I jumped over a massive, puissance wall yesterday. Several times, actually! So proud of myself! I’m not sure how high they both really were, but you know how it goes with jumps … sometimes they just seem high.
No problem. Leveraging my identity as an equestrian, I stayed focused and jumped right over that obstacle. Mid-air over that jump, I turned my head to the right to look where I wanted to go next, and then I landed exactly where I wanted to. Awesome! I absolutely nailed it! I landed right up at the customer service desk.
Wait, what? No, I was not in an equestrian show ring. I was at the grocery store! And then I went to a drug store. Same scenario. Similar walls! Walls of candy for the Easter holiday!
Watch out everyone! Everywhere I went yesterday, grocery stores and drug stores, sugar ALL OVER THE PLACE!! (Why is Whole Foods considered a health food store with all the sugar, candy and pastries?)
Yup, it’s another holiday of bowing down to, worshipping, and tithing our hard earned money to the sugar Gods (candy manufacturers)! The stores, and even your family, friends, and employers and co-workers will again put on their “drug pushing” hats and, with their well-meaning efforts, they will not only buy you tons of candy, they will make you feel bad if you don’t graciously accept their homemade “gifts.” (None of us want to look a gift horse in the mouth, right?)
For those of us who have quit sugar due to its extremely toxic and addictive qualities, shopping in stores by avoiding the sugar and packaged product aisles won’t work.
Even if we study the “course” before walking around the stores, taking note of when to look only left and then only right, still we go in “the ring” and, inevitably, as we try to finish the course as fast as we can, we have some “faults.” But during the sugar holidays? We can’t even get past the ingate; the evil sugar stands guard to grab us and hold us hostage right at the front doors!!
Back at the customer service desk at the grocery store, I asked if they had set up a shop and delivery service online like I saw Walmart just did, and yes … Publix just did last month.
Perfect! I am staying out of grocery stores by shopping online and I will only use the drive-in for the pharmacy until this holiday passes. The alternative is to order from the many fresh meal delivery companies that are popping up all over the country. It also saves a ton of time AND it gets rid of impulse buying. I am taking back the reins!! No victim here!
Sound extreme? I call it extreme ownership. Relentless. And it took me a long time to train myself how to master that mindset with sugar. What motivated me to even want to jump over that wall of quitting sugar? A bad fall!
I was in the warm-up ring during the Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida and as I was mid-air over a jump, I saw another rider coming right towards my landing spot. I tried turning in the air and we crash landed. I thought I had broken my neck. I was worried that I would never walk again. And then I remembered that I was four months pregnant!
I am hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and not eating puts me at risk for passing out and even dying. And while I can make a point to try to remember to eat correctly every 3 hours (no sugar!), the truth is, everyone’s blood sugar is affected by stress and physical activity (not to mention carrying another mouth to feed); so it is hard for any of us to keep vigilant while competing all day long!
But that particular morning, not yet fully recovered from anorexia, I will admit that I did not eat anything that morning before I went to ride.
But I am not alone with the issues of not eating in the mornings or being an athlete that experienced a period of anorexia. I’m also not the only one to ride horses without knowing that I had the life-threatening condition of hypoglycemia. And then there are the millions of people who are diabetic, and millions more who will become one or the other if they can’t control their addictions to this powerful drug.
Eating sugar and then having your blood sugar unstable as it slowly descends into low levels is an extremely unsafe way to ride horses FOR ANYONE, much less to go through life! How well can you focus when you’re in a brain fog? Are you really at your best physically and mentally?
Sidebar: If you run an equestrian facility, in addition to “no smoking allowed,” there should also be the rule that no sugar is allowed!
This is where emotional strength and knowing what mind games and strategies work best for you (as compared to what would work best for someone else) come in handy.
But what doesn’t work for most people who are addicted to sugar or simple carbs is this thought; “Oh, it’s the holidays. Just this one piece of jelly bean, one bite of chocolate Easter egg or slice of carrot cake, won’t hurt.”
Really? Is that true? And then how long will this relapse back into sugar addiction last this time? Days, weeks, months, years?
How many pounds will be gained by the time you are finally able to rein in that runaway horse, stop it, and then turn it around back to its original direction?
