My name is Calum and I am an addict.
Well, a recovering one. I used to need a fix at least once a day - after meals, in the mornings, late at night. I would add it to coffee, to porridge and would sometimes, impatiently and greedily, just take a raw hit. I could get it over the counter, in the supermarket, at work or there would probably be some squirrelled away in a cupboard. It was easy.
But my substance of choice wasn't booze or cocaine or marijuana.
I am of course, talking about sugar.
The exotic-sounding demerara or light muscovado, the comforting cloud of icing or the common-as-muck caster. I would take anything.
"What's in your toolbox?" I can almost hear myself agitatedly asking.
I have long-since kicked my tea-with-six-sugars-habit, but had no issue with eating condensed milk straight from the tin, spoonful by gloriously gloopy spoonful, or with eating half a tub of sugar-laden ice cream in one sitting.
I knew I had a problem, although one certainly under control. I am by no means overweight (I stretched to 6' 1" as a teenager) and am fairly active - always walking to and from work and playing tennis regularly. But I never really thought about what sugar could actually be doing to me.
And unless you've been living in a sugar-filled cave recently, it's been hard to ignore the so-called 'war on sugar' and the possible links to the country's growing obesity problem.
While as a whole I never ate particularly badly, I knew I had to cut back and decided to say goodbye to sugar.I began following a roughly high-fat, medium-protein, low-carb diet (no carbohydrates at all would be just cruel) filled with fresh fruit (green apples and avocados) green vegetables, hummus, some yogurt and - to satisfy my carb cravings - rye bread and savoury popcorn. I rarely have fizzy drinks but made an effort to have more green tea (with peppermint) and water.When I actually thought about how much sugar I consumed and looked at how much was in everyday foods, it was a wake-up call and avoiding it has been much easier than I would have imagined. Learning that the recommended 'added sugar' intake is 10 teaspoons a day (though some researchers say it should be six for women and eight for men) and that a Snickers alone has seven teaspoons of the stuff (a can of Coke has nine) provided food for thought.
And after only a week or so, my skin is clearer, the love handles feel trimmer and I am determined to stick with the change.
Now I add cinnamon and coconut to my porridge, can do without a late night fix and push anything sweet firmly to the back of the cupboard (to throw things away would just be wasteful).This may all seem straightforward and is probably the kind of diet that many people follow anyway; but I have had a self-imposed intervention and am quickly coming round to the idea that something sweet should be a once-a-week treat (completely depriving myself of sugar would render me near-suicidal).
I do confess that the occasional small piece of chocolate and some prosecco at a friend's birthday (it would be rude not to) has helped during my rehab. 
One step at a time...


  1. I love sugar! I try to avoid too much of it but found myself nodding along to some of your story....eating condensed milk on it's own, yes *guilty*.
    I switched from tea in sugar in tea or coffee to fruit tea with none. My sweet tooth has a pretty loud voice and it sometimes shouts loudest. Bad.

    1. Thanks for the comment Haha, yes it can be difficult to resist ignore the sweet tooth! I'm sure one day I'll have some condensed milk from the tin again! :)


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