I’d like to share a story with you all. For many years, I have been happy with my eating habits. While far from perfect, I have had a good balance of healthy foods and indulgences, and was able to eat in a way that makes me feel good. Then I got pregnant with my third little girl.
The changes started off slowly…instead of my 1 chocolate square at night, it was one after lunch and one at night. Then it was a few chocolate chips in the afternoon. Then a few chocolate chips several times a day. And snacking on kettle corn. And sampling the all-natural M&M style candies I buy for the kids. And all of these things in a single day.
Before I knew it, I was single-handedly finishing a bag of chocolate chips in about 3 days. I could not stay away from the cabinet where I keep them, and suddenly I was buying multiple bags every time I was at the store. There was even the time when I bought the chocolate-covered pretzels and ate most of the bag ON MY WAY HOME FROM THE STORE! If there was a moment when I realized I had gone completely off a cliff, that was it. I was no longer in control of what I was putting in my mouth…whatever doubt I had about the legitimacy of food addiction was gone. I was a sugar addict.
I hoped it was related to pregnancy hormones, and that once the baby was born I would go back to my normal habits. Unfortunately, no such luck. When the baby came, along with tons of sleep deprivation, I had absolutely no chance of getting my eating back under control. If anything, it was worse!
Finally, when the baby was a few months old, I’d had enough. I felt depressed about what I was eating, I had constant headaches, and I was really concerned about the damage I was doing to my body consuming so much sugar. It was time to stop.
I came up with a plan based on tons of research, and roped my hubby, a friend, and her hubby into joining me on my crazy adventure. The gist was to cut out all forms of added sugars, artificial sweeteners, most grains, and pretty much anything processed. I made my meal plan. I went grocery shopping. I cooked like crazy. My hubby hid the chocolate. For real.
My detox was one of the hardest and most fascinating learning experiences I’ve had. I experienced withdrawal, paced around my kitchen like a crazy person, munched on carrot sticks all day long just to have something to put in my mouth (like a smoker using a vaporizer to wean off of cigarettes). And at the end of the 10 days when I was “allowed” to eat chocolate again, I didn’t want it! And at the end of the 10 days, my husband could no longer chew the artificially sweetened gum he had been going through like crazy. We had changed our taste buds, what we crave, and our habits.
This was several months ago now, and I’ve certainly had my setbacks, but nothing compared to where I was pre-detox. And the biggest difference is when I see myself start to slide back into old habits, I know exactly what to do to change course.
So why am I telling you about my experience? Because I KNOW I’m not alone. Maybe your story sounds a little different – you don’t crave chocolate, but you can’t get through the day without Diet Coke, bread, or candy. Maybe it’s ice cream every night, or maybe you’re drawn to salty foods like chips. Whatever your trigger is, there is a reason: food addiction is real, and it gets in the way of us feeling our best.
I have had countless people ask me about my program, and have led many through their own detoxes. The results have been amazing – fewer cravings, better digestion, weight loss, elimination of headaches, and a general feeling of control. I hope that hearing my story – and knowing that even a health coach can fall into the sugar trap! – inspires you to take control of your eating and your health. And of course, if you need some help, I’m here!