Bleurgh

That’s how I feel. I’ve had four days of eating a load of sugar and I feel awful. My skin looks awful. My stomach looks like I’ve put on a kilo. I probably have.

My period is imminent. Work is crazy and life is so busy. There’s nothing wrong with any of it, but at the moment I feel like it all just sucks. All of it. Too much, too overwhelming, too everything.

I was doing so well.

It’s the SUGAR. It derails every other plan and system I put in place. It is a true addiction and I have got to break it.

I’m going to try again tomorrow. Get back up, dust myself down. Don’t lose three weeks of hard work over this.

1. Eat three meals a day
2. Stay away from sugary food
3. Drink water earlier in the day
4. Get enough sleep
5. Move my body

It’s not rocket science. It’s not a punishing health/fitness regime. It’s not anti-social, restrictive or weird.

It’s all I need to do to feel a million times better than I do now.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow morning I am going to tell sugar we’re over. There’s no room in my life for you anymore. It’s been fun, but you are not good for me and you make me feel bad about myself. We really are done.

Struggling

I’ve been at this point many, many times. Several weeks in, feeling better, eating better.

And then I just stop doing it all.

I’ve had a dreadful week of sleep, it’s a few days until my period, work has been busier than it has for a while and the kids have been especially challenging. I feel exhausted by the effort of daily life.

I’ve stopped taking my supplements, and I’ve started eating sugar again. I have a big spot on my face as a reward.

I feel defeated. This is the point where I always slip back to old habits and stay there until I feel so horrible I make another “fresh start”.

Mentally I have given up. I don’t know why this always happens and I don’t know what to do about it.

I’ve been here so many times and I am so disappointed in myself.

Why do I not have the skillset to maintain a decision once made?

Day 40

My sleep has been so bad recently. My daughter has a cold and is waking a lot and I’ve had several bouts of insomnia.

It’s hard getting through the constant fog of exhaustion. It makes me want to slip back into comfort foods and drinks.

Then, out of the blue, last night was the most restful night’s sleep I’ve had in ages. It suddenly occured to me that I forgot to take my supplements yesterday.

When I thought about it, I realised I have been taking my supplements later and later in the day and my sleep has been getting worse and worse. I’m pretty sure something I’m taking is making me restless and wide awake at night.

I need to fix this as sleep is vital, and it also probably means that I don’t need the dose I’m getting. My research seems to point in the direction of B vitamins, so the first change I’m making is to stop the evening dose of niacinamide and boswellia. If that doesn’t fix things, I’ll start removing tablets until I sleep better.

The no wine thing is not going overly well. I had none on Monday but some yesterday. Today has been a long, stressful day with tired and poorly kids so I’m thinking about having a glass…

My eating today has been a bit crappy. I had pasta and cheese and a bowl of cereal for lunch. Then I bought a coconut water as a drink this afternoon while out and about and didn’t realise it has 15g sugar in it! 

And – the rash on my breast has been looking better this week. I really thought it was starting to improve, but today (it’s now 7pm), it’s itching like it hasn’t done for days and it’s all red again.

All in all, not a great day. But – where this kind of day would normally see me giving up and eating a ton of chocolate because it all just seemed too hard and bot wirth it, instead I have made a chicken and butternut squash salad for dinner and resolved to be more aware of my food tomorrow.

Small steps, big journey.

Day 37

My mood has really stabilised after the vortex of sugar withdrawal. I have more patience with the children and I am just happier.

My sleep is suffering still, waking and insomnia are a problem.

My joint pain is so much better. The joints are still horribly tender to touch, but basic movement is now fine, which is mountains better than where I was at the beginning (god, even getting up off the sofa was a total nightmare at the end of the day).

So, changes I’ve successfully made so far:

  1. Cutting out sugar
  2. Restarting exercise
  3. Eating a bit more home cooked food and a few less takeaways
  4. Supplement regime to help my arthritis

Changes I need to focus on, in addition to continuing the above:

  1. Better quality sleep
  2. Some strength exercises
  3. Cutting down the alcohol

Going to try not drinking Mon-Thu. Starts tomorrow.

Turning A Corner

Finally my mood is lifting. I feel like I have been through a black tunnel of misery – no joke. It’s day 15 of no sugar and I no longer feel like I want to kill someone. Perhaps just punch them in the face.

The cravings are still there, but they haven’t been as bad for the last two days. I’m not almost crying over the fact that I don’t want to eat any sugar. Now it’s more of a whine in the background: mmm sugary foods. But I’ve stayed strong – and I am feeling better. I feel clear-headed, which is nice. Clear-headed-but-still-a-bit-irritable just about sums it up.

Rash wise, there has been NO change on my breast this week. Nada. I am so disappointed. My toe however, which I wasn’t even thinking about at the time I stopped eating sugary foods, is making a miraculous recovery. This is the same rash that withstood two different types¬†of anti-fungal cream. The top picture is today, the bottom picture is two weeks ago when I started.

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Isn’t that amazing? So, I am successfully killing off whatever fungus that was because I’m not feeding it with any sugar. But what about the rash on my breast? I can now assume that the breast rash is not fungal (I was convinced it was, which was the motivating factor for cutting sugar out in the first place). So it must be something else. Contact dermatitis? Eczema? The thing is, all of these should be helped by cutting out sugar, but no luck so far. I’m going to have to do some more reading I think.

