Wait. Is that even possible in today’s culture?
So, here goes…
In addition to regaining my health, I’ve been doing extensive research on how to extract myself from my food addictions and food cravings.
And I keep coming back to the same point: I need to stop eating the very foods that trigger them.
When I quit smoking over 8 years ago, it wasn’t grueling or awful, or unbearable. In fact, it was relatively easy. This was startling because I’d smoked for more than 20 years and had tried to quit many, many times before.
After I quit this last time, I was simply done. Finito. No more cigarettes.
I was now a person who did not smoke. And I only ever had to not have that one cigarette.
I knew that to my very core. Because that one cigarette would lead to another, then another, then another…
No thank you.
And I’m happy to say that I am no longer a slave to that habit or addiction. I call the shots now. No more New Year’s resolutions—every year—proclaiming that I would quit. That’s behind me now, and is still an amazing and liberating feeling.
Food is the same. I get it now. Really and truly.
Every year for most of my adult life, my goals for the new year include losing weight and getting fit and healthy.
Every. Single. Year.
I’ve literally spent more than half of my whole life obsessing over my weight, my health, and food.
That can’t be healthy.
And you know how on Facebook, there’s that On This Day in the Past feature, where you can see your previous posts on FB from years gone by? Well, I’ve been on FB since 2008, and if I had a dime for every post that references some new diet or effort to lose weight, well, you know. I’d be rich.
But you know what all my other past posts are largely about? You guessed it. Food.
Breakfasts, brunches, restaurant check-ins, foodie pics galore. I actually cringed as I recently perused my own timeline from years past.
It’s so obvious. I don’t know how I missed it all this time.
It reads like an epic battle of two opposing forces:
Monday: “I want to be thin and fit!”
Friday: “Oooh, check out this yummy apple fritter I’m eating!”
Years of this.
So, like I said, I touched on it in a blog post just after the holidays because I was at a place where I could have extracted myself from food addiction for good.
Only, I didn’t realize it at the time.
I was still missing a couple of key points back then, and I jumped off the deep-end and slowly sabotaged myself over the next several months.
Now I know why, and I know how to handle it—permanently.
The first thing I needed to do was figure out a healthy, sustainable way to feed my body that involved eliminating these toxic, addictive foods completely. Namely sugar and refined carbs.
Sugar and Refined Carbs are the Devil
Seriously. And I don’t have the kind of sweet tooth where I would ever eat straight up candy.
But pancakes? Gourmet pastries? Bread rolls slathered in butter? Tamales? Tortillas? Breakfast potatoes? Waffles? And any and every special occasion dessert item? You better believe it.
I’m talking ZERO willpower. Like, you get in my mouth right now, sort of no willpower.
Lord help me.
And you know what the worst part is? All of these foods make me feel like crap.
Not just a little crappy either.
Pastries, pancakes, and even just bread baskets would turn me into the bitchiest, meanest, PMSy person ever. My husband too. In fact, some of our biggest fights were after “enjoying a nice pastry and latte” at our favorite coffee shop.
It was so bad that even despite the addiction, we both recognized the cause, and agreed that it was better to skip that experience in the future. But that was only after dozens of times.
So, I started researching this a little more.
Turns out I’m not the only one who turns into crazy with all these carbs.
Did you know that lab mice who are literally, physically, verifiably addicted to cocaine through IV feedings will choose sugar over cocaine when given a choice? Oh. My. God.
So, the answer was actually simple: No sugar. No refined carbs. No exceptions.
I realized that there could be no room for “eating them in moderation”. Seriously.
One pancake leads to cravings for more, and there you have it.
It’s actually, shockingly, just like cigarettes.
I would never have quit smoking if I’d just “cut back”, or “only smoked on special occasions”. It doesn’t work that way. Period. I know, because I spent the last 10 years of my smoking struggle trying that method in one way or another.
Here’s the thing: not everyone gets addicted to carbs and sugar. Perhaps the method of moderation might work for some percentage of the population, but I already know from years and years of experience that my body does not work that way.
Turns out that last year, I ate a certain way for a couple months and it was hands-down the best I’ve felt in years. My thinking was clear, my weight was dropping, my energy soared, my skin and hair were softer and shinier, my sleep was good, I had zero cravings, and my body no longer hurt.
Then Christmas happened. Followed by second Christmas, then New Years, followed by my birthday. And then, life happened…
The next thing I knew, it was summer, and I’d gained back 20 pounds and felt like crap, and was totally off the rails, eating just about whatever.
My shiny hair was now dull and dry, my skin was itchy, my body ached all over, and that mental fog had settled in nice and good.
So, what exactly was I eating last year?
Actually, I was eating a lot of fat. Good fats.
Turns out I was eating what is best described as a high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate diet.
I was eating that way for a reason because I’d been doing a program of cycling through different eating protocols to address various issues within my body.
I still feel strongly that there are different foods for different purposes that affect the body in specific ways.
For two months, I ate all raw foods: mixed greens, berries and raw vegetables to help reduce inflammation, and really bolster my body with some much needed nutrients, while restricting calories so my body could concentrate on healing. I was also resting most of the time.
Then I ate only fruit for a month, mostly melons and berries. More healing.
Then loads of berries, greens, and very small portions of grass fed meat, as well as healthy fats. Prepping my body for the big switch.
Eventually, I ate lots of good fats (grass fed butter, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil), small portions of grass fed beef (only 2oz.) or maybe wild caught fish, mixed greens and berries. This was the switch. This was where we were flipping my body so that it would stop relying on carbs for fuel, and start burning fat instead.
This last one was magic, and my body thrived.
That’s when we built those two picnic tables for our epic Thanksgiving dinner on the deck outside.
And that’s when I cried more than once, because for the first time in a very long time, I found myself happily in the moment fully. It was amazing.
So, that’s kind of where my research led me back to more recently, and that’s how I’m nourishing my body now.
I will get into the specifics in my next post because this is already a longish post. But I’m going to leave you with a couple important resources that you should check out for yourself first.
Here’s some awesome resources to learn more:
If you aren’t sure if cutting carbs is a healthy option, I highly recommend you watch the documentary below. It’s available on Amazon instantly.
This was so well put together, and explains everything in a highly entertaining manner while sticking to facts and details. Grant and I both loved it.
Carb Loaded: A Culture Dying to Eat
There’s also this one:
This is essential if you have kids, and even if you don’t. It was so well done and even has a cameo with Hugh Jackman.
That Sugar Film
Don’t miss a single post!
Subscribe to the 365 Days of Awesome Blog and get notified when there’s a new bit of awesome added. —-> Look for the subscribe form on the right. It’s as easy as that!