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It’s taken a week to feel like I’m back to normal after eating some sugar last weekend.

Aside from craving chocolate, the most noticeable side-effect was lethargy.  Just amazing what the white stuff does to me.  Fortunately the effects have gone.  I’m back to just eating three square meals a day and running with a lot more vigour.

David Gillespie put a link to my last post on his Sweet Poison Facebook page yesterday.  It’s always fun when he does as I’ll get lots of traffic and new readers.  I hardly ever read the page though, because the threads tend to get hijacked by someone who means well, but comes across as a sugar-free militant.

She accused me of ‘justifying’ my actions and goes on to her usual spiel about how she NEVER EVER EVER eats any sugar.

She’s right of course – I was justifying my actions.  Am I still going to have some birthday cake at my brother’s 40th birthday?  You bet.  Will I eat a piece of wedding cake at an up-coming wedding?  Yep.

I simply find this ‘my way or the highway’ attitude unhelpful.  This woman has never consciously eaten anything sugary since giving up sugar, which is amazing and laudable.

But most people can’t do what she does.  Most people fall off the wagon again and again and again.  It takes an average of SEVEN attempts for people to give up any sort of addiction.  SEVEN.  Ranting at people isn’t the way to win friends and influence people, lady.

Dear reader, if you want to follow someone who never, ever, ever lets any sugar pass their lips, then I suggest unsubscribing to this blog.  However, if you’re looking for someone’s honest journey of trying to live sugar-free in a sugar-laden world, then keep reading.  I know how hard it is to navigate the ‘special occasion’, and I hope you find my blog helpful for your own journey.

New Zealand’s North & South magazine recently had an interesting article on Paleo eating.  I have several Paleo-eating friends (hello, R) who’ve had lots of success in losing weight and improving their well-being, so this article piqued my interest.  They had snippets on several people eating the Paleo way – all of whom look terrific and report many, many benefits of the Paleo lifestyle.  However, one story made me really sad.

A man was dared to run a marathon, and it transformed his life after taking up that dare.  He became a marathon runner and eventually adopted the Paleo diet.  He was so into it, while everyone was eating the food at his daughter’s wedding reception, he was tucking into a bowl of bone broth.  Now, I love bone broth – but come on, please.  It’s your daughter’s wedding.  One of the most special days in any parent’s life.  Celebrate!

I’ve learned how to navigate most social engagements without having sugar.  It’s hard to be that person, but I manage by letting hosts know I don’t eat it and by offering to bring a sugar-free dessert.  My desserts always go down well and I have made a few converts to sugar-free living along the way.

I am (finally) at a point where I can occasionally have a little bit of sugar, live with the consequences, and get back on track.  If you haven’t withdrawn properly from sugar, I would not advocate doing this – you’ll just go right back to where you started.  And honestly, once you’ve been sugar-free and have a bit, you’ll find that most sugary things taste awful (the only reason I liked what I ate last week is because my friends are AMAZING cooks who used high quality ingredients).

Being sugar-free is hard because sugar is everywhere.  You will find it at every.single.social.event.  You don’t have to eat it, true.  And most of the time I don’t.

But sometimes life is about celebrating.  Sometimes the occasion really IS that special.  Or sometimes you are simply having a great time with your friends and think ‘what the heck’ and go ahead and eat a piece of cheesecake.

Party food is for parties.  It’s a good ‘rule’ to live by.