Well, folks. I’m going to give you something you don’t normally see in these “I did such-and-such diet for a week/month/insert-time-period-here” blogs: failure.
Normally you’d get to read about how hard it was at first, but ultimately how rewarding, how I feel like I’ve improved myself as a person, etc. The truth is, I crashed and burned. I failed myself; I failed this blog; I failed you, the readers. But it’s time to wipe the tears (and Oreo crumbs) off my face – I learned a few lessons, and I still have one month left of the challenge I set for myself to try and get this right.
What I Did Right
Like I mentioned in the intro blog, there is rarely a shortage of sweet snacks at Century. Last week wasn’t the worst, as far as temptation goes, but there were at least three times I had the chance to cheat with free sugar-laden food. I turned them down.
I think it helped that most of my coworkers knew about my plan to cut sugar out. They didn’t even have to remind me – I simply felt too self-conscious. Our office environment is pretty open (physically and otherwise), so if I had taken a donut or cookie, someone would have known.
What I Did Wrong
Literally everything else.
(FYI, this is a joke, I made the sign myself and asked for the picture. No one freak out.)
Like I predicted, weekends hit me hard. During the week I can meal prep and, because of my work schedule, eat at routine times. On weekends, however, I sleep in. I hang out with friends or go over to my parent’s houses to see family.
Weekends in August were no different. All that moving around off-pattern meant I was hungry at weird times, in places where food was easy to come by, and with people who wanted to snack.
I’m not blaming anyone else, let’s be clear. My choices are on me and me alone. I’ve just got to find a way to get better about it.
Also connected to the weekends: drinking. Now, while it’s a myth that alcohol turns to sugar in your body, it is true that even a little alcohol adds excess calories very quickly. And now that the University of Washington has come out with this not-at-all-depressing study that says “Ha-ha remember how you thought a small drink now and then was still healthy? Just kidding!” I think it’s probably best if I just go ahead and “stop drinking” to “stop eating sugar” for my September goals.
Another thing that made my challenge hard: I was doing it alone. And while I do have several other coworkers who have imposed various dietary restrictions on themselves (paleo, keto, intermittent fasting, veganism, reduced calorie intake – Century’s offices are filled with poster children for just about every eating plan in existence), no one else was doing the whole “no sugar” thing specifically.
Luckily for me, my friend/coworker Drew has also been on a health kick lately (you already know him from the Century Challenges of Facebook, and you may even have met him at the 2018 SuperShow).
Drew in his natural habitat.
I asked if he wanted to join in on Sugar-Free September, and he said sure. So this month, I’ll have someone to commiserate with – and, even better, someone to make this an actual one-on-one challenge! We’re both pretty competitive individuals, so neither of us will want to be the first to slip up. We’ll both be following the same guidelines I set for myself last month (continuing to allow protein powder, because GAINS! ~Flexes biceps~).*
Now that I know what I need to fix and what my weak points are, I’ve set some additional September rules for myself:
1) No alcohol. Just skip it.
2) Don’t sleep in past 8 on weekends (ugh. This is going to be rough – I love sleep with a passion. You could call it a hobby of mine, in fact).
3) Expand meal prepping to weekends, too. This shouldn’t be too hard, right? Especially if I’m up by 8 to start prepping…. Sigh.
4) Keep a journal of what you eat – including any mistakes, but successes as well. I’m hoping this will give me something to look back and be proud of, and will provide continuous motivation as I go on.
My biggest concern now is that the first weekend of September, my mom and I are helping my little sister move to another state. I’m going to be traveling until, well, today (Tuesday the 4th, but I’ve scheduled this post to go live in my absence – the magic of technology, eh?). Those days will be busy, and I want to make sure she gets unpacked and set up while she has family there to help. I will make the best choices possible, but helping my sister is going to be my priority above anything else while I’m there.
Well, we’ll see how it goes! Wish me luck. And if you want to share any tips (or if you want to text-yell at me for failing my August goals), just remember, the comments section of the blog is always open!
*Just kidding. I have noodle arms.