As a Life Coach, I help people get their lives back on track in multiple areas and this includes health and weight-loss. Getting your health on track is crucial because it affects so many areas of your life. One of the bigger battles that I find not only did I suffer with, but A LOT of my clients did as well, is having an unhealthy relationship with food and lack of self-care.
My blog last week talked about how I finally found self-love – which was to put my health first. However, I ended up putting my health first by coming out of my car accident. This forced to take a hardcore look at my health and what I was doing to my body. Ok, deep breath – Hello, my name is Renea and I am a recovering sugar-addict.
Confession time – I was consuming over 460+ grams of sugar A DAY (that’s 18X the recommended amount) - PLUS smoking a pack of cigarettes A DAY! Both addictions are based out of a lack of self-love at the core, but holy hell did I have to change my mindset to conquer both. On a normal day, I would smoke 20 cigarettes, drink an entire 2-Liter of soda (minimum), have a few Starbucks coffees (with extra coffee creamer added at home), multiple candy bars AND dessert. Basically, I had the eating habits of a 5-year-old that was let loose to eat whatever I wanted – ya know – because I am a grown up :). At one point, I would buy a candy bar on a quick store run and eat it really quick before I got home. WOW. I don’t know how I didn’t have diabetes or asthma.
I focused on recovery and getting my body back to being strong, healthy and feeling great. So, I started trying different things based off my own research and trial and error. I don’t believe that there is one solution for everyone – however if you don’t try different things how are you going to know what works for you?
I had tried losing weight with Weight Watchers and the frozen meals and shakes in a can – I lost the weight, but relapsed and gained all my weight back. Sound familiar? A friend of mine had suggested I watch a documentary on Netflix called Fed Up with Katie Couric. It has a lot to do with what we are feeding our kids – but that sparked my research about sugar.
Guess what – SUGAR lights up your brain the same way that COCAINE does! PLUS – it’s just as addictive. Sugar also has major side effects such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, obesity, inflammation, heart disease, etc. The list just goes on and on – guess what else I found out in my research – there are soooo many different names for sugar, but basically manufacturers put it in everything. Fake sugar aka – your zero calorie sweeteners – just as bad if not worse. They cause cancer. Plus, they make your brain think sugar is on the way, but then it never “really” arrives – so your brain just craves sugar even MORE!
So, I embarked on a 10-day sugar-detox. Oh boy – my hubby and kids went into hiding for the first 3 days because I was GRUMPY aka hangry sugar deprived mad woman running around the house sniffing in the corners searching for a morsel of sugar. The biggest challenge I found was finding something to eat! They put sugar in EVERYTHING – want a healthy child’s size apple juice? Nope that has the same amount of sugar in it that a snickers bar does!
I had to face my old nemesis – vegetables and actual “real” food. I always had a negative mindset about healthy food – that it was food you ate when you are on a diet. I started slow at first and am still not perfect to this day – but I know the difference in how I feel!
I feet amazing – plus bonus side effect – I lost weight! My body stopped craving sugar and passing by the bakery section in the grocery store got easier with time (I still have to mouth-breathe sometimes to make it through there though) After a 10-day detox, I focused on staying within the recommended sugar guidelines of 25 grams* a day.
I knew to sustain this instead of relapsing I was going to have to do something different. So, I focused on shifting my mindset about food. Up until that point I had an extremely unhealthy relationship with food. Everything revolved around food and when and what we were going to eat. Plus, for me dessert was NEVER a question – anytime my hubby would ask if I wanted dessert it was like “Umm… have we met?” (internal eye roll)– and no I did NOT share unless I really loved you – you should have ordered your own.
I focused on how I felt and how to help others. I felt like I was so uneducated about sugar before – even when it came to feeding my own children. I mean, am I the only one that wonders why manufacturers don’t have to put the daily sugar percentage on the label? One apple juice box is 100% of the daily sugar intake for an adult woman – so what is that doing for our kids? Just making them younger and younger sugar addicts, but not many people know that.
I broke my sugar addiction, but it took more mindset work so that it didn’t feel like a negative experience. Yes, it still required discipline to not lick all the candy bars in the grocery aisle. I mean – hello – have we met. But once I shifted my mindset on how I viewed food and sugar and “treats” in general, it got a lot easier. I’m not perfect with my eating habits, but I don’t strive for perfection either. I strive for progress and life balance – I can have a treat every now and then, but I can actually control myself instead of hiding with it in the corner like Gollum in Lord of the Rings (my precious).
I made the choice to put my health first and then started trying things to see what worked. Leaving my sugar addiction behind me was a MASSIVE step and one that had huge positive side effects. I lost 60lbs, my acne that I struggled with started clearing up, my emotional and physical health skyrocket but better than all of that – the way that I felt about myself and how I treat my body changed. This feels way better than any relapse ever did.
Life is What You Choose