This week, I cheated on my diet after barely cheating for the past two years. I had a friend in town from high school and even though I know it isn't an excuse, I just wanted to feel normal again with her. So we ate pizza, chocolate, ice cream, and chips.
I didn't even realize how bad it was until I just typed it out. Yikes!
That being said, I did the deed and I'm fessing up, but after all that time of eating perfectly clean, it's good to see how eating poorly can affect my body.
First of all, some symptoms are flaring, mostly a burning sensation on the bottom of my feet. It's a pain I don't feel often anymore but I remember it well. Not pleasant. My fatigue is back as well and I feel bloated and physically irritated. Theres clearly a correlation between what I eat and how I feel but I'm always surprised for some reason when my MS reacts so quickly!
What alarmed me more than the symptoms was my mental reaction. After my friend left, I knew I needed to get my head on straight, but I couldn't stop obsessing over food. I kept fantasizing about chips, cookies, soda, and chocolate, to the point where I found myself in the parking lot of a supermarket trying to return a movie but needing to give myself a quick pep talk before going in.
"You don't need anything from here. Go in, return the movie, and leave. It's simple."
It's not simple.
I returned the movie but I also roamed the aisles for the next 30 minutes. Knowing that I wanted something but unsure of what that something was. My mind was begging me to leave the store and my body clearly doesn't want to eat this way so why was I having such a struggle?
I found this video to better understand it:
In the end, I was strong and didn't buy anything. Still, the idea that indulging for a couple of nights can take such a toll on my physical and mental state makes me realize how addictive and detrimental these foods are.
So how can we overcome the addiction?
Here are some tips that I use to crush the cravings, try them and let me know if they work for you!
1. Cut out sugar. I know, it sucks. I love the taste of sugar too, but the truth is, it's killing us and making us crazy. Processed foods, sugar substitutes, and carbs that breakdown into simple sugars are included.
2. Eat fresh fruit. Have you ever realized how sweet fruit is? I hadn't until I stopped getting so much sugar from other sources.
3. Stay hydrated. I know my cravings are worse when I don't drink enough water. It's so simple, yet an incredibly powerful tool!
4. Focus on why you're doing this. Mindset is key. Create a mantra that empowers you and repeat it to yourself as many times as you need. I like to use "Why not you?"... people do incredible things daily, why not you?
5. Remember the 3 day rule. Sugar cravings are tough and a lot of people go through withdrawal symptoms (makes sense, check out that video above). Luckily, most people report withdrawal relief after 3 days.
So, I'm ready to jump back on the horse. Seeing the effects of from these past couple of days has made me realize how bad that food makes me feel - physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Who's with me?