Sugar Detox

9 Things No One Tells You About Losing Weight

I saw this article, 9 things no one tells you about losing weight, and immediately clicked over to read it to see if I agreed on the things they listed. Some of them were obvious and didn’t really enlighten me in any way. Here are a few:

4. Your risk of cancer will be lower

2. Your memory may improve (I never experienced a change)

7. Working out will be more fun (Duh, the easier it gets, the more fit you get, the more fun it is)

8. Your bones may change

9. You’ll probably spend less on health care

Then there were a few that were totally spot on that I wanted to talk about here. It was a pretty good article and worth a read if you’re losing weight. Here are the ones I wanted to focus on:

1. Your energy levels will skyrocket

This is 100% true. When I first started working out I chose swimming because it was something I’d always loved and been good at and I thought it would be something I’d stick with because of that. Swimming was also a good choice because it’s easy on the body. If you’re bigger, doing certain activities can be difficult on the joints (i.e. running).

I started swimming and it was HARD. I had to rest a lot, pretty much after every length of the pool. The more I did it, the easier it got and suddenly I was swimming several laps without having to stop at the end of the pool to rest. This continued and my conditioning improved.

Once I was active on a regular basis and started seeing significant weight loss, my energy levels DID skyrocket. I had SO much energy! I preferred to be active. My previous couch-potato lifestyle was no longer working for me. I found that I couldn’t sit still. Where I previously could spend all weekend on the couch watching movies and TV, now it was difficult to sit through one TV show. To this day I still struggle with this. I tend to get up a lot and do other things, then come back. It makes Michael crazy. 😉

It’s difficult to sit still and I want to move my body. I have energy to burn! I want to burn it! That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m exercising all the time. Most of the time it just means I’d prefer to move my body. That means taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking across the bridge to work instead of taking the bus. Getting off the bus at sooner stops and walking. Things like that. My energy levels are pretty high and that makes me feel so much better!

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3. Your relationship will be tested

I’ve talked about this before so many times I won’t go over it again. I will point you in the direction of some of those posts talking about how relationships change with significant weight loss:

Partners Who Sabotage

Weight Loss Saboteurs

Lose 100 Pounds, Lose Friends?

What Happens After You Lose the Weight?

Hold That Door

Five Truths of Weight Loss

Sharing Fitness with the Love of Your Life

It’s very scary and sad when relationships end because of something so positive. Some people can’t deal with someone else’s big lifestyle change. They feel threatened, insecure. Maybe YOU change with losing weight and become more assertive or change what YOU want. People WILL treat you differently. The trick is to not let that ruin a real friendship.

5. If you were depressed before, that may not change

This was a big one for me. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety most of my life. For a long time I always thought “when I lose the weight I’ll be happy.” I thought that the weight was the reason I was unhappy. That was definitely a big part of it but what I learned with losing 100 pounds was that it wasn’t a magical cure for everything that ails you. Nope, you may lose half of your body weight but you’re still the same person you were on the inside. Maybe a little more assertive, maybe a little happier, but not magically changed.

This is something that I wish more weight loss blogs and books would address. After losing so much weight, I didn’t really know what to think about myself, who I was, where I wanted my life to go. I had focused on the weight loss for so long I had kind of lost the other aspects of myself. I just floundered. Not having a goal was hard for me.

Depression reared it’s ugly head again and I found ways to battle that. Exercise definitely improved my moods and I used fitness as a tool for relieving stress and managing depression. It works. It really does. But it isn’t a CURE. I don’t know if there IS a cure for depression. Medication sure isn’t it. It’s another bandaid. Exercise is a temporary outlet. Mindful thinking another bandaid. Basically, you do all of those things together and you get through it. But don’t expect miracles.

6. Foods might taste differently

YES! 100%! When I started eating better things tasted differently. My previous diet of junk food went away and was replaced by healthy foods. Sure it took time to get used to it but once I did, the effects were shocking.

Now, when I eat junk food, I FEEL differently. I feel gross. I feel unhealthy. I can tell the difference. My body just doesn’t feel good. Once in awhile I will give in to a junk food craving and eat something that I remember loving and it tastes different. It doesn’t taste as good as I remember it.

I also crave things I never used to crave: natural foods. Fruits and veggies. This winter I’ve been obsessed with Brussels Sprouts. I’ve been a fan for a long time and eat them on a regular basis every winter but for some reason this winter I’ve been eating them obsessively! I have no idea why and if you’d ask me at 20 years old and 200 pounds if I’d ever see myself craving Brussels sprouts I’d laugh in your face. But seriously, last week I was eating them for lunch AND dinner!

