I’m Still #FedUp

Just kidding!

I’m pleased (and pleasantly surprised) to say I completed the Fed Up Challenge! This process has improved my relationship with food, and increased my will power and self-awareness as well. I’ve learned to be better informed about what I’m eating and more conscious of the effect certain foods have on my body so that I make better choices for myself going forward.

There was no weight loss goal attached to this, but I lost six pounds and can comfortably fit one size smaller than I was wearing (and which may or may not have required prayers and Spanx before). My energy levels are through the roof: after receiving a good night’s sleep, I wake up refreshed and ready to get moving (which almost never happened prior to the challenge). I’ve felt real motivation to exercise – and have enough energy to actually do it! – so I’ve been walking a mile each morning, and got in four last Sunday alone.

Although I did experience weird cravings, I was never really hungry during the challenge unless I waited too long between meals. Thoughtful planning at the grocery store and before dining out were required; however, once I learned to stay on the perimeter of stores and to choose lean proteins and veggies at restaurants, I was fine. Once I realized how many empty calories and how much sugar I was overloading my body with, I quit soda cold turkey; water and 100% fruit juice have replaced it. And I can tell my taste buds have changed: fruit tastes sweeter, and my sweet tooth for cookies and cupcakes has seriously diminished.

I don’t really miss baked goods or the added sugars in dips, convenience meals, condiments or white bread and pasta, which I also avoided. I won’t say that I’ll never have refined sugar again, but I will definitely be more careful about how much I enjoy itand how often. (As it stands, today is National Donut Day, and I don’t even want one; I’m still eating abiding by the challenge’s guidelines in my meals today, and plan to indefinitely.) But I might have to make sure one of my cousins isn’t camped out at Krispy Kreme in Atlanta.)

If you’re looking for a way to reset your body, I encourage you to try sign up for the Fed Up Challenge. Having the camaraderie and support of my family members really helped, and I am so glad my aunt got us to do this. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of this change as the year progresses.

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We’re #FedUp

About what, you ask? The amount of sugar in the food we eat.

At the urging of my aunt Philisia, I was invited to watch the trailer for Fed Up, a new documentary which exposes sugar as a factor for the obesity crisis in America. The information is eye-opening.

Now, nearly 20 family members and I are embarking on the #FedUpChallenge, a 10 day sugar-free fast. We’re checking labels for and avoiding products with added sugar (there are 56 words used for labeling sugar!), sharing daily menus and keeping each other encouraged in an effort to lessen the amount of sugar in our diets. Hey – we’re sweet enough already! But more beyond that, what we put IN our bodies is more important than what we put ON them.

It’s not easy, but this is a test of mind over matter…and I’m committed to making better choices for my health. I will share Day 1 and Day 10 observations in case you’re interested in trying the challenge yourself.

Yesterday was Day 1 for me, and I really should have emptied my pantry, fridge and freezer before beginning. EVERYTHING has sugar in it, and the sodas I thrive on seem to be taunting me! But I soldiered on, having spiced coffee at breakfast and a huge Greek salad from Zoe’s Kitchen for lunch. I did use Zoe’s Dressing (no sugar! Awesome!). At dinnertime I began fantasizing about chocolate cake and M&Ms but had barbecued chicken (no sauce), half of a baked sweet potato and tomato and cucumber salad with a splash of vinegar instead. I drank a glass of 100% cranberry juice and went to bed. (And no visions of sugar plums danced in my head.)

I will admit that along with extreme sugar cravings, I’ve had extreme headaches which I’m attributing to not drinking sodas (one of the biggest sources of sugar consumption for me). After I read that the FDA advises 6 teaspoons of sugar (about 24 grams) a day for women – but bottled sodas can have 65 grams, and I was drinking more than a bottle a day! – I tried SmartWater instead. I’m not a water drinker, but maybe this challenge will change that. I’ll also be using these tips for the rest of the challenge, and I’m hoping I don’t cave in! I miss biscuits and honey! 😦

 

 

 

 

 

 

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