I'm sweet enough


Today marks 50 days without sugar.  Previously I reached 78 days, but if I’m being honest with myself, I didn’t reeeeeeally get that far, as I’d had the odd scone or the odd small sugary thing, like a chocolate at work or something.  This time I’ve actually managed to stay away from it completely.  It is definitely getting easier, but still tries to bite me in my still sizeable arse every so often.  Yesterday, for example, I could have murdered someone for a piece of sponge cake.  Literally all day I just wanted to eat a bit of cake.  I think it’s more about the texture and the thought of just buying a nice treat to enjoy.  In the evening I was even faced with a muffin and some biscuits which I could have helped myself to.  I didn’t though.  I knew i’d regret it, and more than likely I wouldn’t enjoy it.  So another day survived.

Thankfully most days are not like yesterday, and overall I don’t have to fight off any urges.  I’ve lost 12lbs since I quit the stuff on the 1st of July, I’m sleeping much better, my skin is better, I don’t get that bloated/stuffed horrible feeling after eating.  I used to eat crap if I was stressed, bored, emotional about something, the usual sort of thing.  One weird thing I’ve noticed, after a lifetime of stuffing my face full of all things sweet, is that quitting it has made me realise all the different times I want sugar.  The immediate thought of getting something sweet to eat crops a lot, in various situations, like a motor response really.  Then I have to think of something else to replace it with, as I don’t eat that now.  Also in the last couple of weeks i’ve been thinking about a lot of things in the past that i’ve put to bed, and that don’t generally bother me.  Except i’ve been stewing over these things again, albeit without the crutch to lean on of a little sugary treat to make the thoughts go away.  That’s passed now, but again, it’s just another demonstration of the hold it has over me.  I’m not sure it’ll ever go away, hence the need to be totally vigilant.

I know I’m totally addicted to sugar, but I still feel embarrassed to say it.  Firstly because lots of people will immediately shout “it’s not addictive! Don’t be ridiculous.”  Well, to many it isn’t, so count yourself lucky.  I don’t really care whether it can be proved as a scientific fact or not, and in fact if it was proved categorically not to be addictive, it still doesn’t change the fact I can’t deal with it.  Ergo, the other issue is that it’s mortifying to admit that you can’t control something like this.  Nothing like that saying you’re so weak and such a failure that you can’t even moderate what you put in your mouth.  At least that’s how I used to feel.  Ironically, I used to really berate myself for being so weak and unable to control my weight that I’d comfort eat for being a failure.  It’s fucked up, I know.  Thankfully I no longer feel so negatively towards myself, and haven’t for a long time.  It’s just a thing; I have a tendency to overeat foods that aren’t good for me.  That’s it really.

So now I’m doing something about it.  Still got a long way to go, but that’s fine.  The weight has taken years to go on, so will take a while to come off.  No worries.  Now I’m free to just get on with my life without holding myself back by trying to moderate food that others don’t even give a second through to.   The main thing I can say is that even though the temptation still arises at times, the main thing I feel is freedom.  Mel Gibson eat your heart out.



July has been a good month.  On the first of the month I decide to (again, for the bazillionth time) quit sugar.  This time, I’ve also added in flour products too, which I think was what kiboshed me previously.  The upshot of it is, in the simplest of terms, is that I don’t eat a lot of processed foods, and virtually nothing that comes out of a packet.  Except nuts. Mmmm, nuts…. Anyway, I’m now on day 35, and after weighing myself this morning, I’ve lost 9.2lbs since July 1st, and I’m 1.8lb off having lost 2 stone since last May.  I did have a couple of fish suppers while on holiday which was the only time I ate anything with flour (i.e. the batter), but that seemed to be okay, and didn’t set me off on a sugar-induced rampage, so I can honestly say it’s been easier than I thought.  I was worried it would be difficult to maintain while away for 10 days camping, especially since the final week included staying at a campsite with an amazing tea garden that sells delicious cakes (all well-tested by me last year).  However, I’d made the decision before I left that I was just going to keep doing what I was doing, and it was fine.  I didn’t even really feel tempted.  The only time I’ve had cravings has been in the last week, but that’s hormonal, and I’ve still managed to resist.  So I’m happy with that.  I’m a sugar addict, always have been & always will be, so this is something I just need to do.

While it’s been easy in a lot of respects, what it has made me realise is just HOW much sugary food has dictated my life so far.  Something that still keeps happening, as a kind of unconscious motor-response is that say on a Friday I’ll think “ooh it’s Friday, I can get lots of nice food to eat (i.e. dessert/cake/sweets) tonight,” but then realise that actually I can’t.  Or rather I don’t want to.  When I was driving to Scotland and thought about stopping at service stations for breaks, i immediately wondered what treats I could buy for the next part of the journey.  During the week or at the weekend if I go somewhere, whether in the car or for a walk, I wonder if there’s anywhere I can have a coffee & a cake, or if there are any sweets I can buy.  I still have these thoughts A LOT, but it’s just an echo of the past that hasn’t caught up to the new reality.  I just catch myself and change the story.  I admit that sometimes when I think that I can’t eat ANY of that stuff again, it’s a bit depressing.  But 10 days having fun with lots of different pals proves that the happiness doesn’t come from stuffing my fizog full of sugar, so I’ll get through it.

