16 Nov Sugar-Free
“Hello my name is Kelly and I’m a Sugaroholic (this is where you would say Hi Kelly!) …It’s been 35 days since my last piece of candy or chocolate.”
That’s right!! 35 days ago I decided to go sugar-free, I set out to stick to it for 30 days. Still unbelievable and shocking to me, I DID IT!!!!
You are probably thinking what’s the big deal, you are a fitness fanatic and probably don’t indulge too much to begin with. I wish I could say that was true but as I confessed in my introductory blog, I have a very very big sweet tooth. While I am a very healthy eater, meals are planned out, balanced and portion controlled, I just can’t curb the cravings for that something sweet that hits several times a day. When it comes to sugary treats I really love it all, from gummy bears to lollipops, cookies to cupcakes there really isn’t anything sweet that I don’t like… oh ok, there is. I don’t like black licorice, yuck!
When you pick up any health magazine or skim over the latest websites, there is usually an article or two about the evils of sugar. Of all the foods consumed today, refined sugar is considered to be one of the most harmful. Refined sugar contains no fibre, no minerals, no proteins, no fats, no enzymes, only empty calories.
What happens when you eat a refined carbohydrate like sugar? Your body has to borrow key nutrients from healthy cells to metabolize the incomplete food.
Calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium are taken from various parts of the body to make use of the sugar. We all know sugar has many ill effects on our body, from tooth decay, to diabetes, obesity, decreased HDL, increased LDL, elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure, the list goes on. Add to that, many research articles claim that fructose feeds cancer cells in our bodies. I am constantly reading all these different sources of information and I started to wonder what my sugar consumption is doing to my body. Not my body shape but what is it doing to the inside of my body.
It started off a little rough, the first few days I was thinking about sugar constantly… what I could have, what I would be eating if I wasn’t doing this self imposed challenge. My husband said I wasn’t the most pleasant person to be around (he used different words but you can imagine, rhymes with “itchy”). By day four I was feeling somewhat better and positive about the whole thing. I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t feel any big burst of energy that I had read about but figured this would come. I was worried about the first weekend, when my regular routine was off but it went by without incident. Monday of week two I started with a headache, it was a dull headache that lasted for three days. This may or may not have had anything to do with the sugar withdrawal. It seemed that after the headache left I was at a turning point. I wasn’t feeling cravings anymore. I was feeling slightly more energized.
The second weekend came, I went to two parties with cake, BIRTHDAY CAKE and I politely declined without tearing up.
I started to feel like I was over the hump and I think I was. The next two weeks passed without incidence, suddenly I was at day 29.
I planned to do this challenge for 30 days and said to myself that after the thirty days are up if I feel like having a sweet here and there or at social events I will indulge. I won’t start buying chocolate chips to hide in pantry and sneak when nobody is looking and I most certainly won’t be bringing home any cookie dough that sadly almost never see the day that they turn into actual cookies (cookie dough is my all time favorite sweet bad treat). I am now 5 days past my goal and still sugar-free. Let me also add that on Halloween and my kids brought home enough candy to sink a ship and I didn’t thieve even one piece. It’s weird, it’s like it’s not really me. But hopefully it is just a new and improved healthier me. I’m don’t know if I haven’t had any because I’m afraid of feeling addicted to it again or if I just really don’t what to stop this 35 day run.
Either way for now I don’t feel deprived of anything which for me is really an incredible feat and I’m feeling so good.
There are many websites that give advice to try to be sugarless, google it for some tips and motivation. One site was called www.sugarstacks.com that shows you how many cubes of sugar is in different foods, sometimes to see a visual really puts it in perspective. A few things that helped me are: That I didn’t completely remove fruit. I limited myself to two pieces of fruit a day, I chose fruit high in fibre. I found that after my workout having a chocolate protein shake with 1/2 tbs of added cocoa really took care of my chocolate cravings without the sugar. The toughest times for me were in the evenings after dinner. I bought a variety of teas and tried to satisfy my cravings with that, worked out ok for me :).
I know I’ll be asked about weight loss, the purpose of this challenge wasn’t at all geared by weight loss. I haven’t weighed myself since week three, but at that point I was down 6 lbs, which is really remarkable considering I hadn’t changed anything
else but removed the refined sugar, I think that gives you a better idea as to how much sugar I was consuming.
Whether I continue this or not, I am thrilled and still surprised that I had the will power to do it. It feels good to have a bit of power over the cravings 🙂