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21DSD: What not to do (recap)

*Last day to enter the giveaway! Hurry up and go! There have been almost 300 entries already…WOW! If you want a chance to win, simply enter here. The prize is a digital copy of Skintervention by Liz Wolfe, a new all natural skin care guide that very well could change your life!*

Hey guys! So, my 21 day sugar detox is over, and I really wish I was here with some great news to tell you how it changed my life and I’m done with sugar forever now, but unfortunately that is not the case. This has nothing to do with the actual program, and in fact I’ve found it incredibly useful for showing me where my weaknesses lie. I don’t think I really grasped how much sugar controls me until I tried to do this. It is crazy, really crazy, how much I love chocolate and ice cream. I had no idea that it meant so much to me, and it was really really really hard to cut it all out. As I have posted, I had a couple of slip ups. I posted about 1, but not the more recent one. I had another couple of drinks, which was one of the things I found REALLY hard to restrict.

Overall I did pretty good, definitely not perfect though. This is my story of what you should not do. You should NOT do the 21dsd and then as soon as it’s over jump head first into a bucket of ice cream. Yep, that’s what I did. I just wanted it so badly, I felt so deprived! And afterwards, I felt so sick. This is the reason I am glad I did this:

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After essentially cutting out most sugary foods for 3 weeks, I woke up the morning after my ‘binge’ with my mouth hurting. All of the sugar I had the night before had a serious effect on me! It’s as if the sugar actually burnt my mouth! There’s a sore in my mouth now that was definitely not there beforehand. My stomach hurt too, even until the next day! I was not expecting this! I thought that it would just taste really sweet and I wouldn’t want it anymore and that would be that. Well, let me tell you, that was NOT the case! It still tasted good. DAMNIT!

Those physical effects just really hammered home how important this really is.  Another thing I realised is that sugar has the opportunity to send me into a huge binge spiral. I ate a WHOLE container of coconut ice cream, which is supposed to be like 3 – 4 servings? Then an hour or two later I also had 2 bowls of ROLO ice cream. SERIOUSLY. How did I even fit all of that inside of myself? I don’t know, I just could not stop. I logically said to myself that I didn’t want it, I would feel sick, etc but it did not stop me.

This is something I need to continue to work on.

I’m giving myself some ‘life rules’ in relation to sugar:

1. I’m NOT going to limit fruit intake right now, but I will aim for max 2 servings per day.

2. I will stick to 1 c kombucha per day.

3. I will not limit my alcohol consumption, but I will try to drink less and not consume alcohol with extra sugar, IE. no more rum and cokes!

4. I will not be baking large batches of anything. I will not bring tubs of ice cream into my house. I will not be buying chocolate bars with 4 servings in them. Basically, I want to eliminate the temptations so I don’t even need to USE my self control in the moment.

5. I will set small attainable goals for myself each week and try to make slow and consistent changes in my life! Stay tuned for those.

Hopefully these few guidelines will help me to be better at this.

Overall

I think this is a good program, and if you have a lot of willpower or aren’t as addicted to sugar as I am I think you could be quite successful. When I WAS off of the sugar, I felt GREAT! And honestly, if you are as addicted to sugar as I am, it probably means you should do this even more! Even if you ‘fail’ or go right back to your old habits, I do believe it will be an eye opener, as it was for me. I probably will revisit this sometime in the future, but I want to be more consistently on the right track before doing any more ‘challenges’. I still need to work on getting the basics down pat. I definitely will say this: I am still addicted (or at the very least attached) to sugar.

With the ice cream…I felt like a drug addict. I needed it SO bad, and I didn’t care that it was bad for me. I could not say no. I felt powerless in those moments. Even when I had already gone overboard, I went OVER overboard. I’m going to be taking these tempting items out of my life for good! I will not be bringing them into my house. The plan is to use the strategies I learnt from the detox to improve myself in the future. That’s all I can do at this point. So, overall, I would still recommend the 21DSD even though I was not completely successful. For me, I just have a big piece of work still ahead of me. Don’t worry; I will keep you updated on my progress on this one. I think I might need to start a count down…

It’s been 4 days since the last ice cream incident.

The 21-Day Sugar Detox

What now?

Well, as I mentioned earlier I will be trying to follow a few guidelines to keep the sugar under control in my day to day life. I’m also happy to report that I’ve been back on the clean eating wagon since this bingeing and feeling like crap episode. I’m feeling better being back to basics and eating quality foods. FEWF!

Here are some GOOD things I’ve been eating since I went crazy:

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And Just in case you are curious, here are the other posts I wrote during this experience:

21DSD take 2! Day 1

21 Day Sugar Detox: Day 2

A day in the life–21Day Sugar Detox: day 3

Paleo Valentines Day Breakfast! #21DSD approved

21DSD: Week 1 recap…aka 7 days off of the sugar crack!

