So…I saw an article in my Facebook feed several times called “My Family Decided to go without Sugar for a Year and Here’s What Happened.” Or something like that. I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention. I tried not to pay a whole lot of attention.
I didn’t read the article. I didn’t even click on the article. I didn’t even hoover over the article. I was afraid it would come to life like a horror movie trailer.
Because, essentially, I know three things about sugar: 1. It is in basically every food and food-like substance. 2. It is horrible for you. And, 3. I like it.
I really don’t want to know just how wonderful my life would be without sugar. I just don’t. Especially since sugar is pretty much a necessary ingredient in anything chocolate. And if I didn’t have chocolate, I probably wouldn’t die. But I probably would want to. Badly.
Anyway, so with that introduction, I have to explain why I would decide to go a week without sugar:
I made it through Christmas okay, but as I returned to work, I found my resolve toward moderation failing me. People were bringing in leftovers, gifts, and leftover gifts–most of which involved chocolate. And lots of sugar.
I found myself consuming a steady stream of chocolate, chocolate cake, chocolate candy, chocolate covered Oreo balls, and chocolate chunks. I’m sure I said no to something, somewhere, but I definitely didn’t make a habit of it.
Mind you, I was working out pretty steadily, so it didn’t catch up with me right away. But whether or not it was affecting my waste line, I knew it was going to have to stop. And I decided to go without sugar for a week.
So, the first thing that happened is that I learned that deciding to go without sugar for a week is not the same thing as actually going without sugar for a week.
Yeah…about that…basically, I had a couple of false starts. Thanks to that stubborn chocolate cake sitting in the break room.
But Saturday came around and I had no more excuses. I existed on spinach, plain Greek yogurt, flax seed, and turkey. I felt like such a good girl.
Then came Sunday. I drowned out my strong desire to eat sugar with a big, fat fried chicken sandwich. A much better choice for my health I’m sure than say, a chocolate kiss.
After the fried chicken sandwich, I had to drive to Florida and it was one of those afternoons that a nap sounded just delightful and a long drive sounded much less so. I was drowsy, had a dull headache and a low gas tank, so I had to stop. I really did.
But I was good. And instead of spending a few sugary calories on Zipfizz or other caffeinated drink, I resumed my drive and crunched on four hours worth of pretzels.
Monday dawned and I had another dull headache. Maybe it was because of the long drive. Maybe it was because I was sugar deprived. Maybe it was because of the four hours worth of pretzels I had in my system. Whatever the truth was, I felt yuk.
I have to confess to eating a few gingersnaps on Monday. It was social eating and there was no chocolate involved, so it really shouldn’t count.
Tuesday…involved another fried chicken sandwich.
Wednesday…someone brought doughnuts to the office. Two boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Cruelty, I tell you. I had to walk by those doughnuts all morning. But I did not eat one. At first, I mean.
In fact, I walked by a lot of times without eating one. Two boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts. Hours went by before I even opened the box. That should count for something. Then came thirty seconds of heaven that earned me two long miles on the treadmill.
Thursday…I was good all day. It helped that the leftover doughnut parts and pieces were looking less like people food and more like chicken food.
Friday…I did have some Baklava and honestly, it was worth the cheat.
But I didn’t eat any chocolate.
In fact, you haven’t heard me say the world chocolate for a long time. So, I was still being good even if I did blow it a little bit.
Nevertheless, it was a loooooong week. I think I’ve found the secret to slowing down the clock. Decide not to eat sugar…or even just chocolate. Time may fly when you are having fun but when you are trying to stay away from sugar, it flies DELTA (Doesn’t Ever Leave The Airport). Feel like you’re aging too fast? Decide not to eat sugar until your next birthday. It will probably never come.
The reason I’m telling you all this is because I know–especially at the beginning of the year–there are a bunch of people out there who are also trying to eat better and/or work out harder. And I know that it is not easy. On Day 10, some people may have already given up.
So…I want to encourage you not to give up. Even if it isn’t going perfectly. Even if that doughnut box is calling your name. Keep it up because we all know that a little discipline with our bodies is not only good for us physically but also good for us spiritually.
There are an unlimited number of tips, tricks, and products to try to make it easier, but at the end of the day, I figured you probably didn’t want advice from someone who blew their plan over gingersnaps. So I’ll settle for being an encourager: Keep disciplining your body. I didn’t do it perfectly; I didn’t see extreme results; but I did accomplish my goal of getting back to moderation.
And if you discipline yourself, As a little added bonus, you’ll be able to stretch time. And, if you choose, you can fill those long days with a whole lot of fun. Like square dancing.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
I Corinthians 10:31