Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Year of No Sugar

Oh my. Where to begin? Christmas is over, and that's depressing, but I have to admit it's nice to be done with the craziness and non-stop go go go and be back on a schedule. I had a wonderful Christmas, and got quite possibly the sweetest, most thoughtful gift anyone has ever gotten, ever. Or maybe I'm biased. Either way, I hope to post a picture of it soon.

The New Year is here. My sisters and I and our families had a mini party, playing games and grubbing on a pretty dang good feast. We knew we had to make it good, since it would be the last junk food for most of us for a long time. We had a blast, until Macy got one of her migraines around 11:30 and we had to hightail it out of there before her feast came back up. Bill and I rang in the New Year together with Ryan Seacrest and Kesha.

I've sort of given up on New Year's resolutions because if there's one thing I am, it's honest to myself. And me, myself and I all know that I am notorious for making grand announcements about making changes, and believing 100% that I will make them, and then not doing a single thing to make it happen, but expecting it to happen somehow on its own. I've accepted it, you should too. But this year I decided, very spontaneously, to make the grandest, most unattainable resolution of them all: No sugar for a year.

I KNOW, RIGHT??? Totally ridiculous. But I am bound and determined. I have toyed with the idea of going off sugar for a while now, and the new year seemed like the perfect time. It is going to be, arguably, the hardest thing I will ever do, and although I have resolved to go an entire year, I am taking it each day at a time and really just hoping to go as far as I can with it. I plan on documenting my journey here on my blog, with the hopes that by putting this out there, I will feel more accountable and more pressured to stick with it. I'm going to be brutally honest, detailing all of the highs and lows, slip ups, cravings, challenges and successes.

But first, a few things you should know. 1) I am totally, without a doubt, convinced that I am addicted to sugar. I don't mean mentally, I mean physically. (It's real, look it up.) So this is me, trying to quit, trying to detox myself and break free of my addiction. 2) When I say "no sugar" I obviously don't mean no sugar whatsoever because if you start reading labels on things, you'll see that's virtually impossible. EVERYTHING has sugar. And if it doesn't, it most likely has something in it that will turn to sugar in your body. I'm not worrying about that kind of sugar, at least not right now, because I'm realistic and let's face it, I would starve to death. Nor am I swearing off natural sugars, like fruit and stuff. I'm talking the kind of sugar you think of when you think of sugar, like desserts, my beloved sugar cereal, sugar pop, candy, etc. This is hard enough for me, trust me. When I feel like I have that under control, I am going to attempt to cut out processed, white flour stuff. We'll see how that goes. So, I hope you'll be here to cheer me on because, believe me, I will NEED it.

Today was Day 3 of no sugar. It has already been difficult, but so far I have managed to stay strong, a lot due to the fact that I announced it on Facebook, a strategy that proved inspired. But also because I would hate myself for failing three days into it.

Day 1 was a breeze. I was so pumped, so motivated, nothing was going to bring me down. I did, however, bring home a bunch of cupcakes from our New Year's Eve party, and they were screaming at me from their platter on the counter. Plus, we still have Christmas candy here, not the leftover kind that nobody wants, but some of the really good kind that I love. I know what you're thinking, "Get that crap out of your house." But I have another weakness, and that's that I absolutely cannot throw perfectly good stuff (food) away. Plus, it's my kids' candy. And I took a long time making the little fondant snowflakes on top of the cupcakes, so I cant' throw all that work in the garbage. Don't worry, my kids are taking care of it all, and soon it will all be out of my house.

Day 2 was a little harder. Not during the day, cause it was Fast Sunday, but at night, that's always the hardest. Especially because we often sit and watch Food Network at night, which is the dumbest thing you can do. I compensated by eating other junk food that I like, the non-sugary kind, like chips. I know, not the smartest thing, but it's the ONLY thing that is going to get me through this first little while, and I'm okay with that. I think when the cravings aren't so strong I'll be able to just say no.

Day 3 (today) was, well, crappy, but I'm pretty sure it's because of my non-sugar indulgence just before bed the night before. Chips and dip right before bed--not so smart. I woke up with a headache and heartburn that was so bad I was completely sick to my stomach and stayed in bed all day. I did get up to eat something so I could take some Advil, and those wretched cupcakes were literally jumping off the counter at me. But...I prevailed!! It took iron will, but I did not have one, and that, my friend, is the most monumental feat I have accomplished in pretty much forever. You seriously have no idea. But I do. Here's why: 1) Because they were cupcakes. 2) We had no other food in the house, which would, in the past, have been all the justification I needed to eat them for lunch. 3) When I don't feel good, my diet is always the first thing to go out the window. I don't care about being healthy, I just want to eat whatever is going to make me feel good. For those reasons, I'm a freaking rock star for abstaining.

