I’ve watched the interviews with Miranda Kerr and heard her waxing healthy about the benefits of ruddy quinoa and coconut milk – and as much as it’s lost on me, I can’t deny the woman looks good. I know what my downfall is; sugar. What I have is a genuine, all-consuming craving for sweets. Not just idle ‘I fancy a Percy Pig’ thoughts – I’m talking choking on Haribo because you’ve just poured the whole bag into your mouth. I react like a rabid dog if someone asks for a Minstrel from my ‘Bag to Share!’
So I knew what I had to do: cut out sugar.
Bella Blissett in her article ‘Sweet Freedom’ in the May issue of Elle magazine, assures me that within about a week, my cravings will diminish and eventually cease. So it is with this hope that I push my trolley around the supermarket, walking straight past the cherry bakewells, to the fruit and veg. And eight portions of fresh food later, not to mention some oily fish, rice, lemon juice and several other healthy looking foodstuffs, my new life as a lean mean six-pack machine begins.
Day one, and it’s all going swimmingly. Yoga before a breakfast of muesli, lunch of a Waldorf salad, and a dinner of salmon and vegetables. And then I steal one of my housemate’s chocolate digestives because I figure it’s unrealistic to go cold turkey straight away. Jeez, I’m not Gwyneth Paltrow.
Unfortunately by day three, all the digestives have gone and sorry, a carrot doesn’t cut the craving. I just want a Fruit Pastille, for God’s sake. Maybe a Tooty Fruity.
For work on day four, I forgo an inevitably wilted salad and plump for a Mediterranean tuna bagel. But unfortunately I overfill it, and all the tuna comes out. The tomato salsa makes my lunchbox look like a crime scene and it stinks to high heaven so I abandon it and eat some sesame seeds. So very hungry.
By the weekend I’m going to the cinema, and you physically cannot watch a film without pick ‘n’ mix, so I load up on cherry cola bottles – they’re gone before film starts.
Throughout the next few days, I try to be as creative as possible – honey glazes for salmon, banana splits, sweet potato mash, endless endless seeds. But the difficult thing is, I don’t feel any better for it. I’m still tired, and grumpy, except now I don’t have Jelly Babies for company. I know I hit a low point when I shakily text my boyfriend around 11pm, ‘Please. Just get me a f***ing cookie.’
Yesterday, whilst desperately eating teaspoons of dry hot chocolate powder out of the tub, I realise, this is what addiction feels like. Eventually I figure inhaling/eating powder is never a good destination, so I go and I get a Caramac, and feel great.
I’m not knocking the healthy lifestyle – I have a new-found love for salmon salads, and I do really like vegetables. And if other women can survive sugar-free, well done them; they are stronger and inevitably healthier people than me. But as a contract with Victoria’s Secret really isn’t on the cards for me, I can’t justify being miserable for the sake of a few inches of thigh-squidge. I don’t drink, smoke, eat fried food or much dairy. Just for Heaven’s sake – let me eat cake.
Have you ever tried to cut down on sugar? How did it go? Hints and tips gratefully received in the comments section.