What started out as a dare ended as a life changing experience. I was always known as the sweet tooth, the person endlessly eating chocolate and begging for dessert after every meal. It was an addiction I was aware, however didn’t manage to get rid of. As I told one of my closest friends about my addiction, she said: “You know what, I dare you not to eat any sugar until your birthday.” On that day in March, that meant exactly 3 sugar-free months.
I always wanted to quit sugar and so i agreed.
The first two weeks were horrible I tell you. I had a whole list of withdrawal symptoms: headaches, nervousness, lack of concentration in school – to the extent that I almost fell asleep in class! At one point I got so desperate that I binge ate fruits just to get some sugar intake. Scientists were not joking when they said sugar is just like a drug (or even worse).
When it got better:
The good news is, once i got over those 2 weeks, my body readjusted and I stopped craving sweets. After years of craving sugar, felt like a miracle. But even more surprising was my sudden energy and uplift in mood. I no longer got nervous after longer periods without sugar, and I felt much lighter and happier. Obviously I was eating healthier – and I still had around 1 fruit a day to satisfy my sweet taste buds, but I could happily decline chocolate or a cup cake even after my friends would try to make me eat one.
Those were 3 of the best months in my life.
Then came my birthday. I went out for lunch with my family, and decided it’s finally time for dessert. I ate a whole plate of cake and macaroons and felt that sugar rush that I used to have daily. It felt great. However, 2 hours later I came home, with the feeling I had just ran a marathon. I was so exhausted and bloated, known as the sugar crash. So I said I would continue living sugar-free, because that 2 hours of feeling great are just not worth it.
I did stay sugar-free for a while after that, but since coming to Europe I’ve fallen back into the trap of sugary stuff. I am in the process of getting back out, I now know that the key is to get through the first 2 weeks and my body will adjust. Because in the end, life feels so much better without sugar.
PS: When I talk about sugar, I mean processed sugar, aka table sugar. I still ate fruits, which although containing fructose, make up for it with their fibre. But more on this in another post.