A friend texted me last night to ask, “Why are you doing this?”, and, my Friendly Neighborhood Passerby Encouragement Cheerleader Carrie dropped by another (beautifully printed) card for the holidays, also including a few questions and her email. Why: Because I am was a slave, to sugar and the sugar industry, and I realized why …
" /> Jason Holborn | Cybercarnet/Weblog - Days without sugar: 69, dude!

Days without sugar: 69, dude!

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A friend texted me last night to ask, “Why are you doing this?”, and, my Friendly Neighborhood Passerby Encouragement Cheerleader Carrie dropped by another (beautifully printed) card for the holidays, also including a few questions and her email.

Why: Because I am was a slave, to sugar and the sugar industry, and I realized why the caged bird sings. I decided to make like Spartacus and stage my own private slave revolt.

One big regret I have is never filming myself eating a pile of sweet treats before I quit; people who didn’t know me well will probably find it a stretch or exaggeration to hear that I used to pour about a half cup of white sugar onto a bowl of Frosted Flakes (and then regularly have a second bowl), or that I once used to walk home every single day and loosely measure out a cup of butter and a cup of sugar (white or brown, or sometimes for a great, both) and, occasionally with a half cup of oatmeal, mash it all up and eat the paste (I often did this twice, too). Mercifully, I never developed a big taste for soda pop.

I never knew that sugar was so bad for you, as hopelessly naive as that makes me sound. I brushed my teeth, and flossed often, and always thought that if I started to get really fat, I could cut back (but could I, would I have, really? Probably not). I discovered that sugar caused diabetes and then I got a job on cruise ships without a cupboard or a kitchen, where I took up key lime pie and muffins and yogurt with a jam packet added instead.

One night in Toronto I found some reading on sugar online and was up till 3am clicking page after alarming page on long-term health effects, which were far beyond the scope of diligent flossing or a strong daily exercise program.

It’s taken me a few attempts at quitting to get this far; I fell off the wagon, naively believing I’d already cut down. Still, 70 days ago, it wasn’t uncommon for me to get a DVD and eat a 2litre ice cream carton, and if it had been a bad day, to eat it garnished with a package of cookie dough, or a jar of raspberry jam, or about 500mL of chocolate syrup. And a half can (at least) of spray whipped cream. Maybe I’d get a root beer and gummies and a KitKat afterwards.

In 1893, there were fewer than three cases of diabetes per 100,000 people in the United States. Today, diabetes strikes almost 8,000 out of every 100,000 people.

I don’t know why I don’t have diabetes. I do have psoriasis, which is on the list of conditions suspected to be caused or partly caused by sugar.

I really wanted to change, and I had the idea that a ‘scoreboard’ in my window would keep me on track. It really has!

Today I don’t miss sugar at all, not one bit or iota. And I feel like I could go 1000 days now. I owe it all to my neighbors and neighborhood. Thanks, team. You rock.

No sugar; does that mean no sweeteners too? No agave? Is honey okay? I’m assuming it’s only refined whites? : My ‘rule’ is nothing that includes sugar in the first three ingredients on the packaging (with the exception of bran flakes, in which sugar is, surprisingly, the third ingredient). I intended to include honey and agave, however Dr. Mercola says to avoid agave (and I used to really dig drinking agave, straight too) (along with maple syrup). He also says, as do others on the Internet advising quitters like me, to avoid honey. I have all the fruit I want, although I’ve actually been having less of it lately.

What about alcohol? : This is probably a tough one for a lot of people; I don’t really drink except in a certain kind of light-drinking party for a special occasion, though; I’ve had two glasses of wine and a Bailey’s this week for the holidays, and that’s totally unusual. The last time I drank was probably before I started the window scoreboard. I’ll likely have a glass of wine with Christmas dinner at my parents’ farm, and that will likely be it for alcohol for a while.

Have a wonderful Christmas holiday and hope that you’re able to resist all the treats and goodies! : I’ve put some soul-searches into this one since November; I went with no sugar at all a couple Christmases back, and I knew it slightly hurt my parents’ feelings (especially my hard-working, hard-baking mom’s). So, this time, I’ve decided to have an Aunt Doris-sized half slice of pie and small bowl of my mom’s beloved trifle dessert which takes her enormous effort to put together. I’d actually love to go without, but I don’t want to seem snotty to a farm woman who just loves the holidays. I don’t want to re-set the scoreboard and I don’t want to cheat too overly much; I decided a reasonable compromise would be to just not count that day, ie. to not advance the scoreboard on the 25th. I just hope any lurking burglars won’t notice and break in and realize there’s nothing to steal and then leave the window open, allowing my cats to finally escape and taste true freedom. Believe me, I know what it it tastes like, and it is sweeter than any Snickers.