(4) off track: giving up sugar

Giving up sugar

I’m not one of those people who is going to tell you what you “need” to do. (hmmm…maybe I am a closet “you need to”; I’ll find out here right)

But I’ve noticed (hmmm universe messages?) since I gave up added sugar and artificial sugars that many more blog posts and other online stories suggesting the same have popped up in my inbox.

So, maybe as a side-bar I’ll share from time to time the why and how I decided to give up sugar. It wasn’t in response to much other than learning what I was really doing to my body with artificial sugar. I’d been a diet coke (still love, no longer consume) drinker for nearly 40 years. But some where I learned the connection between artificial sugars and some of my personal health issues.

And then I quit – cold turkey. …I’ll find the date and add it here.
I quit in July 2017, and fortunately I had someone knowledgeable I could check-in with about that decision (thanks Jeanette!) so I could also lose the regret that I didn’t do it sooner, and what I had done could be mitigated in my health. 

It’s been over 1 month and I am more assured this was the right most thing I could do this summer. 
My face is less bloated, and wrinkles are relaxing too. My mid-section is less bloated. This summer, I’ve been run/walking 18K on the weekends (over 3 days, I’m a slow run/walker); but not seeing ANY changes to my body. So that was a huge red-flag to my mind. Why not? 

I sleep much better and with few obvious exceptions, I’m not dead-tired all. of. the. time. 

Getting used to sugar-less coffee and iced tea (my beverage mainstays) was much easier than I thought. It took a little while  to find the iced tea recipe that suited my tastes best. I’ve been off caffeine for some time, so while it may seem on the surface that I’m taking the essence out of my foods/drinks, I don’t miss any of that chemical soup.

notice I wrote sugar-less and not sugar-free?

Sugar-free (to me anyway) let’s artificial sugars in the door. That was my biggest challenge. I thought artificial sugars was my respite from traditional sugars. Alas – no.

Also, over the last week I found a wonderful chocolate bar from Lily’s that is sweetened with stevia. I count stevia as ok since it’s natural and doesn’t cause my blood sugar to skyrocket. So off artificial sugars is more the point of this latest change. But I didn’t want to simply replace that with high-GI (glycemic index) sugar beet sugar. Any sugars need to be low GI to keep my blood sugar in check too.

Much easier than I thought. I was reminded of my Grampa Odom and also my Dad giving up cigarettes (separately) and just “doing it cold-turkey”. It felt nice to think they did it that way and in my own case, I did too. I’ve been reading about “grit”, personal grit – and the desire to have grit. Admittedly, I live a soft life these days. More on that later. 

Anyway, I may drop in from time to time (esp if you’re interested) with updates. 

I’m not on a special program. I’ve seen that folks are putting their own “programs” online. I just sought non-sugared versions of my “go to’s” that were palatable. I knew there was going to be some transition in taste…. you know when they say “it’s an acquired taste” and we go for that thing anyway? Well, same goes for this. But the transition was relatively easy for me. 

ok, ‘nuf for now. More later.

OK… another month later (Oct 13) and I can report a significant change in my physiology (?) What I mean is: I am no longer “dawg” tired all the time. I have real energy and alertness. I haven’t dropped a pound, which has me and my coach (wellness) confused and concerned. So, I’m off to have my hormones checked.

But that aside, I don’t know that I care about the weight. My clothes fit looser, my joints don’t hurt as often, I feel more alert and well less a dragged out dame. I’d like to know if there is something more going on since measurements have shrunk, but the scale doesn’t budge. That’s curious. 

I am reporting success. Do I miss the sugars? NO. No. No. I put a little syrup in my coffee the other day and although it tasted good, it wasn’t all that great. My tastebuds have changed I guess. I have less interest in sweets these days. And well, putting fewer chemicals in my system sounds and feels right to me (natural or artificial). Don’t get me wrong, I was the kid that survived on candy bars. But I can look back on that and smile. Looking forward, I’m good with this choice.

Have you or are you thinking of giving up sugar? I’m no expert, but I’d like to hear about your experience. If you need actual medical advice, talk to someone who has that expertise. I’ve found it worthwhile. 

Peace to you

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