I decided to break off an affair I had secretly enjoyed for years.
I would not eat sugar for 30 days. Coming from a woman who loves sweets and believes chocolate should be a food group, this was a big deal. I am going to share with you what I learned from this experience.
1. I get derailed by defining and
At first, I made the proclamation that I was not eating sugar for 30 days. Then I realized that is hard to do.
Sugar is in EVERYTHING! It is not just in chocolate cake. It hides in foods where we least expect it to be- there it is tucked in our healthy protein bars and our breakfast smoothies. It became clear that it is close to impossible not to consume some sugar…even if it isn’t intentional.
I decided, well, I won’t eat dessert for 30 days. What does that mean? In my mind dessert was an after dinner treat, so if I eat pie for breakfast does that count?
I looked up the definition and found this:
Dessert: A usually sweet course or dish, as of fruit, ice cream, or pastry, served at the end of a meal.
My mind played games with this thinking… could I justify pie for breakfast or a donut at 10 AM because it wouldn’t be at the end of a meal…and fruit is healthy, I don’t want to cut out fruit.
I became so derailed with trying to define my mission that I almost gave up. I came to the conclusion that what I wanted to do was cut as much sugar out of my life as possible, not eat sweets and definitely no more treats with my coffee after dinner. This included even sugar-free desserts. I would do this to the best of my ability without making myself crazy…a handful of grapes in the evening was not going to make me a failure!
2. My mind and emotions don’t
The first two weeks were a battle between the two! My logical mind knew that I have a history of diabetes in my family. My mind knew I was not getting younger. My mind knew that I didn't feel good when I eat sweet desserts.
My emotions told me not to break up with sugar. The love affair had gone on too long, the romance and temptation of mint chocolate chip ice cream made me flutter inside, made me happy and made me feel loved.
3. It’s easy to listen to my self-talk
and hard not to.
My self-talk is nasty. It told me to be angry that my sweet delights had been taken away from me. It told me this was a stupid idea. It told me I could cheat if no one saw me. It told me I was punishing myself by taking away sweets and I deserved dessert!
Then I remembered a quote from Jim Rohn, “What is easy to do, is easy not to do.”
It has always been so easy for me to eat dessert, to say yes to not one, but 3 or 4 cookies, and to buy donuts to enjoy with my coffee after a grocery shopping trip.
I realized it was in my power to make it just as easy to say, “No thank you,” when the waitress asked if I wanted to see the dessert menu. It was in my power to reach for a banana instead of a handful of cookies. It was in my power to walk by the bakery in the grocery store and head right to the apples and oranges. It could be just as easy to do.
4. Going back is painful.
After my 30 days, I went out to dinner with girlfriends to celebrate one of their birthdays. Of course at the end of the meal 4 pieces of chocolate cake were delivered to the table. Not just slivers, but giant ooey gooey layers of chocolate goodness divided by oozing chocolate frosting.
The smell was intoxicating. Memories of my past love affair took control as my fork attacked it, after all my 30 days were over –
I never made a lifetime commitment. Four bites into it I stopped. I had enough and pushed it away.
In the middle of the night my eyes flew open. My head throbbed, my legs were shaky, my stomach felt sick. My body revolted against the sudden shock of chocolate and sugar. I shuffled through the next morning like I was drugged. I remembered the old familiar feeling of regret for what I had done the night before and the sugar hangover that I had subjected my body to for so many years.
As I write this it is now day 54 since I broke off my love affair with sweets.
It takes time to learn hard lessons.
On one other occasion I allowed the seduction of a few bites of chocolate to tempt me, playing out in the same outcome as before. This time I picked myself up out of the sugar coma and said, “Enough!”
I am better without sugar and sweets.
I like feeling good when I wake up in the morning.
I like not worrying about blood sugar levels and insulin shots.
I like not craving sugar and allowing it to control me.
Will I ever taste chocolate again? Probably. But it is no longer one of my major food groups. I no longer dream of my time together with sugar like the adventures of a romance novel.
It really is true, we can learn to retrain our minds and emotions. If it’s easy to do, it’s easy not to do.
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Pennie’s Life Lesson:
“If it’s easy to do, it’s easy not to do.”
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***Since we all learn from each other, I would love to have you share your thoughts and experiences relating to this post in a comment below. Thank you!***
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