Hi Everyone! So for the past few weeks I’ve been experimenting with ways to eat that fill me up and that are in line with a high protein, low carb diet. I’ve severely cut down on alcohol intake. Not that I drank that much before, but I’ve gotten it down to 3 drinks a week. But between now until July 4th, not a drop of alcohol will pass through these lips. I eased into this way of eating and in truth, it’s not much different from how I normally eat.. but now, no cheat days, no carbs except for butternut squash and sweet potato, no fruit, more protein and a switch from chicken eggs to quail eggs and maintain a daily caloric intake between 1150-1200 calories. It’s important for me to maintain a very low sugar intake, as I suffer from insulin resistance.. a disease that if not taken care of is a pre-cursor to type 2 diabetes. Insulin Resistance is a metabolic condition where the body produces too much insulin because the receptors don’t recognize incoming insulin, and the body makes more and more so they can connect to the receptors. When they finally do connect, there’s still excess insulin in the body which is then stored as cortisol as fat around the abdomen.
I need to reduce my weight for a number of reasons, but mainly vanity and to help reverse the symptoms of insulin resistance.
The biggest problem I have this time and that I’ve had the last time I’ve cut out sugar is psychological. The second biggest challenge is sugar withdrawal.
–On the psychological front, there are many issues to face. One, no hiding any emotions in food. For me, it’s anxiety more than depression. Additionally, food is such a joyous and social thing for me, so to eat the way I will be eating, I will have to prepare most of the food myself and not enjoying meals out with friends over glasses of wine is daunting and depressing. It takes a lot of preparation, patience, consideration, and time. I have an unfounded fear of going into a hypoglyemic state and dying of seizure.. especially in my sleep. Ever since friends have told me that that happened to them, I internalized it and somehow projected that was going to happen to me. I do get low blood sugar and have woken up many times in the middle of the night starving, thinking that if I didn’t eat I would die and no one would find me for days. This irrational fear has really driven my obsession with night eating. Again, it’s not much, like 1/2 of banana before bed, or a low sugar (5 grams or less) kind bar. This is something I will not get over overnight (maybe one night) but something I will face and work on over the course of this month. — Additionally, I need to work on getting over the fact that my weight and having to watch is not a punishment for something. I look at what all my friends are eating, the people on the sidewalk cafes who have waffles for brunch, and group of skinny girls walking down the street licking their ice cream and chomping on the cones. For me, I see sugar, carbs, deliciousness and ask myself, the world the Nancy Kerrigan question.. ‘why me?’. Why can’t I eat those things and maintain a nice figure. I know many people, most even, are closer to my situation than to that of the 5’8 115 lbs woman rocking hot pants (though 95% of my friends are the latter). I will work on coming to terms with the fact that it’s not a punishment, I have many other amazing things in my life and the one thing I have to monitor closely is my food.
–On the sugar withdrawal front, man is it hard to concentrate! Just writing this blog post is exhausting. My head hurts, I feel spacey, and I’ve been wandering around aimlessly all day, unable to focus on the task at hand. So far this is way better than my last attempt. Last time, when I was eating under 40 grams of carbs a day, I woke up every morning feeling like someone hit me over the had with a sledge hammer. Oof, not a good feeling. I remember, thinking that death would be a better option than to feel the pain that I felt. I was also working 18 hours a day at that point, and my business partner was so concerned, since I couldn’t hold a conversation, that I put sugar back into my diet so that I could actually concentrate on work.
Unfortunately I didn’t lose 1 lbs last time I cut out sugar, which I find nearly impossible, yet somehow my body defies normal biology, logic.. but the one amazing thing that did come out of it was a reduction in allergies. I was super allergic to cats before I went on the sugar detox and after, I have no problem. I don’t know why, and I haven’t been allergy tested since, but I can attest to the fact that I can be and even sleep in the same room as them. I’m excited to see what good yet unexpected benefits I reap from this detox. Check back to find out!