Friday, September 30, 2011

Dropping Sugar Like A Bad Habit...

Oh, I sound real tough, don't I?

But honestly, this is a big one for me.  And it has several factors going behind it.  I have read more than a couple articles recently about how we eat way too much sugar and how the white stuff isn't good for us - far past rotting my teeth out like my parents used to threaten.  It can be linked to not only the obvious health culprits and obesity but also depression, heart disease, acne and cancer.

I know...yikes!

Aaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnndddddddddd last week, I might have eaten a whole bag of Hershey Kisses by myself.  And a half batch of oatmeal cookies...and some rice krispie treats....and a large sweet tea from McDonalds.

Actually, it was the sweet tea that did me in, as I sipped on it while reading the last and final article on the badness of sugar that pushed me over the edge.  

It's not that I don't think that sugar is fine in moderation - I do...I just also know that I have no moderation when it comes to sugar.  Therefore, I decided to join some other bloggers I follow that have been providing positive peer pressure and go without.  Well, sort of...

I told two people when I decided to start this:  Scott and my best friend.  I no sooner typed the email to Amanda when she called in a panic.  "What do you mean, you're going off sugar?"

You see, she was around when I went off sugar the first time.  Back in college when I had an elbow that wouldn't heal and I didn't want to miss pitching my entire junior season so I went to a chiropractor that told me that my diet was horrible - too much sugar, too little protein or complex carbs, too many hydrogenated fats, blah blah blah.

I know...what did he know... *pshhhh*

The 20 year old Annie and her friends viewed it all as a bunch a bull-hockey, but I wanted to pitch so badly that I thought I would give his theory a try and went off my beloved sugar, Poptarts, and crackers.  I learned to read labels and plan my meals.  It really was a learning experience, and even though I did eventually go back to the dark side (once I was able to pitch again - HA!), it taught me a lot about nutrition.  

But anyway, a week into my new diet and my best friend showed up at the door with what would save me:  sugar-free Jello with fruit cocktail mixed in and enough spoons to go around for us and my roommates.  We ate it right out of the bowl and it was the best thing I swear I had ever tasted. 

The whole situation became quite hysterical - as we sat and ate the entire bowl and laughed.  I think we'd been studying...for a very long time...AND if you never hear from me again after this post, they have massacred me for posting this picture!

And I was just darn loopy from no sugar...I couldn't tell you what I was doing here.  All I know is that I would LOVE for my forehead to have that few wrinkles again!

So, understanding her concern, I tried to talk her down.  "Yeah, I'm getting a little out of control and I don't want to gain a million pounds with this pregnancy,"  I told her.

"Tell me how you're doing this," she delved. "I mean, are you avoiding everything with sugar because you know pretty much everything HAS sugar in it."

Looking down at the peanut butter I was smearing on a piece of toast, I gulped.  She was right.  So right then and there, I decided that I was giving up sweets and soft drinks - the obvious stuff.  My husband was in full support of my decision - having seen the Kisses bag in the trash and knowing that he didn't eat any - but convinced me to just go during the week, giving myself the weekends to cheat.

Which sounded perfectly logical to me, considering that I am deeply in love with fall sweets.  (Cue Homer Simpson voice)  Mmmmm...pumpkin and apple ANYTHING....mmmmmm...

Now supporting me and being in love with me can be two different things though, as my sweet hubby called on the way home yesterday and was running through Sonic to get something to drink as a pick-me-up.  Did I want anything?  Oh, temptation washed over me like a flood.  But I sighed, "No...I'm not doing sugar.  Can you get me something unsweetened?"

So he came home with a little strawberry lemonade for Elizabeth and Rachel, a drink for himself and an unsweetened tea for me.  And, you know, it wasn't too bad!

Now, the question remains about other sweeteners and, currently, all I'm using is either honey or maple syrup.  I don't trust any other, although I haven't read all the research on Stevia yet.  And I really don't want to fool with it while being pregnant because I'm not really looking at this as a weight loss answer.  So it's not like I've traded my beloved baked goods in for items that are "diet" or "fat free."  Honestly, I'd rather have the sugar and just deal with the side effects I know. 

Other people who try this have claimed improved complexions, loss of excess weight, more energy and just a better overall feeling.  All those things sound just about awesome to me right about now.  

So I am wrapping up my first week of this and have noticed a couple things.  One, I have dropped a couple pounds.  Now, don't fuss at me and tell my I'm depriving my baby because I'm not.  Mysteriously, I gained five fast ones that week that I went on my binge-o-sweets.  So I am just losing the crap I put on.  I think the baby weighs about an ounce right now...I assure you, IT'S FINE.  

Two, I am forced to snack better and I realize that my go-to when I was hungry was something sweet.  All.the.time.  Now, I grab a piece of fruit or cut up some raw vegetables or heat up some leftovers.  At the same time, my kids are snacking better because Lord knows a mama can't eat a thing without a little bird coming up and wanting a bite.  

Three, I am looking forward to the weekend and enjoying what is forbidden during the week.  Gluttony is dangerous and to just throw things in your mouth isn't I really think that I will savor what I choose to eat this weekend.  

So...anyone up for joining me?  Do you think allowing cheat weekends makes it more "do-able?"  Or perhaps you could use a 30 Day No-Sugar Challenge??  (Which, consequently, should wrap up right at Halloween?! ha!)  Let me know!  Maybe we'll start this full swing on Monday. 


  1. Great Article Annie...the maple syrup and honey are wonderful alternatives...yummy..they are both readily absorbed by our bodies...Did you know that honey..belief it or a natural if you have problems with insomnia take 2 tsp. before bed and you will sleep like a baby besides getting the added nutrition for your body to repair its self...Pamela

  2. My kids have been to two parades recently... needless to say, we have been eating buckets of candy. I could definitely benefit from going off the sugar, but then who would eat all the candy? It's hard for me to let stuff go to waste, and I know it's not good for the kids, so I end up limiting them, and then eating too much of it myself. I gained 8 lbs on Eli's first Easter; he was less than 1, and had several giant Easter baskets full of candy from the grandparents. I never buy candy because Easter and Halloween pretty much provides for the whole year. Sorry, I'm rambling on, but at any rate, I support your cause!