After doing really well with my healthy eating for months. I well and truly fell off the wagon. I was consumed by cravings for sugar and as hard as I tried to make healthier choices, I couldn’t switch off the part of my brain screaming for sugar. The desserts plus little nibbles here and there culminated when I are a sharing (ha!) bag of white chocolate buttons. The kind made famous by a small blonde cowboy!
I scoffed them down like a staving animal. You know that self satisfied peaceful pleasure you get when you finally scratch and itch or give into a craving? It didn’t come. What came instead was a wave of oppressive guilt. I felt weak for giving in and not having the self restraint to moderate my sugar intake. I made a lot of mistakes to get to that point. I decided to buy chocolate. I decided to buy white chocolate (not chocolate at all). I decided to buy a bulk packet. Worst of all I decided to eat the entire thing.
I could have wallowed in my own self pity but instead I chose to hit the Internet and arm myself with a bit more knowledge. I am determined to make it work this time. So far I have found out through Gretchen Rubin that I am a questioner and an abstainer by nature. This means that I need to be able to justify my actions and have the answers to the internal challenges my detox would raise like “just a little bit won’t hurt will it?” It also means I can’t try and wean myself off sugar slowly. I simply won’t eat a few squares of high quality dark chocolate and put the rest away. I will eat it all. Even if I feel ill. I will just wait until it passes and then eat some more. How sad is that?
So I have just completed a 7 day, zero refined sugar detox. The only sweeteners I ate during the time was a spoonful of honey on my porridge each morning. On day 8 I attended a wedding and ate dessert, this was my reward for the detox week. I enjoyed it, a spin on cranachan with a flapjack, raspberries and cream and gratuitous chunks of honeycomb. I gave away the shortbread round and a few prices of honeycomb, and ate the rest. I ate, probably for the first time in a long while, for pleasure.
The following days I didn’t reach for the sweet stuff and was rewarded with a migraine. There are awful side effects to sugar withdrawal but you have to ride them out. Unfortunately for me I left for Berlin on business where my melt choices were limited and I fell back on my usual crutch for exhaustion: sugar.
This is where things changed for me. I felt awful. I didn’t enjoy what I was eating, it was all too sweet and not at all pleasurable. And that, for me, was a first. I have never felt anything but sweet relief on previous attempts to cut out sugar.
I’m a fortnight further on now and I am still getting headaches but nowhere near as severe, and for the most part I don’t seem to be bothered with sugar cravings. If you are looking to give up sugar push through!
I hope this sticks!