I did it. But I didn't think I could.
I (Emily, here!) started my no-sugar journey in the beginning of September with the mindset to take it slow, one day at a time, and learn how sugar affects my body, in what amount, and if I could have a healthy relationship with it after the hiatus was over. If you're interested in learning how to handle your sugar cravings, head to the bottom of this post and click to reserve your space in my free teleseminar on the 13th! Anyway, I learned so much during my education at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and graduating, I felt I was equipped with all of the knowledge I needed, but for some reason, I couldn't truly internalize all that I was learning.
Does that ever happen to you? You know the shoulds, the must dos, but your brain feels split as you think you shouldn't do something but still do it anyway. It's a constant push pull that is exhausting and leaves you standing over the kitchen sink shoveling food into your mouth even though you aren't hungry and were planning on going to bed. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? I know it resonates with me. A lot.
In September, I had finally had enough. I felt like I had lost control. And I was tired of feeling exhausted and gaining weight and having these insatiable cravings. So over the last three weeks, as I've given up all sugars but fruit sugars, I stepped into the nooks and crannies of my mind and broke down my desire for sweets. It wasn't rainbows and butterflies, that's for sure, but it was pretty eye opening.
Most common thought: Why the f*** did I do this?
Realization: I was making myself eat something for dessert every night, because allowing myself to eat dessert felt like food freedom. For so long, I denied myself dessert, that even though I wasn't hungry, had no interest in adding food to my belly, and was exhausted over the idea of making anything else, I ate it anyway. Compulsion.
Next Step: Breathe. Sit with your realizations.
Most common thought: Eating your weight in fruit isn't the answer either.
Realization: If I were with other people right now, getting a hug or having a great conversation, I wouldn't be making food, forcing myself to eat it or sitting in my room alone and drowning myself in another chocolate smoothie bowl. Am I actually hungry for sugar or something else?
Next Step: Take a yoga class, and give yourself permission to be at ease.
Most common thought: It's almost October! Only half kidding ... it was actually - Love is the answer.
Realization: My heart was lonely, I felt like I was missing something in my life, and I was replacing that lack with food, namely sugar. What I really needed was love; love for myself and for others.
Next Step: Slowly introduce sugar back into my lifestyle, being mindful and kind to my body, truly listening to hunger and satiety levels and my heart.
I wasn't expecting this to be anything more than a nuisance, a three week drought to my bottomless cravings, and an otherwise uneventful, if not difficult, period in my life. Unfortunately/fortunately it was far more than that. I survived, and surviving was my goal. But I also learned a bunch. I learned how as much as I love sugar, I don't need it nearly as much as I thought. It was a comfort, a craving of security, and a crutch for something I was lacking in my life. I find that fascinating. So what's my next step? To take it one day at a time. I'm not setting unrealistic goals for myself (see SMART goals) and telling myself that I could go my entire life without sugar. HA that's a joke - birthdays, holidays, life! But I am going to actively listen to myself and choose happiness over dependence.
Other perks of a better relationship with sugar?
- no emotional ups and downs
- no more brain fog and headaches
- no more psychotic urges to shovel more
- into my mouth even though I'm stuffed
That being said ... interested in finding a better relationship with sugar?
Emily Friend breaks a big topic, controversial Sugar, into bite-size pieces with tips, tricks, and advice on finding which sugars work best for your body and in what amount. Learn the facts and get free tools for health success without having to change out of your sweats or get off the couch. Total wellness doesn't have to be hard. In fact, if it's not bringing you great vibes, it's not worth it.