Why I Quit Sugar from Monday to Friday
Here’s the situation. Sugar has been my nemesis for many years. There were 4 main reasons it bugged me so much:
1. My skin was not great, and I was 100% sure that it would clear up if I could just cut sugar. In fact, I ate raw foods for a whole summer a few years back and my skin was radiant. But then it became fall, and I traveled to Mongolia, and I went back to eating cooked foods. And sugar.
2. I struggled with my weight. It felt that for the amount of exercise I was doing, I was always watching the scale and my weight was always creeping up.
3. I’m a health coach. I’m very well educated about the negative side effects of sugar. But I just couldn’t kick it myself. Which made me feel like a hypocrite. I wanted to be out of this cycle of guilt.
4. I had kids! And kids watch you like a hawk and they want to eat everything that you eat, and I didn’t want to be a mom that was sneaking sugar during naptime, but I also didn’t want to be a bad influence and always be taking my daughter for an ice cream cone. I could see so vividly how much sugar messed up her behavior, mood and sleep.
There are 100 other reasons to want to avoid sugar, but those were the “pain points” that motivated me.
There was a problem though. Every time I tried to do a wholesale elimination of all sugar, it backfired and I rebelled against it. Yet, when I tried to eat reasonable amounts of sugar, it became a slippery slope. (Spoken like a true addict, right?)
After I had my second daughter, I had my husband fetching me milkshakes while I was in the hospital, and then continued to eat an enormous amount of chocolate for a few weeks. Then it was time to get my act together, and I knew that cutting sugar was the key to ending these ridiculous cravings and losing my baby weight.
If I was really honest with myself, I just didn’t want to commit to cutting out sugar 100%. It felt like a promise that I wasn’t ready to keep.
That’s when I came up with the genius idea of cutting sugar from Monday to Friday. I started in June, on my birthday week. I was STRICT about it. I did not TOUCH sugar from Monday to Friday. Then the weekend rolled around, and I did have some sweets. On Monday morning, I buckled down again. And I’ve been continuing ever since.
Here’s why this boundary works so well for me:
1. All week long, I have a ton of clarity and I’m not doing any mental negotiations about “should I or shouldn’t I eat this or that.” I’m really strict about it. If the cupcake is so important, I can put in the freezer and eat it on the weekend.
2. Cutting sugar 5 days a week has been enough to re-train my tastebuds and build good habits.
3. Yet, the “escape valve” of knowing that I can have a treat on the weekend is there. So it doesn’t feel overly restrictive, and I don’t rebel or binge.
4. Over these 6 months, I have become less and less interested in having sugar on the weekends. I’m losing the taste for it.
5. The ease with my weight that I had hoped for has happened! That’s been really encouraging. I’ve lost all of my pregnancy weight and I’m fitting into smaller pants. It feels like I’ve unlocked a secret to not struggling with my weight that is sustainable for the long term.
6. Most fun stuff where I’d want to have a treat happens on the weekends anyway, I usually don’t feel like I’m missing out much during the week.
7. I’m building a muscle of being able to say no to sugar, and realizing that the world doesn’t end. Sure, I had to white-knuckle my way through the week in the beginning. But now it’s not hard anymore.
8. Now when I do have sweets on the weekends, I end up feeling crappy. Which is a good thing in a way! Because it serves as a very good reminder of why I’m doing this, and I’m ready to re-commit on Monday morning.
9. Overall, it feels like a really reasonable boundary, yet a good compromise where I don’t feel like I’m missing out on all of the fun of life forever.
I’m not exactly sure why, but to me this feels really different from the concept of a “cheat day” which I have tried in the past and didn’t work for me. I think because the emphasis is more on what I AM doing from Monday to Friday – which is being a badass sugar warrior 🙂
I’ll be continuing on the no sugar train in 2017! I even have a group where we do this together! If you want to join me, reach out and I’ll be happy to support you.
Coming in January …!