Friday, December 7, 2012

I'm Doing The 21-Day Sugar Detox

It's been awhile since my last recipe post.  I will make some time to get something new up soon.  In the mean time, I thought I'd share what I've been up to lately....

I'm doing the 21-day sugar detox.  What's that you may ask?  It's this crazy thing where you give up sugar (and alcohol) for 21 days.  I mean no sugar, not even in the natural things like honey, maple syrup, etc.  Nothing.  Nada.  

And I'm doing it in December, during prime time holidays and sweet circulations and parties galore!  Yeah, I'm completely bonkers!  Those people who know me well are not surprised.  (They're thinking oh geez, here is another of Mandy's hair-brained schemes again!)

I read about this detox program through social media channels just after my Thanksgiving indulgences.  But I was a little bit inspired by my husband's stepmother who was doing a specific diet for weight loss.  She ate only chicken and fish and vegetables while she visited; she shared with me how she lost fifteen pounds in three weeks.  Wow, I thought.  If this 64 year old lady could be dedicated to do that diet for 60 days, then surely I could try this program for 21 days.  After all, I've been mostly Paleo/Primal for six months now.  I'd already successfully given up grains, legumes, many carbohydrates, all processed foods, soy and more.  I still indulge occasionally in dairy (just organic whole milk or cream or Amish cheese) since I can tolerate it but my husband cannot. 

Well I'm doing the detox for two main reasons:
1. Vanity
2. Control

Let me elaborate further now.

1. Vanity - I want to look better.  I have a seven month old baby and a five year old daughter.  I want to be that hot mom, not just someone who "looks good for having two kids."  I've got another 10 to 15 pounds I want to lose to be happy in my skin.  And I want to be sexy, not just happy.   There I said it.  I admitted it out loud.  For women, it's not easy getting older.... wrinkles, crow feet around the eyes, etc.  I'm 34 years old so I'm not too old.  But I want to have a trimmed and toned body because my skin and hands aren't getting any younger.  So I thought, maybe if I don't have any sugar at all, that will push me past this plateau I've seemed to hit with my post-pregnancy weight.  I was doing so great losing it steadily just eating Primal/Paleo foods.  Then I was stuck at the same number on the scale for awhile.  And I know I shouldn't be hung up on that scale but after nearly two months of the same, I needed a new tactic.  Something more now needed to be done.  I hope this is it. Or at least that jump-start to being a "loser."  :-)

2.  Control  - It may sound odd but I have little control over what happens in my day.  I have two small children. I mentioned them above, remember?  One of them is a high maintenance but adorable baby, just seven months old.  The other is a constant chatterbox but wonderful five year old.  So they keep my life interesting.  I start each day with good intentions.  I plan to clean, cook, run errands, work on homemade Christmas gifts, etc. etc.  I keep a calendar.  I organize our events.  I make lists.  Yet somehow, things more than often just don't go as planned.  The baby's naps are thrown off.  My oldest is whining and wanting my attention.  The dinner I hoped to make hasn't been started yet and I'm missing ingredients.  And that's just to name a few short things that come to mind.  So much of my life can change and go outside the normal.  But no matter what, I can control what I eat.  I take charge of what goes in my mouth.  I have the complete say-so and ending note.  So it seemed that in my current, crazy chaotic state, I could restore just a tiny bit of balance by controlling what I eat and getting rid of the sugar cravings I often have.  Even though the sweets I've eaten over the past six months have been the healthier, all natural, homemade kind, I still need to stop going to that dark chocolate bar or that honey-infused almond flour bread that I spread all-fruit jam over.   I can rise above that.  I don't need it.  I may want it.  But I don't really need it. 

So those are the reasons why I'm doing it.  And I am doing it.... 
Today is actually day 12 for me.  I'm half-way done. 

Looking back at my daily notes, I can share the following:

Days 3 and 4 - I had pretty bad headaches. 

Day 6 - This was a willpower kind of day.  It required a lot of willpower to say no to holiday cupcakes at  party I attended.  However, I realized I lost four pounds so that was the motivation I needed to say "No."

Day 8 - I lost five pounds total since starting this journey and my clothes are definitely looser. 

Day 11 - I felt really down on this day even though I didn't cheat and have stuck well with the diet.  Perhaps it was hormonal or weather related for me.  I really wanted a glass of wine with my dinner because I had a hard day with my two girls.  I didn't have one though.  I'm stronger/better than that!  (At least for now!)

Overall, I'm doing great.  I write down what I eat in a journal everyday.  I'm exercising five days a week and I've discovered the following about myself so far:

- I don't need more than one cup of coffee per day.  And I can still enjoy one cup of coffee without any sugar (not even Stevia).  I do like my whole fat, organic cream inside it though.

- I missed my 90% dark chocolate the first week.  But this second week hasn't been so bad. 

- Being strong takes work but I can do it.  I'm a strong, determined person. 

- I may want something sweet; however, more than I want that candy bar, I want to look and feel my best.  I keep telling myself that sugar is not worth it right now.  After all, I am working toward being that "hot mama," not that "mama going to coffee shops for holiday indulgences that my hips and waistline don't need." 

- I can still kick ass at a challenge and/or contest. 

And that's about it from me for now.  I've got only nine more days to go but I may do an additional week too.  I may go for a 28-day sugar detox.... Because I can! 

When I have more time and my baby actually takes a long nap during the day, I'll write down what I'm actually eating each day of the 21-day challenge.  I'll try to include any tips and thoughts that may have helped me along the way too. 

But for now, just call me crazy.  Call me nuts.  I'm used to it.  Plus, normal is boring anyway.

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