Saturday, April 26, 2014

Gaining a stronger, healthier body: Battling Sugar

Growing up I was told many many times "you are so lucky, you can eat whatever you want and it won't do anything to you!" I knew certain foods weren't good for you, but i was the exception; I could eat whatever I wanted! That's what everyone told me and I believed it. 

So, because of my giant sweet tooth, I felt that I could indulge freely in all the goodies I wanted to. In fact I became quite the candy connesiour. Every Sunday I would either make fudge or caramel or cookies or something else yummy and deliciously sweet. 

I do have a high metabolism which honestly does help keep weight off. I also have been an active person and a runner, but the wrong foods still does damage. In fact I gained 10 lbs my freshman year of college and for the first time in my life I had love handles. But it's not just about the way you look; it's about the way you feel too.

Of course I gained weight when I was pregnant and had to loose it after being pregnant so I would go running. Then I had Silas and only gave myself about six months to recover before I was pregnant with Adam. I didn't even loose all my pregnancy weight with Silas before I started putting on weight with Adam. My body was really out of shape because I didn't do well exercising while pregnant and I would crave sugar like crazy. After having Adam I really wanted to get my body back in shape. I started training for my half marathon. But I still had a hard time with giving up sweets and I would not change my sweet eating habits. 

It's not just a physical thing to change your eating habits, it is social and emotional too. This makes it harder to change the way you eat. Then I had a dear friend enter my life a year and a half ago who was the healthiest eater I have ever met. I was able to observe her eating habits, learn from her how to create nutrient dense foods, how to say no to sweets in social events, and how to change unhealthy things into healthier foods (like waffles with syrup to whole grain waffles with unsweetened applesauce) I learned from her that the food you eat is the fuel for your body and your body will truly function better on the right fuel. I learned that refined sugar is definitely NOT the right fuel. 

So, I decided to go one week without refined sugar. I was totally shocked with the results. Not because I was feeling amazing, but because I was feeling quite the opposite. I was having headaches, I wanted sugar so bad! I felt kind of sick! It dawned on me body was dependent on was a real addiction!  

I started replacing refined sugar with honey and eating more whole grains. It was becoming easier to go a week every once in a while without the sugar. 

Just before this last thanksgiving I went ten days without refined sugar and when thanksgiving came, I was so ready for the pie! Christmas season starts right after Thanksgiving and I just blew it by eating tons of junk again. My body didn't like that and when New Years rolled around I knew what resolution I needed to make.
 I was doing fairly well after New Years and then I went on vacation and I took a vacation from my resolution too. You can bet that after I got back was right back on healthy eating habits and limiting small treats to the weekend. The last three weeks have been awesome with how I have been feeling! I have not been craving sugar. I feel like I am free from the dependency I was feels so good! I still want and do have sweets, but way less frequently and when I do have it my body feels kind if icky afterwards. 
Education on what refined sugar does to your body was a big reason why I started to change. Too much sugar will metabolize as fat and be stored in your liver. Sugar is addictive. Sugar will trick you into thinking you are still hungry so you eat more food. Too much sugar over time will cause insulin resistance and lead to type 2 diabetes. There's more, but that's what I will share for now. 

If this post does anything for anybody, I just hope it gears you in caring more about the health of your body and your body doesn't need refined sugar. 

I feel really good about changing this habit of mine and I feel like I have more energy. It certainly takes time to change and I am still working on it myself...a lot. Good luck to all endeavoring to change their sweet eating habits!

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