After a few weeks of feeling grumpy, tired, and finding myself stuffing my face with popcorn and junk every night with little regard to my actual hunger… SURPRISE! I can’t really fit into my jeans anymore.
I am poor and my jeans are cute and I know it is good for me anyway so as of this week I am back off sugar+carbs. The sweetest things I eat are Larabars (usually taken in halves) and squares of dark chocolate (usually taken with a little bowl of salted mixed nuts). I started eating bacon for breakfast again, thinking that the 5 dollar weekly purchase would pay itself off in motivation/morning satiety.
It’s really not so bad. A lot of people say “Oohhhhh but I couldn’t LIVE without bread/cupcakes/candy… you just must not love bread as much as I do.” But I do, friends. I love bread more than most other foods. I love it when it’s soft and warm, love it when it is toasty and covered in melted butter, love it white, rye, whole wheat, sourdough… but you know what? If I don’t buy bread, then I don’t think about it. I’m not trying to ban bread from my life forever – I’m just trying to not put it in my shopping cart and eat something else instead. It doesn’t feel like denial. It feels like normal life.
I’m glad that even though I’m not always on target, I was able to try out this lifestyle for myself and find out that it can feel normal. And as the weather has warmed up, I am reminded of the single habit that made this bigger change possible:
I learned how to drink coffee.
Just a year ago, I stopped drinking mochas, vanilla lattes, caramel macchiatos, frappuccinos, anything that qualifies as a Fancy Sugar Coffee Drink. I alternated plain lattes with little Starbucks Doubleshots for a spell, but once I tried an iced coffee for the first time – unsweetened, lots of ice, a bit of half-and-half – I didn’t really look back. I was able to continue my shameless addiction to caffeine while at the same time avoiding sugar – I wasn’t forced to detox from both at the same time, which I think would have been so miserable I would have given up the fight.
It’s the summer now, so I walk to work to save a little money – over the winter, a new coffee shop opened up right along my commute. I tried it for the first time last week, and I liked it. The coffee tasted different than my other choices (Starbucks, JP Licks, Java City at school, or cold-brew at home), it tasted good. I thought about how a year ago, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. How a year ago, I was reliant not only on sugar, but on a Starbucks that I could count on to make me a drink to my precise requirements. I was thinking about how happy it made me that I could always have a nice, cold iced coffee in my life – an indulgence I don’t think I’ll ever have to feel guilty about.