Day 1. (Explicit)
I woke up feeling immediate regret. I needed a cup of tea. I needed strong breakfast tea with a dash of milk and one sugar. Just one couldn’t hurt?
I resisted. I’d just drink water. Water is really good for you, I told myself. It’s great for your skin, helps regulate body temperature, oh, and it keeps you alive! As a line manager of mine once said, ‘Hydrate or die.’
So with a 1ltr and a half of Volvic Sugar Free at hand, I hid upstairs. There’s no sugar upstairs, I’d already eaten it all before the challenge started. Maybe if I physically avoided sugar I’d be able to resist?
Lina was having a much harder time. She works in a cafe, surrounded by sugary cakes. Somehow she managed to suffice with a bowl of cucumber. At one point, she explained, that she was going to stare at the cakes whilst eating the cucumber to see if that would trick her mind into thinking she was eating sugar when she wasn’t. Yeah… we can all guess how well that worked.
And then it was my turn to be tested again.
My dad is a Mason, and they host a charity bbq for the families every year. Our mission was to bring a pudding, as if life wasn’t cruel enough, so my mum created an Eton Mess (for the political irony).
‘I can’t eat that,’ I told her, more to remind myself that the cream and meringues had sugar in them.
‘It’s okay, I’ve put some strawberries aside for you.’
Five strawberries. Six, after she saw my disappointed face. They’d have to do, I guessed. I didn’t want to sound ungrateful.
They say when you lose a sense the others become more heightened. Well, I was neglecting my tastebuds, and my nose decided to overcompensate. It was probably psychosomatic but the moment I arrived at the bbq, all I could smell was sugar. It was in the BBQ sauce drizzled on the ribs, it was in the cheesecakes, cakes, and other sweet puddings on the counter. It was in every fizzy drink available.
I’d brought a bottle of water with me, filled with my Volvic Touch of Fruit, so that I didn’t need to break my pact on day one. We hung out for over an hour, chatting with people, buying raffle tickets, having a laugh and then food was served.
Now, there’s a lot of old people at these functions. And they took forever to get through the buffet. So by the time I got there, I was starving (didn’t have breakfast, in a stern attempt to avoid sugar) and just wanted to stuff my face so that I wouldn’t want dessert. I started with salad – no sugar in salad. Sausages, kebab, potato salad – couldn’t guarantee no sugar, but there weren’t many other options. The pasta salad probably had sugar in it, but was it worth fussing over right now? And then my big blunder. The mistake I should have seen coming.
A plump white roll, with powdered flour on the top. Fluffy. Soft. I didn’t even think – it went onto my plate. So did a rib. Well… it would be rude not to!
I sat down, and started eating. Took a bite out of my roll.
Oh. No. What have I done?
‘This has got sugar in it, hasn’t it?’
‘Well I wasn’t going to say anything,’ said the brother who did a nutrition module at uni.
How did I manage to fuck up on the first day!? I wasn’t even 24 hours in!! I handed the roll to my brother, who happily munched away on my roll (which I’d tucked the sausages inside, so I didn’t have those anymore either). Whilst I ate my probably-covered-in-sugar rib.
‘You did really well to stop yourself though!’ said Lina, the greatest cheerleader ever.
‘But I failed! On day one.’
‘Better to fail on day one than day 21 when you should know better.’
Tomorrow will be better, I told myself. Tomorrow will be easier because I’ll be able to control everything I eat. Tomorrow. I’ll try again tomorrow.