Why Sugar-Free for Good Used to Feel Impossible for Me
To say I was a sugar addict was a bit of an understatement.
I loved all things sugar. From chocolate to icing straight outta the can. Y’all, it was bad!
Even the savory things I loved were terrible for my blood sugar – namely fries and JIF peanut butter.
Trying to Kick the Habit to “Be Healthy”
I tried everything to eat better.
I knew I needed to. I mean, really, just because you can have ice cream for breakfast doesn’t make it a great #healthgoal!
Every couple of months I would try a new fad something or other. But it was mostly… miserable. And my will power could only last a few weeks at best.
Can you relate? Have you tried to “be healthy” and felt just so dissatisfied? I mean, I was hungry and tired, and angry and craving all-the-sugars!
Seeing How Sugar Ruins Lives
At the same time I was struggling with my food addiction, I was working at a hospital. There I began to put together the link between sugar and all the health problems.
Shockingly, elevated blood sugar doesn’t just cause diabetes. It increases your inflammation level and contributes to chronic diseases. Sugar also impacts your vision, circulation, and a ridiculous amount of other health problems.
Basically, my professional experience was giving me a front row seat to the destruction of sugar in a person’s life. And as shocked and disgusted as I was, I still felt powerless in the break room to walk past the stack of brownies or pass up the Pop-Tarts at the store.
This left me feeling so incredibly helpless and frustrated! But that all changed with a very simple book.
Related Article: 21 Surprising Diseases You Feed When You Eat Sugar
How I Found Food Freedom
When my oldest child was about 6 months old I was borderline depressed. I had lost only 20 of the 60 pounds I packed on during my pregnancy with him.
My body was so different than I ever could have imagined before getting pregnant. I had stretch marks on my stretch marks, and saggy skin everywhere. (Yeah, I felt super gross!)
But scrolling on Facebook one day and I heard about Trim Healthy Mama that claimed to have “food freedom”. It sounded amazing, so I bought the book and read most of it over a long weekend.
It took me months to feel comfortable eating “on plan” with THM. There were times when I just wasn’t trying because life just felt overwhelming. But it’s become such a blessing in my life!
The easiest way to dive into THM is with their latest cookbook!
Related Article: How to Escape the Diet Mindset
What I Gained By Giving Up Sugar
A lot of times when we “give up” something and keep going back, it’s because we haven’t replaced it with anything more appealing.
That is certainly true of my relationship with sugar.
On my Trim Healthy journey, I have gained so much more that it helps me stay on track!
- I finally started losing weight without starving myself
- The food is straight up delicious- if you feel deprived you’re just doing it wrong y’all!
- No more making separate meals for me and the hubs (and now the kids). We all eat the same yummy foods and I make sure the kids eat in a way that will help them grow
- No more relying on my will power to tolerate temptation – I know how to feel satisfied without the sugar!
- The ability to feel “at home” in my own skin again. My health journey is far from over. But it’s amazing how much better my body works after being on this plan for the last few years!
After more than 2 years of being on THM, what motivates me to keep going?
The 3 Hour Rule
The downfall of many diets is the first time you fall off the wagon you assume that it can’t work for you. One bad choice leads to so many more. One mindless snack becomes a week of bad eating.
THM emphasizes that you need to fuel your body every 3 hours to keep your metabolism going. So the opportunity to get back on plan is in 3 hours – not tomorrow or next week.
This “cycle of grace” as I call it, reminds me that messing up isn’t ruining my eating patterns forever. The mistake lasts for a brief moment.
I don’t have to dwell in my failure. I don’t have to beat myself up for my mistake. Instead, it gives me the opportunity to make another healthy choice soon.
The THM FB group is one of my all time favorites. For the most part, the women in there are genuine, super encouraging and very generous. They are transparent in sharing tips, tricks and common struggles to help you on your THM journey.
There’s real impact when you realize other people out there like you are successful. And it’s exciting to celebrate together the changes you notice along your journey.
Most diets focus on the number on the scale, so when there’s a stall you assume it quit working. There is no other way to measure continued success.
THM has a culture of celebrating more than the weight loss but the life regained. They refer to this as “non-scale victories” or NSV’s for short.
Some of my NSV’s have absolutely been life-changing!
- Goodbye pain: No more plantar fasciitis, reduced back pain (even with scoliosis!), no more creaky knees and headaches
- Renewed energy: For a mama of two, this is huge! I have the energy to get up, juggle the home, chase the kids and still enjoy a moment with the hubs!
- Finally feeling satisfied at the end of a meal!
- Sinus infections are gone – I used to get 3-4 a year and it’s been about 2 years since the last one!
- More definition in unexpected places. Hello slender wrist, skinny collar bone, etc. It’s been years since I saw you all under that cozy layer of body fat.
I’ve had lots more NSV’s than this, but these examples give an idea of all the other side benefits of going sugar free.
Related Article: Surprisingly Easy Changes for a Heart Healthy Lifestyle
Continuing the Journey
My scale still isn’t where I want it to be. I got to enjoy a lovely 2 weeks back at my original pre-pregnancy weight before finding out I was pregnant again.
But armed with a sugar free lifestyle, I was able to make much better health decisions and only gained 20 pounds. I lost all that within 2 weeks after having my baby girl!
Other things that have kept me from my ideal weight include nursing hormones and general life stressors.
But in the meantime, I am still loving my food, watching for NSVs and enjoying the journey.
I will say that the longer I have been sugar-free, the easier this lifestyle has been to maintain. My body has come to crave higher quality fuel without all the processed junk it used to eat for so long.
It took me a long time to transition onto the THM plan, but now I am loving my food freedom!
Want to read more about my story?