Beating My Sugar Habit–30 Days Sugar Free!

(To see the earlier parts of my sugar story, go here and then here.)

After those first, awful days, I emerged with steely resolve.
I wasn’t going to let sugar beat me anymore.
But it was hard!
My craving for sugar began as soon as I woke up in the morning.
I wanted sugar in my coffee.
And I wanted it bad.

I thought about sugary treats all day.
I couldn’t believe how strong the cravings were.
I didn’t miss bread, or cheese, or rice, or dairy. (except in my coffee)
But boy did I miss sugar.

To help with my cravings, I ate a tremendous amount of fruit.
I bought watermelons and would polish off a whole bowl for lunch.
If I craved a sweet snack after dinner, I cut up a mango and ate that.
I drank  juice when I really wanted a glass of sweet iced coffee.
I scoured Trader Joe”s looking for dried fruit that didn’t contain sugar.
I could not believe how difficult it was to find.
I settled for raisins and dates I found at Sprouts.
Eating those really helped with the sweet cravings.
I was still annoyed at myself and how much I thought about sugar.
But I was coping the best that I could, and every day that I wnet sugar free felt like a true victory.
And believe me, I counted every. single. day.

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This lasted at least a week and a half.
I don’t think I would have made it without the support of my friends.
I could text them and complain about my overwhelming desire for chocolate.
I was buoyed up by their encouragement.
And there was the element of friendly competition that existed between us too–if they were not quitting, then neither was I!
Beating my sugar habit was certainly easier with friends.

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And then, the cravings started to fade.
They weren’t as strong.
I didn’t need to eat 2 bowls of watermelon a day.
I wasn’t longing for sugar all day long.
I could go to the store and not buy chocolate.
And when I saw my favorite seasonal ice cream at Trader Joe’s I didn’t make excuses about it being there for just a little while and buy it.
I walked right past it.
The need for sugar just grew less.
Well except for wanting it in my coffee.
That never went away.
Still, I saw progress each day, and that felt pretty great.

It also felt great to fit into clothes that I couldn’t a few weeks ago.
I wasn’t losing more than a few pounds, but I was losing inches.
My stomach was flatter.
I wasn’t bloated.
I also had a lot more energy.
Even with less sleep than usual (which already isn’t a lot) I wasn’t having an afternoon energy crash.
That was huge!
Getting sugar out of my diet and filling my body with whole, real foods really was making a difference.
I felt really, really, good.

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In the beginning of the challenge, when I imagined coming to the end, I thought I’d go out for fancy donuts and a giant cafe mocha.
Or go out for pie.
Or just eat a big bar of my favorite chocolate.
But by the time I got there, I didn’t even want those things.
While I was so proud to have made it 30 days sugar free, the end actually felt a little anti climactic.
I just put a small teaspoon of sugar and some cream in my coffee and steered clear of sugar for the rest of the day.

Truth is, I was afraid to go back on sugar.
I was pretty sure the addictive power of sugar would control me again.
I wasn’t sure how I would manage my sugar intake.
I wanted to be able to include it in my life, but I didn’t want to let it rule over me like it did before.
I didn’t want to live all or nothing.
But could I find a way to live somewhere in between?

Stay tuned to find out.
And keep on Living Fit!