• Sandy Reynolds

Sugar blues in January

Our Background:

Like many people, the pandemic hasn't been kind to my waistline. I'm home a lot and snacking more. We are in the depths of winter and have been in lockdown for five weeks here in Ontario, Canada. I've got nothing but time and carbs most days.

Over the years I have tried ALL the diets. My sister has had a similar experience. And although we have been successful in losing weight, we have also never been successful in maintaining our desired weight for very long. I am currently about 15 lbs heavier than I would like to be.


We are both mature women (62 & 55) years old. Neither of us feel motivated by vanity. I used to care what other people thought about me. I don't give a shit anymore. Without that motivator, it has been harder to find motivation. Neither of us is grossly overweight. We are just carrying 15-20 pounds more than we would like. I would guess our reason is that we want to feel good in our clothes AND health. I want to feel like I'm taking care of my body.

So we started talking about a year of focusing on our health. Actually we talked about how sick we are of feeling uncomfortable in our clothes and then we started talking about our health. We both felt a resistance to jumping on a diet bandwagon again. We are both sick of hearing about Keto. We don't want to be ON something. We want a lifestyle that works for us, not deprivation for several months, only to boomerang back to where we started.

We decided each month to try something different and experiment with how we felt. We chose to eliminate refined sugar from our diets for January and see what the results were. For both of us, we want to make sure that what we do is sustainable. I'm not interested in losing weight and regaining it in six months. I don't want to commit to something knowing I won't stick with it long term.

The only measurement we used this month was weight.

Sandy's experience: At the end of the month, I lost 3 pounds, and my sister lost 1 pound. I don't think those numbers are significant. I would have lost 3 pounds this month without eliminating sugar. Knowing I would be restricting sugar from my diet led me to an all-out, no holds barred, sugar eating frenzy in December. I ate Hagen-Daz chocolate peanut butter ice cream almost nightly. I had cinnamon buns (4) the week of Christmas. I ate chocolates like they were carrot sticks. My weight was inflated when I weighed myself at the end of December.

Here's what I learned: I stopped drinking alcohol in October. It's been almost four months since I had a glass of wine. (I'm not sure it is permanent; I'm just taking it weekly, and I'll write a blog post on it soon.) However, it is common when you eliminate alcohol to crave sugar. And so, the last few months of the year, I was eating a lot more sugar than usual.