Eating low carb, high fat (LCHF) means that actually the alternative is eating lots of fresh veggies, cheeses, butter, proteins etc. and it feels satisfying (and still slightly naughty if it’s a creamy sauce, for example, after years of being told fat is bad).  I’m not missing out, especially as it’s a choice.

Financially, I’ve actually noticed that not eating crap has saved lots of money too.  No more nipping to the shop for a treat, or buying cakes with my coffee.  Shopping is an easy experience and I only visit about 2 or 3 aisles in the supermarket now.  It’s probably just as well I’m spending less in that respect, as it’s helping keep me on track with my debt repayment.  What I’m finding though is that unexpected & unplanned expenses are cropping up each month that are utilising all my spare cash, or eating into the small amount of savings I have, such that I’ve not got that buffer anymore.  So I need to have a couple of lean months to get back on track.  Being flexible with it is necessary, but I can’t afford to be too flexible or I’ll keep pushing the end date back.

However, I’ve made the decision to resume my studies in September, even though I’d promised myself a year off.  I wanted a break, but to be honest since my last course finished in April, I’ve had a good break already, and truth be told I miss studying.  Also, I enquired as to whether there was a time limit on completion of the three post-grad certificates I have my eye on (I’ve completed one), as if you do all three you get a Master’s degree.  It turns out there is a limit, so I’ve bitten the bullet and signed up for course two.  I’ll complete the work over 24 months which means I won’t actually need to take any courses in 2018.  The downside is that some of August’s debt repayment money, and all of September’s will now be needed to pay for the course (I’m not credit-carding it!), so I won’t actually be able to pay everything off until March 2018.  It’s okay though, and a price worth paying.

So that’s it really.  Here are a few photos from my trip to Scotland.  I do love my homeland, maybe more of that in another post.  Have a great weekend folks 🙂

Small steps

Hopefully this won’t jinx it, but it’s fair to say we’ve had a fabulous summer so far.  There was a week or so where it cooled down, was a bit dreich and autumnal, but thankfully that passed quickly and the summer has returned in full force.  I have to say I do love the heat, even it means the midges seem to be out in full force this year, and for the first time in years I’ve been bitten a few times this last few weeks.  When I go camping later in the month, I think I’ll need to stock up on citronella candles and industrial strength insect repellent.

So I’ve finally hit the half way mark on my debt repayment, hurrah! and this is despite paying for flights and car parking for a Spring ’18 Lanza trip, and also paying a deposit for a hotel next summer.  All unplanned expenses at this point, but I took the decision to use up spare cash for June & July (i.e the only money I had in my savings) to pay for the holiday expenses now while they’re cheaper (in Lanza’s case – I’ve save about £70 over what I paid for the trip this year).  Next year the Pirate party is heading to Ironman Austria in July, so I couldn’t resist signing up….to support!  I’ve never been to Austria, and when you know you’re staying 100m from the lake front below, there’s no way I’m missing out.


Due to the fact the race is on, the hotels are only booking for a minimum 7 night stay, so I’ve had to sign up for a full week of lakes, mountains and fresh air, how awful!  The only downside is having to pay the hotel this year, but that’s only because I hadn’t planned for it.  Anyway, I managed to pay the deposit, and will pay the balance by the end of the year.  Paying in advance for holidays is actually making me very happy though.  I used to credit card the lot and worry about it after the fact.  No more!!  The result is it that the debt repayment may extend a wee bit longer, and as such after a big payment in January, my last card repayment may be in February 2018 (the last £400!).  I may be able to pay more than planned this year and bring that back, but ultimately it doesn’t really matter, I’ll get shot of it all eventually, end of.  My attitude to money has completely changed, only about 20 years too late, ha! Hence paying for holiday stuff now when I can, otherwise if I didn’t have the money at the time, I’d now say no, and quite frankly, I like my holidays and don’t want to miss out if I can avoid it.  So after a lean (ish) year, I’ve still got two amazing trips to look forward to next year 🙂

Allotment wise, I’ve been learning that you can weed & weed until the cows come home, but if you don’t cover the cleared-bed up, they’ll come back, with a vengeance.  So because I’m a numpty and have only just realised, in some ways I feel like I’m not getting anywhere!  I’ve got the one bed I plant stuff in, but I’ve not been able to plant anything else.  However, it doesn’t really matter because I still enjoy it, i’ve learned my lesson, and i’m slowly getting on top of it.  Today I finally finished clearing one bed (again!) and i’ve covered it up until i’m ready to plant in it.  My aim now is to have the place in better shape for the Autumn, so I can then start to plant more stuff that can cope with the cold and frosts of winter (parsnips anyone?).  What I have planted is doing well, and despite thinking they were dead, the even the broad beans are starting to grow!