21DSD Day 8: “Hey, Cravings! Leave this kid alone.”

I get knocked down, but I get up again!

21DSD Day 18–More on cravings

Before & After Skin Photos

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As you all SHOULD know, I’m running a giveaway right now for Liz Wolfe’s awesome e-book, Skintervention. Check it out to enter! Anyways…this is a bit of a follow up to my review.

I wasn’t planning on doing this, for a variety of reasons, but a reader requested I post before and after photos of my face so here we go. I wasn’t going to, because I am A) a bit embarrassed by them, and B) I still consider myself to be very much a work in progress. I’ve suffered with bad skin for half of my life, since I was 11 years old. It’s just like what they say about weight loss- it takes a long time to get to this point, and it’s going to take a long time to get back from it.

So yeah, I’m still hoping for my skin to continue improving but there have been some major changes too (in my opinion). Also I would like to note that I do think my skins improvement is due not ONLY to the methods I have adopted, but my diet as well. Skin health comes from the inside and the outside. That being said, I know that replacing the chemicals in my skin care with natural products that don’t irritate my skin anymore has made a HUGE difference.

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As you can see, I have a problem area. My cheeks are where I get the majority of my blemishes. The cheeks tend to be big and red, with active acne and scarring as well. I also used to get zits right on the edges of my lips, which have not recurred since switching to paleo (4 months).

My cheeks have definitely seen a great improvement. One of the things that may be doing it is that I no longer use shampoo, so any chemicals that I may have been reacting to are no longer rubbing up against my face all day. You can see that a LOT of the redness and broken out parts are gone now. I still have a lot of scars to fade though, huh? I need to go read back what she suggests for that one.

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Pre paleo, this is what I was living with everyday. and I considered this ‘good’, much better than when i was a teenager.

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changing my diet allowed me to get a bit of clearance as you can see here, but it was still not great by any means.

after
Now, I’m still dealing with breakouts but the quality of my skin is WAY better, and you can see that a lot of that irritated redness is gone.

I just want to thank the commenter who asked for these photos. Thanks Meg. I have realised from doing this just how far I have come! Amazing!!!! I’m so happy :) I can’t wait to see how I look six months from now!

So, after seeing those pictures I bet you are wondering:

What did I do? What do I do now?

BEFORE: I used to use ‘natural’ shampoo, NON natural conditioner, and a ‘vegan’ 3 step face wash. Random moisturizers for the body and normal toothpaste.

AFTER: I wash with coconut oil, moisturize with coconut oil again or tamanu oil. I wash my hair with baking soda, condition with Apple cider vinegar and sweet orange essential oils. Moisturize my body with coconut oil. And I just switched to coconut oil and baking soda toothpaste yesterday! Don’t worry, I took before photos of my teeth guys. I’ll post those when I have an ‘after’.

If you are curious, fellow blogger heyheyhoneybee has also posted her results. Check them out, they are pretty awesome! I WISH my skin looked like hers.

So, has this convinced you to enter the giveaway?

Everything I know I’ve learned from Skintervention, Liz’s website, and The Love Vitamin (check her out!). Thank you ladies for improving my life.

21DSD Day 18–More on cravings

*don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win Skintervention by Liz Wolfe!! You still have 8 whole days to enter!*

Today is day 18 of the 21DaySugarDetox and I am kind of in shock! It is still hard, but I have come to a realization. There is a huge, HUGE difference between physical sugar cravings, and emotional sugar cravings. The 18 days off of sugar (give or take some wine and tequila…) have eliminated the physical cravings, but the emotional cravings are most definitely still there.

What triggers me?

One thing that always makes me want to cave is the lethal combination of being tired and hungry at the same time. If I have just finished a long, hard day and I am even a little hungry, watch out sugar because I am coming for you! One way to avoid this is to keep healthier snacks on hand as to avoid this situation. I like macadamia nuts, but I need to be careful because I can (and do) literally eat 100 macadamias a day. And those things aren’t cheap!

Another one is if I am feeling upset. A lot of things have been going wrong in my life lately and I am finding it really hard not to turn to food. I never considered myself an emotional eater, but now I am realizing I am. As soon as stuff starts spiraling out of control I want to reach for ice cream. Which is definitely not good if you live next door to Baskin Robbins, like I do. (NOT KIDDING!) This is something I really need to keep working on, because I don’t want to have a sugary crutch in my life anymore.

Cravings of convenience

Sometimes I don’t even want something at all, but then I see it and I feel tempted and in that moment I want it. For example, driving past about 30 – 40 fast food restaurants on the way home from work. I will have a BARRAGE of cravings coming at me the whole drive home. I don’t want A&W, but I see it and suddenly my mouth is watering and I’m thinking about a teen burger. Or at work, my office is right beside Second Cup. I want a vanilla latte as soon as I smell it!

