This is an interesting topic.
Especially interesting to me, because I have gone through a lot of different phases including sugar and other substances.
Eventually, something started happening in my life, within me, or in my circumstances - I don't know, what - that started gently steering me away
from those things.
There was a time when I thought, "Fine, I will just smoke and drink coffee and that's what I will be", and I really tried to keep that kind of
lifestyle. I did my best to smoke cigarettes every day and drink a lot of coffee. I am one of those 'extremists' in a sense, that I can't have
'modesty' in any kind of addictive thing, whether it's video games, cigarettes, alcohol, coffee, or any similar thing.
So of course I started suffering quite a lot from the effects of the constant 'overdosing' (the only way for me to have 'enough' is to have 'a
little bit too much'). I tried and wanted to just keep this thing stable, instead of constantly beginning and quitting those substances (caffeine,
nicotine, alcohol, candy bars, etc. - everything was 'over the counter' stuff). Stability, even physically unhealthy one, would at least be
Alas, there was a time, when I just couldn't do it for a day. I thought that I will just not smoke for that day, and will continue the next day.
But the next day, I still felt so awful and repulsed by even the thought of inhaling that stuff, that I wanted to extend my 'holiday' a little bit.
These urges have never been a difficulty for me to widthstand, and sometimes, the widthdrawal symptoms have not even existed noticeably - mainly, when
I meditated, which is a good practice for quitting substances for its psychological (you feel like you 'get' a 'fix', plus the special breathing
makes the lungs feel like they get something, too) but also energy-flow-altering effects.
I think it was around that time that I discovered a neat way to 'trick' myself - instead of giving into the craving for cigarettes, I found out
it's possible to divert it to something else. So if I can give myself a permission to play video games as much as I want, as long as I am not
smoking, it gives a focus for the craving to exhaust itself (but this can of course lead to other problems, like enhancing your video game equipment
collective too much).
Now, this happened such a long time ago, that I can't remember the details perfectly - I think I gave up caffeine a bit earlier, and that sort of
diminished the joy of smoking a lot, because those two things always went together. It seemed so 'dry' without the coffee, like just going to a
sauna without being able to jump into a swimming pool every once in awhile.
Caffeine was causing so many problems, without really relieving exhaustion, so I got fed up with it, and just wanted to be without it. One could say
that the desire to be free of its awful effects (remember the 'extremist' bit at this point, they were not regular coffee-drinker's effects..) grew
much stronger than the desire to stimulate my body by using it (sometimes the added bonus was that it allowed me some creative energy, which I so
rarely have, although I love it - so the temptation was pretty great, as there was always at least a possibility for creativity after drinking
Somehow, I just never returned to the smoke (except for -one- packet after a few months, just to process an awful emotional feeling that cigarettes
always helped with, when something quite disastrous happened - we won't discuss the details).
I never made any 'decision' or used any 'willpower' to get rid of it. I was actually even attempting to just keep smoking, so there was no
ideological or health reason or any kind of determination to actually 'quit' smoking (I still don't consider myself having quit - I just notice
right now choosing not to smoke, I don't know what choice I might make the next moment).
Every day, I just found myself thinking: "Well, not just now, maybe later". I seriously did plan to smoke again, after I felt like i had 'healed'
enough or 'felt good enough' that I could handle it again, and felt like smoking again. I guess that's basically still my plan.
Of course, then financial difficulties arose, which prevented me from attempting to go back the road I was trying to continue, and that meant, I
couldn't even drink alcohol. I wanted to drink, even if just for time to time, but the financial situation made it an impractical decision, so I kept
putting it off into the future. I did manage to drink a two times during about three and a half years, but neither experience felt very good, so I
never renewed my attempts.
At the same time, my food choices were changing. I don't know exactly how it happened - I wanted to simply try something different, since I had eaten
quite unhealthily for a long time, but it was beginning to bore me to eat like that, and the reason I did it, was, because it was just so easy to just
buy a frozen something and toss it in the oven (I don't have a microwave one, never had, and hopefully never will, either).
It was also relatively cheap, and I thought that I couldn't afford to eat any other way. Somehow, I started experimenting with alternatives, and at
first, it seemed rather ludicrous. After a few successful attempts, however, it became easy and I realized I could 'shave' off some things, as I
didn't really need them, and so on.
I also replaced the deserts - just for the heck of it, really - with fruits. I guess I wanted to see, whether that could be done. Previously, I had
been quite hooked on chocolate bars and other sugary 'treats', and I felt I could never get enough of them. I wasn't aware how addicted I was to
them, but yeah - it was a lot like in the movie 'Supersize Me', except that it was candy bars and such 'sweets'.
I might have been inspired by the Seinfeld episode, where Kramer says he shoved a cantaloupe in someone's throat to get them off sugar, but there was
really no ideology behind it - I guess I mostly wanted to see, whether it'd make a change to my (low) energy levels.
