As of today, I have been 14 days sugar free which I am very happy about. It is the longest I have gone without it intentionally in a long time. There were periods when living in Ghana where I couldn’t get it and a few other times in my life, but this is the longest in many years. Oh and by sugar I mean the white stuff; lollies, cakes, biscuits, chocolates, soft drinks etc. I eat fruit, whole foods and an occasional yummy raw dessert made with dates for instance, and there may occasionally be some tiny amount in something if I misread a label, but the point is I have not eaten any of the junk and comfort food that I usually would.
The last time I had a bad day, just over 2 weeks ago I started with a bag of liquorice all sorts, followed by nutella, other lollies, cakes and things that I just can’t recall now as it becomes a big sugar filled blur. Once I get the tiniest taste, it’s all over. It is just like cocaine to me. I could NEVER imagine a day where I can have one lolly, one biscuit, never ever, so I must abstain, for now and maybe forever. Just like an alcoholic remains abstinent from alcohol. In fact I posted in my private accountability group a few weeks ago “I just saw a woman take one biscuit!” my fellow food addicts got it right away, impossible to contemplate.
So it’s been a good two weeks. For some reason I have not really craved it this time either, I think because I have changed my thinking. I am not on a diet, I am taking it one day at a time and it is working. The other thing I am doing is for the first time in over 20 years is I am eating full fat foods. Coconut milk, almonds, cashews and all sorts of goodies that nourish and satisfy me. I really believe this has made a massive difference too, as well as changing my mindset from a diet, to one of abstinence for my health and wellbeing.
Let me tell you a story of how much of a drug sugar is to me. I went to the doctor for some standard tests and my GGT liver enzymes came back at 74 (they should be 0-35) but she wasn’t worried as she thought I must have had too many wines the night before, as this liver function test is particularly sensitive to recent consumption of alcohol. Thing is I rarely drink, and it had been over 8 months since my last drink when I took this test. Off I went for a scan as it appeared I had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, common in pre diabetics and can lead to fatal conditions such as cirrhosis, which my non drinking grandmother also had. What did I do after my scan? Walked straight across the road, spent $5 on lollies and chocolate at Charlesworth nuts and about $8 at Bakers Delight and went home quickly ate myself into a food coma, literally! I also have a fatty pancreas the scan showed. My doctor stressed to me the importance of reducing sugar right down, even to the point of monitoring my fruit intake, which my integrative doctor had been asking me to do for 3 years, to no avail.
This was in September.
For some reason I was not able to keep it in the front of my brain, just as any other addict, and I have had some rough days where my liver was actually inflamed to the point I could feel it earlier in the year. You can only imagine what I ate to get to that point.
Madness? No – addiction.
Anyway after a few practice starts (I will not use the word fail) I am now finally heading in the right direction.
I am feeling more energetic than I have in a very long time. The trouble with the sugar cycle is this. Feel like shit – eat shit. Eat shit – feel like shit. Feel like shit – eat shit. And around and around it goes. This goes for my physical wellbeing as well as my mental health. It is a really fucking hard cycle to break out of, as when I feel like shit my brain is also cloudy and I can’t even think of what food I might buy, what meals I could prepare or anything, so most nights for months and months I have had toast for dinner, if anything. The difference in my mental health is also almost indescribable and I am looking forward to doing more research and working in this area in the future.
The way I sum it up in a simple sentence is this.
Eat real food, feel real good.