According to Christian tradition, Lent should be a time of quiet self-reflection and prayer. With this in mind, I decided to turn my metaphorical gaze inwards – and in doing so, I found a dark, empty space. A dark, empty space about the size and shape of a 500g bar of Galaxy chocolate.
All the blogs said giving up sugar would be really hard for the first few weeks, but then one day it would just click and all of a sudden I’d feel like a new woman. I’d wake up and chirp: ‘sugar, what sugar?’ and then I’d live the rest of my life happily eating just chickpeas.
This has not been the case. In fact, the first two weeks were so easy – I simply didn’t WANT any sugar. I felt free, like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I thought I’d finally cracked the code and found a realistic way of losing weight and improving my health. But then one day, quite out of the blue, all of my self-satisfied confidence drained away.
Perhaps it was getting lost down the Easter aisle in Waitrose that did it. All those rows and rows of egg and animal-shaped delights. Perhaps it was realising that I haven’t lost any weight yet. Perhaps it was the knowledge that a tepid coconut milk yoghurt was the only thing I had to look forward to at the end of a long working week.
Either way, I’ve been finding it quite hard recently. And I confess: I cheated a little. On St. Patrick’s Day I drank half a pint of Guinness. I’m not even Irish. In my defence I spent most of the evening drinking soda water while my boyfriend quaffed beer – and I chose lentils off the restaurant menu. LENTILS.
Then on Saturday we had a little nosy around a health food shop and I found a bar of chocolate that professed to have NO SUGAR in it – just Stevia, a ‘plant-based’ sweetener. I bought it and I ate it and it tasted like heaven. Afterwards I admitted to myself that I may as well have just eaten normal chocolate.
But no-one’s perfect. I’m back into full on zero tolerance mode this week. We’re half way through. Just three more weeks and then I can reward myself with the Lint Lindor Easter egg I hope someone’s going to buy me. Then after that I’m climbing back onto the sugarless wagon. If there’s one thing I’ve learn being sugar-free, it’s that it should be a treat. Not a treat every day, but a treat every few weeks. Sugar is an indulgence, a luxury ,and in truth we don’t need it as much as we think we do.
In other news I’ve hurt my knee so I can’t exercise as much as I want to. This worries me because I have a full blown addiction to exercise and without it I’m probably mental and not in a cute, funny way.