Since yesterday was Wednesday (the day of the week when I never get anything home-related done), I thought I’d share something a little more personal with y’all today. If you’ve been around here for long, you know that I love the beginning of a new year. It’s a fresh start, a clean slate, and a great chance to create new goals for the new year. That’s why I love making my master list of home goals at the beginning of each year.
But I also love making personal new year’s resolutions. I don’t always share those on the blog, but this year is a really big one, so I want to share it with you so that I can put it out here in writing for all to see. I feel more accountable when I’ve shared goals and resolutions with more people instead of just keeping it between me, Matt, and my mom.
So this is a big one for me. My new year’s resolution for 2024 is to go the whole year without eating sugar, with the exception of six free days. Those days will be my birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, with three additional free days of my choosing. Other than those six free days, my goal is no sugar for a year.
I know that may sound extreme to some people, but I’ve learned through experience that it’s best for me to just go cold turkey if I need to get something like my sugar consumption under control. Just saying, “I’ll only eat a little bit! Everything in moderation,” doesn’t work for me. Because eating one cookie makes me want a second, and a third, and before I know it, I’ve eaten a dozen cookies. When it comes to sugar, I have a complete lack of self-control.
I know some of you will remember back in 2018 and 2019 when I got really serious about losing weight and getting in shape. I did the keto diet (with a few months of carnivore there towards the end of 2019), and I lost about 45 pounds. I was feeling great, looking so much better, and feeing strong and confident. And then 2020 hit, the world spun out of control, and I channeled my stress of that year into eating and buying shoes. Mostly eating. But also a lot of shoe buying. While eating. 😀
But I don’t know if I ever shared what got me into that place of gaining all of that weight in the first place prior to starting keto in 2018. When Matt and I lived in our little condo over by the university here in town (Baylor University), we lived less than a mile from every conceivable fast food restaurant, and we made some really bad habits of relying on those restaurants for just about every meal. It was awful, and the fact that we’re both still alive today after abusing our bodies like that is a testament to the resilience of the human body.
And while I enjoyed the convenience of the food, and enjoyed eating it (can I hear it for Schlotzky’s? 😀 ), my vice was Dr. Pepper. My Dr. Pepper habit got so bad that on some days, I’d drink it for every meal. That’s three times a day. And I don’t mean that I’d drink a small Dr. Pepper. I mean that I’d get a 32-ounce Dr. Pepper. Or if I’d go to Sonic, I’d up that to their 44-ounce size.
Now I wouldn’t drink three of those every single day, but I’d at least drink one a day, and very often I’d drink two. Probably about once a week, I’d drink three a day. Just imagine how much sugar that is!
Edit: I just looked that up, and each ounce of Dr. Pepper has 3.17 grams of sugar. And 12 grams equals one tablespoon. So I was consuming between about 9 tablespoons and 26 tablespoons of sugar every single day just in the Dr. Pepper I was drinking! And that doesn’t even include the sugar that I was actually eating in the food I was consuming.
And obviously, when I was drinking that much Dr. Pepper, I wasn’t thirsty for anything else. So I wasn’t drinking any water at all. Again, I have no idea how my body survived that type of abuse, and I have no idea how I didn’t end up diabetic from that abuse. I was definitely pre-diabetic, though.
So at the beginning of 2018, I made a new year’s resolution that I was going to go a year without Dr. Pepper. I was just going to cut it off cold turkey. Making that kind of commitment scared the heck out of me, but I knew there was no way I could ever lose the weight if I didn’t kick the Dr. Pepper habit.
While I didn’t make it an entire year, I did make it until about October of that year before I had my first Dr. Pepper. And do you know what? It didn’t even taste all that great to me. In those ten months, I had completely lost my craving for it, and it just didn’t do anything for me anymore. And while I didn’t make it a whole year, I can say very proudly that it was enough to help me kick the habit. I am not a Dr. Pepper drinker anymore. On the rare occasion that I do drink a Dr. Pepper these days, I’ll order the smallest one they have a Sonic (which I think is a 16-ounce cup filled with nugget ice), and that’s plenty for me. But I only find myself wanting that treat during the hot Texas summer months, and at most, I order that maybe once a month.
So that new year’s resolution worked, and has had a lasting effect on my life. Had I not done that back in 2018, I have no doubt that I was running headlong into type 2 diabetes. I think that that new year’s resolution, followed by two years of keto and carnivore eating, saved me from that inevitable outcome had I continued on that path.
But here I am, post-2020, after that awful year of funneling my stress into eating and buying shoes and gaining a lot (but not all) of that weight back, and I’m finally feeling mentally ready to tackle this challenge once again. I’ve coasted along for the last three years, not completely losing control, but also not taking my eating very seriously. Being a part of a community that gathers very often around food has been nice, but I’ve used that as an excuse for why I need to give myself way too many allowances with eating things I know aren’t benefiting my health.
So that’s why I decided to do another extreme (for me) new year’s resolution. Sugar is my downfall, and if I keep giving myself those allowances two or three times a week, I’ll never reach my personal health goals. So this year, in 2024, sugar has to go. And to be honest with you, after I got past those first few days at the beginning of this month, I don’t really crave it anymore. In fact, just last night, we had a birthday party for a friend, complete with the most delicious-looking chocolate cake, and I very easily passed on it. I didn’t feel tempted at all.
We’ll see how this year goes, and y’all can hold me accountable. I’m very excited to see how cutting out sugar altogether affects my overall health this year and helps me get closer to my personal health goals. I may be feeling so great by my birthday in June that I decide I don’t even want sugar on that day! 😀 We’ll see, though, because when it comes to sugary treats, there’s nothing I love more than a moist white sheet cake with buttercream icing. I can’t imagine my birthday being complete without it!
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.