Exercise is also going well, and I am enjoying the running especially now it is not so cold outside. I know I need too start adding in some strength work, but I haven’t quite psyched myself up for it just yet.

Mentally I’m clearing the clutter too. Working through old things, facing up to who I am, getting on with self-acceptance (you can view my mental ramblings in my Shame Log posts).

I think I need to cut down on alcohol. I am still drinking every night, and I couldn’t face giving that up as well as the sugar, but now I’m two weeks in, feeling better, and looking at my mental health, I have to admit that drinking every night is not what I would call self-respect. It’s a comfort thing. I am thinking I might cut down to Fri/Sat/Sun only and try to stay teetotal on Mon-Thu. It’s tough though. I love my wine. Perhaps I will give it a go after the weekend.

Panic Attack

To continue my shitty morning I went to a mum and baby group with my daughter who is almost 18 months. I never really got the whole mum and baby group thing. It’s just a bunch of women getting together who have fuck-all in common other than the fact they have given birth recently.

I always felt like an outsider when I went to them when the boys were babies and I did again today. I just sat there wondering why I persist in doing things I really don’t care about but think I *should* be doing, wondering why everyone else seems so much more happy and confident than I am. My daughter is the most anxious baby ever and would not let go of my hand the entire time. I think this is down to me spending nine months of pregnancy in a constant state of red alert because of all the miscarriages I’d had before. I literally spent every waking minute (and a fair few of the sleeping ones), afraid she was going to die at any second. Baby F came out stressed out and has never really recovered. Her personality is fearful of everything.

So, there we were, she was hanging onto my hand as she had done for the whole hour we’d been there and I was standing around feeling like a spare part, when suddenly she lost her balance and even though I had hold of her hand somehow she managed to dive head first onto the solid floor with a horrible smack sound.

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Well of course, she screamed and screamed. But I was unexpectedly upset beyond all reason as well. I think it was the combination of feeling shitty anyway, the fact it felt like it was my fault because she was holding my hand at the time, how out of place and isolated I felt and also a feeling of shame that I had let my child get hurt.

Anyway, we put some ice on her head, but she screamed and screamed. She calmed down a bit when I took it away, but then she lost it again when I tried to sit back down with her. I’d been struggling to hold back the tears since she first fell, but suddenly they just started running down my face and I knew I couldn’t stop them any longer. I was going to cry my eyes out and I couldn’t stop it. I got up and grabbed my bag and I couldn’t even speak a proper goodbye because I was trying to stop my chest from heaving out these massive sobs.

The two girls that run it were clearly concerned but all I could do was shake my head and leave – oh god it was all so embarrasing.

Walking back to the car I actually heard myself gasping little sobs out loud that I couldn’t control. Once we were in the car I drove off and my breathing went haywire. I was uncontrollably gasping my in-breath, around four or five times in succession, like I was suffocating and I couldn’t breathe. I was actually a bit frightened that my airways were going to close up (the only other time I had a panic attack was after nearly being hit by a car on my bike in 1998 – 19 years ago almost to the day – and my breathing was so erratic and laboured afterwards I was terrified I was going to die. I had a very competent, confident boyfriend at the time who stayed completely calm and just waited it out with me, bless him). It took about 10 minutes before I could breathe in and out properly, without my chest jumping up and down, by which point we were home (yeah, I drove home. I needed to be home and I drove slow enough that I knew I could pull over at any point if my breathing got worse).

What the fuck. Right? I mean, being miserable and irritable is one thing, but that kind of reaction is totally disproportionate and unhelpful.

I am beginning to wonder – is this just my brain fucked after all the years of a high sugar diet? Is it the glass of wine I have every single night making me depressed and anxious? Or have I just spent 20 years unknowingly self-medicating with sugar and alcohol to cover up my fucked up, depressed and anxiety-ridden personality?

I just don’t know. But the only way to find out is to carry on and see if this ever improves.

I don’t think I have ever felt so low – my mood is on a par with how I was after I lost pregnancy after pregnancy. Back then I had a reason – now I’m just clueless as to why I feel so fucking awful.

I just don’t know what to do to make myself feel better.

Misery

I just feel like shit. This morning I had to talk to the teacher about something that happened at my son’s school, and I have a client I’m working with at the moment that I took on at a friend’s discount rate, but I feel as though she is overstepping the boundaries in her requests so I’ve got an email to write to reinstate them. Both of these things I hate doing because I am a people-pleaser. I have a dreadful fear of people not liking me (instilled by my mother all through my childhood). I hate this about myself, and I try to counter it as much as I can, but even when I do so successfully I still feel awful inside.

My cravings are enormous right now, which probably means stress is another big trigger. I have felt like crying all morning. I genuinely feel completely awful inside, for no real reason at all. Is this misery the lack of sugar? I’m so pissed off. I definitely wasn’t this upset and pissed off when I was eating it (I was more up and down, whereas now I’m just down).

All I want is to indulge in a big pile of something really nice. Like a giant chocolate bar, and a massive slice of cake from Marks and Spencers. And a hot chocolate. With loads of whipped cream. But I know I’ll just feel awful afterwards, so instead I had a banana.

Fucking hell.