Giving up sugar

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

I'm a week in. Eight days actually. And I can't believe I'm really doing this.

Giving up sugar. Not just white sugar. All forms, including brown, powdered, coconut, and date sugar. Maple syrup and sucanat and molasses and honey. All the glucose, fructose, dextrose, corn syrup. All the artificial sugars, including Nutrasweet and Splenda. Even Swerve and 
xylitol and erythritol, which aren't supposed to spike blood sugar levels.

Why would I do something so drastic? And why am I planning on making this a permanent -- gulp! -- change?

I've always loved to bake. I will need to find other ways to be creative in the kitchen.
A number of reasons, really. It started off because I am so tired of carrying around this extra weight. But the more I read and learn (and most of this is just relearning what I already know), the more reasons I come up with.

The biggest reason is that I'm finally admitting that sugar is a real addiction for me. I have a problem with alcohol. For 20 years I told myself I could practice moderation. I never drank when I was pregnant. I could go weeks without a drink. No big deal, right? But once I had one glass of wine, I had to have another. And another. I finally had to go cold turkey, 11 years ago. It was an addiction.

And I've been telling myself for 20 years now that I can have sugar in moderation. I've lost weight (I blogged a few years ago about how I lost 30 pounds), and then as soon as I allow a little sugar back in, it just escalates, and the weight piles back on.

I never thought it was realistic to cut sugar out completely from my diet. Why couldn't I just practice moderation? What was wrong with me? And what about Christmas and Valentine's Day and all the other holidays? Birthday parties? Why couldn't I be like my husband or my thin friends and just practice self control?

I've come to the conclusion that sugar is like alcohol for me. It's an addiction. There's nothing "wrong" with me because I can't enjoy it in moderation.

Studies have shown that sugar reacts in the same way as cocaine does in rats' brains. It is a drug. And for those of us sensitive to it, just like a drug addict, we keep needing bigger and bigger hits of it. And yes, I'm here to admit that I've binged on jelly beans and other sugar-laden junk more times than I care to remember.

So this is a huge lifestyle change. I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm wondering if I have the willpower to do this. (No, I don't. I need help.)

My new best friends.
I'm thinking of doing some regular blog posts about my journey. Like how I had to remove literally boxes of stuff out of my kitchen. Like how sugar is in everything. Like how to eat out. How to manage holidays. What to eat to manage cravings. The whole psychology of cravings. 

Would you be interested in hearing about this journey and riding along with me? I'm thinking I might post a couple times a week about it. Let me know if you'd be interested or if you have considered this for yourself.

And if you are the praying kind, I would definitely appreciate prayers! xoxo

26 comments :

  1. Dear Deborah: I would be interested in your journey because I'm trying to do the same thing. I have been off sugar since April and I feel better. Right now I'm baking cinnamon rolls and muffins for my son when he gets home and my grandson arrives on Friday. Hubby likes these treats too but I am able to leave them alone for the most part. Sometimes I just make up my mind I'm not eating them and I do it. My hubby on the other hand consumes far too much sugar and if I don't bake, he gets his treats at the bakery. So, if I make them, at least we know what he is eating. Let us know how you're doing and yes, I certainly do believe in prayer! Hugs...Sandi

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  2. I don't eat much sugar and I cut it out completely for awhile. You are so right...it is very addicting! Love to hear about your journey- much luck to you.

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  3. You can do it, Deborah! I look forward to hearing more about this new journey.

    Thanks for the visit. I love the tea-themed wrapping paper so much that i kept it. HA!

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  4. Oh, friend, I understand. I lost 31 lbs. a few years ago, and have gained it back :( I know that getting rid of sugar would help so much, and more than that, it would help me FEEL better. I wonder if I'd have more energy? Be less tired? Get rid of aches and pains. So ... YES YES YES, please post on this. If you do, you might give me the courage to give it a try.
    May I ask -- what will you do about sugar-like things, like carbs? I mean, some of them seem to convert to "sugar" really fast. But it seems like getting rid of carbs gives you a diet that simply impossible to maintain for the rest of your life.
    My mom stopped eating all sugar about 25 years ago. She was in her 50s or 60s, I think. She lost 10 lbs for all her trouble. I think she should have had more success. Anyway, I'm too scared to try and FAIL :( So please keep us posted!

