Monday, March 14, 2011

Sweet, sweet poison

These two books have changed my life.

Towards the end of last year, as I was downing my third V for the day (I know, terrible), I came to the realisation that something had to change.  I wasn't sleeping properly so was always tired, I was moody, I was eating the world and I was having three V's a day (!!!) - the first by 9am (and no amount of justification that I don't drink tea or coffee can remove the terrible-ness of that!).  I was also spending a stupid amount of money on these sugary/caffiene/guarana drinks (and that's with buying them at the supermarket in 4-packs, as opposed to individual cold cans from the cafe) and they didn't seem to be having the same kick they did when I first started drinking them.....someone had themself a habit!

Not long after this light-bulb moment, I was wandering around the bookshop (my favourite all-time pasttime) and David Gillespie's book Sweet Poison jumped out at me from the shelf.  Well, it didn't actually jump out but it certainly caught my attention.  I read the intro (always a good indication as to whether I will like the book) and couldn't stop reading.  At least 40 minutes later I'm sure the sales girl was seconds away from doing an Apu "Ahhh, Mr Homer, this is not a public library.  Please get out."  So I bought the book.

I think I read it from front to back in two days (while at work - shhhhh, don't tell!) and it really struck a chord.  Without going into to too much detail, David's book is about his experience eliminating sugar from his diet, losing weight in the process.  He has done a lot of research into sugar in our diets (from a 'everyday' person point - he is not a scientist/ nutritionist/ dietician/ medical practitioner etc - he's a normal person) and some of the things he found out were enough to put the heebeejeebees in me and make me want to change my way of eating.

Then I found his second book, the Quit Plan, which made it so much easier to put into practice.  So into practice I did put it.  Five rules - easy to understand, easy to implement - that made all the difference.  It was coming up to Christmas and New Years so I struggled a little with all the temptations on offer around that time of year but was able to get right back on track after a few little binges (normally after a binge I would give up but not this time).

I kept at it and on top of it for about 5 months and felt the best I ever have in all my life.  As a bonus to feeling great (fitter, firmer, not as hungry, better skin, sleeping through the night) I lost a little weight.  Not my original intention, to lose weight, but it was a bonus.  I just wanted to kick the sugar cravings throughout the day and be able to go to a restaurant without looking at the dessert menu first!

The last couple of weeks have seen me start to waiver in my sugar-free-stance.  I'm consuming softdrinks and sweet cakes again, not in the quantities that I was but I seem to be unable to resist the temptation.  I find I'm craving something sweet to eat at odd hours of the day and have a headache most afternoons.  And my pants are getting tight.  Time to take action. 

So these are the five easy rules that are guiding my life again, effective today:
  1. I will change my attitude: I am being beating my addiction, not depriving myself of sugar. 
  2. I will not snack on sugar.  End of story.  (I now know how much sugar is in a can of V and it is SCARY!).
  3. Once a sugarholic, always a sugarholic: I can't afford to have even a little.  (This is the big one for me - honey on toast in the morning is not an option).
  4. I won't concern myself with fat content other than to steer away from low-fat foods. (Low-fat = high sugar).
  5. Party food is for parties.  (Parties don't happen every day, so NO).

I can do this. 

I will do this. 

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