At the end of 2020, I've decided to make 2021 a challenging year. I have committed to doing 12 monthly challenges, one for each month. You can see the list of all the challenges here. Below is a summary of the April challenge.
What was the challenge?
Challenge: No sugar
Why: Sugar is toxic. Its effects also add up with years. I want to reverse this trend.
How well did it go?
Challenge completion rate: 100% (30 out of 30)
How hard was it?
At the end of each day, I recorded if I had completed the challenge for the day. I also rated how much effort it took on a scale of 1 to 10. While it's subjective, it gives an idea of how hard it was to complete the challenge.
Average effort score: 1.23
Lowest effort score for the month: 1 (24 times)
Highest effort score for the month: 3 (1 time, on Easter)
What did I learn from it?
I initially wanted to try doing "zero sugar" for a month. I expect this habit to potentially have the most significant impact on health out of all my challenges for 2021. Cold showers could be second.
After going without sugar in March and finding it unexpectedly extremely easy, I decided to do it again in April. And again, it was as easy as it gets.
Almost all of the days in April, I just didn't have sugar cravings. Easter was the only minor exception. The family came to visit, and there were many cakes consumed at the table. It was tempting for a second to eat some cake too. But it quickly passed. Besides, nobody pushed me because everyone already knew not to offer me anything with sugar because I just wouldn't have it.
- Still didn't feel the craving to eat sugar. It was even easier than in the previous month. The momentum was driving me forward.
- More "boring" breakfasts. With little time in the morning, it used to be easy to buy some sweet pastry and eat it on the way. Add yogurt to it, and that's breakfast. Now there's no more yogurt—all of them contain lots of sugar, even the "bio" ones. Now it's always a few bread rolls and kefir. At first, I wanted more variety and taste, now I got used to it.
Will I keep doing it?
Yes! With two months of experience and with minimum effort required to maintain a potentially life-extending and health-saving habit, it's a no-brainer for me: I'm keeping the habit!
What's the next month's challenge?
Challenge: 30 minutes of reading a paper book.
Why: I read a lot, but I don't read as many paper books as I'd like. At the same time, some of the most interesting books I have are on paper, waiting for me to read them, sometimes for months or years.