For the better part of 6 weeks (with some setbacks and exceptions) I held strong and avoided eating processed sugar. It was a roller coaster ride for me. Some days it was insanely easy to avoid the temptations. Other days, not so much. The cravings were so strong that I would have to leave the kitchen and remove myself from anything sugary. I felt SO good when I wasn't eating it. One day when I caved and ate a cupcake at Will's class party, I felt sick to my stomach and then wanted another one and ate it despite feeling like I was going to gag. WHAT is up with that?!?
I'll tell you what's up with that: Sugar. Is. EVIL.
The stuff is so addictive. I know it's bad for me. It makes me feel sick and sleepy and bloated. Yet I go back for more and more. The more I eat it, the more my body craves it. The worse I feel about myself.
Still, for the most part of 6 whole weeks I resisted eating it. I've lost 10 pounds since the end of May. I feel strong and healthy and my clothes fit me again. I'm grateful for all of this, but still I'm irritated by the feeling of not having control over cravings for sugar and I can't get it off my mind. Yesterday I made a homemade sugary vegan cake for my daughter's 6th birthday. I turned off whatever part of my brain decides what to put into my mouth and I ate so much sugar while making the cake (testing batter, testing icing) and then ate a giant piece after dinner last night. I told myself WHO CARES!? It is Abby's birthday! You can go back to eating well again tomorrow. I think that was the right thing to tell myself and I have no problem with that AT ALL. The problem I have is that TODAY I have already eaten a huge piece of the leftover birthday cake. I have to get rid of that thing.
The 6 weeks of (mostly) not eating sugar taught me a few things:
- If I have processed sugary stuff (cookies, cupcakes, brownies, etc) around my house I will eat them. And If I eat even just one bite, that will quickly turn into massive amounts of consumption basically until whatever sugary item it is I am eating is gone.
- Any time I want to lose a few pounds, I should stop eating processed sugar.
- Whoever said that fruits and veggies are "nature's candy" is right - as long as you are not eating the junky stuff. Fresh fruits and veggies taste INCREDIBLY yummy and sweet and flavorful when you are not eating processed foods. I think processed foods make our taste buds stupid.
- Your body will perform with the same quality as the foods you put in it. If you eat junk, your body will perform slow and sluggishly. If you eat natural whole foods grown in the earth your body will feel ALIVE!
- It is not just the body that will perform better from said foods, but the mind as well. You will think more clearly and feel less stressed out when you eat right.
Even though my experiment with avoiding sugar has come to an end, all of these lessons have made me realize that limiting sugar is going to take a conscious effort on my part, but there is no question that it will be worth it.