Well, I did it. I made it through the first whole week without sugar. Sunday and Monday I wanted to kill all the things. I mean really. I almost took vengeance my cell phone because it was running slowly.
Serious withdrawal symptoms, let me tell you; headaches, moodiness, aches and pains, the works. It’s amazing the hold sugar has on the human body. But I made it through. I was tracking my meals, and there wasn’t a day where I have more than 5 grams of added sugars. So essentially all my sugar came from fruits and veggies, which is the best way to do it. I am grateful to God that He was able to guide me through it and keep me pushing forward. I am blessed.
I have been seeing posts by others who are attempting the same thing, and so many naysayers who just want to bring them down. I have seen so many posts about how sugar is not addictive, and that it’s the same sugar whether you eat fruit or chocolate, your body doesn’t know the difference, etc.
Well, sugar is addictive. It may not be addictive for everyone, but it certainly is addictive for some. It’s the same for any addictive substance. Some people can have alcohol now and then, or a cigarette, and not become addicted. Others have one and they are hooked. (To read an annotated bibliography I did on food addiction, largely dealing with sugar, click here.) So please, naysayers, if giving up the excess of added sugar in processed and junk food is helping someone feel better – mentally and physically – what is the point of trying to contradict him or her? Be supportive, not juxtaposed.
As far as “all sugar being the same” is concerned… well, yes and no. The sugar may be the same, but the quantity, frequency, and the way the body processes it is different. I’ve never heard of anyone getting a sugar rush from a handful of grapes. However, a handful of Sour Patch Kids can certainly cause a sugar high… and subsequent crash. When you eat fruit, the sugar is perfectly balanced with fiber and vitamins, so your body absorbs it more slowly. When you eat candy or sweets or a grande mocha latte, the sugar is “unfiltered” so to speak, and heads straight to your bloodstream, and brain. Think of it this way… If you mix a shot of alcohol with club soda or some other liquid and sip it over the course of an hour, most people won’t get drunk. If you take a shot of that same alcohol, you get drunk pretty quickly. It’s a lot, all at once, and your body absorbs and processes it that way. It’s the same with sugar. The body takes a little longer to digest fruits and veggies, and therefore the sugar doesn’t hit your bloodstream like an Indy car, then subsequently cause a “crash” later as you go through withdrawal. Again, it’s like any drug, the high from the quick, strong dose wears off and you search for more to get the feeling back. With fruits and veg, the sugar doesn’t hit you all at once, and therefore it doesn’t leave all at once, causing the crash.
But anyway, enough about that. I’ve made it through the hard part of the sugar detox, so now I’m pushing forward to other things. My weight really hasn’t changed, but that’s OK, my body is still adjusting, and I wasn’t as focused on quantity of food, just on omitting the sugar. So, one step at a time. Now I tackle bread. While I don’t plan to cut it out completely, I need to detox from it for a bit. So starting today, I’m going to make it 2 weeks without bread. This might be harder than the sugar.
Wish me luck. My goal is to stick to an 80% Paleo diet, while still allowing for the occasional day where I don’t worry about it. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and I just need to keep turning my thoughts to Jesus and know he will help me through it. Small, positive changes, one by one, that are accomplished consistently, all add up to major positive changes like health and wellness, and eventually weight loss. The key is to not get too far off the track. Once you do, you have to start from the beginning again. So, if I slip, the goal is to not have “two in a row” – two days of being off the wagon. Take the one moment of weakness, and don’t let it turn into two. This mindset also keeps the guilt at bay, thus preventing a total breakdown of will.
I ask for your prayers as I begin the second stretch of my health-marathon. I want nothing more that to honor God with all I am and all I do, and I cannot do that when I am not at my best.
God bless and good health.