Growing up I was one of those kids....ya know, the weird kids who didn't really have much of a sweet tooth. I would give my leftover Halloween candy away just before Christmas, my Christmas candy away around Valentine's Day, my Valentine's Day candy at Easter, and so on and so forth. A neighbor friend greatly benefited from my lack of sweet tooth. Don't get me wrong....I did like some kinds of candy, but I was a little picky about it. I liked chocolate. And I liked it dark. I would eat milk chocolate, but my life long love is for dark chocolate. Don't even talk to me about white chocolate. It's not chocolate.
I maintained this habit (and coincidentally my weight....couldn't possibly be connected, right?!) all through college. After I was married I did notice that I tended to eat more sugar than I used to but it wasn't that bad. It was something I could totally give up easily. All those articles about sugar being addictive were for people who were really addicted sugar. Which was totally not me.
Oh how the sugar buzzed have fallen.
A couple months ago, I decided I was going to go sugar free to see if it would help me feel better. I didn't have a certain time frame in mind but I figured it would help me transition to sugar just being an occasional treat instead of a frequent "need". My sugar fast lasted two and a half days. And those two and a half days were hard. Very hard. I noticed that after a meal I would just crave something sweet. I was shocked....had I really gotten into the habit of having sugar after every meal?! Probably not, but I had gotten into the habit of having sugar entirely too often.
I know people who eat A LOT of sugar. I don't eat a large amount, just small amounts throughout the day. Which end up equally way too much. It's funny how these bad habit creep up on you when you don't notice. And how easily we use those bad habits to cope with the stress of life. We all have our way of not-coping with life and sugar had become my best frenemy.
My original sugar free time was just before the holidays and I figured that I would be doomed to try to go sugar free again during the holidays. The good news was that just a couple of days worth of sugar free did help decrease my cravings so my sugar dependency did go down somewhat. After the holidays I wanted to do it again but was a little...hesitant. It's a big challenge to tackle alone. Especially with a house full of candy! It's everywhere. And I don't buy 99%. It just manages to come to our house by the best of intentions of others.
After school started again in January, Babs started talking about some kids in her class that were doing a sugar free challenge. I must admit that I found it a little surprising since she is only in first grade. But I figure it was a healthy challenge and would be great for the kids. And the $100 reward for completing it wouldn't hurt either. Turns out there were six or seven kids doing it. She talked about it almost every day. And then I did it.....
I said, "Why don't we do a sugar free challenge as a family?".
Lolly (my nine year old) was all for it! She's never had much of a sweet tooth so it's an easier commitment for her to make. Babs (my six and three quarter year old) was a little less enthusiastic. She's my "eat my weight in sugar" child and this would be more of a sacrifice. But we talked and negotiated and discussed and we all decided to go for it and picked a start date, time frame, reward and everything.
Start Date: February 17, 2014
End Date: March 16, 2014
Reward: Going to a restaurant for dinner AND ordering dessert (oh, the irony)
And then we told CG.
And he is humoring us and going along with it. And let me tell you....he is thrilled!!! (typed in sarcasm font) I think it's safe to say that this sugar free challenge is going to be hardest for the grown ups. With the kids I just put away their candy and treats and keep them distracted. Unfortunately, since I'm putting away the treats that also means I can sneak back into the treats.
This is going to take epic will power. Too bad I won't have chocolate to get me through it.