A Personal Trainers Transformation: Part 4

SugarSo a little recap on how all of this got started, in August last year I decided I would give up caffeine because I was taking in over 1000 mg’s a day (which is a lot) not to mention all the aspartame from all the Diet Pepsi’s I was drinking. I decided to change because my habits were already getting in my way of success. I started with something that was “easy” and by easy I mean that caffeine wasn’t something I was so ingrained into my habits that it would be something that I could walk away from with little impact on my daily life. All in all it took me about six weeks to completely get over caffeine.

Before I get into my next habit let me explain how I move into my habits. The thing about habit changes is that it’s all mental so I give myself at least two weeks to consider my change. This helps me to be prepared to be ready to make the change and for inevitable temptation.

The step I just mentioned about getting ready to make a habit change was really important for the change that I made in the beginning of the year, which is giving up sugar. You see sugar for me, is a major food group, so giving it up was going to take a lot of extra preparation on my part so I decided to give myself a whole month, which also coincidentally was the biggest junk food month of the year, December.  This means I gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted and however much I wanted with the knowing that I would be giving it all up December 26th.

When it came time to give up sugar it was actually easier than I expected, right now I am three and half weeks clean and couldn’t feel better about it. The thing that was the hardest was finding things to eat because I was so used to just eating anything I wanted, not only because of the month before but because I was so used to eating anything I wanted with or without sugar. The first two weeks was really tough but after that I figured it all out and was able to make food decisions more easily but strangely the temptation to eat sugary foods wasn’t awful it was actually pretty easy to say “NO” to sugar.

Now what I will say about how I am making changes is that it is painstakingly slow. Some… Scratch that, most of the time I have to remind myself of the end goal and if I move too quickly I am going to go down in a ball of flames like I have before, many times. I want these changes to be life long, I don’t want to have to keep working at them and continue to keep letting these habits hold me back so reminding myself that slow progress is lasting progress is probably the biggest lesson I have learned so far.