On a fairly regular basis I get comments about my diet. Some of them I’m used to, and others often still surprise me. Just the other day my roommate looked at me while I was chopping veggies in the kitchen; “You’re my hero!” she exclaimed. Completely caught off guard I looked at her, “I’m sorry, what?”
“You eat so healthy! I want to be like that.”
And while I appreciate the encouragement and even the illusion that I am what I desire to be, I know the truth, and the truth is not nearly so, well… heroic.
It’s true, I have cut a lot of things out of my diet in the last few years. I cut the meat years ago, and by now, avoiding this is completely effortless. But then it was gluten, and while that’s not as difficult as I imagined it would be, there are still times it’s challenging to refrain from reaching for the bread bowl my friends are so impetuously enjoying when out to eat. Or at weddings, those are the worst. There is pretty much no way to eat gluten-free at a wedding. And when you’re my age, you tend to go to a lot of weddings… (but that’s an entirely new entry for another day!)
There was even a time I completely quit caffeine for probably about 8 months. Aaand then busy season hit. Need I say more? I used to be dairy free, but as it turns out, I really.love.cheese. Thankfully the last two are (debatably) fairly harmless in moderation. But in light of all this, the one thing I can’t seem to shake, at least not completely, is my addiction to that sweet poison we all know and love: Sugar. I really hate to admit it. Some days I do pretty well, but no matter how much progress I make, I always fall back on my crutch, gently consolled by my sweet companion, dark chocolate. And because all sugar is a slippery slope, it never stops at just dark chocolate. So before you’re temped to say, “oh but research shows a little bit of dark chocolate is good for you!” Consider: how many of you can really ever just take one bite of (insert the name of your favorite sweet treat here) and walk away? Well, perhaps you can, in which case you are my hero. But I am not one of those people.
Somewhat recently, I discovered Sarah Wilson’s blog. And upon discovering her blog, I susequently discovered her e-book, I Quit Sugar. And I bought it. And I read it. And I agreed with it. And I was inspired! “But did you do it?” you might ask. Well that is where you come in.
In Sarah’s book she sets forth an 8 week guide for kicking the habbit, for good! Chapter one is labeled “Start to Cut Back,” and let’s just be honest, I’ve been on “week one” for roughly 3 months now… which is when I bought the book… having trouble committing much? I’ll say. But she does start off saying that upon attempting to take on this challenge, we ought to get an “IQS mate” (she’s Australian in case you were wondering) to help keep us accountable, and encouraged, and on track, and to smack us around a little when we are going through withdrawl-instigated mood swings.
I suppose I could say my mom could be that companion, because she quit sugar when she found out she had cancer. Because sugar feeds cancer. And if you don’t have cancer, sugar promotes a hospitible environment for cancer to grow in your body. So she quit and went the all natural, healthy route. And while she’s still battling to rid her body of the cancer, she looks and seems healthier than I ever remember her being in all my youth. But that’s not the point, the point is, she’s still an hour away from me. And I need something a little closer to home, so-to-speak to keep me focused and dedicated to my goal. So that is why I’m putting this out there, to all of you. I have been attempting and “trying” to quit sugar for far too long now to still just be at the “I’m thinking-about-it” stage. What I need is to take the plunge, and to resolve that sugar will not for once be what breaks my fall.
With that said, in the coming 8 weeks, I will be outlining my journey with all of you, trusting you to keep me accountable. I’ll highlight the gist of each chapter, my goals for that week and how I feel throughout each new challenge. And if I stumble, I will confess to you (my hope of course being that my desire not to have to admit failure will be greater than my desire to head for the snack cupboard after a long day)… Yet even as I write this, I can tell you forthright I am anxious. Eating well and healthy is a lifestyle, and it takes time and dedication and intentionality. And while I’m not horrible at this in general, this is definitely the biggest hurdle I’ve attempted to overcome, because sugar is in everything! Did I mention I LIVE with a culinary student who adores baking? Or that my co-worker and cubemate just walked up with an armload of “snacks” she just bought from Oreo’s and Animal Crackers to Werther’s Original Caramels? Lord help me.
Well, I can neither succeed nor fail until I’ve tried. So stay tuned and you might even get some really great new sugar-free, gluten-free, vegetarian recipes out of me along the way! (I know what you’re thinking… sounds soooo appetizing, right!? But I promise, I won’t post them unless they really are). And if after reading this you somehow find you’re more inspired than discouraged, feel free to click on the I Quit Sugar link above to download/buy your own copy so you can join me in practice as well as in spirit!
Thanks in advance for the support :)