With Christmas upon us and NYE speedily around the corner, it may seem unfair to begin a challenge as wild as this. BUT, it’s not too early to start ‘treating’ yourself better from the inside.

Four years ago I embarked on my personal fitness journey. This year, to my own personal surprise, my focus was on cutting down sugar.

Really going sugar-free.

Going “sugar-free” was definitely excluded from any of my previous wish lists. I tried to watch what I ate on a daily basis, intending to eat as healthily as possible, but every week I gave myself around two chances to have sweets. Truth was, however, I ended up ‘counting the times’. For example, if I found myself a piece of cake one week, instinctively I’d get myself the other piece to fill up the quota. The problem was that I was driven by the device of limited times rather than dealing with my real desire for desserts.

Don’t overthink it!

I then tried one week without consuming any sweets. And what surprised me in the next week that followed was that I’d felt uninterested in most desserts displayed in front of me in either cafés or food markets.As it turned out I was ‘hypnotized’ by my own sugar addiction. It made me feel that I needed the sweets, which I actually didn’t. And once after I cut it off, I found myself not really thinking about the company of sweets. Rather, the dopamine that I gained all the time from sweets was then replaced by the fun brought by home cooking.

Embrace home-cooking…

As a student who lives in London, home cooking is one of my greatest money savers. However, the real joys of home-cooking is I get to monitor just how much sugar I’m consuming. Essentially, the money saved on desserts can go to a handful of higher-quality fresh food. So naturally, some slightly more lavish home meals become within my reach. Yet, there’s more than having lavish meals. The attention on fresh food/ingredients drives me again to cherish every visits to supermarkets and groceries. What I wasn’t regularly mindful of, like fruits’ bright colours and vegetables’ various textures, is now what my mind is on. And I guess these are what constitute the irreplaceable purity of life! What can’t be purchased directly by money but created only if you have a sharp eye for the exquisiteness of life.

Home cooking reminds me again that there’s always something I can do for myself when no one is there for me. So whenever my body is being treated better, so is my heart. For sure I still love sweets, still marveling at the incredible creamy taste in crème brûlée and the balance in cheese cake interwoven by sweetness and savoury. But I rather enjoy them when I truly want and therefore need them.

So once again, it’s never too late (or early) to treat yourself better. Of course, not even at the end of the year. I made the end of 2019 into a brand new start by having a sugar-cut challenge. What’d you choose for yourself?

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