When I decided to give up sugar & flour on the 30th June this year, I knew i’d need to have something positive each day to look forward to, to help get me through it. Not that I was expecting permanent doom & gloom, rather I just recognised that a little bit of self-care goes a long way to managing sugar cravings. This isn’t my first rodeo in the quitting sugar game. As I said in another post though, this is the first time i’ve given flour up too, so it’s new territory for me.
Thus was born the idea of going for a daily walk. Now I know for most people this is probably a normal part of your day and maybe always has been, but I have to admit I wouldn’t often go for a walk, at least not during this pandemic. Ironically, when it was one of the few things we were allowed to do, I started feeling a bit anxious about going out, so stayed and unwittingly chose cabin fever over fresh air. Anyway, that didn’t last forever, and I started to enjoy the odd walk out and about.
I decided to make it a daily activity though, and promised myself I would make myself go out, even when I didn’t want to, because I knew it would be good for me. There are so many health benefits to such a simple activity, it’s free, it’s easy – you just go out the front door and that’s it. What I didn’t expect was to love it quite so much, and to really need it in my life.
Despite getting through the first three weeks of no sugar, no flour (NSNF; like a slightly less exciting NSFW) this last week has been a bloody challenge. Today is day 29 NSNF, and the last 4 days in particular have been beset by hideous cravings and countless conversations in my head about why I should or shouldn’t pop to the local cafe and buy one of their amazing cakes. I’ve been a bit stressed the last few days, and the cravings have reared their ugly heads to boot. So my daily walk has been ever more important. I tend to listen to an audiobook as I tramp around, and as much as I love the books and enjoy listening, it also gives me great headspace just to think about stuff. One of the most crucial things about cracking this sugar addiction is recognising that i’ve been using it as a means of not dealing with any emotions that might be difficult over my life. Stressed? Eat cake. Sad? Eat cake. Worried? Eat cake. Happy? Celebrate with cake! This time i’ve chosen a different path though. Saturday was a real struggle, so I got out my notebook and wrote down all the things that were bothering me, reframed them all, drilled down to what the real issues were, then went for a walk, feeling unburdened and relieved i’d got through the worst of the cravings unscathed. Today was similar to an extent, but I felt okay, and because i’d had a PT session in the garden, I was going to skip the walk. I could feel similar stresses from Saturday arise though, so I just walked out the door and didn’t even bother with a jacket. It was a little cold, but I wandered down to the beach and was rewarded with the stunning sunset above.
There have been a number of times I really haven’t wanted to get out the door, but every single time I have, i’ve been grateful for it. Such a simple habit to build in to my day, it brings me more joy than I could have imagined. I’ve walked 49.8 miles so far this month, and i’m looking forward to walking many more over the coming weeks and months.