I pulled an onion up because I was dying to try it, but I’ll try to leave the others in a bit longer; some are a reasonable size, some are still pretty small.  The potatoes are doing well.  I’ve pulled most of the Charlottes, as the leaves succumbed to a bit of blight, so I’ve dug up those potatoes now.  The International Kidneys are still in the ground and will keep me in tatties for a while.

Otherwise I’ve been taking a few walks down by the river when it’s been nice, and always manage to go and say hello to the locals, who always come when I call them.


I’ve finally managed to get back to the gym too.  My back is still bothering me off & on, but I got a new 12-week programme designed to work on flexibility & mobility, and so far (2 weeks in), I’m feeling better for it.  Over time I’m hoping it will sort out the back issues I’ve been having once and for all.  Sugar wise i’ve been a bit up & down like a yo-yo.  The culprit isn’t sugar as such, it’s basically too many carbs.  A ridiculous amount of trial and error has demonstrated to me, without a shadow of a doubt, that I can give up sugar and have few issues with cravings, but if I overeat on the carbs or have bread or anything similar (even if no/low sugar), it makes me crave sugar like a drug-starved crack addict, and I can’t stay off it.  So attempt no. 1 billion is underway, and i’m 8 days in and feeling good.  I’ve even managed to do it in a PMT week (unknowingly, but it makes sense why my back has been worse for a few days).  So the upshot is when I go camping at the end of the month, i’m going to sadly have to refuse all the beautiful cakes and scones in the local Tea Room.  It sucks and will sound insane to anyone that doesn’t have an issue with the stuff, but I need to do it for me, once and for all.  Enjoying life, i’ve realised, is much more important than ‘missing out’ on some foods, so that’s what i’m going to do.

Happy summer folks 🙂

Move over May…

Fingers crossed I’ll be uttering that on the 9th of June, but in the meantime, it’s nearly bloody June!  Jings.  I’ve had a busy month, a lot of which has been spent on holiday, woo hoooo!  May heralds the now annual trip to Lanzarote to watch my friends beast themselves in the sun and wind to conquer the Ironman triathlon.  The Ironman is one of the ultimate tests of endurance, with a 2.4 mile swim in the sea, followed by a 112 mile bike ride up the hills & through the sparse volcanic landscape of the island before cooling down with a little 26.2 mile marathon to finish.  Easy.  Or not.  My one-and-only attempt at the distance ended on the bike course as I missed the cut-off time.  Having watched a fair few friends tackle Lanza now, rest assured I will NOT be signing up for it in a hurry.  It’s known as the hardest IM on the circuit, and it’s clear to see why.  When we arrived 3 days before the race, winds were said to have been gusting at 60 mph on the top of the hills (it was about 40 mph in the town), and it was a scorchio 30-odd degree Celsius.  Thankfully it calmed down a little for race day, but the sun was still blazing.  Needless to say my holiday was a lot more relaxed, and can basically be summed up with the following collage:


Cocktails, lots of delicious cocktails.  Oh and the odd saunter along the beach.  It was too hot to sit out for hours, so it was only right that we shelter in the bar for a week.  Needless to say my low carb efforts were kiboshed for the week, what with all the sugar I was drinking and the bread that I ate with dinner (it was warm and lovely, hard to resist).  I had a fabulous week (and can’t wait for a return trip early next year), but I’m also glad to be back to low carb eating, and I’ve entirely binned the sugar again.  I’m definitely all or nothing when it comes to eating well, and already feel good now I’m back on it.  While i’m in the adjustment phase from high carb/sugar to the opposite way of living, i’ve felt totally knackered with little energy to spare, but I know that’ll change soon.  So now my life looks like this:



Otherwise this month it’s just been the same-old-same-old.  I’ve not been spending quite a much time in the allotment (due Lanza, bank holidays and work trips away), but thankfully it’s been raining a fair bit which has helped and the plants are thriving (esp. the bastarding weeds).  Sadly however, despite the fact my courgette plants and broad beans seemed to be hardening up well in the shed, I planted them before my holiday and when I came back i found they’d ALL died a hideous death.  RIP little guys 😥  It’s all a learning experience though, and hopefully I can replace them with plants that make it!

