Pink velvet cake anyone? Exactly a week ago, I issued myself a sugar challenge – no processed sugar, no soy lattes, and a limit on my alcohol consumption. I was going strong for a few days, and then, I broke the alcohol rule. I had three alcoholic drinks on Friday night, and believe me, I got a little creative with that math. Sharing a bottle of wine with a couple of friends counts as one drink, right? That is what I thought. However, I will admit that since that fateful night, my sugar detox has taken a little bit of a tailspin. I haven’t completely fallen off the bandwagon, but I have slipped up and cheated more than a couple of times.
However, what I want to talk about today is my cravings. I have honestly been so amazed how powerful my cravings for sugar have been. The other day I was at my new favorite restaurant, Le Pain Quotidien, and I wanted a soy mocha really, really, really badly. I was engaged in a full-on assault with my self-control, and even when I got coffee, I relented and put one cube of sugar in it. I knew that cutting out sugar wouldn’t be easy, but I thought once I made it through the first fews day, I would be good to go; I had no idea it would be so difficult. I have started to resent my daily green tea at Starbucks, and I have given up drinking black coffee and shamelessly add one cube of sugar to every cup.
However, every time I get a craving, I try to take a step back and ask myself why. Why do I need chocolate at the end of a meal? What about a soy latte makes me so damn happy? What emotions am I feeling when I crave these foods? Do I want to these certain food because it is a habit, or do I have an emotional attachment to these “treats?” I don’t really have to ask myself why I need a cube of sugar in my coffee; coffee without sugar or milk is just unpleasant, but aside from that, I don’t really have the answers. Yet, while sugar and I are on a temporary hiatus, I am trying to scrutinize and understand my tumultuous relationship with sugar a little better.
As I said last week, I don’t mean for this to be a period of deprivation or punishment. It has been really interesting to observe how my attempt to cut out sugar has effected me. I shouldn’t feel like giving up soy mocha for two weeks is the end for the world, and I want to be able to enjoy sugar without feeling like I need my fix on a daily basis. On a move positive note, I think I am finally over the initial hump. I ate at Le Pain Quotidien again tonight, and I didn’t think I was going to die without my soy latte. Small steps folks, small steps.