Sugar Blues

    c.274w been here done thatThis past week I was reminded — yet again — just how easy it is to get distracted and forget my history lessons.

    For months I’ve been in a bad loop of the physical/mental sort. Excruciating pain kicking in leaving me with a messed up mental state, causing inactivity, exacerbating the physical pain … round and round. There were occasional brief moments of relative respite, but not many. Soon a disassociation took place. A floating/numbing of sorts. At first it was nice, because even with the pain (be it mental or physical) it seemed far, far away. “Nice” quickly stopped and became this really strange, bizarre, ever-present, all-consuming disassociation. Definitely not fun.

    Being of the I-can’t-take-meds-because-I-have-really-bizarre-to-the-point-of-life-threatening-reactions ilk (extremely obnoxious, let me tell you), I’ve collected (and continue to collect) alternate modalities which I try out, revisit, and use. It was because of those modalities I managed to kinda-sorta bump along and “function” these past months. (While I wouldn’t say I passed with flying colors, I did make it through and survive.)

    Survival is good, but I wanted more. Being of the belief that life should be LIVED (as in capital letters) versus just surviving (or getting through), I kept looking for ways out of this sinkhole. Since introducing something new to my system is risky, I went into clutter clearing mode and thought about what I could remove.

    c.276w Sugar BluesLast week I decided to give up sugar for seven consecutive days. My rule was simple, if it turned out I’d consumed sugar, I began the next day as Day One. I wanted seven days in a row. The first day out I had an oops which caused me to be even more diligent in my ingredient reading. It happened I saw the same friend the day I decided to undertake this experiment and less than three consecutive days without sugar. Said friend was blown away by the difference.

    After titling this post “Sugar Blues,” I remembered a book I’d seen years ago called Sugar Blues. A quick check on Amazon shows William Dufty’s 1975 book has been reissued & is still around. Back in 1975 Dufty claimed sugar was ostensibly an addictive drug affecting (and even causing) physical and mental issues. And here I was in 2014 with physical and mental issues!

    I write this post one week without added sugar (including corn syrup and all the other sneaky ways it’s added to our food). During this week I had a bout of pain which ratcheted to the top of the pain-o-meter. Two great things to report. First, the duration was shorter than it’s been in a long time and second, there was no mental collateral damage. WOO-HOO!

    a.30bw Woo-Hoo

    This history lesson I intend to remember. The difference in both my mental and physical well-being is too strong to ignore. The only Sugar Blues I want in my life are Ella Fitzgerald’s. That said, because there will be times I’ll want to indulge, I have a contingency plan. During the initial seven consecutive days I also took honey, agave, stevia, molasses, etc. out of the mix. (I have a feeling that in moderation I’ll be okay with those.) However, if I do decide to indulge in an added-sugar treat (I mean ice cream is one of the essential food groups, especially McConnell’s which is approximately 17%-18% butterfat … YUM!), I will simply do another round of the initial seven consecutive days.

    c.275w frog leaving potBack in my dieting days I was always miserable “doing without.” Not so here. This is not a hardship. I feel too good. The way I see it, this is a case where the frog (in this case yours truly) actually made it out of the pot before she was cooked. Here’s wishing you and yours success in your own seven-consecutive-days challenge.

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    Sheila Bergquist - May 21, 2014 - 10:19 pm

    That’s great that it made you feel so much better! It is hard to cut out sugar entirely, not only because we crave it, but because it sneaks into so many foods we would never suspect. I’m amazed at what I find when I look at ingredients labels…another reason to try to eat as naturally as we can, right?
    Anyway, good for you having such discipline!

    Sydney Avey - May 22, 2014 - 2:48 am

    So with you on the sugar buzz. I am going to try the Daniel plan with a group from church to regain some discipline over this sweet snaky beast. If enough of us resist additives perhaps our options will grow. Can you imagine a nation of people who felt good?
    Wishing you sweet success, Tana!

    Tana Bevan - May 22, 2014 - 2:44 pm

    Sheila~I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was, in terms of mindset, to go for the seven consecutive days without sugar. Making sure I didn’t inadvertently ingest sugar was a little trickier. (Who’da’thunk sugar was be added to dried fruit, boring cereal, hot sauce or tomato soup?!) The results~that I’m feeling better, both mentally and physically~makes it very easy to continue along the sugar-free path.

    Tana Bevan - May 22, 2014 - 2:52 pm

    Sydney~I was surprised going sugar-free made such a huge difference, both mentally and physically, in such a short period of time. That fact alone makes it easy to stay on the sugar-free course. That I’m able to consume fruit (fresh and dried) seems to suffice. I love the idea of a nation of people who feel good. If you do decide to give the sugar-free course a try, I’d love to hear back from you (particularly after the first seven days). So glad you stopped by.

    catherine gacad - May 28, 2014 - 8:31 pm

    i have been wanting to do a sugar-free diet for some time. i’ve just heard such great things and now your blog post is even more incentive.

    Tana Bevan - May 28, 2014 - 11:38 pm

    Catherine~Go for it! I’m clapping and cheering for you. *smiles*