This past week was pretty busy. I had a lot going on at home with school starting, I still have family in town and work. I wasn’t on top of my eating as much as I wanted to be but I didn’t go crazy either. I had a birthday which was a lot of fun. And, drum roll please…. I had a child size cup of my favorite ice cream!! Yes, I did, I admit it. I debated for days whether I should or shouldn’t but in the end, I decided to have it. It had been over 80 days being off sugar, flour and corn. I thought to myself, can I eat sugar again? Ever? I thought about it for a long time, but let me tell you, that ice cream was the best ice cream I have ever had! When I was done, I didn’t have any urge to eat more and I still haven’t had the urge to eat ice cream since. I went back to eating the way I have been and it’s like nothing happened.
I was hesitant to do it, because in the past, I had situations where I abstained from sugar/flour and when I ate it again, I overate it for weeks on end. This time, I felt so different. I was thankful for having some but I didn’t go overboard and I was okay. It felt amazing. I now know my approach to health is changing. I can have the control and freedom to decide without my body dictating what to eat because of serious cravings. It’s a such a relief to feel this way and I’m grateful.
When I was on previous programs, I would eat foods I liked making sure I kept within my calories for the day. Of course, I didn’t pick vegetables and lean proteins. No, I was picking things like low fat ice cream, bars and mostly processed foods. It wouldn’t fill me up and I can’t say I was healthy either. The difference this time, is that I am eating more protein and veggies then I ever have and I can physically feel the difference. I’m not craving, I’m not having the afternoon crash nor the evening pull to grab Ben & Jerry’s. This time around, I stop eating when I’m done. That type of self-control is what I’ve been searching for all my life!
I was reading a comment on someone’s blog the other day and this guy kept saying overweight people should take responsibility, stop overeating because it’s all their fault. Here’s my response to that type of comment: I agree, we have to take responsibility and our power back to address our health. That is true. However, there is a physical component (read Salt Sugar Fat: Michael Moss) that has to be addressed as well. I’ve heard people say it takes 3 days to rid yourself of sugar cravings. I can tell you from experience that once you do remove the physical component, then you feel more confident about making a difference in your health. It’s because you are not feeling those physical cravings that cause failure so quickly when on most diets. I believe when you restrict your calories but yet still eat sugar and processed foods, you remain very hungry and those feelings of deprivation set in.
If you are a sugar addict like I was, getting off completely for just 6-8 weeks clears your body of those toxins and cravings. You start to feel so much better and your mind works better too. When you are in this clearer state, you can start to change how you think about your health and food. It’s not about a diet, it’s about starting to look at your health differently. You know yourself better than anyone. You know what foods you crave and are ‘trigger’ foods for you. If sugar is a trigger, getting off is going to be a whole new world to you. It’s going to show you how sugar affects your body and how those cravings cause overeating. Once you remove the physical component, it’s much easier to eat healthier. It’s much easier to focus on exercise because you feel differently.
Some believe moderation is not possible and others think it is. Only you can decide what works for you. For me, if I continue eating the majority of the time, natural, whole foods and occasionally (like on special occasions like it’s meant to be eaten) have treats, I believe it doesn’t have to throw me into a tail spin. Because I already established good habits to keep me on track, I can go immediately back to those habits. I don’t expect to be 100% perfect (that was the old me) but how about 75-80%? I think that is definitely possible!