Part of the reason for giving up alcohol was to determine whether or not I had created a habit change process that was robust enough to hold up in the face of a habit I thought I couldn’t break.
Many other things changed in my life at the same time. The process wasn’t the only factor. I started this blog. I started creating content for my business and I started a series of other habits simultaneously, including daily practice of the Wim Hof Method. Any of these things might have contributed to the ease I am experiencing so to be sure about whether or not the process is sound, I’ll have to test it again. None of the other factors will change this time so if it works, it works.
It’s time to put it to the test against my sugar addiction. I am almost 44 years old and the longest sugar-free period I have managed in that time (excluding infancy) is 19 days – and I hated ever second of it! My aim this time go 40 days without any refined sugar.
I’ve chosen 40 days because psychologically, the idea of knowing I’ll never eat chocolate or cake again is, well, I don’t have words…let’s just say I don’t like the idea much. I can reassess at the 40 day mark but that period of time feels like a good stretch and, if it goes the way the alcohol free period is going, there’s every possibility it’ll become a permanent arrangement as well.
The timeframe selection is part of the process – if ‘forever’ is prohibitive enough to stop you taking any action, choose a timeframe long enough to push you way beyond your comfort zone but something you feel willing and able to commit to. The process relies on changes taking place as a result of each day that passes so you go into it knowing you can extend if you choose to but the initial commitment is finite.
For me, sugar is probably a bigger deal than alcohol. Where my alcohol free stints in the past have been incredibly difficult, going sugar free tends to send me into difficult mental health territory. In the past, I have re-ignited my eating disorder, become anxious, distracted and unable to think clearly. I’d obsess and even dream about sweet treats and wake up with a knot in my stomach, thinking I had ‘cheated’.
This time, I have a plan. The first step is already completed – choose the duration. Over the coming days, I’ll complete the next few steps and share those in case you’d like to join in.
I’m quitting sugar on 1 March. Then it’s 40 days all out. No alcohol. No sweet treats. If this works, it’ll be life changing in more than one way.