Hey guys! I’ve been putting this off for far, far too long. As many of you know, I spent a month or so blogging about my big project. The thought was that by cutting out processed foods, I could totally transform my health.
And you know what? It worked. In just two weeks (AKA the two weeks I actually really stayed with it), I lost 7 pounds and my fasting blood sugar dropped from a bit on the high side of 93 to 75. (The 93 reading was actually taking a week in). That’s some pretty substantial change, it just two weeks!
But as you all know, I didn’t make it four weeks. And there were some serious hiccups along the way.
I was doing great! I had all my food waiting for my in the fridge. (This was key!) I was motivated, and already starting to see results. If you want to see the totally sleep-deprived delirious post about how great it was, check this out. That Sunday, I was feeling great, lean, and fast after a tempo run. But for some reason out of nowhere, I fell off the wagon and had a few sweets at the dining hall. I felt awful. But the worst part was the next day. The next day, I was completely on edge, and incredibly anxious. I think it had something to do with leftover sugar shock after a week without. The feeling lasted a while, and a hard treadmill run the Tuesday after was the only thing that was really able to make it go away.
Things were a little rough during this week. I started out feeling off given the above, plus I had eaten through pretty much all my prepared food and didn’t get a chance to prepare more. I was saved by a magic food delivery from my parents, but it was still kind of rough. Road block #2 came later in the week when I was plagued by awful, unexplainable stomachaches. Every time I ate, I would get the worst stomach pains and feel sick. There were a few times I had to force myself to eat because I knew I needed it. Plus, since I couldn’t eat much, I had the worst hunger pains, but at the same time I couldn’t exactly eat because I knew it would make it worse. I thought it might just be my body adjusting to completely unprocessed, high fiber foods. Luckily it went away after a few days, but I was very concerned since this was just days away from my 5k. Nevertheless, once the stomachache was gone, I felt good and ran a good race depute the weather.
I don’t think I technically cheated over the weekend, but I definitely started to abuse the loopholes, including lots of homemade chocolate. Since the previous week after overeating sweets over the weekend and the anxiety hit late Monday night, I decided to be proactive and do a little spin workout at about 10pm, and it was fine. Overall, I felt pretty good! I had avoided SO many sweets. I never realized how many free cookies exist in life! That was a big eye opener for me. However, the major struggle this week was once again lots of homemade chocolate. We didn’t have the greatest food selection, and we ended up eating lots of nut butters (or sun butter in my case), and seedy crackers, and just overdoing things in general that weren’t the best en masse. We were starting to feel like the restrictions were leading us to make worse food choices. Plus, we were less strict than the beginning. I definitely ate some dining hall foods that probably had small amounts of the forbidden items. As a result of all this, I didn’t feel quite as good. Another issue I had at this point was the restriction. I felt like it was starting to make me obsessive.
I didn’t make it this far. We officially called it on the Saturday of week 3, thanks to the amazing ice cream sandwiches brought to an even tee went to.
Plus, the next day we went out to dinner for my sister’s birthday, and the Ethiopian foods didn’t exactly fit my “no-processed grain” requirement. And neither did the cake…I wanted to get as much as possible going after the weekend, but it just didn’t happen. Valentine’s Day cookies and candies basically sealed the deal and launched me back into the sugar eating realm.
During the project (especially the first week), I did like some of the ease that came from making decisions. Of course I couldn’t take the cookie-it wasn’t even a choice! I was concerned what would happen afterwards, when it was a choice. I have a very hard time saying no to sweets!
I guess a lot of the above was explaining the difficulties and why I didn’t make it 4 weeks (plus, it was really hard!). But despite all that, I really did feel awesome most of the time! And the changes were definite. Most amazing to me was the improvement in the pain in my foot when I run! I really do believe that cutting out processed food is the way to health. But it’s also really hard. I think if I was living at home and was cooking all my own food, I would have definitely been able to continue. Being in a college environment made it that much more difficult!
So…where am I now? I’m struggling to eat well again! I can’t seem to find the restraint to pass up the giant cookies.
I’ve always had odd reactions to sugar, and I’ve always had trouble stopping once I’ve started. If I have a little, it ignites a drive in my mind for me. So, at this point, the physical changes from the project have vanished. I have been eating a lot of sugar lately, and what’s scary is that it’s really making my heart race. Another issue? I’ve bought Quest bars a few times now, and actually have developed a taste for them in an attempt to curb my sugar cravings. But they have nuts. I don’t think it’s a lot, but my skin is definitely rebelling so that’s something I need to reduce!
So what’s next? My current plan is the project 2.0. Which is eating, real, wholesome food and avoiding the sweet stuff so I don’t give myself a heart attack. I think for this week what I’m going to try is to build a bit of sugar in my day so I don’t feel deprived. I picked up a few granola bars over the weekend, and I’m hoping that will help my mid-afternoon sugar cravings.
Overall, I really did like the project. I wish I could go back to eating that way, but at this point I can’t bring myself to do it. Like I said in my delirious post, you have to be ready. I’m ready to improve my health back to where it was, but I’m not ready for the restriction and discipline required. I guess I’m not really sure where that leaves me!