Well, kids! Another step in this endless odyssey.
I remember that a few years ago, I said to myself- this kicking sugar business would all be so much easier if I were simply allergic, and couldn't eat it! Of course, the scenario I imagined was something like breaking out into a rash, or anaphylaxis, you know- something immediate and definite. That would do it! No more falling off the wagon, then!
Oh, be careful what you wish for. Yes, mother nature has a fantastic sense of humor. It turns out that...
I am allergic. No fooling! How ridiculous is that?
A few months ago I was really feeling this logy energy, feeling depleted and not coping with life all that well. Belly bloat, weakness, exhaustion, you name it. In my last post I talked about Fructose Malabsorption (FM). After that post I was good about sticking to the FODMAP diet, but threw the awesome Whole 30 program out the window and started eating sugar and rice crackers (simple sugars and carbs) all over again. I thought, well, what the hell! What can I eat! I went into a place of 'poor me, I'm so deprived' and just went a little nutty. That's how I roll, all or nothing.
Anyway I was really feeling crashed out so I finally went to see some doctors. First, I went to see an MD and got a referral to a GI specialist. That appointment was a few months out- our American diet is keeping those guys pretty busy! Then I went to start some therapy (EMDR) to deal with anxiety and past childhood stuff; anxiety and IBS go hand in hand. She had suggested the idea of something called Adrenal Burnout and gave me the names of a few NDs to see on this issue.
I went to see an ND. She agreed with the FODMAP diet, and urged me to get tested for food allergies so I could stop driving myself crazy. She had me stop the heavy weight lifting I was doing, and urged me to manage stress and pick lower stress exercise like yoga and dance, until I was healed. I was to concentrate on sleep and managing my time better. I began to take all sorts of adrenal support tinctures and teas, and really have started to feel better in some ways.
Incredibly enough, I went all bingey with sugar. As summer set in I wanted ice cream and popsicles, fruit and smoothies. Which are all foolish things to do with FM and IBS in general. I felt like I couldn't stop. It's an intense battle. Sugar is what I turn to when I am stressed and need an escape; I love sitting with a book and a treat and finding solace there. Since I was being asked to manage my stress, to get my stress level down, I retreated into this habit full bore. Oh! It is the last thing I should do!
Meanwhile I submitted blood for allergy testing. I could just laugh and laugh at the results:
*Coffee (never have the stuff anyway)
*Sugar cane (haaaahahaha!!! See? Hilarious)
*Dairy products including yogurt and cheese
Well. Isn't that a hilarious joke on me! I am allergic after all, and two fold- not only having a fructose issue due to the IBS, but allergic to cane sugar after all. Well doesn't that beat all.
Even with this information I was stuck, on the sugar train and feeling paralyzed. Two days ago I really started thinking I have got to get off, I feel so awful and foggy all the time. My weight has crept up- part of which is from the adrenal issue and the other is the sugar binging.
I began to look around for support and info on the internet. Wow, things have changed since I first tackled this problem back in 2006! Incredible! I found some amazing articles and resources, and feel vindicated that this is a hard struggle and I am not alone. It is hard to kick sugar because it is one of the most addictive and widely available substances out there.
This time, armed with all this new knowledge, I feel confident that I can kick it and stick. I was good for over 2 years the first time I kicked it. The website I Quit Sugar is helpful- she recommends eliminating fruit (aka all sugars) for 6 weeks to really break the body's habit of hankering for the stuff, and then being careful after to never go above 6 g per day. Meaning, limit fruit to 1 to 2 pieces per day, and stick with the low glycemic index stuff. Which with FM is something I need to do anyway; berries and that sort of thing are ok, apples can be a bit dicey.
Off I go... to try again.