Money wise all is good.  I’d saved up for the Lanza trip so that’s all paid for, and debt repayment is tootling along.  By the time my credit card payments come out in June I’ll be into 4-figure debt instead of 5-figures, so that’s pretty good.  The next couple of months will be pretty tight with various bits and bobs to pay for including car insurance and what not, but it’s all budgeted for, so it’ll be fine if I stick to my spending plan.  Happily summer is here so I’ve plenty to do on the allotment to keep me busy, and keep me from spending money!  So we’re almost half way through the year, and I’m almost half way through my debt repayment; i’m pretty pleased to say the least, and it’s amazing what an unrelenting focus and commitment can achieve.  I’ve another few months of being selective with what I can do, and who I can visit, what trips I can (or more to the point cannot make) etc., but as I keep saying, it’ll be worth it in the end.

Health wise my back had been giving me a lot of gyp for the past couple of months, so I’m hoping it will improve pronto.  Walking around and dancing in Lanza has helped a bit, and I’ve also started a Million Step Challenge (basically 10,000 steps per day for 100 days) which I did in 2014, and that will help with general mobility.  I really do think the fact I was eating more carbs in late March / April while studying (i.e. lots of sitting) hasn’t helped – I think it has increased inflammation which has exacerbated the back issues.  Fingers crossed reducing the carbs will address this in part at least, and if I work on overall mobility this will help sort my back out so I can start lifting weights again, as I’m missing that.

One step at a time 🙂

4 down, 8 to go

May, already!  Well, tomorrow at least.  Time flies when you’re having fun.  Also when you get older.  I thought I’d stick with recent tradition and do a bit of a round-up of the month.  So 4 months in to my debt repayment year and this weekend it’s definitely biting more than most.  Where I should be, rather than at home having just tidied up, changed the bed, stuck a couple of loads of washing on etc., is at the annual DIY Half Ironman.  I’ve been there the last few years, and I’ve always looked forward to the May Bank holiday weekend as it heralds a fab weekend with Pirate pals, lots of tea, chips, banter and good times.  I buggered up my finances in April though which meant I had to give up my weekend away.  It sucks massive balls.  One fabulous pal offered me a lift if I could get to hers, and another even offered to pay my petrol – extremely generous offers both, and I can’t express how much to means to have such wonderful people in my life (more proof of Piratey awesomeness). Turning down such generosity seems daft I know.  I just can’t bring myself to accept such offers at the moment – I got myself into this financial mess and I need to get out of it myself.  Also knowing I’ll soon be heading to Lanza with my pals, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I saw them anyway, though I’m sorry there are a few I’ve missed this weekend that won’t make Lanza.  I keep telling myself it’ll be worth it (it will), but I do hate letting anyone down in the meantime.

So other than being a boring twat, April has been good.  Lots of happy time spent at the allotment, and lots of plants growing, including weeds.  So plenty of work to do to keep me busy over summer.  I can go down in the evenings after work now too which is awesome.  I love it so much I wish I’d discovered the joys of the allotment years ago.  I’m just glad I have now 🙂

So plans for May are more of the same.  The only pain in the ass (literally) is my back has been bothering me a fair bit this month.  I’ve not been at the gym for about 3 weeks as a result, but it’s got to the stage that the less I do the worse it gets.  The allotment is good because it keeps me moving, but also i’ve overdone it a couple of times there with too much stretching and twisting, so it’s a bit of a double-edged sword.  So bollocks to it I’m going back to the gym this week regardless.  I think I’ll need to adjust my programme a bit and in fact reduce the weights and work on technique until glutes and posterior change all firing properly and working together before upping the weight again.  I’ve missed the gym and been worried about making my back worse but actually I think it’ll make it better.  I just need to work on technique and positive movements – show my back what it can do, not what it can’t.

Money wise it’s the same old same old.  I’ve saved money for Lanza already, and otherwise I’m massively overpaying debt to get shot of it.  My plan shows me making a final payment in January 2018, but i’m determined to try to pay it all off by the end of December, so that’s the focus.

Weight wise I’ve stalled a bit, not helped by the fact I bolloxed my sugar-free ness and had a bit of a sugar binge after Easter.  Anyhoo, live and learn, so back off it and feeling better already.  Eating too many carbs full stop = mahoosive sugar cravings and sugar failure, so lesson learned and back to normal (i.e. less carbs, no sugar).  Getting back on means i’ve already started moving in the right direction again.  I weighed myself today, and if I can lose 4.4lb by the time I go to Lanza then i’ll be 2 stone lighter than I was when I was there last May.  So the upshot of it all is that progress is being made on all fronts, I’m looking forward to May and my pirate holiday, so life is very good indeed.

Happy days 🙂


Spring is in the air 

April already! A quarter of the year has already gone by, but happily it has brought with it the first signs of spring, and very welcome lighter nights.

March has been a good month, and progress is being made. I’ve finished one six-week gym programme and I’ve started the next one. I’ve yet to hit any of my target goals but I’m edging ever closer to a couple which is good. Mostly I’m just really enjoying getting back into the gym. Having spent the final week of the month in Scotland for work, I’d even managed to find a gym I can pay to use as needed, so went twice during the week, leaving my final session of the week for this weekend, in my usual gym. Being able to keep the momentum going really helps. 