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  5. I do hope you can give it a whirl and see if it can be beneficial for you! My thoughts are different because it does not cause me to gain weight, but I am sure its not good for any of us! Many people enjoy reading other peoples success journeys. You can do it, with God's help!! Hugs

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  6. I would love to give up sugar too but I know there is no way I ever could/would! I just have accepted that. Fortunately, even though I have a BIG sweet tooth I'm not really overweight. I could stand to lose a few pounds though! I have always been a sugar-holic and I doubt that will ever change. Plus even if I wanted to I would be ambushed every day because my hubby loves sweets as much (or more) than I do!!!! But I'm proud of you and anyone else who has the strength and the will power to give it up. You go, girl!!!

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  7. I would love to read about your journey and learn a few things on the way. You will be in my prayers.

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  8. I wish you well and yes, I will pray for you. I would love to read more about your journey, for family members' sakes. Best wishes on your journey, Deborah.

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  9. Best of luck to you, Deborah, on your sugar free journey! I changed my way of eating about 20 years ago, and have kept the weight off by always watching my protein as carbs, making sure I balance them. It has worked for me. Prayers for you as you do this for yourself. 🙏🏻❤️🙏🏻

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  10. I, too, have issues with sugar and would be interested in hearing about your journey. Lisa in Texas :)

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  11. It is so refreshing to read your post and be able to relate. I just finished radiation for breast cancer and I'll be making many dietary changes. I'm praying for you, sending good thoughts and well wishes :)

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  12. Oh girl you are brave but I know you can do it. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.

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  13. Deborah I forgot to mention I will be praying for you. When you get overwhelmed take a few minutes to pray and read a Psalm. As a matter of fact have a Bible in the kitchen or near the kitchen for "emergencies"

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  14. You are so right that sugar is addicting. And it's in so many packaged foods. I restrict sugar a lot, but I still bake and will indulge in one brownie or one cinnamon bun when they are fresh and leave the rest for the husband/family. And I find that not eating sugar has changed my taste preferences so that I find most commercial desserts far too sweet. For treats I eat 75% dark chocolate, a square at a time, savoured slowly, preferably with tea.
    Refined foods like white flour, rice, and other grains quickly convert to sugar, too, and I moderate how much I eat of those. The trick will be for you to find a balance, something you can live with in the long term.
    Praying for strength and much success as you move forward with your journey to health.

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  15. That is great that you decided to stop eating sugar. I would love to read about your experience and journey. I have cut out a lot of sugar in my diet too. I don't eat as much as I used to, like eating donuts all the time and cake. Good luck with this.

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  16. This subject is dear to my heart and I will definitely keep you in my prayers. YEARS ago I was forced to quit eating sugar because my body can't handle it. I have a kind of allergic reaction to sugar. Just a small amount can put me into a coma. Anyway...I have to be so careful. I ate something from a bakery that was sold as sugar free and got a bad reaction. I get a reaction with just one bite so I know. It has been a challenge for me. I can only eat fruit in very small amounts and no juice at all. But it's amazing how much better all food tastes when you get completely off sugar. Let me know if you want any tips on healthy snacks to eat. I think that's one of the biggest challenges. And I've maintained a healthy weight for over 20 years now so that's a added benefit! I've missed you and was so happy to see your new post! YAY!!!!

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  17. Oh, please post about your journey! I feel the same way about sugar that you do.....moderation just is impossible for me. I try to keep it out of the house, but even that doesn't always work.

