So I gave up all added sugars and sweets. No more cookies or Safeway brownies or dipped ice cream cones on hot days. No artificially sweetened treats either. The first two weeks I was really, really cranky. I feared My Heart's Desire would grind up an Oreo and slip it into my Green Monster. I wrote emails to some clean eating friends and was told that the crankiness would pass. I also realized how often I had a little nibble here, a cookie there, or a tablespoon of chocolate chips to make oatmeal tastier and how it all added up.
The crankiness did fade rather suddenly on day 15 or 16. All of a sudden, I felt less like Cookie Monster and more even throughout the day. Also by refraining, all sweets were off the table rather than me trying to figure out how I could eat them. I also found this article about abstaining vs. moderating by Gretchen Rubin very interesting. I also don't drink, smoke, or ingest caffeine. Clearly, I am an abstainer.
I avoid added sugars and all sweets and have instituted a kibosh on them at home. I do eat dairy products as well as a few pieces of fruit per day. I find that I do feel better and the lion's share of the cravings for oh-so-sweet treats have passed. Based on a clean eating friend's suggestion, I bought a Yonanas soft-serve maker (fruit is the only ingredient) and I will post a review of it soon.
The more I read about the effects of sugar, the happier I am to be sugar free. I'm not committing it to it for the long haul, neither am I planning to go back to eating sugar. Perhaps an occasional sweet on a special occasion? Maybe. I'm trying not to be super strict with myself nor too lenient. For now, I'm happy to be sugar-free.