Sugar Detox: The Aftermath

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I made it!

I went through a 28 day Sugar Detox challenge where I eliminated all sugar from my diet hoping to learn about more healthier choices and to see what effects this new restriction would have on me.

Now that the 28 days are over, I’m a cross road. How do I reintroduce sugar back into my life without binging?

Going through these 28 days of saying No to sugar, I felt very sad most days. Before the detox my diet consisted mainly of sugary cereals and ice cream and the occasional turkey burger. During the detox while working with Laura Thomas of Mentor Me Off Sugar, I was introduced to lots of information about how much damage sugar does to your body as well as the real reason I love sugar so much.

I love sugar because it is an emotional crutch for me when I do not have pleasure in my life in other areas. When I want to feel happy, I eat sugar. When I am doing well, I eat sugar. When I want to have a night of fun, I eat sugar. When I feel like no one loves me, a bowl of rocky road ice cream does.

This month was tough because I had all of those feelings and I had nothing to replace them with to offer me relief. During the 28 days of my sugar detox, I ate mainly fruit and ham or turkey and cheese sandwhiches. Since I do not cook at all, not having sugar severely limited my diet down to those two foods.

I would snack on peanuts, plums, apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, pears all day and then at night I would have a sandwhich. It took everything in me not to buy an ice cream cone when I saw other enjoying them during the hot summer but I didn’t buy one at all. I told myself- NO.

I watched the labels of things I wanted and if it had ANY sugar in it, I refused it. I drank a lot of water, with extra ice to give me that refreshed feeling that ice cream used to give me.

I did cheat once during the 28 days and that was completely intentional. I wanted to go out to Happy Hour for wings and wine so I did. I drank white wine which has sugar in it and I didn’t feel badly about it at all.

I tried making salads, but I didn’t like the taste of it. I tried eating eggs, which I have always hated and they weren’t as bad as I remember them to be. I tried making vegetables, well, I bought the vegetables to cook but every time I stood in the kitchen I thought to myself, “I don’t BELONG in here. This is not where I’m supposed to be.” I don’t know why I feel like I don’t belong in the kitchen but I’ve learned to listen to my intuition so I follow it. Because of this, I never cooked the vegetables.

Participating in the Mentor Me off Sugar program comes with a Facebook group of others who are going through this process at the same time.We post pictures of the food we eat, express any challenges or triumphs and try to encourage each other through the transition. The other women in my group admitted to cheating at least once. One lady said she binged on a big bowl of ice cream while the other said it was her birthday and she had to have some cake.

Both of those times I was extremely jealous, remembering the flavor in my mouth. Mmm. Cake and ice cream. Lovely. Heavenly. Decadent.

Now my biggest worry is what will happen next. I was able to detox from sugar because it was a goal of mine just as an experiment but I know that I won’t be as extreme as eliminating all sugar from my diet forever.

Yesterday I went out and was faced with hunger and thirst. Out of habit (from this month) I went in to order breakfast and instead of my usual super sloppy pancakes with extra creme cheese and syrup, I ordered grits, sausage and fruit. I felt very happy with my choice and very mature. I felt like I was doing the right thing.

I went to the spa and I drank the bottle of water I brought with me so I went into the snack shop and looked at their case of cold drink. Nearly EVERY ONE was a product that contained sugar. I closed the case and walked out.

I know I’m not going to be sugar free, but I do believe this program helped change my perspective of all foods for the rest of my life. I just need to get over the hump of what that first taste of sugar will be like. I’m scared that it will be so good that I’ll revert back to completely unhealthy eating. I need to get over my fear.

What do I eat first? Will it be those warm, soft, scrumptious cookies from McDonalds? Or will it be a half gallon of Rocky Road ice cream? Or a Starbucks frappuccino? Maybe all three.

How will I feel afterwards?

I am afraid to go to the grocery store.

I really am.

 

 

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