I have always had a rebellious streak. Even as a child I often questioned authority, especially if it got in the way of having fun.
At school, I would go through phases of working hard and making an effort before getting bored and brightening up the days with some ‘light-hearted mischief’. And still to this day, if I think that a rule imposed on me isn’t justified, I take great pleasure in breaking it.
So it didn’t really surprise me that I started to get a little frustrated with the many, many limitations during our third week of the ‘no sugar’ challenge. It wasn’t even the fact that I desperately missed having sweets, it was mostly the inconvenience of it all.
All of a sudden, there was no such thing as ‘quickly grabbing lunch’ because I endlessly had to read through labels and dismiss a lot of foods I usually eat due to the added sugar. Who would have thought that even a super healthy kale salad (!!!) has got the white stuff in it? The novelty had well and truly worn off.
Around the same time, I went on a few dates and I felt my sugar-free lifestyle only added to the awkwardness. Because I wasn’t allowed to drink wine, if I needed a little Dutch courage I had to go straight on the vodka sodas, which I think is a bit of an aggressive choice of beverage at, say, 7pm on a Wednesday night.
At dinner, I’d feel super high maintenance quizzing the waiters on the sugar content of each dish and asking to swap items or hold the sauce/dressing/cream. And once I had mentioned that my colleagues and I are taking part in a Tough Mudder event this September, I’d wonder if my date would think of me as a health nut if I told them about the ‘no sugar’ lark, too.
Speaking of Tough Mudder, Week Three was when the Mode team and I started to step up our training regime. My boss Jess and I started to go running in Regents Park during lunch twice a week and we tried out one of Virgin Active‘s brand new Mudder Maker classes, which help you prepare for the notorious obstacles.
Designed to improve your fitness levels, strength, agility and, most importantly, team work, the 45 minute session is based around 11 workout stations that mimic the challenges of the actual Tough Mudder course. Encouragingly named Swamp Crawl, Electroshock Therapy and Horse Power amongst others, Jess and I tackled the exercises with equal measures of trepidation and adrenalin.
Check out the video below to see how we got on!
Still, despite all these extra distractions, I soldiered on. I had a few slip-ups here and there but I figured as long as I wasn’t getting back into my old habits of eating all the chocolate and all the ice cream every night, I was still doing better than usual. However, on a few nights I got so annoyed that I couldn’t have my favourite treats, I begged my flatmate to give me one his cigarettes instead! Awful, I know, and I don’t know what it says about me that I clearly have to replace one bad habit with another…
Funnily enough though, watching me struggle through my 30 days without sugar seemed to have inspired my roomie Dino and he decided to start his own sugar-free month. Would it help me through my final week to have a live-in ‘no sugar’ buddy? Find out in the next instalment…