I wrote down some thoughts in real time during the first week of “less sugar October.”
Day 1 //
This was a travel day, a pretty long one. I chose plain coffee at the airport, with some Splenda, instead of my normal airport caramel latte. I had a delicious salad for lunch and sushi for dinner. I fell asleep on the couch at 6:30 PM, so it didn’t leave much time to pine away for dessert.
Day 2 //
Back to a somewhat normal routine today. I switched out my sugar for Stevia in my coffee. It did not taste nearly as fantastic, but I remembered that it takes time for my taste buds to make a switch like this, so I figured it would just take a few days.
I noticed something today (that’s probably a coincidence, but still interesting). My mind felt clearer. I’ve been having a lot of trouble focusing and processing things, off and on for at least a few months. Specifically work-related topics, things I didn’t automatically understand. At lunch today with a coworker, I felt really focused and sharp. It was interesting, even if it could be from anything.
My mama invited us over for homemade beef stew. I hadn’t had it in something like six years, and it was great. I decided to have some ketchup, because that’s how I used to eat it. Not a choice I plan to stick with, and it’s probably not great to start the challenge by making exceptions. But I decided it was worth it on Day 2, and at least I didn’t have any sweets.
Day 3 //
The Stevia coffee tasted pretty good today. Though, like I mentioned, the weekday coffee maker broke, so I made french press. That might have helped, too.
Something interesting about the mental aspects of this. Having a “challenge” that I’m working on gives me a reason to say no when junk food is offered. I obviously want the chocolate cake in the office. And I have forgotten how to say no when something sounds delicious. Except today, I was on Day 3 of my official “less sugar October” challenge. I haven’t told anyone at work. But still, when the cake was offered, I simply said no thank you. I didn’t hesitate, I didn’t second guess myself. I have a “reason,” so I feel completely in control of saying no.
Day 4 //
Sugar is everywhere. And saying no to it is really hard.
I had lunch at a baby shower today, where the food was ok. And while I was eating my “just ok” salmon, I automatically started thinking about the delicious sweets I would have once the meal was over. Except it’s October and I can’t believe I’m doing this to myself. I have no idea how to get through subpar food without a sugary reward.
Seriously? I wasn’t even sure what to do with that when I realized. So I went to the bar and got a dry red wine, handed my piece of cake to my mom, and got rid of my fork. It’s also interesting to me how the people that love me aren’t necessarily contributing to this challenge. I heard from two different people that I could have “just a bite.” I love them for loving me and wanting me to enjoy myself, but that is not the challenge I just launched myself into.
Later that night, I had a dream I accidentally had vanilla ice cream, realized and was horrified, and then gave in and had another spoonful. I woke up relieved I hadn’t caved so quickly.This is what my life is turning into.
Day 5 //
We went down the shore and walked around on the boardwalk today. We got pizza. It was tough reminding myself (over and over) that I wasn’t going to get Laura’s Fudge or Johnson’s Caramel Popcorn. But I did it!
I made sugar-free pudding. I don’t want to get too hooked on fake sugar sweets, but I needed something. I miss dessert! I definitely don’t think it’s healthier than regular sugar sweets, but it was an amazing option to give myself when my resolve was wavering. I’d like to look into some fruit-sweetened desserts sometime.
Day 6 //
I didn’t have any epiphanies on day 6. I miss sugar. I want dessert. I have not seen the scale move yet this week, I guess because I’ve still been having non-sugar indulgences.
I wanted to cave, but I didn’t. I guess that’s something. In recent history, I’ve always caved.
Day 7 //
At this point, I’m finding myself wanting to reconsider. I haven’t seen any positive differences, and it’s hard. I miss delicious sugary things. I want cake. And donuts. Ice cream. Pies. Even sugary cereals and sweetened greek yogurt.
But I’m not going to cave. For now. I know I feel strongly that sugar isn’t great for our bodies, and especially the amount that I was consuming. But even without big differences yet, this has been really important for me so far. I am not embellishing when I said that I sort of forgot how to say no to indulgences. It’s a big problem that’s contributed to me getting unhealthy again in a big way. Seeing something through like this, even when it’s really just one big decision, and I’m not being 100% strict with it, is showing me that it’s (obviously) still possible.
Maybe it will have some positive lasting benefits.
So hello, week two!