I Quit Sugar!

Larson’s Bakery, just down the block from where we stayed in Seattle, is full of fresh, sweet treats. Cookies, cakes, donuts, tarts, the delish local Norwegian pastries. We stopped by every day; it was hard to chose just one treat, so lots of times I’d get two. Or three. Yummiest vacation ever.

I’d already bought clothes in a larger size for the trip. Most of my jeans were in a pile headed for a donation box, and many of my cute tops were on the way to the same pile. I kept my rings on the entire vacation, as they were hard to pull off my puffy fingers. I thought I’d need to get them re-sized soon.

None of this bothered me. I’m 64. I’m not going to worry about dieting at my age. My grandkids love me just the way I am. They’re still too young to attach labels to people based on looks. My husband, too, loves me for me. He still sees the slim young woman he married, or at least he’s never mentioned my weight or made me feel ashamed of it.

On the long flight home to Detroit, we bought sandwiches for the plane and chocolate too. After I ate my Snickers bar, I craved some of those M&Ms Al wasn’t eating. Al loves sweets, but he’s not addicted. When I asked, he handed me the M&Ms. He wasn’t happy about it, as he knew I had a bad sugar habit, but he indulged me. Then we got home and I looked at my calendar, just to get my bearings. What did I have going on in June besides Al’s birthday?

There it was, at the end of the month. An appointment with the doctor to test my blood sugar. I flashed to what she’d said two months before: if my numbers didn’t go down, she’d be putting me on medicine to control my blood sugar, and probably something for cholesterol, too. I had been in denial for the past two months. Maybe I subconsciously believed that having to take meds would be the thing that finally made me quit sugar. But now that the reality of sugar addiction was looking me in the face, I wanted to fix it.

I’d gone off sugar before. I’d done no carb, even. Those were the happiest numbers my doctor ever saw. She said “I don’t know what you’re doing, but keep it up.” That was about ten years ago. I was afraid to tell her I was doing South Beach. It could not be healthy to consume that much meat and dairy. Plus I was so sick of eggs and bacon for breakfast! Over the next several years, I tried to eat more healthfully, became vegetarian and then vegan. My sugar numbers slowly but surely crept up again.

My solution to all problems is to read up on it. I needed a book that would help me quit sugar. I found Sarah Wilson’s “I Quit Sugar” and read a lot of things I already knew. Like that processed foods contain sugar. And I learned some new things. Like that a whole wheat hamburger bun has more sugar in it than a candy bar. Or maybe that was from “Wheat Belly” the next book I read.

Ten years ago, I didn’t have the health problems I am now confronting. Insomnia. Excema. Lactose intolerance. Caffeine sensitivity. The inability to eat a healthy vegan diet because beans and legumes made my stomach churn and worse. Pretty much, I had IBS. And it is not pleasant. The last thing on the list of food items that are thought to cause IBS is wheat. And I had saved that as the last thing to eliminate from my diet, because I just didn’t want to know.

Then one day after my morning cereal, I made the familiar rush to the bathroom. No doubt about it, on top of being addicted to sugar, I had a problem digesting wheat. However, the two books had shown me a path forward without sugar or wheat. So two weeks ago, I decided to try to quit sugar. I cleaned out my pantry, getting rid of most of the offending foods. Both books had simple recipes. Sarah’s even has a shopping list.

My new diet is part South Beach, part vegan/vegetarian. Veggies are of primary importance, so those years as a vegetarian and vegan were not a total waste. It’s not a weight loss diet. It’s a diet that breaks sugar addiction, including the sugar in our modern genetically modified wheat. It might be too late to impact my sugar numbers this round of blood tests, but I will continue to eat this way anyway. If I do have to go on medication, I will soon be able to get off of it if I don’t eat sugar or wheat.

I’ll let you know how this latest diet goes after I hear from my doctor. Meanwhile, I’ve not had any wheat or sugar for two weeks. The IBS that started five years ago and has progressively gotten worse is gone. My bloated wheat belly has settled down into a regular pudgy tummy. Most of my jeans zip again. The rings on my fingers slide easily on and off. Best of all, I have no sugar cravings. None.

9 Comments

  1. Good luck with your new diet! I hope it helps to stabilize your blood sugar and improve your health.

    I’ve had to switch to a low-sugar diet for health reasons, too. It’s hard in the beginning, but it does get easier over time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lydia, I am so glad to hear that. When I eat really clean, I don’t get cravings as often. And if I do they re more a passing thought. But I can feel them kick up when I have a piece of fruit!!

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  2. Sounds like you’re really on the right track! I’ve found that having beans/legumes just every other or every third day (along with digestive enzymes) can help with the tummy problems. I also eat very small amounts of them at a time. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m with you on this. I recently had some stomach issues that reminded me I needed to clean up my diet. I felt like I already ate healthy, mostly vegan, lots of veggies, plant protein, occasional salmon. But, the wheat, sugar, and especially pasta every day was too much! I listened to my body’s reminder and have stopped eating pasta, bread, and refined sugar. I will eat pasta and bread again—I’m Italian!—but I won’t live on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. I get the Italian 🙂 Love me some pasta! I feel the same way about what wheat and sugar were doing to me. I was basing every meal (and snacks) on wheat products. I cut all of it for umm. 16 days and then broke down & had a burger (with bun!) and a chocolate caramel shake. But I’m back to my pre-doctor appointment diet at least until she checks my blood sugar. If I’m not diabetic, I’ll try to moderate but if she puts me on a meds I’ll do everything I can for as long as I can until I am out of the diabetes zone!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good for you! I am on a similar path & am getting back on track with cleaner eating. Last year, after just a month, I was able to stop my cholesterol medication. So I hope you are happily surprised at your next Doctors visit! You got this!!!

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    1. Brenda your report gives me so much hope! I don’t want to be diabetic and I do not want to be on cholesterol meds, both of which I’m looking at…but if I do have to take meds I will keep up the no sugar no wheat forever if needed. xo

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