Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Pedro Sierra

Whole 30 to slay the sugar demon, 1/1/13

Recommended Posts

I'm tired of being a slave to sugar. I have been on the Paleo wagon for about two years now but have been unable to kick the sugar habit on my own. I am completely frustrated with my own efforts to stick to a sugar free lifestyle. I find myself having arguments, in my head, about whether or not I'm going to stop and buy a candy bar (or three) on the way home or when I shop for groceries. This is something that happens every, damn day. I have not been able to do this on my own. So, time to be accountable to someone else because I am not able to be accountable to myself.

I work at a martial arts gym and have the opportunity to encourage others to improve their health and fitness by changing their diet. I usually suggest they read "It Starts With Food." I often feel like a hypocrite when I tell them that eliminating sugar is a huge step in getting their body moving in the direction they want. It's time I walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

I actually feel pretty confident today, my day 1 of the Whole 30. I have told a bunch of my friends, my boss and posted on Facebook that I am going to do this. Makes it much harder to quit when others are looking to you as an example. I am sure there will be days of struggle but I am looking forward to making a positive change in my diet and seeing what benefits will follow. Not too many expectations other than eliminating sugar. I am hoping to feel better overall as there should be less swing in my blood sugar without the 3-6 candy bars a day. I don't really know what else to expect.

Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome. I have proven that I don't know what I'm doing so time to look to others who have been successful and emulate their behavior.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are not alone! So don't beat yourself up so much. A lot of people never get as far as you already have, which is simply acknowledging that this habit is a problem and that you want to change.

I hope you will keep posting because I will be interested in how you are doing. Just remember, this type of change is not an event, it is a campaign. If you fail, you have to keep trying. Even if you succeed, you have to keep trying. You can do it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From one successful 100% compliant sugar addict to another my personal suggestions to you are (since you asked)

1. do not eat fruit or dried fruit, sugar addicts (and most others) HEAVILY abuse fruit (and nuts but I digress)...no fruit at all whatsoever

but much more importantly

2. figure out the mental aspect of your sugar addiction. Yes, it's addictive and tastes good blahblahblah but *WHY* do you feel the need to stop for those candy bars? I am guessing you do it on the way home from work...is it a stress reliever for you? is it a habit? You need to figure out your WHY and work on that. It is usually tied to much deeper mental things than you think. Did you grandfather used to bring you a big bag of chocolate bars when he came to visit (like mine?), did your mama bake as a way to show love? There is a mental string (or a billion) attached to any kind of addiction and long term success comes from figuring that out and dealing with it.

I won't *sugar* coat it (sorry...lameo!) giving up sugar is difficult but more importantly it is a life long thing. My guess is based on the breadth of your addiction that you won't ever be able to have sugary treats even paleo-ified ones for the rest of your life...just like me...like the alcoholic that only needs one drink to back slid into oblivion all it takes is one treat for the sugar addict to end up right back at square one. I do not believe in "things in moderation" especially for us sugar addicts. No compliant 5 ingredient paleo chocolate chip cookies, no honey in a condiment etc.

I promise you 30 days will NOT be long enough to starve and tame your sugar dragon, just go on a reading hunt on here and see all the people that have fallen flat on their faces after a successful W30 and are right back in the arms of the sugar dragon. Consider doing a 45 or 60 to really make sure you have the beast under control before you learn to ride your own bike sugar-free

You are in a unique position, you work in the fitness and health industry, you KNOW what is not beneficial for your body you even guide others to improving your their lives but you still have areas to work on in your own life.

I wish you lots of luck in slaying your sugar dragon but more importantly figuring out the root cause of why it has such a powerful hold on you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the feedback. I guess I have always considered it to be a thing I could put behind me. From what I hear, it sounds like it is something I will have to continue to be aware of and avoid. That is an eye opener. Doesn't make me want it any less or get me down, just a change in perspective. I appreciate the help and encouraging words. Have a great day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sugar is the main reason I am doing the Whole30 and I fully expect to do this multiple times before I succeed. 2012 was difficult on many levels and I coped by eating sugar....and I can really eat sugar (sad, but true). Going without sugar is, for me, an hour by hour affair. I believe we can do this! Go sugar demon slayers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buying that sugar is such a habit! I left the gym today and realized I was headed to the gas station where I always buy my candy bars. I had to make a conscious decision to drive somewhere else. As soon as I closed the door to the gym, I thought about which junk food I was going to have. This is going to require change in my habit. I didn't even realize it was so ingrained. I wasn't hungry, not stressed out. Just completely a slave to my habits!