And even worse, what if you have an accident riding because you had been careless about what you ate
or not eating at all?
If you are a serious athlete, or if you would like to become one, performing at your peak and having a CONSISTENT, positive, champion attitude, comes from a healthy lifestyle outside of the ring. And sugar plays games with that mindset.
It even affects your hormones and your emotions. It’s biochemical!! The food companies have done the science. They know exactly what to add to your foods and drinks to make them as addicting as possible
Sugar causes inflammation in your body, which causes all kind of problems including pain, increased cholesterol, and allergies from a now depressed immune system! It’s a long list that is getting longer and is even being linked to cancer now.
Listen, there is nothing good about sugar except how it feels for the few seconds we eat it or maybe an hour or two after (while we enjoy numbing our feelings and the brain fog). But then we are back on the roller coaster of being out of control and slowly destroying our health.
What if we can get the same high without all that? What if there are other things we can do to change the biochemistry of our brains and our bodies?
Want to consistently be in control of your ability to perform at your personal best? Want to stay in shape physically and emotionally? How much more confidence will you have when you ride (not to mention in your everyday life) knowing that you have the mental strength to totally control your eating habits? Show up at the ring confident and strong! A woman or man who is in full control of their decisions, their success, and their lifestyle.
If your goal is to be one the elite equestrian athletes, then your lifestyle is the same as the lifestyle of the champions. That means you MUST have a training routine for both your physical and your mental fitness. Emotional strength and the right strategies for YOU are the elements that will give you the confidence (and the stable blood sugar/consistent energy) and the competitive edge.
Make a decision to start cutting down on sugar and high glycemic foods with a goal to replace them altogether with healthy power foods. Make sure you have a consistent level of energy so you can focus and perform at your best even during long days of showing. Anyone can do anything by taking small steps.
We have to reframe the way we look at food and see it for what it is; a chemical process. That’s it. If you suspect you are using food to dull your feelings or to change your emotions, there is a healthier way to do that; a permanent solution that works without running to dangerous drugs. Things you can learn and apply without picking up anything and going anywhere!!
Step one is getting rid of the body’s physical addiction to sugar and this process is different for each person depending upon their current biochemistry. But we change that with the “sugar busting” foods and supplements that are appropriate for each individual.
Step 2 is to educate people on how to retrain the brain to prevent emotional eating; learning how to build mental strength and to consistently take action on utilizing the best strategies for handling addictions and changing bad habits for each individual.
This is a unique system of neuro-associative programming combined with my own 30 years of exhaustive research, results for others, and my own transformation.
What works and what doesn’t work for you and your current lifestyle? That’s what I specialize in; discovering what drives you and what is keeping you stuck. Think you’ve tried everything? Contact me to schedule a chat. Giving up and settling for less than you can be is never an option!! Believe that you can believe. Start with faith, make a decision, and take it one stride at a time!
It’s not over until it’s over!! And the only way out of any adversity or challenge is just going right through it! Or jumping over it!
Wherever you are now, you will look back and be amazed at how far you have come. You won’t even recognize that person you used to be.
Life on the other side of “give up” or settling for mediocrity is awesome!! It is just a decision. Choose awesome!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nancy Dye is an equestrian breakthrough mindset coach and resilience trainer helping people to transform the quality of their lifestyles.
Nancy is certified as a strategic interventionist from the official coach training program of Tony Robbins and has over 30 years as a change agent; shifting people into peak performance.
Nancy specializes in solving the puzzle of why people are not performing at their best and customizing the right strategy for “jumping over” adversity. She handles all areas of a rider’s lifestyle to include relationships, career, addictions, weight loss, health and transitioning through life stages.
With a past career in corporate sales and as a luxury lifestyle Realtor, Nancy has been coached by some the top sales trainers in the corporate world, as well as by some of the most elite coaches in the world of sports. Nancy redesigns the inner lives of athletes, executives, entrepreneurs, and elite military and veterans.
Nancy is married to Jack Miles, a former Olympian gymnast who is inducted into four athletic Hall of Fames. For one-on-one coaching or information on her workshops or riding clinics, Nancy can be reached at NancyDyeResults@gmail.com.