Thursday, February 11, 2010
Day 4 into my journey of kicking the sugar habit did not start out so fabulous.
My body wanted to sleep this morning so I stayed in bed as long as I could. I was hoping my energy level would pick back up after I had a great breakfast but all morning I yawned and felt sleepy. Even this afternoon I am a bit on the sleepy side.
This sleepiness could be triggered by 1) my body adjusting to no added sugar, or 2) my activity level - which has increased over the last four days. I'm hoping tomorrow I will be bright eyed and full of energy.
Good News of the Day:
I have not been "patrolling" to find a sweet treat, no real cravings to mention.
The feeling of "needing" to eat has subsided and my body is more at rest.
I have eaten today because my body has told me it's time to eat not because of a false need.
The edgy mood swings have subsided too.
A friend, who is also trying to kick the sugar habit, gave me a "soda" yesterday to try it is called Zevia - it's a product made of all natural ingredients. Feeling like I wanted a little something after dinner last night I made some air popped popcorn and tried the drink. I was completely satisfied! The drink was DE-licious. I understand from my friend that it is a little pricey and is not sold in mainstream supermarkets so it will actually be a treat when I do have it. I won't have to go far when I want to buy it - there is an all natural market just around the corner.
SP Article: "How to Stop Sugar Cravings"
On the second page the following is suggested - I tried it and it worked for me!
"Wait out the craving. Most nutrition experts say that the cravings you experience will only last a couple of minutes. So if you can wait it out, they will pass and you will be better for it. Try to occupy yourself for a good 10 minutes when you get a craving. Call a friend, take a short walk or do something to distract yourself."
I seem to be working through some childhood memories these days. So far they all seem to be related to, dare I say it, sugar! My latest memory recall is:
My bedroom was on the main floor of the house with the other two upstairs so I was isolated from the rest of the family at bedtime. As a child, I was for reasons unknown (I question that statement now) a very emotional child. I loved, cried, hated and laughed with a more passion than I knew what to do with. I bring that up to say, after everyone in the house retired to their bedrooms I would lay and silently cry for hours and then to comfort myself further I would get up and drinks lots and lots of milk and eat multiple slices of bread. It happened so frequently - the nightly sneak eating - that it became a habit over the years. I finally broke that habit when I was in my 20's. I'm mortified now as an adult that I did that but understand I was powerless over it as a young child. Further looking at it I understand this was the beginning of my food addiction, sugar addiction and emotional eating. To this day my family doesn't know the great sadness I carried as a small child but they witnessed the affects it had on me as I ballooned in size.
I think it's key, for me, to understand where this sugar addiction started and the habits I formed over the years because of it. To know my past can help me live a healthier future.
I am further embracing this journey not only because I will be physically healthier but also mentally healthier!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Day 3 started out bright and shinny! Waking up 20 minutes before the alarm started screaming was a dream and to top it off with a good stretch before my feet hit the floor was a lovely way to start the day.
Day 2 brought with it some eye opening experiences and thoughts.
I found myself patrolling for a sweet treat mid-day and opted for an apple. It was a sad substitute but tasty nonetheless. I believe the cravings and patrolling will soon stop as it is a behavior that I'm exhibiting as well as a withdrawal symptom.
I've been walking much more and my legs and butt really are screaming at me. I know this too shall pass with time and I'll be stronger for it.
The universe heard my distress about boring work-outs at the gym and threw me a curve ball last night. I showed up, as promised and scheduled, for the 30 minute step class only to find a substitute instructor. Okay, I thought stay or go - I stayed. I learned the step instructor has given notice and the substitute does not do step but was going to lead a 30 minute cardio strength training class - I stayed. The time flew by, it was fabulous. I will be e-mailing the owner/manager of the gym today to find out status of our step classes and if we can get a 30 minute cario strength training class in addition.
With the addition to SP Wii tracking I can now log my hours of Wii play as fitness. I like doing this when not going to the gym. My husband will play against me too but also enjoys watching me jump around while playing tennis. LOOOOOVE IT!
I use a "ball chair" at work which causes me to actively sit while at my desk. My core, legs and back really get a work out during the day. I love stretching on it as well.
We have a ball at the house too that my husband and I take turns sitting on. I'm thinking we might have to invest in another one soon, .
Last night was a challenge for me due to my husband being in night class (he is at class on Tuesday & Thursday nights). Why a challenge? When coming home from the gym and I don't feel like cooking anything for myself and just graze through until he gets home. This usually means eating whatever I see, not good! Last night I decided it would be different and while walking home from the gym - an extra 13 minutes - I decided I would cook a chicken breast, green beans and have 1/2 a baked potato. It was delicious!
An interesting discovery with a not so good outcome:
My all time favorite salad dressing has added sugar, of course! What I found interesting is this: I pulled the unopened jar from the cabinet to check out the nutrition label and found the label stated 0 sugars . . . I had a brief moment of joy - followed by anger and a sense of betrayal. Even with the label registering 0 sugars I flipped over the bottle to read the ingredients list and I found SUGAR, it contains sugar AND corn syrup. I now question how the label can say 0 when the product clearly has sugar in it. Yet another mystery.