The ‘no sugar’ thing is going well and I’ve now surpassed the two-month mark. Tonight will be a test as I’ve got rhubarb from the allotment to make into a crumble. I had actually bought some coconut nectar sugar today as an alternative to sweeten it, but on reflection I want to avoid any and all substitutes, so as it’s unopened I’ll return it tomorrow and rely on apples, cinnamon and some nuts to sweeten the crumble. I reckon slightly sour crumble is the way forward anyway 😉

The best thing this month has been spending more time at the allotment. It’s fairly coming on, and I’m happy to have finally planted some vegetables. I also love flowers so I’ve planted 25 bulbs plus some fuschias and geraniums today. I’ve also bought some sweet pea seeds, so I’ll attempt to start them indoors first and plant them out later. 

I returned from my work trip to find that some of the courgette seeds I had planted had shot up, so I’ll re-pot them then plant them out later in the month. 

Happily this month I’ve also managed to get back to some open water swimming, or more accurately, bobbing around in freezing water for a few minutes, twice. The weather has been so lovely I thought I’d get back to it earlier this year, and without my wetsuit. It’s so lovely just being in the open air, in refreshingly cold water whilst listening to the birds chirping nearby.  Today I stayed in for 9 mins, and was cautious not to stay in longer so I didn’t get an after drop. I’ll keep upping the time gradually over the next month or so.   You really can’t beat swimming outdoors with a view like this:

Finally the debt repayment is going to plan. I’ve just paid off a credit card, leaving two to go. The next one should be paid off by July. Happily I’ve also received a refund from the course I’m doing as I found out I’m entitled to a discount I didn’t realise was available, being an alumni of the University. I’ve squirrelled the money away to use for another course, but if I decide not to study anything else in September I can put it towards my debt. 

So all in all a great month, and I’m looking forward to making more progress in April. This is the start of the minimal spend month, so I’ll report back on how that goes ☺️

Happy Spring people ☀️

Livin' la vida loca(rb)


So it’s been five weeks since I’ve been eating low carb, high fat (LCHF), and in that time I’ve lost 8 lbs, for a total of 23 lbs since last May.  A week of that (well 5 days) was when I was in Lanza and I was eating bread and having some booze, so not strictly LC, but I was straight back on it when I got back  (including cutting out alcohol until I go back to Lanzarote).  I’ve not been doing loads of exercise either.  At the moment I’m working through a two session a week six-week training plan in the gym, and that’ll increase by one session a week when I start the next programme.  As I’ve written about, I’ve completely binned sugar as part of this, but it’s also taken a concerted effort to maintain a lower carb intake, as it would be really easy to let it creep up with the odd carb-laden yet (pretty much) sugar-free goodie (damn you delicious croissants!).  What I’m particularly happy about is I’ve managed a week of PMT and a menstrual cycle without mainlining sugar/crisps/bread/anything carbalicious (in the interests of truthfulness I did have a croissant the other night after a stressful work afternoon and to satisfy a one-off mahoosive PMT carb craving, but afterwards I felt a bit bleurgh).  This is nothing short of miraculous for me, as I’ve really struggled with hormonal cravings for, well, forever.  In fact I used to get PMDD which is like an evil version of PMT on steroids, and the only  thing that ‘cured’ it was introducing butter into my diet.  I kid you not.  I used to eat Flora (yellow spreadable plastic) because it was ‘healthier’, but as soon as I switched to proper butter, it cured my PMDD.  Women need more fat, and now I know why.

There’s no denying that many people think it’s a fad/dangerous etc. etc., and you know, we all need to find what works for us, so I’m not trying to sell it to anyone.  I’ve read lots of different books, some journal articles, watched videos etc.  Of course when you’re interested in something you tend to look for information which supports it, and may therefore be ignoring some pertinent data that completely contradicts the said belief etc., and I’m doing that to an extent.  However, a lot of the information I’ve been reading tries to explain the problems with the promulgation of low-fat/high carb (the UK/US/AUS etc. food pyramids tend to all be high carb, and this is what their respective governments advocate for the masses) lifestyles.  A lot of the science/research that was used in the 70s to link saturated fat and heart disease (which resulted in the call for lower fat diets) has been debunked/updated, so for me, it stacks up.  I’m typing this on the hoof, so I don’t have any references to link to, but one day when I have a decent amount of time, I’ll try to write a post that details the arguments and back them up with references etc. (for my own benefit as much as anything else).

