Monthly Archives: July 2015

60 Days off Sugar and Flour

Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s been 60 Days!! It has flown by. In that time, I have learned a lot about myself and new habits I’ve picked up along the way that when continued, will keep me healthy.  It’s been an interesting ride and I feel better than I’ve felt in years.  But I know I can feel even better and that’s what keeps me going forward.

The biggest change, I no longer experience that underlying ‘anxiety’ (for lack of a better word) on a daily basis.  This anxiety was background noise that continued to hinder my ability to focus and move forward.  It feels so nice to be able to relax and just enjoy the moment.  Enjoying the moment is something I’m not used to doing. I tended to focus on the future.  “It will be better when this happens…” was my mantra instead of saying, “I’m enjoying the moment right now.”  It’s a shift in thinking.  Because I no longer experience the ‘anxiousness’ feeling, I have room in my brain, to calm down and focus on what’s important.

The other word that comes to mind is ‘freedom’.  Those who are or have been addicted to sugar and flour know what I’m talking about.  It’s that feeling of needing sugar/flour to feel better and the days are focused on the next meal to the point where it almost becomes an obsession.  In these last 60 days, those feelings have disappeared and I’m amazed!  I didn’t realize how strong they were until I began this journey and documented the changes.  The sad part is when I was in the middle of it, I accepted it as normal because I didn’t have any other frame of reference.  I just assumed I was doomed to feel that way for life.  Now I realize, it never has to be that way and I’m so grateful to have experienced this now.  But like I said earlier, I know it can get even better!  60 Days off Sugar and Flour

Lastly, one of the learnings I’ve had along the way was my focus. In the past, my focus has always been on how to lose weight and keep it off. That’s why I tried so many diets and worked out excessively. Losing weight was the focus because that’s what I thought would work and what other women were doing.  The result was failed diets and a cycle of weight loss/weight gain that threw my whole body out of whack.  As a result, I grew more and more hopeless because I thought I had tried everything to lose weight but wasn’t able to sustain it. Little did I know, I was focused on the wrong thing!! If we want our society to be healthy, why are we studying disease?? Why not focus on health? Same with weight, why are we focusing so much on losing weight instead of focusing on living a healthy life?  Focusing on losing weight has lead to extreme dieting, eating disorders and even death.  Obviously, this is the wrong approach. I was focused on it for 20 years and still wasn’t successful.  What’s wrong with that picture?

The focus has to be on living a healthy life by eating the right foods, performing enjoyable exercise (which isn’t a chore) and being kind to myself. To me, that’s a healthy life, it’s also freedom.  It all comes down to the thoughts we think.  By choosing healthy thoughts, I can continue to feel good no matter what’s happening around me.  That’s the key to happiness, freedom and peace. That’s the life I want to live and if this is a glimpse into that life, I can’t wait to see more of it!    60 Days off Sugar and Flour

The Ups and Downs of this Journey

It’s been an interesting few weeks. I contracted a cold, which I haven’t had in years.  My skin all of the sudden became inflamed and itchy.  I couldn’t figure it out.  I have been eating well for over 50 days now and yet for some reason, these things appeared. I’m thinking my body is just ridding itself of toxins, but I’m not sure.  My focus these past couple of weeks has been on getting better and healing.

Last week, we went on a road trip.  Eating out required planning ahead and looking online at menus to decide which would be the best choices.  Overall, I did well.  However, when I got home, we went out for dinner one night and while I ordered fish, I also ordered sweet potato fries. I know it was because I waited too long to eat and I didn’t plan ahead. One big learning, if I wait too long I feel vulnerable to the negative thoughts of giving up. In this case, I had the thought, I want sweet potato friends and I’m going to eat them. Because I was hungry and tired, these thoughts were strong and prevailed over my ‘logical self’.

The next day, I got back on track and started eating what I planned for the day and I felt much better about it. But lately, I have been craving carbs and that’s a sign the sugar is calling.  It’s important to keep moving forward and continuing to plan ahead the healthy foods I’m going to eat. I also plan to pick out some interesting recipes I can look forward to eating so I don’t get bored eating the same things every day.

 

 

I continue to learn about myself, habits and how my body works.  I do well planning ahead instead of leaving it up to circumstances where I’m more likely to binge on unhealthy foods.  I’m so grateful though that I’m not overeating or have the ‘urge’ to overeat in the afternoons and at night. Even after eating the sweet potato fries, it didn’t set me up to binge on sugar and flour. It was easy to regroup which is a different then what I’ve experienced in the past. Typically, I would go off and binge for days.

One thing I’m exploring is my thoughts and focus throughout this journey.  I believe no matter what, if I focus on health and being at the perfect weight, things will change. Instead of focusing on ‘good vs. bad’ foods and focusing more on health, I believe my life with change dramatically. I’m testing the theory out now.  In the past, my focus has always been ‘losing weight’ and I’m not sure if that was the right focus.  I think now, it’s more about health.  More to come on this as I go through this journey. For now, I’m thankful I could share with you these experiences that are evolving me as a person while also transforming how I approach health and wellness.

5 Things That’s Changed Since Being Off Sugar & Flour

It’s been 39 days off sugar and flour and there are some significant changes I’ve witness so far I wanted to share with you.  It amazes me how fast these changes have occurred.

