December 27, 2020 Jacob Watts

I am going to tell you guys something that you will not believe. Some will agree right away. It will rub others the wrong way and maybe ruin our relationship. So be it.

Cory got screwed and deserved to win season 20 of America’s Next Top Model. The judging was so inconsistent it was downright criminal! But don’t even get me started on the hypocrisy of the judging in modeling competitions.

Oh right, there was something else I was going to tell you. Obviously way less important but still exciting. A couple months ago something popped into my brain that I haven’t been able to ignore. It was “no sugar for a year”. That’s it. It was in there and then I couldn’t get rid of it. I knew around thanksgiving and Christmas it would be ill-advised to start something like this. So I targeted the new year, like most people do with stuff like this. I don’t want to say “I’m going to try to go a full year without sugar” because I don’t want to give myself the out. I don’t want to be able to say “Well, at least I tried”.

I also know that I want to do this in an intelligent way. My blog last week was about knowing what you actually want. So I’m going to take my own advice and ask myself why I’m doing this and what I actually want out of it.

Sugar has controlled me for a long time. I am controlled by food in general to more of an extent than I think most people are. Just listen to me talk about it. Eating food is truly an experience for me. That doesn’t mean I have expensive taste or that I’m picky. I could live off PB&J forever. I just picture a little graph moving along like the EKG in a hospital. When I eat something that line shoots up. I know this and I seek it out. I would rather stuff 2 Reese’s Cups into my mouth at once than savor those cups for multiple bites. The amount of time I spend enjoying something is not nearly as impactful as the amplitude of the enjoyment. To me, that sounds exactly like an addiction. Food doesn’t get looked at the same way as drugs because we need food to survive on some level. I don’t know if it’s genetic or environmental, probably both. But I genuinely don’t understand how people can stop eating a pint of ice cream before it’s gone.

I want to set myself up for success so I will not be going after this thing like the month of no fixes that I did a while back. I will allow some things that weren’t allowed on that. But I also know that if I don’t set up some ground rules, I’ll allow myself concessions and before you know it, I’m finishing a whole bag of cheese/caramel mixed popcorn.

So here’s the ground rules:

  • This one is obvious but, no desserts. Nothing with added sweetener. No sugar, HFCS, artificial sweeteners, honey, maple syrup, agave, nothing. I don’t drink soda or alcoholic drinks of any kind so literally this is all food-based.
  • I will allow fruit. But I have to be careful with this. I can go weeks without consuming fruit and then last time I tried a month of no sugar all of a sudden watermelon sounded REALLY good. Since there’s no good way to set up a hard and fast rule with this, I will just have to check in with myself as the situation comes up. Am I eating this fruit for nourishment and sustenance or am I satisfying a craving? That will be important.
  • I will include things like Lara Bars in with the fruit as long as they don’t have anything chocolate in them.
  • This doesn’t necessarily fall into the sweetened category, but I have a control issue with snacking on savory things too. Chips, crackers, pretzels, popcorn. I can just mindlessly eat that stuff and it’s like it does nothing to me. But it’s all delicious. It also controls me and I need to see if I can break that hold. I would like to say if somebody offers me a slice of Smittybread Sourdough toast with Kerry Gold Butter on it I would happily accept it and consume it and move on with my life. But I know what would happen is that I would just think about how badly I wanted a second (and third and fourth and fifth) slice. So perhaps because I know that about myself I will leave open the possibility of indulging in something like this and working on myself. Local company, made from scratch, and decently healthy on the spectrum of things. If a friend makes homemade pizza, maybe I’ll allow myself to have a small amount. But just like the fruit thing, it will be imperative that I am checking in with myself that I am feeling nourished from it and not mindlessly indulging.

So there it is! I’m doing this to try to see if I can break the hold sugar and other snack foods have on me. I’ve accomplished up to two months straight before and I still go back to it. So I picked a year because I want to see if I just need more time to break the addiction. Honestly I have no idea if this will result in me going back to the way I always am or if I’ll actually get to a point where I don’t want ice cream anymore. Who knows! But I’m excited to try. I am trying to force myself to react differently to something difficult. I want to train myself to be able to say yes to scary challenges. If I am faced with something that I’m unsure I’ll be able to do I want to be able to jump into it and believe that the only failure is not trying.