Ok, if you’re reading the title of this blog post and thinking, “YOU gave up DESSERT? The queen of all things chocolate!,” you are right to be shocked because it’s true. I did in fact give up dessert for the month of February.
But let’s back up a bit first, so I can share some context…
Why did you give up dessert?
As y’all know, I traveled to London at the end of October for my company’s global conference. And even though I was able to squeeze a few workouts in here and there, I didn’t make healthy decisions in the food department. This means I ate A LOT of dessert and drank a lot of wine. Which is fine as an isolated incident, but in my case, it wasn’t.
Then came November and Thanksgiving and more dessert, more wine, and just more regular unhealthy choices.
Then came December. I had my team meeting at the beginning of the month – more dessert and more wine. Then we went home to Atlanta where I didn’t even think twice about what I was eating and drinking. I did manage to workout, so there is that.
When we got back to Chicago, I was flipping through pictures on my phone when I realized that I just didn’t love the way I looked. It wasn’t anything dramatic, but it just didn’t sit right with me. I then happened to step on a scale the next morning and saw a number that I haven’t seen in like 15 years (except when I was pregnant).
I started think about all the decisions I made that led me to this point and came to the conclusion that something needed to be done.
And trust me, it wasn’t the number on the scale that did me in. I know that with better eating habits and some solid weekly workouts, I’ll get back on track. What really opened my eyes was that I was eating things I don’t normally like – like an orange souffle cake (I HATE orange and chocolate together) or a mango flan (umm no!). But I was eating those kinds of things mindlessly.
I was also reaching for something sweet multiple times a day. Chocolate chips here, a piece of chocolate dessert there, etc.
Basically, something needed to change.
Why Give Up Dessert Completely?
In really simple terms, I needed a reset. I needed to give my cravings some space to outgrow themselves. And I figured that after a month, I would be able to come back much stronger to where I could be more selective about what I chose to indulge in and what I chose to skip.
So what did this look like exactly?
Essentially, I gave up desserts. Not sugar but things that would be considered dessert for me – cookies, cakes, brownies, ice cream, chocolate chips, etc. To that end, I also steered clear of muffins and things that could be interpreted as dessert because I truly wanted to decrease my craving.
For the month of February, I avoided these things. I didn’t use other things to dissipate the cravings either. Sometimes, I’d eat fruit or drink a La Croix, but I didn’t use something sweet to combat the desire for what I really wanted.
Did you have any support?
Yes! My little sister joined me on this month long quest because she was kind of in the same boat. She found herself mindlessly eating desserts and wanted to stop that habit.
The rule for the month was if we caved and had something sweet, we owed the other person $5. 🙂
Did you lose weight doing this?
Not a pound, my friends! It took me 3 months to put on the extra pounds, so I know it’s going to take a bit to take it off. Especially because I didn’t really alter my other meals. It’s not like this was a diet or anything like that. I still ate my normal diet (which is still healthy but doesn’t involve any deprivation).
What results did you see?
My cravings have subsided substantially! For example, I no longer look for something sweet after my main meals. Also, on March 1 when I could technically eat whatever I wanted without a $5 penalty, I didn’t have anything sweet. Just didn’t want it.
Essentially, I accomplished what I wanted! This wasn’t about weight loss, it was truly about combating my habits around sweet foods.
I’m still going to try and keep my dessert consumption at bay (1-2x a week). I will also try and be much more mindful when eating desserts so that I truly enjoy every bite. And finally, I won’t eat things that I don’t truly love – like orange souffle. Ha!
Look, I definitely think a life of moderation is the best life, and that includes one with chocolate. With that being said, mindfulness will absolutely be key going forward!
Let me know if you have any questions! Happy to share more.