A Clarification: Me and Sugar

I have been very vocal about my personal campaign to kick myself off sugar. That was intentional, as I’ve found that when I’m upfront about things on my blog, I’m a lot more accountable to myself. In other words, when many people know about one of my goals, it becomes easier for me to achieve that goal, since I have that many more people reminding me about it.

My “sugar free” goal campaign has worked perhaps a little too well.

Many people have asked about it, and a lot of people seem to be under the impression that I don’t eat sugar at all. So it must come as a surprise to them when they see me in public chowing down on goodies at a conference, or chomping on some cookies or donuts.

I don’t like being a hypocrite. I try not to be. And so I’m self-conscious of the fact that the message that seems to have gotten out is “Bryce never eats sugar,” and that the reality is obviously different than that.

So to clarify once again: I went without processed sugar for about 6 weeks back in March. I still ate fruit, but my goal for those six weeks was to avoid anything where sugar was the main ingredient (or even a significant ingredient). The main idea was that I had been eating so much sugar so often that the only way to break myself of the habit was to go cold turkey. I wanted to eat less overall, and I wanted to see how I felt without the sweet stuff.

The experiment was a resounding success. I felt better, and (after the first few weeks) I didn’t really miss sugar.

Once that 6 week period was over, I transitioned into a “maintenance phase,” where I allowed myself 1-2 desserts per week. This was done because I hoped I’d be able to maintain my new lifestyle while still being able to indulge now and then. The theory was that a few cheats a week would help me avoid a complete relapse into sugardom. Once again, that was a total success.

These days, my baseline of sugar is pretty low, but it’s not non-existent.

There are a couple of exceptions I have made to that baseline. First off, when I’m stuck in day long conferences and need something to pep me up, I’ve decided it’s okay for me to have some sugar. Other people have coffee. I have a cookie. It’s a compromise, but it works. So if you see me at a conference or extra long meeting, and you see me downing some sweets, you know why.

The second exception I make is for festivities and holidays. Birthday cake is great stuff. Christmas goodies are wonderful. Party food is fantastic. So if you see me at a party or celebration and notice me eating sugary stuff, once again, you know why. I set my goal because I wanted to be a healthier me, not because I wanted to deprive myself of fun.

Ironically, most people see me in public at one of these sort of events: parties, holiday gatherings, conferences, etc. And so I feel at times like the “public Bryce” hasn’t changed all that much in relation to sugar, especially when you consider all the “anti-sugar” posts I’ve had on my blog. But honest to goodness, if you ask my family about how things have changed with me and sugar, I’m pretty sure they’ll tell you quite a different story.

In the end, the public perception doesn’t really affect me. I know I’m living this goal how I want to live it. But I still wanted to take a minute to make sure people understood the parameters of how I live this goal. And to restate one fact that I want glaringly obvious: I don’t think bad of anyone who’s still going to town on brownies, ice cream, fudge, and the like. This is a personal choice. There’s no judging here. It’s worked for me, but I’m not going to evangelize this.

And that’s all I have to say about this for now.

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