For those of you who have ever attempted to quit eating sugar, you know how difficult it is. But for most people, quitting sugar is terrifying. The mere thought of giving up sugar sends ripples of fear down their spines. Some of you have actually attempted to quit sugar, maybe even several times, but found it far too difficult to resist your urges. Most people would agree…it’s not easy.
I have made a personal commitment to quit sugar, not only for 30 days, but for life. Eating too much sugar will kill you, one way or another…usually slowly and painfully. If you could make one change in the way you eat, there is probably nothing more dramatic (and more challenging) than quitting sugar. So if you made this sacrifice, this change in your lifestyle, I’m sure you would feel incredibly satisfied. And knowing that you are going to be among the healthiest people on the planet is probably something you will value thoroughly.
The Secret That Nobody is Talking About
But, I must caution all of you who are interested in quitting sugar. As good as it will make you feel, there is a downside that I have never heard anyone speak of. I’ve never heard this mentioned in any podcasts, TV programs, or radio broadcasts, nor have I read about this anywhere else, but I have a feeling this downside is something that all sugar quitters everywhere will or have experienced. But before I tell you about this, here’s a disclaimer.
I love all of you out there who are so encouraging and supportive of those who quit sugar. I value you and hope that if what I’m saying applies to you, that you don’t take it personally. Just be aware of this and consider it thoughtfully.
Enough is Not Enough
I’d like to tell you a story. It’s about a dude who quit eating sugar. However, when people found out that he was still eating artificial sweeteners, quitting sugar just wasn’t enough. They wanted him to eat only approved organic artificial sweeteners. So he switched. And it was good for a while, but still others eventually came along and said he should give that up too. So he quit all artificial sweeteners of any make or model.
When people found out that he was eating grocery-store-bought beef, that wasn’t good enough. They wanted him to eat only grass-fed beef. But when they found out he was eating hot dogs and sausages, too, they told him he hadn’t gone far enough because these are processed meats, not pure. So he stopped eating hot dogs and sausages.
Next, they asked about the vegetables he consumed. They informed him that he was eating the wrong ones. They wanted him to eat only organic, so he made the switch. Later, some people found out that he was still eating meat. He proudly proclaimed that he was only eating grass-fed beef as well as chicken and pork. That wasn’t enough. They wanted him to stop eating beef and meats altogether; only eat vegetables. So he stopped eating meats.
So now this dude was only eating vegetables…and only organic, and all was right in the world. But not for long. They soon found out that he was still eating eggs and dairy in the form of cheese–not cool. So he gave those up too. Eventually, the gluten-free friends had their say as well. So now, gluten was off limits.
It seemed that everywhere he turned, somebody wasn’t satisfied with some aspect of his diet. No matter how well he ate, he was constantly being told that he wasn’t going far enough. Everybody had their preferences but no two people agreed on what was the best way to eat. He was proud to have successfully quit eating sugar. He has managed to completely change his lifestyle and overcome his addiction to sugar and chocolate…something that few people ever do successfully…or even dare to try. But as big as this was, there was always someone there to remind him that it wasn’t enough.
The Moral of the Story
When someone hits a home run, cheer him on instead of focusing on the fact that he didn’t hit two home runs. It’s great to have support, but if you’re going to give batting tips, do that separately and apart from the times when you’re praising him for hitting a home run. Just be happy for him.
Say, “Wow! Great home run! The way you played the game is a pleasure to watch. You’ve worked hard and it’s paying off. Keep it up.”
Don’t say, “Wow! Great home run! But it’s too bad you didn’t hit two home runs. Most people who practice a lot hit two home runs. Do you think you can hit two home runs next time? Don’t get me wrong, one home run is great, but you really ought to consider hitting two. That’s so money!”
How To Encourage Someone
If you want to support someone who’s quit eating sugar, you might want to consider this formula: Praise/Praise/Educate/Praise. Yes, it’s best if you praise 3x more than you educate. And try to not educate, inform, and enlighten someone in the same sentence in which you’ve encouraged them (obviously, some exceptions apply, but this is true most of the time). Let the praise stand alone. Then, gently help them learn about other options and help them understand why those options might be worth considering. Look out for them because it’s valuable. But understand that they have their limits and must be allowed to expand their boundaries slowly. Never take any step for granted. This is big, life-changing stuff…and it’s enough.
Once more, I want to say that I think everyone is great and I love the solidarity. But giving up sugar or giving up anything is a personal choice. It’s better to give up sugar and continue to eat artificial sweeteners than to never give up sugar to begin with. I know everyone means well, and I certainly don’t want to come off as being angry or frustrated because I’m definitely not. But I hope you’ll be okay with some people not choosing to eat the way you do. But be there for them when they’re questioning and looking for more information or when they’re ready to take the next step.
That said, quitting sugar was, for me, as step forward. I suspect there will be more, but only when I’m ready and if I’m ever ready. I want to be educated and I have so many friends online who are helping me, teaching me, caring about me and I bow humbly to you all. But be patient and gentle. Educate me slowly, but don’t make me feel like I haven’t done enough. Allow me to ask questions, then don’t hold back with your insights and opinions. Personally, if all I ever do is only (only?) give up sugar, I will be happy with me…but will you?