesticide-free food that we could afford. Our meals were full of the flavor that only comes from eating food that was in the ground the day before. My husband was anxious about how this way of approaching food might affect our budget, but it was hard for him to argue when he was stuffing his mouth full of yummy food. He was very surprised by how much he truly enjoyed eating whole foods, rather than processed. The biggest shock for him, though, was the day he turned his back on one of his favorite foods.
He has the biggest sweet tooth of anyone I've ever met. He simply cannot turn down anything with sugar in it. And one of his favorites is peanut butter cups. There have been moments in our marriage when I wondered if he loved them more than he loved me. Seriously, there are times when I drive him nuts and he wants to have some space from me. (I know. It's shocking.) But his love for peanut butter cups was a love that could never be sated. If he ate one, he wanted two. If he ate two, he wanted four. He never once felt like he'd had enough. A couple months after we started eating clean, he was at the store and he saw it. The candy aisle. With peanut butter cups. He thought about how many healthy choices he had made recently, and decided he deserved a reward. And as you may know, I fully believe in the power of a good reward. In that moment, he did, too. So he bought them, and ate them in the car on the way home. Now, you may be expecting me to say that he found he didn't enjoy them anymore, and he was cured.
You would be wrong.
He did enjoy them. They were just as good as he remembered. But when he was done eating them, he was fine with it. He didn't want more. He'd had his treat, and it was great, but the urge to inhale a mountain's worth of peanut butter and chocolate was nowhere to be found. Somehow, without even noticing it, he had overcome his addiction to sugar, and it no longer held such power over him. But he didn't even know it had happened until he fell off the wagon. Now that he has had that experience, I haven't seen him eat another one, nor have I found any telltale wrappers lying around. He knows he can have one anytime he wants, but he longer craves them.
So when the box of processed, sugary foods arrived from the grandparents, who live a couple states over and honestly didn't know about our new diet, I handed over the treats to my kids and husband, who ate their fill and enjoyed it. But when the goodies were gone, we were fine with it.
I am so glad you are here! Welcome to my blog. This is your space, too. My name is Amy, and I am no stranger to the ups and downs of life. Join me as we search for beauty, authenticity, tell our truth, and hold space for each other in the messiness of life.