It appears that I have to watch myself more closely than I thought. Susannah, you hit the nail on the head. It's going to have to be hour by hour mindfulness to keep me on the right track.

Thank you all for your support, this is really helpful. No sugar today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sugar is such a menace! One of the big reasons I wanted to do the Whole30 challenge was because I felt like I ate nothing but sugar morning, noon, and night. I took stock of what my husband and I ate every day and the amount of sugary foods was ASTONISHING. The crazy part was, it's not even all in candy bars, but in my oatmeal, condiments, whatever. Sometimes I feel like a meal isn't complete without dessert. I like the advice about trying not to abuse fruit, because I'll have to keep that in mind.

What I always try and remember is that this cookie or this candy bar is NOT the last candy bar in existence. I will have another chance to have one some other time. So, I can put this one down and focus on something else! Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on Day 1 and for catching yourself in your thought pattern/habit loop. Might it be helpful for you to replace your daily candy with something else, some other kind of healthy habit/ritual? My husband (also a sugar addict) found that really spicy cinnamon-y compliant teas helped him with his sugar cravings. He really was addicted to Pepsi so slightly different but the act of making the tea, the little ritual was enough to keep his hands and mind busy enough to be a distraction and the tea was flavourful enough to kill the craving. Could there be something like that that you could replace you ritual with?

Congrats again and just take it moment by moment...I promise it gets easier!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Pedro! We are in the same industry! :ph34r: My husband and I run a small martial arts studio. I also teach fitness classes. I know exactly how you feel about the sugar! Now, I don't eat that much, but I have a tendency to binge eat it. I can go days without it then I get the craving and have quite a bit. But I am always "preaching" the healthy lifestyle to my students, but I've got to do it, too. So, you will have lots and lots of support on this Forum if you really want to change your habits. I just got 6 people from my class to sign on to doing a Whole30! You Can Do It!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, day 1 is a success! No sugar/chocolate, no dried fruit and no fruit. I was able to use one of the recipes from the W30 daily email for breakfast, too. Found a new option for quick and easy breakfast that gives me enough energy for the morning. The day 0 email helped me set concrete goals that I could look to during the day and remind myself what I am doing this for. Had dinner with a friend who is also doing the W30 so I didn't have to worry about being out of place. Had two times today where I really craved my usual candy bar but was able to keep busy and not give in. That's a huge deal! The number of times I've told myself that I wasn't going to eat chocolate or candy is too many to count and the number of times I've failed is the same. I feel really good about today.

The support and feed back on this forum was a big help as well. Thank you all for your input, suggestions and support. You all made today a success. Tomorrow is another day and I have a good feeling about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How's it going so far today, Pedro? I hope you are filling up on good stuff today, and continuing to question your old, unhelpful habits. I hope it's also encouraging to know that you have lots of good company in this. Personally, I'm sick of my relationship with sugar. It's going to feel good to shake out of the choke-hold it's had me in for several years now. Please keep us posted!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought about your sugar you today, Pedro, when I went to Whole Foods, a place where I could always find something rather sugary to quell my imagined need. I felt like I was neglecting the poor, poor bakery department when I walked by without looking. And it was strange walking out with just vegetables and meat. Once I got to the car, I felt pretty pleased with myself. How has it gone for you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck Pedro, I am also slaying my sugar dragon, started with a whole35 in Nov had a couple of days of reintro (bad news) and ran straight back to complianceville. I started a whole100 on dec 21st. So I am voting with my feet so to speak re MJ's comment that it may take more than 30 to get out of the danger zone but resisting temptation does become much easier. I dont completely restrict fruit but I am careful with it. I did have to use it in the early days to get me through sugar withdrawal. You might find that rather than having less sugar swings now you have dropped the candy bars it gets worse for awhile, typically after day three when your sugar reserves are depleted but you are not yet burning fat efficiently. This was when I upped my fruit for awhile but never as a snack, and never after a meal, always at the start of a meal or mixed into a meal (think grated apple, berries etc). Sweet potatoes may very well become your new best friend! Keep up the good fight!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your encouragement! It really helps, knowing that there are others who are and have gone through this withdrawal. I'm on day six today, sugar free. I have been avoiding fruit and especially dried fruit. It seems to be working well. I still have cravings and sometimes they are really powerful but none have been able to get me back to old habits. I am starting to see this might be possible. I am pretty sure it is going to require a lifelong approach instead of just one month. There are definitely worse things than having to stay away from sugar.