I am using the stopwatch feature on my handy-dandy cell phone when walking about town. It is a great tool to use when trying to figure out precisely how long it takes to get from here to there.
I Finally brought measuring cups to the office! Discovered my water cup is on 2.5 cups of water, not the 3 I originally thought. Plus the amount of peanuts I've been eating has been less then the amount I note.
I've been been reading more SP member blogs which has helped to further my motivation. There really are some amazing stories out there.
I did a search on SP regarding Sugar and found some very interesting articles. I read them and saved them in my favorites to refer to later.
I found an unsweetened iced tea that I enjoy and it's affordable for when I want a treat.
The sugars I am avoiding:
* Evaporated cane juice
* Sugars ending in "ol" or "ose"
Be especially wary of low-fat items as they often contain more sugar to make them taste better.
Memory from childhood:
Sad but true story: I used to take packets of jell-o when I was a young child and sneak them into my bedroom and eat the powder. I used to be mortified when my mom and dad bring this up - rarely anymore but it's still a favorite story of theirs. I used to hang my head in shame at the mere mention of it but now I just smile and say, "yes, I did that and apparently I enjoyed every bit of the powder." I think about those times (a lot right now) and I equate it to the beginnings of my sugar addiction, sadly it likely started when I was 5 or 6 years old. No wonder it's been an uphill battle - Me vs. Sugar . . .
Energy levels are great today. Mood is even and less edgy. I'm loving this . . .
The journey has just started but the momentum is great!
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Moving into day 2 and I'm feeling good.
Things I noticed yesterday as I started this journey:
Loved my new breakfast (had it again this morning but added more fresh blueberries)
Daily routine did not change much when it came to food.
My energy level in the afternoon did not drop and I had more energy in the evening.
I did note that I went on the hunt for a sweet treat after my evening meal. It was like I was a hunter trying to snare that elusive sweetie . . . The treat was never found - they simply don't live in my house, now.
I slept better. I generally wake in the middle of the night and then have trouble returning to sleep - my mind starts to race (I understand from 1 of my doctors this is caused by my blood sugar dropping/crashing. Eating more lien protein with the evening meal helps with this.)
A concerned husband had this reaction on my first day:
1) He is not quit sure what to make of all this.
2) He is not sure how to help/support.
3) He is concerned and I quote, "you already starve yourself - now you're getting rid of more food you like?" I did try to ease his concern but this is a - I'll show you it will be okay and not a I'll talk about it to death. Side note: I've never starved a day in my life!
4) He is uncomfortable with the possibility of me losing my curves (won't happen, I just want them to be sexier. SERIOUSLY, the belly fat has just got to go - I hate it!)
5) He does like that I am trying to get healthier so I'll live a happier & healthier life.
Facts I've found about sugar:
When you eat sugar, it stimulates the release of dopamine into the nucleus accumbens, which makes you feel pleasure. The brain recognizes and likes this feeling and begins to crave more. It may startle you to learn that heroine, morphine and sugar all stimulate the same receptors in your brain.
Consuming sugar and refined carbs affects one of the most critical hormones in your body: insulin. Insulin is produced by your pancreas to manage your blood sugar and control the accumulation of fat - especially around your waistline. According to Nobel prize - winning physicist Rosalyn Yalow, co-inventor of the first accurate test used to measure insulin in the bloodstream, insulin is the "the primary regulator of fat tissue." Increased levels of insulin will make you fat and make you stay fat.
47 tsp. - average sugar consumption.
Things I'll work on:
I noted that I am bored with my gym routine but I still go. I'm scheduled to be in step class tonight and I will go and shake my tail. I actually like the class but have found it difficult over the last few months . . . maybe the slight weight gain and not so great food choices have affected this work-out. I'll see if that changes over the next 28-days! All signs point to - you betcha things are going to change.
I am walking to and from work now - it's not that far, I just got lazy! Which means, If I walk to and from work, I walk to and from the gym too - so be it. The only time I'll hate it is when it's windy and rainy out - past experience proves I don't melt or blow away.
I will be aware of the foods around me and what I consume.
Watch out for those who will try to tempt me. (It's sad when a friend says,"it's only a little bit - what's the harm?" REALLY?! Put that on my headstone when I'm Dead, you boob!) Hmmm, that seemed to touch a nerve . . . will have to examine that more closely.
Drink my water (what else is there at this point? HA).
Track food, sleep, take time for me, and truly face the fact that sugar may taste great but doesn't mean it's great for me.
Things I look forward to:
The day my thighs don't rub together when I walk.
A new wardrobe.
Going to the gym because I want to not because I feel I have too.
Day 2 - I continue my quest and I will continue to search my pantry for hidden sugars.
Monday, February 08, 2010
Day 1 for my challenge to kick the sugar habit.
Last week and over the weekend I read materials to help guide me through this adventure and I feel good about my decision to try this. No anxiety but a sense of adventure.
Last night I went to the grocery store armed with my list. Before I left for the store, I reviewed products in my frig and cabinets to see what had "hidden" sugars - an eye opening experience!
