Saturday, August 01, 2009

Sugar Detox

Yes, I have gone off sugar. Well, for the most part I have. I still have some sugar (the occasional ice cream, etc.) But I no longer sup on it like mother's proverbial milk. And going off sugar was so much harder than I thought it would be.

First, some background: I started having severe joint pain in May of this year. I just this past Thursday got in to see the rheumatologist, but I digress. A friend of mine suggested that lowering my sugar intake might lessen my pain. She said it worked for a friend of hers. So, I thought to myself: I'll just try it for a day or two to prove that it doesn't work. Then I can forget about this nonsense. I should tell you right now, I am a sugar-aholic (if there is such a thing!) I love candy, cookies, ice cream, sweet tea. There's not a sugary confection I don't love. And I regularly was buying candy of all different sorts to enjoy. My two favorite holidays are Halloween and Easter-because they involve candy! Even special candy not available at other times of the year!

Besides eating candy every day, I was putting 3 sugars in my morning coffee (I had worked myself down from 5 packets, so I was pretty proud of that) and drinking 12 to 24 ounces of sweetened iced tea per day. I would ocassionally treat myself to sweet tea from McDonald's.

So, getting back to what I was saying, I started avoiding sugar that first day. I was expecting no changes. I was so wrong. The first day-The First Day-of no added sugar I noticed a difference. My pain decreased by about 70 percent! I was so happy, and so sad. I loved not having the pain, but I didn't want to go without my beloved candies and sweetened drinks.

The second day of no added sugar was pure torture. I was angry. Every time I saw something with sugar in it I got mad. I wanted to buy candy so badly. I felt so out of control. It felt like the candy was sitting on the shelves at the store mocking me, broadcasting their desire to be in my belly-home sweet home. Yes, I felt like I was going crazy. For the next couple days this went on. I was shaky and angry and even angrier at myself that it effected me this way. One of those days I snuck in a big piece of cake. It tasted good, but it also tasted weird. The sugar tasted different. It tasted too sweet. A few hours later I paid the price with increased pain. That was enough to deter me from doing that again.

So, now I have been off sugar for over a month, and I feel better. I am still having joint pain, but not nearly as much as I was before I went off sugar. In the past two to three weeks I have also lost weight (about 6 pounds). That's amazing in itself because I have not been able to loose weight for the past 4 or 5 years, since I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I never thought that all this trouble could come from sugar. I had heard people talk about it, of course, but I thought it was some new age-y, natural-eating propaganda. Plus, I didn't want to believe it. I thought I couldn't live without my sugar. I guess I was wrong.

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