No one is more surprised or impressed than me at going 365 days without sugar.  Of course, you can live without sugar, i.e., shipwrecked on a desert island, but living without giving in to the temptations around you every day is tough.  I know; my name is Jason and I am a sugar addict.  I …
" /> Jason Holborn | Cybercarnet/Weblog - Days Without Sugar: Year One

Days Without Sugar: Year One

No one is more surprised or impressed than me at going 365 days without sugar. 
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Of course, you can live without sugar, i.e., shipwrecked on a desert island, but living without giving in to the temptations around you every day is tough.  I know; my name is Jason and I am a sugar addict.  I used sugar to change how I felt, to cope with life, and to pass the time.  For me, 365 days without sugar is like most people going for 5 years. 

The window scoreboard made it happen; willpower isn’t as much a factor as people might think.  The window is a substitute for willpower. 

I haven’t been perfect, altho I feel that my achievement is real nonetheless: twice, for nausea, I drank a ginger ale.  It helped my stomach a lot, and I was never a big ginger ale person, unless it was a Shirley Temple with extra-extra grenadine (which today seems gross).  Once, I skipped changing the numbers due to accepting a gift granola bar from a foreign exchange student on Canada Day; I found it unappealing, too sweet, and chemical-y.  I’ve re-set the scoreboard before for giving in to temptation; accepting a present from a person looking to mark an occasion isn’t succumbing to temptation.  Also, I made a huge mistake: a few times (perhaps 5?), hungered, I bought and ate a corn muffin.  I don’t find them sweet, and was a little taken aback to realize they do in fact contain a large dose of added sugar.  It was naiveté and I didn’t feel I’d “given in”, so I didn’t re-set the counter.  I know better now: no more corn muffins. 

I don’t feel dishonest about claiming a year without sugar despite those minor infractions. I used to eat 5 or 6 chocolate bars, plus a bag or 3 of gummi candies, plus a root beer. I often ate a half-litre of jam with a spoon, on a carton of ice-cream. Downing a tube of cookie dough was routine to me. I’m the guy who used to pour a half-cup, or more, of sugar onto Frosted Flakes. Having a few naive corn muffins and a yucky granola bar gift and two nausea-cutting ginger ales in a year actually shows great restraint.

I had the window scoreboard idea for a long time before I commited to it; it’s a little embarrassing to proclaim to the world that I essentially have a drug problem.  Yet, having done it, the proclamation was actually liberating.  My only regret today is not going for it sooner.

I really thank the kind strangers who have left me notes and cards and presents; I never anticipated such support.  I am grateful to these unknown persons for giving me further reason to Just Say No.  You have really boosted my morale thru the last year.

I thank Rita’s little boy Jacob for initially noticing that I wasn’t consistent in changing the numbers at a specific time.  I never thought anyone was actually paying super close attention!  When she mentioned it to me, I made it an after-dinner routine.

I thank my neighbor Norma for swapping the numbers each night this Christmas season while I was away at the farm.

I extra thank Buffy Jeffs, who provided The Count for the window. I long had envisioned him in the window, but possess little drawing talent. Her work was perfect and much-appreciated; I have really had a lot more fun with the window thanks to her craftsmanship. I expect to frame him and place him in my kitchen once the window is no longer.

I’ve eaten a fair amount of fruit in the last 365 days, yet it’s been awfully rare that I’ve gorged on it, i.e., used it to cope with the world, or my feelings (and not at all in the last six months). My next goal is 500 days, and I believe I can & will make it, courtesy of the window scoreboard. It has changed my life, for the much better. 500, here I come!