Finally, my No Sweets Challenge has come to an end!
I had intensely relied on sweets as my emotional crutch, best friend, and reward system and it had gotten wildly out of control. So for 77 days, I passed on all things sweet. I had two exceptions; Valentine’s Day, and Fat Tuesday. But other than that, I had nothing sweet to eat of any kind for 77 days. So after successfully completing my mission, I found myself reflecting on what I actually had learned.
The first half of the challenge had its ups and downs, but for the most part it was easy. It felt good to rid myself of the monkey on my back of hiding Little Debbie snack cakes under the seat of my car and raiding the local bakery’s cookie section (3 for a dollar) and eating the evidence before Aya got home. It felt good to be in control. And when Valentine’s Day and Fat Tuesday arrived, my sweet treats tasted even that much better. You could say it was glorious. But the second half, well, things were a little more difficult.
The last month felt like torture. Aya, who was originally in on the challenge with me had dropped out when she found out she was pregnant, so that didn’t help. Not that she was binging on sweets, but she was definitely eating them. And with sweets around, I was craving them so bad. I wanted to cheat. I wanted a cookie, or cake, or an ice cream, anything. But I held strong. “Just a few more weeks, just a few more weeks, I can do this,” I kept thinking.
So instead of cheating and eating things, I started stockpiling treats in the freezer like a squirrel preparing for winter. I had cakeballs, cupcakes, cookies a friend made, and Coldstone ice cream. I was plotting my grand return.
And at last, the day had come. Saturday night at the stroke of midnight (technically Easter Sunday), the shackles of the No Sweets Challenge would be released. Everything was planned. My first treat back into the sweets world would be a birthday cake remix from Coldstone. And let me tell you, I’ve never tasted anything so good before. It was the right choice and I savored the moment. I had made it! I had accomplished and conquered my goal. I ate my ice cream, and then passed out on the couch.
But with the No Sweets Challenge completed, was it worth it and did I actually accomplish anything? Well, the answer is, yes. And too much.
I’ve been pulling out my stash from the freezer little by little and not wanting to eat them. I had one cakeball and didn’t like it. What!? What was wrong with me? I defrosted a chocolate peanut butter cupcake I had been wanting for four weeks, and haven’t even taken a bite yet. I have a box of Little Debbie snack cakes and I don’t want to eat them. I used to be able to eat a whole box of those in one day, and now I don’t even want one! What happened!?
I find that I still want stuff, but my brain has been rewired. Instead of eating something because it’s there, I now have the capability to pass and determine how bad I really want something. I’m not desperate for it and don’t need it multiple times a day. So yes, I accomplished something. I altered my DNA. I did not expect this.
Even though I realize this is a good thing, I feel like I lost a part of myself. Maybe I’ll extend my No Sweets Challenge a little longer so I can always stay in-touch with that side of me. The side that’s always desperate for a donut, or dreaming about ice cream flavors.
Or maybe with summer approaching and ice cream season starting, that monkey will gradually climb on my back again. And when it does, I’ll be there to feed it a banana pudding flavored Blizzard.