It’s just one week to go to the end of my sugar free year! For half of that time I’ve craved toast! Just a little bit of toast……
Next Sunday 1st November it will be one whole year that I gave up sugar to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society (Just Giving) and to keep me on the straight and narrow!
I do have an addictive personality…So my intention has been to break bad habits,
lower my addiction to sugar, learn to give up sweetness and yes to lose weight, because it wasn’t working any other way… (pah! ‘To eating less and exercising more!’) But I haven’t weighed myself since the beginning as I didn’t want to obsess about it, I wanted to feel healthier. Which I do…and cleaner…fresher…and lighter..
….I can’t quite believe it….in some ways it’s been such a long time….in other ways I can’t quite believe it’s gone so quickly. Tough at times and to be honest, I’m pretty bored of it all now and can’t wait to mix my diet up again, having learnt some good lessons.
So to recap… for the charity I gave up:
Sugar – All sugars – natural, raw or processed.
Alcohol – Yes! really! all alcohol!
Sweeteners – Any kind of sweetners, (not that I used them before) and no, not even Stevia! (the herbal sweetener)
Syrups – No honey, agave, maple syrup, any kind of fruit syrups, date syrup etc. No cordials, so no elderflower, however healthy that sounds. It’s not.
Dried fruits – Intense sweetness that is addictive to and just a substitute that I know I would abuse!
Bread, flour with gluten- Because bread often has sugar added it, but all bread including sour dough has a sweetness of its own, and I know I’m addicted to it! I’ve also avoided shop bought gluten-free breads, as sugar is usually added to make up for the lack of flavour. Batters and breadcrumbs are also banned…
Fruit juice – Again intense sugariness to be avoided. I had one small glass of freshly squeezed blood orange juice at the beginning of the year, when they were in season. (god it was good!) But apart from that I drink ‘unsweetened’ (check the label!!) coconut water.
Then as a personal quest later, I also tried to give up or restrict my consumption of: Potatoes, coffee, tea and dairy …Because I became aware that I was eagerly turning to these as my alternative food drugs of choice!
Potatoes – I was never into crisps that much before, but large packets of Kettle chips became my turn to when (I felt) I needed filling up when out and about. Long car journeys, in the supermarket when ravenous, or just times when I wanted a treat and when there was no other alternative to get a ‘hit,’ crisps became my ‘go to’ food. A piece of fruit or veg at this point didn’t cut it for me.
Chips – I now live by the seaside and the temptation is too much, and I still haven’t dropped this habit! So every now and then I head to the chippy for a portion. But no battered fish (as batter is flour based), and I rarely cook potatoes at home, only occasionally.
Coffee – Has become my regular hit throughout the day. I tried to give it up, but failed miserably. I gave it up whilst on an important job. I felt like an axe had been embedded in my head. I couldn’t concentrate. I lasted a day. I still have tea, but not that much.
Dairy – Big bowls of Greek yoghurt, were becoming my turn to as another fill me up snack. I’ve stopped this completely. I’ve not eaten cheese for a couple months. I still have milk in tea and coffee.
But I can eat fresh fruit and nuts. I eat lots more fresh vegetables…I experiment with lots of new and different ingredients now….I eat less processed food…
Sweetness – So for me, it’s really about giving up sweetness, or at least I’ve become aware how addictive it is for me. Not for everyone, but for me. The sweeter it is, the more I want it, and the more I want of it…..Somehow I’m conditioned that way.
Satisfaction is a point that I keep coming back to. I’m aware that to feel happy I constantly feel the need to feel filled up. But maybe it’s learning that I don’t need to be. Maybe it’s not my fault and I am wired that way or maybe it’s about learning when I’m actually hungry and when I’m turning to food for the wrong reason. What I do know is, addictive foods don’t seem to give me an ‘off’ button and once I have it, I want more and more of it.
An extreme version of this is portrayed in this programme on obese people, which really brought this home to me. They were only happy when they were eating and full. I’m sure you’ve heard the term “fat people are always happy” But a fat person is only happy when they are full. I know this because I’ve been one most of my life. Take the food away from me, or my control over it and I wouldn’t be happy as I needed to be constantly full. The people in this programme are very unhappy people who don’t feel there’s a way out and blamed for the position they’re in. Luckily for me I’m much, much happier now and in control in a much, much healthier way.
So yes I do need to keep filled up, but not overfull. Eating regularly, not leaving any long gaps, as this is when I crave the worst foods! Eating healthily and treating myself to the not so healthy, just once in a while.
I hope I will carry on my new found good habits – We will see, but as I said on Instagram today my ‘first supper’ will be a glass of really good red wine and sour dough toast with raw salted butter…..I actually can’t wait!!
I’ve been really slack and shy at getting sponsorship, so I need to make a huge push if I’m going to get any where near my target!!…if you can please sponsor me…it would be amazing and the smallest amount will help… https://www.justgiving.com/AnnieNichols/