Anyway, I think some people have a funny idea of what LCHF is about, so what do I eat?  In a typical day, for breakfast I’ll have scrambled eggs or a cheese & mushroom omelette, or maybe even bacon, sausage and egg if I eat at work.  If I get sick of eggs (I usually need a couple of days off eggs every once in a while) I’ll have some blueberries and thick double cream on top.  Or I might not eat breakfast if I’m not hungry.  For lunch I usually have leftovers of dinner from the previous night, but essentially it’ll be some kind of protein (chicken, lamb, beef, fish) and lots of veggies (maybe broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, courgette, carrots, spinach, kale, chard or some other leafy green) and maybe a sauce (i.e. homemade curry sauce that includes onions, garlic, spices, coconut milk, or like today I had lamb with gravy made from the bottom of the roasting tin).  Dinner is a similar type of thing – meat and veg or a homemade stew from the slow cooker, leftover roast chicken, or soup made with stock from the roast chicken.  If I get hungry during the day I have salted almonds, salted macadamia nuts and/or a bit of cheese.  That’s it really.  My fridge is full of fresh meat/fish/veggies, cream, cheese and usually some blueberries.  The only things I’m eating that have a label on them are cream, cheese, nuts & coconut milk in a tin.  Nothing else comes out of a packet.  Oh, the bacon and sausages do if I’ve not bought them from a meat counter, and maybe pâté if I have it but that’s it (that I can think of).

So is this a dangerous way of eating?  I can’t see it.  I’m not overeating the ‘fat’ bits of the diet (i.e. snaffling a kilo of cheese a day – if I eat any it’s about 25-30g, same with nuts).  This is actually the food I grew up with – my Mum cooked everything herself, and occasionally we’d have a ready meal as a treat, but it was just normal food.  The difference would be adding bread and cereal for breakfast.  The only other difference is there was often some amazing baking available – scones or a Victoria sponge or some rick cakes.  Those I still kind of miss, but I know I feel better not eating them.

The ironic thing is that I was always worried not eating sugar or crappy processed treats would make me feel like I was living a kind of half-lived life, that I’d really be missing out.  I still feel that a little bit with cakes, but in truth I actually feel an immense sense of freedom.  I honestly feel as though I’ve been released from a kind of food prison, I shit you not.  I just eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, if I’m still hungry I have a snack, and that’s it.  The other day I was busy in the evening and didn’t have time to head home to pick up dinner so ate breakfast and lunch then nothing for the rest of the evening, and I felt fine.  That’s the real difference.  I can handle weight sessions in the gym without needing to carb-load first (and I’m not into taking BCAAs or other supplements; I don’t see why I need them).  I don’t feel heavy/bloated/lethargic after eating now.  I actually understand what hunger is now, and I only eat when I’m hungry, and I stop when I’ve eaten enough (and any food leftover is stuck back in the fridge).  I don’t need to have these mental arguments with myself about eating crap – I just don’t eat it.  Easy.  The thing is, it actually has been easy.  I’m still in shock and waiting for some kind of world-ending craving mania to hit, but so far, so good.

All going well, this is what I eat now, and that’s it.  It’s not about going back to something when I reach a healthy weight.

One thing is for sure I am NEVER going back to eating sugar.


28 days later


I’ve finally managed to reach 28 days sugar-free.  I’ll be honest and say that I wasn’t sure I’d get here, but here I am and I feel very happy about it.  I was expecting cravings to reach epic proportions, but amazingly they’ve been okay.  I keep waiting for that wave to hit, but it hasn’t yet, and every day they don’t appear, it will make it that little bit more easy to resist if they do.

I’ve started to lose weight again after going up and down by about 7 lbs for months and months.  Along side the no sugar lifestyle I’ve reduced my carbs to around 50g per day.  Most of the carbs I do eat come from nuts, dairy and veggies. I wish that I could have bottled how I was feeling before starting this.  I wasn’t ill or in dire straits, but I just wasn’t feeling 100%.  I was getting more headaches, and I’ve never been one to suffer from them very much at all.  My skin was itchy on-and-off, my joints ached a little bit, and often I just felt full and heavy.  As if the food I was eating had been distributed through my body because all of me just felt laden and overburdened somehow.  My sleep was okay but I woke up a lot and often I didn’t feel as though I was getting a really good night’s sleep.  Lately, however, especially in the last week, I’ve been sleeping really well, I feel lighter in general, my skin is a bit better and I don’t have the as much brain fog as I felt I was getting.  I feel like I’m doing my body good, for once in my puff.

To help me along the way I’m tracking everything I eat, as it just keeps me on the straight and narrow.  I use My Fitness Pal, and I paid for the upgrade (towards the end of last year) so I can customise it a bit more to suit what I want to eat.  I don’t actually get obsessive about it, rather I decide what I want to eat for the day, plug it all in and see what it comes out with.  It’s working well because I’m pretty much achieving the macro ratios I want without actually planning it.  Most importantly for me, I eat to hunger.  So if I’m hungry I eat.  I stop when I’m full, and at the moment if I get hungry soon after I eat some more.  If I’m not hungry for a few hours after my last meal/snack, I don’t eat.  It works out to breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack if I need it.  I’m eating around 1800-2000 calories a day, and macro wise it’s about 11% carbs, protein 19% and fat 70%.  Most of the fat is already in the food I eat (i.e. meat/fish/avocado/nuts etc.) rather than it all being added cream or butter.  So far so good.  I’ll just keep doing what i’m doing and if stops working or I feel crap etc., I’ll make some changes.

