quitting sugar aaargh

Last week I was feeling pretty good about cutting out sugary treats. I’d had a few headaches, but these were minor and didn’t last long. I didn’t find it too difficult to refuse sweet things and I didn’t really want them anyway.

This week is a whole other story. And we’re only two days into this week, so I’m a little scared as to how bad this is going to get.

Last night I felt like I was getting a cold. I had a sore throat and felt a bit congested. I wondered on Twitter whether this might be a sugar withdrawal symptom. Sarah Wilson (who wrote the 8 week I Quit Sugar Program that I’m largely following) suggested that yes, this could be part of the detox and suggested drinking more water and eating more veggies.

This morning, I felt lethargic, irritable, cranky (oh wait, that’s just my normal state) and headachy. I knew that if this had been a normal work at home day, I’d be having several of the shortbread biscuits (that Juniordwarf and I would have made on the weekend) throughout the day.

Not today though.

I did, however, just want to eat and eat. And eat. And eat. David Gillespie (author of Sweet Poison) replied to my tweet that this could be the stage where things start to turn ugly and recommended non-sweet food treats to get me through it.

Vintage cheese and coffee.

Not together, obviously and, sadly, not with my favourite crackers. It turns out that for all the ‘bad’ stuff they don’t have, they do have sugar, so for now they’re off limits.

Cue home-made water cracker recipe (do you feel a recipe blog post coming on?).

So I went through the day feeling hungry not that long after I’d eaten, headachy and with a horribly dry mouth and metallic taste. According to Sarah Wilson, it’s all part of the detox.

Along with the physical symptoms, I’ve found that if I’m not actively concentrating on something, I’ve started to obsess about sweet food, and I think about cakes and lollies and biscuits constantly. I even hallucinated that the eggshells I could see through the plastic compost container were mini-muffins waiting to be eaten.

I’m not really sure if I actually want cakes or lollies or biscuits. I don’t think I do. If someone put a peppermint slice in front of me, I don’t think I’d eat it. But I just can’t stop thinking about them.

All of this is happening while I’m still eating berries in my morning smoothie. There will be a point where I cut them out too (at least for the detox period) and, based on the last two days, I’m a wee bit terrified of how complete withdrawal is going to make me feel.

I honestly didn’t think I was *that* addicted to sugar. But what’s happening now suggests otherwise.

I just have to keep telling myself that every minute I get through this is a minute closer to when it will stop. I have to believe that there will be a point where I won’t want sugar and I’ll feel great. There are a lot of people who have done this and said it’s worth it, so I’m hanging in there.

* I did. I didn’t think that the occasional more often than not cake/bag of lollies/chocolate bar some most afternoons was something I would have to withdraw from.

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