Today marks my final day on the no sugar challenge. The details of this challenge are simple, 30 days of no refined sugar, natural sugars (fruit, honey, agave, etc) are absolutely fine, with one treat day a week.
There were two common questions I was asked when I mentioned I was doing this challenge:
1) Are you nuts?! It’s Christmas!
2) How are you feeling?
To be honest, the fact that it’s the season for an abundance of baked goods hasn’t bothered me at all. Luckily not a lot of treats have showed up at the office so far, and any that have I’ve been really good at avoiding. I’ve done a good job of sticking to my meals at work and saving up for something I really wanted for my weekly treat day. There were a few days where I really wanted a chocolate, but I just told myself I only had a few days left until I could treat myself. No big deal.
As for how I’m feeling. I don’t feel any different. I’m not a huge sugar junkie in the first place so I really wasn’t giving anything up in my daily diet. I didn’t have any withdrawals, headaches or any other symptoms of cutting sugar from my diet.
The hardest part of the challenge was avoiding all the things that sugar hides in. I will be honest that I had a small handful of unintentional slip ups. This challenge has really opened my eyes to all the different foods that contain sugar that you just wouldn’t realize. Ketchup, BBQ sauce, salad dressings, bread, potato chips, it’s everywhere. I had to be very mindful to read labels when I was grocery shopping. The hardest part was eating out because sometimes you really just don’t think about what sugar could be in when you’re ordering.
The other day I met my mom at the café in my office building for lunch. I planned to have a tuna wrap, but was given the wrong kind by accident. As I already had it open and in my hands, I didn’t want to return it so figured I’d eat it anyways. I was already a few bites in when I realized that it was a BBQ chicken wrap. BBQ sauce has sugar in it. Damn. I had a similar incident while out with a friend for dinner. I had ordered a side of sweet potato fries and without even thinking poured ketchup onto my plate. It definitely takes some getting used to when you’re out at a restaurant to be mindful of what you’re putting into your mouth!
Even though I slipped a few times outside of my designated treat days, I didn’t give up. I just recommitted myself and continued pushing through the days until the end. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s a part of life. A mistake doesn’t mean failure, it doesn’t mean you lost, it doesn’t mean you should give up. We need to learn from those mistakes, to keep pushing forward, because they will make us grown and become stronger and will benefit us in the rest of our journey.
I’m proud to say that I completed this challenge and I hope to continue being mindful of my sugar consumption. With Christmas coming this weekend I know that there will be more and more goodies around and I am going to be mindful not to go overboard. The holidays only come once a year, but it doesn’t mean you should go overboard on all the sweets. It also doesn’t mean you should deny yourself a treat if you really want one. It’s the little things like this that will help improve your health and reach your goals.
Are you a sugar junkie? Would you have a hard time giving up refined sugar for 30 days?
What are some foods that contain sugar that really surprises you?
I was really craving Intense Pickle Doritos the other day but was surprised that they contained sugar, whereas Old Dutch Dill Pickle chips did not contain any. Dill Pickle definitely aren’t as good as Intense Pickle though!
Also, as you know I’m also doing a burpee challenge, which is done at the end of the week, and a plank hold challenge that goes until the end of the month. My goal was 3minutes which I have blown out of the water, so I upped it to 5. Last week I made 3:45 and Marty thought it was unreal and wanted to see it. So today Jasmine, who I do Crossfit with and am doing the burpee and plank challenges with, and I video taped our plank holds. I hit 4 minutes, she hit 5.
Enjoy the view 😉