Sunday, July 26, 2015

No Added Sugar Challenge

We spent part of the weekend celebrating my brother's birthday in Cincinnati.

The best way to celebrate a 37th King's Island, of course!

Cousins bonded over rides that were (literally) more their speed.

Grateful Uncle Matt took the brave boys on the crazy, scary rides.

These two were inseparable.  They discovered their shared passion for toss-your-cookies roller coasters.

Riding roller coasters is exhausting!

The next day, the boys got their second winds.  We hit the pool and the melee began.  

Lunch out before we headed back home.

On Friday, my friend Claudia shot me a text message: join my no sugar challenge for two weeks.  She wanted me to write about the experience and join a panel discussion about the process.

I almost laughed.  

Ditch sugar for two weeks?  

Did she know what she was asking?  

I had a better chance of holding my breath for days on end.  Sugar was an intricate part of my diet, practically one of my core food groups.  It was my reward for a good day (celebratory cupcake for finishing the laundry!), and my comfort on the bad days (gooey chocolate chip cookies after finding gum ground into the carpet!).  Oftentimes, in a pathetic sort of way, sugary treats were the highlight of my day.

As if that wasn't enough.  Claudia explained that artificial sweeteners were out too.

Insert knife.

I could feel myself slowly dying at the thought of giving up my beloved Diet Cokes for two weeks.  14 days.  336 hours.  20,160 minutes....but who's counting.

Without Diet Cokes, how will I stay hydrated?  Claudia tossed out the crazy notion of drinking water, but who does that?

I desperately wanted to toss back a curt response.  Something like...."No" (but with an accompanying smiley face).  

But, on the other hand, I was intrigued.  Perhaps it was time for me to make some changes.  Maybe the two week no sugar added challenge would finally kick my deeply-engrained Diet Coke addiction and instill some better dietary habits.  Would this revamped diet help me to shed some useless pounds and improve my running?  It was worth finding out.

So I agreed to start the challenge tomorrow.  I've spent the weekend doing two things in preparation:

1)  I've planned out no-sugar added menus.  Then, I traveled to the grocery store and spent an endless amount of time reading labels and purchasing things like Ezekiel bread and natural peanut butter.  A gallon of unsweetened tea filled the void in the cart where my Diet Cokes usually sit.  

2)  Pumped myself with farewell sugary treats.  Goodbye chocolate cake.  So long peanut butter bars.  Hasta la vista ice cream sandwiches.  You will be missed.

Tomorrow it begins.  

Fourteen days roll by fast, right?


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