AS IT HAPPENS

UPDATED: Toronto man reaches his goal of 1,000 days without sugar

If you're passing through the Toronto neighbourhood of Parkdale, you might notice a large sign in the window of an apartment. Today, that sign reads 987. It means that Jason Holborn is just under two weeks away from a major milestone: 1,000 days without refined sugar.
On Sept. 21, 2015, Parkdale resident Jason Holborn made it to his goal of 1000 days without sugar. (John Perry/CBC)

UPDATE (Sept. 21st, 2015): He did it. On Monday, Toronto's Jason Holborn reached his goal of 1,000 days without eating refined sugar. This was the sign outside his apartment window. For over two and a half years, Holborn has diligently updated the numbers each day to mark his progress. 

On Monday morning, we also found this sign hanging from a tree branch outside his building: 

On Sept. 21, a new sign found hanging from the tree outside Jason Holborn's Parkdale home. (John Perry/CBC)
 

For more on Jason Holborn's story, here's our interview from September 8th, 2015:

If you're passing through the Toronto neighbourhood of Parkdale, you might notice a large sign in the window of an apartment. Today, that sign reads 987. It means that Jason Holborn is just under two weeks away from a major milestone: 1,000 days without refined sugar.  

"It feels surreal. I'm more surprised than anybody else," he tells As it Happens host Carol Off. "When I put up 900, I stared at it for a good long minute. It just seemed fake."

Holborn cut sugar from his diet back in 2012 after reading Gary Taubes' article in the New York Times entitled, Is Sugar Toxic? Since then, he's been posting daily signs on his front window to show how many days he has gone without sugar. 

The front of Jason Holborn's Parkdale home on Sept. 8, 2015. (Photo courtesy of Jason Holborn)
 "Sugar was my number one food … Several times a week I would eat a two litre ice cream, usually with a 500ml jar of jam on top. " he says. "I used to put at least a cup of sugar on my breakfast cereal. And, I'm talking about frosted flakes. I liked it syrupy. I liked it thick and sweet."

Looking back, Holborn realizes that he had a serious problem, labelling himself as a drug addict.

"I never had a real weight problem and that probably allowed me to get by on a sort of dangerous, risky behaviour without any consequences for a long time. I sort of had a free pass." 
(Photo courtesy of Jason Holborn)
 

Since cutting sugar from his diet, Holborn says he has noticed a difference.

"Your palate really changes." He also feels better "spiritually and emotionally."

With the 1,000th day of his sugar-free challenge approaching, Holborn plans on celebrating by taking the poster on his front window down. But, that doesn't mean that he's going to eat any sweets.

"I'm not going to be celebrating with a Mars [chocolate] bar. I smelled one recently. It doesn't smell the same as it used to. It used to be so delicious. I used to just love it and roll it around my tongue and through my teeth. Now, it smells a little bit chemically. It smells kind of like a factory."

Holborn talks more about the experience in an on-line post

Here's another sign he put up last year in the lead-up to Halloween: 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.