Tuesday, April 17, 2012

In the Clear- sugar detoxing

It's that time of year again...time to come down from the sugar high.  My sugar season seems to run from the first batch of Halloween sugar cookies through the last bag of Easter Speckled M&Ms.  It's almost a longer season than winter in the high country.
I know what I need to do, but the hardest part is making the firm commitment to start and bust through the first 3 days.  I know if I don't have sugar or sweets for 3 days, then I am in the clear...I won't crave it and I won't want it in my body.  Sounds easy, but I can easily persuade myself to have just a bite or just a few and then my Day 1 keeps resetting itself.

A couple of years ago, I tried an involuntary concussion cleanse.  It worked really well.  Problem was, it was costly and involved a very difficult head injury recovery.  I was mountain biking down a trail too technical for my skills.  I hit a 12" drop and didn't pull up on the handle bars- causing me to cartwheel with my feet attached to the bike by my eggbeater pedals.  As soon as I smacked the ground, I knew I had hit my head harder than I had ever hit it in my life.  I laid on the trail covered in dirt, trying to move my jaw around to ensure it wasn't going to have to be wired shut for a month.  I rode out the trail and when I returned home, the words coming from my mouth were not the words being sent from my brain.  By the time I reached Urgent Care, all I could do was shove my wallet at them for my ID and tell them "I crash".  I couldn't manage to spit out the words, "I crashed on my bike" even though it was running through my head.  I don't remember much after that- other than lying on the gurney holding my head and making quite a ruckus.  I don't recall being restrained.  I don't recall the ambulance ride to the hospital 35miles away.  I woke up as they were unloading me and I saw a man I vaguely recognized.  It was my father.  I recall hearing that they'd be putting me through the CT Scan.  I don't recall the CT Scan.

Several hours later, after a good rest on a cold hospital bed, I was released to go home and turn off all lights, electronics (TV, computer, music), no books or magazines and just recline with my eyes closed...for days.  Yeah right.  I'm a mother.  A single mother.  I returned to work two days later- which had me back at the doctor's office with further instruction to do nothing.  The doctor also told me no caffeine.  I'm sure he was assuming I'm a coffee drinker like the rest of the population.  I'm not.  I don't really even drink sodas, but I considered the caffeine in my chocolate consumption.  I wanted my head to stop pounding, so I didn't have any chocolate.  After a few days of no chocolate, I didn't need sweets, so I stopped eating sweets.  I wasn't allowed to run or bike or do yoga.  My head was a wreck.  I was prepared to start packing on the weight (as my body is inclined to gain weight in the blink of an eye if not active).  I dropped 8lbs in a matter of days just lying around doing nothing.  My other eating habits did not change.  I attributed that weight loss to going sugarless.

I did my first voluntary cleanse about a year and a half ago. I got an Elderberry Cleanse kit from a local health food store on clearance for $4 (retails approx $45- steal!).  I knew two other people who had done this cleanse before with good results- that's how I selected this particular program.  Here is what I expected:  the elderberry concentrate would be bitter and I'd have to choke it down each day and I'd be making constant trips to the bathroom with laxative-like effects.  Here is what I discovered:  the elderberry concentrate was pleasant.  No laxative-like effect.  I experienced a lot of nasal mucous discharge through the course of the week.  In with the good, out with the bad.

I was shocked by the realization of how much of my day is consumed by thoughts of food- what I'm going to eat, what I want to eat and just plain eating...mostly out of boredom.  With a very specific plan laid out in front of me, I didn't have to think about groceries or snacks or calories or fat.  Day 2 was the most difficult detox day.  I wasn't prepared for the dull headache and low energy.  By Day 3, I felt like a new person.  I was lively.  My joints felt good.  I had an overall feeling of lightness.  I wasn't thinking about food as much as Day 1 and Day 2.   In hindsight, I should have followed Day 5 down to the very last letter.  I had a slice of Amy's Organic Pizza for dinner and Day 6 was spent with my stomach in knots.  I took my measurements at the beginning of the cleanse and at the end.  Before the start of Day 5, I had lost 1/2" on each thigh, 1 1/2" on my waist, 3/4" on my hips.  I had dropped 5lbs.

For as health conscious as I am on a consistent basis, I like to believe handfuls of M&Ms have no calories and I burn enough calories to make up for a half dozen cookies.  Raise your hand if you are a sugar addict!  Keep it raised if you're ready to do something about it!  More to come.

1 comment :

  1. Quite a story! I too had a concussion (from a skating accident) and felt the best explanation was feeling like I was in another dimension. I suppose that comes form too much exposure to Pokemon and Digimon. Hope all is well now. I ended up losing my sense of smell, and taste went with it! About the sugar, I'm just trying to wean myself off chocolate, and so far so good. I won't deprive myself completely, just limit my intake from daily to every once in a while...now that Easter's over. Also tried Sambu years ago, but only lasted a day. I really hated the taste and heck, I was hungry!

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