It’s now been thirteen days since I gave up added sugar for Lent. I had my toughest challenge to date when my family and I went out for Sunday dinner. It’s hard enough when I cook dinner at home and then my daughter asks “what’s for pudding?”. Spooning out some ice cream knowing I can’t have any for myself is hard. What’s even harder is going out for food and watching both my husband and my daughter eat pudding, especially when both of them gave me the green light to have my own dessert. How I did it I don’t know, but I abstained. I think it had something to do with the silent promise I made to myself to have that exact same dessert they had when Lent is over.
There are two things I’ve learned so far since I’ve stopped having added sugar. The first is that I feel hungry a lot of the time. I don’t think my body is hungry as I’m having four meals a day but I’m certainly craving sugary foods. The second is that I truly believe I’m a sugar addict. It sounds ludicrous that someone could be addicted to sugar but having gone thirteen days without it, I can say for certain that I’m addicted to it. And why wouldn’t I be? Sugar is in everything!
I was feeling ravenous after a particularly hard training session last week and was on my way to collecting my daughter from school. There is a Marks & Spencer’s store close to the school so my plan was to pick up something healthy on the way. I knew I couldn’t have most of the food in there but I thought I’d be okay with having some cooked chicken. I was wrong. There’s even sugar in chicken!
Can you believe that? A sugar marinade! Why? Why coat chicken in sugar? It didn’t make any sense to me so, being incredibly picky and frustrated, I left the store hungry and collected my daughter from school. I was infuriated that something you think would be healthy turns out to have added sugar in it. After I’d eaten and felt more clear headed, I looked up why sugar would be added to chicken, apart from being a marinade.
It turns out that sugar is used as a preservative. Sugar causes bacteria to lose water. Without enough water, bacteria can’t grow or divide and, therefore, can no longer survive. Combined with salt, another preservative, sugar reduces contaminating bacteria in your food. When used in this way and for this purpose, it’s good. However, if you’re trying to avoid added sugar like I am, you have to cook your own chicken. It was a hard lesson to learn as I was famished, but an important one. I never would have expected there to be sugar in chicken and it makes me wonder how many other foods have added sugar without consumers being aware of it. Would you have expected sugar to be in the packet of chicken shown above? I know I wouldn’t have unless I’d checked.
Anyway, that’s enough talk about sugar. Here is the gym session I completed today and I loved it. It was hard session and my muscles are aching a lot now but it was worth it.
Warm up – 5 minute bike
AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) 10 minutes non-stop of the following:
- 5 pull ups
- 10 push ups
- 15 air squats
This is a CrossFit workout called “CINDY”. A lot of the workouts in CrossFit are named and this one is a particular favourite of mine. It’s hard but that’s the point. I only managed 7 rounds in 10 minutes but it’s a good start.
Next, 5 rounds of the following straight through without rest:
- 250m row
- 10 sit ups with 6kg med ball
- 10 russian twists with 6kg med ball
- 20 walking lunges
I like the mix of cardio and core in this part of the workout. I followed this with 4 rounds of:
- 10 deadlifts with 20kg bar
- 10 wall balls with 8 kg med ball
In the last part of my workout, I lifted a few weights but I was pretty much beat by then. 3 sets each of the following:
- dumbbell (DB) bicep curl, 8 reps of 8kg
- DB bench press, 10 reps of 10kg
- DB pull over, 10 reps of 10kg
- lat pull down, 10 reps 35kg
- cable tricep pull, 10 reps 17.5kg
Have a great week everyone!