In quitting anything you have to deal with the reality of what’s left. If you’re quitting drinking, meat, smoking, driving or god forbid, sex, you have to love what’s left because there’s going to be a lot of it or you have to love the moral high ground that gives you the fortitude to endure what’s left.
I quit meat for 7 years and what was left wasn’t just vegetables and mung beans, though they are pretty excellent. What was left was being the pain in the ass at a bbq, taking a 24hr flight where you’re not listed as vego and being in incredible countries (that you’ve travelled 24hrs to) and not being able to eat the weird and wonderful food – though that is more of a hindsight regret.
Quitting meat took adjusting. I messed up a couple of times in the first few weeks but in the end being vego stuck because I really loved the moral high ground. I loved not eating animals because it felt honest and right. And it stuck until it didn’t stick anymore, but that’s another story.
This week I fell back on the simple tactic that got me through the first few weeks of quitting meat. Make it interesting and love the moral high ground.
According to Sarah’s eBook, this first week should be about small adjustments, being aware of exactly what you’re eating and making the better choice. Popcorn not maltesers at the cinema, toast with vegemite not jam etc. I’m more of an all or nothing person so I launched into week 3 – no more sugar, period.
To make it interesting, I refused to admit that I can’t have what other sugar-happy folk are having. Which resulted in a couple of recipes: Sugar Free-ish Nutty, Fudgey, Chocolatey Goodness and Low Carb Coconut Crunch – which has a couple of different iterations now, I’ll update the blog soon. Making both was interesting, kept me occupied and I learned a lot too. Tick.
Next I had to love the moral high ground or in this case I needed to believe in the science. I had to believe in the possibility that sugar is hazardous to my health which would naturally make way for the possible benefits I could expect from quitting. I spent a lot of quality time with Google and was amazed to see how polarized the experts are on this topic. There is a clear divide between the traditional nutritional pyramid people vs. the new/ancient paleo-esque school of thought.
The parallels between choosing a new diet and choosing a new religion are laughably apparent to me. Each side can’t actually back up what they’re preaching, neither can guarantee what outcome we can expect in the end, even the most layperson is an expert and each side poo-poos the other! And if you’ve been watching Australian television lately you will have noticed there is a pro/anti sugar war playing out in the 6.30pm timeslot. No one actually has a clue but the confusion is lucrative.
To be clear, I also don’t have a clue. I’m experimenting and trusting in my body to tell me what it needs (maybe not what it wants, because you can’t live on Shiraz). So I’ll listen in and over the next 8 weeks and I expect I’ll know what’s right. Incidentally that’s how I stopped being a vego. My body started screaming for meat but my mind really wasn’t ready to let go of the moral high ground. I had an exhausting internal tug of war going on over 6 weeks, which resulted in a medium rare, rib eye fillet at midnight in Soho which resulted in a lingering but eventually reconciled shame.
So you never know in 3 months I might be writing about trialing a fruitarian diet. Anything is possible!
If you’re quitting sugar too you’re probably more interested than most about the day to day rollercoaster. Below is my daily diary, check it out, compare notes and let me know how you’re going!
Monday day 1. Hangover. On board but Diet Coke stays for today.
Tuesday day 2. Not bad at all but I have drunk a sea of Fruitalicious tea.
Wednesday day 3. Serious, vision affecting, debilitating headache from noon and total lethargy. If I didn’t know I was quitting sugar I would think I’m coming down with the flu.
Thursday day 4. Went to bed with a headache last night, woke up with one this morning. The headache stays all day but my vision is normal again and I have about 1/8 of my bounce back.
Friday day 5. Back of my mind headache, Diet Coke cravings, intense new love affair with soda water. Surprisingly I don’t need a mid morning snack or afternoon snack, excellent news.
Saturday day 6. What an easy day! Totally motivated, no headache, occasional but fleeting chocolate cravings, all is pretty excellent.
Sunday day 7. Supermarket Sunday, trolley wars, serious chocolate craving and a recipe for nutty, fudgey, chocolatey goodness. Feeling really good about Week 2!