The day before the end of the challenge. Day 21. I went to a birthday party where there was fudge, chocolate smudge and all things sugary. Praise the Lord for the birthday girl’s generosity in also preparing yummy-nutrition-filled quiches, carrot sticks with avo dip and strawberries for the picking. Then came supper time with Aunty Judy, who always has delicious treats on offer. She knew about my challenge and the evening was a success. After nearly polishing off a salad for six between the two of us, we sat eating a huge bowl of yoghurt for pudding. She didn’t even say, “are you sure you don’t want one of these chocolate muffins or some ice cream?”. She offered yoghurt for pudding and that was that. My heart was happy.
At a special baptism service the next day at church, there were celebratory snacks on offer. I had a teeny little chocolate/biscuity block as my first sugary thing in 21 days. Granted it was extremely yummy, but rather unsatisfying. Later in the week, I wanted to bake some condensed milk cookies to offer at Bible Study. And again, they were quite yummy…but left me feeling dissatisfied with having ate a few. I got a big headache that lasted two days and my tummy wasn’t totally upset with me, but just didn’t feel right. Furthermore, when my coach visited for our bi-monthly rescan, my metabolic age had gone up, water down and Kg’s slightly up, just one week after the challenge ended. But the biggest effect I felt was that I was TIRED (I still am, since the end of the challenge, I’ve been tired).
Having less sugar gave me more sustained energy and I’m convinced that I need to go back to the challenge for life. Kate Quit Sugar has a lovely approach to this lifestyle change. I had to stop it ‘cold turkey’ as phasing out slowly does not work for me, but she offers an 8-week guide to slowly cutting down on sugar. She is also not anti-fruit which some no sugar dieters are. I believe fruit is a God-given wonderful thing that we can enjoy and even if it does have sugar in it, it’s natural! But Kate Quit Sugar is certainly not the only resource out there, which I’m very happy about because as lovely as her guide and recipe book looks, I can’t afford to spend R500 on it. And I’m weary of becoming part of a cult-ish culture of no sugar, it worked for me when I did it. That does not mean everyone has to do it and if they don’t they’re terrible. I quit sugar offers some free resources, which I am just about to download and the recipes you can find on Google are endless.
So, it’s day 11 after finishing the challenge, and I’m going back to it. I’m going to go back to saying no. I’m going back to feeling more energetic, I’m going back to seeing the Kg’s drop off and I’m going back to feeling more healthy. Perhaps I’ll have a slice of cake every now and then, but I’m going back to knowing and feeling like I don’t actually need it to function.