As a side note: I would love my husband to take this challenge with me but he isn't up for the challenge. I won't push . . . must be his choice and this is my chosen journey. Secretly though I would prefer he just stop drinking soda and the sugar laced juices - I won't even get started on those darn Twinkies!
Over the weekend I really tried to stay aware of what I was eating and drinking, I didn't want to binge eat sugary foods just because I was going to try to kick the habit. I did well! At times it was hard but I kept telling myself that the foods aren't going away just your habit so put it down and walk away.
When I got up this morning I decided to step on the scale and get out the measuring tape. Might as well have a starting point and here it is (ugly but true):
Beginning Weight: 243.6
Stomach measurement: 52 inches
Waist measurement: 40 inches
I'll mark the progress at the end of the 28 days. I can't handle the scale much more than that and no reason to get obsessed about the numbers!
After the weigh-in and measuring the day brightened. I fixed a 1/2 cup of oatmeal (not the processed instant stuff), a 1/4 cup of fresh blueberries and added one packet of Stevia (allowed and does not mess with blood sugars). I washed it all down with two glasses of water. The real treat was when I thought to put the blueberries in the oatmeal just as it was finishing cooking. This made the blueberries all warm and sweet - DE-licious!
Things I will probably miss:
Taco meat seasoning
Hot Tea in the morning (I usually enjoy it with almond milk & splenda)
Snapple Diet Iced Tea
Jams (I'm trying to find one that is sugar free and doesn't require me taking a loan)
Skippy Peanut Butter
Soda (although I've been trying to kick this habit for years)
Wheat/gluten Free Toaster Waffles
Things I will probably enjoy:
Finding new ways to enjoy natural foods
The hunt for new foods
Discovering life without "added/hidden" sugar will make me healthier
Things I admitted to myself this weekend:
I am bored with my work-outs at the gym. I have very little motivation and show up because I'm scheduled to do so. (I admitted that on my 2 mile walk outside on Sunday morning)
I need quiet time to myself - call me selfish but I admittedly like being by myself, always have. Sometimes I just need it to be quiet - no phones, computers, friends, husband, television, radio, paperwork, etc. I just like the quiet and I like the quiet in my head.
I need to work on both of these issues: finding a challenge at the gym and finding quiet time.
Day 1: I'm feeling good!
Friday, February 05, 2010
Monday is the deadline I have set to start the 28 day challenge to stop consuming sugar.
I've taken a look at the foods in my house and office to see what needs to go - I happily report that I've only found a few items (so far): instant oatmeal and a small box of brown sugar. At the office we do have packets of sugar, splenda, equal and sweat and low but those have to stay due to others in the office and our clients.
I'll confess at this point that some of my high sugar foods are no longer in the house because I ate them slowly over time and never replaced them.
Sugar will be added to the list of foods I should not consume, but won't die if I do. My extended list is: eggs, gluten, soy and dairy. My doctor and I discovered in April 2008 that I had developed an intolerance to the extended food list so I stay away from it as much as possible.
Why sugar, why now? Good questions and I respond with, "why not?"
After reading more about sugar and sugar addiction I have come to realize that it's just not a substance I really need to consume if I want to become healthier.
When I read the following I decided NOW is the time to try:
"When you eat sugar, it stimulates the release of dopamine into the nucleus accumbens, which makes you feel pleasure. The brain recognizes and likes this feeling and begins to crave more. It may startle you to learn that heroine, morphine and sugar all stimulate the same receptors in your brain."
I don't really have anxiety over this decision, I can do anything for 28 days, SERIOUSLY! Especially if it is going to make me healthier.
I am not really afraid of failing either. If I fall down I will get back up and try again.
I don't fear pressure from others, I'm a big girl I can say no and mean it.
I understand I'm human and I have flaws so I do not strive for perfection but I will strive for a better understanding of what my body wants and needs.
I generally do not broadcast this type of news, I don't want to be "that person" in the group that always has to be catered too. Again, I'm a big girl and I can figure out what I can eat and what I can't when it comes to food - I've never starved a day in my life.
I did however, chat with a co-worker about the sugar issues and discovered she has a few reference materials for me to take a look at. I also let my husband know that I am going on a quest to not eat sugar along with my other no-no foods. He simply said, "ok."
I will not make him the food police nor will I allow him or anyone else to be. There has only been one time in our relationship that he has told me not to eat something and before I lost my mind I simply asked him, "WTF was that all about?" He looked me dead in the eyes and said, "you've been eating those foods you shouldn't and I'm scared you might get sick and die and I don't want to be without you." Well, darn it, he was right. We discussed this topic more and I discovered he was silently frightened about all of this. Such love!
I'm not sure what it really means to "give up" sugar (real or synthetic) so over the course of this challenge I'm going to blog about it. I can't help but wonder where this adventure will lead me and how it will change my body and mind. I also can't help but wonder what foods will be given up and what wonderful replacements I will find to put in there place.
Back to basics?! I think so and I'm up for the challenge and adventure.
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