Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Life Without Sugar

Away with ye, temptresses!
It's now midway through June, the halfway mark in my month without sugar (part of Discipline Year, if you're not a regular). Here are my findings thus far:

1. I've lost five pounds.
2. It wasn't really that hard.
3. It's easy to make your own faux masala sauce.
4. Cupcakes have taken on a mythical quality.

So, for me anyhow, giving up sugar hasn't been too hard. (If you're wondering what I mean by "sugar", i.e. do fruit and wine and such count? you can check out the month's parameters here.) I didn't have too many regular treats to lament—a couple squares of dark chocolate after dinner, and a few sauces I relied on for my dinner repertoire. But aside from the occasional pang of wistful longing as I gaze upon the chocolate in my husband's hand, I've been fine. I think the standard-issue holier-than-thou diet attitude got me through the first week, and by the time the self-satisfaction wore off, so had my body's cravings…for the most part.

So the first week, I couldn't care less about sugar. By week two, I did catch myself ogling the carrot cake in the café's dessert case as though it were an oiled up David Gandy. But not once have I been actually tempted, nor have I cheated. I consider myself pretty lucky to be more of a salt-craver than a sugar-craver. Let's just hope my blood pressure stays low so I never have to test my resolve in the sodium department. I used to have a diet soda habit, but thankfully I gave it up a few years ago. Even fake sweeteners can affect your insulin levels and desire for real sugar.

The five pounds I lost since June began are most definitely from a variety of changes. Ditching the sugar certainly helps, but more than that, I simply haven't been snacking. Couldn't tell you if that's some blood sugar craving chemical-whatnot being subdued, or purely incidental, or something else entirely. Perhaps there's just nothing tasty to snack on that doesn't have sugar in it. I've also been very diligent about my nightly yoga and calisthenics regimen since mid-May, totally unrelated to this expriment…though my weight didn't change until the sugar got 86ed. I've also just generally felt less…puffy. No clue if that has anything to do with some blood sugar / water retention link or what, but I'm not complaining.

I'm donating platelets this afternoon, and I'm praying the Red Cross's snack basket has pretzels stocked this week. If not, my remaining choices are all off-limits, and the RC techs can be quite forceful when it comes to making sure their donors eat something. Note to self: buy a banana at the grocery store this morning.

Unrelated—I'm excited to donate today, as I'm downloading Tina Fey's Bossypants audiobook right now!

That's it. Anyone else in the midst of a nutritional experiment? I know my friend Shoshanna's eating like a caveman at the moment…or that's what I gathered. What I hunter-gathered? Ba dum-bum! Well, whatever that's about, it's got to be way more interesting than kicking cupcakes!


  1. If my daughter had to give up sugar, she would let out a blood-curdling scream heard round the world. Today, she is wearing cupcake earrings. 99% of her thought processes revolve around sugar products. She scares me.

    I am super-impressed with your goal this month. Carrot cake is my weakness, too! (But it has carrots in it...that makes it healthy, right?)

  2. "I did catch myself ogling the carrot cake in the café's dessert case as though it were an oiled up David Gandy"


    Ok, seriously though. Congratulations on your weight loss and your resolve. That is awesome!

    I have given up sugar except for what I get in fruits and veggies. Hubby and I are eating lean and green and we've done pretty well so far. I've increased my water intake and I am walking on the treadmill everyday. Feeling pretty good and hoping to see less of me by summers end. :)