Sunday, September 27, 2015

"A Sunday Trip to the Grocery Store" AKA "...Are You F*cking Kidding Me?!?!?"

About two weeks into this sugar-free world, I cleaned out my pantry.  It became a thing of order and beauty:
That hot chocolate tin now holds sugar free dutch cocoa and that "natural" (*eye roll*) peanut butter is almost gone and has only been eaten by the 3 year old.
I had been meaning to do this ever since we moved in two years ago and I just threw everything up there while unpacking, but now I had a reason to do it: get rid of the sugar!

And I did.
I got rid of everything except the Vermont maple syrup and a few "chinese" food options that have sugar in them, and those went in the shelf over the sink that never gets opened (hoisin sauce and mirin cooking wine, I am sad I've had to hide you).

And that was that.

except, I just found out that was not fucking that.

After I finished reading Sarah Wilson's book I Quit Sugar, my dad told me about a book he'd read called Year of No Sugar.  This book chronicles a woman (and her family) as they spend a year not eating added sugar of any kind.  I bought it.  I'm reading it.  La-la-la.  Suddenly she starts talking about how she and her husband can't eat out anywhere because everything has added sugar.  I got a little sniffy and thought "surely you can just have non-sweet things like meat and vegetables and cheese and bread, etc."
Here's the thing this book has just opened my eyes to: ALL THAT STUFF HAS SUGAR IN IT.

I know, right George?!?!

(Me reading the sugar book)
Still I think, ok, sure there probably some crap brands out there that add sugar to bread or mayo, but that can't be all of them.

welcome to my sunday at the grocery store...
We arrive and luckily find the magic purple cart (which means Madeleine will be happy).  We go through the produce section and get what we need.  Then I move on to the bakery.  I pick up several loaves of bread to find that they all have honey, sugar, molasses or some combination of the three.  Fortunately they have some "artisinal" french bread that has no sugar so I get some of that and think I'll get a loaf of one of the organic/uber healthy options.  Except when I get to the bread section there are literally ZERO loaves of bread that do not have sugar in them.  Even the so-called healthy/organic ones.  Everything has added sugar.  The same is true for all the mayonnaise jars for sale.  And the sandwich meats.  And the freaking bacon.  THE BACON.

I found sugar in chicken stock (not like we should buy commercial chicken stock anyway since it doesn't taste like anything), sugar in the organic veggie chips (!?!?), pretty much anything that has a sauce in it (especially tomato sauce), salad dressing, it just went on and on.

this was me at the grocery story 

So a deeper level of sugar purging went on today.
I was pleased to find a brand of bread (Ezekiel) in the frozen organic section that didn't have sugar.  I can make bread (I can even make mayonnaise) but I'm not sure how to find time for that sort of activity now when I'm supposed to be in rehearsal till the middle of the night every night.

Anyway.  It was frustrating, but I guess I'm glad I know.  Helps me in the future.

This is the label for Wonder Bread (which I wouldn't have bought before hand) but it honestly
wasn't that different from the rest of the store brands :(

oh well. bring on week seven.

Friday, September 25, 2015

40 days and 40 nights

40 days and 40 nights of rain
(this is pretty genius)

Today is day 40 of not eating any sugar.

I'm almost through week 6 of the I Quit Sugar 8 week plan to detox from sugar.  This is the week where you're supposed to add back in some fruits.  I had some grapes on Wednesday.  They were lovely but I haven't really wanted any more.

I miss the idea of sugar sometimes, but I feel very differently about the junk food packaging I walk past every day.  I see a candy bar or cake or ice cream or whatever and there is no kind of pull whatsoever.  I'm more likely to get sad about not having baked beans than cookies.

So this continues to work for me.

I haven't been losing weight at the same speed as I did in the beginning, just creeping down ounce by ounce.  But this morning I did hit a fun milestone... I've been working with two different sets of numbers.  The first is how much weight I've lost in these past 40 days (today the total is 11 pounds), but the second is the amount of weight I've lost since the year began (this includes the weight I lost at weight watchers in the spring).  So today I've officially lost 25 pounds this year :)

so that's cool

yeah, that's cool!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Micro Post

I'm wearing a dress today that I bought two years ago but have never worn.

I got it in the days after moving here to Wisconsin even though it was too small.  My thinking at the time was "surely this only doesn't fit because I have just moved and am stressed and am eating too much.  Surely I will start losing weight immediately and then this top will fit."

Except I didn't lose weight, I went in the other direction.
Until this year.
Until now.

So I am happy that I am wearing this dress today :)

That is all.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

28 Days Later...

I mean without sugar: 28 days since I cut fructose out of my life.
(oh yeah, and because I'm mildly obsessed with zombies)(and it's sunday so FEAR THE WALKING DEAD will be back on tonight - even if I won't be able to watch it until Friday...anyways!)

So it's been 28 days since I decided to follow the instructions in a book called I Quit Sugar and stop eating anything with fructose in it.  No junky sweets, no sauces that seem savory but in fact have a lot of sugar in them, no fruit.
(well, mostly, I have accidentally tried a few things that had sugar in them without realizing it, but 99.9% of my food intake has been fructose free).

