I can't decide whether the above images are horribly wrong for this blog entry or horribly right. Or a test, or perhaps just a way to rope you into reading.
Basically, I've just come on here to tell you that I'm currently on day 24 of a 30 day no sugar challenge. I never thought I'd hear myself say that - partially because I never thought I'd see the day where I gave up sugar, or never thought I'd last 24 days of it. I am still shocked that I have walked into the shops several times and quite easily bypassed the confectionery isle.
See, I'm pretty awful at sticking to things. Like, really really terrible. I have tried so many diets, seriously. And at the end of the day, I've realised that dieting is not the solution for me. I LOVE FOOD. And I love eating. I just need to work on that exercise and moderation thing. And that chocolate binging thing.
I've been really interested in healthy eating the past year - not to say I ate unhealthily before, but just that I could work on improving elements of what and how I cook things. I have found this pretty easy and enjoyable, and I don't restrict myself too much etc etc.
One thing that I constantly found was just how much sugar I could EASILY consume in a day. This would have been ok if I exercised, but I hardly ever do (I'm working on that) so I decided that I was going to try and cut down the sugar intake.
I came across a website that was talking about the No Sugar No Flour diet, and I was really interested to see if it actually worked. I was a bit sceptical. I decided it couldn't hurt to try, except I was just cutting out sugar, not flour. And this is refined sugars by the way, not natural sugars.
It was hard the first week, I was getting sugar cravings every night after dinner. I'd allow myself a small amount of dried fruit, or a piece or two of sugar free dark chocolate (Stevia sweetened) but that was it. My coffees in the morning are sweetened with one Equal tablet (I tried Stevia and HATED it). I've limited alcohol intake (I'm normally a cider drinker so that's a big no no), sugary cereals (even sultana bran has sugar in it!) and watched out for condiments that contain high sugar levels. I've also taken up drinking mineral water and as a treat every so often, Coke Zero.
There's also LOADS of sugar free dessert recipes out there! Incredible. Most are sweetened by artificial sweetners, or dried fruits like dates. I actually made brownies (shock horror they tasted amazing!) and oatmeal cookies. I'm not a big fan of artificial sweetners, mostly because I don't like the taste but also because I'd prefer something natural, and I'm relieved that I didn't have to rely on them as an alternative in everything.
So, on day 16, I reflected on how the diet was going. I no longer crave sugar all the time, I'm easily satisfied with fruit, or some dark chocolate (no binging!) and the biggest shock...I'd lost 4kg. And I hadn't done ANY exercise all month. This was a huge motivational push, and exactly what I needed.
I'm nearly done, and I'm not going to lie - I can't wait to go get myself a big scoop of Ben and Jerry's. I know that kind of sounds like I'm just undoing all the hard work I've put in, but I deserve that damn ice-cream.
Once this 30 days is up, I've decided that I will allow refined sugars back into my diet, but I hope now that it's in moderation. I don't want to remain super picky, because it can be pretty hard (and a little expensive at times), and I think everyone deserves a treat every so often. I think the 30 days is long enough to get you into a good habit, and I know so many recipes now, it's no longer a challenge! Plus I've started walking/jogging again, so I can eat and not feel so guilty all the time.
I don't believe sugar is the devil, but I do believe it can get out of hand very easily. It's addictive, and you would be shocked to learn just how much stuff has sugar in it! I feel so much better managing it, and I've already gotten a few friends onto it as well. I would recommend ANYONE try this - it's not as hard as it sounds!
So I just wanted to share this with everyone, because to be honest, I'm pretty proud of myself. And I hope it might inspire someone else!
The photos at the start of the entry, for me, are really refreshing. I looked at them before and felt so sad because I knew I couldn't eat them. Damn you, Pinterest. But I looked at them today and thought, fuck it. One day I'm going to make these, and I'm going to enjoy it, and not feel guilty. Might have to maintain a bit of self control in not eating the ENTIRE batch but hey. Baby steps.