I have been eating more fat, ie; coconut milk, and that seems to be reducing the number of cravings for chocolate. I'm going to try to make that a regular component of my diet.

Thank you again for the encouragement. See you on day 7!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just read this today, 7 days in, and I wanted to say hi. I used to stop at 7-11 on my way home from my one workout a week to get a snickers. I know according to the timeline I should be out of the rage but right now I am having a hard time. :P

Granted, now that I think about it, I have had more fruit the last couple of days, and I wonder if that has something to do with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am also a sugar addict. I have been for years. I had an alcoholic father and I've always told myself that at least my addiction wasn't dangerous. But, I see now that it is. I'm at the end of my day 1 and I'm craving chocolate. I believe the things said earlier about avoiding sugar. Earlier today, I had a small bowl of mixed berries with just a bit of coconut milk on them. OMG! It was so good! I knew even as I ate it that I could TOTALLY get hooked on that if it is the only sugar I can have. Now I know I'll have to avoid that.... :-( Good luck, everyone. I have to go to bed before I start looking for cookies in my kids' rooms! LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am in the same boat, and I guess I'm going to have to start watching my fruit intake! It's hard, because my boyfriend (who is doing the Whole30 with me) is a T1 diabetic, so we have fruit and dried fruit around for in case he gets LBS because it's a good, compliant solution. I've been trying to tell him I need to limit my fruit and dried fruit, especially after meals, so I'm glad to have this group to lean on with that! I thought that was probably the case, but good to know it's somewhat documented.

I don't know if it's terrible, but there is no way I'm going the rest of my life without sugar. That's just not going to happen. I'll go for as long of intervals between sugar breaks (post-W30, of course) as possible, but saying goodbye to sugar altogether seems extreme for me. Maybe I'm still under the cloud of addiction. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if it's terrible, but there is no way I'm going the rest of my life without sugar. That's just not going to happen. I'll go for as long of intervals between sugar breaks (post-W30, of course) as possible, but saying goodbye to sugar altogether seems extreme for me. Maybe I'm still under the cloud of addiction. ;)

I know what you mean... I keep having semi-anxiety about it too. I keep wondering... WHAT in the HELL am I going to do when this is over? I'm on Day 7 and I'm starting to envision myself sitting down with a pile of junk on February 1st! It's so bad I can taste bread in my mouth when I see my husband eat it, or smell nutella in my mind. EEEEEK! I don't know what the reasonable next step is after this...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's a matter of you choosing sugar, not sugar choosing you...

I have low blood sugar and am on day 3--woke up with pretty low blood sugar and after breakfast (egg, avocado) it just didn't come up enough (I also can't eat more than a little bit first thing in the AM or my stomach threatens to reject it all). I ate 5 or 6 blackberries and some almonds, not half a sugar-filled Clif bar or candy bar. And you know what... it was really good and while there was some sugar--it was sugar with other benefits (water, vitamins, antioxidants).

I'm guzzling green tea (Tazo Zen--green tea, lemongrass, lemon verbena, spearmint... nice and mellow, no bitterness) and it's really actually helping with the sweetness cravings (and the sugar hangover, ugh).

You can do it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been sugar-free and Whole30ing it since Jan1 and there is a whole portion of my tounge (tastebuds) thats keeps crying out "Feed Me." I think I am over salting my food to compensate. I have an unexpected trip this weekend and I usually have a small bag of M&M Peanuts just in case the plane goes down. This is really hard. Not just candy, but honey in my tea, salad dressings all have some sort of sugar. I have taken to eating sugar-free dill pickles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an unexpected trip this weekend and I usually have a small bag of M&M Peanuts just in case the plane goes down.

I'm not a moderator or an expert in any way, but I'd say if the plane goes down, it's probably okay to break the Whole 30 rules a little. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad I'm not the only one who is suffering from this addiction. This is day 12 without sugar. The support and encouragement from this group has been a definite factor in refraining from sugar. I am still having cravings for chocolate but not as frequently nor as intense. Cooking and eating with coconut milk is making a big difference in my ability to feel full longer which helps reduce the cravings. Got a suggestion to try bone marrow as it has great fat content and high caloric value. Got some simple recipes, (really simple), and am going to the store tomorrow. Variety is helping by allowing me to experiment. It also requires planning which keeps me occupied and less focused on what I think I'm missing.

I know it is really difficult. Is is for me, too. But I believe the energy, improved health and recovery are worth the effort. Keep working at it and compliment yourself on making it this far. We can do more together than we can do alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites