A funny thing happened …

February 11, 2013

I am peeking with aching and blood shot eyeballs out of the other end of having the flu. I had never had it before and bagsy not having it again. It was hideous and had me wondering was it the absence of sugar for 30 days that stuffed my immune system, or the starting to eat it again? I’m betting on the latter.

Throughout the whole of the last four crappy days I have not craved sugar once – or even sweet things. The thought of chocolate actually makes me shudder. I could not even be swayed by a lemon tart. Blimey.

The hungry caterpillar

February 3, 2013

Sugar count since Wednesday:

  • 2 chocolate brownies
  • 2 celebrations
  • 2 easter biscuits
  • 2 macadamia nut cookies
  • a two-finger kitkat
  • a piece of lemon tart

… and I am STILL hungry.



January 31, 2013

Here are some links to ramblings by other sugar free folk:

At the end of this sugary day I think I can say my love affair with the white stuff is over. Here’s to the occasional treat, better skin, looser jeans, more energy, greater focus and finding my balance.

Sweet nothings

January 31, 2013

The 30 days are up. It also happens to be my 15th wedding anniversary and so getting the old man a box of chocolates was a little like Homer buying Marge a bowling ball, but hey.

This challenge hasn’t been mind blowing but it did teach me some things:

  • Sugar is something my mind turns to (like roll-ups) in both moments of stress and happiness
  • If you ignore the cravings, they go away – and that gives you satisfaction in itself
  • I am less hungry
  • My family were really lovely and that was sweet enough to keep me going
  • I am less shouty and more glass half-full
  • I did not associate sugar with getting fat, I associated it with trashing your teeth and making you hyper. What I have learned is that when you eat too much of it, you suppress your body’s ability to recognise when you are full – which makes you eat more, which in turn makes you fat
  • Sugar is not that great – I have eaten three of the anniversary chocolates and they were distinctly “whatever”
  • When we move too fast we use our little addictions to keep us going. Maybe what we should do when we find ourselves in a moment of stress or happiness is to stand still and look it in the eye
  • If we can find other ways to keep up with the pace – whether it’s earlier nights, taking a deep breath and counting to 10, getting a hug or going for a walk – then we will be more aware of the happy moments

And if we happen to have the odd slice of lemon tart or the odd roll-up along the way …

Are we there yet?

January 29, 2013

Two more days to go. Yesterday I had a yoghurt and today I had a peanut bar so really, I have faltered three times this whole month but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. It has been an interesting experiment and I think my instincts at the start were right: too much sugar adds pointless anxiety and stress. But too little takes the sweetness out of life.

I have been dreaming of lemon tart and I am going to make one on Friday for me and my girlfriends with a dollop of creme fraiche on top. And how can that be a bad thing? I am resolved to continue being mindful about what I eat and to take genuine pleasure in it and in how I feel when I eat well. If I have sugar, it will be made with love and nice ingredients. My daughter and I have a mantra when shopping – “if you don’t love it, don’t buy it” and I will apply the same philosophy to food. Simple.

Now, how to make lemon tart …


January 22, 2013

Day 22 and I had a bit of brioche for my oldest boy’s birthday breakfast. It was not the most exciting way to fall off the sugar-free wagon so I have climbed back on without feeling that I am missing anything.

Other than that, not much to report. I lost the half a pound I gained last week. I’m still grumpier than I need to be and I’m still getting to bed too late. I know, those two things are linked. Must try harder. I once lost four pounds during a week of camping purely, I reckon, because we were in bed by 9 o’clock every night. Sleep yourself skinny!

Halfway and happy

January 15, 2013

In the hugeness of things, 30 days without sugar does not even register as a challenge and I’d be a spoiled brat to think anything different. It is an interesting study, that’s all. When I was flagging a few days ago, I did some research into the benefits of giving up sugar and it was an exercise in positive reinforcement. There are lots of good blogs out there written by people who have done a year of more without it and guess what? Not one of them has regretted it.

As for me, I have put on half a pound, I still get grumpy, I still can’t get to bed before midnight, I am having trouble getting to sleep and then the craziest dreams. The last two could be the tribe of mice in the roof space above my bed. However, I am less hungry, less shouty, less tired and more focussed on the task at hand. Yesterday I was working on a research project in the library and three hours went by without distraction. Three hours! And today I did my first 9 to 5 day in years and it flew.

Best of all, I am calmer. I am on the Road to Calmsville …

Remembering the Why

January 11, 2013

I am at the stage where I am questioning why I am doing this. But I know this is a trick and I am not fooled.

Over the past 9 months I have lost 17 pounds. Slow and steady. My metabolism has shifted as has my approach to what I eat. And I am enjoying wearing clothes that had been hidden away under the bed in moments of defeat. I was even able to put on the velvet skirt and jacket I wore for my wedding 15 years ago and though it was snug, it was on and zipped up. A small but happy triumph.

I am officially within my healthy weight bracket and that was my goal. It’s a wide bracket so I could lose another stone and still be in it but I have decided to try for four more pounds and then I’m sticking. It’s the face or arse thing and I like looking relatively fresh-faced and I like not depriving myself of the things I enjoy: good food and wine and people with a touch of the hedonist about them. I have yet to meet a fun person who counted calories.

eight schmeight

January 8, 2013

I read that the second week is harder than the first and so it is. I am grumpy today and staving off mean cravings. There is only one thing for it: to opt out – not of the challenge but of the day. So an early night for me and we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Big picture, big picture, big picture …

Footnote: amazing what reading a little boy a bedtime story, folding the next day’s uniforms, knowing lunchboxes are made and a long soak in the tub can do. Sugar? Bah!

One week in

January 7, 2013

Still no sugar and I truly am calmer. The occasional spike of annoyance but overall I am more measured, more fun and less tired. I have been eating the odd bit of honey, drinking the odd bit of red wine and not obsessing over sugar in things too much but overall, I am resolved to do this.

We walked on the beach today, me, the kids and Boo and I had a wonderful sense of being in the moment. Of playfulness and relaxation. It reminded me of the time back in the early noughties when life overwhelmed me and I was prescribed Seroxat. It was a weeks’ holiday from the grind until I watched a Panorama programme called, unnervingly, “Seroxat. Postcards from the Edge”. So the pills went in the bin, Mummy came back to earth and life continued. And got better. And I was indeed able to cope with the glorious chaos of it all and adore my kids and adore my husband and do a good job. We all know about the benefits of living in the now. Of being present. And we all like to think we are doing it. But when we really do, it is wonderful and life-affirming and relationship strengthening and humbling and magical.

If this is a placebo effect, I’m buying.