So that's my first three days without sugar. Besides feeling lousy today, I haven't noticed so much of a change in the way I feel, other than my self-esteem, which is awesome. I think as soon as I stop substituting greasy, fatty food for sugar I will noticed a big difference. And I'm already trying to do that, especially after the Revenge of the Chips and Dip today.

So, cross your fingers that I can keep this up. So far so good. I will conquer you, sugar, I will.


Marilyn said...

I talked to Noelle today and she told me you were doing this, and I thought that's crazy! But I am so proud of you!

I've been wanting to follow in Noelle's footsteps for a while now, and so I finally decided to join her in no sugar January...and maybe longer. Today [actually yesterday, it's almost 3am] was my first day, and it went well. Bunco will be tricky because of the bowls of candy. I was actually thinking that maybe it being January, resolutions and all, that maybe people would want to skip them... I don't know.

I'm rambling. It's late. I should be in bed.

Anyways, good luck. I'm cheering you on!!!

::lindsay said...

Good luck Alicia! You'll do great!

It's nice to know that everyone else is having similar goals right now and that we are all in the same boat. I completely overindulged this holiday season and yesterday was my first day of exercising and eating right. Needless to say, I was a grouchy bear by the end of the evening!

Shells said...

Go to the library and check out "The Diet Cure" by Julia Ross. She talks about how our chemical imbalances makes us crave certain foods (such as sugary sweets). She suggests adding certain proteins and supplements to your diet to help curve the cravings. Worth a shot.

Good luck! Great goal.

PRP said...

Wow! I'm so impressed. That would be difficult, to say the least, but I think it's awesome that you're looking at your long term goals and making changes now to achieve them. I will be cheering you on!

NaDell said...

Good luck with that lofty goal! Really. I know I'd need it even more than you. I'm sure you are fully stocked with sugar free gum, right?
Oh, and thanks for the fun game (Trek to Zion) that my mom won. We played it a bunch over vacation and it was a blast. Everyone who played it so far liked it and were impressed that someone local made it. =)

dandee said...

You can do this! I have been sugar free for a week. Nuts (which I know aren't your fave) and gum have helped a lot.

Lisa said...

holy gummy bears daleesha!!! this is quite a goal! impressive, my friend...impressive. you totally have my support. i don't know if i could kick sugar completely, but you definitely have me thinking...hmmmm

Rachael said...

Alicia, you can do this!! I was so glad to read your post, it was so you. I just try to read it keeping in mind your hand movements and the lighting speed at which you talk, and it is like having a conversation with you....that IS a compliment. We need to hang out more. I mean, we live like 5 houses away...and every time I comment, and I have to type the wv, I always remember how much you hated when people had it, and you told everyone how much you hated that they had times change...

Noelle said...

want to know my tricks? the fruit leathers (the real fruit kind) from costco. amazingly good and perfect for a sweet fix. also, yoplait light yogurt with granola in it. huge amounts of sugar but seriously, i couldn't over eat on yogurt, i'd die barfing. the other one is applesauce and cheese. for some reason it totally makes the sugar hungries go away. but if nothing else works - make breakfast for dinner! :) i also eat whole wheat toast with butter and honey. then it's almost like eating a hot baked good. almost....:)
i'm going for two months. i've done it a few times before. i can never remember why i fail after a month or two. usually i just want to remember what it tastes like. but doing sugar free definitely makes me realize how addicted i am, how much i am really eating all day long, and how out of control i am of what i eat. so i look forward to sugar free january every year. i feel so empowered.
that is so awesome that you didn't eat that cupcake. my sister heather (who pretty much can't eat anything) says the smell is always better than the taste. so i've started smelling things and just walking away. knowng that i'd feel crappier if i ate it than it'd taste good.

Shayla said...

I'm totally cheering you on! I imagine the longer you go without it, the easier it will be. Or not? I know this is something that would really improve my life, but just the thought of cutting it out sends me into cold sweats. I read the book "The Diet Cure" that Shells recommended. We bought some of the supplements, but taking all those pills AND trying to eat better proved to be more than we could conquer. If anyone can do this, you can!