Sunday, February 09, 2014

4 Weeks Without 'It' and I Feel Fine

Back when I was in university doing my business degree one of my friends dubbed me with the name 'candy whore' because, as she put it, I'd do anything for candy. While that was a slight exaggeration, it is certainly true that I had an addiction to candy that was a little unusually for someone over the age of 13.

I recall one time, during the Hallowe'en season, I was at the grocery store and eyed a bin full of big bags with those delicious rockets (you know, the little pill-sized candies). I was trying to 'be good',  but couldn't resist at least taking a sniff. I held the bag up to my nose and at that very moment a cute guy with a grocery basket walked by. I set the back down with an abashed look on my face and hurried off. A week later I was back at the grocery store and saw that same damn bin of rockets and, again, couldn't resist picking it up and giving it a good long smell. That was when the SAME guy walked by with a basket of groceries again! To say I was embarrassed is quite the understatement. I also realized at some point that the dude was one of those 'plain clothes' security guys that patrols stores with a basket in hand.

My sugar addiction goes way back to infancy. Apparently my mother would sometimes try to hide that she was eating a chocolate bar when toddler Shannon was nearby, but I'd somehow sniff it out and demand some.   Suffice to say. it's been a lifelong relationship. Until 4 weeks ago, that is.

It all started at a Lebanese restaurant back in December of 2013. My good friend, Mathieu, and I were slurping down hot chocolates and talking about everything under the sun. Eventually we landed on the topic of our health. One thing led to another and we ended up committing to doing a sugar detox when he came back from holidays in early January.

Well, in the between early December and Mathieu's return from Montreal holidays, I plum forgot about our plan. In fact, I was stocking up on post-Christmas discounted chocolate and enjoying a nightly hot chocolate.

Then, BAM. Mathieu and his endless enthusiasm landed back on PEI! He was still up for the sugar detox so I begrudgingly agreed to start  with him on Monday, January 13th. We made some agreements as to what was allowed (a little honey or maple syrup for our tea/smoothies, natural sugars in fruits and alcohol, stevia) and what wasn't allowed (anything with refined sugar in it, HFCS, aspartame/sucralose), and we were off and running!!

We didn't set a timeline, we just agreed we'd do it for as long as we could/wanted to. I recall Mathieu, always the cheerleader and optimist saying 'This could be forever.' and me being quick to remind him that we'd both tried sugar detoxes before and had clearly ended them at some point.

Well, it's now been four weeks of sugar free life and the truth is, i feel fine! In fact, I feel more than fine, I feel GREAT! I don't find myself craving sugar or missing it. I've also lost a noticeable amount of weight (possibly also due to cutting down on food intake in general) and I feel more in control of my diet. I've been able to navigate 3-course set menus at restaurants simply by asking if I could replace the dessert option with an appetizer option. Every restaurant has been accommodating and I've truly enjoyed chowing down on a gourmet salad while sitting next to someone gorging on a Chocolate Bombe!

My biggest challenge with respect to not 'caving' was actually when I was sick. I find when I am sick, I want comfort food and, of course, for me sugar is comfort food. I managed to keep myself off the sugars by making smoothies (unsweetened almond milk as the base).

I think that this sugar detox has been easier than other ones I've done because I haven't eliminated anything else from my diet and I also haven't set a timeframe for this detox. Sometimes, perhaps, less pressure and fewer constraints are better. One of the other things I've noticed about this particular sugar detox, is that I've not been inclined to replace the sugar with something equally addictive and unhealthy, such as chips or crackers. I've also not increased my intake of other foods, rather I've been decreasing it. Feeling great and seeing visible results when I look in the mirror is now a better treat than a piece of chocolate.

 We'll see what the future holds, but for now I'm lovin' the no-sugar life. I also have to give HUGE props to Mathieu for sticking to his detox even while he is in Sochi for this month as a member of the Mission team for our Canadian athletes! Yay Mathieu!

1 comment:

Rob said...