“Don’t eat that biscuit. It has transfats“, he told me. I didn’t have a clue then, or now, about transfats. But from his expression, I got that it was a bad thing to let in your system. I took out a box of Kaju Katlis (Cashew cake) I had brought from India and almost shoved in his face, “This doesn’t have transfats. I hope.“
“No. But it has added sugar. Refined sugar. Do you know how harmful it is to your body?”
I obviously have heard about it but never used to care about it. I noticed this behaviour with many of my Indians colleagues who migrated to The States. All the others used to take at least a small piece out of politeness. I had and still have a sweet tooth. I scoffed at his advice, considered him to be old and made a mental note of not offering anything to him in the future.
Fast forward a decade and few years, I am more or less the age he was then. And I am considering quitting added/refined sugar.
I have seen many stories of people quitting refined sugar and bursting with energy all day, saving a lot of money and losing weight. The idea of having all the 3 benefits is quite tempting. I am thinking of taking a 30-day challenge of avoiding refined sugar. It is more difficult for me as I have a sweet tooth. And I literally run on Coffee (with sugar).
A few months ago, I took a challenge to drink at least 3l of water every day for a month. I posted about it here. But sugar is a whole different beast. I have tried multiple times but I have failed this challenge. I wish I could quote Jaime Escalante for motivation:
Life is not about how many times you fall. It’s about how many times you get back up.
But this meme explains the actual fact.
It is a risk that I have taken with that click bait title. 80%* of people will not read this post after reading this title. If you are reading this, you are in the remaining 20%. Anyone who knows Pareto will know that this 20% is what matters.
What I am up to in this post? Nothing much really. I was in a boring meeting the other day and slowly zoned out to my world and flagged off the thought-train. I don’t quite remember why but I was thinking about will-power and self-control. So, I decided to do an experiment. I have seen TED and YouTube videos about taking up 30-day challenges to keep oneself “alive”. I decided to take up one. I scouted for the easiest one and found many success stories about drinking 3.5 litres of water every day. People seem to have overcome many real life problems by just doing this one thing. Since the summer was at its peak anyway, I decided to take up this challenge.
My expectations based on the success stories included considerable weight loss, acne-free clear skin (not really), increased metabolism and lots of trip to the loo each day. Out of these four, only the last one worked out and that is not an improvement by any means. My weight only fluctuated a little bit. It went up and then came down to what I started with. My expectations were clearly not met. But I cannot dismiss this off as a complete failure.
I did observe few positive changes. I have not been this alert during the day before. Even in boring meetings. Earlier, I used to get literally tired of boring meetings. But I can now see myself being more alert and generally in a good mood. I hope it is not just a co-incidence. I was also well hydrated to beat the heat. Consciously drinking and monitoring the water intake, (I used Water Drink Reminder android app from Leap Fitness Group), did help sustain and complete the challenge. This is the most consistent thing that I have done in recent times I think. So, I do feel good.
I should probably take another 30-day challenge, a difficult one, and see how I fare.
As a parting note, don’t ever believe anyone or anything that says ‘Do this one thing and you will be shocked to see the results’. There is no magic pill. That reminds me, I may possibly have another post about the magic pill. Coming soon.
* 80% is just a number that I made up to make this interesting and to quote Pareto.