As we age, we tend to get bogged down with the things of life. We’re not as active as we were in our teens and twenties. The obligations and responsibilities of things like work, family, and owning a home distracts us from staying fit. Eating on-the-go, and trying to stay on top of things means we’re not always as careful with nutrition, and exercise gets put at the end of the To-Do list, and we never seem to reach the end.
Before I quit eating sugar, back in October 2011, I was feeling the effects of poor nutrition and lack of exercise. I was beginning to think that my body was wearing out because it’s suppose to as we age. Right? But I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel yet. I still felt young in many ways and it didn’t make sense that I should be feeling so run-down, tired, and weak. What happened to the edge I had just a few years earlier? No! I refused to believe that my body was aging so rapidly. Something was wrong, and I was starting to feel desperate….no, determined to figure out how to reverse the feeling that I was falling apart.
Friends, if you’ve been reading here for a while, you might know that my goal is to become super human–or as close to being super human as possible. Therefore, this update is possibly one of the most important I’ve written so far, here on Quitting Sugar. If you want to do some good in life and truly help other people, you’re going to want to shout this out from every rooftop, Twitter, Facebook, and social networking feed that you have. Not only that, but email the heck out of this article to everyone you know. Yeah, it’s THAT BIG!
On February 26th, Jamie Saal VanEaton (who is wickedly funny and has a must-follow healthy food blog!) told me about a book that had the potential to change my life. So before I go any further, I gotta give a shout-out to mah girl, Jamie….Hey, Jamie! Woot!! The book, which has now made history in my life, represents a turning point in my state of health. But before I reveal this book, let me share a snapshot of my results, as if the title of this article doesn’t say enough.
Since quitting sugar on October 24th, 2011, I’ve adopted a low carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high fat diet. Basically, the Atkins diet. That’s been going really well.
Though I’ve lost a lot of weight, it was never my primary focus. Sure, I’m stoked about being leaner. It feels great to fit into some of my old clothes. Also my abs are beginning to resurface, which totally rocks. And one of the benefits of the Atkins diet (if you do it right), is that you never…and let me emphasize this point…NEVER(!) have to go hungry. There’s always something you can eat when you’re hungry. In fact, if you’re keeping only fresh and mostly unprocessed foods in your refrigerator and pantry, you can almost eat whatever you want when you’re hungry and not gain any weight.
So when I hear about people following other diets, I almost pity them. I want to pull them aside and explain how awesome the Atkins approach is. I’m pretty much convinced that it’s hands-down, the best diet, period. …or is it?
Alright, I’m rolling up my sleeves now, friends. I recently had some blood work done to track the changes in my blood cholesterol since I quit eating sugar. I’ve been on a strict low-carb diet. And I say with all honesty, that I’ve been firmly sticking to it and have never once eaten sugar except that which occurs naturally such as in some vegetables. I’ve lost 20+ pounds. I feel better and healthier and look much healthier. So when I looked at my recent cholesterol results, I was hoping to see some good news.
On my lab results page that I received from my doctor’s office was a comment that said, “Excellent Chemistry _____” I couldn’t make out the last word. So I was excited to see that, though I didn’t realize that this probably referred to other tests that were done, not to my cholesterol results. Naturally, I assumed my doc was talking about my cholesterol and that the results were excellent. But my cholesterol results weren’t on this specific form. So I arranged to pick up a complete copy of my results from my doctor’s office. When I got home and looked them over, oddly, the cholesterol results weren’t included. But that was probably because the lab that checks LDL particle size also had the overall cholesterol results as well. So I logged into my online account to see if the updated lab results were available. They were. When I looked at them, I suddenly felt a sinking feeling. The results I got were disappointing. They weren’t all bad, but still, while some markers got better, some got worse and it left me wondering what went wrong.
Okay, how about a moment of truth here? How did you all do on Thanksgiving day? Did you over eat? Did you give in and eat sumptuous desserts even though you vowed that you wouldn’t? Did you eat dinner with strong resolve and with no intention of eating sugary things, only to cave in from the pressure of not-very-nice relatives who made you feel guilty? It’s okay. The road is a long one and we’re all bound to hit some bumps now and then.
In case you’re wondering how I did on Thanksgiving and if I managed to avoid sugar, I guess it’s only fair to be honest here, even if the truth hurts….