Right out of the gate, let me just say that I believe in sugar addiction as a real thing. This is in direct contrast to the opinion of my rational husband, who will speak of habituation and string it together with other science-y words to form whole science-y paragraphs about how I’m science-y misinformed.
Whatever, dude. I just know that, in the sum of my life, I’ve historically had a lot of quit in me…except for this.
Sugar, I can’t quit you. I won’t quit you. I have a lot of trouble thinking of a life without you. I like to bake foods that are very…sugar-forward. I like to add forms of you to my water (not straight sugar, Jesus. But like, fake flavored sugar stuff). I like to chew gum when I’m not chewing food.
Habitual? In all the ways. Addicted? It sure plays the part.
See, like, with most things, I can take a bite or three and walk away. Alcohol…I used to drink a lot more of it, but almost all of that was someone pouring me a drink and handing it to me. I’m not rude. And when I stopped drinking it, I just…stopped. It wasn’t hard. I don’t think of it.
Salty stuff, like chips and crackers? I can have a few and not think about them again.
Pizza and burgers? Delicious. No doubt. And a good pizza crust is heaven, as is having a husband who never eats his pizza crusts. But again, pretty good with just eating it and leaving it.
Cookies? Cakes? FROSTING? DONUTS? Give me that. And then give me more of that. I dream of it, I make it, I consume it, I repeat it. I have pictures on my phone of my favorite donuts. When I hit the little “search” icon on Instagram, it takes me a personalized compilation of results that are easily 98% desserts (2% snarky Tweets in picture form). I still use Pinterest, earnestly. I search hashtags and subreddits for sugar-loving words.
With all of that, though, I’m also of a certain age, and that age increasingly involves my mind telling my body that I can’t keep doing this shit. I like to eat a lot of this sugar late at night, like a freaking rodent who comes out after everyone goes to bed (which is very, very close to what actually happens). I’m a big fan of eating peanut butter out of the jar with spoons that barely fit into the jar. Or a bunch of those Sweet & Salty bars, sometimes with peanut butter. Or jelly toast, sometimes with peanut butter. And then I wake up, sometimes with wrappers actually stuck to my skin (that is a real thing), feeling worse than the worst hangover. I promise never to put myself through that again. And then I almost immediately do.
“Absolutely! (jesus no)”
(I love Beachbody as a client, but I’m not into it as a salesperson, and I’m really just into it as a means of working out at home since I’m not ready to go back to the gym. I love the Beachbody on Demand program, and love that there’s an app. But the nutrition part? While I believe in it, I’m also just real, real attached to sugar. See entire first part of this blog.)
The 3 Day Refresh program is a little bit cleanse, a little bit detox. It did include food, but it did not include my kinda food. It did include peanut butter, but it did not include all the peanut butter.
But I also knew that I had recently been on a vacation during which we had ice cream every single night, and a lot of donuts and pizza, and felt a bit like an end-stage slug, and that I would at least have an accountability partner in Jen, so I said yes.
DAY ONE: I went ahead and pre-loaded the night before, with pie and cookies and two bowls of ice cream. I knew that this would make me feel like I had actually accomplished more than I did at the close of Day Three (*smart*). So, if anything, it was hard to make myself have breakfast. I drank my Shakeology shake, blended with spinach (great way to sneak some spinach into your life – it may turn your drink green, but that’s a two-fold benefit:
- It doesn’t taste like anything, no matter how much you use.
- Nobody wants to try your gross green sludge. They don’t even want to come near it when you promise that it smells “so good! Try it!”
And as the day went on, I was still basically okay. I had my protein shake, I got to have a spoon of peanut butter, and I finished the day with a salad made entirely from ingredients in my mother-in-law’s garden and my favorite Greek vinaigrette. I’m a great starter though. And super optimistic about things at first. No matter the reason, though, Day One was in the books fast. And I felt great. The part of Day One I failed on was the workout.
The recommendation during the program is to take it easy with yoga only. And Beachbody has a 3 Day Refresh yoga program. But I chose one in which the instructor kept saying “And AXXXX-hale” and I kept thinking stuff like, “I must AX you a question. Why can’t you pronounce this word?” and then laughing and losing my balance. So, hard no there.
Day Two: I woke up feeling great. I mean, amazing mood, rational thinking, not angry at the world over my employment status, great. From the neck up. Below that, I felt WEAK. And, at first, a little bit nauseated. It’s not like I wanted to eat, but I definitely didn’t want to move unless I had to move. Naturally, then, I played nine holes of golf with Josh.
Golf with a cart. Golf that involved almost no walking. Yet, about halfway through, I thought, no. I cannot even swing this club. Honestly, it’s probably because I don’t golf, so nine holes for me involves about 100 swings. (More counting the times I miss and say “Okay, got my practice swing, ready for the real thing!” The enormity of those lies takes up even more energy. It’s a miracle I didn’t die.)
I got home, poured a bunch of broth in a bowl, microwaved it with a paper towel over it, pulled the soggy paper towel that almost immediately collapsed into it out of it, and then drank it (the broth, not the paper towel, though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about sucking on it for more sustenance). I didn’t even want to take the energy to bother with preparing actual food. Later, I cut an avocado in half and ate it with a spoon. I passed out early, woke up to Josh asking me to make cookies because he believes in tough love, made cookies, DID NOT EAT THE DOUGH, and passed out again.
Day Three: THE LAST DAY OMG. And I felt really, really good. In this program, it was insane how clearly I could see the world. I had confidence, I got work done, I didn’t beat myself up over my employment circumstances…I even saw angry political posts clearly and rationally, and didn’t internally blow up. I wasn’t tempted to cheat on Day Three, I had more energy, I did the yoga, I took time to breathe and write down all the things I was grateful for (there’s a great app, ReWi, that I really recommend to build a gratitude practice), and got through the day without a struggle, which really surprised me.
Day Four: woke up and weighed. While there was a two-pound weight difference, I also knew enough to know it wasn’t actual weight and it didn’t matter anyway. I did “after” pics and then got myself a haircut. Felt pretty fresh, not gonna lie.
It’s been 8 days since I did the refresh, and I haven’t gained the weight back. I haven’t lost more, either, but it’s been long enough now that I believe it’s real weight. I definitely recommend it and, what’s craziest, plan to do it again. It really cleared my mind (and body, for real, holy cow will this clear your body hehe), and helped me to work through some struggles I’m having in my life in a clear-headed way.
3-Day Refresh: two thumbs up.
Song of the Day: Cruel Summer, Bananarama. I listened to this song every day on the way to fourth grade with my dad, but it’s the song of the day because if this isn’t the year to make it a theme, I give up.