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I’ve been feeling fairly bloaty lately, and not as trim in my midsection as I like, despite daily workouts and what I thought was a reasonably healthy diet. I have had a fair number of treats over the past six months, and because of stress at work I have been way more likely to give in to temptation. But as I said, the FOOD I was eating was pretty okay. Lots of veggies, not very much unhealthy fat at all. But I realized that when I have extra sugar one day, I feel gross the next day.

So I decided to go sugar free for September. I started a challenge and invited some people to join me for accountability. I set the rules that everyone can make their OWN rules, whether they want to go hard core or just make some minor adjustments, like reducing the amount of sugar they put in their coffee, for example. For me, I am avoiding foods that added sugar. I am allowing foods sweetened with natural honey and maple syrup, and the stevia leaf extract that’s in my superfood shake every morning, but that’s about it. Which means no more vanilla yogurt, no more sushi rice (how will I survive?!), no more Boom Chicka Pop kettle corn, no more energy bars or granola bars.

I’ve had to seek out snack alternatives and I’ve started baking, which is totally outside my comfort zone. But planning and having those options at the ready when I’m at work will make sure I a) don’t slip and b) don’t rip someone’s head off from HANGER.

As I write this I’m on day four and I’ve had a mild to medium headache since the afternoon of day two. According to what I’ve read it’s totally common to get headaches as your body goes through withdrawal – which totally freaks me out, actually, because it is a total wake up call to how much sugar I was eating without even realizing it. I thought I was making pretty healthy choices but ultimately I was being LAZY and not doing the research.

An article I read on IQuitSugar.com states the seven stages of sugar withdrawal, so it looks like I might have some other joys to look forward to. But the very fact that our bodies go through this withdrawal is enough to show me that cutting out (or at least significantly cutting down) our sugar intake is something that we should be doing on a long term basis and not just for one month as part of a challenge.

Wish me luck!