TCS 004: A sugar addicts journey – one year with no sugar
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I have had a long terrible relationship with sugar. As a baby I was given a flavoured sugar syrup as a pacifier which was common in the late 60’s in Australia. So from the beginning of my life my body has craved sugar. This is my story 1 year after actually giving it up for good.
Below is the transcript from the podcast so you can easily go to a point of interest and for the hearing impaired to be able to read it.
Tony: [00:00:29] Hi everyone today I want to talk about my journey giving up sugar a year ago. It’s been just over a year now. So I want to share some of the things that I’ve experienced and how it went. Today I’ve got two co-hosts I’m very lucky I’ve got Sam and Fynn say hi Fynn, hi.
Tony: [00:00:56] Yep two of the best co-hosts in the business. You know what I’ve been trying to give up sugar for years I’ve tried quitting and it’d last for about two weeks and then I’d start saying I can just have a little bit of something a little bit sugar and within an hour or two of having some sugar I was back into full blown sugar addiction. So let me explain my sugar addiction first I guess. I, as a kid when we got pocket money I would spend pretty much all my pocket money on lollies my brother would save it. So he always had money and I always had no money because I was buying as much sugar as I could get with my pocket money. And that was just the beginning and I guess when you fell which then led to tooth decay. I had had most of my teeth filled I think. So really poor teeth from the get go apparently. Apparently also I had a baby I was given a sugar syrup kind of a drink to calm me down you know pacifiers sort of stuff that people used to use in those days. So my taste buds and body were just used to introduced to some really strong sugar from basically a baby. So it’s been quite a challenge and also my interestingly my Mum’s got quite a high sugar addiction I think. She grew up in a shop. Her parents had a shop that sold milkshakes and lollies and. All kinds of stuff like that. So Like third generation sugar addict I’d say I am because my grandfather was or he was he was. He was a high consumer he got type 2 diabetes in his 50s. So it’s been a generational thing I think to deal with. So anyway when I tried to. Give up sugar it just hasn’t worked.
Tony: [00:03:40] So I ended up watching ‘That sugar film (link goes to preview)‘ and reading the book first and then watching the film. I don’t know how to explain it. It made so much sense to me because the author, Damon Gameau, I could relate so much to his story that it actually made a lot of sense to me. What he realised was that the only way to really get off sugar is to stop having it altogether. I decided to really give that a go. So on the 28th of March 20 17 just before Easter I decided to drop sugar. So I basically spent Easter 2017 watching everyone around me gorge themselves with chocolate while I sat back and watched it was it wasn’t too bad actually surprisingly at that early stage and then by the second or third week I was having really strong cravings as you do with sugar and I had things like kombucha to kind of distract myself and trying to reprogram my stomach I guess by having things like that. I let myself type fruit but I got through that cold turkey stage. By the third week the cravings were gone and I really couldn’t care less about sugar. It was quite quite amazing how much the addiction stopped. What do you think boys. You’ve seen me go through this have I stuck to it.
Sam and Fynn: [00:05:42] No he hasn’t, stuck to it one little bit.
Tony: [00:05:46] No? What have I not done.
Sam: [00:05:49] Had sugar.
Tony: [00:05:51] What sugar?
Fynn: [00:05:52] Processed sugar.
Tony: [00:05:55] I think what they’re talking about is what I’m not having is white sugar, is cane sugar. My wife will make desserts sometimes that have got dates and maybe rice syrup and things like that and that doesn’t trigger the addiction again I think what I read was fructos is a big trigger. I used to eat bags and bags of starbursts because it had kind of a fruity background flavour I could eat a couple bags a day of that when I was working.
Fynn: [00:06:29] I remember when once when I was little I crawled into Dad’s office and I saw an opened lolly packet on the ground with a lolly sitting next to it and it was completely empty.
Tony: [00:06:44] If they’d only seen my rubbish bin where my work area was, it was full to the brim of lolly packets. Yeah it was such a terrible thing.I would hide that sugar consumption but I think what they’re talking about is that I have stuck to not having white sugar, cane sugar for the last year. Is that true?
Sam and Fynn: [00:07:11] Yeah. Yeah. It is true, definitely.
Tony: [00:07:12] We’re at the second Easter and I haven’t had one easter egg. What I’ve been trying to make sure is that I don’t have a type of sugar that would trigger me wanting it to crave lollies the kinds of sugar that are really bad for me. If there is brown sugar in the cooking I don’t remove it from the cooking, it doesn’t affect me at all. I’ve even had some things that have had honey based honey based things which is kind of borderline it’s got to. It’s got a high glycemic index not quite as bad as normal sugar but it’s up there so I kind be a bit cautious about even using honey but it doesn’t seem to trigger it. It’s funny it something I won’t have honey directly on toast or anything but if there’s honey as an ingredient. In something I’ll use it.
Tony: [00:08:10] Now let’s just pause here and see if there’s anything you guys feel like you can add to this conversation. What’s your your relationship with sugar? I haven’t stopped my family. I I don’t impose my no sugar policy on my family. They still have normal sugar.
