Frankly, I’m not so sure.
There are two sides to this, as I see it. On one side is the biochemical reaction that sugar has on our bodies. And on the other side is the fact that we are humans, with minds and hearts.
I believe that when we place limits around ourselves, limits that don’t come from kindness or freedom, then we put our lives in a box. When we are in that box, we fight against those walls that are holding us in, but we also become terrified to live without them.
I think that when we quit anything – and all diets require us to quit stuff, then we lock ourselves in our boxes. They are comforting to start with – the walls are made up of the dictates of the diet, and we know where we are with them. But we want more, we desperately want more – not just more sugar – but more LIFE. I don’t believe we can live in a box – we are all meant to be free. To live life fully, not to be held back.
I think that when we go into quitting sugar harshly, coming from a place of just doing it, without laying any foundational groundwork for self-acceptance and, well not to be too cute about it – but to be our own best friends, then we will suffer.
We have to come to a place of having such self-trust and self-love, that we can choose what is right for us day by day, and not be fearful of our decisions. Wouldn’t it be amazing, that instead of a box of 80ft walls telling us what we have to do, we live by a different manifesto? One of self-belief, which allows us choice in all our actions.
How do you find balance with sugar?
It’s a 21st century riddle alright – how do you eat sugar in moderation? Or should you? We’ve heard so much about sugar’s effects on our body, isn’t it better to give it up completely?
Whatever the reason, when it comes to sugar or any other choice; we have to make that choice on our own.
And a choice it a lot easier to make when we trust ourselves and when we have kindness towards ourselves at the center of our decision making.
What’s the kindest route for you? Working towards moderation, or aiming for no sugar, or very limited sugar? What’s the most doable right now? What is the road you would like to travel down – but what do you need to do to get there?
If you do want to eat less sugar, and I think less is a fair goal – then the reasons for it have to be the best reasons there are – because you’re going to have to believe them with your whole heart – for them to work for you.
If the reasons feel like punishments, or are along the ‘got to be better’ route, then I do believe we’ll have a struggle to want to adhere to them.
If we know it’s because we want to grow old in a healthy body, then that kind of motivation (“I want to feel better”) comes from a place that puts value on yourself, and will be much easier to align willpower with.
I don’t think that sugar’s addictive tendencies are going to overwhelm us if we don’t want them to. Yes our bodies might want more, but I think if we are okay with allowing some unmet desires in our lives now and again, we will be okay.
If you want to quit it, then why not?
If you want to allow it in your life, then go for it.
Sugar is just a foodstuff, it is not inherently wicked. You can choose what you eat, and what you don’t eat. But it does take time to get to a place of choosing for real and loving reasons.
I’d recommend supporting yourself with as much goodness as you can: self-love, kind inner talk, good friends, emotional support and nourishing foods. If we are kind towards ourselves, then we can learn to trust that our choices are there for us, and not against us.