Goodbye Sugar

Goodbye Sugar

I think I might be slightly crazy, but I’ve decided that today – March 1st – is the day I will give up sugar.

Apart from the inherent health benefits of reducing my intake of the delicious white stuff, I’m doing this because I want to exert control over my body, overrule desire with willpower, prove to myself I have an inner fortitude and strength – a lesson in self-discipline if you will.

That said, I’m sure I’ll need some support, so I’m making this public so that I’m accountable.

To understand how monumental this is for me, I need to come clean as to how much sugar I knowingly consume:

  • I have frequently arrived at the supermarket checkout only to realise that my shopping basket contained nothing but sugar repackaged and reconstituted in various shapes & forms from cookies to ice cream to doughnuts (oh doughnuts!! Bugger! I hadn’t even thought till this very moment that they’d be part of what I’d be giving up!)
  • I have cavalierly referred to sugar as my friend in the past.
  • It’s been a comfort food, picking me up in down times (until my blood sugar plummets following the initial high – and I either have some more, or have a sugar coma-induced nap).
  • I’ve celebrated with it in good times; an accomplishment easily translated to a celebratory slice of cake or chocolate bar.
  • I’ve used it as a meal supplement. Sadly, yes, a sweet thing satisfies and makes it easy to skip past a meal.
  • Or, like many, I’ve used it as a reward for a meal consumed. I’m not alone in my thinking that based on childhood lessons, the only reason to finish your meal is so that you can get to dessert.
  • I’ve used it as an energy boost, guzzled in various flavoured sportdrinks and sodas.
  • I’ve used it to kickstart my day, carelessly stirring in loaded teaspoon after teaspoon into a morning tea or worse yet, supplementing an already sweet hot chocolate.
  • Speaking of chocolate, this more than any other coated-sugar, has been responsible for my mass consumption. I’m already pining for my favourite candy – M&M’s (when will they ask me to be their spokesperson?!) – having symbolically eaten my last stash last night.

I’m allowing myself some leniency. I will limit myself to the recommended daily intake of 40 grams of sugar — if only to force myself to read the labels of sport drinks and other things that I consume unknowingly packed with sugar.

I’ve heard rumour of sugar-free people talking about how they don’t miss it, how the palette readjusts so that a return to sugar becomes sickly sweet, and how they have more energy as result (without stressing the body with all the highs and lows sugar can induce).

Goodbye sugar. It’s been nice knowing you. We’ve had an loving relationship, but I’ve become a bit too co-dependent and I need to re-exert control.

Wish me luck.

Have you had something you’ve successfully given up? Do you have any advice for me?

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6 comments

  1. As my wife’s Chinese herbalist said years ago, “the more you eat sweet things, the more you want sweet things.” having said that, the occasional stick of sugar free gum might help!

  2. Congratulations on this new endeavor! Best to ensure a balanced diet at every meal which will reduce sugar cravings. Reward yourself with a non-food related experience. I might even try something myself in the near future (probably around 2014)

  3. Day Two and so far so good. I like the idea of rewarding myself with a non-food related experience!

  4. Bon voyage on your sugarless adventure Michael. You will be a pioneer. Do you think this same concept would work for me and french fries?

  5. OMG – I gave up sugar mid Feb – as I just Knew it was taking too big a part of my “pick me up – and energise me” routine. I found it tough especially straight espresso …and no more sprites/italina soft drinks etc …….but have plateaued. Keen to see how you go – whether I will invite the white stuff back into my life – albeit in a far smaller role ? n xx

  6. Thanks for sharing your 40g with me at that horrible movie. Are you still controling that urge?

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