If you’ve been following my story, you know by now I used to be a complete sugar addict. And when I say addict, I mean every form of the word. Sugar was my drug, and I was powerless against it.
I bought every book, every online course, signed up for every email list, and yet nothing I did helped. I specifically remember sitting on the couch drowning in a tub of ice cream wondering how in the world I would be able to get out of the cycle. I was desperate to break the chains and get my life back. Because the truth is that it had sucked every ounce of energy, confidence, strength, and self-love out of my soul. I was depleted.
You may be thinking, “I don’t even like sweets that much, so this really isn’t resonating…” But sugar was my safe place, my comfort. It was where I went when I wanted to escape the world, and many of us have “safe places” we escape to in one form or another.
Our brains like to keep us safe and comfortable. So if there was ever an occasion where an outside source helped you through a difficult situation, your brain has remembered that for when the next difficult situation comes rolling in. The problem is that our brain doesn’t like change (because thats not safe or comfortable). So we self-sabotage our efforts or tell ourselves we can never change and to not bother trying. Yet, its really FEAR keeping us from changing. No matter how lonely or desperate our souls may be, our brains rule our actions in fear. Thats how we get ourselves into bad habits.
This is actually a huge part of what I do as a health coach… Because we often know what to do, we just don’t know how to do it! I help women reach their goals by helping them develop habits that will last, and that are fun and simple to transition into. Its the baby steps we do daily that will evolve into new habits that will take us into our revolution.
Fast forward a few years, and I finally found a few key steps that helped me break the sugar cycle. My hope is to give you the tools that will help you as well.
- Get REAL with yourself and your current situation. Being truthful to yourself, and starting where you are is the first and most important step. I know this because I spent years telling myself I was eating enough veggies, eating close enough to the “80-20 rule”, and that I just needed the “magic secret” and I’d be good to go. I didn’t see change until I accepted the hole I had dug, showed myself some grace, and started digging myself out. ONE STEP AT A TIME, and not a minute sooner. There is no easy button and no secret weapon. As soon as you accept that, you can start changing.
- UP that protein. Our bodies are all different, and we all require different combinations of macronutrients (proteins, carbs and fats). For me, protein is where I found my satiety. I used to think I wasn’t lifting weights, so I didn’t need that much protein. However, as soon as I started eating more protein, I noticed my uncontrollable cravings slowed down.
- SLEEP! To this day I can tell when I don’t get enough sleep by my cravings. A sleepless night results in wanting to EAT EVERYTHING! I used to pride myself on running on only a few hours of sleep. I liked to think of it as proof I was a freaking hard worker. I now see I was sabotaging myself… My physical, mental and emotional self. Sleep has a long list of health benefits, and I no longer feel guilty for making it a priority.
- MOVE your body! Exercising makes me feel good. It relieves stress and it gives me more energy. And when I’m less stressed and have more energy, I want more of that relaxation and energy! I am way less likely to dive right back into feeling like crap by binging on cookies when I feel that good.
- Change your MINDSET. I no longer look at eating healthy as a long list of foods I can’t eat. Rather, I eat to FUEL my body. I eat to have energy, good digestion, and clear skin. I live by the 80-20 rule. If I am fueling my body 80% of the time, I no longer feel guilty when I indulge (thus starting the guilt, shame, binge cycle). However, I make sure I don’t fall back into eating like that all the time! Its a conscious effort I have to make after indulging. The good news is I am now in tune with my body. I now notice how horrible I feel after indulging compared to when I fuel my body. Remembering this allows me to hop right back on track. Like I said… once you know that feeling, you crave more of feeling good!
- DON’T deprive yourself, but rather get PICKY. This ties into the above bullet point. During the 20% of time I indulge, you better believe I’m indulging in the best. Back when I was addicted to sugar, I’d eat anything that gave me that high. Old Halloween candy? Sure! Low quality chocolate? Why not! Ice cream that I didn’t really like that much? That just means I better eat more to feel safe and comfortable. Now, I don’t waste my time. If its not worth the calories, I will throw it away. And when it is worth the calories? You better believe I’m going to enjoy every bite.
My life changed when I broke these chains. If you are looking for a way to break free from YOUR chains, check out my 1-on-1 coaching program! I’d love to work with you to help your life’s vision come to fruition.