My first journey (or project), is an inner journey. A phrase I like to use when I talk about personal development or my inner growth. It’s about:
Finding balance by dropping a bad eating habits (consumption of too much sugar) and implementing new, healthy habits.
Ensuring my body gets the nurishment it needs, through the means of eating healthy. The challenge here is that I need to invest more time to learn about food and what exactly is healthy. I have to learn to observe how the changed diet will contribute to my bodys overall well-being.
Being more conscious about the things going on in the world, especially those connected to food. For example: If I buy cheap food, am I supporting workers elsewhere having to live under terrible, maybe even slave-like, living conditions. Do I want to support this, only so that I can save a few cents (which often get invested in „pleasure“ food that in return will harm our own bodies more than we assume).
60 Days without added sugar and chocolate
The goal is to reduce my daily sugar intake, by reducing the amount of added sugar and chocolate I consume. Just to make sure, that I said it: No, I’m not on a diet to lose weight. I don’t like the idea of looking like some skinny model. It’s rather the opposite: In the long run I’m hoping to regain the weight I lost these last months.
My background: Work was the perfect excuse for my indulgence
How come? I work part-time as a bicycle delivery person for a well known start-up business. Meaning, I can often be seen rushing around in our city centre while wearing our eye-catching pink business outfit with a rather big box on my back. When I took up the job, my body initially adapted well to it. It build up muscles fast, which was great! Unfortunately it couldn’t keep up.
My work can be quite exhausting at times, so in order to keep my energy levels up, I started to eat 100g chocolate bars during shifts. And at home, I started adding more and more sugar to my hot beverages, consuming 500g of Cane Sugar within one week all by myself. On top of that, add the chocolate bars I ate at home (and really any other treats I could get my hands on), and I was soon consuming over 120g of sugar most days of the week. I was aware it was a lot, yet, the alternative to leaving out sugar were cravings haunting me and that sucked. I was living on blood sugar highs and had turned into what people call a sugar burner.
This journey really is not about losing weight (though it will happen when you reduce sugar)
A few months after starting my work, I noticed that I was starting to lose weight… I perceived that as a real disadvantage as I was using up my body’s precious reserves during a time (winter) where I usually build up these same reserves for my summer jobs or travels. Therefore it was not a welcome development to lose them. Besides that my overall performance was dropping, especially after working on two different jobs over the busy christmas time. I felt tired, unmotivated and went to work with heavy legs even before I started cycling.
One week into January I finally hit a wall. My body was fatigued, and I clearly had ignored it for too long. I knew I could not continue this lifestyle without changing something. But it needed a bit more to convince me to tackle my sugar-addiction.
The important, deciding factor was a book
Of course I had known for a long time, that sugar is not really healthy. Honestly, who does not know that? But light-heartedly, I always put it off like a joke:
‘Sugar is my only drug (and it’s legal!). Even if it might kill me in the form of diabetes one day.’
That’s what I had used as an excuse for my sweet tooth for many years, happily continuing the consumption of sugar. Though I kind of knew that these habits were super unhealthy.
And then I started reading a book, my sister had bought: ‘Garantiert Gesundheitsgefährdend’ (meaning ‘guaranted unhealthy’) by Hans-Ulrich Grimm. It’s in german, but if you are interested, the book is based on Robert Lustig’s teachings, who was one of the first to write about sugar and it’s consequences.
It’s a very convincing book. The more I read the clearer the message became: I must change something. For good! This first insight came to me within reading the first five pages of the book, the message was unpleasant yet powerful…. but then Christmas treats and work came inbetween my good intentions.
To start over Christmas was, of course, a bad time for a person with a sweet tooth. Had I not been looking forward to all the christmas treats? And as I got too busy with work, the book and my good ambitions were put aside to collected dust, until the new year.
Two weeks into the new year I found it again while cleaning up my desk. (Geez! I had almost forgotten about it!) I finished the chapter and resolved to do it. It had been somewhere on the back of my mind for six weeks, and now that all the christmas treats were finished was the time to do it. I told myself „No more chocolate! This time for real!“
And as chocolate was only half of the deal: no more added sugar in beverages and dishes. That sugar I added myself was the most obvious source and so I said goodbye to sugar in my coffee, tea, hot chocolate or ovaltine drink.