What have you learned?
Kyle: I have learned so much over the past 42 days thanks to an idea sparked by Kevin Smith, movie director and podcaster, who talked about losing 85 lbs over 4 months of being sugar free (he maintains a mostly sugar free diet now). I’m shocked and appalled to have learned how much sugar I had been eating. That it’s not just soda and candy to watch out for but pasta sauce, ketchup and bread are stashing a load of sugar.
Most importantly I learned sugar can be avoided. I can make it through the day without an energy drink (sugar 60g) and I don’t need sugary sweetness to make a good latte (sugar 45g). I’m not going to let my taste buds continue to be hijacked by companies that use sugar to keep us addicted. I’ll continue enjoying the natural sweetness of dates and the flavor of actual strawberries, not the sugary syrup I had been using.
Melissa: So, so much. Reading of the book, The Year of No Sugar was pivotal. I come back to things I read and learned in that book again and again. It really changed my way of thinking about sugar. I always knew it was bad for me and tried so hard to limit my sweets. But that book helped me to see my dependency, my psychological need for something that does nothing for my body. Also that eating sugar makes you crave more sugar. I had heard this but it didn’t really resonate until I stopped and days later the cravings stopped.
I honestly felt like the hardest part of this whole challenge was constantly reading labels and figuring out what foods were safe to eat. Going into it, I was sure that I would be staring down donuts and fending off pieces of cake left and right but that did not really happen. I just simply said, “I’m not eating sugar so I can’t have that” and moved on.
So my big take away is you can in fact live without sugar and its not as hard as it seems.
Melissa: Today is the last day of our sugar free challenge. I am filled with both longing and dread. Tomorrow is Easter and we are bringing the dessert to Easter lunch with Kyle’s parents. It’s going to be our first intentional taste of sugar in over 40 days. We decided to make something called Peanut Butter Chocolate Heaven found on Pinterest. Just buying the ingredients felt weird. Oreo’s, miniature Reese’s peanut butter cups, cool whip. Stuff that has been off limits for what seems like forever now.
The longing comes in because it looks so delicious and as we were making it today both of us had to hold ourselves back from licking the bowl and spoons or dipping a finger in for a taste of cool whip. It was like our bodies were on auto pilot and 33 years of loving sweets came to a head.
The dread because I want to keep loosing weight. I don’t want to get back into the sugar addiction that has plagued me for most of my life. I feel good and I want to keep feeling this way. We are in a routine and I like that. I am going to take it one day at a time.
Kyle: Wow, is it really Easter? I have to say this no sugar business has been lots easier than expected. No coffee creamer…..unsweetened almond milk and cinnamon were the cornerstones to a great latte. No candy bars or cookies…but I still had Larabars and found the greatness of a classic and simple snack of apples with peanut butter. Can’t have soda…..now I enjoy carbonated flavored water.
I am also enjoying what Melissa and I have accomplished. I do not want it to end either. So the next phase with allowing the recommended daily sugar will be a could challenge. It allows some freedom while still having a restraint. I have learned so much and changed so much……I am really excited to get my cholesterol numbers checked in a few months. They have to have gone down! The new challenge should also help keep my weight from going back up.
The Denny’s just do it different…..we are weird like that:)