I Am Quitting Sugar- and It Will Be The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Done
BY EDEN SMITH
A few weeks ago, I was confronted by my father about how sugar, just like drugs and alcohol, can be addictive. This generally started to concern me, and got me thinking about my diet habits…and how they weren’t very healthy.
I, like many others, was a frequent consumer of processed foods. Of course, I did eat the occasional apple and healthy meals, but for the most part, my diet started to worry me. I had come to the conclusion that I was a sugar addict. It wasn’t until I embarked on a journey to break up with sugar, that I realized just how much of an addict I was. The sugar withdrawal symptoms hit me hard, and they still are.
I am currently four days in to my “Sugar Breakup”, as I’ve titled it. I’m going to first explain why I decided to do this, and then what I have learned from this experience thus far.
WHY I QUIT SUGAR.
- You don’t live to eat- you eat to live. My grandmother says this all the time, and it sticks with me. I want to experience life for its memories and people, not for the food. I wish to eat to be healthy, not just for enjoyment.
- I want to feel good, inside and out. This is a hard thing to feel when most of what you put in your body consists of sugar. I want to experience the effects of healthy foods on my mood and overall health.
WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I QUIT.
- THE EXHAUSTION SET IT- FAST. Within the first day of saying no to sugar, I noticed the sleepiness I felt, and I felt it fast. I first noticed it when I started feeling heavy-eyed in class, almost impossible to stay conscious. I had had the same cup of coffee and the same amount of sleep I had always gotten, but without the sugar my energy levels slumped.
- FRUIT BECAME MY BEST FRIEND. On the first night, I had strawberries as a snack before bed. Usually, I ate them dipped in sugar but since that wasn’t an option, I hardly noticed. They were the sweetest thing I’d eaten all day, and it was bliss.
- LIGHTHEADED AND DIZZY. On the 2nd day of sugar-free, I was at lunch with friends when I stood up and nearly fell over, feeling incredibly lightheaded and dizzy. This shocked me, but with research I realized that this was only a symptom of sugar withdrawal.
- HEADACHES. I woke up in the morning and fell asleep each night with pounding headaches. With the help of ibuprofen, this was bearable.
- MOOD SWINGS AND CRAVINGS. Happy to sad, sad to excited, excited to tired. It’s a vicious cycle. Going into the kitchen and seeing any form of sugar is like going to war with yourself.
- DOING IT WITH A FRIEND MAKES IT EASIER. My best friend, Haley, has joined me in this challenge to embrace a better, healthier lifestyle- and boy, does it help. Doing it with somebody else makes the motivation increase, and the will power to not cave in to sugar increase equally.
I didn’t realize the effects of sugar on the body until I started this. It has only been four days in, but it is serving as a major eye-opener for me. After witnessing and feeling the withdrawal symptoms happen to myself, I am more enticed than ever to no longer depend on sugar as a daily need. Of course, the occasional desert at holidays and special events, but keep it in moderation. With the harsh effects of quitting, the long-term effects will be worth it all.
E.S., Sweet Spade