Taking Back Control – breaking the sugar addiction
Sitting here on the last day of Melt Away March fills me with more anxiety than excitement. Yes, as of tomorrow I can go back to introducing refined sugar to my diet and indulge in my favourite treats as I please but is that what I want?
If you had asked me 19 days ago I would have told you I longed for this day to come when I could finally eat Maltesers again and my favourite Thornton brownies. In the beginning it did feel like I was depriving myself of something that I felt added a lot of happiness to my life but now I am not so sure…
The main thing I will take away from MAM is the feeling of empowerment. Before I began I was quite convinced I was addicted to sugar and like most other addictions it was going to be a never ending vertical climb to control it. This was the case for the first week and then I started to notice that this feeling of empowerment in saying no to sugar actually brought me a great feeling of satisfaction and pride.
I can admit that I emotionally ate sugar and would reach for it when I was tired, stressed or emotional. I felt that it was the only thing that would make me feel better in that moment. However, during MAM having to push through those moments without sugar made me realise that very quickly that urge for sugar to fix my feelings passed and I got over and moved on from things faster. Why? I think because with the sugar fixes came other feelings I then had to work through such as guilt and my inevitable sugar low. During MAM, going to bed each night knowing I got through the day without my emotional crutch sugar gave me a great sense of pride in myself.
I know many will say this great feeling of empowerment I claim to feel over not eating sugar for 21days is a little over the top… And let’s not get carried away that I am now going to run for Prime Minister with this new found empowerment. However, in a world where I often feel that my life is out of control with everything that is going on around me, I realise that sometimes taking back the control shows you that you are more in the driving seat of your life than you like to admit. It is all too easy to claim we don’t have time to focus on eating healthy, exercising regularly or being kind to ourselves in other ways, but it is simply not true. Don’t overwhelm yourself by adding multiple new rules, disciplines or habits at once but month by month try and work on something or add something new to your life that you will focus on for that month.
Now, let me say this does not mean the end of me eating refined sugar as I believe that everything in life should be in moderation. I will say however, that I am going to be more disciplined about how much it is in my diet and I will resist with confidence when the reason I am reaching for it to be my emotional crutch. Sugar will be my treat to eat when I feel good and want to be kind to myself and eating it will only enhance those feelings!
I would love to hear your thoughts on refined sugar or Melt Away March if you took part or would like to do it and need support. Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, if you want more information on Refined sugar the BBC did a great programme only this week, give it a watch on iplayer.
Now onto my next Challenge… Kayla Itsines 12 week Bikini Body Guide! Wish me luck!