I bought this book by Queenslander David Gillespie MONTHS ago… and promptly hid it on my bookshelf.
At a basic level, I found the cover offensive! Hello, anyone who knows me know that I’m a nutjob for sugar… especially cupcakes. And Coke.
(When I was in primary school, I used to get globs of butter and dip it in white sugar and shove the buttery sugary goodness in my fat gob – as a snack!)
But at the same time, it rang a bell in my sugar-infested mind.
I picked up the book again the other day and I’m about halfway through it now… and a lot of it makes sense. It’s kinda similar to Atkins in that you can “eat all the fatty food you want” with the theory that sugar impacts on your appetite and that, by reducing sugar to a minimum, your body will learn to know when it’s full.
There’s a history of diabetes and heart disease in my family. There is also a suggestion* that high sugar intake increases the chance of getting Dementia. Which my Grandma had and mum is living with now.
* I say “suggestion” because not all of David’s claims are linked directly to a medical research paper. There isn’t even a bibliography.
Some of it is a little bit bullshit too – suggesting that you can have a packet of chippies after you’ve been to the gym doesn’t resonate with me AT ALL. But at the same time, the book argues that “exercising to lose weight” is useless because exercising makes your hungrier. Yes, us fatties who have joined gyms before (and – ahem – are joining again next week) know this.
I know that sugar is addictive (I used to drink 3 cans of coke between getting home from school and eating dinner). I know that sugar is bad for me, my teeth, my diabetes risk… but I lovvvve sugar!
The problem is that sugar (sucrose, fructose and the other versions the book has taught me about, but I can’t remember without having the book glued to my eyeballs) is in almost everything. Did you know that Balsamic Vinegar doesn’t have any actual vinegar in it? So it falls into the same category as fruit juice – you’re better off eating the original fruit (that said, I don’t plan on chugging down a 600ml bottle of the ol’ Balsamic with my Mars Bar).
But now I’m wondering if I can really DO this? I’ve read up on how sugar impacts on appetites, cravings, moods, even PMS… and I’ve read up on what can happen when you go through sugar withdrawal. I’ve learned that you can’t eat chocolate, or retail ice-cream. But with the right ingredients, you can make your own cakes (even cupcakes!) and ice cream and whatnot.
But am I ready to be a social outcast? To be honest, I think I’d rather go without sugar than be gluten-intolerant – imagine not having nice, SR flour or bread! I’ve read that someone got around the social stigma of being anti-sugar by describing themselves as “fructose-intolerant”… doesn’t sound too bad, right?
But considering I used to eat Nutella out of the jar and have lived a sugar-filled life for as long as I can remember (I even used to mix OJ and icing sugar for an after school snack – it’s any wonder that I’m still standing), I’m erring on the side of “get off the sweet stuff already, fatty pants”.
I’ve gone on countless “diets” and “lifestyle changes” and none of it works. I’m reading how all these people give up sugar and within weeks get to a point of sitting in front of a piece of chocolate cake and not even wanting to lick the icing off. And you know what? That sounds kinda liberating.
And yes, there’s sugar in fruit, but apparently limiting your fruit intake to 2 pieces a day (and opting for a low fructose/high fibre option) is pretty okay.
I think my body is telling me to give up on sugar, too. The last couple of weeks I’ve been drinking Coke Zero – willingly – and finding sugar’s putting me off. The other day I even chose a Snickers over a Mars Bar… a minor thing, yes, but I chose nuts over caramel? Woah.
I’ve been wanting to find a reason to really eat better – almost in a get-diagnosed-with-something kind of way. Which is really really stupid. But reading David’s book and having it spelled out to me that this shit that I love so much is doing me major damage… it’s already putting me off eating it.
Has anyone made it this far down the page and have any thoughts?