I have had a very long and complicated relationship with sugar. I can’t pinpoint exactly where it started, but even as a kid I would spend my lunch money at the corner store on the way to school and spend the day living off of five cent candies. As an adult it became worse. I would binge most nights on candy, popsicles and chips. Enough to last most people weeks!! I knew I was putting myself at risk, but I didn’t want to stop. I love candy. Anything sweet.
I’ve tried to kick it a few times in the past, giving it up and replacing it with fruit and berries. Sometimes it would work for awhile, but I always ended up back binge eating candy within a few weeks.
At 29, I’ve started to really put work into my health. I’m tired of being tired, anxious and worried. I’m tired of wondering what all my symptoms might mean, or why my skin gets so bad. I’m nearing the second month of truly doing the right things for my body and kicking sugar is one of them. Surprisingly, this time it’s working!
Here’s something I did differently this time. I didn’t replace sugar with anything. I didn’t have fruit instead or try to trick my body into detoxing. Instead I focused on what the cravings meant. An article explained that sugar cravings could actually mean protein cravings, so I tried to fill my dinners with beans and quinoa to counteract the late candy hankering. I focused on getting enough water every single day, and eating enough veggies. Pretty soon I realized I’d gone a week without sugar and I hadn’t struggled as much as usual!
Inspired, I started getting rid of it in my day to day life as well, not just at night. I stopped putting sugar in my coffee (which was hard, but after a few cups I got used to it.) I stopped using artificial sweeteners completely!! Those things cause all kinds of other problems! I gave up juice and sweet drinks.
Almost two months, and yesterday for the first time I had half a cookie sandwich a client had brought into the office. I was physically ill afterwards.
Have I officially kicked the sugar habit? Sometimes I still crave it, but I’ve become addicted to feeling good and sugar doesn’t make me feel good. The moment I started to feel irritable or tired, I looked at what I’m eating and the last time I exercised, and I can almost always figure out the reason why my mood has shifted. I used to grab for the sugar instead of really thinking about it, but I don’t want to anymore. I don’t want to fall back into those habits!! The last couple of days The other day I went for a run despite knowing I hadn’t eaten that well that day, and it sucked!! Every time I feel less then awesome, it’s because I’ve in some way ignored my health and fallen back on bad habits.
I’ve never wanted to be completely restrictive. If I want something, truly want something, I should just have it. Deprivation isn’t healthy if it goes against something you feel that strongly about. But I might bend that rule a little and say that sugar is not allowed, ever, not matter what. Natural sugar is fine, but anything added or processed… no way! There is simply nothing about it you could argue is in any way beneficial for you, and I’ve finally learned that it is one of the things making me feel like crap!
Goodbye sugar. You are officially the enemy and I have no interest in you.