Starting tomorrow, I go sugar-free for 30 days. I’m not the only one moved to do something about out-of-control sugar habits, and I find this very comforting. I feel better knowing I’m not alone and because this is a safe place to speak about it openly and find support. None of us have to get sober or struggle with sugar habits in a vacuum.
The possibility of failure still troubles me. Soon after I posted my intent to go sugar-free for 30, my husband shared this article on willpower depletion, which made me feel like an irresponsible twat for whining about sugar binges on a sober blog. It warns that willpower is a limited resource in any given day. The more we use to do the things we don’t really want to do, like dealing with whiny kids at home or a messy project at work, the less we have later in the day to avoid destructive temptations like that glass (okay, bottles) of wine. If it came down to it, I’d take sobriety over kicking a cookie habit any day.
Fortunately, willpower is like a muscle you can build over time. It comes gradually when you establish and repeat good habits that reward you in new, improved ways. I couldn’t think of a better way to describe sobriety. At first it was really hard and I felt more deprived than good about what I was doing. Gradually, clearer thinking from sobriety helped me feel ready to focus on areas in my life that I’d neglected, and this created a chain reaction of good feelings. Sobriety created its own rewards.
But until I got there, sugar was of great comfort in the early days of sobriety when I had little else to look forward to after a hard day. That sounds pretty sad, but there is nothing sad about pursuing sobriety as a goal.
This article offers some great tips on how to build willpower. Limiting choices and keeping a tidy environment are two things that help me stay on track. I just don’t thrive in chaos.
I’m off to spend the day in the city with my family. Since it’s the last day before starting the sugar-free challenge, I may possibly have a black-and-white cookie that is only inches smaller than my head. I am having my coffee sugar-free this morning. The real work begins tomorrow and I feel excited and ready.