The 'Towards a Sugar-Free Future' Challenge
I've been struggling with my sugar consumption for years and no matter how hard I try I don't seem to be able to just cut it out. I've tried everything I can think of over the past five years but nothing's worked. It's time to try an approach that has worked for something else.
Just over seven years ago I joined the Giving Up / Cutting Down Alcohol forum thread and posted every single day for two solid years. The wonderful support on that thread helped me stop drinking altogether and I'm still absolutely certain that without that support I wouldn't have succeeded. So, despite having been able to give up both smoking and drinking by going cold turkey I just can't hack giving up sugar on my own, and I wondered if anyone else has the same problem and would like to try this approach.
I'm at least a stone (6.35kgs) overweight and that's entirely down to sugar, which I started over-eating when I gave up smoking, but when I stopped drinking it got totally out of hand. One of the wise people on the Giving Up / Cutting Down thread said it was because the sugar content of alcohol is so high that when you cut out the booze, your consumption of sugar increases to balance it. I don't know if that's true but it certainly seemed to be so for me because the weight was slowly piling on after I stopped smoking and the rate has certainly increased since going alcohol-free.
If I stopped craving sugar I'd stop buying the stuff in chocolate and biscuits and ice cream and desserts and .... all the rest of it, which is where the MSE thing comes in. Of itself each £1 spent on a bar of chocolate isn't a massive amount, but I've been tracking my chocolate spend this year, and by the end of July I'd racked up £143 on chocolate alone - and I started the year with a big stash. That's just chocolate. I also had a sugar stash, and there are only four bags left - the rest went in puddings, biscuits, cakes, jam, marmalade and anything else I can think of making.
It has to stop.
However, denial on it's own just doesn't work for me so dieting isn't my way forward. I'm going to wean myself off this stuff and if anyone would like to join me that would be really, really helpful.
From tomorrow, Monday, I will be cutting out sugar on Mondays - for the rest of the month.
From September I will be cutting out sugar on Mondays and Tuesdays.
In October, no sugar on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
November - Monday to Thursday will be sugar-free.
December - sugar on weekends only.
There are exceptions. I am not a sugar-nazi and I am only talking about added sugar, so fruit is fine, mayo and tomato ketchup stay on the edible list despite both containing sugar, and if there happens to be a birthday or a highday or holiday that falls during the week I intend to eat whatever happens to be on offer that day. If we go out for a meal with friends and other people want dessert, I'll probably continue to share one with my Belovéd. I am not a purist about this because having tried that approach I just know I'll fail. I'm planning on being pragmatic because I believe I stand a better chance of succeeding by being so.
I'll post daily, whether I eat sugar or not. When I don't I'll need to record those successes, and when I do eat sugar I need to hold myself accountable for whatever it is that I'm eating that I know I really shouldn't be eating but can't seem to help myself.
This is NOT a diet. It's a change in the way I live my life, so it's about breaking old bad habits and setting up newer healthier ones.
Anyone else fancy having a go?
Better is good enough.
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