Sugar Detox

While I was growing up, my parents would drink a lot. Like, 1-2 bottles of wine every night. I have distinct memories of waking them up off the couch so I could go to bed, and helping them up the stairs because they were too drunk to make it to bed themselves. (Looking back, maybe if I’d left them there overnight it might have been a wake-up call that they were drinking too much…)

I didn’t want to turn out like them, so even as an adult I’ve never developed a taste for alcohol. Most alcoholic drinks taste absolutely foul to me. The problem is, I still have an addictive personality, and I’ve become hooked on something more insidious: sugar.

You may say, “You can’t be addicted to sugar! That’s nonsense! How can you be addicted to something you can buy in the grocery store?”

Because you can buy it in the grocery store.

Sugar is in everything. Drinks, peanut butter, ketchup, baked goods (dear gods, the baked goods)… I would cheerfully make a meal of donuts and cheesecake if presented the opportunity. And being good at baking does not help matters; I have a distinct memory of getting home from school and making myself a batch of oatmeal raisin cookie dough, and eating the whole batch of dough raw.

Even just writing this is making me want to check for discount donuts at the grocery store later today.

And there is increasing research that shows that sugar has the same effects on our brains as hard drugs. Google it.

So yeah. I’m addicted to sugar.

Working in the office of a Wholesale Grocer doesn’t help matters. The bakery department is two rows of cubicles over from my desk, and there are various foods available at least once a week. I think there were at least three birthdays within two weeks, which meant cakes and cupcakes and deliciousness…. One of my coworkers makes a whoopie pie cake, which I have nicknamed “Death-cake”.

I’ve gained 15-20 pounds in the seven months I’ve been working there, and somewhere around 80 pounds in the last seven years. Eighty pounds is like, a person.

SO! In the spirit of not-dying-young and keeping a handle on my diabetes susceptibility, I’ve roped my best friend into doing a sugar detox with me. Starting tomorrow, we’re going cold turkey for three weeks, only eating protein, fats, and non-starchy veg. (“Why are you still eating fats?” Because fat is not the chemical enemy here; Carbohydrates are.)

In order to make this work, I need to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. I need to stay busy (but not stressed), and reasonably active (2 exercises per week, minimum; 4 would be better). It’s also going to take a lot of thought and preparation, and money; good food isn’t cheap. I plan on weighing myself tomorrow (Day 1), and doing weigh-ins once every two weeks, because more often has the potential to be depressing. I will be resuming use of my food diary app (YouFood), and will be daily journaling in a Notebook app to keep track of cravings and challenges. I will post here on Saturdays to summarize the week.

See you on the other side of Week 1. Wish me luck.

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