Ten Days — Kicking sugar

A few friends and I have challenged ourselves to do a 10 day sugar fast.

I eat, for the most part, quite healthfully. A plant-based diet works well for me, and I’ve eaten that way, again for the most part, for about seven years. But remember that little nursery ditty about the girl with the curl? “When she was good, she was very, very good. But when she was naughty she was HORRIBLE.” (Or something like that.)

That’s me, at least in the area of eating. Mostly I behave well. But when I don’t, I really don’t. God has been putting his thumb in my back about that. After a “horrible” day last week, and a healthy dose of conviction that I ought not be horrible any longer, I made a decision to remove sugar – my nemesis – from my diet for ten days. I’ve done that before, for a far longer time, to very good effect and many pounds lost, but the sticky stuff bounced back.

Here’s what happened last week on Friday:

Four days a week I write for a wonderful MP, who also happens to be my boss. Letters, columns, emails, speeches, etc. But I write at my home desk on Fridays (and weekends and evenings….. Sigh.) Cram in my own columns, Simple Words broadcasts and any other assignments I’ve taken on. I spent the day writing — and not eating well, though very delightfully at first. Chocolates from a recently opened, still quite plump, box sitting far too nearby. Chocolates felt easier than pressing pause on my thoughts to peel carrots or make a salad or open a can of beans.

After about six hours of popping a chocolate every time I needed to ponder a new verb or replace a weak adjective (and not stopping for lunch or supper,  but I did have raisin bran for breakfast!) I felt nauseated, unmotivated, shaky, and thoroughly disgusted with myself. I even hated chocolate. Tossed the remaining ONE in the trash. (Still can’t believe I did that. Entirely uncharacteristic of me.)

That evening, I asked a new friend to hold me accountable for ten days without sugar –lovely friend, she is. I’ll do it with you, she said. “Let’s start Monday,” I said. I mentioned that briefly on my FB page today, and suddenly we had company — a bunch of my FB friends who wanted to give a boot to sugar for a few days too.

I’ve done enough eating plans over the years to know that I work best when I set my own goals and work at my own pace, according to what I know my body needs. But I’ve also learned the value of having company on the way. I’m delighted.

For those who have followed this so far and those who have decided to join me, here’s what I’m doing. Do whatever you need to and what you know is best for your body, but this is my plan, since some have asked:

I don’t drink pop or add sugar to my hot drinks, so I don’t have to cut those out. But for the next ten days, I plan to eliminate the big C’s. Cookies. Candies. Chocolate. (That last one is, in my mind, an entirely separate class.) All those things that have become unbalanced in my diet for one reason or another. I’ll still eat fruit in moderation.

I found this chart helpful for spotting where the added sugar in our diet hides:


I’m also striving to exercise four days a week for a half hour. That’s another habit I’ve gotten lazy about. Sitting at a desk most of the time doesn’t lend itself to burning calories. When I got home from work today, I walked two miles in my living room along with Leslie Sansone. (I have a treadmill, but it bores me silly most days. I’ll add that link below. Her program is entirely doable, and the lady’s very encouraging as you walk. I noticed that she also has a one mile program, and three and four and five….)

God has a sense of humour. When I got to work this morning, I found on my desk four small chocolates, all beautifully wrapped, from my sweet colleague. She doesn’t work Mondays, and doesn’t know what I’m up to. I tucked them away to share with the Beans.

It’s now almost eight p.m. Day one. Done. With God’s help, prayer and a little help from each other, we sugar-busters can do this. In Psalms, David tells God that His Word is sweeter to him than honey. Oh, my heart rises to that. To craving for the Word as much as I pine for something that tastes sweet to my tongue. Most of all, I’m aiming to get THERE. Though I still plan to get some veggies ready in the fridge for Fridays. And I made a bunch of kale chips on the weekend.

Here’s that walking program:

I won’t be posting daily…but I will make regular comments on Facebook, and hope to read something from my fellow 10 day sugar-busters.


About Kathleen Gibson

Kathleen Gibson is a freelance writer and broadcaster, speaker, columnist, and author. Her work has appeared in numerous publications worldwide.
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