I also realized that rice is relatively cheap, as one tiny (at least by american standards) box can make many meals.
As the financial crisis continued, I couldn't afford to buy cheese, butter, toufu (it's really with a longer 'o', and not 'tofu') or anything
else for the bread, so I was forced to eat the bread 'as is'.
So now my meals are simplified, easy and fast to cook, healthy, and after eating, I don't have the effect of half-coma of feeling stuffed, but I can
still function and continue normally, and as an addition, I actually feel like "I have had enough"!
It's spectacular, how much different it feels after eating fruits for dessert - you don't feel like you still want to eat, but your stomach is so
full that it's about to burst, like with candy bars and such as dessert. With them, there was never the feeling of "ok, this satisfies me, I don't
need more right now". There was always a constant craving and lusting for more, even if your stomach pleaded with you and wrote emails to congress to
make acts and statutes to stop people from overeating.
That bit still amazes me - I am completely ready for the effect of 'still wanting more' after a meal, but nope. With this healthier and simpler
meal, I always feel -not full, but "satisfied", so hunger no longer bothers me, neither do any cravings. I also learned to eat when I get hungry,
instead of just stuffing my poor stomach as full as it goes, and then doing it again after it's half-empty, after numerous hours have passed.
So I end up eating regularly, two to three times a day (depending on the day - I can only afford to buy five meals for two days, but this is
sufficient - it's always fun to be in the 'not-eating-mode' as well, and take it as a challenge for myself, to see how long I can hold out, and
enjoy the slightly otherwordly feeling it gives me - it's almost like being in a mild trance), I feel completely satisfied after a meal, and I can
continue functioning and doing things even right after eating.
I never officially quit anything, but for a long time now (it would be many years, if it wasn't for, like, three isolated incidents - so it's purely
around a bit over year and a half), I just have not indulged in:
- Cigarettes / Nicotine / Tobacco
- Candy bars / chocolate / 'sweet treats' / etc.
- Frozen food that you heat in the oven
- Dairy products
- Chips / salty 'treats' of any kind
And all this has occurred without me planning for it AT ALL, on the contrary. Sometimes things just happen in life, like life is some kind of gentle
giant force that guides you slowly towards something better, even if you plan the opposite.
I do indulge in playing computer and video games from time to time, however .. but that's like any kind of entertainment that people use. I'd rather
have it be interactive or active than just passive staring (like just watching TV "PROGRAMMING" is - there's a reason that it's called
Oh yeah, I also haven't had a TV Receiver for around 14 years or so - maybe that's what keeps my mind more clear than a lot of the people I run
into, who seem to be in a sort of mind-controlled daze. I can't say I don't have a "TV", because I do have physical televisions, but I use them
with computer equipment only, so the only things displayed there are actually put there by my computer, which is in my control - not by some
corporation, deciding for me what I want to watch and when..
It doesn't surprise me that sugar is more unhealthy than most people have been told. We all know that refined sugar can't be very healthy, compared
to the more natural sugar species.. uh, specieses? Well, the more natural varieties of sugar.
It's a good thing that I don't feel any kind of need to have, consume or use sugar outside of eating fruits - then again, why should anyone? Fruits
are delicious, they make my stomach feel good, and they give a nice 'after-feel' that is like closing a lid. I mean, instead of wanting more, I can
always feel like the meal has been complete, when I end it by eating fruits. Ahh.
It's kind of a funny thing that I have actually been trying to save money for something bigger, so I haven't been able to eat so luxuriously - but
now I am so used to eating this way, that I doubt I would change my diet much even if I had all the billions of the gates family (I refuse to write
that name with a capital letter).
I like the diet, because it's simple, efficient, it doesn't take much of my time or effort to get, prepare or eat it, it tastes good every time, and
it deals with the hunger with letting me still continue doing things right after eating. And it forms a good core that I can sometimes expand upon by
purchasing more (and more exotic) vegetables and different types of fruits - there's a whole -world- of this stuff out there, so even variety is
Poverty is, indeed, our treasure. We should never exchange it for the easy life. (paraphrased Zen teaching).
(Not that I consider myself poor - my life is very luxurious and rich, especially in comparison to the poor brothers that live in North Korea, Africa,
South-East Asia, and so on - whenever one feels like they are not rich enough, one merely needs to remember how those people live to get the grateful
humility back. And especially my life is very rich because of my internal experience of it, that most of the so-called 'rich' people do not have.
The sugarless frosting on the fruitcake is that sometimes I have even been able to create - and I don't know if there is a greater, more exciting and
wonderfully miraculous and mystical 'doable thing' in the whole existence, besides meditation, perhaps!)
P.S. Would this post be considered "long"? To me, this is like a small intro to a real post.. but I have learned that on this planet, people
consider even a few pages of text "long".