Danger – cliff edge ahead

I’m down almost a kg on last week – which means I am still up from 4 weeks ago but it is a step in the right direction.

I was lying awake last night (my boy had a restless night), thinking about weigh-in Monday, knowing I had exercised well but not eaten well for about 50% of the week. There are three things that really stick out for me this week for having derailed my earnest desire of this time last week, which was to follow my food plan:
– sugar…
– alcohol…
– an intense workout…

I had some jellybeans in the house left over for decorating my boy’s birthday cake. I only needed two for the cake but bought a big bag because that was cheap and easy. Next time I must remember to get one of those little bags from the chemist. Without too much thought, I ate jellybeans all week, I just kept going back to the container. Finally, I threw them out on the weekend but I should have done it much earlier. I have thought about the impact sugar had on my body and my head. The sugar made me thirsty. Rather than having a drink, I would go for more sugar. I was craving sugar. Then I started looking for something other than jellybeans that would give me a sugar hit and I would eat that, too. It was pretty nasty and I kept doing it for days in a row. I get addicted to the sugar hit. I love sugar, especially in sugar/fat combinations. It makes me feel good really quickly but it is evil. The downside is that too much sugar makes me feel bloated and my system doesn’t like it. Sugar makes me thirsty but then tricks me into more sugar. Sugar makes me grumpy and tired from the spiking blood sugar levels. Sugar withdrawal leaves me with a headache. After a few days of no sugar I feel much better; I am sleeping better and have more energy. But it does take about three days to get through to feeling better stage. When I am managing my food well I can tolerate small amounts of sugar but that really means occasional small amounts. For me, it is a fine line between managing my sugar intake and blowing it. Maybe I should respect the line and keep away – like the edge of a cliff. Last week, I kept trying to see over the edge… and of course I fell.

Alcohol is also evil but in a different way to sugar. I had a couple of drinks last week. We had a special dinner as part of my first week of a new job and I had an alcoholic ginger beer. We went out on Saturday to a friends place and I had some wine there. Alcohol makes me feel like I am confident and in control but it actually results in a lowering of my ability to assess my hunger/satiety levels. I want to fly off that cliff edge with alcohol! I become so confident I don’t take note of what I am eating. And then, I get the munchies. I usually go for something high in refined carbs (bread/chips) while I am drinking and afterwards I want sugar. Alcohol can lead into a sugar spiral if I am already primed with a little sugar.

On Wednesday last week I went for an almost 5K run in the morning. I felt great. I had my normal breakfast. I had my normal morning tea but I had it a little early. Then I had lunch a little early but it was a normal lunch. And then 2 hours later I was so hungry that I just started snacking. It was healthy snacking – I first went with protein, fruit then dairy but then I found the jelly beans. I hadn’t realised before that I need to be careful of my hunger response after an intense workout. I need to manage that by having just a little more at breakfast and morning tea and pulling back into a normal lunch.

I lost weight this past week. I exercised well and consistently – getting in 4 1/2 hours over 6 sessions. 5 of these sessions included running and for substantial distances. My overall exercise intensity has increased in the last month and I want to keep it at that higher level. I made some really good exercise choices with regards to setting up new routines at my new work, mapping out new routes and challenging myself. I did well.

But it works better when both my eating and exercise are on track. This past week I would say that my eating was in control only 50% of the week. I kept trying to get back on track but I kept eating those jellybeans and didn’t realise what has happening in my body till later in the week. I was sabotaging my efforts.

My goal for this coming week is to break the sugar cycle, not drink alcohol and have my eating in control for 90% of the week. I have to stop looking over the edge of that cliff and thinking I won’t fall. Right now, I need to stay away from the edge.

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