When I woke up this morning I immediately felt relieved. I can have fruit again. I don't have to eat sugar, but I can if I want to.
Since writing my last post one month ago, I have had to eliminate all dairy from my diet. Anything derived from milk, including butter and cheese, I can't eat anymore. That combined with the gluten free, fruit-free, sweetener-free, dessert-free has been tedious to say the least and quite stressful and overwhelming.
In my last post I said this year has been a failure, and that has not changed with avoiding fruit this past month. I had too many other limits on my diet to be able to appreciate what I was doing, and I have been concerned more for my health this year than any other in my life, even without the sugar. So being worried in general did not help.
I began this year being inspired by my friend Melissa, who dropped refined sugar and then subsequently dropped something like 55 pounds, most of it in the first few months. I did not expect that to happen, and it has not. I did lose 20 pounds,but that was the result of several periods where I counted calories (30 more to go!). Quitting sugar did stop me from gaining weight, however, and it was one less thing to worry about during reduced calorie periods.
Fruit-free has made a little bit of difference in terms of cravings, making them a little less. But going fruit-free after 11 months of sugar free was not the best planning, since I'd already used up most of my enthusiasm. It would have worked much better to do fruit-free/sugar-free/dessert-free from the start, and have it last a much shorter time, like 6-8 weeks. (I like this book, I Quit Sugar, that outlines a program like that). I will probably do that program in the future, after I have figured out some of my other health issues.
I hoped to be able to say that I didn't care about sugar anymore, but I do still care. I learned that to me, unrefined sugars like honey and maple syrup are just as bad as regular sugar. And I know now I need to limit fruit intake to 2 servings a day, since more has negative effects on me.
Would I do it again? No. Would I recommend it to others? I don't know. I did learn a lot this year. I think going without added sugar for a few months would help any person struggling with their relationship to sugar.
My new mantra going forward is not to avoid any types of sweeteners, but rather to eat treats only after dinner.