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  18. I am trying to cut out sugar also. It takes a lot of willpower! But I still use stevia in my baking and I use Einkorn flour. I know it's hard to eliminate baked goods. There are other solutions for low-carb baking using stevia and other natural sugars that don't raise your blood sugar levels. If anyone would be interested...I have a solution to help cut cravings. It will also help regulate your blood sugar levels, give you more energy, balance cholesterol levels...it's a special pink drink that in combination with two other all-natural supplements works on gut health. When your gut is healthy, then weight will come off. The products are 100% plant-based, high quality ingredients scientifically formulated to make changes in your health...vegan, nonGMO, gluten-free. I'd be glad to provide you with more information. :-) It's helping me. It's helping many others. And there's a 60-day money-back guarantee on the products. :-)

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  19. Would love to come alongside of you in prayer and in learning a new lifestyle of "no sugar". I do understand the need for privacy but you might be helping others by sharing the reality of this new path. Blessings...

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  20. Oh, can I ever relate to your situation! I went off refined white sugar in July of 2007. I will, very rarely, have a treat, but I surely have to be careful to stop quickly, so I don't get drawn back in. I know you said you are giving up artificial sweeteners, but I just wanted to mention Trim Healthy Mama's plan and their Gentle Sweet. Come to think of it though, I think it does have the xylitol and/or erythritol in it, so you may not be interested. I don't follow their plan religiously because it is WAY too complicated for me, but when I am really, really craving something sweet, the Gentle Sweet option is a good fit for me. I need to lose so much weight. I have prayed and tried so hard, but I am going to try harder, by God's grace. I came up with The P.O.W.E.R. tool and talk about it in this post http://www.biblicalminimalism.com/2018/06/introducing-power-tool-facing-obesity.html. It really, really helps me keep on track - that is, when I pick it up and use it! Your post has given me some fresh motivation. I wish you well in your journey, and I am praying for you. I certainly know how hard it can be. God bless and help you and me, too!

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  21. Yes, Deb, I will be cheering you on from the sidelines as well...you can do this! I understand all too well about addiction since my son has had issues most of his life with alcohol. Food can become an addiction too, especially those sweet treats...my husband struggles with this. For years I followed Atkins or low carb and completely removed sugar but replaced it with Splenda...and we've all heard the stories about artificial sweeteners...although I do think some are "healthier" than others. Right now, at this point in my life since I've been sick, I just do well to eat anything that tastes good to me, including some sugar, but I really try to eat good healthy foods most of the time. I have lost 40 pounds since this all started and even though I never wanted to be sick to do it, am enjoying the lowest weight since before my last son was born. There will come a day I'm sure when I may have to ditch the sugar again. There are so many delicious foods that don't contain sugar and I am proud of you for making this commitment...and I will be praying for your success! Hugs!

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  22. Of course we'd be interested in more posts on the subject! This just may be so helpful to you and I will pray for you. I know that when I went on the Mediterranean diet back in 2007 and cut out all sweets, even fruit the first 3 months, I lost 50 pounds in 9 months and felt really well even though I never lost my craving for dessert. And it took just one piece of my favorite pie at Thanksgiving to bring back the cravings in the worst way, right at the holidays. It's a hard thing to do and I'm not sure I'll ever try it again but I sure will be pulling for you and watching for tools you find to help. I have a feeling you'll do this!

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  23. I would love reading about how you are doing with this. I know it will be hard! God bless you!

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  24. I admire you for doing this. I would love to follow along with your journey, and maybe get inspired. Prayer will help! Let's pray!
    Katherine

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  25. I am a brand new subscriber ! I am so excited to read about your Sugar free journey. I have the exact same addictions that you wrote about. I gave up alcohol (cold turkey) in 2014. And I am definitely addicted to sugar. I crave it all the time, from the second I wake up. I have gained so much weight because of it and I desperately want to give it up also - but I am afraid I can't do it ! So looking forward to reading all about your journey - I'll be cheering you on !!

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  26. Good luck on your new way of life. From what I've learned, it isn't good to eliminate everything from your diet because you will be craving them to no end. Moderation is the key in making life changes, trust me on this one. Can't tell you how many times, I travelled down the healthy eating plan and then failed. It takes will power, all you got for sure. I'm fighting this as I write. It's not easy to change your ways, but to become successful and not go back, you must not eliminate everything. It will come back to bite you big time.

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