Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Being Sugar Free

When I announced my intention to spend 10 days consuming no added sugar, I was surprised how many of you - my lovely readers - were actually interested and curious in my experience with this experiment. My head-space is currently uninspired, so the post felt a lot like filler, a tidbit of my life that I exploited for the purpose of a blog post.

But really, aren't I exploiting every single aspect of my life for the sake of a blog post, for the sake of a topic, anything, to write about? Here I am, exploiting the tidbit just a little bit more. Since so many of you seemed interested in the experience, I decided there was no harm in sharing a little more.

This evening, I went grocery shopping. When you're carefully paying attention to what you eat, grocery shopping becomes a far more complicated but, perhaps, a far more rewarding experience. Ingredient lists and labels become crucially important. Because I am focusing my elimination diet on sugar, specifically added sugar, I read every single ingredient list before an item made it into my cart. I knew bread was a tough one, and it was. Turns out, I will not be consuming any soft fluffy bread for the remaining seven days. I can, however, eat wraps, and, tucked in the corner of the bread section, I found a crispy cracker-like bread with sugar blissfully missing from its list of ingredients.

I stopped in the canned tomato sauce aisle for a moment, purely for the purposes of conducting a mini experiment. I shuffled through every brand, every variation. All but one featured sugar quite prominently. And that one? $4 versus the $1.50 of the rest. No wonder obesity plagues the poor and marginalized among us.

I feel like this is supposed to be harder than it is. You know? I mean... I learned today that they use sugar as a pain killer, a drug, for babies when they give them their first needles. So, if sugar is a drug, if sugar is supposed to be addictive, shouldn't I be feeling some kind of symptoms of withdrawal? Perhaps it's possible that I'm not as addicted to sugar as I thought I was. Perhaps my every day diet is cleaner than I believed it to be. Perhaps I'm not as out of control of my food choices as I have always assumed myself to be.

Does that mean I shouldn't even bother with this 10 day thing? Is this whole thing silly and pointless? Maybe. But I don't believe that. Maybe cutting out sugar won't actually accomplish much for me in terms of weight loss, but that's ok - I don't need to lose weight. What it will do, is heighten my sense of awareness about what I'm putting into my body. It will make me think about each choice I make, about how my food is fueling my body.

If nothing else, I'll enjoy the chocolate that's sitting in my freezer far more once I'm all finished this silly sugar-free business.