One thing I’m not going to do though is reintroduce sugar.  I’m not going back.  It isn’t going to be easy, but after giving it a lot of thought these past 28 days, I’ve realised the most difficult thing isn’t whether a craving will get the better of me, but rather whether other people can really understand why I’m doing this, and be okay with it.  The reason I say that is if I don’t ever eat sugar again, well that makes me a real pain in the ass to have for dinner.  Also it might make me seem really rude, which is the last thing I’d want.  If it’s someone’s birthday (or mine), or a celebration or someone has been kind enough to bake a cake or some biscuits because I’m visiting, and then I say “oh i’m really sorry I don’t eat sugar anymore,” it makes me seem like a faddish arsehole.  Okay, so I would tell someone first that I don’t eat sugar so no need to make me anything with it in, but food is love and kindness, and it’s easy to think “ah she can just have a wee bit.”  I just can’t though.  I know it’ll set me off.  If I only ever had to worry about myself, I would be fine.  But it’s the thought of social situations and dealing with those without appearing like a twat and offending anyone that I’m not looking forward to.  I’ll just need to manage it, but that’s my main worry.

I’ve realised in the past that because I’ve failed sooooo many times when it comes to food, I always couch my plans with the words ‘try’, ‘attempt’, or ‘I hope to…but I might not’ and essentially give myself a get out before I’ve even started.  In fact I may (ha!) have even used some of those words above, I can’t be arsed to read back and check, but it’s a hard habit to break…  As I’ve realised with my financial management plans though, you need to be relentless towards your goal, so I need to apply the same intent to this.  I know I’ll be missing out to a degree, but that’s the price I’m willing to pay, because my health is important to me, and I’m finally in a place to sort it out.  Who knows what might happen – none of us have any guarantees, and we sure as hell are not getting out alive – but for as long as I’m still here I know I want to make the most of it, and being healthy is the key.  So for me, the biggest element of that is saying adios to sugar.  For me, a few missed cakes is a price worth paying.

Have a fabulous weekend people 🙂


New Territories

Today i’ve staggered into new territory.  Last night was the first leg day at the gym for months, so I am actually staggering about, especially in the vicinity of stairs, but I digress. Not that I’m counting, but I’ve been off sugar for 523 hours now.  I’ve never gone this long before without having any cake, chocolate, pastry, ice cream, or added sugar of any description.  I’m pretty pleased.

However, when I was on holiday last week in Lanzarote, I had a few cocktails (Pina Coladas and a couple of Mojitos to be precise) and a couple of glasses of vino, albeit a considerable amount less than during my last visit to the island in May 2016.  So to be precise I guess I have had some sugar as there would have been sugar syrup in the Mojito and pineapple juice in the Colada (and let’s face it, fruit juice is essentially just sugar).  For me though, I can take or leave booze and I don’t have a mental battle as to whether I ought to drink or not.  I can totally manage without it, so for me alcohol isn’t a concern.  Yeah that’s probably semantics but I’m tackling what troubles me the most, and doing what works best.  So for me, not eating anything sweet is ultimately my goal.  To that end I’m counting 21 days clear.

When I decided to try to quit sugar for good (the day after nailing an entire tub of Haagen Dazs Pralines & Cream, truth be told), I found a free app called Quit That! to record my daily struggle.  You can list as many things as you like, and it will give a countdown for each, but I’ve just got one, sugar.  You can also estimate a cost, so I stuck down £2 a day, as if I were to nip to the local garage in the evening for a snack, I’d likely get a couple of bars of chocolate which costs about £2.  Of course this doesn’t include any cakes I may have bought from the work canteen that day, so the likely cost is greater, but I didn’t want to over egg it.

I would say it’s been fairly easy, certainly easier than expected.  I have to be honest though and say that I’ve been pretty carb heavy this week, so realistically I need to nip that in the bud as I’m just replacing one issue with another.  So that’s the plan going forward.

One unexpected result of this endeavour is the sense of freedom not eating sugar gives me.  Being able to just say to myself ‘I don’t eat sugar, end of’ means I don’t need to wrestle with myself in a shop.  The endless arguments in my head have stopped, about whether to just have ‘one last hit’ or not.  I’ve realised that a lot of my cravings are related to timings or boredom.  So for example I left work today and the first thought that popped into my head was “it’s the weekend so I can pig out,” but then I checked myself.  When I went into the local supermarket the other day to buy some cream, I was walking past the chocolate (it’s in the same aisle, randomly) and the boxes of cakes and I felt a real sense of loss.  Can I really never eat this again?  What, never? 😥  It sounds insane and I know some people reading this might think I’m being utterly unrealistic & completely stupid, but let me tell you how I view this.

