One of the greatest benefits to being sugar free is all the energy I have now. It's true! When I truly think about all the things I can accomplish, with some good solid go-power, I'm amazed. Of course, I get tired and run down like anyone else might, but I have more stamina and my moods are more even (when you take being a veterinary student out of the equation, that is.)
It wasn't that way at first. When you first kick sugar, it takes your body a while to adjust. After all, your body has gotten used to cheap energy sources to get by. That makes everything run more sluggishly- including your metabolism (and in the biological, not just classical digesting food sense). Committing to being sugar free eventually allows your body to readjust and redefine how it utilizes energy sources. It's amazing how little it actually takes to run a body efficiently; we Americans certainly overdo it. Feeding your body whole foods and good high quality nutrients lets your body choose what to utilize and when.
Before I kicked sugar, breakfast was a tremendous issue. I could not last for very long after breakfast at all. No matter what I ate, I was crashing and burning by 10 or 11, totally spent and out of energy. "This can't be natural, can't be right!" It isn't. These days I can eat oatmeal and fruit and be just fine until late morning- when I might feel hungry, but still have my focus and ability to complete sentences and so forth. When necessary, I can even make it until lunch, without the crashing stupidity or hangriness setting in. It's devine, it truly is!
These days, having been sugar free once again for nearly a year now (after a year hiatus... live and learn), I am relieved to see just how much energy I do have. After all, I am in a program that takes a lot out of me. Lab sessions that run hours and have me on my feet on concrete; long days of lectures or studying; learning surgery- going 6 hours without anything at all (which to a sugar addict is a long time, being unable to 'graze'!) and coming out of it all tired but with my wits intact. It is only on rare occasions now that I find myself unable to function or create whole intelligible sentences; most of the time, I am just genuinely tired but coping. That, to me, is amazing! Just amazing!
I feel like an infomercial for some grand new pill, or like a snake oil pusher. All I am really saying is, trust your body- you don't need that crap, if you allow your taste buds to come back and align yourself to eating what you need, you'll be amazed. You won't need liposuction. You won't need that new pill that supposedly burns fat while you sleep (magically, it seems). All you need is to pay attention, stop buying that stuff, and treat your body right. That's it! Really!
I know it's hard. A lot of what I hear from people is that they just can't give up sugar, it's too hard, it's impossible, what will I eat? I can't imagine it... that sort of thing. What I am saying is that I was raised on that crap and I did it. You can only do a thing if you really want to, if you really believe in it, and yourself. No one can do it for you. No one can change you except you (a concept that was key to learn when picking boyfriends... no one can be 'helped', unless they help themselves!). I'm just saying, it's a process and it can be done. It can.
Just look at the benefits! I have lots more energy and focus. My stamina is great. I'm able to accomplish a lot more in a day than I used to- and this shows at the gym too. I ache less, I'm never ill (when all my classmates are dropping like flies with the latest flu!), I recover quickly from what does ail me, any emotional turbulence I do have doesn't last very long.
It gets easier to resist what other people offer you, after a while. I don't even miss the stuff now. Someone offering me a sweet doesn't have the pull it used to. That is the epiphany moment I was waiting for, months back. Oh, it's so hard at first! So damn hard! When you're not 100% committed, and then the offers start... oh sugar, sweet sugar... but when you cross over that hump, you make it here, and wow. It just gets better and better.
Off to bed now... for sweet dreams... to start the day anew, refreshed. Good luck in your journey. Feel free to write or comment if you need a boost along the way... it's not an easy road, and you aren't alone.