TOUGH LOVE, TRUE GRIT

Several days in to Striking Sugar and you may be cursing my name and wondering what in hell you have gotten yourself into. Everyone else is enjoying life, drinking wine, sampling sweets and having a blast. In contrast, your head aches, you crave sugar, cheese, chocolate and anything else not nailed down. You keep having to say NO when everyone else is saying YES. WHY AM I DOING THIS? You could easily, oh so easily, slip a deeply fragrant hunk of cheese down your throat. Who would notice if you went awry with the Oreos? No one is looking, so a few hard-hitting mouthfuls of cake won’t matter will they? And the booze, oh God, the booze. Gimme a drink!  Striking Sugar is a mental game seven days in. The buzz has died down. Sugar Strikers are buckling down to the business of, well, striking and it feels a lot like punishment from where you stand. The stakes? Diving into the easy sensual pleasures of a quick fix sugar high using your favorite drug (fill in your own sugar fix here), versus the less easy, steady, plodding trek towards health. As one reader put it, “Sugar is fun, easy and delicious but diabetes is a bitch and so very inconvenient.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. The unfortunate nefariousness of the stealth killer known as Sugar is what tricks us into the wanting. Once the sweet pleasure slips onto our tongue we have no defences, leaving us craving relentlessly more.   Don’t feel bad if your addiction overpowers you. Sugar is crystallized acid, doing its job of hooking you. It’s cheap, in some cases free, and it’s everywhere. It’s consumed by everyone and highly socialized. Sugar is bad drugs. Sugar is a health destroyer. Sugar is a brain destroyer.   I was one of the addicted. Ice cream, peanut butter, cheese and I, had a steady relationship, which I revisited nightly, filling myself with the unctuous pleasures of creamy, brain addling foods. I wanted an addled brain because that was infinitely better than dealing with my shit. Wasn’t it? My brain was fried.   But when symptoms of pre-diabetes showed up, mixed with a few scares of my heart and eighty pounds of excess, unnecessary weight, my addiction had gone too far. The body doesn’t lie. If you eat sugar you feel the consequences. I was feeling them!   It is precisely because I have been through this that Striking Sugar matters. I have to tell you about it because I know for sure that you can cure yourself. Diabetes, illness and overweight, low energy levels, poor skin, dry hair and more, do not have to be your fate. Health is your birthright. At day 7, 19 or even day 1 of Striking Sugar, you have already advocated for yourself, for your health and it’s getting better.   WHAT IT TAKES TO GET FROM DAY #1 to DAY #30 ARE THE SAME INGREDIENTS EVERY DAY:  

Your big WHY?

This is your reason and no one else’s. Make it a good one because it’s the reason you will say NO when your favorite treat is staring you in the face. It’s the reason you will say NO when wine is offered. It’s the big reason. The only one!  

Clean sugar-free foods.

We already know what they are. They’re the ones that don’t have sugar in any form on the ingredient list. If you don’t know for sure, don’t buy it. Keep foods clean, whole, nutrient-dense, well sourced and properly prepared.  

A keen pair of eyes.

This is necessary because reading an ingredient label is tricky business. Even a healthy seeming ingredient like banana chips may well have added sugar, as if that were necessary given the highly sweet nature of bananas. Read all labels carefully.  

Support.

You have it in spades on the Strike Sugar FB Group but if you are going it alone, gather your family and friends around you and ask them, in no uncertain terms, to support you. If you don’t have someone close to you, join our group, join the Kitchen Table or give me a shout. I’m here. You’re gonna need it. Support is your accountability factor.  

Grit.

Defined by Angela Lee Duckworth in her ground breaking TED Talks speech (listen to it here), grit is "sticking with things over the very long term until you master them." I might add that grit is also a tenacity to stick to the task no matter how challenging. And Striking Sugar from your diet is challenging. Grit will help you ride it out. Grit is your backbone. Grit is your girl power. Grit is part of you. Grit is being a Sister in Strength for yourself. Pull it out and use it like a weapon.  

Water.

Flushing the drug, sugar, out of your body works best with plenty of water. Before you snack, drink. You’re probably more thirsty than hungry. Drink 3 litres daily or more if you are active. Which, by the way, I hope you are. Didn’t I tell you to sweat hard 30 minutes a day? You should.  

A stash of treats.

Yep! You’re going to need a stash of sugar free treats in that fridge or cooler, to get you over the cravings. Make hummus in bulk. Cut veggies up – whole heads of celery, several carrots, raw apple slices – have them ready to jump into service when the craving comes calling because it will.  

Earmuffs.

Got to block out the noise, the naysayers, your own chatter. Everybody will have an opinion about what you’re doing, not all of it supportive. Be prepared. Tune out with music, meditation (have you tried Headspace yet? Awesome meditation app – first ten days free and only ten minutes), or some other activity that helps you ignore. But be respectfully polite when someone says, “What are you doing of course you can eat cake?” Reply, while smiling, “Are you kidding me? Eat that crap? No way!” Well, you will know what to say.   With all of these grit building strategies in place, my prediction is that every one of you can be successful in ridding yourself of the white plague of sugar for good. What will this mean for you?   Ask any one of the tens of thousands of you who are Striking right now about their transformations and they will say:   “I have more energy!”   “My PMS is gone!”   “I can wear clothes that have been in my I will wear these again someday closet.”   “I am much nicer to be around.”   “I am off my diabetes meds.”   “I poo better. I sleep better. The brain fog is gone.”   “I feel more creative and purposeful.”   “The word bitch is out of my vocabulary.”   “I am off of my high blood pressure meds.”   “I don’t feel foggy or sweaty anymore and I don’t get the shakes or dizziness.”   “Yay! I want to have sex again!”   These and a whole lot more are your birthright. Find your WHY and stick to it because the next few weeks are going to be magic – the RESULTS! Just wait for them! They are yours.   Warmly and always listening, Tosca Reno