2018 Sugar Free

2018 Year of Living Sugar Freely: January Report

I promised to keep you posted (and myself accountable) for my 2018 resolution to give up sugar in this post. So, I thought I’d pop in and tell you how January went.

First, I did get some questions on exactly what I meant by “sugar-free.” I meant no added sugar as opposed to naturally occurring sugar, such as in fruit. Basically, I’m using the Whole 30 definition of sugar:

  • Do not consume added sugar, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, date syrup, stevia, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.

So, how did it go?

Overall, I think I did pretty darn well. It was actually easier than I expected it to be too. All my life, I’ve thought I could enjoy things in moderation when it turns out I’m actually what Gretchen Rubin calls an abstainer. It’s easier for me to give something up entirely than it is to just have a bit.

It wasn’t a perfect month. I got an almond milk latte at Starbucks, only to discover three days later that Starbucks uses sweetened almond milk. I ordered Brussel sprouts instead of fries in a restaurant, only to discover they were coated in maple syrup before being roasted. And my office is sugar central so it’s hard to resist there. Twice, I didn’t bring quite enough of my own food to work and ended up giving in to the temptation to have a fistful of jelly beans and one chocolate covered pretzel. Even that was an improvement though. A vast improvement.

I mostly follow a paleo or modified whole 30 way of eating anyway, especially at home. So that wasn’t too tough. But, over the fall, I’d gotten addicted to my PSL (Pumpkin Spice Lattes) and Peppermint Mochas. That was where most of my sugar intake was coming from before 2018 plus some holiday treats too.

I read two books about quitting sugar this month. One was a memoir called Year of No Sugar by Eve Schaub. She and her family, including her two young daughters, gave up sugar for a year. She did bake with dextrose though (corn sugar) so I’m not sure how much help that was. It was well written and interesting though.

I also read The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes. It’s very dense and meandering. I’d recommend just reading the article it’s based on instead. Still, it’s interesting to think of the parallels between tobacco use and sugar addiction. Also, it’s helpful to me to think of sugar as a toxin when I’m trying to avoid it.

My jeans feel just a bit looser. But the real improvement has been that my joints aren’t aching anymore and I’m sleeping better. So, overall, I declare it a win for January and onward to February. 11 more months to slay my sugar dragon 🙂

2018 Sugar Free

2018 Resolution

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I always do but it wasn’t until I came across Gretchen Rubin‘s Four Tendencies framework that I understood why I struggle so hard with keeping them. According to Ms. Rubin, I’m an obliger meaning that I can easily meet outer expectations imposed by others or outside forces but struggle to meet my inner expectations or goals that I set for myself. The way to fix it–turn an inner expectation into an outer by providing outer accountability.

And that’s where you come in.

First, the resolution: For 2018, I’ve decided to give up sugar. No sweets, no candy, no cake, no ice cream, etc for the whole year.

Why? Because I’ve always suffered from a sugar dragon and really want to free myself from it. I’ve done several rounds of Whole 30 and I always feel so much better during one. I’ve already given up dairy and most grains due to sensitivities but sugar has proven to be my tempting bugbear.

Sugar also lurks in a surprising amount of processed and restaurant food. And, as I’m planning to travel and live my normal life, I will still be eating out during the year. I’m not going to drive myself nuts wondering if sugar is hiding in any given plate of food. I think giving up sweets is enough to be getting on with (obviously I’m not going to order something obvious like sugar-coated bacon or anything 🙂

But I need your help to stick to it. So, every month, I’ll be reporting on my success and/or failure here on the blog. I’ll be keeping daily track in my bullet journal.

I gave up diet soda–all soda actually–this year so the no sugar thing should be super easy in comparison, right? **whimper**

How about you? What’s your resolution?