Cold Turkey and A Side of Sunshine

Cold Turkey

Cold Turkey

Today is my eighth day of not eating sugar. Can you believe that?

To be honest I can hardly believe it myself and the reason I haven’t mentioned it on here before now, or anywhere else for that matter, is that I honestly didn’t think I would stick to it.

But I have! And I feel great …or at least I do now.

I’d like to say it was really easy but it wasn’t. I think it depends on the amount of ‘added’ sugar that you have in your existing diet and, believe me, I had a lot. I mean A LOT! I’m not going into great detail about my eating habits, mainly because I’m too embarrassed to but please believe me when I say that the empty calories from added sugar made up a large part of my daily allowance.

Anyway, what happened was that nine days ago I stepped on the scales and almost had a heart attack. I was aware that more and more rubbish was creeping into my diet and I kinda knew I was putting on weight but I chose to ignore all the warning signs that were telling me to stop eating crap; the ones like my level of fitness being …oh, that’s right – nil and even the really obvious one of going up a dress size up two dress sizes in a matter of months. *insert red faced smiley here*

And so I did what any self-respecting human being, who had just realised that they were slowly killing themselves would do – I ate an entire tub of Ben and Jerry’s ‘Karamel Sutra’ ice-cream and no, in case you’re wondering, I’m not proud of it. But I did it anyway and when I awoke from my sugar-induced stupor I realised things had to change.

A while back I read a couple of books about giving up sugar and clearly ignored everything they said but, after the ice-cream episode, I spent ages on the internet researching the evils of sugar ( I don’t actually believe that sugar, in moderation, is evil) and I came to the conclusion that I had a serious sugar addiction and there were two ways I could deal with it. I could gradually wean myself off it by reducing my sugar intake over a number of weeks/months or I could go cold turkey. Well, I’m an all or nothing kind of girl so doing it gradually just wasn’t going to work for me and so I decided that complete abstinence was the way forward.

I would like to point out here that this hasn’t happened over a couple of months. I’ve always had a sweet tooth and when I was younger I could eat a tub of ice-cream or a family sized chocolate bar and it made no difference but, as I get that bit older, shifting weight definitely has become more difficult. Long gone are the days when I could drop a dress size in a week by eating nothing but salad and plain yogurt when I found out my latest crush was going to be at the party I was going to at the weekend.

So, for anyone who’s interested, here’s a quick rundown on how the last eight days have gone.

Cold Turkey

DAY ONE – I felt absolutely fine. No cravings, no headaches, no mood swings – nothing.

DAY TWO – I woke up feeling great however, as the day wore on things started to go downhill. Mr C&C and I took a trip to Costco to stock up on a few bits and pieces and it was busy and hot. In the queue I started to feel really queasy and shaky and then I broke out in a cold sweat. It was horrible. I could barely hand over my card to pay for our stuff and people were looking at me thinking I had taken really ill. Thank goodness Mr C&C was there otherwise I’m not sure I would have coped on my own. (He was the only person who knew what I was doing). The shakes continued on and off for the rest of the day and I couldn’t face my evening meal.

DAY THREE – Woke up with a splitting headache and still feeling shaky but it was a very busy day for me so I managed to ignore what was going on. The only other thing was that every time I stood up I felt dizzy.

DAY FOUR – The headaches and dizziness continued all day. By early evening I was just about climbing the walls as the craving for sugar/cake/chocolate was so strong. I picked up my car keys to drive to our little local shop for ‘supplies’ but Mr C&C insisted on coming with me (he knows me too well) and made sure I filled my basket with fresh fruit, nuts and other healthy snacks. Damn!

DAY FIVE – Probably the worst day of all. My headache was at its worst, I was still feeling dizzy, I was in a foul mood, I had no energy and I had terrible pains in all my joints and I’m not exaggerating. In the evening my craving was so strong I asked  Mr C&C to go and buy me some cake or chocolate or …anything!  He refused. I pleaded. He refused. I shouted. He refused. I almost cried. He wanted to know if I would give a drink to an alcoholic if they were in recovery but asked me for one anyway. I looked at him as though he were mad. He asked if I would give a junkie in cold turkey a fix just because they asked for one. (He can be such a drama queen!) I knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere and, as he had already hidden my car keys, I gave up. Later on I had the most awful stomach cramps but I checked and it’s all part of it so I stopped panicking.

DAY SIX – I woke up feeling so much better. My headache was on its way out and I felt much calmer so I thanked Mr C&C for not giving in to my tantrum. I had a banana for breakfast and couldn’t believe how sweet it tasted. In fact, today I was amazed at how much better things tasted in general and I really enjoyed all my meals.

DAY SEVEN – Everything seems to have settled down now and I’m barely thinking about sugary snacks at all although I think if someone came in with cake/chocolate/ ice-cream/scones etc. I wouldn’t be able to refuse.

DAY EIGHT (today) – I’m feeling great; better than I have in a long time and I’m determined that I’m not giving up on this. That’s why I’ve decided to write this post. If I declare it to the world maybe I’m more like to stick with it. But it isn’t just about losing a bit of weight. It’s more about keeping fit and healthy and coming to terms with the fact that, as we get older, we do have to take a bit more care. I’m grateful to Mr C&C for not giving in to my tantrum on Day Five because, if he had, I’m fairly certain I would be back at square one by now.

Interestingly enough, he handed me a box of Roses chocolates this morning, allegedly from the dogs for Mother’s Day. I think it’s some kind of test but they’re still sitting there …unopened …for now …

As for the side of sunshine? It’s a beautiful day in The Shire today with clear blue skies, wall to wall sunshine and not a cloud to be seen anywhere so I’m off out to make the most of it. After all – it’s still only March.

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