What do I crave?

Let me tell you, when I’m emotional, it’s not a banana I am craving. I want chocolate. Caramel. Cheesecake. Stuff that I know I shouldn’t be eating even if I weren’t on the 21DSD. In fact, ON THE 21DSD, I feel much more drawn to foods I wasn’t eating beforehand. I don’t know why this is. Perhaps, it is because now I think of all sugar, natural or not, as a cheat. Why cheat with a strawberry when I will feel just as guilty if I cheat with a sundae? I really need to change my mindset on this aspect.

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How do I fight it?

One way is to remove yourself from the situation. I just don’t even buy a black coffee, so I don’t need to resist switching from black to a latte at the last moment. But, like i mentioned earlier, we are attacked with advertisements constantly.  So removing yourself from temptation is not always an option!

Something else to think about is to look at this like a small picture. everyone always says to look at the big picture but I think that can get overwhelming. 21 Days seems like a long time. 1 day seems like a lot shorter of a time! Tell yourself you just need to make it through the current moment. That’s what I’ve been doing and what do you know, I’m at day 18!

The last thing I’ve come up with is to tell yourself “I can do this”, because guess what, you CAN! Many people have succeeded at this and you can too, we are all capable! I heard a quote today the was just too fitting to this topic:

“Whether you think you can or you can’t – you are right” – Henry Ford

If you don’t think you can succeed, you probably wont. Try to stay positive and remind yourself that you are strong. “I can do this” is a very powerful statement. I’m going to keep reminding myself that I CAN DO THIS for the next 3 days. And I will  be fighting that emotional eating monster for much longer than that. We all have the power to control our lives, we just need to tap into it and make change happen.

Who’s with me? How far have YOU made it on this journey?

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I get knocked down, but I get up again!

So I fell off the wagon of the 21DSD, and hard, my friends! Friday night, after everything that has happened in the past month, my boyfriend and I decided we NEEDED a night out with friends. This ended up with me drinking wine, tequila, and eating a giant poutine. It also ended up with me having a fun night, relieving some stress, dancing around with friends, and bonding with my boyfriend. I don’t regret what I did. It was only 1 night, I’m back on the wagon! Since then i haven’t caved again.

This does not mean the 21DSD is over for me! It is still day 14 right now. I’m back to healthy eating, and I will not be drinking for the rest of the detox. There is an image that the 21dsd facebook page always posts near the beginning of the 21 days. Here it is:

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I had a setback but not a failure. I’m not letting it stop me! And I am making better choices today. I’m choosing not to go out tonight. I’ll be staying in, possibly knitting, drinking tea, and watching grey’s anatomy while my boyfriend goes out! The point of the 21DSD is to form good habits that will stick after the 21 days are over. I think that it is working! I still did make better choices than I would have in the past. I COULD have had rum and coke instead of tequila and a lime wedge. I could have had a whisky sour filled with sugar, too. But I didn’t. And at least my poutine was made from hand cut potatoes instead of a fry with 20 ingredients in it. It’s definitely not ideal, but life happens.

I also drank less than I usually would, and I want to keep up with drinking less often after the 21DSD is over. I’m not against an occasional drink, even if it’s not ‘good’ for you, Robb Wolf himself loves the tequila! And I do too.

Did I mention that like 2 days before my ‘binge’ those pesky cravings finally disappeared. I find it funny that I gave in when I WASN’T having craving. Weird. I’m glad to report that in spite of my indulgence, the cravings have not returned. SCORE!

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Anywho, all of this to say, I am human. I messed up. I will forge on. And I can do this! If you are struggling or gave in, you are not alone. Let’s keep going, only 1 week left!

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Terrible Day? Write a Gratitude List.

Do you ever have one of those days where it feels like NOTHING is going right? I’m having one of those weeks right now. If not one of those MONTHS right now. Everything just keeps going wrong! It is sooo frustrating! I really need to catch a break. Sooner rather than later please, universe.

It would take me 3 hours to go into everything bad that has happened but I will say the latest one was spilling hot fresh coffee alllll over myself. Yeah. & by the way that’s definitely the best one of the bunch. Car accidents and death in the family, anyone?

So…I’m in one of those ‘moods’ right now. One of those “woe is me”, “why world why”, “oh just end it all” kind of moods. Maybe not that bad, but I’m definitely feeling down. I need a cookie! Too bad I’m on the 21DSD. hah. Okay so maybe I don’t need a cookie, maybe I need…

A Gratitude List

A gratitude list is simply writing things down that you are grateful for. Try to write at least 5! More if you are really feeling optimistic. Remembering the good things in life should take away some of the negative thoughts floating around in our pretty little heads.

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My Gratitude List

I’m thankful… Continue reading