Why going sugar free can help you achieve your career goals
I have just completed a 14 day-long sugar-free challenge. It was hosted by Floriane Letulle in a closed Facebook group [in case you haven’t noticed, Facebook groups are all the rage with solopreneurs. It seems to be the best way to counter the latest algorithm change].
Surprisingly, the first days were not that hard. I made myself a stock of dried mangoes for chocolate-replacing emergencies. I made chocolate pudding out of almond milk, cocoa powder and dates concentrate. I made colorful fruit salad for my sugar-craving daughter who I kind of dragged along with me on this journey. I got rid of the biscuits and let the sweetened petit suisse expire in the fridge.
Then one day I was particularly anxious about my long to-do list. Before I knew what I was doing, I ate a full bag of dried mangoes in front of my computer. They were just gone.
I don’t know about you, but when I have a ludicrously long list of tasks to accomplish and no idea where to start, I tend to: a) procrastinate and b) eat mindlessly.
It is that merciless inner judge betting I can’t handle it. It is that vulnerable part of me that needs from time to time to be reminded that I’ve got this.
So, how does going sugar-free help other than replacing cookies with fruit? How can it help shush the self judge and soothe the vulnerable?
Well, first of all, by allowing you to realize that the inner judge (and that bunch of negative feelings he exudes) is the one causing this. Floriane encouraged me to pause, breathe, and name the emotion present when the impulse to eat sugar came up. This gave me the chance to realize there was something going on. That these moments are worth of my attention.
It's not always comfortable, I admit, to look such feelings in the eye. Forgoing sugar can make you feel very vulnerable when you realize just how bad you were treating yourself (and compensating for it with sweets). But. It is the beginning of something AWESOME.
Because acknowledging what is going on inside your crafty little mind allows you act upon it. Put the inner judge in a box and send him on a long vacation. Give a big hug to the vulnerable part of you, look around, and face the facts: you've got this. You've come so far. You are everything you learned, and more. [check the Moana-inspired know who you are practice I mentioned in my previous article]
In so many words:
Going sugar free allows you to focus on YOU. Your feelings. Your needs. And your strengths.
In my experience, going sugar free is not so much about being a self-control champion. It is about listening to your body-mind dynamics and finding out what triggers sugar craving for me. It is pausing for a moment when I am about to fetch that chocolate bar (or dried fruit, for that matter) and observing what’s inside. And, not surprisingly, these are the same feelings/situations that trigger procrastination.
Going sugar-free helps you to become aware of the feelings that trigger procrastination.
Everyone talks about mindfulness these days, and yet so many of us have lunch looking at a screen. When you take something out of your diet, you immediately become more mindful of what you are eating. Yes, this requires some tweaks in the logistics here and there (especially if you are used to eating out most of the time). This effort is more than compensated by the feeling of being in charge of what you eat.
Please note: my point is not to make anyone feel terrible for that daily afternoon chocolate. So long as you approach such a challenge as an experiment, an opportunity to learn about your habits and automatic behaviors, you're in for a beautiful ride. Remember to be gentle to yourself, always.