Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 11 of My Sugar-Free Life

Today is Day 11 of my Sugar-Free Life.  I have been amazed that the past week and a half of sugar detox have not been nearly as bad as I thought they would be.  For a full week, I did have a rash of tiny bumps on my back and a few itchy patches on my arms, but all traces of the rash were completely gone by Day 7.  I got through the physical part of detox without much distress, and I was thrilled.  I think it helped that years ago I removed many hidden sugars from my diet, and now I just had to eliminate the Big Stuff (like bowls of ice cream).  What has amazed me the most from a physical standpoint is that I do not feel nearly as hungry as I used to.  My family can attest that I used to be ravenous every day, and my eating schedule was very regular.  My body operated like a clock.  I needed to eat every 2-3 hours, without fail.  Over the past week or so, however, I haven't had that biologically-driven "I need to eat now!" feeling.  It is amazing.  I now know that I am hungry when my stomach growls, which is exactly the sign that our bodies give us when it is time to eat.

Having come through the physical side of sugar detox relatively intact, I did notice that on Days 7 and 8, I felt a little emotional detoxing taking place.  Feeling down is natural for human beings, but it is an unusual feeling for me because when you are sugar-sensitive and eating sugar on a daily basis, you are keeping your body feeling good. You literally are consuming sugar which causes your body to produce neurotransmitters like serotonin to elevate your mood.  Sugar creates a subtle "high", kind of like how running or intense exercise creates a "runner's high".  Sugar masked the feelings underneath. Naturally, when you remove a mask, you experience more emotional ups and downs. Sugar isn't there to prop you up or to mask the feelings.  I was aware that this emotional downtime might emerge as a part of my detox, but I am proud that I got through it in healthy ways through use of exercise, an infra-red sauna, and talking it out.  When I keep in mind that emotions are fleeting, it is easier to not turn to sugar for comfort because I know that those "down" feelings are only temporary and my body will right itself in no time.