Monday, September 23, 2013

99 Days of Sugar Freedom


Two days ago, I got hit in the head and fell off the wagon.

My son and I had just arrived home from the grocery store, and he was demonstrating how he was tall enough to reach the top of the hatch on my car.  The demonstration included pulling the hatch down, and without thinking I bent down and went to pull a bag of groceries out of back.

Bang.  Ouch.  I ended up with a egg on my head that I can still feel this morning.

At any rate, later that evening my son and husband went to a football game, and I used my aching head as an excuse to get into the ice cream, the chocolate, and the warm flour tortillas with peanut butter.

It was a train wreck.

I suppose I should have known this was coming, because last week I got within 4 pounds of my ultimate goal weight.  You would think that if I was strong enough to resist sugar in Las Vegas, that I would be able to spend an evening home alone without raiding the snack cupboards.

But no, I was alone and the voice in my head got to talking about just a little just this once, and I'l get right back on the wagon in the morning.

That probably would have worked out fine if I was a normal person, but thank goodness, I'm not normal.

You see the next morning I didn't just wake up bloated and disappointed in myself.  My head ached, my joints hurt, and most worrisome of all, my fasting blood sugar was right back up in the pre-diabetic range.

Thank goodness.

Why am I grateful for the consequences of my sugar trip?  There is a belief in fitness circles that cheat meals and cheat days are helpful in creating fat loss and lean bodies.  The theory is that the mechanism at work is an increase in leptin and insulin which is thought to re-set metabolism at a higher level.

People I trust and respect attest that this technique has enabled them to get leaner than they would have been able to become without it.

How nice it would be to indulge in any food I thought I wanted once a week, and get leaner to boot!

 But  my experience over the past five years since I reached my goal weight, is that the consequences of "cheat day" are simply too severe to make up for the pain I experience during the aftermath.

Am I being too dramatic?  I don't think so.

I think that the biggest challenge that we face once we've lost a great deal of weight and kept it off for a long time, is the assumption that now that we look like naturally slender people, we should be able to eat like them too.

Oh well.  My husband has a saying:  "Sometimes you have to fall off the wagon and give it a push."

This morning, September 23rd, is the 266th day of the year.  There are 99 days left in 2013, and I am going to use them to complete the one task that would finally free up my energy and creativity for everything else I want to create in 2014.

So today I am embarking on 99 days of Sugar Freedom.  What does that mean exactly?  It's really quite simple: no sugar, grains, or processed vegetable oils.  I also have trouble with high sugar fruits, nuts, and cheese, but I will enjoy them on special occasions like holidays.

All change starts with a choice.  You can choose to reach your goals by changing your behavior, and sticking with that behavior until your goal is achieved.

 If I'm right about Sugar Freedom, and what it can do in terms of fat loss, now is the time to put my diet where my mouth is and prove it once and for all.