kicking it up a notch

sugar detox - stillmovingblog.com

 

I’ve been off all sugar for a week now, avoiding everything from those added sugars snuck into “healthy” vegan/gluten-free desserts to strawberries and raw honey. I needed a major reset and knew that being a bit drastic would help me accomplish my goals.

And what were those goals? First, to reduce the inflammation in my body and bring down my level of pain. Second, to improve upon the food I eat. Lastly, to stop this fixation on food I’ve recently adapted.

Before I went to Silver Hill Hospital my appetite was lousy. Because I didn’t eat much I could eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and remain thin. I justified every bite of food that conflicted with what my body actually needed with At least I’m eating something. Although those precious calories were important in one way, they were damaging in many others.

After a lot of hard work my appetite was pretty good by the time I returned home, and since then it’s improved even more. My eat-what-I-want-whenever-I-want mentality stuck around, though. It didn’t take long for me to crave “something sweet” after dinner or a little pick-me-up afternoon snack. I was on the sugar treadmill and I needed to get off.

So, I said goodbye to delicious sugar, and in one short week I’ve already begun feeling better than I’ve felt in years. I don’t mean that hyperbolically, either. I actually didn’t know my body was capable of feeling this good. I thought I was doing pretty well with my diet as I mostly avoided wheat/dairy/alcohol and consumed as many organic/raw/grass-fed/line-caught/local foods as I could. That’s how harmful sugar is. You can get the rest almost right, but if sugar is sneaking its way into your body it’s going to try its best to wreak havoc.

Nutrition classes were part of the Silver Hill curriculum, and I heard all about sugar and what it does for inflammation. It wasn’t new information, but knowing that I usually came in under the recommended 25-gram maximum daily intake I felt okay about where I stood. But, as a person with a body that needs extra coddling, I’ve determined that value wasn’t right for me.

Part of accepting the positive impact that cutting sugar has on my pain is just a matter of being ready. After years of roadblocks, setbacks, and doctors scratching their heads I began to feel like the thing that was going to make me better had to be complex or advanced technology or something. A solution that I perceived as simple wouldn’t validate my high level of pain or all these years of struggle. Cutting sugar is just one part of all that I’m doing to control my pain, however, and finding the right balance of everything I do to continually get better has been anything but simple.

And while the thought of “having” to do all of this stuff that other people seem to get away with avoiding used to aggravate me, it [finally] no longer does. Properly controlling my chronic illnesses doesn’t just improve my health, but also my entire life. The line between what I do for my medical needs and what I do for “everything else” is gone. I now understand that the two move up and down together, so anything I do for my health seeps into the other “non-related” parts of my life, making me an all-around happier person.

 

9 Comments

  1. linda maumus

    I gave up sugar and carbs not quite a week ago. I want to lower my triglycerides and lose a little weight in the process. once I had “no” sugar in my body I had/have no cravings for it. good for you for taking such good care of yourself. I don’t know if I would have been able to do what you’re doing when I was your age! xo

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    • anne doussan

      that’s great, linda! i’d love to hear more about your experience.

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  2. linda maumus

    nothing more to tell yet. so far so good! I read labels a lot to see carb and sugar grams. I know the bad carbs. I threw away a half full bag of ginger snaps which I love. and some other things that were half full. it made me feel good to do that!

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  3. linda maumus

    not really- I saw the blood work and all was good except triglycerides and I had gained too may pounds. I would eat sweets without even thinking. sometimes before bed. out of control so I had to do something. if I ever eat a cookie or ice cream(my fave) I am doomed!!!! once your body isn’t having sugar it doesn’t crave it. I have been known to eat 1/2 quart of Edys caramel swirl in one sitting. awful!!! xo

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    • anne doussan

      my biggest struggle was getting through the afternoon…especially if i was at the office. i felt like i needed a coffee or snack or anything, but it was really just my body crashing from my “healthy” lunch.

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  4. Leveled Paths

    To decrease inflammation I went gluten free last May but didn’t understand the dangers of hidden sugars until I began working with a health coach last November. I’ve been nearly completely sugar free since and it’s done wonders for my CRPS!

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    • anne doussan

      that’s incredible! i’ve been gluten- and dairy-free for a few years now, and that made a big difference. i think that cutting sugar has made the most impact, though!

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