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But I do crave healthy things now. I cannot WAIT for summer! I LOVE berry season! And cherry season. Everything about fresh and season produce makes me happy.

One other example of changing taste buds is yogurt. When I used to eat yogurt I ate the super sugary Yoplait yogurt. There is really nothing nutritional about Yoplait, sorry. It’s packed with sugar and chemicals. Then I switched to Greek yogurt. For a long time I was eating the Chobani yogurt. It was great. But as my taste buds changed and I started to get sensitive to sugars I made the switch to plain Greek Yogurt.

At first it was a huge shock. It tasted sour and tasted like nothing. I added Agave syrup to sweeten it and would also eat it with raisins or fresh fruit, berries, etc. I HAD to add some sugar to it. After awhile I started skipping the syrup and just using fruit. Now I can eat plain Greek yogurt without anything in it if I want to, although I still usually add a little bit of fruit to (not much). (Lately I’m adding tart cherries to it.) It’s crazy how your tastes change and now I cannot eat Chobani at all. It’s SO SWEET it makes me feel sick.

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Can you relate to these 9 things? Anything missing from the list?

Addict

“I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.”

-Frank Sinatra

I was listening to the radio the other day and the host was asking one of his staff if they could stop drinking for a month (this was after he challenged another staffer to stop smoking illicit things for a month). The staff member, Richard, loves beer. He’s a craft beer fiend and drinks a lot of them. Is he an alcoholic? Probably. What was his response? He said he could probably stop drinking but why should he?

This post isn’t necessarily about alcohol. But it is about addiction. What is my addiction? SUGAR. Sugar is most definitely my #1 challenge. It comes in lots of different forms…I eat a ton of fruit, which is healthy but also very sweet and depending on what it is, very high in sugar (i.e. bananas!). I also love chocolate.

I’ve gotten much better over the years eating it in moderation and if it’s not GOOD chocolate, I don’t waste my calories. Have you ever bitten into a piece of candy or cookie and realized it wasn’t as good as it looked? Yeah, that happens to me and now I spit it out. If it doesn’t taste good, why am I still eating it?!? I also make sure that I’m eating things that are a little more “whole” like a really good ice cream with natural ingredients, or fancy chocolate from a boutique. I’m usually taking a pass on the crappy stuff that doesn’t really satisfy my craving.

If you want to read some old posts about food addiction and sugar, I have a plethora. Here are just a few: Food AddictionFat Pills and Why We Get Fat.

A few years ago I did a Sugar Detox challenge. It came about for a lot of reasons but one of them was the Candy Room in my office. I wanted to break the habit of grabbing a handful of candy from this room and mindless eating it at work or whenever I walked by the office. The Sugar Detox Outcome was positive. I realized a lot of things in that single week of refraining from sugar:

I eat candy more out of habit than desire.

I didn’t miss the candy like I thought I would.

I realized that diet soda makes me crave candy.

And what have I taken away from that nearly 2 years later? I’m still eating sugar. I gave it up for one week and that was it. I occasionally go through phases where I stop eating it, or I refrain from eating candy at work but I eat dessert at home. Basically, I can’t seem to give it up entirely.

Awhile ago I took a week off from exercising. It was shortly after I saw the knee specialist who ordered me to rest for 6 weeks. I was feeling depressed and decided to just rest from everything, even though I was cleared for some exercises. I was worried about getting out of the habit of exercising, I was worried taking a week off would cause me to gain weight. I told myself for that week I’d just be really good with my calories and everything would be ok. And I did do pretty decently with my calories for that week. I didn’t go over my allotment but I also didn’t make excellent choices. There were several days where I skipped eating my apple as a snack so I could allot those calories for some chocolate. Was I within my calorie range? Yes. Was I eating in moderation? Yes. Was it the BEST way to “spend” my calories? Probably not!

Some people can’t do the “everything in moderation” concept. I totally understand that. I’m the opposite though, I cannot do the “really restrictive” thing. If I tell myself I’m going to stop eating X, then all I want is X! Then I get hyper focused on it and it becomes an obsession. That is not a healthy path to go down, either, and I’m sure it’s just another sign of addiction.

So how do you moderate an “addiction”? Do you abstain from it completely or try to limit the intake of what you desire?