I am sat writing this half way through day 16 of eating absolutely no processed sugar whatsoever. By that I mean eating no products that list sugar as an ingredient, and only eating the natural sugars found in fruit and vegetables. I decided to write this post as the reaction to this blog post was unbelievable, and a lot of you left me comments asking about how I ditched the sugar and expressed that you too struggle with sugar in a way that I used to.
Lets start with a bit of background information: I was a fully fledged sugar addict. I didn't just eat sugar because I liked the taste or needed the energy (although both these were components), I ate sugar because my body and mind needed it. They could no exist without it and all I thought about was when I would get my next fix. I stopped eating meals all together, I would roll out of bed with a migraine which refused to subside until I had eaten my 'breakfast' of chocolate. Sugar was my coping mechanism, when life got too much when work got too stressful and when I was feeling down sugar was the only thing that got me through. It was a reward and a punishment, it made me feel instantly better but ultimately ten times worse and the only thing that could get me back out of that hole was sugar. I was stuck in a viscous cycle which I was too scared to break. I was in denial of how much I depended on sugar and convinced myself that my anxiety would spiral back out of control without my sugar-fix self prescribed medication. Sugar was ruining my life. My progress in the gym was stifled because of sugar, my insomnia was getting worse because of sugar and no doubt my insides were absolutely crying out for nourishment all because of sugar.
When you are so dependent on something you can not just cut down. When something controls your life the only way to rid yourself of it and gain back that control is by completely cutting it out. So I woke up 16 days ago and decided that enough was enough, I was sick and tired of my self worth being dictated by my minds inability to function without its drug and decided to ditch the sugar all together.
I would be lying if I said it was easy, and if it is something you are seriously considering doing then you need to be prepared for the horrible few days that follow. The first three days were a hell worse that I imagined- I woke up shaking in a pool of sweat, I had a constant migraine, I had horrendous stomach cramps which prevented me from even standing up a large majority of the time and I could not sleep at all. All this was made worse by the fact there was a full bag of mini eggs sitting in the fridge staring at me every time I went to get something to eat. But my willpower was stronger and I stuck to it, knowing it would get worse before it got better. But better came sooner than I imagined. Even by day 4 my mood was lifted, I no longer had spikes in my energy levels and felt so much more awake. My concentration has improved and I am managing to get more sleep than I have done in years.
For over two weeks I have eaten no chocolate, no sweets, no cake, no biscuits, no cereal, no crisps, no sweetened yoghurts, no ice cream, no fizzy drinks, no jam, NOTHING at all with sugar in. And that is something I am incredibly proud of. I have eaten three home cooked meals a day for the first time in years, my progress in the gym is increasing every day and I actually feel like a happy, fully functioning, healthy human being.
Try it, you never know it might just make you feel better too,