Hey team. I’m in day two of sugar detoxing. Things are a bit better than last night. I no longer feel like my stomach is trying to eat its other organ buddies and I don’t want to kick the cats as much. I also went food shopping for some great options and don’t have to make it through the day on carrots and apples. Let me back up a bit…
Why the heck am I dieting?
I have always been a little judgmental toward diet-fads, mainly because everyone’s body chemistry is so unique that lumping yourself into a specific food detox doesn’t seem healthy to me. However, The Whole Life Challenge (and no, they aren’t paying me) is an 8- week challenge/game that several of my friends in the area have been playing on and off for the past year. You sign up, choose a “level” that is right for you, and tally your score each day. This one appealed to me for several reasons:
- It’s well-rounded: In addition to diet, you are also encouraged to record your sleep, water intake, lifestyle habits (such as journaling) and exercise.
- There’s no body-shaming. As well-intentioned as many of the programs out there may be, I can’t get behind a diet change that is motivated by fitting into a socially-imposed body standard. I’d rather diet to fight the Man, opposed to looking “good” for one.
- It’s community-focused: Part of the app is about checking in with your fellow teammates each night. Would I continue along the path without someone keeping track? Maybe? Or I may fall into a corner of the house with a container of peppermint patties and a handle of whiskey by week two. Didn’t want to take my chances.
- And above all: it makes me give up all added sugar. Judging by the fact that I have a blog titled after the emotional dependency on baked goods, I knew this would be hard for me. I have always managed to remain relatively slim, but you wouldn’t know it from my diet and exercise habits. It wasn’t until I started reading about the new research on belly-fat and sugar’s effects on the body that I started to reconsider my dependancy. So above all, this isn’t about telling other people to change their ways, and no diets should be, but more about testing if I can actually give up something that I’m clearly addicted to in order to change my life-long health.
Sugar Detox…a little bit like the flu
They weren’t kidding friends. Sugar detox is no joke. I tried to ease into the sacrifice by slowly cutting it out last week but I usually gave in when it came to all the gluten-related products that I would eventually have to give up on the 16th. This diet cuts out (among other things) added sugar, dairy, gluten, white potatoes, white rice, and all but one alcoholic drink a week. A friend of mine on our team purchased a Das Boot for his one drink a week, which is amazing.
Anyway, the first thing I’ve discovered about processed sugar is that it’s in everything. More specifically, everything I love. So although yesterday was a struggle, since I didn’t prepare, shopping today was pretty awesome. Here’s are some pros and cons so far of my sugar break up:
- My grocery bill was less. I didn’t grab the cookies I’m emotionally dependent on or the bags and bags and pasta I default to each evening I don’t feel like cooking a complicated dinner. Also, no bread or cereal!
- I made a killer omelette. I’ve been discovering combinations of food I would have normally covered up with mad amounts of cheese. Oh yeah, this diet cuts out cheese.
- Since I partially started the sugar detox last week, I’m beginning to feel the benefits I’ve read about, such as craving healthy foods. Also, things are starting to generally taste better- without covering them in syrup.
- I’m saving money all around. No drinking means that I sit at the bar and have an iced tea. I just assume bartenders around here think I’m pregnant.
- I’m exhausted half the time. I’m told this will pass in two days. But sometimes people say things to me and it takes a few more seconds to process anything has been said. So obviously, I’m super cool to be around.
- I kinda want to punch a wall. I asked my husband yesterday if he ever just felt “dusty.” He thought I was a little nuts. Generally, I feel antsy and uncomfortable.
- I’m always a little hungry. Now don’t get me wrong, I have basically been eating non-stop since I started this. I can’t seem to stop, and again, apparently this is normal. Sugar activates your brain’s reward system, assuring you that everything is okay. So as each meal goes by without this sweetness to fill the void, my brain things something is wrong. Great.
- Last night, the nausea was no joke. I’ve read that sugar withdrawal is comparable to some drug withdrawal, though I can assume I’m doing better than that, seeing that I can generally go about my day (even if I want to punch something). But around 8pm I thought I was actually sick. I finally calmed it down by eating several beets. Just beets, like a crazy person.
At the end of the day, I’ve always been a huge supporter of listening to your body. But if my body is telling me to fall back on chemically engineered foods that are sending me into an unhealthy spiral, then I think it’s a good day to tell my body that it needs to see other people (or in this case, food).
Will keep you posted on my occasionally discoveries or inevitable demise into eating Ben and Jerry’s on the floor of our local CVS. Either way, it helps me to write and hold myself accountable during this crazy project.
Thanks for reading, everyone!