Intentional Living – The Sugar Free Experiment
It’s no secret that I love sugar in all it’s forms. I have posted many times about my long term and tempestuous relationship with cookies.
Sugar is my substitute and silent best friend. It is the first thing I turn to when times get rough, tough, somewhat frustrating and ‘hmm, I’m tired’. Let’s face it, any time has been a good time for sugar in my life. The thought of living a life without sugar in the past has filled me with a sense of horror close to the feeling of losing your favourite stuffed animal as a child.
But no more. A combination of things has led me to question whether or not my relationship with sugar is as rosy as I think it is. Let’s face it, many of my blog posts have dealt with the subjects of willpower, motivation and my inevitable and repeated decline to couch bound cookie eating.
So we come back to sugar. I’m not going to go into the details around the effects of sugar here but a few key things have made me progressively change my thoughts over the last few months about my future with or without sugar.
- Watching family members develop and suffer from diabetes
- Judy Stanislaw’s TED Talk on what sugar is doing to my helpless little Beta cells.
- Mike Collins from SugarAddiction.com – on why we just can’t quit the white stuff
- That Sugar Film, starring Damon Gameau. I’m not entirely sure about the accuracy of his personal experiment but the bit about fat cells gathering in your liver was a real wake up call.
What really got me was how easy it is to get addicted to sugar and that in lab experiments rats would rather have sugar than cocaine (ref- That Sugar Film). Which led me to the realisation that I’m addicted to sugar. Not consciously, but undeniably. Now as a person, I’m pretty independent and I don’t take kindly to being controlled ‘by the man’. So you can imagine I take a dim view of being controlled by a deliciously sweet and comforting devil in disguise. Sugar would have to go.
So 18 days ago I gave up refined and added sugar completely, cold turkey and with great determination and commitment. Inspired by Angela Duckworth’s ‘Grit’, I have nominated my ‘Hard Thing’ and it will take deliberate practice to follow through on this commitment in the long term.
So for me that means, no cookies, no sweets, no cake, no sweet drinks, no artificial sweeteners, no sugary sauces or dressings. Right now, I’m even avoiding fruit to prevent the dreaded ‘sugar cravings’ and boy are there cravings!
I don’t know how long I will be able to do this for. Right now, I have no intention of going back and I’d really love to be able to make a post a year from now entitled “I gave up sugar for a year.” But right now it’s one day at a time.
In my future is my birthday (without cake?) and Christmas (without Christmas Cake and chocolates and pavlova?). I am determined not to crumble, even if it’s apple.