So far the net result is that I have lost 10 pounds and I feel really good.  I sometimes miss sugar, but I've only had one really bad day (more on that in a minute).  The rest of the time it has been surprisingly easy.  I don't eat the thing I'm not supposed to eat, and somehow because I'm not eating that, my body tells me the right thing to eat.  Like "hey, you know what would taste great?  How about some sausage and beets and spinach sautéed with pecans and pumpkin seeds!!  RIGHTEOUS!"
Trust me, he's saying "RIGHTEOUS! RIGHTEOUS!"
There are all sorts of combinations that are occurring to me that I never thought of before, thanks to the suggestions from the book (like pouring seeds -- chia, pumpkin, sunflower, flax -- on top of food for an extra nutrition bonus).  The best dinner I have had all month was mushroom ravioli that I got from the store that I cooked with some asparagus (out of season, I know) then I grated some fresh parmesan and lemon zest and then topped with some truffle oil.

I made both of these faces when I ate the ravioli
probably with every bite.

I better cool it with the GIFs for awhile before I give someone an aneurism.

My one really bad day was last sunday when I got my period and it seemed like the only thing worth living for was chocolate.  I managed to white-knuckle it through the day (even through an afternoon at the Renaissance Faire which was up to your eyeballs in junky treats) until I could make this recipe: Chocolate Nut Butter Cups:
I call these "Not Reeses" 
They seriously did the trick!  It was crazy, they're not even really sweet, but I had one and didn't want any more.

That never happens.

I told my dad that and he said "I'm not very good with 'one.'  I am good with 'zero' or 'all'."
So at least I know where I get THAT from.

I have so far been having a really great semester too.  All of my classes (all 8 total) have been really fun and feel successful.  Rehearsals for the show that I cast have been going well too (hopefully I have not jinxed both by mentioning it).  I have just started to wonder if the sugar is affecting these things?  If my mind is clearer or if I'm just exceptionally on my game (or wildly deluded as to how well things are going).

Madeleine and I went out for pancakes the other morning (well, me for poached eggs) and when the waitress asked her what she wanted she said "May I please have pancakes without sugar?"
that made my heart well up with happiness.

So yeah, 10 pounds.  And literally all I've done is stop eating fructose.  I do exercise some (twice a week I get a great workout when I teach my movement class; the rest of the time I'm just aiming for my 10,000 steps on my fitbit).  I don't restrict my food intake.  I just listen to when I want to stop eating -- something I am *bizarrely* able to hear for the first time in my life.  I eat cheese and eggs and meat (organic).  I've been drinking coffee (decaf) with half and half most days.


That is another strange development in a month of strange changes in my palette.
One morning I went to school for convocation and I was really tired and I decided to drink some coffee (which I have hated my whole life) with some creamer.  And I really liked it.
It has replaced a morning snack most days.

Back to my eating habits... I find that I'm just not that hungry.  I mean, I get hungry.  But Friday night I had a large breakfast and a late lunch so come dinner time, I just didn't feel like eating a meal.  I had a few veggie chips while I gave Madeleine her dinner, but I literally cannot remember a time in my life when I just didn't feel like eating a meal.  I have, it is true, occasionally, been so broken hearted over a boy that I couldn't eat; but to just not feel hungry and be cool with it.
it was so strange!

I am enjoying feeling my body shave down a bit.  The changes are too subtle for anyone around me to see them.  But I'm comfortably wearing a pair of Next-Size-Down jeans that I barely squeezed into (and bought) in May when I was doing well with weight watchers.

I get sad sometimes when I think about sweets.  I miss them sometimes.  Wistfully.  Like a toxic ex.  There's a line in the play we're rehearsing now about God bringing someone Krispy Kremes and every time I hear it I want one.  If I think about an entire lifetime with never eating sweets again it is sad.  But I don't want them now.  Or at least, I don't want them enough to give up feeling healthy and losing weight.

Finally, I want to say a word about losing weight (well, that's a lie, I want to write a rambling paragraph about it): this shit is hard.  And not just because sugar is addictive, but also because it's such a difficult war to engage in.  Every day people who are trying to lose weight have to resist eating the things that are not healthy, they have to find some way to move their bodies more than their bodies (think they) want to move, all day.  every day.  And, if you're REALLY lucky, after maybe 4 days or so you step on the scale and the number goes down by one.

Losing weight is hard because we, as humans, tend to suck at the long range.  It's hard to think "well, if this keeps up for a YEAR I'll be half way to where I want to be."


ten pounds is ten pounds, man.  I'm proud of that.
I'm proud that I just ate a small dish of cashews and macadamia nuts and half a cucumber for lunch and that's all I want.
I'm proud that something is making a difference in my health and my well-being :)

I'd write about it more but I'm absurdly busy.
I'll check in when I can.
I leave you with some happy dances:

(oh yeah.  I'm definitely Tom Cruise on Oprah's couch)