Health And Wellness

I Quit Sugar For A Month And My GOD: It Was Basically The Apocalypse

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I Quit Sugar For A Month And It Was Basically The Apocalypse

"I'll have a large hazelnut with eight sugars, please."

The barista looked at me with a questioning squint. "Did you say eight sugars, ma'am?"

"Yes, eight," I reinforced, with a side of piss and vinegar.

"Wow. That's a lot of sugar."

I was hazy, glucose-deprived. My blood sugar levels were crashing onto the Starbucks' floor.

Did I hear him right? Did he just judge me? The answer was a resounding "yes."

He judged me, and rightfully so. Although sugar is natural, for the most part, there's a limit. And each day, I pass that limit like I'm NASCAR-bound. The daily recommendation is generously set at 50 grams. I cross the threshold of addiction, licking the spoon after my first cup of coffee in the morning.

You see, I'm a comfort creature. I want my sugar. I want my carbs. And I want them now — and forever. That is, of course, until the barista, with his "Proud to be a Vegan" T-shirt and chiseled physique, passive-aggressively called me out.

RELATED: 7 Easy-To-Spot Symptoms Of A Legitimate Sugar Addiction

That was the day I decided to give up sugar. His remark, along with the fact that I had been basically overdosing on the stuff for more than two decades, was enough to push me over the edge. I should never have allowed myself to become reliant on sugar to get me through the day. To pull me out of a lull. To make me happy. So, I gave it up, on the spot. And what happened surprised me.

Days 1-3

I struggled the first few days. Honey just didn't do it. It was like settling for a hot dog when you could've had the steak. But I sucked it up and held my nose as it swirled in my mug. When my co-workers chowed down on cookies, candy and soft drinks, I salivated and smiled through gritted teeth. I held back the urge to swipe the confections from their fingers and run off into the sun ... to get a sweetened iced tea.

By day three, withdrawal set in. I'm not sure which was worse: the uncontrollable shaking of my hands or the anger that threatened to unleash Queen Fructose Bitch into the world. I was in need of a ten-step program and punching bag. I couldn't relax. Think. Sleep. I lingered in the kitchen too long, knowing there was a Twinkie wanting to be eaten. But I pushed on.

Days 5-6

I could now see a sliver of a white lining. Not the one covering my corn flakes, but hope. Freedom. I was still moody and on edge. I still had cravings that were hard to resist, but I could see the light.

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Day 7

After a week, things improved. Everything improved, actually. My mood. The cramping. The gas. All of the little "side effects" I didn't know were being caused by that magical grainy substance started to disappear or get better. I even noticed a huge improvement in my skin. Hundreds of minuscule rough bumps began to fade. Dermatologists called it eczema, but I had a new name for it: too much sugar.

RELATED: 10 Fool-Proof Steps To Help Kick Your Sugar Cravings For Good

Day 14

Two weeks later, I loved how I felt in the afternoons. I didn't have to ravishingly hunt down a Snickers bar to keep from crashing midday. I had the energy of six-year-old at Disney. It was incredible.

Day 30

I thought I would die without sugar, but I'm proud to say I made it almost a month. Then, I turned thirty. There was cake, and I caved. I don't know who said, "You can't have your cake and eat it, too," because I proved them wrong that night. I had my cake. Slice after glorious slice.

I hid the rest in the pantry drawer, desperate for a fix. I woke in the morning with my fingers stuck together, fused by hardened vanilla frosting.

My coffee once again became a sugar wonderland. The gas came back. The bumps returned. Afternoons exploded. I crashed and burned. So much for NASCAR.

12 years later: I've been held captive by the Mistress in White.

I've tried to ditch her, cold turkey, even resorting to extreme measures like padlocking cabinets so I don't sleep-sweet (it's totally a thing!). Nothing has worked.

I start off with good intentions, and within days I go right back to my sugary ways. Sugar is THAT addictive. At this point, I could use some serious inspiration. Or better yet, a barista with some balls. Sometimes public shaming is a good thing.

Starbucks anyone?

RELATED: This One Tell-Tale Question Will Reveal If You're A Sugar Addict

Crystal Ponti is the founder of Forewordz.com and Blue Lobster Book Co. and you can find some of her work on Mommifried.com and Answers.com.

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