Guest Post by Laura Thomas
OK here’s the thing, I’m a bit miffed at sugar. Why? I was your classic Miss Super Healthy growing up and the fountain of health tips to all my friends. I was onto the seeds from an early age and you’d never catch me with a white bread sandwich. However, I was living a classic low fat, high sugar, high carbohydrate diet that wasn’t doing me any favours. Without realising, I was quite emotionally tied to, and somewhat addicted to ‘sweet’ in some form or another. Whether it was cake, muesli, fruity yoghurts or even dried fruit.
Fast forward to now and I’m free of sugar, but it wasn’t just a straightforward case of ‘right, I’m not going to eat sugar anymore’. It was deeply linked to my lifestyle, my reward system and it provided that much needed fix on days when life threw me several curved balls. I had to delve much deeper to make permanent changes and come to terms with my attachment to sweet if things were going to change long term.
It was only when I got to the core of these deep rooted emotional ties and habits that I could slowly start letting sugar drift out of my life. Like a break up, I went through a variety of emotions. Sadness at the thought of not enjoying a slice of my favourite carrot cake and frustration on the days I just couldn’t control my urges. Overwhelmed at the number of social situations and scenarios where sugar reared it’s ugly head, I needed to understand root causes of my emotions so I could devise new strategies and habits.
So how can you start analysing your own sugar habits?
Ask if you give it up for 30 days – This can tell you a lot whether you have a healthy relationship with something. If the thought of not having your favorite ‘sweet treat’ actually makes you feel a bit sad, you could be slightly dependent on it.
Social or private – Are you secretly indulging at home alone or is it always out and about with friends? Analysing your habits and categorising them private or public can start to tell you some important facts about your weak moments. If it’s private, it could be a control issue or linked to very hard wired habits. If it’s public, you could suffer from peer pressure or associate sweet things strongly to experiences.
Cinema and popcorn – In today’s day and age a number of experiences are linked to sugary affair. I could devour a giant sweet popcorn before the trailers were up. Christmas, Easter and Birthdays all shove sweet stuff in your face. Asking yourself honestly if a lack of sweet will affect your happiness in these situations is the start of picking it all apart and starting to look for other forms of enjoyment to replace sugar.
So essentially you can start a healthier relationship with sugar just by giving it a little thought to things first. Asking yourself if you could give it up for 30 days, working out if it’s private or public and separating the experience from the sweet are all great starts on the required self reflection of a low sugar journey.
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