Haaapppppy Monday! Hope you had a great Easter weekend and didn’t overdo it on the peeps.

I love Easter for all it truly means. Somehow a bunny and baskets and candy got stuck in the whole Easter thing, and that’s ok I guess. Growing up, I always loved getting Easter baskets. Because I freaking love Easter candy. For real. I was always the girl out there (bigger than all the other kids) dominating the easter egg hunts. Because I love to win, and because I wanted CANDY. As you can see, I’ve loved sugar from an early age. 

So, let’s talk about drugs today. Surely that’s encouraging for your Monday.

Have you ever thought about sugar being a drug? I mean, why not? You eat a little bit of it, and suddenly you want more and more.  It gives you endorphins. It makes you (temporarily) feel better. Kinda like crystal meth. Or crack cocaine. Not that I’ve ever messed around with those particular drugs, but I can only imagine. 

SO many people are addicted to sugar, and they don’t even realize it. Sugar is everywhere – even in food and drink we don’t think about – think grains, alcohol, fruit, and even things like bacon. 

Well, after 29 years of living on this beautiful earth, I’ve come to the realization that I too am addicted to sugar.

I’m not proud of it. I’ve said this over and over again on here. Overall, I try hard to fuel my body the best I can, while still being open to treating myself every now and then. Over a year ago, Daniel and I started following the Zone diet, and while I don’t weigh and measure my food anymore, I can usually eyeball it, and feel pretty confident about it. The only reason I don’t eat sugar 24/7 is because we don’t keep it in the house. But if it’s in front of me (which has been a lot lately) I’m going to eat it. We try our best to do the whole “eat meat and veggies, nuts (only if you count nut butters) and seeds , some fruit (only an occasionally apple after a workout), little starch,” and…..I think I’m supposed to say no sugar right here. But I can’t. Because I go through cycles where I eat it all the time. Especially after the Open ended, I’ve been out of control with all this easter candy, which has clearly shown me that right now, I need to back off the sug. And the peanut butter (or any other form of nut butter) while we’re at it. 

I’m not a nutritionist, or any medical professional for that matter. If you want cold, hard facts, this isn’t the place for ya. All I can tell you is what I’ve learned from personal experience, and hopefully that helps people. I’m learning that the older I get and the more I workout (with greater intensity), the more negatively sugar affects me. That’s right…the harder I want to go in the gym, the more I see the negative effects of sugar in the way I feel because my body can’t keep up.

Studies have shown that more sugar —>more inflammation —> chronic joint and muscle pain. When sugar (or any other refined carb) is ingested, insulin rises, hormones are affected, and a pro inflammatory response is created. Your body isn’t able to heal itself as it should after a workout because of this excess inflammation.This makes sense to me. However, I don’t need studies to tell me this, because my body feels the effects after I eat sugar.

Here’s where I’m at…I’ve been having this weird hip thing going on. No one can really tell me what it is – except I’m just bound up right there in my right hip/right butt cheek from being so inflamed. I even have this weird knot like thing that pokes out of it. It got worse after 17.2 in the Open (beginning of March, I think?) I’ve been the biggest complainer about it, which is a pet peeve of mine, and I hate it. I’ve had an even harder time than usual getting in a proper set up position to deadlift, or do anything from the ground with a barbell for that matter. I can’t even do a basic air squat without feeling pain in my hips and knees. Anyway, enough of that.

I’ve been going to physical therapy. I backed off and rested during the Open and right after the Open. I’ve been throwing some more money into dry needling. I’m all about some mobility, and I’ve been doing every single stretch/ therapy technique I can find on the internet and/or instagram. And most of the time, these things work…for about 5 minutes or so. And then my body tightens right back up. Because inflammation…. duh. 

^^^So, with all of that, I’ve also been adding in some supplements to help. I take apple cider vinegar in the morning, along with the over the counter naproxen (after I’ve had something to eat, of course). I’ve been putting oil and that badger stuff on my hip, as well as icy hot. I’ve added collagen to my coffee. I down fish oil on the daily (the smell good kind from pure pharma), turmeric capsules, and more over the counter naproxen before going to bed. 

