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Mourning the Loss of Summer but Needing to Fall into a New Pattern

To say I love summer would be a massive understatement. I spend Fall, Winter, and Spring counting down to Summer and Summer trying to dig my heels in and stop time from passing. I like to say I have two personalities, summer and not summer. A good dose of sunshine can cure just about anything that ails me. I love the beach, grilling, sitting on the deck, running in hot weather and driving with the windows down. At the same time, I dread every flake of snow and that cold wind the pierces straight through even the heaviest winter coat.

There have been a handful of years where the summer just went totally off the rails and I threw my hands up and said okay Fall, just bring it on, I’ll try again next year. Well, I’m quickly realizing this was one of those summers. As you may have noticed by my lack of posts, I’ve been on a brief hiatus. BUT, it was an important one. Although unintended, the last few weeks have completely shaken up my world and left me trying to get my feet back on the ground. During the freefall I’ve gotten a dose of refocus.

So, as summer comes to an unfortunate close, I’m a little bit sad but I’m also looking forward to a new season. I want to see each of these final summer days through to the fullest but at the same time, the leaves are going to change before I know it and we’ll all be inundated with pumpkin everything. I’m not going to magically start liking pumpkin or cold weather but this year unlike others, I see the merits in hitting the reset button, returning to something resembling a regular schedule. Starting in two weeks, I have a rather robust fall running schedule with a 5k and a few half marathons. The plan was for this summer to be all about upping my running game and doing really well this fall, well here we are staring down the end of August and I surely haven’t taken 30 minutes off my half marathon time this summer. I am completely okay with that. I’ll do my best, run my hardest, and keep up with my strength training.

But that’s not all. My eating habits are getting a major reset as well. I’ve always tried to keep the sugar intake much lower than Myfitnesspal recommends in attempt to mitigate the family history of diabetes I come from, but still ate some added sugar. I’ve been thinking about the evils of sugar since late winter and considering cutting added sugar from my life completely. See sugar is an odd beast. The body does not need sugar. None of it, not a single grain. The body needs certain amounts of most other categories, protein, fat, carbs, even certain amounts of salt serves a purpose but added sugar does nothing in our bodies that is positive. Fruits – yes. Added sugar – no redeeming quality. My label reading was finally coming to a place where I could grocery shop in a reasonable amount of time because I had my set items that I knew to buy. But this summer I learned added sugar no longer has a place in my house and very little place in my life. Countless items that fit into my daily macros (calories, fat, carbohydrates, sodium, etc.) aren’t part of my normal shopping trips anymore because they have sugar as an ingredient. I’ll likely never eliminate every bit of sugar but I am a firm believe that the home needs to be a safe zone. By keeping my house free of added sugars, I’ll be able to keep a largely sugar free diet. There are a few items with unexpected sugar in my kitchen as I type that I’m going to finish but won’t be buying again. There are also a few items that are going to meet with destruction. (Look for a video coming!) As I hit the reset button moving into fall, I’ll be reworking my recipe box to eliminate sugar from my recipes, removing items with sugar or any form of sugar as an ingredient from my store list and seeing a nutritionist to help cement my plan to avoid diabetes.

Some seasons don’t turn out the way you planned or intended but it does not have to mean the entire season was a waste. There’s almost always some redeeming quality. I haven’t changed direction, I’ve just becomes much more certain I’m heading in the right direction. So, go ahead autumn, bring it on!

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