Only once. Only today.

Fresh pies cooling in the window at Chile Pies in San Francisco, CA. Photo by Natanya Green

That’s all it takes. I only have to choose not to eat sugar once.

And then, (and this is the part most of us forget, screw up, give up on, etc) make the same choice again tomorrow. And every day thereafter…

Yesterday at Kripalu one of our top nutritionists gave a lecture about the dangers of sugar and the problems associated with our cultural addiction to the stuff. It inspired me to seriously consider a sugar detox and when my good friend Alex mentioned she was going to start her own sugar cleanse I jumped at the chance to join her. But the excitement faded when my mind raced ahead to the future; a future where I felt totally deprived of everything I craved. In the moment just before this thought everything had been fine, but in my future vision–the one without my regular sugar intake–I was a mess!

So, I did what any other well meaning addict would do. I ate a cupcake for dinner.

I ate it not because I wanted it now, but because I was afraid of what would happen when I didn’t get to have tomorrow. The problem with all of this is that living in the future isn’t getting me where I really want to go – it may be that I’m “protecting” myself from the ugly feeling of deprivation but the health I seek is being lost in the process. What I need to is be present with what’s happening now. And now there is only one decision to make: Do I eat the sugar stuff or not?

That one question (and it is only one question) is  much easier to answer one day at a time. I know alternatives are available (for instance I followed up my cupcake dinner with fresh fruit for dessert), I have friends to talk to about the process and keep me motivated and I have tools to help reduce the feelings the sugar most certainly masks.

Only once. Only today.My new mantra.

Whose with me?! Anyone else want to join the sugar-free revolution? You might be interested in these articles about sugar, weight loss, aging, and money!

Dr. Mark Hyman on your sugar addiction

Sugar makes you older quicker

Denmark’s sugar tax

Here’s to a sweet [sugar-free] week!




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