I hit a breaking point this weekend. I was a tornado of PMS and rage tearing down everything I could get my hands on. Except instead of rage it was hunger and instead of tearing it was eating, and I could. Not. Stop. On Sunday after polishing off a bag of cookies leftover from my shoot on Friday, I glanced over at my sister who has incredible resolve and has been mostly sugar, dairy, and gluten free for the past few months. As I was literally brushing crumbs from my bra-less body, I swear I saw a tear run down her face. Ok, not really but I realized how unhappy I was the second I swallowed that last bite. I spent all week walking 10,000 steps a day, pushing myself at the gym, and chugging water just to ruin my progress with a bad hangover and case of the Sunday Morning Madness Munchies™. Though I’ve talked about my issues with food before, any restraint I’m able to practice during the week is immediately thrown out the window at 6 pm on Friday. Lactose intolerance and stomach issues beware, I will eat any and all dairy, carb, or sugar in sight until I wake up in a bloated, sticky haze on Monday and decide to try this thing called “health” once again.
I’ve read a lot about sugar free diets and talked through a plan with my sister on Sunday. I know that most people recommend going 21 days without sugar but Halloween is this weekend and I am a bad person? No, I’m just not ready for that kind of commitment. I’m also in the process of weaning myself off a pretty intense cold brew coffee addiction I picked up in San Francisco this summer, so one thing at a time. I decided to go sugar free this week to see if I notice a difference and depending on the results (less about weight loss, more about how I feel internally), I may extend the cleanse. I’m specifically avoiding all white processed sugars and sugar replacements. For this first attempt I decided to continue using agave and maple syrup for baking only. I’m also still eating fruit.
I wake up pumped and ready to hit the sugar free road. I’ve already been actively monitoring ingredients because of Weight Watchers so how hard could this be? LOL, you poor, naive angel.
Breakfast My roommate and I normally eat breakfast together. I’m trying to eat more in the morning so I decide to stick to oatmeal and eggs. I realize half way through my bowl of oatmeal that yep, it has sugar. I am tired and decide to finish it and be smarter later. I am bad at this.
Mid-morning In a fit of work-induced rage I reach for the emergency stash of Goldfish I keep at my desk. Half a handful in I decide to glance at the ingredients. Sugar. Why Goldfish, why? I trash the rest of my handful and remind myself that I need to be more mindful of these things.
Lunch I was invited to lunch last minute by a few co-workers. I’m trying to make friends and decide to go despite the fact that we are going to a very calorie laden burger place. I order a salad and grab a few of the french fries. And ketchup. Motherfucking ketchup. Ok – no more ketchup.
Dinner I spend too much time pacing around my kitchen trying to forget that there’s another bag of cookies hidden in the back of the pantry. I am cranky and irritated and keep snapping at everything. I remember that there’s a miniature York Peppermint Patty buried in my backpack. I want to get the sensation. Bad. Instead I eat a salad and am bitchy to my poor, angel of a best friend/roommate. Sorry Kristen. It’s the sugar.
Today is a new day. I will be mindful of ingredients. I will think about consequences before I shove things in my face. Actually, this is a good rule for dating too. Make a mental note. Check.
Breakfast A hard boiled egg. Oatmeal. Shit. I DID IT AGAIN. Ok, I am not a morning person. I get to work and immediately things start going wrong. I experience uncomfortable conversations with a friend and a co-worker within the first two hours of work. I am feeling irritable. My palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. Oh wait, no that Eminem. Yum spaghetti. Yum M&M’s. No my hatred for M&M’s is only trumped by my hatred for Eminem. What’s happening to me?
Lunch I go to Indian with a friend from work. I order healthy options and think I am finally getting the hang of this. Until I remember sauce. Delicious, chicken tikka masala sauce. I am literally a monster.
Afternoon I can’t stop thinking about that Peppermint Patty. It’s just sitting in my bag. Waiting. It’s Halloween and bite sized candies are haunting me. This is my own personal Halloween nightmare. I picture a giant York Peppermint Patty breaking through the wall with an axe and yelling “Here’s suuuuuugar!” I have lost my mind.
Later Afternoon The day keeps getting worse. I feel like I’m about to cry and my period is trying to murder me. I go to the bathroom and drop my brand new, day old Diva Cup in the toilet the second the automatic flusher goes off. Surprisingly, a Diva Cup is 100% ineffective if it’s floating around in the sewers of Manhattan. I cry in the bathroom and feel defeated. I blame sugar.
I get on the wrong train and cry when I realize it. I get on the right train and a giant dude sits on me. I almost miss my stop because I’m positive an old guy was staring at me and I was convinced he was going to follow me off the train and murder me. I cry in the train station and for most of the walk home.
Dinner I faceplant in bed and Krissy tries to get me out of my funk. I eat pineapple and watch her dance and sing around the apartment. I love her and am not thinking about sugar. We eat gluten free pasta and sauce with NO SUGAR! I vent to Kristen and she makes me Goop Jumbo Banana Muffins. Did I mention that she’s single and ready to mingle, men of NYC? (Caveat: she is single but if you take her from me I will hurt you.) I eat two muffins and feel so much better. Tomorrow is a new day.
Breakfast It is rainy and disgusting outside. I spend way too much time in bed and scramble to get ready. I don’t eat oatmeal (yay!) but I do shove two banana muffins in my mouth on the way to the train (Thank you Gwen! Thank you Krissy!). I actually do feel pretty good today. Someone in the office picked up boxes of munchkins and placed them in various areas around the office. I strategically avoid them until the donuts are gone. I want to lick the empty box.
2 pm rolls around and I realize I haven’t eaten. This has happened to me maybe twice in my entire life. I never forget to eat. I forget most people’s names immediately after meeting them but mama never forgets a meal. I’m going to blame the sugar withdrawals on that last sentence.
Lunch My friends invite me to get Ramen. We brave the rain and slide into the tall benches at Ippudo, ready to stuff our faces with warm noodles. I want a soda. Bad. I talk myself out of it and settle for water and a giant bowl of ramen. I am in heaven. I’m pretty sure the pork on the side of my noodles had a little sugar in the sauce but I’m going to pretend that didn’t happen. Shut up.
Afternoon I feel good. I am not craving anything and LITERALLY AS I AM TYPING THIS, OFFICE SERVICES DROPS A TINY BAG OF CANDY ON MY DESK FOR HALLOWEEN. IT IS SO NICE / I AM SO SAD / DEAR GOD, SEND HELP!
So sugar free sucks. My head is cloudy and I just feel like a grump. I broke down and had some coffee (soy milk, no sugar) around 4 pm but have no consciously eaten anything with sugar in it on purpose. I definitely am less miserable than yesterday but am excited to see how I feel in the morning. I will update again on Friday but I am seriously thinking of extending this through the weekend. Sugar, man. Sugar.