Saturday, July 14, 2012

Life after Sugar

Last year, a byproduct of getting sick, really sick, was that I went on a new diet, a diet of mostly vegetables. Some of you know this already.

I've stuck to the diet for over a year. One of the things I gave up was sugar. Not 100 percent. Maybe more like 96 percent.

I think I used to be addicted to sugar. I am pretty sure I was addicted to Dots.  

And I feel so much better without it. Wow. Getting away from sugar really helped me to understand what it was doing to me.

When I would eat an intense amount of it, like around birthdays or holidays, I would feel sick from it. Mostly lethargic. And depressed. Even from drinking just one can of soda. Blah. It gave me what some people call the "sugar blues."

But the taste of sugar still haunts me.

Um. Last Sunday, at a family birthday party, I confess, I had two scoops of Tillamook Ice Cream. I don't think I have had ice cream, real ice, for a long time, maybe over a year. It was like taking a drug. But I felt yucky afterwards, not just from the sugar but also from the milk.

Last week, a friend of my wife posted on Facebook what happened to her after she gave up sugar, including soda (and its high fructose corn syrup). At that point, when she posted her story, she had been off sugar for 81 days. She got her blood tested right before starting her "sugar fast" and then right after. Her blood sugar, triglycerides, cholesterol, and liver enzymes, which were all above the healthy ranges are now normal. And to top it off, she lost 25 pounds.

And all she did was go off sugar. That's it. Nothing else. No other changes in her diet or lifestyle. She didn't even exercise.

I am beginning to believe that sugar is a lifestyle choice I can do without.

And I'm going to a free event next month where my wife works to learn more about why it's a good idea to leave sugar behind.

By the way, I want to reiterate: I am not 100 percent off sugar. My goal is to eat really healthy 95 percent of the time, but to allow myself a diversion every once in a while.

I can say with fervent zeal, though, that I am no longer addicted to sugar.

But I still think longingly about Dots. Am I still addicted to them if I think about them from time to time?

I also really love Neccos. And chocolate. But I love feeling better and functioning better than anything I can eat.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been on a mostly vegetable, whole grain, no sugar, greatly reduced fat diet now for 6 -- count 'em, 6 -- days (that's what happens when you take your first finger stick and the glucometer reads 535). I hadn't realized how much better I was already feeling until I had a handful of breaded, fried shrimp yesterday (like an alcoholic, I was sure I could handle it), and almost immediately felt as sick as I've felt for as long as I can remember. Diet matters. I hope I'll be as successful at eating well long term as you have been.

Funny, too, how close this is to the Word of Wisdom.