Psst: this is just what I am doing on my own. It is not to be construed as medical advice ever in any way. Kicking my sugar addiction is a journey…
I am at my whits end. I am cranky, irritable and honestly thrilled about it. Why? Because this reaction to kicking my sugar addiction is exactly what I expected! Today is 4 full days with no sugar AND with no food past 6:30pm. No grains, no starches, no bad stuff at all. Why am I doing this, you ask? Because at 44 years old I finally have to admit that it takes real changes to affect my body in a positive way. I had to sit down, look myself in the mirror and admit that I am addicted to sugar. Sugar in the way of cakes, cookies, candy, puddings…. all of it. I had to admit it. Because if I don’t I will never be able to reach my health goals. And that, frankly, has just become an unacceptable reality to me.
The Baby Step
About a year ago I walked into a CrossFit box and got hooked. The people, the workouts and the inspiration I draw from the people at Crossfit Commanders in Texas is amazing. Even if I don’t want to go, I now crave it. The results have been awesome. I have down inches. I don’t know how many because we can’t find my starting measurements, but you can see in the photo below that it has made a difference. I cannot imagine my life without it now. I need it and I crave it and, even when I miss a week for travel, I can not wait to go back. Today will be my first day back in over a week due to the #DisneySmmc trip and the work aftermath and I am, literally, jumping out of my chair to get there.
But the harsh reality is that, no matter how much slimmer I look, I have yet to drop a single pound at CrossFit. The only time I lost weight was when I hired a nutritionist and dropped 8 pounds in a month. But then my sugar addiction kicked in, badly, as I can admit that I still ate candies late at night in my room, guilt ridden and sad as I knew I was undoing one of the ‘good’ days.
Now that I have my sport that gives me cardio, strength and endurance, I have to get real. I have to get rid of sugar. It is my weakness. I rarely drink sodas. Am not a ‘snack’ kind of girl and bread can come or go. Sugar is my vice and it is wreaking havoc on my ability to look and feel the way I want to. And I am SICK of it!
The 48 Hour Fast FAIL
So, on Monday, the day I returned from a sugar filled trip too Disney where I let myself binge on whatever I wanted, I put my foot down and am determined to kick my sugar addiction. I started big. With a 48 hour fast. Everything I have read says fasting is the easiest way to kick a food addiction and to reset your body. I had breakfast, as the fast recommended and then set in for a long two days.
I did fine all day. I drank water like it was going out of style. I was actually not hungry and my energy level was through the roof. So I thought, ‘WOW! I have soooo got this!’
And then 9pm hit. It was finally quiet in my house, I was watching TV, my dogs snoring beside me, and my body told me that, as my habits had dictated, it was time to binge on food. It was such an overwhelming feeling that I, literally, had tears and felt sick. So, at 9:30pm, I caved and had dinner.
I did NOT have sugar, though. I had Hamburger Helper (which does have sugar in it) and a can of chips that I never, ever eat but felt was a better option over the ice cream in the fridge (which has now been thrown out, by the way). But I felt HORRIBLE.
The 12 Hour FAST (SUCCESS – so far…)
So, the next day I started researching again and found out that a 48 hour fast is great but it is not the only way to fast. You can also do a 24 hour fast once a week or you can do a 12-14 hours fast daily. Meaning you get to ‘fast’ while sleeping!
That last option seemed the most doable for a person who is new to the whole ‘fast’ thing. So that is what I have been doing, and successfully so, I might add.
Every night this week I have had dinner, usually 2 cups of veggies with a little sausage or eggs mixed in, finish it by 6:30 and then I don’t touch food again, even my coffee until at least 6:30 the next morning. So far, guys, this has been AWESOME!
Yes, I still get the 9pm cravings… after all, I have been training my body for them for 20 years. But I just keep a nice, large glass of ice water next to me and I drink every time I have a craving. Last night I felt a shift and actually started to crave the water over all of the Valentine’s candy the kids have in the kitchen!
The Side Effects
Now, the side affects. They suck and then they don’t suck. I have a withdrawal headache that is pretty persistent but does seem to dull if I am drinking my water. I am moody, irritable and my patience level is shorter. That could be that genius me decided to do this during PMS week or it could be, as research suggests, that I am actually detoxing from my sugar addiction. I tend to think it is the latter since I don’t generally get headaches along with moodiness.
So we are on day 4 today. I have done the 12 hour fast overnight every night this week. I have eaten proteins, TONS of vegetables (often with a teaspoon of garlic butter), eaten on schedule (which is rare for me) and am back at the box today. I have lost 1 1/2 pounds this week (I weighed just so I could share with you guys) and my energy level is pretty high sans my trip hangover and I feel really good.
I have a long way to go. No one kicks any addiction easily and sugar is one of the toughest since it is in so many of our foods. So I am determined. After all the years of trying diets and nutritionists and beating myself up when I fail, I have to finally admit that it is me and my addiction that is holding me back. Now, I still love to bake and create so I will. It is also part of my job. But if I can kick the addiction successfully, I can do that and have my neighbors and friends be my testers and still enjoy the creative process. I really don’t think I will get any complaints!
My girls are worth the change. My life is worth the change but, most importantly, I am WORTH the change!
I’ll keep you guys posted if you want to do it with me. I would love to be supportive to anyone who needs it!