So, my friend Laura has been telling me I need a blog. I usually think, "What do I have to share about my life that someone would really want to know about?" But lately I've been studying detox programs and telling all my friends, family, acquaintances and yoga students that I'm going to do one starting January 1, 2011. It occurs to me that giving a daily report on my sucesses and failures might be just the right kind of thing to answer all the questions I get from folks about the details of my detox AND to help keep myself from falling off the detox horse. Cause, well, I'm a sugar addict. I mean, I am a SUGAR ADDICT.
People usually don't believe me. I'm not fat. I'm a yoga teacher by profession. I seem to be health conscious and folks figure I probably eat really healthy and barely at all. But it isn't true. I eat quite a lot and at least half of it is sugar. I do love vegetables, probably my saving grace, and I won't eat after I'm full. That's true too. So it just goes to show that weight watches is absolutely right, it doesn't really matter what you eat it's how much you eat that makes you fat... but what you eat matters for other health reasons and that's what I've been studying lately.
Oh BUT back to the sugar, cause that's the issue. If there isn't sugar in my system, I'm dragging and grouchy... so some maple syrup with my pancakes, some frosted breakfast cereal, six cups of heavily sweetened tea or coffee (yes, like Umbridge in Harry Potter... I pour spoonful after spoonful into my cuppa and LOVE it), then there are the after lunch cookies... six is about right... and the after dinner cake... home made with lots of butter cream frosting. And don't forget dinner and lunch themselves; often comprised of pasta and bread or, better yet, BOTH (which, in case you didn't know it, might as well be straight sugar when it comes to the speed that the glucose gets into your blood stream after you eat it). I've even been known to have chocolate for dinner with the excuse that dipping fruit in it makes it healthy.
Now I'm not disgusting like some people. You won't find me gorging myself on cherry pie filling straight from the can or eating sugar out of the sugar bowl. And I don't really like rock candy or tasty cakes; they tend to make me nauseous. But give me a bag of oreos and some milk and I am in HEAVEN - I mean, high as a kite. And not a natural high, a sugar high. Sigh.
Anyway, I've always known it wasn't good for me. First of all, it doesn't feel exactly good. It feels like a drug addiction. When you don't have it, you will stop at nothing to get it. And when I have kicked the habit in the past, I've been far healthier. I kicked sugar and caffiene when I was pregnant, that really did help me out quite a bit. Once in college I did it too. But I always fall slowly back into my old yummy habits.
See, I have some chronic health problems. I've lived with them since I can remember. And I don't know if they are just me or maybe, just maybe, the nutritionists are right and they are my diet. I mean, hmm, well that's the question that this is designed to answer. What's 28 days of my life in suffering if I can answer this little question: will my health and productivity be improved by cutting out the sugar and eating properly?
I mean, let's face it, our American diets are way out of wack. It's like we are all gluttons these days. We can have junk easily and cheaply and so we do have it and not four times a year at major holiday feasts but every day. In short, what we eat every day would have been a 17th century feast for the average human being. It's excessive. So... here I go to try to stop myself. 28 days... hmm.
Well anyhow, you'll be wondering, "What health effects is Erin suffering from?" And so I'll tell you. I'm going to tell you the whole truth all the time, embarassing, personal, weird, pathatic, and victorious... I'm going to tell you what's up with me.
The state of my health today...
First off, I have a condition called Interstitial Cystitis. Some doctors don't believe it exists but boy are they wrong. Also, there is medicine to treat it. It's called Elmiron and I take 3 pills a day. The condition is a painful and inflamed bladder and they gave me a diet to follow to take the pain away. I followed it for three months most of the time, but now that the Elmiron is working I avoid the things on the diet but I still indulge sometimes. I had no luck, no luck at all in cutting chocolate out of my diet. I mean, they have to be kidding. But the alcohol was easy to avoid. Also, the caffeine was hard but I did do it for a long while. Now I'm back on it again, but not for long, as cutting it out is part of my detox. The condition feels like a painful heat in your belly and it wakes me from sleep at night and just hurts like there is something really wrong down below. I did have to go to the bathroom a lot with it but not as much as they say other people feel. I also have some incontinence issues, like when I sneeze I have to try really hard not to pee myself. :) And forget doing jumping jacks. Anyhow the diet is pretty ridiculous - but I did figure out quickly that preservatives of any kind and food dies really aggravate the condition so I've gone organic and that's been VERY helpful.
Second, I have chronic sinusitis. It's pretty bad too. I take a daily allergy pill and a nasal spray. I have air purifiers and a nasal irrigator. I still get pretty bad problems with my sinuses right before my period and when I'm sick, however. Bad enough that I often need antibiotics and steroids to fix the trouble.
Third, acne. I know that sounds petty but I work hard on not letting it get ugly. I put a lot of expensive creams and facial washes into the mix. I bet all those chemicals are just fighting the real trouble... I'll come back to that later.
Forth, mood, energy, focus and sleep issues. These are classed together for me here because they all seem to be related to my state of consciousness. The focus issue can be quite bad - as in I feel like I have ADD or something.
Fifth, dry skin and fungal infections of the feet. I've been told that the dry skin is fungal so that's why I listed it here. Enough said on that embarassing and unsightly issue. Again with the creams and soaks. They work but it's constant effort on my part.
Sixth, joint pain. Now, this is dealt with pretty well at this point. I do regular exercise and yoga... but I'm just being honest. Stuff on my body hurts more than it should for my age - or that's what I think, anyhow. I don't think it's arthritis, either, I think it's the sugar and I'll tell you why soon. :)
Okay, I think that's all I'm fighting so far. Unless you count my cavities. :) But let me type up my references so you can check out the sources. It will include a list of trouble that can be caused by too much sugar in one's diet... um, oddly (or not oddly) the complete list of my issues is on the too much sugar diet trouble list. :) Shock of shocks! Oh and one last thing... I am going to... for the first time in my adult life... buy a scale. I figure that I will be able to lose weight doing this diet, even though I don't have that much to lose, it's still worth tracking. I don't normally weigh myself but for you all, I will. Tomorrows entry will include all that and more...