Monday, January 25, 2010

Sugar Detox Day One - Finding Joy in New Places

I realized something this weekend that is kind of life changing. I discovered that I am a "sugar sensitive" person. That's a nice way of saying I'm addicted to sugar. Remember last week, when I posted about how proud I was of myself for drinking a glass of milk and refraining from scarfing all of the cookies? Well that was at about 11am. By 4pm, it was a totally different story. Sugar high city.

Scared and embarrased by my inability to control myself around cookies, I started surfing the web. What I found surprised me. I found that there is a real "condition" out there called "sugar sensitivity". Some people just can't handle their sugar. I am one of them. I have known this for years. That's why I don't bake and it's also why I don't allow peanut m&m's in my house.

What I didn't know was that there is a chemical, physiological response to eating sugar. Duh! I'm getting high from the frigging cookies!!! It sounds so ridiculous, but I think it's true! And you know what the problem is from getting high off of cookies (besides muffin top)? Highs are followed by lows. Which explains my icky mood post-cookie inhaling. And my icky mood the next day.

I don't like that any food has that kind of control over my body. It's why I stopped taking the prescription pain meds on day 2 after a c-section (they made me loopy!). And it's why I gave up drinking diet coke (it gave me a buzz, followed by a v. foul mood).

I didn't have a name for my little problem until now. But now that it's got a name, I need to do something about it. So I have decided to detox off sugar. Not all carbs, just sweets, since they are the the ones that seem to come between me and my healthiest self.

So today is day 1 of my sugar detox.

If I doubted at all that sugar had an effect on my mood, the thought went away at about 11am today, when I started to notice I felt grumpy and sad - sans sugar. My favorite breakfast in the world is a cup of hot tea with a Double Dark Chocolate "ZONE" bar, which I couldn't have today.

An article I read said it's normal to feel a little blue and grumpy the first few days of giving up sugar. The author recommended finding non-food ways of finding joy in your life. Things that make you feel like you are taking care of yourself. Take a walk, read a magazine, give yourself a manicure, etc. To be honest, when I read that I thought it was sort of fluff. I didn't think any of those things would actually make me feel joy. But, I made a mental note to make a similar list of my own because if I take sugar out of my life, I'm going to need to find sweetness in other areas.

Then something surprising happened. I spent some time cleaning out my fridge to make room for all of my Trader Joes finds and I realized that afterwards, I felt GOOD. Could it be that cleaning out my fridge just brought me joy? I must admit, I felt as good as if I had consumed a diet coke or had eaten a cookie!

So now I'm happy again. And I have a clean fridge! My husband will be so thrilled when he gets home! A messy fridge, crazily stacked pans and mismatched tupperware are the only things we EVER fight about.

This makes me happy right here... One of these drawers used to be dedicated to crap (sugar, butter, brown sugar, corn meal, etc). I cleaned it out so I could have two drawers for veggies. Give those bad boys some space to spread out!

I also made a bin just for nuts. Do other people like bins and containers as much as me??

And my cupboards are all clean too!

Sorry for the long post!


  1. Not only do I love bins, I love using the label maker to mark them.... sigh... gives me joy just thinking about it. And while I totally congratulate you on your discovery, and on taking action, I will NOT be giving up sugar anytime soon. I think my family would kick me right on outta the house I'd be so witchy... lol. Keep us posted on how this goes!

  2. oh man, think i'm going to have to do this tomorrow now, totally convicted! ;)

  3. Good for you for sticking it out!! The first few days are always the hardest, but you can do it I just know it!! Just keep thinking of how happy you felt after you conquered today!

  4. That is AWESOME! Good for you and you CAN DO IT.
    Stay strong and keep your eye on the prize.

  5. You can do it! Your fridge makes me want to go to TJ's and load up on fresh produce, and your cupboards are so organized! I am not gonna show you mine!!

  6. I am a total bin and container girl too! Good luck on your new journey, I am rooting for you!

  7. I am having fridge and pantry envy right now. Mine look like someone threw a grenade into them. Go you! I wake up with a migraine if I overdo the sugar. And I crash majorly - like have to lie down for a nap crash. Don't get me started on the mood swings!