In my last post I wrote about admitting that I probably had a sugar addiction, despite the fact that I co soldered myself to be a healthy eater. I was doing so many things right: making meals from scratch, rarely eating fast food, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, staying away from many processed foods and fake ingredients. But there was no denying that my sugar craving had turned into a real need. As in, “I need sugar every day or I might die”. This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but not that much.
So I decided to try to break my sugar habit by going on a 30 day clean eating challenge. I’d be doing it with sone friends for support, and we’d be eating no soy, no dairy, no grains of any kind, and NO SUGAR!
I knew that would be the hardest part for me, but I truly had no idea how hard.
The first day of the challenge I was taking my kids on a hike. I packed a healthy lunch, a big, delicious, salad, nuts for snacking, a Lara bar and plenty of fresh fruit for my sweet cravings. I was prepared to say no to my cravings for sweet, iced coffee on the way home, and yes to downing lots of water.
The day turned out to be blazing hot. Over 100 degrees in fact. So hot in fact that I didn’t feel like eating much of my food. I drank water as we hiked along the trail, rested in the shade, and played in the pool of a cool waterfall. But the hike back out was brutal. It was 103 degrees and we had no shade.
Despite drinking loads of water, my headache started as soon as we got in the car. It was late afternoon, and I fought traffic, and a car full of tired kids with a raging headache.
I had heard of plenty of people getting headaches as a withdrawal symptom on their first day of a clean eating challenge. But I had some coffee with almond milk to guard against caffeine withdrawals. I attributed my agony to slight heat exhaustion from the home. Surely the headache couldn’t be from the lack of sugar. Could it?
That headache continued into the next day. It was one of the worst headaches of my life. At times I felt like I couldn’t see. I had to lay on the couch with an ice pack on my head. I took ibuprofen to no avail. I dry heaved.
It was horrible.
By the end of the second day of no sugar, my head ache started to fade. I woke up the third day feeling exhausted and spent, but the headache was gone.
I couldn’t believe that sugar had that strong a hold on my body. I couldn’t believe that I’d feel the effects from not eating it so quickly. I couldn’t believe that those effects would be so terrible.
To be honest, I was humiliated. How could I let something have that much control over me?
Then I was mad. How could I let something have that much control over me?
My resolve to make it through the next 28 days sugar free was strengthened. I was determined to do it. I only hoped the next phase wouldn’t be so hard as the first.
How about you? Have any of you quit sugar before? Were your results as intense as mine? I’m curious to know other people’s stories.
And I’m hopeful that sharing mine might give you cause to believe that you can change unhealthy habits in your life too.
Cheers to eating well and Living Fit!