Tony: [00:08:36] Let’s talk about you Fynn.
Fynn: [00:08:37] Half, half.
Tony: [00:08:38] See you’re half addicted to it are you Fynn to sugar. Explain to me again how that works.
Fynn: [00:08:48] I did say this was half.
Tony: [00:08:55] So you draw a circle and cut it in half. You think that’s your addiction to sugar.
- Fynn: [00:09:02] One side non, one say yeah.
- [00:09:06] You can switch it off. You tend to be able to have some sugar and then keep more for later whereas I can’t if I have something a bag of lollies I couldn’t stop eating it till it was gone and then I’d still not feel satisfied and I’d feel worse probably after having the whole bag then when I started out.So it never used to quench my thirst for sugar.
Tony: [00:09:27] Sam, how about you? Once you start eating sugar can you stop?
Sam: [00:09:32] Only once I’ve had enough sugar.
Sam: [00:09:38] Enough is what?
Fynn: [00:09:40] Yeah how much is enough.
Sam: [00:09:43] I never know.
Tony: [00:09:44] Yeah we do tend to put the brakes on you sometimes because you want to keep going and like most people he finds once he gets that initial spike he finds it very hard to stop, it’s very hard for him to have one sweet thing. He Normally wants to have a few or he gets quite upset upset.Where as Fynn could have one and stop. I’ve observed it.
Fynn: [00:10:11] Like I say I got to have a giant easter egg in front of me and I would open it up and I would just like take say four bites and then just pack it back up and go.
Tony: [00:10:26] Yeah where where as Sam and I would probably be more inclined to keep going and going on that one and then look for another. So what that’s kind of a led me to though is getting control of that part of my life made me feel like I can be in control. It’s made me feel a lot better about myself and about going for bigger goals. A year later I’m feeling like I’m really starting to get control mind my body my mind and now I’ve introduced a new morning routine or daily routine really but it’s based on a book called The Perfect Day Formula by Craig Ballantyne. I get up at 5.30am every morning the night before I have written a journal of all the good things that have happened during the day I have mapped out the whole day for what I need to do when from start to finish. The night before I have also not looked at a screen that emits light an hour before I have gone to bed and am getting eight hours sleep when I used to run on about six. I don’t have caffeine within 10 hours of going to bed. That has been quite a big change in my routine. What that’s done is it’s eliminated any procrastination in my day. It also gets me off to a really good start. I of the day at 5.30am and I work on my most important project which could be the podcast it could be and some exercise, could be lots of things but I will I want to talk about that that particular area in a different podcasts this is really about sugar.
Tony: [00:12:19] One thing that I forgot to talk about was weight loss. I think I was about 90 kg wanted to do this sugar stuff too. So I didn’t change the calorie intake. I didn’t change the amount of food I was eating. I just took sugar off the table, out of the equation. I think I was losing one kilo every two weeks by the tenth week I’d definitely lost about 10 kilos without changing exercise routines or normal food intake. Purely just taking sugar out of the equation I lost about 10 kilos. Part of that is meant to be the impact on sugar on the absorption of fat is meant to be affected by what you eat. I’ve maintained that that weight.
Tony: [00:13:15] That’s other thing I’ve got more energy too. I
Tony: [00:13:21] I started adding bike riding to my week. I was doing karate already, I had more energy.
Tony: [00:13:33] Losing weight not having sugar in my body which makes my blood sugar go up and down and gives me kind of spiked energy and then having lows having a more consistent energy meant that I was able to stop bike riding as well. So I’d ride to karate do karate training then ride another 25 kilometres. After karate so I was doing about 30 kilometres twice a week. On top of the normal stuff it definitely gave me more energy. It made me calmer felt back in control of my life and that journey continues. I guess I’ll talk more about life and healthy lifestyle and things that I’m changing about myself. In coming podcasts.
Tony: [00:14:20] Now I want to say thank you to Sam. Thank you Sam for joining this podcast. Even though you didn’t have much to be able to say for this one. Say bye.
Sam: [00:14:30] Bye.
Tony: [00:14:32] And. Thank you for joining us for the podcast. Your input was important too about what you think about your relationship with sugar. I think it’s important to talk about it with kids too. So Fynn are you signing off as well.
Fynn: [00:14:46] Bye
Tony: [00:14:48] Okay well I’ll catch you all next time.
Here is the link to the kindle version of That Sugar Film the book – www.amazon.com.au/That-Sugar-Book-Damon-Gameau-ebook/dp/B00YRC396E
I also bought the hard copy of That Sugar Guide which had a lot of great info and food ideas too but really the main thing is no cane sugar in sweet tasting food. If there is brown sugar in a curry I leave it in and it doesn’t trigger any cravings which is my goal to not have triggers for more sugar.
Damon and his partner Zoe have an amazing website dedicated to the sugar issue which I think is worth a look too.