  1. Improved sleep – 2 months ago I was complaining about my sleep.  I just couldn’t get comfortable at night and sleeping through the night was rare.  At times, I found myself waking up abruptly (which may have been sleep apnea) and I snored.  For the past few weeks, I haven’t woken myself up and sleeping has been much more comfortable.  I can’t believe how much better I’ve been feeling during the day because I had a decent night of sleep.
  2. Self-control – this is an interesting one. I’ve blogged in the past how much I’ve been very hard on myself repeatedly about not controlling my eating in the afternoons and at night. These last few weeks have been eye-opening.  I haven’t felt a physical craving since the first week.  The biggest test was when I spent hours decorating my son’s birthday cake (cake was a huge trigger food for me) and not one thing went into my mouth.  I didn’t even have one urge to take a bite! Unheard of in the past!
  3. Clear & focused thinking – I blogged about a time at work where I had to give a big presentation and rocked it. Now this doesn’t seem out of the ordinary but in the last few years, I’ve noticed differences with my memory and quick thinking.  It never seemed an issue in the past, but I couldn’t deny it was slowly impacting things in my life and it started to bother me more and more.  Today, I’m remembering things and can quickly focus on tasks rather then feeling ‘all over the place’.
  4. Calmer disposition – This one follows the one above because I believe having focus and clarity leads to a calmer life.  I can’t tell you how much I experienced anxiety over stupid stuff (not getting somewhere on time, etc).  I noticed a dramatic change just the other day when a ‘stressful’ situation came up, I was able to take a moment to think clearly instead of impulsively taking action.  Even my family noticed this change!
  5. More energy – Finally, I definitely have more energy to do things. I have been up later and doing more then ever.  Typically, I would zone out after dinner on the couch with ice cream. Now I’m getting ready for the next day, cooking a full dinner or finishing things on my ‘to do’ list. It feels nice to have the energy to get things done instead of having them linger.  A huge plus as I move into this next month.

Overall, I can say this has been the best experience for me. I feel so much better.  Have I lost weight? Yes, but it’s more than that. Having self-control is the most liberating.  Feeling better about my focus and thoughts helps too.  I’m not saying there are going to be tough times, in fact I was just talking to a friend about traveling this weekend and making sure I prepare ahead because eating on the road has been an issue for me in the past.

Losing weight in our society is not easy.  We are hit constantly by food ads and fast food places, it’s overwhelming.  It takes time and effort to be healthy.  But my decision to do this for myself is a priority and there isn’t any other way but to take the time and effort to plan ahead.  Next week will be good test to see how I do on the road. More to come!

 

Birthdays, Holidays and Guests, Oh my!

This is a big week that includes my son’s birthday (2 parties), the holiday (parties and fireworks) and house guests.   Well, ‘they say’ things come in threes, I don’t necessarily believe it, but this week there are three events to manage.  It’s been 32 days since I’ve been off sugar and flour. I’ve lost a total of 11 lbs and about 5″ (not sure about this figure because I’m measuring myself which may not be consistent). Either way, my pants are loose and that makes me happy.

We celebrated my son’s birthday with ice cream pie, his favorite.  I had my husband pick it up because I didn’t even want to attempt going into an ice cream shoppe.  I decided while they were eating the pie, I was going to eat my snack. I had it all planned out.  That night, while they dug into what looked like an amazing Oreo ice cream pie, I was eating my snack and it wasn’t that bad.  The pie eating only took roughly 15 minutes.  I was at the table and we all sat around and talked. The pie was put away and it was over.  I prepared ahead for 15 minutes which just proved to me my relationship with food has gotten out of hand.

I didn’t experience physical cravings which was good because if I had that and ’emotional cravings’, I don’t know how I would have gotten through.  The emotional cravings is what I’m dealing with for the majority of the time.  The only time the physical piece comes into play is when I wait too long to eat – 4+ hours which happens at times.  The emotional cravings go something like this, “Aw I wish I could have some of that pie, it looks so good. I know it tastes amazing too because I’ve had it before.  It just feels like I’m missing out on that taste, that taste that is yummy.  The food I eat doesn’t have the same ‘yummy’ factor that sweets do. Aw I want a piece.

On the flip side, here’s how I’ve had to counter those thoughts.  “I’ve eaten so much ice cream in my life, does it really help me to eat more? Eating excessive sweets and sugar made me fat, unhealthy and uncomfortable.  They taste good momentarily, but is it worth it when I’m gaining tons of weight because I can’t control my eating afterwards.  Sugar sends me on a downward spiral of overeating which has costed me my life, literally. I’ve been fat, unhealthy and heading down the path of diabetes and who knows what else. I’m tired all the time, can’t fit into clothes and getting fatter. That’s what overeating sugar and flour has done to me, is the ice cream pie worth all of that? It’s taken my life and now it’s time for me to take my life back.

This conversation (or similar variations) can go on for a while.  It has to occur because the child within me has ruled for too long and honestly, has put me in a position of obesity and poor health. This is not who I am. I was an athlete in my early life, worked in the health industry for years and I’m a certified personal trainer.  Health and wellness are part of me.  Food is nourishment, that’s it. It’s not my crutch when I’m lonely. It’s not serving me in any capacity, in fact, sugar and flour make people fat and sick.

This weekend is July 4th. We have another party tomorrow night and Saturday and today I am spending time to plan ahead my eating schedule.  I will also have foods I’d like to eat ready to go so there’s no ability to be ‘stuck’.  This holiday is huge when it comes to cook outs, drinking and overeating. I know because I’ve done it year after year.  This year though, it feels good to have more control.  I’m going in knowing how things will be and if there are times where I’m not sure, I will think it through first before making a rash decision.

My focus is going to be on spending time with family, enjoying conversation and taking time to relax for the holiday.  That’s much better than feeling regretful at the end of the weekend because I stuffed my face with so much food.  Remember, food is nourishment, not emotional comfort.

I wish you all a happy  and safe holiday. Enjoy your families and friends, that’s what it’s about!