June 15, 2011

The Taste of Fail

That is what I have in my mouth regarding the sugar free challenge. It doesn’t taste very good. I did not last 2 days keeping to the original criteria. I did not last a week before I had a treat. I certainly didn’t last the month I originally planned.

I believe I failed because I was overly ambitious. Before I started the challenge, I ate a LOT of sugar. Candy every day. Sugar in my coffee. Frozen yogurt frequently. Diet Pepsi regularly. The challenge was to go from this to absolutely no sweet whatsoever. My body and brain rebelled.

This post
spoke strongly to me. Amanda from Run To The Finish (the one who started this whole sugar madness) invited Alisa from www.GoDairyFree.org to guest post. In it she talks about giving herself a sugar allowance, and about not feeling guilty for cheating every once in a while. She also included some sugar free recipes that I can’t wait to try, including Grain Free “Brownies”.

I have not given up. The challenge has made me think, make me look at my habits, and at my diet. What I’m coming away with is that yes, I am addicted to sugar.
Specifically I believe cane sugar is the culprit. I don’t like how that addiction rules me. I don’t like the guilt, nor the constant frustration over my weight. I don’t like the sense of failure because I said I wasn’t going to eat sugar, and found myself overruled by sugar cravings.

I am attacking this from a different angle than the all-get-out attack on sweets in general. I am taking the “how do you eat an elephant?” approach, e.g. one step at a time. The least I can do is stay within the FDA’s recommended maximum recommended daily allowance for sugars. I'd already eliminated High Fructose Corn Syrup several months ago. The other major step is to eliminate cane sugar. Not sweets. Just cane sugar.  One step at a time.

Aunt Gertie (formerly known as Princess) has caught the bug that got me started on this whole thing. She does not eat much sugar because she does not each much in the way of processed foods. That said, she decided to take a closer look at her diet, and found she was above that recommended allowance for sugars.

Aunt Gertie introduced me to My Fitness Pal, which is an Android phone app and a website much like Fitday or Sparkpeople, both of which I’ve used in the past. The site helps you track food, water, and exercise. You enter your age, weight, and activity level. It tells you how many calories you should eat based on your weight loss goals. What it also tells me is how many sugars I’m eating. I like the breakdown at the bottom, which makes it easy to see if you’re above or below your goal.


Today’s Fitness Plan. Not the healthiest day, but within the calorie allotment. I entered all this from memory as I didn’t plan to start my new plan until tomorrow. 
I am not trying to lose weight this time. I came to the realization that I won’t ever be skinny, mainly because I have no desire to be skinny. I also will most likely never be anything but “overweight” (as the Wii tells me every time I log on to do Yoga). I’m ok with overweight, as long as I’m not obese.

Weighing less would make running easier. I won’t knock it if it does happen. Weight loss is not my goal here though. Superman has reminded me in the past that I eat healthier when I keep track of what I put in my mouth. Eating healthier and the prospect of life without a monkey on my back is what drives this choice.

It’s time to start keeping track again.

This is an hour and a half long, but interesting if you want to know more about what sugar and fructose do to the body. Obese 6 month olds? Watch and learn.

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