Way back on June 30th I issued a no sugar (no artificial sweetener) challenge for the month of July. Friends, I'm here to tell you I've stuck with it. I know! I'm just as shocked as you! There has been no ice cream (not even on the 4th of July), no cake, no cookies, no treats of any kind. To tell you the truth, I've only marginally missed the sweets. I have missed (and continue to miss) the Diet Coke. Heck, I'd even take a tall glass of Crystal Light. But fear not, I am well hydrated. Turns out one of the side effects of only being able to drink water . . . is DRINKING WATER. It's genius.
I have a few observations on the whole no sugar thing. Let's start with the good:
- One of my primary reasons for beginning this challenge was to increase my fitness level. I work out five days a week, but I wasn't seeing a ton of improvement, and I was suspicious that my nutrition (ie a bevy of sugar) was to blame. This turned out to be true. Not that I'm killing the Crossfit workouts now (because I'm old and non-athletic), but they feel better. I feel better while I'm doing them.
- Knowing I wasn't eating sugar was sorta peaceful. This one is hard to explain. In my normal (doughnut-laden) life, I fought with myself daily over what treats I would eat. And then I'd beat myself up about the treats I'd eaten. It was a long, exhausting monologue in my head of "Should I? or shouldn't I? I should. I will. Uh oh. I shouldn't have eaten that!" But because I'd already decided no sugar, none of that non-productive (and often abusive) diatribe was running through my head. Phew.
- I lost five pounds. There's THAT! (FYI, I was being pretty careful to eat very clean as well.)
- I completely defeated the 3 PM slump. I used to get so tired and grumpy around 3 PM everyday. I felt groggy and unfocused. But once I stopped eating sugar I felt fine and productive all afternoon. Generally, I even woke up in the morning feeling more refreshed.
- I'm not as hungry during the day. I'm hypoglycemic, so once I start riding the sugar roller coaster, I have to eat pretty frequently. When my sugar and carb intake is controlled, I'm free of the lows that include hunger, headaches, irritability, and the shakes. No one likes the shakes.
Here's the bad:
- No trips to Sonic. A few times, when I was with the kids, I ordered a bottle of water with the good Sonic ice. That is NOT EVEN THE SAME.
- No sugar can be boring. Desserts are fun. Heck, they can even be exciting. No alcohol, no coffee, no tea, no sugar. I don't have a lot going for me in the vice department currently.
- Ummmm . . . I can't think of any other bad things. But I'll keep ruminating.
On August 1st I plan to drive myself to Sonic and buy a Route 44 Diet Coke with lime. But other than the occasional Diet Coke (nope, not going back on that full-time either), I don't have any plans to return to my sugared past. Not even for doughnuts, which I love from the very, very, very bottom of my heart.
Anyone else complete the challenge? Do chime in with your thoughts.