Meanwhile, I’ve just been eating my sugar and peanut butter like neither of those could be contributing to anything. 

But this is normal for our country and our society, and I hate ittttttttt. It’s like, “Ohhhh my body hurts, so I’m just going to take this pill for the rest of my life to solve the problem.” I’m not saying that any of those supplements above are bad. In fact, I would tell other people to do the same thing. Except the naproxen. No one should have to rely on that every day. As a trainer, I would tell other people to experiment with apple cider vinegar, fish oil, collagen, and turmeric. 

BUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTTTT we can’t just rely on pills or supplements to help us when meanwhile, we’re over here downing dark chocolate chips and peanut butter. 

Inflammation can be caused by a number of things, but if you don’t think food could be the source of your problem, you’re wrong.

I know that my case isn’t as extreme as other’s, BUT I need to do something about it. I’m not doing it to lose weight or lean out. I’m content with where I’m at. But I DO WANT TO FEEL MY BEST AND QUIT EFFING COMPLAINING ABOUT FEELING CRAPPY TO PEOPLE AROUND ME. WHAT A LOSER. 

So, starting today, I’m eliminating sugar from my diet (in the form of additives or excess sugar) – basically anything that isn’t found in whole natural foods-  which is actually a little complicated because sugar is in a lot of what we eat daily that we don’t even think about. For me, sweet potatoes are fine. However, stuffing my face with peanut butter (regular or sugar free) when I get home from the gym is a no go. I’m also not going to just make the switch to almond butter and say that it is ok. No nut butters of any kind. My protein shake has 1 g of sugar in it per serving. That’s ok. But eating dark chocolate chips after dinner is a nope. I’m also not going to be eating that sugar free candy crap. Mostly because the sugar free gummy bears my neighbor Josh gave us have negative effects on the digestive system – haha. But for real,this isn’t about replacing sugar with non sugar candies or snacks. That stuff isn’t real. I’m also not replacing these sugars with fruit because I already know that too much fruit  will negatively affect me. The only exception is a small apple during or after a workout if my body is begging for some quick energy. But I’m not dependent on it at other times of the day, and I maybe eat like 2 a week if that. But other than that, I can live without the fruit, and you should think about trying to live without it too if you sometimes feel weird after eating it. I’m going to try my best to eliminate sugar and NUT BUTTER (are you tired of me saying that yet? haha) for 21 days minimum, just to see if changes anything. After that, if it helps me feel better, you better believe that I won’t be back to eating large quantities of sugar. 

I’m telling you all of this to give an example of how food has the potential to control us if we aren’t careful about controlling it. 

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I could always use some guidance. So, if you have any, send it my way. I always love your questions too. 

So, if you don’t get anything else from this, here are three take aways:

1. If you feel like there is something you’re consuming every day that you can’t stop eating, chances are, you are addicted to it. Try backing off for a little while, and see how your body responds. No one needs to be dependent on anything, and if it makes you feel crappy, you are worth it to eliminate it from your diet (even if it’s just a short time to see how your body responds). 

2. There are no quick fixes, no magic pills, and even no supplements that can overpower the food and/or drinks you are putting in your body. We all want a quick fix, but supplements should be added into your diet after your nutrition is controlled. 

3. Find people to hold you accountable. Because this is freaking hard sometimes. I know that if I announce on here that I’m changing something about my lifestyle, I have to follow through with it – because I’ve thrown it out there. Daniel is also doing the same thing, which helps. So, now he definitely won’t be bringing me home cookies and chocolate and all kinds of crap he gets from work (fingers crossed). 

Well, hope this little article about sugar, and nut butter, and other pro inflammatory foods just blessed ya real hard today. Overall, remember that you are worth any positive change you could make for your diet. Don’t be scared to try something new in order to get results you haven’t seen yet.