I went sugar-free two weeks ago, after I was blindsided by the results of a nutrition response test. The doctor believes that sugar is the cause of my fibromyalgia.
I know sugar is a major cause of inflammation, but I thought I wasn’t consuming very much, if any. I had no idea how much I was ingesting every day. Between a couple of alcoholic beverages to sugar-laden smoothies, I was a sugarholic and didn’t know it. I didn’t understand that the potato chips, white rice and beer I was putting into my body daily could have such a profound impact on my health.
In the last few months, my health has deteriorated rapidly. I’ve been under a lot of stress, so, of course, I attributed my recent struggles to that. I didn’t realize I was increasing my consumption of sugar at the same time.
After two weeks of eating only whole foods and no sugar, I’ve not only lost 15 pounds, but also my pain level has decreased considerably! For the first time in years, I vacuumed my entire house in one day. I haven’t accomplished something even close to that in recent years without getting sick and being stuck in bed for days.
Going sugar-free isn’t easy. Sugar is in everything. I thought going gluten-free was difficult, but that was a walk in the park compared to giving up sugar.
Staying away from processed food is a must. Shop the outside aisles of the store. I can still have meat, grass-fed only, and one serving of fruit per day. Otherwise, it’s veggies, nuts, seeds, beans (not canned), eggs and dairy. I can have one white potato per week. I used to have at least one a day.
I’ve had comments about how much weight I’ve lost. Most of it was inflammation or water weight, but the change is dramatic. I am a large woman, more than 200 pounds, so losing 15 really doesn’t seem like much, but I can see a huge difference.
My double chin is almost gone. My stomach is smaller and so are my feet. The swelling is totally gone. I look in the mirror and I almost cry with happiness. I’ve hated, and been embarrassed by, this double chin for years. To see it disappear almost overnight is amazing.
But then I started to experience withdrawal symptoms. First, I became extremely crabby and agitated, to the point that I had no patience with anyone. Everything got on my nerves. After a few days of that, the headaches kicked in.
I suffered from horrible headaches for about a week. Just when I thought I was starting to get back to normal, along comes a flare. I went from feeling better than I had in years to worse than I had in years! I felt crushed.
As I emerge from this flare, I have to give myself some credit for sticking with the new diet plan through these struggles. I had used food for comfort and now I use it only for nourishment. I didn’t want a glass of wine or run for the nearest bag of chips, like I used to do. The changes I am beginning to see and feel are way more important to me than the temporary satisfaction I got from stuffing my face with sugar and bad carbs.
When I see the doctor again in three weeks, I hope the tests show that my BMI has decreased while my muscle mass has increased. Even though I am still somewhat skeptical that this is really the answer to my health woes, I am motivated and dedicated to my new way of life. Even if this doesn’t “cure” my fibromyalgia, it does make it easier to cope and endure.