It’s been two weeks and two days since giving up sugar and I have to say it’s gotten much easier.
Sure, I ogle photos of peanut butter cupcakes on magazine covers or have fantasies about face-planting into doughnuts at the bakery, but mostly I’ve got it under control. I think the weight that seems to be just hopping off me is helping matters. And I will be honest, I have gotten by with a few sugar B.L.T.’s—bites, licks and tastes as it was dubbed in Weight Watchers. Those B.L.T’s have been sporadic and few and far between but have helped me hold fast to the summer of sugar free.
I am feeling transformed. I think I will carry this sugar-free summer into real life, simply because I finally feel like my wannabe health junkie ways are settling in to stay, getting comfy. I don’t feel like I am dieting anymore or going crazy to lose 100 pounds by Christmas. I feel like someone who genuinely wants to be healthy and wants it to reflect in my body. I am content with learning to embrace my healthy lifestyle as just that, a lifestyle, while understanding that it may take me a whole year to get to the weight that’s best for me.
I made a vow this summer along with my sugar-free and five-mile a day challenge, to also give up the cheap, fast and easy meals. Meaning no more unhealthy quick fixes like a McChicken, because I convince myself the chicken still has protein—even though it is slathered in breading, bun and mayo. I’ve made concerted efforts to become a better health planner, though I admittedly still have something to be desired in that department, but have not allowed myself to use this as an excuse to eat Little Caesar’s pizza or get drive-thru food. I have forced myself to find my bag of sunflower seeds, or a banana, or like last night when I hadn’t eaten since breakfast because I was on the go all day and had put off grocery shopping. I made myself locate a healthy recipe, shop for it and prepare it, regardless of the fact that I was ravenous for a whole buffalo with a side of homemade buttermilk ranch.
This was all after a 16.5-mile bike ride to boot. Oh yes, did I mention I went on a 16.5 mile bike ride? I have been loving my five-mile a day challenge as I thoroughly enjoy getting competitive with my wildly competitive self. After getting in my first five-mile bike ride in one shot a few weeks back I became thirsty for more. I did a seven-mile bike ride, then a 10-miler. Yesterday I decided I would attempt the big one-five.
Ever since seeing a friend’s Instagram post about completing a 26-mile bike ride, I have had the itch to get to that magic number. It’s the marathon number and if I’ve run that number of miles, surely I could bike it too. Yesterday I set out with 15 miles in mind and ended up completing 16.5. My nether regions went numb around mile six. My thighs and calves started giving me grief around mile 10. By mile 16, my sister (who went on the ride with me) and I had to pull over near a lake and jump in clothes and all to cool off.
But cruising the last half mile felt like pure bliss. Finding I burned 877 calories was the chocolate topping on the sundae, but so much more satisfying than a real sundae, because it was calories gone, not calories consumed.
If being a wannabe health junkie has led me to these unknown revelations about myself, that maybe I can survive without sugar and maybe I am an athletic powerhouse—err OK, a wannabe athletic powerhouse, but I’m getting there—then maybe this journey isn’t such an uphill battle after all.