Self Control = Self Respect. It’s not really about the sugar. Well, not really but there are reasons why I choose to go without sugar in particular. I’m eating a bowl of Count Chocula deliciousness as I’m writing this. Every year I go on a sugar fast for the 30 days leading up to Thanksgiving. It helps me keep things under control during a time of wrapped candy paradise, pumpkin everything and nightly mugs of hot chocolate before I roll over in bed and become a fat incubator all night. I currently don’t eat horribly and I’m not aiming to lose weight (but who would be sad about dropping a few lbs says I). I’m aiming to gain self control because self control leads to self respect.
This is about conquering myself during a time when I usually place a paper towel over the wrappers in the garbage can so nobody can see how many Reese’s PB cups I just double fisted (don’t act like you’ve never done the paper blanket of shame). Although I’ve done this for the past 5 years, last year was the first time I posted it to my social media and I was genuinely surprised on how many people joined me in this stupidness. My norm duration has been 30 days although last year I tried 60 days. Seriously, people actually wanted to join me on a sugar fast for 60 days. WTH? The support we gave each other was amazing and the biggest contributor to my success. I thought about the 60 days and decided that it is too long. By 30 days I had detoxed from all the sugar in my system and the physical and emotional benefits were very apparent. By 60 days I was pretty ornery and counting down the seconds for it to end. I think 30 days is reasonable.
Something new I am trying this year: charity. Since this correlates with the season of giving and being thankful, how about we add an element of giving to the challenge. A few years ago when we were doing this as part of my local gym (GPP Fitness), we would donate $1 to the “Sin Bin” every time we messed up and donated the proceeds to a local charity. I hesitated to do something like this on such a global scale because I wasn’t sure the best way to do collect monetary donations from all over the country. After doing some research, I have decided that using a crowdfunding website is really the best option. I read several review websites and checked to see how various crowdfunding website options charge their fees and decided on using GoFundMe. Unfortunately they will take a percentage of the donations but all of them will. All donating for the challenge is of course optional. Someone had even thrown out the idea of committing to an act of service for every slip up as opposed to a monetary donation and I think that idea is great too. Whatever works for you, let that be your thing. Maybe you want to keep this super easy and simply commit to eating no sugar, that’s it – I say do what works for you. At the end of the challenge, all proceeds from our GoFundMe account will go toward buying Christmas for families in need at the elementary school my children went to a few years ago (there is a lot of single moms in the boundaries). I will be posting more about that Christmas charity project later in the challenge as we near Christmas time. I will post the details below on how to donate your monetary pledges if you choose that route.
Lastly, before I post the fine print: Managing a large group can be tricky. I have learned over the years by trial and error about what works and what doesn’t for large groups. First rule: YOU get what you need out of this challenge and for that reason I can’t have the final say about rules but will set some guidelines and you go individually from there (read between the lines – I will not be sitting at my computer with my gavel in hand to play judge on what counts as a cheat on the challenge). If you ask me if it’s a cheat I will likely say yes just so I have a reason to collect more donations for my charity project. 🙂
THE FINE PRINT:
- Sugar means no “treats” or soda. You decide what “treats” means to you. Can’t live without your nasty Diet Coke and that’s a deal breaker? Fine (but personally I think you can handle 30 days). Just post what you are committing to. Just remember the point is self control. If you feel like you can’t live without it, maybe it’s time to show yourself that you can. I have a few things I will have to give up for this reason alone.
- This doesn’t mean “I can’t have ketchup” or “check that salad dressing label” unless you want it to. Make it that if you need it. I know that would put me over the edge of sanity.
- No sugar doesn’t mean go buy a bag of sugar free taffy from Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Chocolates and pound it in one day. Basically you are just trading sugar for diarrhea and I learned that the hard way.
- One free or cheat day of choice. Just declare it ahead of time.
- The challenge starts next Monday, Oct 26th and ends on Thanksgiving Day. I will go ahead and eat a whole pumpkin pie myself thank you very much.
- Be nice to your family. This is not their fault.
- This is very casual. There are no prizes at the end other than sweet sweet satisfaction and a cyber high five. If you live locally I will consider pulling out a leotard and some pom poms for a half time cheer circa 1999. I do that sometimes anyway.
- Only do this if you really need it. Sometimes over committing and then not sticking to plans is worse for self respect than just learning when to say no.
Are you ready to join me in this stupidness? This is how you board the Fun Bus to Hell:
- Make your commitment public. Comment either here, on my Instagram post about it (@sarcasminspandex) or on the Facebook support page for this challenge (search Fun Bus to Hell No Sugar Challenge). While you are at it, tag a few friends who you want to be miserable and awesome with you. There is strength in numbers.
- If you are choosing to add a charity element to your challenge, declare publicly what you are committing to. My suggestion is a challenge buy in and a donation for every time you mess up. My simple suggestion is $10 – $20 to buy in and $1-$5 for every time you mess up. It would be assumptive for me to make a guideline on this so this is a basic suggestion. If you want this to be more about the charity, donate more. If you want this to be more about your self control, commit to less. If you are choosing the service donation, declare publicly what that will be. Why declare it? Because you are more likely to stick to it.
You have one week to decide if this challenge is right for you and mentally gear up. This will be so much fun. No it won’t. BUT we will feel like empowered, amazing biznitches when we are done. May God help us all. Are you in?
Addendum: How to donate to the GoFundMe Fun Bus to Hell charity page:
Click this link and follow the simple instructions: https://www.gofundme.com/funbustohell
*Fee disclosure: GoFundMe take 5% of the donations. Their payment processing partner WePay (like PayPal) charges 2.9% plus $.30 per donation. There is no way around this and is par for the course any all the options I looked into. The bummer news is that means that if you get on and donate $1 every time you fall off the bus, they take $.38 for that dollar, lame-o. However, if you just add up your mess ups for the week and donate once/week, we get to keep more of that donation because they only take $.30 of that donation. The obvious downside is that you are less likely to want to donate if you know you owe it $20 at the end of the week. I’d rather take $.62 of your donation to a family in need than none of your donation you don’t make. This is also the reason why I chose to work directly with my children’s school for family’s in need with our proceeds as opposed to going through another charity. We are already paying for a crowdfunding website’s overhead, why pay another chunk to the overhead of a large charity. It’s a way to get more of our money directly to the person in need. Let’s do this!
Can’t wait to suffer with you,