Here’s What Happened When I Decided to Give Up Sugar

give up sugar

On August 14, 2018 (which was, incidentally, the 14th anniversary of my first date with my husband), I went to the doctor for a yearly physical.

During that visit, he told me I was obese, according to the standard BMI chart (I’m 5’6” and weighed 217 at that point). Then he offered me a few pieces of advice:

Move more.

Eat less.

Avoid sugar, because “sugar is poison.”

Now, it should come as no surprise to you that I’ve understood that sugar is very bad for you for quite a while. I’ve heard that warning before – that sugar is poison. But until that moment I’d never really believed it.

I’d always thought that as long I practiced moderation in eating sugar, then I would be okay. The problem is: sugar is in EVERYTHING – especially processed foods. You can easily eat too much of it before you realize what you’re doing.

And when those words came out of my doctor’s mouth (a doctor I like and trust), I took them seriously. VERY seriously. I decided to cut out sugar (at least most sugar) from my diet for good.

When my test results came in the mail 5 days later and I discovered my triglycerides were high, I became even more determined to give up sugar, since sugar and triglycerides are intimately linked.  

Here’s what my dietary change meant for me:

  • I cut out ALL white sugar (no more cookies and cakes).
  • I cut out MOST white flour (I decided to not be really strict about that). The doctor didn’t mention white flour being a huge problem for me yet, although he had told my mother shortly before that white flour is poison. She’s full-blown Type 1 diabetic (and has been for over 50 years).
  • I increased my exercise by 15 MINUTES A DAY (just 15 minutes!)
  • I started eating MORE vegetables (the doctor told me to reach for those whenever I felt hungry).
  • I also started eating MORE fat (mostly the good kind – olive oil, fish oil, and avocados).  

healthy eating

Here’s a rundown of what happened after I made these changes:

  • One week later, I’d lost 7 pounds.
  • Eight days later, the 15-minute workout I’d started doing daily was a lot easier to do. I wasn’t panting or feeling faint halfway through. I knew my body was getting leaner AND stronger.
  • 17 days after my journey began, I’d lost 14 pounds. My skin actually looked better (younger and brighter). I felt better (had more energy, the brain fog was gone). And even my usual menstrual bloat was gone. By this point, I was pretty sure that my whole life had been changed just by giving up sugar. And I decided that I never wanted to go back to eating it.  
  • On Day 19, my energy levels were through the roof! Even my husband said he hadn’t seen me with that much energy for the past 10 years or so. At that point, I knew I’d been living in a walking sugar coma for the past decade.
  • On Day 22, I did something I hadn’t done in nearly a decade. I only drank ONE cup of coffee in the morning instead of my usual 2-3 (or more). And I had enough energy to make it through the day. I took a 20-minute nap in the afternoon…but I had energy! I had to cut back on the coffee because the day before I had my usual 2 or 3 cups, and I felt like I was literally going to jump out of my skin. I just couldn’t sit still. It was then that I realized that if you want more energy, you need to quit eating sugar!

cup of black coffee

  • On Day 24, I had to yank up my jeans the whole entire day because they were falling down. The funny thing is: I’d had to cut slits into the waistband of those jeans just a month or two before because they were too tight for me to move or breathe in. I knew then that I was on my way to needing smaller clothes!
  • On Day 30, I started IdealShape’s 15-day workout challenge. Day 1’s workout about killed me. WAY different than the Leslie Sansone walking workout I’d been doing before that.
  • On Day 31, I switched out the yoga flow for the Day 2 challenge workout to give my body a bit of a break. There was not as much sweating, but I found out that my body was so not flexible it was not even funny.
  • On Day 36, I completed Day 4’s workout for the challenge (I took a couple of days off), and I was able to do 12 chair dips. That wasn’t as many as I wanted to do, but I realized that a week before that I wouldn’t have even attempted to do the chair dips. I was making progress!
  • The next day, I completed Day 5’s workout and thought the whole time, ‘Wow, this is actually pretty easy.’ That workout even included the cross-body plank runners that would have practically killed me the week before. Plus, when I was doing the cool-down stretching at the end, I was actually able to touch the floor when I bent over! At that point, I realized I was getting stronger and more flexible – and just generally healthier.

flexibility

Today is Day 39 of my lifestyle change (this is not a diet – I REFUSE to call it a diet). I’ve lost 16 pounds … and I’ve lost 3 inches around my waist, arms, and thighs.

I’m going to continue chronicling my weight loss journey on this blog, so stay tuned. I’ve learned a lot during this process, and I want to share it so I can motivate and inspire others. I’ve already been doing that on Facebook.

And, speaking of Facebook, if you want to learn more about my weight loss journey or low-carb living, in general, join my Keto/Paleo Cave Facebook group. Let’s do this thing together!