Sugar addict ? Me ? Never..
I was always a savoury girl – not interested in fizzy soft drinks, fast food, processed sauces and always preferred another entrée over dessert.
So why did I quit sugar 7 weeks ago ?
I felt I was “running on empty”.
My “unnatural” state had become either running around like a blue-arsed fly or crashed out.
I had been struggling with a distinct lack of energy, had stopped reading, lack of focus, broken sleep, irritability, feeling emotionally fragile, dull dry skin among other things for a couple of years.
Then in June I got pneumonia – my immune system was at an all-time low.
A change had to happen.
The last couple of years had been chockers with stressful situations you know the completely common ones for many women – having a couple of undiagnosed health issues, kids having some emergency hospital stays, a parent /loved one suddenly having a debilitating illness, experiencing their devastating decline over 18 mths with a couple of “say goodbye” moments and Lazarus revivals from complications added in for good measure before they suddenly pass away and leave you utterly bereft.
Whilst, all the time thinking you are doing a great job of surviving as you focus on the next 12 hours keeping the family happily moving along, financially, emotionally and physically – run a couple of businesses, be there for the kids and all their interests, maintain connections with close friends and be supportive in their time of need and encourage and support a husband finishing his Masters and still have the time, energy and inclination to keep the physical connection ….
How did this play out ?
I completely lost my appetite and ended up grabbing something (usually with sugar) to pick me up and help me keep going… until the kids went to bed, I could finish my work and collapse into bed.
It is a story that I know is by no means unique and is definitely more fortunate than most, but when I really looked back on the emotional and physical rollercoaster of the last few years I realised my adrenal system was being flooded with adrenaline and cortisol and was under enough strain without the sugar bombs and insulin spikes I was contributing.
I knew I was heading straight into adrenal fatigue and auto-immune disease territory if I didn’t look after myself and recalibrate.
I had been toying with the idea of going sugar-free for a while and had reduced my sugar intake but 7 wks ago I went cold turkey whilst all around me were self-saucing puddings, cupcakes and an endless stream of children & adult family parties.
So how did I go ?
Without sounding all glassy-eyed & evangelical about it – it is the best thing I have done for my wellbeing in a long time.
I really am surprised at how easy it has been to maintain my determination and willpower – not one lapse- even when my friend sat in front of me eating my favourite strawberry tart from a local patisserie.
How come ?
I notice how much better I feel.
I know I haven’t finished the 8 wks but I am not desperate for it to end or feel like when it does I will go back to how I was before.
I feel too good.
What I have noticed since I went sugar-free
* Energy – not feeling drained, lethargic, lead legs, no crash in the afternoon or early evening. Less hyper energy.
* Sleep (now sleeping uninterrupted and if kiddiwinks wake me up I can fall back to sleep)
* Anxiety attacks – originally I thought this was due to grief – and perhaps was but they have totally gone. Feeling much calmer.
* Focus – clearer – less foggy – back to voraciously reading novels and biographies.
* Taste – food tastes better
* Irritability /Mood – this is definitely better – bar the odd Mama “moment” – much less emotional.
* Never feel hungry after dinner – let me clarify – I never felt satisfied and that I needed/wanted more – now I feel satisfied and happy and not in need of “something” after dinner
* Skin – much softer noticeably clearer, brighter , complexion better – not wearing BB cream every day – not reaching for the Touch éclat or Beauté Flash Baume for some faux brightness. Plus – my cellulite has definitely improved too which is a wee bonus…
* Eyes – people have commented on whites of eyes looking brighter and clearer.
* Hair & Nails – growing faster and thicker – obviously I know due to eating better in general and more vitamin rich vegetables in what Sarah Wilson calls “crowding out” the cravings.
* Weight & Measurements – Never an impetus for me as I am happy with my weight range and size. But I have lost 2 kilos to sit at the very lowest end of my usual weight range but more noticeably a few inches from my waist (2ins) abdomen (3ins) and hips (3ins) in particular. Now I just need to add muscle tone back onto this leaner frame with some good regular exercise.
A few things that I now do every day.
On waking – Hot Water with lemon & cider vinegar
Take Multivitamin, magnesium/chromium & supergreens powder.
Green Smoothie (either morning or arvo depending on day) – sometimes takeaway and drunk at school pickups if rushing. (avo, kale, coconut water,chia seeds, maca powder, supergreens)
Eat some eggs at breakfast or lunch if I can.
Take box of nuts, chopped veggies & those mini cucumbers everywhere.
Drink more herbal tea (licorice, chai, green, lavender) whenever I feel a craving for something sweet.
Eat cheese & biscuits if I feel hungry after dinner.
Meditate – this has been a long held wish and it is so great to actually be doing it – I use the HEADSPACE app and it is brilliant if you are considering learning to meditate and wanting to get into it now. Sometimes I even do it at school pickups in the car.
Let me know how you go and don’t hesitate to email me or touch base on Facebook if you have any questions about the reality of going sugar free. Sarah Wilson’s book and 8wk program is great if you need a hand – i would thoroughly recommend it and the recipes are amazing.
Now that I am not feeling so drained – the next step is improving my fitness.
Watch this space …
This is not a sponsored post
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Sally Steele, is the lady behind STEELEMyStyle and is a Personal Stylist, Shopper, Wardrobe Consultant, Life & Style Mentor based in Brisbane with Clients all over Australia.
She is in her 40s, has two little kids and helps others find their inner style & love the life they are leading.
She lives a real life and knows how to navigate the challenges of everyday be it from stress, grief, overwork or just the everyday working Mama juggle in style & with a good dose of humour.
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