30 days ago, I decided to undertake the most challenging thing for myself. Everybody who is in close contact with me knows that I have a penchant for sweet things. Not just moderate sweet, but sickeningly sweet things. I can eat several types of cakes, candies, pastries in a whole day. And I realized that it was reaching the point of unhealthy after I noticed that I had been eating chocolate bars, every single day for almost 2 weeks straight. I knew I had to do something about it. So that was when I decided that,
“I must go processed sugar free for a month.”
I decided that for a start, I’m going to stay away from chocolate bars, candy, Nutella/Ovomaltine/peanut butter spreads (cries internally), cakes, pastries, doughnuts, biscuits or cookies any sort of fizzy drinks or just sweet drinks in general. Any coffee or tea that I buy must be plain with no sugar. The thought of coffee without any form of sweetener repulses me but I came to accept it as the days go by. That was just the basic rules that I had set for myself before I went through with it. I read up online before that some people completely cut out white bread and white rice from their diets because those contain sugar too. But I wasn’t ready to part with these 2 staples yet so I just decided to start with the ones that I have been consuming uncontrollably for the past few weeks, or months even. I did my thorough research before I undertook this, like, will I be facing any side effects or what is going to happen to my body. I learnt that it takes 14 days for your body to completely get rid of the sugar in your body. So my body will be going through a sugar withdrawal process. I might feel grumpy, I might feel more tired than usual…. The things listed weren’t music to my ears but I decided to just soldier on because I know that this is one bad habit that I must get rid of for my own sake.
I started my challenge on the 16th of March, the day after I bought 2 packs of green tea Kit Kat (smart) and a bottle of Ovomaltine spread (smart as hell, I never got to taste it and now all of it is gone). My first week of no processed sugars was not pleasant to me. Everyone around me were eating chocolate, drinking milo or even milkshakes! I was miserable, I got to admit. I was also so exhausted all the time (I don’t know if this had anything to do with me not consuming my usual sugary food). All I had was my plain water. I kicked myself internally for starting on this challenge. 2 weeks in, I became even more miserable, there were times where I just wanted to eat chocolate but I knew I shouldn’t. So what did I do? I decided to turn to fruits. Fruits have natural sugar in them and it’s much better for the body! So 2nd week onwards, every time I had the craving for something sweet, I would grab an apple or a banana or even strawberries. I made sure I kept an abundance of fruits in my bedroom to avoid from looking into the fridge and seeing an unhealthy processed sugar option. I was glad to say that my method worked and I even formed a habit of eating fruits all the time. After 2 weeks was over, I was no longer craving for sweets or chocolate! Hey, the guy was right! I guess my sugar withdrawal process was done and now my body had formed the habit of not eating any processed sugar.
My biggest challenge was going to McCafe with my father one day and looking at all the cheesecakes on display. I then decided to look at their drinks menu and realized that the only acceptable drink I could find was tea, or even coffee without sugar. I decided to buy unsweetened coffee and to this day, I am fine with it. Albeit I don’t drink coffee that much, I am trying to turn to tea now instead of coffee.
Today is my 30th day without processed sugar and I’m very glad to have supportive parents and friends who understood why I’m doing this. I remember my best friend and my uni mate who would tell me to walk away when I stare at the dessert case for too long, or even my uni mate (who was formerly a barista) that would help me order unsweetened coffee and lattes because her knowledge of these things far bypasses mine. My boyfriend would encourage me all the time about how great I was doing with my personal challenge. I event started carting around my 1 litre Nalgene bottle wherever I went! I decided to only disclose this to only 6 people in my life because I did not want anybody else to know until I succeeded. And today, I am so proud of myself that I decided to write a post about it. Because I know how hard this challenge was for myself.
“So what’s next after this? Are you going to binge eat sugar until you puke?”
No, I’m still going to stay off processed sugar, and might gradually upgrade to cutting out white bread and white rice out of my life. I know that is going to be harder for me but the least I can do is to try. I had my first taste of bread and jam today after what seemed like forever and let me tell you, halfway into it, I felt like puking and I started having a terrible headache. I guess my body doesn’t need processed sugar anymore. My message is that, if someone like me who loves sugar so much, can do this, everyone else could do it too. Sure you have to go through hurdles but like I said, the least you could do is to try. My next challenge after this would be to cut out fast food for a month and I’m starting it on Monday (I like to start things on Mondays). I will let you guys know what happens!
PS: Not everyone’s reactions to cutting out sugar will be the same as mine, make sure to monitor yourself every single day if you decide to do the same thing as me! Also, my facts may not be right as I’m not a nutritionist. All of these are from my own experience.