© 2014 jen

Twinkie Dreams & Emotional Eating – Part 2 Of My Sugar Detox

This post is part of a series of posts. Here’s part 1 in the series.

I woke up dreaming of Twinkies a few days ago, which is weird. I can’t eat a Twinkie and wouldn’t want to eat one if I could, but it’s because my body is craving sugar.

It’s not that bad most days, but 3 days into my sugar detox I woke up with sugar on the brain.

Fortunately that’s not every day.

Most days I have been waking up feeling more refreshed. I also seem to have more sustained energy throughout the day. I think my productivity is up. I know this will sound strange, but days seem longer without sugar. I feel like I have more time, which I never would have guessed, but I’m getting so much done right now. I think it’s because I don’t feel lulls in my day without sugar. I feel a constant stream of energy throughout the day.

Having said that, I am cooking almost everything I eat from scratch so I need the extra time just to keep up with all the cooking I am doing.

Speaking of cooking, I’m loving all the foods I’m eating! I never knew there were so many dishes without sugar that taste amazing! They also digest so wonderfully. None of the dishes have upset my stomach. They are different, fun, and best of all, I feel so good eating these foods! When I’m done with this detox,  I’ll be keeping most of these recipes in my repertoire. My husband is loving the recipes too! My son, not so much – but he’s a picky eater and doesn’t really like to try many new things.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that I don’t seem to get full in the same way that I used to. You know that feeling of fullness that feels like you might pop? It doesn’t happen with sugar-free, grain-free natural foods. I eat until I feel done eating. I don’t want to overeat. I just want to eat till I feel satisfied.

Honestly, I’ve never felt better physically.

Mentally, well, that’s another story. I’m seeing that I really reach for sugar when I have a need. Let’s say I’m feeling sad, that’s a good time to eat a muffin. Or maybe I’ve had a long stressful day, a glass of wine will take the edge off. Or maybe, I’m feeling like I’m cold and want to feel warm and comforted, potatoes will fix that.

I knew I could be an emotional eater, but I had no idea how extreme my emotional eating STILL is! Even after all of my positive health changes.

I have been sitting with the discomfort of feeling my feelings in a bigger way than usual. Some days the feelings are stronger – angst, sadness, frustration – all feelings that I had no idea were still living very deep inside me. I ask myself, why do I have these feelings? I don’t have a present anxiety to blame. And the feelings seem old. Latent. Like they have been there a really long time.

When the feelings get really strong, I play my ukulele. It seems to be the best remedy for negative emotion. Sometimes I play for hours, and since there are more hours in the day right now, I can make the time. I play until my fingers ache and I feel so much better afterwards. The negative feelings are strong, but my love of music and Octavia (my ukulele) is stronger. 

The biggest feeling I’m grappling with is that of loss. Current losses, old losses – all losses are being felt. Especially the loss of a food group that really helps my mood at least temporarily in the moment, but doesn’t help my body overall. It feels like sugar is the boyfriend you can’t wait to see again, because it feels so good in the moment, even though you know he’s hurt you before and you know he will hurt you again down the road.

Right now sugar and I are seeing other people, but we’re definitely getting back together again in the future. I find myself wondering, “Can I find a new way to have a healthy relationship with sugar?” I really hope so.

I ate and drank myself silly over the holidays. Partly because it was the holidays and partly because I knew I’d be doing this sugar detox, so whatever my normal sugar intake would be, I ate more. I have put on close to 20 pounds in the last month from all my sugar consumption. Let me say that again in another way, I have gained 20 pounds in one month from eating sugar. I feel like I have an inner tube or tire around my mid-section. It feels uncomfortable.

IMG_8302I’ve already lost inches in my upper waist, but if you look closely at my lower belly you can see there is this extra bit in the middle. When I touch my stomach there it doesn’t feel good. This is all inflammation from sugary foods. I think this is also why I’ve been losing inches so fast. I was inflamed, but I’m losing it every day.

Here are some stats: on Monday, the day I started the detox, I weighed 219 lbs. I’ve been feeling lighter every day, so on Thursday I weighed myself again. I weighed 216 lbs. I’ve lost almost a pound a day since I’ve started this detox. This is not a weight loss program, by the way, but when you have an area that you struggle in and you remove that area it’s amazing the results you can see.

I thought it would be interesting for the sake of data, not shaming myself, to take my waist measurements too. Monday I had a 41 inch waist. Thursday it was 38 1/2 inches. My waist size went down 2 1/2 inches in few days. I’m losing almost a pound a day and an inch a day. It’s no wonder I’m feeling such a feeling of loss. I really am losing parts of myself at a huge rate!

What’s interesting is I don’t feel hungry at all. I don’t feel deprived as long as I keep eating, but when I get too busy and forget to eat, I start thinking about sugar again.

I know I cannot have results this dramatic – a pound and an inch of loss a day – for long, but considering how new these dietary changes are to me, I think this degree of loss is a good sign that I’m on the right track.

My first week is almost over and I’m feeling like this is manageable. Not easy, by any means, but manageable. Only 14 more days to go. I know I can do it and I’m enjoying the challenge and the increased self-awareness.

Comments

comments

3 Comments

  1. Posted January 19, 2014 at 6:43 pm | #

    Hi Jenn – what are some of your favorite recipes you’ve been cooking? I am going through my own separation from sugar as recent blood tests have diagnosed me with gestational diabetes… Now I know I can turn this around with diet and exercise, but it’s not easy! I surprise myself with how much of my mental game this is.

    • Posted January 19, 2014 at 7:00 pm | #

      Hi Leah, Check out my Pinterest page called Sugar Detox. I’ve been pinning recipes there for weeks. I LOVE the banana bread recipe that I’ve pinned there. I’ll be adding more recipes today. Here’s the link to that page: http://www.pinterest.com/jen_neitzel/sugar-detox/

  2. Posted May 17, 2014 at 4:22 am | #

    Hey there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Thank you