YLW (Feb 2023)

Monthly follow up from my Year of Living Without. February was no sweets.

February no sweets” month was mostly a success. I did fail a couple of times, but not so many that I can’t count them on one hand. In short summary, I had a donut twice (couldn’t turn down a loving gesture from my wife, both times), I absentmindedly ordered and consumed an ice cream treat with my oldest daughter during her paleontologist field trip and I ate some ice cream with my family on the last night of the month after returning from some business travel. Those missteps were tiny in comparison to the number of times I would have eaten some cookies, or ice cream or Valentine candy treats that the kids offered, but did not due to the without” mentality.

A few days into the month, I did recognize that I was a bit annoyed, and then later connected that it was likely because I was still mentally adjusting to doing without sweets. I didn’t cut out things like a small homemade cortadito (a small espresso with some sugar and cream drink). I found myself drinking juice and the occasional soda more frequently. I think recognizing that these things were likely in an effort to replace the definition of sweets” I was using is valuable. I included in my off limits list things like ice cream, cookies, candies, chocolate and other dessert type items. Ultimately, I was much more present in the way I made decisions of what I was about to consume. I think that was the main goal, in addition to being more comfortable with discomfort. I’m pleased with the end result for February, but am not continuing it into March the way I did with grayscale mode from January.

March is my month of only water or coffee to drink; coffee must be black, no dairy, no sweeteners.” So far, I haven’t failed yet. I was not a frequent soda or juice drinker before February, but I think March will reset from my increases in February when my body (and mind) were seeking something sweet. I could see March creating a new baseline where I just don’t drink certain things anymore as a general rule (soda being one of them).

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