Having been sugar-free for 10 days now, I consider myself somewhat of an expert. At the very least I am an expert at getting through the first 10 days. So for that, here are 10 things I've learned about the first 10 days.
1. Don't quit eating sugar without pain reliever in the house. The pain in your brain will be too great to leave the house for pain reliever.
2. Your mind will tell you all kinds of crazy things including: Why are you such an extremist control freak? Sugar is a part of life! It's Friday for God's sake and I don't care if you don't believe in God. What's a little agave gonna hurt anyone... Live a little!
3. A few dietary notes:
- Mayonnaise (that's Best Foods, or Hellman's, whose key ingredient is corn syrup) will beckon.
- A chinese chicken salad is just lettuce's way of enabling you.
- Cashews are fattening. This may sound like a non-sequiter until you try giving up sugar.
- Something crunchy is the next best thing to something sweet. Pass the cheese puffs
4. Friends will tell you about the Lärabar. They aren't that great (the Lärabars; I"m sure the friends are fine). I mean, let's face it, there's only so much you can expect from dried fruits and nuts pressed into a flat rectangle. But file under: Good to Know.
5. So-called "friends" will tell you that you're missing out. That you're no fun. They'll show you a picture of some sugar-laden crap they ate at a chain restaurant. They are addicted to sugar and to sabotage. Unfriend them.
6. It gets easier. And then harder. And then easier still. By week's end, you may even be able to go hours at a time without a single raisin.
7. Not to sound too Marianne Williamson, but you will soon notice that doing something good for you is also addicting. You will start to contemplate giving up coffee. But then you'll remember the Mark Twain quote about a ship without ballasts…
8. By week's end, you will be able to taste the sweetness in a grapefruit. "Oh, yum! This grapefruit has such natural sweetness!" you will say smugly to anyone still talking to you after your first 10 sugar-free days.
9. You will begin to feel a little bit superior: to those who tell you they have given up sugar but still partake in agave, maple syrup, honey, etc… (You see this as just proof of how hard it is to give up sugar.) To those people you saw at Indian Wells tennis tournament yesterday eating ice cream cones big enough to feed an entire family--or just one American. To those who say, "I want to…," "I'm going to," "I should." But then don't…
10. If you go public, as I did, with your sugar fast, it will seem that almost everyone you know is telling you that they have tried to quit eating sugar, have quit eating sugar before for a period of time, or want to quit eating sugar. You will also find that a surprising number of your friends do not eat sugar and you just didn't know this because for reasons having to do with an inner wholeness and lack of a need for validation that you do not possess, they do not feel the need to broadcast this uninteresting fact of their existence to the world. You will wilt in the shadow of their superiority. But in relation to the rest of sugar-fueled humanity, you will feel like a real expert. And like you have infinite wisdom, or at least 10 naturally-sweet nuggets of advice to give them should they decide to quit their nasty habit. They probably won't want to hear your advice otherwise they would have asked you for it. So you will write it down instead and put it out there in the e-universe like a sweet little dandelion, blowing, positively screaming into the wind…