***Note: for all posts related to the 21 Day Sugar Detox, please click here***
So I didn’t last very long. Four days, actually. And then I quit. Why?
1. Eating Paleo is very unappealing to me. I am a meat-eater, but I really don’t like very much meat at one sitting, and frankly, I’d been trying to incorporate more vegetarian options into my diet of late. After seeing “Forks Over Knives,” I just really came to believe that animal proteins may not be the best thing for our health. I’m not up for considering eliminating them altogether, but I have been trying to reduce them. So this was taking me in the opposite direction of where I wanted to go. I had no intention of staying Paleo after the detox. I was just hoping that I’d crave bread a little less. (Pasta is not a problem for me. I rarely feel like eating it.)
2. I felt really unhappy. My physical side effects of the detox were nowhere near what I was expecting. A little bit of brain fog in the afternoons, a small amount of lethargy, but not bad. No headaches or “carb flu.” But everything was just getting to me. Eating had become something sort of miserable. It’s not that the food I was eating wasn’t delicious, it’s just that I was feeling really unhappy in general and in terms of food. My mom wanted to go out to lunch and I didn’t know where I could go (she’s particular about restaurants) and still get something suitable. She even suggested salad at California Pizza Kitchen, since we were going to be at ABQ Uptown, and I was like, “Are you serious? I’m going through this misery and deprivation, and you want me to go to a pizza joint and order lettuce?!” On top of that, you never know if there’s sugar in the dressings. I was just so sick of salad. And of feeling like I should avoid all social situations and eat by myself all the time. It was sort of lonely.
3. Boy, was it time consuming. I already put everything I eat into My Fitness Pal, which requires endless weighing and measuring. On top of that, I was now digging around for “legal” and appetizing recipes so that I would be eating nothing by chicken and vegetables. I felt like I was spending hours each day planning, shopping (always forgetting something I’d need), cooking, baking, weighing, measuring, inputting, blogging, etc. I don’t have that kind of time. I have a 2-year-old and two jobs, plus another gig I’m doing on the side right now and I really like to put my time into exercise and yoga (which is exercise, really). My house is filthy and I was getting so behind on life.
OK, so I gave up. But not completely. I was doing this with a small group on Facebook, and I didn’t want to be a complete jerk/loser/piece of crap. Also, I was the one who asked to move up the start date, and then I bailed. What a jerk/loser/piece of crap! And I still want to drop a couple of pounds of fat and improve my diet. So here are my current goals, through the month of April (and hopefully beyond!):
1. No alcohol (I usually just have a couple of glasses of wine a week, since three nights a week I’m at work till midnight anyway).
2. No soda. This is the trickiest part.
3. Stick to Ezekiel sprouted grain products as much as possible, except if I’m at a restaurant and really want a sandwich. Even then, I should make good choices.
4. Reduce my sugar intake. No more mindless snacking on leftover Easter candy. Try to avoid sweets as much as possible. Maybe grab a “clean eating” banana muffin out of the freezer if I want something sweet, because it has honey instead of refined sugar, and not too much of it. Make paleo pumpkin banana pancakes and top with fresh berries instead of syrup. Stuff like that. That doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy any sweet treats over the next few weeks, but I’m aiming for them to be quite rare.
Incidentally, I started out at 115.8 lbs. and today was 114.2. Could be fat, could be water weight, could be some of each. No idea, but I must say the plus side to not eating grains is that you really don’t get so bloated.
As soon as I made the decision to quit, I didn’t feel sad. I felt like a weight had been lifted. I felt free. So I think this was the right decision for me. I can move forward with some lifestyle improvements, hopefully get a little leaner and come out the other side with slightly better habits. I think this will work better for me. I’ve also been working out more. For six months I’d done nothing but yoga, which was awesome. Vinyasa flow and ashtanga yoga are very physically demanding. But I recently started adding in more cardio workouts — mostly TurboFire HIIT workouts and walking on my treadmill in the garage. I got a heart rate monitor, too. A few weeks ago, I also started another round of ChaLEAN Extreme (weight training). I’m still doing an hour of yoga most mornings, so with all of this together, I’m sure to lose a little bit of fat and see my muscles start to pop. They are under there — I can feel them!