Sugar Withdrawal

Flickr/Andrei!

I’ve completed three rounds of the Riverplex Xtreme at the Riverplex, and they’re awesome… but this last session, it was SO HARD for me to get on the healthy eating train. And if I remember, it took me most of the first session to really get into it, too! They had a session in January and a second one starting a week or so after the first round ended in March, and then not another round until October, and those five months on my own were not great…

What I’ve learned from some of the sessions at the Riverplex, and it’s true, is that you’ve heard it takes 3 weeks to create a habit, but that’s not always true. For some it could take 3 weeks to really solidly form a habit, for others it could take six MONTHS! I think I’m closer to the six month category, because at the end out two rounds of Riverplex Xtreme (8 weeks each), I still didn’t have the habit down to keep it going all summer! That’s why a lot of the gym resolutions you tend to make don’t work, because you assume you’ll be a gym rat by week three, but by week 3 you were tempted more by the donuts than the row machine.

(Total side not here, this is not actually an ad for the Riverplex. They are not paying me to endorse their programs. I DID participate in all three rounds of Riverplex Xtreme at no cost to me, but I genuinely wouldn’t be name dropping this place so much if I didn’t truly love it)

This is why they have their year-long commitment with the small group training. Although, I think what they need to implement is hiring someone to walk around with me and slap bad foods out of my hand and replace them with celery…

The food has been my biggest struggle. When you work out, you’re told to find a workout you enjoy, because you’re more likely to stick with it! That’s why I love the WERQ dance class, and the Burn Zone and Boot Camp small group classes, I find them FUN!  The same logic could be applied with your healthy eating… if you don’t like celery, you’re not going to eat it… so find stuff you do like. But then, for me, that ends up as a lot of processed foods  because I hate to cook. I hate to clean, and cooking requires extensive cleaning afterwards, and so I just HATE it!

Because I knew I wasn’t doing perfect, I had issue logging. Because if I logged that I ate one of those Lean Cuisine meals, I knew the feedback would be “eat less processed foods.” If I actually cooked spaghetti, even if it was whole wheat noodles, I predicted the feedback would be “next time substitute it with spaghetti squash.” But then on the days where I cooked spaghetti squash, and even put in some turkey meatballs, the whole meal would be like 187 calories, and I knew the feedback would be “make sure you get more calories in your meal so you’re not hungry soon after you eat!” Even if this WOULDN’T be the feedback, call it my anxiety voice telling me I wasn’t good enough! I got so stressed that I just wouldn’t log my food some days.

So now that RPX is over, I don’t want to dive back into the bad foods, I want to keep it up, but do it at my own pace. So I’ve decided the brave, intense first step is to cut sugar out of my diet. And while pure sugar is one thing, I think I have more of a problem consuming sugar substitutes. Diet Cokes, splenda in my coffee, etc. And sugar substitutes send the same signals as actual sugar to your brain, so your brain gets hooked on sweets. When we have some cookies in the break room, then, it’s impossible for me to say “no.” So today is day 2 and it’s been a difficult couple days to keep up with. Today I feel very unfocused (in fact, it’s taken me several hours on and off to finish this post, because I can’t focus on it for more than a few minutes before I move on to something else!) and I have a slight headache. I’ve been drinking tea since I like that unsweetened, but I can’t do coffee unsweetened… although tea hasn’t been doing the trick, so I made myself a cup of black (flavored) coffee to sip on.

If you’re taking bets on whether or not I’ll finish, you can follow my updates on Twitter:

So wish me luck and direct all Christmas cookies to Brian… or maybe don’t. Every time he eats or drinks something sugary (or with sugar substitutes), he makes a big deal like “MMMMMM SUGAR!!” Jerk.

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