Wednesday, April 17, 2013

i got a pocket full, a pocket full of sugar

The lower left pocket on my spring coat is coated with sugar. I need to take the coat off, turn the pocket inside out, and shake the fabric out*. The sugar has been there for over three weeks and I haven't got around to it. Every time I stuff my iphone into that pocket , or I forget and shove my hands in to stay warm, I end up coated in tiny white crystals.

3 1/2 weeks ago, I quit sugar (again). On the very first afternoon I walked to the coffee shop with my boys to buy an espresso.  I opened the door of the shop and froze, as my boys ambled in, stopped, and stared. There was a petite brunette perched on a tall stool at the front of the shop singing in another language, and a man in an armchair beside her playing guitar. Every seat around the perimeter of the small cafe was taken.

I didn't want to interrupt, but there we were (they were), in bright orange winter coats, standing in the middle of it all. 

I hustled the boys to the counter at the back and ordered an espresso. I excused myself and made my way over to the condiment table and shook a packet of sugar. Rip. "Shoot, that's right, I quit sugar, where is the garbage? ok ...hmm, it's too packed in here!" I folded the packet up and put it in my pocket, intending to toss it in the bin on the street.

Quitting sugar was a cinch this time since I already made the toughest dietary changes (no juice, switching to low GI bread, switching to canned tomatoes instead of pasta sauce, dropping cereal). It still took heaps of self control in the beginning. I wrote large notes to myself and stuck them on the fridge and in the cupboards.

I intend to keep it up for at least another month, until my son's 4th birthday.

*I cleaned it

ps. Sugar. So much to say...
First - you really DO feel better when you eliminate it from your diet. After three days it is a breeze. No mood swings has got to be the biggest perk.   
Second - why does celebrating mean you have to indulge in sweets? Every holiday has some sort of chocolate or cake associated with it
Third - my teeth shriek with pain when I eat anything too sweet. I switched to sensodyne rapid relief toothpaste but I haven't put it to the test
Fourth - why do I have this internal conflict over eating healthy? I argue with myself. 'no, you do not need to eat that', 'but everyone else eats it, why do I have to be the only one who doesn't eat sugar' 'because if you eat that, you won't even enjoy the taste, your teeth will hurt, and you will have to fight sugar cravings again' 'but what is so wrong with satisfying your sweet tooth?' 'because sugar will make you fat' 'oh yah? as if french fries wont make you fat' 'ok, good point, BUT you are on a roll, you have a winning streak going, don't waste all this effort for a bite of granola bar' 'ok, but don't expect me to live like this forever' 'it's not some celery and relax already' 


  1. I switched to sensodyne pro-enamel and my tooth sensitivity has pretty much dissipated. Takes awhile, but stick to it!
    I have never given up sugar. I love sugar! I just try to eat less of it because it isnt good for u. but if I want a cookie, I am having one!! then Ill eat some veggies to prevent getting a second cookie

  2. Oh Casey I was using pro enamel toothpaste for years and it didn't help. the pink sensodyne worked...but they took it off the shelf...and I think they changed the formula and rebranded to the rapid relief...because it has the same active ingredient...i think...i looked it up and then forgot when I was at the store, but noticed proenamel has 5% something and active relief had something else...and the pink had something that was good enough for me to buy 4 tubes

    i eat one cookie...two cookies...and then a row...and then the bag is gone. I binge eat sugar. I know no moderation. I get going and it is really hard to stop until it is I either a0 don't buy crap...or b) don't start

    I used to beat myself up for not having self control. Except, when I decide to avoid sugar, after a few days, self control kicks in. Still I think about eating it - but the difference is, I don't eat it. Before, I would totally DIE to have it. Then I think, well, who cares...what's all the fuss, you only live once...etc...and another bag of cookies is gone.

    BESIDES, when your almost four year old asks for a cookie, and you tell him 'mommy ate them all'...SHAME

  3. sucks about the toothpaste! I hope this one works! And if giving up sugar is what works for you then all the best to you!! especially if eating it was making you feel crappy. Kind of like how I recently had to give up shrimp because I found out Im allergic (luckily, shrimp is easier to avoid than sugar)

  4. looks like original sensodyne had strontium chloride hexahydrate 10% and the rapid relief has strotium Acetate

    Both sound like things I shouldn't be putting in my mouth...

  5. I followed your path with the no sugar thing for months. Did great, lost 8lbs, went to the beach and well and ate it all. I need to get back on track again. Next week. I start a new job, hopefully new routines, new life, hell...let's try no sugar too!

  6. Shannon, you mentioned in your post that you are switching to canned tomatoes instead of pasta sauce. In the US, canned tomatoes are a food you should really avoid because they are one of the worst foods for bpa contamination from the can lining. Maybe (enlightened) Canada already regulates this? In the US it is still widely used, and a dirty little secret. Eden foods has no bpa or you can always go with the pommi brand that is packaged in tetra pak. Sugar is bad, yes, but bpa is horrible.

  7. GET OUT!
    This sucks....I am on the google trail to find out what bpa free brands are available here (and where)

  8. well, this tells me what I need to know:

    BPA free not available in Canada - THANKS for the notice Caitlin! I don't get out much!

    This tells me I need to make sauce from scratch! I make some awesome sauce from fresh tomatoes...the secret ingredient is add fresh basil at the end!

    Ok, mom, dad? please plant a big crop of tomatoes this year !!!

  9. The sugar in your pocket reminded me of the sand that my kiddos usually have in theirs! I know exactly how it is to reach in and get all those little grains under your nails. On a side note - your sugar strike is very inspiring.

  10. Oh that convo with the devil on your shoulder is a deadly one! (And one I have on a regular basis!) :)

  11. Just our of curiousity, are still off dairy as well? What about pasta?

  12. You might like passata (strained tomatoes) usually sold in glass jars.

  13. Hey Lynn!
    I eat cheese and plain greek yogurt. I give up dairy whenever i want to shed some weight!
    I don't eat a lot of pasta. Typically, I take a small portion, share it with my older son (who still needs to be spoon fed, or he wont eat - we created a diva) Then, if I am still hungry, I take a bit more. I am careful with portion sizes
    Here's the thing though. Everyday, at 4pm, I AM STARVING!! So i tend to fill up on apples and cheese an whatever I can find, then i pick at my dinner. I never snack late at night - never ever. Seriously. my hunger is all mid day!!!

    Anyways, not that i am a role model for healthy eating!

  14. Are you STILL sugar free? Holy lifestyle change!!!

  15. I will watch for it!
    To be honest, I don't mind having a good reason to drop one more processed item from our diet...

    keep in mind, there are oreos in the cupboard right now! i am not perfect!

  16. Its tough those first few days!
    the lbs peel off though!!!

  17. My husband is a sugar FIEND and I find it hard to not eat it with him when he's pigging out on it on the couch beside me. I shouldn't say pigging out because he at least has some sort of internal stop mechanism whereas I will keep eating until the whole thing is gone.
    I've stopped adding sweetener or sugar to my coffee, so there's that...

  18. Thanks! My weakness always seems to be after I put the kids to bed - that's when I fall apart. I think it's a stress relief thing, duh. Anyway, I think I do better with all the time rules as well as opposed to just trying to "eat better."
    And I don't know about healthy eating role models either, but I do know that you look fantastic!

  19. Gorgeous photography, Shannon! Just beautiful.