Giving Up Sugar

Pssst! Do you want to know a secret? Like a secret-secret. One I haven’t even told Denisa yet? Sure you do. But you better read this fast, because I guess it won’t be secret for long.

I’ve decided to give up sugar.

I know what you’re thinking: “Who are you, and what have you done with Bryce?” And I don’t blame you. I’m a sugar addict. As a Mormon, there aren’t a whole lot of socially acceptable vices I can have. Coffee and alcohol–the two most widely spread ones–are right out. So sugary awesomeness is the drug we often turn to. It’s certainly been my go to choice for decades.

And I’m giving it up.

Well, I should qualify that statement a bit. First, some background: I’ve seen several of my friends on Facebook go without sugar for a while. It’s gotten to the point where enough of them have done it that I’ve considered doing the same thing from time to time. My brother in law has gone completely unprocessed, meaning he doesn’t eat anything that’s been processed (baked, smoked, cooked, fried, etc.) at all. All raw. I don’t think I could do that.

But no sugar? That seems like an experiment that’s in the realm of possibility. This morning, I woke up feeling dead tired again. Just exhausted. Fighting to roll out of bed, and wishing my alarm would go away. I’ve been trying to get more sleep, and more often than not I’m successful (somewhat). Many days I get to bed by 10pm these days, and I hate it. Mornings and I don’t get along. But you do what you have to. I was just frustrated because I was getting more sleep, and yet I was still always sleepy.

And this morning, while I was struggling to get out of bed, the thought popped into my head, very clearly: “You should give up sugar.” Really, I haven’t had a thought like that pop into my head since I felt the need to start exercising regularly. I’m a believer in revelation, and trust me–when I get thoughts like “give up sugar” or “start exercising,” you better believe they aren’t coming from me. Exercising regularly has helped me be much less sick. It’s a pain, and I don’t necessarily enjoy it, but I’m converted to the idea that it works, and it’s something I’ve done daily for more than a year now.

So back to this morning. “Give up sugar.” I thought about it as I was getting ready for work, and I was really reluctant to pull the trigger. No ice cream? Brownies? Cake? What about sugar on my oatmeal? What about carbs? Did I have to give up those too? Did honey count? Maple syrup?

Honestly, the very fact that it was so difficult for me to persuade myself I could do this was one of the biggest arguments in favor of me doing it. I don’t like being dependent on anything. Dependent on Butterfingers?

I’m better than that.

So I’m giving up sugar on a trial basis, but I’m doing it my way. That means I’m not doing any of this sugar detox stuff. I’m not giving up anything with sugar in it at all. Fruits are still groovy, as is bread. Juice in moderation. Smoothies would be fine. In other words, just because something has a bit of sugar in it doesn’t mean it’s verboten. No–what I’m shooting for is no added sugar. No desserts. No sugar on my oatmeal (I put raisins on this morning, instead). No baked goodies if they’re primarily a sugar delivery mechanism. No jams or jellies. That kind of no sugar diet.

And yes, it’s a trial basis. Denisa’s birthday is in three weeks. My current plan is to follow this regimen every day until then. Get used to avoiding sugar. At that point, I hope to be able to reintroduce it into my life on a much more limited basis. Ultimately. I think I’d be good with one to two desserts a week, and that’s about it. And just a single serving of those desserts. Nothing American portionized.

In the end, I’d like to be at a place where sugar is an occasional treat. These days, it’s not. I’ll have ice cream every night. Sugar on my oatmeal. Candy during the day. Cookies or brownies in the evening. That’s the stuff I’m trying to get rid of. I’m not going paleo or carb-free. I’m not going on any strange diet plan, though by my guess, this single act will likely trim 500 calories or more each day from my intake, and I’m sure that will be good for me. Still, I’m just trying to put sugar in its place. My hope is that by avoiding this constant stream of extra sugar, my energy levels will be more normalized, and I’ll feel healthier and be healthier.

I have no idea how this will go. I know it will go better if I involve you lovely people. So I’ll be checking in each Wednesday to give you an update. For maintenance, my plan is to include a brief “sugary stuff I ate” update at the end of my Wednesday blogs after the experiment is over. I’ve found that if I have friends checking in on me, I’m much more motivated to make good choices. Accountability is key.

Anyway. There you have it. Wish me luck.

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