Wednesday is where the trouble started. It was difficult. I woke up okay but by mid-morning I had a splitting headache. I was very close to just giving up and forgetting about this whole thing. I took Advil and held on throughout the work day. My head was hurting so bad at lunch I sat in my car with my eyes closed, hoping it would help the pain subside. I was not happy.
So, clearly my head was hurting. I knew the easy fix would be to consume some sugar. And, it would have been the easiest thing in the world to do, there is a fridge filled with Red Bull that sits about 3 feet from my desk. It took a lot of will power not to cave. But, I made it through the day. I was so exhausted when I got home that I dozed off while talking to my parents in the family room. I wound up going to bed early, after taking several more Advil and praying Thursday would bring some relief.
On Thursday morning I woke up with a headache. Joy. I drank some pure orange juice (no sugar added), figuring the natural sugar would help ease the headache. And, it did, a bit. The headache didn't go away completely but it was better. I took Advil again in the morning and early afternoon. And, by evening I felt almost back to normal. The sugar headache was basically gone. I was still craving sweets, but not nearly as bad. I thought how easy it would be to just have a coke and feel better. But, I didn't do it. I even successfully avoided having ice cream at Sweet Rose despite being there.
Friday I wound up with a terrible headache, again. But, I think it was from the Santa Ana winds. I think the winds kicked up some allergies, a coworker gave me a Claritin which really helped relieve most of the headache. Again, no sugar. Four days without sugar.
Saturday I was good too. I even got in a workout. (Its time to stop the lazy.) I went out to dinner with friends, and was my normal, although no-sugar, self. No headaches all day. I was through the worst of it.
Sunday I went for a semi-long bike ride (just under two hours). Then I went out to lunch with my family at the Counter. I really wanted a coke or a milkshake. I didn't do it.
I remembered how bad the first couple of days without sugar were, and I realized, I never want to go through that again. I don't want my body to be so overly addicted/dependent on sugar. When I tell you that the headaches were bad that is a giant understatement. Seriously, my head felt like it was going to split open. Or, like my tweet said, it felt like my brain was shrinking away from my skull. It was ugly and its just not worth it.
Seven days in and successfully no added sugar. I also decided over the weekend to implement some healthier eating habits. I got a couple of new cookbooks and started experimenting with stuff. We had a delicious dinner last night, ahi tuna, salad and white rice (the recipe called for cous cous, but since I can't have gluten that was out, rice worked just fine). It was simple and delicious. After dinner I prepped for the week with salad for lunch for today, and made some gluten-free granola and gluten free muffins (made from rice and rice flour). I'll write a post about the healthy eating stuff in next week's update.
Added bonus, I weighed myself this morning and I'm down 2.9 pounds from the 1st. I certainly don't expect to lose that every week this month, but considering the torture of the first few days, at least there was some reward.
I wondered last week if I could make it through a month with no added sugar. Now, seven days in, I know I can do it and I will do it. I know I'll have to add some sugars back in, especially when I start training again, but I refuse to let myself get to the point I was at before this started.
Speaking of training, I've been working on my race schedule for next year (a few planning hiccups due to some family stuff), but I'm close to deciding what I want to race. That's good news. I want to work on getting faster, as well as having better technique in swim, bike and run. I know I've got a lot of work ahead of me, I have big goals down the road (including my next full ironman, its just a matter of what race and 2014 or 2015).
Have you been going sugar-free? Have you ever eliminated sugar from your diet? How did you deal with the first few days? Were you able to keep sugar out of your diet after eliminating it?
Hope you had a good weekend! Happy Monday!