In 2018-2019 I decided to take on a challenge to not shop for clothing for an entire year. I had recently taken on a higher payment for my student loans, needed to find a little money through the year and it was an interesting experiment to see how I would adjust.
When the year came to a conclusion I decided I would take on something more serious. Something I don’t have a good relationship and rules my life.
This beast has controlled me much of my life. I have a relationship with sugar that once I start I don’t stop. Until, tomorrow … maybe. Once I have some in my body my entire mind stirs out of control and I am in the “I have already fucked this day, my as well just eat what I want and start over tomorrow,” mindset.
No matter how “healthy” I am I have had a corrupt relationship with sugar and all of the decadent treats that it fills.
- Handfuls of office candy.
- An entire sheet of brownies.
- 1/2 gallons of ice cream. Or two pints because sometimes you cant decide between the 2 Ben and Jerry flavors.
- Eaten only sugar treats for an entire day.
- Hiding the pure quantities of candy in 1 day.
- Lied to people after eating something we were supposed to share.
- Cake. All of it. Often.
- More than 3 donuts followed by ice cream.
- If it comes in a box, bag or sheet, that is the serving size.
- Entire bag of dove chocolates throughout a day.
- Put back the single serving bag of M&M’s and got the big bag on a road trip.
- Carmel corn, why is this so deliciously snackable?
- COOKIES. They come in 1 size. All of them. There are a lot of ways to eat an Oreo and you have a lot of chances to perfect the system.
- I have given food to homeless people just so I won’t eat any more.
- If I was sick, sometimes I’d just eat sugar because I already feel horrible, my as well add to it.
- There are others… that I just can’t think of.
I wanted to know what was possible for me on the other side of this “psychological” control. So, from Thanksgiving 2019 to Thanksgiving 2020 I am following the following “rules.”
1 Year of No Sugar:
- Fruit is fabulous!
- No sugar (or other names for it) in the first 5 ingredients of foods.
- It is okay to cook with honey, agave, etc.
- Syrup on pancakes is okay 1 time per week.
- Preworkout is allowed 1x per day
- Limit artificial sweeteners and sugar drinks to mixers when out with friends or at an event.
THOUGHTS AFTER THE FIRST 60 DAYS:
Unfortunately the cravings are still there. I anticipate at this point that they always will because it is my trigger food. When I am stressed, tired, or hungry sugar is what I want. Every time I go to the grocery story my mouth waters thinking about all the things I want to buy. Over all it is kind of easy though. I have the conviction to just say no and it has been a good test for myself to know that it is possible to live like this.
My skin is clearer and I have less stomach aches (probaly because I am not bingeing on bags of candies). I likely have saved a lot of money, just have not calculated it quite yet.
I have not lost a tremendous amount of weight because I track macros and I used to just work the sugar into my program.
I was already spending a lot of time in the grocery store looking at ingredient lists because of my other health restrictions and yet I am still surprised to see sugar in everything. Tomato sauce? Just why?
What I wasn’t expecting:
I’m more vulnerable. I’m more aware. I’m taking bigger risks. I’m seeing how my actions affect others. I’m working on me and healing this hole in my heart that can’t just be fixed by eating.
AFTER 100+ DAYS
Some of the things I have learned after 100+ days of “no sugar”.
Hi, I am Raschel and I am a sugar adict.
I didn’t know how bad it was until it was not there. I had no idea the amount of time and mental space that was/is taken up by thinking about sugar, eating and then not being able to control it.
I did not make it an entire year and yet this entire thing an experiment to see who I become after a year of observing my relationship with this “drug”. In the first week of the Corona-virus lock down, I sat in my car and consumed a large bag of caramel corn. This began he spiral. This same day I also consumed a bag of sweet potato chips. I didn’t do too bad the remainder of the day with food but my mental state was way off. I was craving, searching and in a spiral of the sugar. To say the least nothing has changed even after all this time without my drug of choice. It took me a solid 4-5 days to finally swing out of that low.
The book Bright Line Eating was recommended to me by my coach and this book brought an entirely new vocabulary to the experiences I have when I consume sugar and the hours/ and days afterwards.
Something interesting I have experienced being without sugar is for the first time in my life I feel like I could get down to a goal weight and stay there vs. the constant swings I have “dealt” with most of my life. That freedom even if its just in my mind is worth continuing this experiment.