Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Sugar and diabetes and PCOS, oh my!

Well hello there! Yes I still exist! Yes I am still here!

The past few months have been hectic and I've had little to no time for blogging or reading blogs, but I've been (mostly) enjoying myself. I'm working in a new shop (same company, they like to move us around) and whilst I've settled in quite nicely the new routine leaves little time for a bit of a contemplation or rant on a blog on an evening.

Why suddenly start blogging again then? Well I've decided I'm going to give quitting sugar a go. Not earth shattering, but I figure that when I'm pulling out my hair from sugar withdrawl I may find a little weep and a rant on my blog somewhat therapeutic.

A little up to date on the situation. No progress on the weight loss. Not that I've been paying it much attention to be honest. I've been focussing on getting fitter and healthier, and I am seeing progress in these areas, little by little. I can now jog for 5 whole minutes straight (hooray for C25K!)...I remember when I tried to jog for a minute back in April when I first started jogging properly in the park (That is, not on a treadmill!) and I was almost in tears from the pain of it, and had to stop during the walking intervals. No longer do I require to douse my poor shins in deep heat, no longer am I plagued by chronic soreness and cramping in bed after my runs! And whilst I've not lost any weight (not a pound) I've been buying clothes a size smaller and my workmate has noted that she thinks I look more toned and slim. Score!

Quitting sugar is the next step in my get healthy kick. I understand it's been a big thing, a bit of a health bandwagon to jump on recently, with blogs and ebooks and tv programmes and all kinds popping up every where. When I first heard about people doing this last year, I laughed myself senseless. There was no freaking way I could ever live without it. Well maybe there isn't, but I'm going to give it a go. The obvious health benefits aside there are a couple of reasons I've decided to do this despite having my reservations at first.

1) Honestly, the most influential and important, impacting influence of my decision? A close relative (who's identity shall be anonymous for their confidentiality...if you're a member of my family you'll know who it is) has just been told their diabetes will require them to take insulin, and they are having the appropriate analysis etc to be put onto it. Another close relative has been heading that way and has only been able to avoid it by taking 10 mile runs every day and eating nothing but porridge in the morning and leafy green salad in the evening to control their blood sugar levels. Oh yes, this was as well as medication. The medication, from what I've been told, simply wasn't enough

You don't go from zero to doing ten mile runs. Said relative was, and always has been, very very fit. Their job requires it. So what does that tell you? It tells you how strong the diabetes gene is in my family. I have all the physical hallmarks of someone predisposed to diabetes. My apple shaped body, the PCOS, various other mildly embarrasing and shall not be talked about here symptoms. I've been sent for many, many diabetes tests over the years because, frankly, my doctors just cannot believe that I'm not diabetic. Yet the results say not.

Seeing my relations go through what they're going through has, frankly, scared the willies out of me. I feel like there is a time bomb in my pancreas just waiting to explode. These relatives are middle aged, and I'm just'm worse than they were at my age...I have to get a hold on this now.

2) Friends are getting knocked up, people are having babies. When I lost a bit of weight last year I noticed some of my PCOS symptoms getting milder. Recently they've been getting worse again. Cutting down on the sugar is one of the best things you can do for PCOS (as well as losing weight, but I'm feeling that will be a welcome side effect of the sugar quittage).

I think I've spoken before about one PCOS handbook. I kept saying "oh yes, this time I'm going to follow the plan, I'll stick to it!" and I never do. Why? I get stuck on step 3 - cut back on the sugar. I'm ignoring the rest of the plan for now. I'm going straight to sugar. I'm quitting it. It shall no longer be a factor.

3) I keep sabotaging myself with binges. Now, I'm not saying I'm not going to want to binge but if I'm not allowed to eat sugar I'm thinking it might help. Something that I didn't particularly look into but that keeps coming up is how eating sugar can provoke the feelings of wanting to have a binge; the feeling of not being able to have just one biscuit from the packet. I can put my hand on my heart and tell you truly that many of my binges recently have been sparked by just having one little piece and then descending into a slobbering pile of sugar shoveling gloop. I don't know how true these claims are, but I'm willing to give it a try to see if it works for me.

4) I theorize that if I'm just point blank not allowed sugar it will be easier to say no to treats...there's no "oh I have the calories for one little piece of chocolate" (see above as to what happens next). Perhaps this will be a help too.

5) I recently had a bit of a relapse into a depressive phase, and it wasn't pleasant. I'm not blaming sugar on that, but I have heard that people who have quit sugar have felt a general improvement in their mood and quality and quantity of sleep, higher energy levels, greater concentration etc. Once again, I don't know how true these claims are or if it will help me the same way, but given the way I've been feeling recently, I'm willing to try it out just to see.

So I have my "programme" ready...or rather, I really jumped a bandwagon and invested in a little ebook about it. It's 8 weeks long. Maybe I won't have any benefit and I'll be tearing my hair out for a bar of chocolate by the end...but for now I'm gonna give it a go. As of now and for the next 8 weeks, consider me refined sugar free.