I never took the time to think, let alone blame, sugar for anything that was happening in my life. I assumed that the problems I faced—headaches, tiredness, crankiness, malaise, and my expanding waistline—were all due to other things. I told myself that I was working too hard, I was stressed out, my latest fad diet wasn’t working, or I just wasn't getting enough sleep.
Today I am a totally different person. I am sugar-free and finally happy. I enjoy more vigor, food is more delicious than ever before and I look at my old life and sugar consumption in a whole new light.
I'd never batted an eyelid at sugar until the day that I no longer felt very alive.
I woke up and it was as if I'd gone out and had a big night of drinking; I had a hangover with none of the fun involved. I thought, as per usual, that I wasn’t getting enough sleep and that I must be stressed out, so I made myself a “pick me up” breakfast of pancakes, syrup, and a big hot coffee with my usual two teaspoons of sugar. This time, instead of picking me up, it actually dragged me down. I felt sick, nauseous, and unhappy.
I decided then and there to change my life. So I did what anyone would do: I decided to eat better and get healthy! I went to the grocery store and filled my cart with vegetables, fruit, diet bars and anything labelled "gluten-free"!
Fast forward two weeks of my new "diet” and I still felt sick and unhappy. I did some Googling, and every time I came across a site describing the sick feeling, unhappiness, and moodiness, it was due to diet, and one word kept creeping up a lot: Sugar.
I honestly thought I was eating better, but in fact all I had been doing is eating the same amount of sugar in less obvious ways: I was consuming more fruit, and more gluten-free packaged foods.
I had to reset my body and brain—sugar had actually poisoned my tastebuds to only want very sweet things. Cutting out sweets was easy at first; no added sugar to coffee, no cookies or doughnuts, and back to basics for breakfast. (No more cereal aisle for me!)
Once the obvious had been removed, the next step was to work on how to deal with everyday life—sugar is included in every social function imaginable. Having lunch breaks at work meant wandering around with my co-workers while they bought delicious meals and my salads and baked chicken just looked boring. I often said no to cake at office birthday parties, and was ridiculed about my newest fad diet. It was a lot to handle, and occasionally I still feel like a burden when visiting friends for dinner.
Over time, I learned that I no longer had to sweat my imperfections and slip-ups. It was my life to lead and I could choose my way. I decided to enjoying whole foods 90% of the time, which allowed me to properly feed my body and refuse the junk it use to crave.
Tackling and overcoming the addiction of sugar has meant I am able to feel great every single day. I don’t wake up feeling sick or bloated, I don’t snap at people when it's 3pm, I can enjoy weddings and birthdays guilt-free, even if I indulge in a slice of cake or a pastry.
I am in control of my eating habits and I feel amazing without sugar controlling my life.