Thursday, August 25, 2011


I love food.  I really love food.  My idea of the perfect day is the ability to eat whatever I wanted all day long and not have to think about my body or my wallet.  Ahhh, that would be beautiful.  However, as I've gotten older, I've also started to notice how food affects me, and that has given me reason to think about every bite I take.

Like most people, I'm attracted to certain foods, and like most people, if I eat a lot I'll gain weight.  That, however, is not all there is.  As I've mentioned before on my blog, I recently decided to cut a lot of processed sugar from my diet.  I had really noticed some HUGE changes there, but I don't think I realized just how huge they were until last week.

Before my diet changed, I often felt the following symptoms:

  • Bloating/gas or abdominal pain (TMI?)
  • Itchy skin rash
  • Joint pain
  • Tingling or numbness in hands / feet
  • Canker sores
  • Irritability or changes in behavior
  • Anxiety attacks
  • And many more...
I was also borderline hypoglycemic.  I had gone to the doctor to be checked out for multiple things, including but not limited to thyroid issues, sarcoidosis, and heart defects (that numb hands and feet thing got to me).  I went to the dermatologist twice for what she called eczema, but it seemed odd to me and steroids were only a temporary fix.  The one thing that consistently listed a lot of my symptoms was Celiac disease, but something told me it wasn't that.  Anyway, I did change my diet, but instead of cutting gluten, I cut processed sugar. 

This took a huge change in attitude, because I could no longer think, "Oh, I've earned these calories, I can have those M&Ms."  Instead, I had to think, "My body does not need, nor does it want those M&Ms."  I went through a bit of a detox, and I ate about two metric tons of watermelon to get through it (thank God for summer).  Then, all of a sudden, I started feeling better.

My anxiety attacks all but went away, the joint pain lessened, my mood swings completely diminished, and everything else slowly started to fade away (yes, even the bloating/gas).  If I did have something processed, I'd start to feel sick and my stomach would not be nice to me.

Last week, though, I had a different mindset.  The thought was, "I'm on vacation!  Let's enjoy it!"  Hello lovely Klondike bars and frozen custard!  By Tuesday (or maybe Monday) my tummy was already protesting.  It was like my early warning system, but I didn't listen to it.  Next to go was my energy.  Workouts were harder and my motivation to do them was lacking.  By the end, there were some small mood swings, but that could have also been simply the end of vacation getting to me.  Still, though, all these things weren't enough to stop me from having another Klondike bar (yes, ice cream is my weakness).

This week is what shocked me, though.  As my tummy readjusts and everything processes through, I get to suffer through more belly aches.  My fingers have been a little tingly and my anxiety levels are heightened.  Oh, and that skin rash that was fading away came back in full new places.

Looking back now, I'm asking myself, "Was that Klondike bar worth it?"  Ummm, NO!  It definitely was not.  Admittedly, my eating could have been a lot worse, but it also could have been better.  Why would I want to put my body through all that?  What good did those Klondike bars do me? 

I think the next time I'm craving something so sugary, I'll go for a run!


  1. Wow--I know processed foods and sugar isn't good to begin with, but it's neat to hear someone else's account of how they experienced a difference in eliminating it from their diet. I'll have to try it, though it will also be really hard for me.

  2. I don't know what to tell you because I'm going through something similar. I'm trying to find the answer of why I kept going back to old habits... :-(