My Year Without Sweeteners!
I did it!! Yesterday, on my birthday, I completed my year-long fast from all foods with any added sweeteners of any kind. Hooray!!
The one year mark came a lot faster than I thought it would. And to be honest, with much less fanfare than I expected. Last July, I was neck-deep in strawberry PopTarts, and hoped this year would break me of the strong, addictive hold that sugar had on me.
Did it work??
You guys. It totally did. More than I ever dreamed. It worked so well, that yesterday, instead of shoveling down a spread of my old favorite sugary treats that I thought I would want, I had a (lightly sweetened) blueberry scone with my morning coffee. And THAT WAS ALL. For the whole day!!
What I really craved as a birthday treat, was this incredibly delicious plantain cake, pictured above, which you can find the recipe for here. (It's so easy!)
I was a little concerned that having a sweet treat on my birthday would bring back the wave of cravings, but it hasn't. I feel completely satisfied. (😆 Is this real?!)
Here's how the year went, if you're interested: 😊
Months 1-3: Spent trying to feel like I was eating sugary junk when I wasn't. I tried to find every little snack bar, organic treat, etc. that would make me feel like I was indulging. I even ate Cheetos and cheezits because they felt like treat foods. Some of the treats were great discoveries that I'm glad I found, but the super-processed ones, unsurprisingly, gave me stomach trouble. But even with those, I felt significantly better, and even lost about 20-25lbs, which was kinda nice!
Months 3-6: Lara Bars. Lara Bars and iced coffee, for three months. They are made with dates, which are very sweet, but never gave me any of the side effects that I had with sugar. (Mood swings, breakouts, headaches, low energy.) I stopped drinking as much juice, and made a lot of fruit-only smoothies.
Months 6-9: This is where things started to get good. I got sick of Lara Bars, and the taste of dates in general. New Years resolutions inspired me to *attempt* to drink more water. About month 8, I was drinking 4-5 water bottles a day, which didn't leave room for juice or even smoothies usually. I ate more fresh fruit by itself, and ate vegetables with 1-2 meals a day. (I never ate them before 😅) I was still eating lots of carbs (tortilla chips, taco shells, Ezekiel bread, etc.), which often left me bloated and uncomfortably full, but at least there was more produce along with it! My skin was looking better, and feeling softer from all the water!
Months 9-12: I. felt. so. good. I was paying attention now to how I felt after eating foods that were sweetener-free, but still not easily digested, and instead of being addicted to sweets, I had become addicted to the way fruits and veggies made me feel! The freedom of eating my meal, and not worrying about fatigue, discomfort or tight waistbands afterward is so relieving. I feel free as a bird! By now I had lost about 30-35lbs total, and 2-3 dress sizes, so I had to buy a few new things. Knowing that my new clothes are always going to fit makes dressing so much more enjoyable! I cut back my coffee consumption considerably, and my skin continued to improve. My early wrinkles are almost gone, and I can actually wear foundation without my skin looking like the Atacama.
Short story results:
- A total change in my taste for foods/appreciation for produce and natural tastes.
- Healthier, and more even, hydrated skin.
- Totally balanced moods and energy levels. Seriously. Totally.
- Whiter teeth.
- More pride in myself and my ability to control my body/cravings.
- No sugar cravings, by the end. Ever. Not exaggerating.
- Healthier kids/husband, by natural influence.
- 30+ lbs lost (this would probably be much more in some cases. I wasn't terrible heavy to begin with.)
- Clothes always fit, and I feel good in them.
The great thing is, at no point in the year did I really force myself to be super healthy. Other than a very strict "no sweeteners" rule (including at restaurants, people's houses, holidays, everywhere, all the time.) , I pretty much ate whatever/however much I wanted. The love for fruits and vegetables just came naturally, as my tastes changed.
So that was my experience with it! In another post soon I'll give you a list of all my healthy treats/tips that I discovered along the way. :) I've mentioned before that I'm going to continue it as a general way of life, with the exception of my birthday and Christmas. For whatever reason, I function better with strict boundaries like that, so it works better for me. :)
Sorry if this is an annoying "look how healthy I am!!" post. 😂 If it helps, I am still totally horrible at getting any exercise. (Ugh! Maybe I can tackle that sometime soon.) But I can't help but be so excited about the change in my quality of life! 💃🏻 I am so, so thankful.
Anyway, hope you're all doing well! If you're reading this, I've said a prayer for you. 'Cause I love you. 😘💕