It’s been two weeks without sugar now and it’s slowly starting to get easier but I’m not even going to pretend that I wouldn’t mind devouring a giant bar of chocolate right now.
I’m won’t be dramatic and say the first week was hell but it was certainly, challenging. I went cold turkey where I probably should have weened myself off slowly, but if I could cut down my sugar intake in moderations like that then I wouldn’t have a problem in the first place, right? As a result I got all the withdrawal symptoms.
First came the mood swings. Being all out of routine I had difficulty telling when I was hungry. This resulted in me coming home from work one evening absolutely foul and almost in tears because I just couldn’t work out what to cook for dinner. I eventually cobbled together what ended up being a very yummy plate of food and within ten minutes felt like a normal human being again. Moral of the story: always have an emergency rice cake to hand for when times get bad.
Next came the headaches and dizziness. This was slightly more alarming but thankfully I was aware of this potential side effect and so didn’t think I was suddenly dying. I drank a lot of water to compensate for the lack of sugar in my system and it soon passed after a day or so.
Then came the cravings. I had been feeling quite chuffed at the lack of cravings in the first few days but when they hit they hit HARD. I found myself staring hungrily at people eating fruit, scrolling through Facebook became torture what with all the Tasty video channels I’ve subscribed to, and I even caught myself eyeing up the box of sugar cubes next to the coffee machine in the staff kitchen.
Those were the most notable symptoms but all through that first week I felt like a really dull version of myself but I waited it out and I’m starting to come through to the other side. For example, I walked past a fruit market yesterday and didn’t start drooling. I’m getting better at knowing when to stop eating and am definitely not snacking as much.
That’s not to say I’ve been perfect. I accidentally ate some dates at a Tapas bar and didn’t even realise what I had done until the next day. I also got caught out eating a bag of crisps and checked the label half way through to learn that sugar was the third ingredient on the list. But I’m refusing to get my knickers in a twist about it. I can feel in myself that it hasn’t completely undone all the hard work so far.
The same goes for eating out. I got in quite a tizz in the first week when I was invited out for pizza because what about all the hidden sugars? But then I decided the whole point of giving up sugar is so that my life becomes less dictated to by food. If I pass up social opportunities because of the odd bit of sugar here and there, I’m still being controlled by what I eat. So I have been out to eat more in this second week. I probably haven’t made the best food choices each time but I’ve avoided drinking cocktails, refused tomato and BBQ sauce (which is a BIG deal for those who know me) and ignored the jam-filled sugar-coated pastries when out for breakfast; these are all big steps for me and I do feel rather liberated for it. I’m looking forward to seeing how the next couple of weeks go.