The reason no sugary treats have passed my lips is because I recently decided I wanted to feel well, more than anything else in my life. This might sound weird but for me it’s my ultimate goal. I have a chronic illness called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which means I am in pain a lot, have problems with my joints, suffer from extreme fatigue totally at random and dislocate body parts for little or no reason. The symptoms are extensive, but you get the picture: I regularly feel crap.
I need to be stronger, fitter and healthier to be able to get on with life to the best standard possible, and my bad, sugary, lazy habits were stopping that happen. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not overtly unhealthy. I eat right but I snack wrong and I give in to temptation far too easily.
I haven’t completely given it up, it’ll definitely make it’s way back in. I’m currently trying a plan from The Body Coach- you may well know of him. He makes Instagram videos of recipes called ‘Lean In 15’ and shouts about broccoli and is having a bit of a moment. I’m rubbish at following diets, but having motivation outside of losing weight, and the fact that I can’t actually handle the amount of food I’m meant to be eating, has made it seem not so bad. Plus some of the recipes are delicious and taste like dreams coming true all up in your tastebuds.
I mean, I BLOODY MISS SUGAR. I am a sugar addict. Pick’n’mix is my favourite thing. I like eating Biscoff and Nutella with a spoon and few things make me as happy as fizzy sweets. The last 10 days have been no walk in the park, but they haven’t been as awful as I thought either.
My emotions have ranged from annoyingly cheerful to manically miserable. I’ve also found myself staring intently at the ‘treat box’ at work, which I happen to sit next to. I can practically smell the chocolate buttons from where I sit and type for up to 9 hours a day. There have been times when I’ve wanted to clamber under my desk at work and sleep for an hour, sugar crashes where my mood has resembled a dark cave of anger and screaming rage, and times where I’ve felt genuinely amazing and like I want to go on a dancey night out at 8am. Hello Waterloo station, where are your vibes? (There are none, because the District Line crushes dreams, just FYI)
Overall though, 10 days in and I am quite astounded. The feeling cheerful and energised and ready for the world part is starting to become the dominant mood of my day. I’m sleeping a million times better, I’m not bloating, my skin has cleared up, my teeth feel so much nicer at the end of the day and I haven’t had any food guilt. Most importantly, my pain and fatigue have lessened. I feel like a better, more healthy version of myself.
My skin is the most notable change in appearance. It actually looks bright, like when you put an Instagram filter over your face to make photos look more ‘fresh to death’ and less ‘death is coming.’ I actually feel like I don’t need to do that. My skin looks like skin I want. Someone at work actually told me my skin looked really good, which never happens to spotty, lumpy old me.
The cravings are strong. They do show up all singing and dancing and make me feel like I have to urgently face plant some maple syrup, but that’s where fruit comes in. I also feel like I’m tasting other food better, but maybe that’s just my mouth trying to find something nice about broccoli. (Sorry green tree faithfuls, I just can’t learn to love it.)
In such a short space of time it’s become clear that my bad diet habits were getting my body down. I’ve never been overtly unhealthy. Like I said, I just give in to cravings and snack on whatever is easy. Or within reach. Hello fruit pastilles.
I mean, it’s only been ten days. I might be found under the Lola’s Cupcakes cart in Waterloo station tomorrow with a face full of chocolate fudge brownie, but I’m hoping I can keep my sugar intake to a minimum going forward. If I continue feeling better like I do now, it’ll be a change for life.
I want to be healthy and fit and strong and yeah, I do want to look good in a bikini. But when you start caring about wellbeing over thigh gaps, you realise you have more willpower than you thought.
We’ll see what happens next. Hopefully not the cupcake cart.