• Day 22: First Day of Spring, Three Weeks Without Sugar!

    Date: 2010.03.21 | Category: Uncategorized | Tags:

    Happy Spring!  The gorgeous image above is of the French Riviera, current world headquarters of A Year Without Candy.

    I reached Sunday March 21, 2010 having made it successfully through three weeks without sugar.  Only 49 more weeks to go!  I wasn’t able to officially post Sunday as I was updating this blog but I’m back now.  That’s a good thing because I’ve said since I started this Year Without Candy that having to account publicly is probably the only reason why I didn’t relapse after four days and have a chocolate bar.

    From the start, as outlined on the “About” part of this blog, my goal has been to give up all the candy, desserts and sweet treats that have been my addictions.  This was never about giving up all the 20-zillion things that have sugar in them.

    However, careful readers will note that I got even more inspired as the days went on. The first week I threw out my Heinz ketchup bottle since I don’t use it much in France (horrifies the French) and also because I’m more aware than ever of how much sugar is added to ketchup.

    I’ve also starting drinking coffee straight (ugh) and skipping the cubes of sugar because that just seemed…wrong.

    I also wrote here about a week ago that I was resisting the siren call of honey – not that I am addicted to it – but because I was concerned about getting desperate and eating too much of it as a substitute.

    Well, I did weaken on that front this weekend.  I had some peanut butter and honey, which I love!  It was on a day when I just felt that I might wither up and die if I didn’t put something sweet in my tank.

    So I did.  So I’m not Iron Woman.  The good news is that I didn’t eat a lot of it.  I might even throw the rest out.  Seems odd to throw stuff out – but it’s the best strategy for me.  If I know something’s in the kitchen that I really like – I’ll think about it until I eat it.  But if it isn’t there, I don’t eat it.   I recall Helen Gurley Brown saying that was her strategy in general for cutting down on food.

    So, three weeks off candy and desserts. Do I feel like a new person?  No. I’m just grateful I had the idea to do this and it’s working – so far.

    I’ve read a million smug declarations that after 21 days of going off an addictive substance – the cravings are gone and it’s out of your system.

    Bullshit. Poppycock.

    Whenever I’ve gone without candy and sweets in the past, I have dreamed about them.  I flatly don’t believe anything goes away so easily in 21 days. There are always people who hit upon some treatment or method and claim miraculous results.

    I have a good friend who quit drinking 23 years ago, with benefit of Alcoholics Anonymous.  He swears by daily yoga.  He has a wonderful life and isn’t tormented by not drinking – nor is he one of the lucky ones who has had their “compulsion removed,” as some do in AA.  He tells me that every now and then he still dreams of opening a can of beer – and that scares him.

    I believe that some people crave sweets or alcohol because it’s tied in to something deep within their DNA.  I’m in that group.

    For example, I love Diet Coke.  They call it “Coca Light” in Europe.  It’s the perfect drink – for Satan.  It’s loaded with evil chemicals like aspartame and while I knew this, I still drank it.  Why? It tastes good and everyone else drinks it and – like eating meat – you’re hardly ever made aware of reminded how bad this shit is.

    I stopped drinking Diet Coke last November – and although I miss it, I don’t crave it.  To me, that’s an important distinction.  Diet Coke doesn’t have the same pull on my system as sweets – so I can give it up fairly painlessly.

    So after three weeks without sweets,  I can’t say I feel like a brand-new person. I still have cravings and I struggle. No huge Tony Robbins breakthrough here – yet.

    BUT having three weeks in the no-candy bank does feel great – and I’m hoping that I’ll paddle my way to summer without relapsing.

    Here’s to warm weather.  But just one question:

    Why do they call it the dog paddle?