Going Off Sugar

Almost exactly two years ago, I made the split decision to go off sugar with my sister for a week.  Or was it two weeks?  Either way, I decided to continue until my son’s birthday and had dessert just that day.  Then my second son asked me to go sugar free the whole month of October with him.  He went trick or treating, but didn’t eat the candy until November 1st.  I was proud to say that I didn’t eat a single morsel of candy and then I continued until Thanksgiving.  I think I really overdid it that day.

My in-laws were having a weight loss challenge somewhere into my sugar-free spree, so I was even more determined to keep going.  I made a choice between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.  Considering my last weigh-in would be on New Year’s Eve day, I decided to skip treats on Christmas.  My husband didn’t know what the heck to put in my stocking or give me for Valentine’s Day.

I splurged on New Year’s Eve and continued until my birthday, then until my husband’s birthday, all the way until the time I became pregnant the following February. I had lost 50 pounds by then.  Because my eating habits took so much focus and I didn’t have much of an appetite, I was still pretty good, but would enjoy a granola bar once in a while.  My third trimester was horrid, so ice cream made its way back in on a semi-regular basis.  After my car accident, things were even more difficult.  I couldn’t run to the store for quick trips anymore and then after my baby was born, I pretty much gave up for the time being.

I finally feel like I have it in me to go “sugar free” again.  It helps that I remember how much easier it got over time, although I’m still sleep deprived right now and that makes me crave sweets.  Right now I’d kind of like a bowl of ice cream, but I have my back-up – frozen banana shakes!  It’s just banana, milk, and cocoa powder.  Not sweetener added.  My kids love it!

Here are my personal rules:

  1.  No desserts made with sugar. This is the main thing.  And no doughnuts and that sort of thing.  Basically anything you want to eat because it’s so sugary.
  2.  I can eat as much fruit as a want until I adjust.
  3.  I can stuff myself silly with protein if I’m overly hungry.
  4.  I’m not going to nitpick over things like BBQ sauce that has sugar in it.
  5. When the hardest part is over, I will cut down on white carbs.  I’m not super strict on this.
  6. If I’m really struggling, I may make some hot chocolate from scratch, sweetened with honey. It’s actually pretty good!  This is something I would do once a week at the most on a cold night.

I made some interesting discoveries such as, I could have a giant plate of nachos (just tortilla chips with melted cheddar) with a heaping amount of guacamole and weigh 3 pounds lighter the next day.  It became my favorite evening snack, especially if I felt deprived while my family was eating dessert.

I definitely felt deprived at times, but I kept telling myself the sugar would always be there.  I could have it anytime I wanted to.  I was just choosing not to.  I asked myself what I was really missing out on by not having it.  How long does it take to eat dessert?  5 minutes?  Did I really want to negatively impact my health on a regular basis over 5 minutes of something tasting good?  This can be applied to many situations in life.

The hardest part was missing making special treats for other people and not eat any or lick my hand if any delicious chocolate got on my hand.  I love to surprise loved ones!  I always thought it was ridiculous that Sam on the show “Cheers” was an alcoholic, yet was a bartender.  That has to be the worst job an alcoholic could ever have.  If I were a pastry chef, I would have to quit.

Today was day one.  I had a bowl of cereal (the healthiest I had on hand) for breakfast because I didn’t have time to make eggs.  My baby has had an ear infection, so when she falls asleep, it gives me very little time to do anything. I’ve been snacking on almonds, apples, cheese, and am about to have some toast.  I should probably have an actual dinner, but I haven’t gotten around to it.  My family will be complaining soon about whole wheat pasta.  Sorry, but I’m not going to be making two dinners.  That’s another issue – trying to change eating habits against your family’s will.

See you later, sugar!

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