Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"To Change Effectively, Change Just One Thing" -- Peter Bregman

I've been thinking a lot lately about sugar. Just finished a Harvard Business Review short piece by Peter Bregman, in which he recounts his decision to stop eating sugar -- and the 18 pounds he lost in a month. I have several friends who gave it up long before Peter. Last week, I read an article I can't find now on natural ways to deal with strains on the immune system, and it was suggested that giving up sugar actually strengthened one's natural immunities.

Sugar has been my last frontier since 1996 when I became a vegetarian, giving up all meat and coffee as well. (I had given up cigarettes in 1981.) I said in 1996 that I was giving up sugar, but show me an enticing dessert when I'm out in public and I've never been able to resist it. It's not that I don't know its effects, including short term energy surges, but it's that I give myself the "well, just this once" pass every time.

So for this flu season, particularly this H1N1 season, sugar is going to become the one thing I can change, at least in its most obvious manifestations as candy, dessert, or breakfast ingestions. Making this change saves me money, and boosts my immune system. I'm less concerned about losing the weight, though I would guess that will happen, as I am about long term consequences for my health. The list of what I have given up, though impressive, will not include either my sense of humor or Irish whiskey. Not now, not ever.


Penny said...

If you can kick the coffee habit I'm quite sure you can easily kick the sugar habit. And you have my humble respect for both!

Tracy said...

It isn't as hard as you would think anymore. There are lots of alternatives-not substitutes, but alternatives like honey, molasses and cane juice. Good for you for doing it! I think you will feel a difference.