Even though I feel great about the direction my health has taken this year, I also suffer from carrying the burden of knowledge about what I’ve done and what I know others can do. For almost a year now I’ve tried to explain to others the mental clarity, the focus, and the feeling of actual weight loss you get when you cut out sugar and flour from your life. I just figured that since I succeeded at something I could never have imagined doing, then it was something any average person could do.
But I realized quickly that the problem is that people don’t want to do it, no matter how you sell it or explain the benefits. This scenario causes me not to push too hard because you don’t want to become that person who goes on and on about their healthy lifestyle and the great results, which makes others want to punch them in the face. I find myself balancing a desire to not get punched, with the knowledge that if people just committed a month or two, then they could have a complete mindset change like I did.
Now, before I waste the entire blog on my personal healthy living pity-party, let me give a quick recap of my year so far. As you remember, I did my initial no sugar / no flour experiment in March 2016 and blogged about it daily. I was amazed by the end of the third week at how great I felt, so I kept going for a few more months after that. The results were staggering, with weight loss, aches and pains going away, medical conditions clearing up, and gaining a more positive self-image. As summer came and went, I still avoided sugar and flour most of the time, with sporadic breaks on special occasions or when I had no other choice. This eating, along with some regular exercise, helped me achieve around 60 pounds of weight loss and completely eliminate the 3XL size from my wardrobe.
Let’s pause for a minute so I can help you understand that after the first month, I no longer felt like I was “going without” foods like you might imagine would be tough to live without. You see, for the first time in my life, I found a healthy method of living that actually got easier the longer I did it. The more time passed, the less emotionally connected I became to foods that once ruled my brain. This is the hardest point to get across to others when it comes to the challenge of giving up sugar and flour because people just visualize endless days of cravings that can never be satisfied, so it must be impossible. Truthfully it isn’t like that at all, and many of my cravings are just vague memories.
When December arrived, I decided to loosen things up a bit and enjoy the delightful foods that the holidays tend to bring. While I still couldn’t bring myself to go completely over to the dark side again, (ice cream, cookie dough, and soda), I still over did it here and there causing a few pounds to creep back on which was enough to bring back the sick, lethargic feelings that I lived with for most of my life. While I didn’t enjoy feeling like a failure that month, it was definitely eye opening for me to feel once again what my life was like when I was eating sugar and flour regularly. So, I did what anyone would do as they begin to slip back into their old ways of eating, I published my book about my previous success and decided that February would be National no sugar / no flour month. I was dedicated to going without once again to reclaim the amazing feeling I felt when my system had no sugar or flour in it.
Once January arrived, it was a bit strange because even though I had not eaten that healthy in December, much of my emotional connection with food was still gone. I decided on the fourth of January that I would prep for February by just giving up sugar and flour the next day and on January 5th I just stopped eating it. No fanfare, no big announcements, it was just like flipping a switch and I was back to eating the way my body wanted again, especially since the memory of my sugar free days were still fresh on my mind. It didn’t take me that long to become addicted once again to how great I felt and I decided that I wanted to challenge myself even more for the month of February.
The first week of February has wrapped up and I’m shocked at how easy it is to go without sugar and flour, simply because I had done it before. I even upped the ante on the challenge and gave up white potatoes and corn, two of my favorite items that fit the criteria of no sugar and no flour, but aren’t the best for you. I expected the extra sacrifice to throw me off a bit, but again, once the emotional connection with food is severed, it completely changes your brain. I’m actually looking forward to what the month brings me since this time around I gave myself an exercise goal of 14 trips to the gym during this month also. We’ll see how it turns out.
As I try to eloquently wrap this up for you, I’ll only try once again to explain that going without sugar and flour becomes easier the longer you do it. Take a moment and think about the last few days of your week. How many times did your brain tell you that you “needed” a certain food? How many moments did you feel forced to pick something up to eat that you “just had to have”? In this world we live in, we have the ultimate power to get any food we want at a moment’s notice, so what would you give to not feel forced to buy something just because your body and brain “wanted” it.
At age 65 we will have spent 780 months on this planet, so why not try something crazy with one of them.
All the best!