Let’s just start with this so it is very clear: My 3 day fast, my sugar detox, every “diet” I am attempting… has nothing to do with weight loss. It is simply to get healthy again. To kick an addiction that is literally affecting my liver, my skin, my mind and my overall health.
I have a sugar addiction. I believe many of us do. Actually, I KNOW many of us do based on the dozens of you that have come to me since I shared my addiction publicly. I went to a nutritionist I respect and admire deeply who told me that if I do not stop my high sugar/high starch diet it will only get worse.
Based on tests she said my body was in an “autoimmune cascade” with adrenal & serotonin levels very low, joint & liver issues and also positive for Lyme disease. She also thinks I have a wheat allergy, and if my current high sugar diet doesn’t stop it could lead to other autoimmune diseases like lupus.
That’s when I decided to do my 3 day fast. I wanted to “reset”. Try to give my body some time to heal and possibly my mind some time to rid the addiction.
The Fast: 72 hours of only water and lemon.
This actually was not as bad as you may think. You definitely have lows, but in a way having NO food made it easier to not choose the WRONG food.
I had some low energy moments, but for the most part I felt pretty good. My mind was clearer than usual and I felt more present and focused. The final day (Wednesday) I woke up a little woozy and I had a 6am-730pm day ahead, teaching 5 classes and training 4 clients.
The day ahead was daunting and with a feeling of wooziness to start the day I got a little anxiety and told myself if I can’t push through today I cannot risk missing 9 hours of training. At that moment I gave myself permission to eat something if that’s what it took to make it through the day.
However, after battling anxiety attacks in the past (many years ago I got stomach bug during class and proceeded to get the bug 2 more times that winter, causing years of anxiety pre class when I feared I would get sick with a class of 20 depending on me. Side note – that sickness, 6 years ago was due to Candida Infection = sugar = common theme in my health)
Anyway, I was able to recognize that a large part of my wooziness was anxiety & I was able to breath through it and proceed with class. One key moment happened after this 6am class, which I wasn’t even sure I could complete. One of our trainers, Kim, took this class and came up to me after and said, “I don’t know how you’re doing this, but that class was the most on point I have seen you in ages. That was phenomenal and you killed it.”
That comment has stayed with me to this day.
After the 3 day fast I eased back into eating with a salad. I was extremely hopeful at this point that my diet was fixed. Taking away food left me so much more time to work on other parts of me. I read, I meditated, I journaled, I stretched- I felt great.
It was amazing when one sensory was taken (taste) how I seemed to crave the others. I sat in bed at night with my salt lamp on, my essential oils burning, my Into the Mystic Radio playing, my hot water and lemon (heaven..who knew?) and my journal. I felt complete and so happy. Why would I ever go back to this horrible addiction that seemed to shadow all of these other amazing sensories?
Why? WHY?? Well, I guess because it is an addiction, and addictions pull you back in. I started with making “fat bombs”. Healthy craving fixes. Coconut oil, cacao powder, Stevia, peanut butter. Something to “take care of my craving if it came on.” Well, I would eat 10 fat bombs in a day, atleast. To me it felt like an alcoholic being told they could just have one beer. It didn’t work.
**side note: with every detox I get one big takeaway. After this fast I switched mostly to Decaf coffee since my headaches had gone away. For someone with anxiety, this has been big.**
I don’t know what’s worse about this addiction. Is it the feeling of being OUT OF CONTROL at night, telling yourself to not get up and just make tea, but you end up in a fat bomb comma? Or is it the fact that YOU KNOW that no sugar = clear headed and sugar = brain fog and you STILL DO IT? That feeling of having NO control is what drives me insane. I am so disciplined in every other area of my life, why can’t I get this under control?
Maybe because it’s a real addiction. Maybe because when rats were made addicted to sugar and cocaine then given both as an option they chose sugar. It’s real. It sucks. But, I know I can kick this and I know you can too.
So, what’s next? After doing a bunch of research on different diets it seems as though The Whole30 is the best bet for me. I need specifics. Shopping lists, recipes, community, etc.
From the whole30:
“Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition, like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies, or chronic pain, that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms are often directly related to the foods you eat—even the “healthy” stuff. So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you?
Strip them from your diet completely. Eliminate the most common craving-inducing, blood sugar disrupting, gut-damaging, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the reset button with your health, habits, and relationship with food, and the downstream physical and psychological effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day-to-day life, long term health, body composition, and feelings around food.”
I am also a fan of the keto diet and will implimant parts of that into my 30 days. However, I am a little concerned with both these diets as they are largely dependant on meat and I do not eat meat.
This has been a battle in my mind and a conversation my husband and I have had a few times. I am open to going back to meat, but I would stay very true to my beliefs and continue preaching passionately about the animal cruelty side of meat eating as well as the factory farms and the processed meat causing cancer.
Erik and I are contacting local farms, (some of them are good friends) and find out not only how the animals are treated while they are alive, but more importantly, how they are slaughtered. This is very important to me.
If I do feel like I am not getting enough nutritients without the meat and my body is craving it, I will strongly consider adding very small amounts of meats back into my diet. It has been 6 years now since I have had meat, so this is how serious I am about fixing my health.
I plan to start the Whole30 on Monday and I also have my first doctors appointment in years on Thursday (Collaborative Natural Health…yay!!)
I will keep you posted how this next “reset” goes and I hope you continue to share your obstacles with me as well. Together, we can do this!!!