I Quit Sugar: what’s the point?

From the Archives

Originally published July 6, 2015

My kid brother, Greg, made the remark that he doesn’t get the point of quitting sugar. I think he particularly doesn’t get the point of it for me since weight loss is not one of my goals in accepting the 8-week challenge with a group comprising my sisters and some of their friends. And I’ve NEVER paid particular attention to my health, even after a few brushes with heart problems a decade ago. Because I’m not interested in losing weight and because I’ve never cared about my health the way others obsess over theirs, what really is the point of my subscribing to this challenge?

I’ve derived these main benefits from joining this challenge, which I’m glad to see end in four weeks:

First, my eyes have been opened, my awareness raised, and my understanding heightened. By focusing on what I can eat instead of what I cannot eat in this program, I have become more savvy about shopping and cooking for myself. I am more aware of the dangers of certain kinds of additives in food without becoming obsessed with the idea. A lifelong learner, I’m open to any experience that provides another opportunity to learn and grow as a person.

Second, it’s awakened my competitive spirit. Over the years, I’ve allowed the part of me that allows for healthy competition to dwindle. I initially joined the program to help my sister enroll others in the idea. Those who joined because they heard I had joined look to me – and the others – for support, guidance, and feedback. In fact, they challenge me (within the challenge of the program itself) to stick to the program for the duration.

Finally, it’s the ultimate test of my boast that I could cut harmful sugars for eight weeks with my eyes closed. (Yes, I committed hubris and really made the arrogant boast that I would breeze through these eight weeks of no sugar.) For others, it’s an opportunity to challenge me at every turn. For me, it’s an opportunity to strengthen my resolve, call on my self-discipline, and and truly commit to something other than my usual passions. It has drawn me out of my comfort zone (eat what I want, when I want, and not care) and into a place that challenges me to challenge me.

I’m not a fan of fad or trend diets. I’ve never obsessed over my weight or health. (In fact, I can hardly wait to finish this challenge, so I can put my weight back on. I liked weighing 150 lbs.) So for me, the point of joining this program is to help motivate others who truly do care about their weight or health, to spark some healthy and fun competition with family and friends, and to test my commitment to something other than my passions for writing, photography, and business. What’s YOUR point? Share in comments below.