What you might not know about me is that I have some autoimmune issues that are all basically linked together with inflammation. Inflammation in my stomach. Inflammation in my small intestines. Inflammation in my lower back. Inflammation everywhere.
A few years back I went Paleo (Whole30 to be precise) and kept every single form of added sugar out of my body (including Maple syrups and honey, etc…) for SIX. WHOLE. MONTHS. Hurray!
I lost weight. I felt fabulous. My inflammation was down. Everything was rainbows and unicorns and Frappucinos, minus that last one because of all the sugar.
But one day I was at San Diego Padres game when all I could find to eat was a hot dog. Now, mind you, I wasn’t eating the bread (I have Celiac Disease) and I was going to add my personal stash of no-sugar-added ketchup to my bare naked hot dog but I forgot it. Well, actually, they don’t typically let people bring in glass jars of organic, non-GMO, no-sugar-added ketchup to ball games, so I actually just left it at home.
So. I. Used. A. Regular. Ketchup. Packet.
Nothing terrible happened. No alarms went off inside (or outside) my body. I made it through the event unscathed, only losing my pride in my six month streak of keeping sugar out of my diet.
But then, on the way home, I gave in. The Frappucino called my name while my husband stopped at Starbucks to fuel our long drive home. It was hot. I had already lost my streak. And I indulged. Cheat day, right?
Nope. Cheat eternity.
Since that one moment of indiscretion, I have consumed all the sugar I can get my hands on for the last two years. Ketchup and Frappucinos were my gateway drug into a life of sugar excess that still rages out of control inside my body.
And I am feeling it.
I can’t fit into my 2-years-ago jeans. I can hardly fit into the “fat jeans” I bought a year ago before vacation. And that isn’t the worst part. The worst part is how completely terrible I feel. My body is angry at me, and the headaches, stomach aches, insomnia, dizziness, pain, and rage I feel are all screaming the same thing:
STOP EATING THE SUGAR!!!
So at night, when I can’t sleep because pain is too bad, or I have told my kids again that mommy isn’t feeling well so sorry no story tonight, I vow to quit sugar starting first thing the following morning. Here’s how well that goes:
6AM – Wake up time. No sugar today, I remind myself. And this time I mean it!
7AM – Well, the tiny bit in my soy milk latte is understandable. I can’t take that sugar out and there aren’t any substitutes I can have with less sugar (lactose intolerance, tree nut allergies, etc…). I will ONLY have the sugar in my soy milk today. Nothing else. It’s non-GMO and organic, so it can’t be THAT bad for me.
9AM – School drop off was rough today. I deserve a medal. Or a Starbucks Latte. Crap, their soy milk has WAY more sugar than mine at home (it is sweetened!), but it’s okay. Again, only so many options. No sugar after this.
10AM – Picking up school supplies at Target for a last minute project that is due tomorrow (see dramatic school drop off above!). What?!! Gummy Bears are on sale- the good kind from Germany not the soft, melt in your mouth crap from the US. YES! Score. I am totally picking these up to eat on the drive home.
11AM – What is wrong with me? I TOTALLY forgot (seriously, it is absurd) that I wasn’t eating sugar and just ate the whole pack of Gummy Bears. NO SUGAR AFTER THIS.
12AM – Lunch time. Plan to make a healthy salad with only oil and vinegar for dressing but realize that the lettuce is a mush of green, wilted, ooze. I guess I’ll have to just eat some of this dairy-free ice cream. And a gluten-free cookie.
1PM – I am the worst person ever. What is wrong with me? I mean, how hard is it to not eat sugar for a day. I did this for six months and now I can’t even do six hours? Who was I back then? Is this old age? Am I just a shadow of the strong-willed woman I once was? Does my family still love me? Is my husband having an affair with a woman who can control her sugar addiction and probably doesn’t eat ice cream for lunch?
7PM – Pain, frustration, and serious fatigue set in. Push through homework and dinner and fall into bed before my girls with stomach pain, headache, and anxiety more than yesterday.
11PM- Vow to never eat sugar again.
Rinse and repeat. Day after day.
Anyone else out there get stuck in this sort of vicious cycle? Oh, and Halloween is coming up. This isn’t going to be good.