One year ago, on 1st November 2017, a few days into working 46 days in a row without a day off, I decided to give up sugar. There were a number of reasons why I wanted to do it and without wanting to turn this into an ode to my serious skin issues, improving my overall health was my main focus.
A relatively healthy person, I (thought I) ate a balanced diet and even cooked pretty regularly. Having tried cutting out dairy and even gluten before, neither of these things had much impact on my skin. I decided to work really hard on increasing my water intake and reducing my sugar levels, specifically the refined sugar. Off the top of my head, I recall an average day featuring me having a large hot chocolate with cream, a flavoured syrup or chocolate flake and marshmallows with lunch at work, and an American waffle covered in Nutella or Galaxy Ripple bar with a tea or homemade hot chocolate following my dinner. It just had to stop.
I quit it all. From 1st November 2017 it was all gone. I was really surprised at how little I craved any of the sweet treats, with the most difficult part, other that saying goodbye to my Nutella jar, was being not being able to have a hot chocolate on those chilly November days.
Going home for Christmas was one of the trickier times over the last year, given that I was used to taking practically an entire Yule Log for myself as my Christmas dessert. Instead, I strictly limited myself to one slice, even limiting my chocolate orange consumption to 2 segments a day – good when I used to be able to eat a whole one at once! (And yes, I still had chocolate oranges into February, and I did not care!)
One year on and the changes I made to my lifestyle still stand. I now:
- Have discovered a hot chocolate that only has 3 grams of sugar in it per cup
- Have discovered refined sugar free cupcakes that DO NOT taste like ass
- Make my own rice crispies as my own little treat every few weeks
- Take my tea without sugar
- Drink (as close to) 2 litres of water a day
- Monitor my sugar intake daily
- Still allow myself something sweet – the odd piece of cake, donut, cookie, crepe or waffle is too good to pass up!
I am super proud of how far I have come over the last 12 months, even more so of the fact that now my taste buds have completely changed. I find even flavoured water much too sweet now, let alone fizzy drinks, I never even look at ‘regular’ chocolate bars and even pick up sugar free chocolate orange if I fancy something cocoa-y.
Have you ever tried cutting something out of your diet? What was it and how did it go?