I gave up refined sugar about 12 months ago.
Since then my diet has been pretty, bloody squeaky clean. (Read more about why I eat the way I do here).
But even so, up until recently, there was a lil’ something on my menu that had slowly turned into a big something.
Something that I’d become
a little a lot attached to. Something that was making me feel a little less than vibrant.
Yep. I was addicted to em’.
It’s okay. I can admit it now. But a few months back I was in complete and utter denial.
What was once a small, single banana in my morning smoothie had turned into two. The freezer had become all too familiar, a regular detour destination throughout my day. It would be here I’d stop to get my fix of the good stuff (which all banana lovers would know, is best frozen!). I was structuring my days around when I would get my next hit. Bananas were on my mind. All. The. Time.
The thought of giving them up left me in a cold sweat. A life without bananas was simply incomprehensible. No way did I think I could give them up!
And that’s exactly why I did!
If you venture over to this space enough, you’ll know I aim to live a life unattached. I do not want create prerequisites for my happiness. Unfortunately the humble banana had become just that.
So I Quit Sugar!
I didn’t do it to lose weight.
I didn’t do it to get glowing, radiant skin or a flat stomach.
I simply did not want to be a slave to the banana anymore.
I wanted my indepedence back.
What is IQS
But bananas aren’t sugar? I hear you say.
They’re healthy. They’re fruit for goodness sake. And you can never have enough fruit!
Yep. I hear ya, Girl. These are the exact things I would scoff at IQS-ers (I Quit Sugar-ers) before I jumped aboard.
But according to Sarah Wilson (The Queen of all things IQS & my Doppleganger), sugar is sugar (or more specifically fructose is fructose). Whether that be from refined cane sugar, dates, honey or a banana.
To get a little technical, it’s the fructose (which makes up 50% of normal table sugar), that we need to be wary of.
I’m not going to bore you with the nitty girrty of it all but...
- Fructose is the part of sugar that is addictive. (Yep. She’s to blame for my banana addiction).
- Fructose causes metabolic havoc on our bodies (Hello Fat!)
- Fructose speeds up the ageing process
- Fructose is majorly taxing on our liver
- You can read more here about the health effects of sugar
“Fructose makes us fat, we can’t stop eating it, and it makes us eat more.”
So yes. As you can probably gather, according to Ms Wilson, my love affair with the Banana was not a healthy one. In actual fact, it was gettin’ to be kinda toxic.
So I did it. I said good-bye to the Banana for a whole 8 weeks ( as well as rice malt syrup, and the odd raw dessert).
I didn’t lose weight. Well, I refuse to step on the scales anyway. But that wasn’t the point.
I didn’t feel remarkably amazing. A little more clear headed on the first few days. But no extreme rise in energy and vitality.
I didn’t get clear, glowing skin. In fact I acutally broke out in a case of the ol’ ezcema.
However, quitting sugar was oh-so-worth it!
And here’s why…
1. It Liberated me.
Yep. That’s right. And this was the whole point for me.
If you read this blog enough, you’ll know that I’m all about releasing attachments. (link to video). I do my very best not to place my capacity for happiness, joy and peace in something outside of myself. I do my very best to live consciously and have complete awareness and control over my thoughts, choices and actions
However, before IQS bananas were a prerequisite for my happiness. The thought of giving up bananas once felt impossible, gave me anxiety, left me sweating bullets. But after 8 weeks Sugar free I can tell you, I am pretty damn happy without them. Now all that emotional shit has been taken out of sugar. Its simply a food group, something I put in my mouth to give me energy.
I’ve taken back control.
I’m no longer a slave to the Banana.
It is no longer a prerequisite for my happiness.
Now I think that deserves a big…Hell Yeah.
2. It brought my eating habits into the spotlight
I learnt that I was addicted to bananas and that sugar had a much larger grip on me than I thought.
I learnt that sugar cravings rather than acutal hunger was what used to drive me to eat between meals. Therefore a fair bit of snacking ceased.
I learnt that food holds a big emotional attachment for me. As a result I’m going to be mixing my diet up as much as possible to avoid stagnation and attachment to particular foods.
3. It upped my Self-belief
A few months ago the idea of quitting sugar had me riddled with anxiety. I really thought it would be a struggle.
But honestly, it was easy. Of course, I often wished I could pop a wee-bit of rice malt syrup in my oats. But hey, I often wish the sky was blue and the sun was shining all day long, but I don’t become a crying-depressed mess when its not!
I didn’t mope around about not being able to have bananas. I didn’t cry about not being able to eat raw desserts with friends. I just got one with it.
Now having completing the 8 weeks pretty breezily, I am starting to question some of the other beliefs I hold about myself. I sense a few more challenges coming on.
Moral of the Story: Committing is the hardest step. You can do anything you put your mind to.
Will I ever eat A banana again?
Bananas (raw desserts & rice malt syrup) make me happy. And as far as I’m concerned, food is meant to bring us joy, happiness and pleasure. However it shouldn’t be the sole place in which we search for these things! (For a while there I was making this mistake). So my sugar consumption will defintely change. A lil’ banana in my smoothie, a lil’ rice malt syrup in my Chai, some blueberries in my oats, the occasional raw dessert. That’ll be enough for me.
Do you find yourself unable to control when you reach for the fridge?
Do bananas, ice-cream, chocolate or any other sugar-laden substance have control over you?
Well, maybe IQS is something worth mulling over.
My top tips:
Awareness is the first key step. Start observing your eating patterns and asking yourself some questions. When do you crave that bliss ball or chocolate? Does the idea of quitting the white stuff give your anxiety?
Then all it takes is committment. Grab Sarah Wilson’s IQS book and jump over to her website for a bucket load of tips, tricks and support to get your through the 8 weeks without wanting to rip your hair out.
Your sweet enough without the sweetner, Shugah!
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