Determined to see a life without sugar, I decided to monitor my sugar intake. Knowing what I am capable of; if I had cut off sugar completely I would revert and give up. Therefore, monitoring my sugar intake has made me more aware of what I consume as well as how much of it I consume.
I decided that purple stars on my calendar would be delightful image to indicate a day without sugar. My first day without sugar went by practically unnoticed until I was about to retire for the day. As I thought about the foods I ate and whether I had made the right choices, I was excited to realize that I did not consume nor crave sugar for the entire day.
Yea, me! A purple star was immediately placed on my calendar.
The second day, I had a horrible sinus headache as my seasonal allergies kicked into high gear. I told my sister about my quest to eliminate sugar from my diet and she immediately jumped onto the association of no sugar causing the migraine I was suffering from.
Yes, she is right. Withdrawals are a natural component to something being withheld after years of use.
With my headache clouding my better judgment, and my nephew begging for a trip to Mickey D’s, I succumbed to chicken nuggets with barbeque sauce and honey (ever since manufacturers came out with honey flavored barbeque sauce I have been combining the two for decades). I didn’t think about the refine sugars in the barbeque sauce and I justified that honey was not a refined sugar.
When I went to fill my cup up with unsweetened tea it dawned on me that I was about to consume the refine sugars. Then, my sister’s voice was ringing in my head. I cannot quit the sugar cold turkey. Just like someone addicted to Mountain Dew who would suffer from migraines by quitting abruptly, I too could be suffering the same consequences. So, I filled up on pop and ordered an ice cream sundae.
I am not going to punish myself over this, because it does no good to do so. The monitoring phase allows me to step back and view my sugar consumption. It also allows me to make clear cut decisions as to how I am going to accomplish this sugar-free lifestyle.
One of the goals I set out for myself is to eat less sugar each month. Therefore, I have started the purple star system. I tend to be a very competitive person, and I have found that a competition with me is highly effective. I am competing for more pretty purple stars.
By monitoring my sugar intake this week, I was delighted that I could go two whole days without sugar. Next week my goal is to top that. I am not limiting myself with a specific number, because I know I will get discouraged and give up when I don’t reach that number. Instead, my goal is to beat my previous week.
When I reach an entire week of no sugar, then I will go to the next level and try to accomplish a two week goal of no sugar. My hope is that by the time I reach an entire month without sugar, it will become natural for me to say no to sugary products and I will have beaten the cravings. I will also find other sweet alternatives, like natural honey and dark chocolate, to combat those intense monthly cravings.
I am not a diabetic, so there is no need to give up on sugar completely. However, I have the power to control the sugar I do consume so that I will not become a diabetic; or continue to be victimized by my PCOS. Today, that power began with monitoring and tomorrow it starts with competition.