Sugar Embargo: The Retrospective

28 Apr

Anyone remember me saying I was giving up sugar for Lent?

Anyone?

Okay, so this post is late. Easter is more than three weeks past, and lo, was the Cadbury Mini-Creme Egg massacre mighty that week. And – I’m a bit sad to say – it didn’t stop there. There has been sugar, there have been starches, there has been (mild) gluttony. But it’s soon going to end.

Because I learned something during the six weeks of Lent.

Firstly, I learned that stopping sugar cold turkey around the same time you messed with your hormone pills’ schedule is a recipe for disaster. I’m not sure which of those events was the causal factor – maybe a combination of the two, or maybe it’s more a correlation than a causation. Point is: I was majorly emotionally wonky for about two weeks.

Secondly, I felt fantastic off sugar and most carbs! Once I got past the first couple weeks, I stopped missing sugar entirely. Okay, that’s not completely true. I would still have a thought, “Ooh, rough day; I could go for [sweet].” But – and this is the important bit – when I stopped and really examined that thought, I realized that it was an old, automatic fragment of thought left over from previous learned behavior. There was no actual physical craving to eat, say, chocolate; and delving deeper, there was also a noticeable lack of wistful emotion. It was simply a thought. And thoughts without emotion are fairly easy to ignore. (This is, indeed, the goal of many kinds of therapy; detaching emotion from thoughts so those thoughts and emotions stop controlling the client. But I’m oversimplifying – and digressing.)

The physical side was equally intriguing. Without going into too much detail… *ahem* …things worked better. I felt good, I was getting more dietary value from what I ate, energy levels were good, I was rarely hungry… Depressingly, I didn’t lose any weight – actually, my weight chart has been rather strange – but in a way, I felt lighter. And I’m hoping slimness will come when I resume the low carb lifestyle and sustain it longer.

On the flip side, I’ve been indulging ever since Easter – extra bread at dinner, chocolate, ice cream… – and the difference I’ve noticed has been significant enough to convince me that the change over Lent was a good choice for me. I know now that, in many ways, I function better on the low carb diet we humans actually evolved to consume.

So I gave myself a deadline. Indulgences end when April does. Sugar intake is going to be curtailed, probably down to just my monthly free piece of choc from Godiva. Bread at dinner is out. Etc.

Focus: Lots of veg, protein, bit of fruit.

Give it a try yourself and really listen to your body as you do; you may be surprised.

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