Consider alcohol if you will, and the consumption thereof in the UK.  Alcohol is a social lubricant, it’s a stress reliever, a considered treat, and something that we know isn’t really good for us, but the majority of the population are not alcoholics, so that’s okay.  Alcohol tastes amazing, it brings people together and is the perfect toast to a celebration.  Of course it has its downsides, namely raging hangovers, nights best forgotten on occasion and at worst can lead to violence and destruction.  But you know, we can all laugh about getting totally bolloxed and tales of big nights out become legendary within a circle of friends.  It’s completely socially acceptable though.  Despite the fact alcohol can and does destroy the lives of some people, it’s the most acceptable drug out there.

Consider this: a friend comes to you and says that casual drinks every few weeks turned into a weekly thing, then a daily event, and despite the fact they know the health risks, they literally cannot go through a day without having a relaxing drink at night.  Every time they think of cracking open another bottle they tell themselves that they really shouldn’t, but it’s such a nice wine, smooth and velvety, the most beautiful colour and the feel of just swirling it around the glass is so enticing.  All day they’ve been looking forward to that first sip, the anticipation makes them salivate.  They promised themselves last night that they wouldn’t have a glass tonight, but argg it was a stressful day, and they’re bored and have nothing else to do, so why not?  They went to the shop and bought ingredients for a meal that they didn’t actually need, but it meant that when they chucked the wine in the basket it looked as though this was to complement the meal, and people wouldn’t assume they’d go home, drink all the booze and ignore the food.  The upshot is they’re drinking every day, especially at weekends when they can completely go for it, and they know that the thought of not drinking for even a day makes them feel uneasy.

What would you say to them?  Would you think nothing of it and posit that alcohol is just a part of life, and that c’mon, they would be crazy to stop drinking because everyone does it, or would you think their behaviour was a bit concerning?  Would you try to force them to have a drink, just a little glass, teasing them for being resistant?  I mean what are they going to do when it’s their birthday, or if they’re at a wedding or a special event?  They can’t not drink, that’s ridiculous!!  Would that be your response?  I’d hope you’d acknowledge that for them it’s a problem, it’s something that they’ve lost control of, and that you’d support them.    To me, this is what sugar does to me, I cannot control my consumption of it in any shape or form.  I’ve been shopping and bought healthy food as well as chocolate to pretend I’m eating good food and the chocolate is a treat then just eaten the crap and left the rest.  Other than the last 3 weeks I can’t remember a time in recent years when I’ve not had a biscuit, cake, pastry or chocolate bar during the day.  The constant mental battle that comes with it is fucking exhausting.

I’m lucky enough to be able to control my booze consumption, or give it up for extended periods, and I don’t know what it’s like to be addicted to alcohol, but fuck me if my sugar habit isn’t an addiction.  Medically it might not be – many people including doctors / scientists argue there is no such thing, and whether that’s true or not I have no idea – but it feels as bad to me.  Nothing has ever had such a hold over me.  I’ve been a secret eater since I was young, for as long as I can remember.  Maybe 6 or 7?  Possibly earlier.  I’ve even snorted icing sugar, just to see what it was like!  Seriously that’s not normal behaviour.  If I had a bag of sugar in the house I’d eat spoonfuls of it no problem, hence why I don’t keep it in the house.  I used to make up icing and just eat it.  I’m partly writing all this down to a) remind myself what a problem this is for me, when my brain starts telling me the cravings are not too bad, so I can have a little and keep control of it (I can’t, been there, failed at that (repeatedly), and b) so other people can understand, or at least understand why it’s an issue for me.

So 21 days in to a plan with no end date.  That scares the hell out of me in one respect, but it’s also a bit of a relief in another.  I’m just taking it one day at a time.

Time for a cuppa I think, but just one thing left to say…


168 hours

Not that I’m counting every minute, but I’ve managed to have no sugar whatsoever for seven straight days. None at all. The strange thing is that it’s not been that difficult. 

It speaks volumes when I say that everyday I have a general feeling of guilt about what I’ve eaten (even after waking up, when I’ve not even eaten at that point!).  This week, however, when I review the day, I realise that actually I’ve only eaten proper food and no crap at all that I can leave the guilt to one side. 

I’m not counting anything at the moment (i.e. macros or calories or even chickens), just making sure I avoid anything with processed sugar in it. I’m on holiday soon, and want to partake of the odd cocktail, but in all honesty I’ll need to be sensible. I may need to drink neat gin just to be safe 😉

Anyway, so far so good ☺️

Have a good weekend folks.