My spirit-animal, Gretchen Rubin, has a theory that people in this world tend to be divided into the personality types “abstainers and moderators”. I am definitely a moderator by her definition: I get panicky over the thought of never getting to eat another cookie or french fry. I’m pretty good at eating A square of chocolate. I mostly don’t drink sodas, but sometimes I do, and that works for me.

But while the holidays this year were not the glut-fest that they often are for me, I’m still feeling like something’s got to give. If you Google “sugar is a drug” (yeah, I did that…), you get a lot of results, and I think I believe it. I find that if I just don’t eat sugar, I don’t particularly miss it…but if I’m eating sugar at all, I just want MOAR. And especially with the holidays, there are always nibblies. Spiced nuts (okay, I’m the one guilty of providing those), Whitman’s samplers, cookies, etc. etc. etc.

So I’m going to try an experiment: a sugar detox.

I’ve heard the concept of a 21 day sugar detox around the blogosphere, and it turns out it’s based on a book.

It’s ranked #237 in books on Amazon, for cryin’ out loud. Out of all the books in the world, this one about quitting sugar has been bought 237th most often. Which convinces me even more that those little white grains are addictive.

But, real talk: I’m a moderator, remember? And I also learned from my foray into the Whole 30 that being a food purist takes a load of TIME and EFFORT that I don’t feel like expending right now. I don’t feel like going crazy scouring nutrition labels for hidden sugars, nor do I feel like that would really be useful in my life. I’m going to eat cereal (though not, say, Frosted Flakes), and yogurt if I want it, and milk. I’m going to put creamer in my coffee–I’ve weened off the Splenda anyway, so it’s only whatever trace of sugar is in the tablespoon I use. I’m just honestly not worried about those bits.

Inspired by this good-natured post on Hello Giggles, I’ve decided to preemptively declare that the 21 day sugar detox is “exactly as horrible as it sounds” and just do it my way. I like fruit, which you can’t eat on the real detox. Fruit is not my problem. Rather, Reese’s Cups are my problem, among other things.

While it’s not a New Year’s resolution, PER SE, I’m trying to keep being healthy. I’m making an effort to REALLY get to the gym 3 mornings a week, which means I’m making an effort to REALLY go to bed by 11 p.m. so that getting up at 6 a.m. is feasible. And on the mornings I don’t go to the gym, I’m REALLY trying to get up at 6 anyway and do things like write on this blog and learn to code. And breaking my holiday-hangover addiction to sugar seems like a natural fit with these efforts. Hopefully if I come to a hard stop on the sugar it’ll be easier to go back to my more moderate ways.

So for this week (and maybe even just the work week!) I’m not eating sweets. Honestly, compared to going whole hog primal how hard could it be?

…I’ll let you know.

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman