What Doing One Push Up Taught Me About Myself

Once upon a time, I made a seemingly banal statement on Twitter.

That one statement changed my life in ways I never would have imagined.

It said….

“If I do 1 pushup on January 1, and 2, on January 2 etc etc. Could I do 365 on December 31?”

And as Twitter is wont to do, they encouraged this ill conceived notion.

Step 1: Can I even do a pushup? Nope.  Three on the knees.

Step 2: Start.

So, January 1 rolls around and I do one pushup.  And post my accomplishment on the Facebook.

Much to the amusement of my so called friends.

“Oh, you’re on your way to greatness.”

Yeah, fuck you.  You’ll see.

On January 2, I did two.

When I got up to the teens I decided I couldn’t do them every day so I went to every other day.  That lasted until August.  Around day 200 I was “noping” like a crazy girl.  So, for the rest of the year I did two big days a week and the rest were some unwritten rule of “a lot”.

Yes, I eventually did 365 on December 31, and it was fairly easy to do.

This is what I learned.

When you are starting out, you may seem ridiculous.  You may feel like ONE pushup isn’t going to do anything. Your friends will probably not understand. You won’t be able to comprehend the finished product. Start and don’t quit.  Tweak if you have to but don’t give up.

I also learned that your body can do amazing things if you require amazing things from it.

Once you start the rest is easy if you have rules around the process.  (God the free spirit in me hates me for saying that)

One pushup was way harder than 365.

You cannot listen to your friends feedback on everything.  Sometimes you just have to go with your gut.

Silly things can end up changing your life for the better.

What happened on my journey?

I became awesomer. Not only physically, from doing three on my knees to 365 in a day, but also mentally.  There was never a time I thought, I bet I can do 365 pushups today.  At most I’d have agreed to 10.

Physically, I dropped around 30 lbs, and dropped from a size 14 to a size 6.  I was also running at the time, but prior to the pushups the running hadn’t produced many results.  The muscles I gained put me into a fat burning mode all day long.

Relationally, people started to take me more seriously.  Before this I was an overweight housewife and I kind of stayed to myself.  Now, I was proud of what I was doing and my presence reflected it.

Professionally, I became a personal trainer during this.  Because I wanted everyone to be able to make changes to their physical appearance. Especially my fellow PE dropouts. I also became a health coach, because the two go hand in hand quite nicely.  

Almost eight years later, I am still very proud of what I did.  I have since been a running coach, and I now own a yoga studio that specializes in Yoga Trapeze.

I still  have, what some would consider, silly ideas.  Most recently I started Ukulele Club.  We sometimes even play the ukulele. Mostly I tell stories and we help each other solve our problems.

The ladies in the group have threatened to drag me to an open mic night at a comedy club.  I was very hesitant about it at first, but what if I did, and I didn’t die? Maybe something great would come of it.

Hey Soul Sister

I hate to start in the middle, but today at ukulele club I learned to play a song.

by Train

TRAIN! people. Hey Soul Sister is one of the most overplayed songs in the world and by no means their best song.  I know some people are all on board with hating Train, but they really do put on an excellent show.  Not that I voluntary will admit to attending their show, but I used to work at a concert venue and they happened to play one of the nights I worked.

Anyway, back to the beginning.

I started Ukulele club to learn how to play.  I have had a ukulele for almost two years, and it just sat there, unused.  It was sad.

There had been times where I’d mentioned starting a ukulele club, and never followed through.  Well, this time, I put it out there in social media world, AND I hired a music teacher.  And now it’s a thing.

And not just a thing, but THE thing that I look forward to most in the world.

Why? Well it’s not because I’m way better at the ukulele by knowing 5 chords, and it’s not because it’s a well run organization.  It’s not that it’s well attended. No, it is because of the people.

Seriously, it’s me, another student, and the teacher. AND WE HAVE THE BEST TIME!!!! Like we don’t even want you to come because it will mess up our vibe.

I an unencumbered there. I get to be full on Annie.   When I’m trying to learn a chord and make the “kegal face” and then mention that you know you’re learning something knew when you make the kegal face. It’s now a thing, and there WILL be tshirts.

My heart is full tonight.

Until next time,

Be Awesome!!!

Annie

Annie is a land mermaid who gave up her voice in search of true love.  Oh wait, that’s a story.  As with any story, there is a bit of truth in that which resonates deeply for me. This is not my world. I’m just looking for somebody to love me, and working my best to make that somebody to be me.

Starting Over, Again

This month has sucked.

Really sucked.

September was amazing.  I was riding high on the best month my business has ever had by exponential numbers.  I was feeling secure in a romantic relationship. I was feeling on top of the world.

But that was September, and this is not.  Personally, professionally, financially, and spiritually, I have been wrecked. Symbolized by an actual wreck.  And since I didn’t listen to that. I ended up with a whack on the head and concussion.

What is the recommended activity when one has a concussion? Sitting in a dark room doing nothing.  Not even sleeping.

What is the one thing you should not do when you battle with depression? Sit in a dark room and do nothing.

I have a “depression protocol” ritual I do. When I feel the blues coming on I make certain I am out of bed every day by 8:00 am.  I drink water, I take vitamins, I go for a walk.  After my walk, I drink more water, do pushups, make my bed, and take a shower. ( Don’t wait to make the bed after the shower, you will end up, back in bed).

This usually keeps me from ruminating all day. Which is part of the depression cycle.  Get up, get out, get going.  Surround yourself with people who love you and want the very best for you.

I know I haven’t taken good care of this blog, but I miss the connection of blogging.  I hope that if you find this you will join me, and encourage me through this journey back to awesomer.

 

annie365

Is it time for New Year’s resolutions yet?

I know. I know.  Resolutions suck. They last for all of three days and then they are forgotten like last weeks deli sammich. You remember you stuffed it behind the pickles, then a week later you throw it out half eaten.

Today I re-remembered that life isn’t an all or nothing endeavor. It’s mountains and valleys and side roads, and shiny roadside squirrels.

I also remembered 2011 when I had a stupid idea and did pushups for a year and people laughed but people still associate me with pushups.

This is where my shoulder devil reminds me of my two failed marriages. You can’t even get that right. Well, shoulder devil. Marriage is hard. And I’ve got issues.

So, stfu.

My friend reminded me that you just have to keep throwing shit out into the universe and seeing what comes back. So, my next adventure is going to be #annie365 – a year in the life of annie.

I’m going to show up every day and see what the universe has for me. See where it will take me.

Unlike a NY resolution, I’m making monthly resolutions. I have questions. Let’s see how the universe answers them. I have answers. Let’s see if the universe questions them.

I have less than two weeks to get my shit together. Haha, jokes on me.  My shit won’t be together.  I’m going to show up anyway and see what happens.

Until next time, be awesome!

Fighting Back

As a child, I experienced what psychologists call “adverse childhood experiences”, or ACE. ACE is defined as Abuse, Neglect, and Household Dysfunction. Further broken down into physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Physical or emotional neglect. Household dysfunction is mental illness, incarcerated parent, domestic violence, substance abuse and divorce.

From the outside looking in, my family was as Norman Rockwell as they come. Stay at home mom, no domestic violence between my parents who will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this month. We were in church whenever the doors were open, involved in extra curricular activities. We were afforded the opportunity to travel with church and school groups. We did family vacations and family pictures. Had you asked me at 19, I would have said I had the perfect family.

As crazy as it may sound, until the age of 19, I didn’t know that all children weren’t molested. My perpetrators were not inside my immediate family.  Close friends, close family, coaches, counselors, maybe others I don’t remember, what I do remember is that I always felt like I was wearing some sort of “come get it” sign, as often as it happened. Like I was inviting it, and was therefore responsible for it. What I know now is that I was groomed, and that child molesters can see the signs from a mile away. I now know that “innocent attempts” showed them that I was a perfect victim. At the age of 19 I innocently ran into one of my molesters. Had he not reacted the way he did I may have been in the dark about it for another decade. But this man, saw me with my baby (I’ll get into that more later) and looked at me with such disgust, like I had cheated on him. How dare I allow anyone else to touch me like that. In the same instance I recognized his guilt. He figured I MUST know what he’d done to me.  I didn’t. Until that moment. That moment opened up a flood gate of memories. Memories of being naked when I shouldn’t have been. Memories of things I shouldn’t know at ages I shouldn’t have known them. Oral sex jokes and panty checks from men.  Does this count as only one Adverse Childhood Experience?

As I said earlier, my family was in church whenever the doors were open. Unfortunately, the church is just a building with people in it. I didn’t have the spiritual connection to it. What I did have was a lot of pressure from the people inside to remain “pure” for my yet unknown husband. There did not seem to be any exemption from the “purity” clause if you were not a willing participant.  What I carried with me throughout my childhood, was that I was not pure. What I knew of rape is that it’s always a masked man in a dark alley, and you have to say “no” or it means yes. I knew nothing of dissociating, nothing of surviving the moment. I knew I hadn’t followed the rules. I knew I was ruined before I even had a chance.

This leads me to “the baby”.  Good girls don’t have sex. So good girls don’t seek out protection from pregnancy or other side effects of sexual encounters. I of course was a “good girl” who became a parent at 18. This baby is now an amazing young woman, but no one deserves an 18 year old mom who doesn’t have her own shit figured out. Through no fault of her own, she is associated with the shame that I took upon myself for not living up to whatever the fuck it was I was supposed to.

Which brings me back to my own childhood. My mother married right out of high school. Had three kids in three years. Was this something she wanted, or just what happened? I do believe that she has suffered for years from depression. My parents argued a lot when us oldest three were young. I remember the three of us sitting in the bedroom I shared with my sister wondering where we would live if they got divorced. Dad maybe, but he couldn’t cook. I hoped he would take me. I would learn how to cook, and we could live in peace. My first memory of my mother is of her throwing me across the kitchen for playing with my milk. I was a toddler. I know exactly how many times she hugged me genuinely. Once. In sixth grade. I had cleaned my room. I learned early that the best way to avoid the wrath of my mother, was to avoid my mother. My brother got the brunt of it. When I look back at the pictures. We all look depressed. I can see its progression through my siblings. At a certain age, we just go blank. We had food on the table, and the best clothes, though I suspect that was more for the audience of the public than it was for our well being.

This is not a blame my mother post. I suspect she did the best she could. I have traced the sexual abuse throughout my father’s family, but my mother’s family remains a mystery. I see the patterns of abuse that drew my parents together. While I never knew my dad’s father, my dad’s mother is a very strong woman.  I suspect she was the dominant spouse. As is the case in my mother’s family. As is the case in my parents marriage. I see it playing out in my own generation. I’ve seen it since my early twenties. I have spent my life trying to reverse it in my own life. With mixed success.

Which brings me to today. I am 46. I am twice divorced. I have six kids, and I can tell you that while I was the best parent I could be, I may not have been the best parent. I didn’t have time to get my shit together, and I kept piling kid after kid onto my life. I have three adult children who are absolutely amazing and are doing well despite me.  My three minor children are with their father, he and I decided when we divorced that he was the best, most stable option. I am forever grateful for him for taking on the daily grind.

What else I can tell you about my today, is that I am finally able to focus on getting my shit together. Finally able to deal with my own trauma and depression. My Adverse Childhood Experience score is 5. For reference, a 4 will 8x your chance of becoming an alcoholic. It will 6x your chance for depression. More than 90% of people with an ACE score of 4 or more will be on antidepressants. It will 5x your risk of perpetuating domestic violence. It will 6x your chance of being raped. It doubles your risk for teen pregnancy. Doubles your risk for serious financial problems. And more than doubles every risk based disease such as heart diseases, lung disease, liver disease.  I had a teen pregnancy. I have been raped. I have had serious financial problems. I am probably clinically depressed. I do not have a substance abuse problem. Though I am very diligent regarding even the most minor “pick me ups” because I know it is fertile ground in which these seeds are being planted.

The reason for this post is this. I can finally feel myself fighting back. I can finally pick apart the shame that was put upon me by my abusers. I did not invite, nor am I responsible for the abuse I suffered. You need not to have fought off your attacker to have been raped. I know I dissociate and I now know when I do it and how to fight back. I know that I am absolutely enough. I don’t need to validate my life with the opinions of others. (OK, I’m working on that one). For the first time in forever I am not standing in my way.

What Really Matters When Becoming Awesomer

I am often accused of being authentic, though I think my authenticity is often confused with saying things that most people know not to in social settings. Authentic is more about being real, despite the consequences. I trend towards skewing the story to my favor, like we all do.

I have been struggling for the past eleven years, four years, two years, and more directly the past two weeks. I have the honor and privilege to care for a mentally ill child. To fight for, advocate for, to be a mom to someone who doesn’t understand the weight of that word. Two weeks ago he tried to kill me during a break from reality. When reality returned, there I was signing him into a psychiatric facility. Watching him really want a mommy as they took him away.

Even though the doctor fears he is a threat to my safety, the insurance will not cover anything beyond an immediate threat. Meaning. He has to try to kill me, again. I’m guessing this is the way it will be until he succeeds.

This is not the first child I’ve dealt with who has had these issues. I can’t even count on one hand the number, this IS the first time I’ve been concerned for my own safety on an ongoing basis.

I have letter after letter stating that “we have exhausted our available resources” as it concerns my child. This afternoon I have to call the abuse hotline on my child. Knowing that it will be turned on me. That they will suggest another 12 weeks of parenting classes even though I have over 500 hours under my belt. That my “book” that now nears 60 pages of incident reports, psychologist recommendations, psychiatry recommendations, police reports, truancy records, and various such things will fall on deaf ears as we go down the list of services I have yet to employ.

At the end of the day, I know that I, and I alone, will be watching as my child, who really wants a mommy, who does not understand the weight of that word, IIIIII will be watching him, look at me and wonder where I am as they take him to a more secure facility.

And the next day, I will get up and fight for my own sanity. I will fight to keep my own health.  I will fight for strong and healthy minds and bodies. I will remind myself that these are the battles we are preparing to fight when we are Becoming Awesomer. We want the strength and the energy to live in this beautiful messy world, regardless of the size of our dress.

Until next time,

Be Awesome!

annie-headshot-lake

I am Annie. I am a Fitness and Nutrition UNstructor. I help women unlearn the bad habits, bad science, and misleading marketing that is keeping them from reaching their health goals. Join me over on Facebook for more awesomeness.

Unlearning Good and Bad Food

Where the notion of “good” and “bad” foods came from, I do not know. I suspect it is from a self righteous kale eater, who is a sad person because they know steak is awesome.

Even when we try to eat “good”, salad anyone? We end up sad and hungry, or we douse it with so much canola oil and corn syrup, I’m talking to you commercially available salad dressing. It is completely exhausting to try to figure out what is “good” and what is “bad” so we throw our hands up in defeat.

Here’s an idea. Why don’t we unlearn the concept of good and bad food. Let’s not even worry about the food. That’s right.

Do not put judgmental labels on your food.

Let’s think about what our goals are. Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to be healthy? Are you wanting to be thin for the rest of your life, or are you just trying to look smokin hot for your class reunion?

While we are at it, let’s rethink how we talk about our bodies. How we treat our bodies.

If you look in the mirror and say words like “disgusting” are you going to hold your actions to a higher standard than your words. Change your thoughts, change your words, change your actions.

 

 

Now, with those things in mind, let’s start thinking about the food that we are putting in our pie holes.

My goal is that I want to be healthy and happy.

I achieve that goal by eating salad, and ice cream. Just not at the same time.

Sometimes eating salads for four days straight makes me happy. Sometimes I want a steak. Sometimes I want to chew on an Oreo, because they are delicious.

If our goal is to make it to the class reunion in a size two, we are going to approach it completely differently than if our goal is to be a size 10 for the rest of our lives.

Now, I could make a flow chart, but ain’t nobody got time for that. So, you’ll have to think a little harder.

If you give a girl a cookie….should she eat it?

Is it a good cookie or a bad cookie?

Whuh? It’s a fucking cookie.

Will this cookie help or hurt her long term goal?

Well, I want to be happy and healthy. The cookie will make me happy.

Ok, will it make you healthy?

No.

Which goal is more important right now. Happy or healthy?

I don’t know.

Ok, when is the last time you had a cookie?

Four weeks ago, last, I don’t remember.

Have the cookie.

If the answer is 4 minutes ago, don’t have the cookie.

It’s not whether the cookie is good or bad, it’s how sugar and flour and chocolate chips and M&M’s are going to fit into the whole picture. If they are part of the whole picture, go ahead and enjoy it. If they ARE the whole picture, maybe skip this one.

Remember, you are a grown ass woman, you get to decide what you eat. YOU.  Look at your goals. Look at your thoughts, your words, your behavior, the big picture. Be honest with what is important to you.

Until next time,

Be Awesome!!

annie-headshot-lake

My name is Annie.  I am a Fitness and Nutrition UNstructor. I help women unlearn the bad habits, bad science, and misleading marketing that is keeping them from reaching their health goals.  Please join us on Facebook.  If you would like to join our tribe of fabulously wonderful women, join our private group.  If you love chocolate, head over to Bulletproof, it’s on sale!

That Sugar Film Review

So, everyone has heard of Supersize Me, where Morgan Spurlock spends 30 days eating nothing but McDonald’s and it does not go well.

Now, there is a sugar version.

Damon Gameau quit sugar to impress a girl.  Three years later he decides to see what would happen if he ate like the average again.  For two months he ate the average sugar consumption of Australia, which in the movie stated it was 40 tsps a day.

That fact alone BLEW MY MIND.

40 tsps per day.

90 tsps is a pound. We on average are consuming a pound of sugar every other day. Not straight from the bag, mind you. It is hidden in everything. Why, because we took out the fat.

Damon under the guidance of a doctor, and nutritionist decided to eat only “heart approved healthy food” in the form of low fat yogurt, fruit juice, cereals, granola bars and the likes. The first day he nearly finished his 40 tsps at breakfast with 2.5 servings of cereal, which for the record was not a lot, a yogurt and a juice. A very typical breakfast.

Damon had been consistently eating 2300 calories of whole food, under this new “diet” he did not consume more than 2300 calories, and often times consumed less because he felt so crappy from his food choices.

In the two months he ate the AVERAGE amount of sugar, he gained 18 pounds. He had fatty liver disease and pre diabetes. From just two months.  How many of us are eating way more than average on a daily basis?

One Coke has 9 1/3 tsps of sugar. If you have three Cokes a day you are at 28 tsps of sugar.

Now, as I said, Damon only ate “heart approved healthy food” according to his nutritionist. How many of us are on a heart healthy diet?

Also note that there were days he did just pour sugar onto a cracker to prove his point, it was disgusting. His final meal was 40 tsps of sugar, in the form of a school kids lunch box. Yogurt, lunch meat, crackers, dried fruit, and juice. All “healthy” things we put into our kids lunches on a regular basis.

I encourage you to go and watch it for yourself.  I feel this will have the same effect on my diet as Supersize Me did on my going to McDonald’s. It’s just not worth it.

The good news is that when he stopped the damage reversed itself within a month and he was able to lose all the weight and get back to optimal blood levels.  Note that he did feel like crap for a week while he detoxed.

Quitting sugar is not going to be easy, we are trained to enjoy the sugar. To NEED the sugar. From personal experience, once you re-calibrate your tastebuds you lose your cravings for the sugar. It doesn’t take much to get it back, but the more time that passes the easier it gets.

I encourage you to go watch for yourself. Let me know what you think over on our Facebook page.

Until next time,

Be awesome!

annie-headshot-lake

My name is Annie. I am a Fitness and Nutrition UNstructor.  I help women unlearn the bad habits, bad science, and misleading marketing that is keeping them from reaching their health goals. If you are a woman looking for a different way of doing things, I invite you to join our private Facebook group.

 

Quitting – Unlearning Willpower

The thought that you can do anything, sustainably, with willpower has to be one of the biggest lies we have been told.

Eventually it will break. Some of us have more. Some of us have less. But all of what we have is finite.

If you tell yourself you are going to quit sodas, by drinking water, you can power through. Some of us for an hour. Some of us for a day, but at some point we give in to the temptation of the sweety goodness and we break. Oftentimes, when this happens, we declare to ourselves, “I suck at life.” and we go back to our old ways.  Because it is impossible.

In order to unlearn this bad habit of using willpower, we need to look at it a different way.

We will use soda as our example, because soda is my thing, but you can substitute anything you would like, candy, cigarettes, boys, whatever.

Chances are that your habit, is tied to your routine. So the first thing we have to do is deliberately disrupt your routine. With soda, this step was simple. I just stopped keeping it in the house. I had to go out to get it. Of course, eventually, I got to the point where I would build going out for soda into my routine, which is why it is just the first step. If you know there are snacks in the breakroom, go the other way. If you know you like to stop for something on the way home, take another route. If you know you buy Oreo’s if you shop while you are hungry, eat something before you go.

The second step is to build a new habit. This one worked a little better for me. I started keeping a bottle of water in my room and would drink that immediately upon waking. It wasn’t nearly as exciting as going out for a soda, but I couldn’t justify my trip with the excuse that I was thirsty. As I built up this new habit, my trips thru the drive thru in the morning became less frequent.

The third tip I have is to fill up on the good stuff early in the day. As I drank one bottle of water, then two, then three, I noticed that my soda run kept getting pushed further back in the day. It was barely even perceptible as I wasn’t dehydrated.

Finally, give yourself a hard window. You can make this window as wide as you would like. I tell myself if I am going to have a soda, it has to be under certain circumstances. I can have one at the movie if I must. I can only get them from the Whataburger near my house, and can only have them at lunch time. Do I ever break these rules? Absolutely. Do these rules have the deciding vote most days? Absolutely.

  1. Disrupt your routine.
  2. Built a new habit.
  3. Fill up on the good stuff.
  4. Build a window

If I can leave you with one thing, it would be this. You are a grown ass woman. You can do what you want, when you want. If you want a soda, drink it. Don’t make excuses. Don’t call it cheating. Don’t call it bad. Don’t say you are a horrible failure because you decided to have a soda. Know this. You DECIDED to have a soda and that is OK. Tomorrow you may decide not to have another. Do not blame PMS, or the kids, or Mercury. You are in charge of you. When you decide that being healthy is the most important thing in your life, you will choose soda less often.

Hope this helps.

Until next time,

Be awesome!!

annie-headshot-lake

I am Annie. I am a fitness and nutrition UNstructor. I help women unlearn the bad habits, bad science, and misleading marketing that is keeping them from reaching their health goals. Be sure to like us on Facebook. If you are a woman looking to unlearn what isn’t working for you, I invite you to join my private group.

Quitting Sugar – Unlearning the Fear

Sugar.

As a little girl, I learned that as a girl, I was made of sugar and spice, and everything nice.  What I did not learn is that the dose makes the poison. A little sugar may be sweet, but a lot of sugar, well, that comes with it a whole lot of not so sweet.

Cavities, diabetes, heart disease, insulin resistance, and before any of that, weight. I could list a whole host of other ailments that are directly related to sugar, but if you are here reading about unlearning the fear of quitting sugar, you are probably dealing with some of them yourself.

As a former, very sweet girl, I know the fear of quitting sugar is very real. If I can’t have sugar, what CAN I have?

Well, there are artificial sweeteners, but those are a chemical shit storm. There is fat, but I’ve heard all my life that fat will kill me. There is salt, see also, things that will kill me. It is so frustrating! I guess I’ll chew on this twig and look at my fridge magnet that says “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” which is a frickin LIE. Have you never had cake?

Let’s look at artificial sweeteners. They are good for your blood sugar, turns out NOT TRUE. They are a chemical shit storm in most cases. They are derived from coal, petroleum products, contain chlorine, and the list goes on and on. There are new artificial sweeteners on the market made from corn and sugar beets, but that opens the discussion of genetically modified organisms, and whether we have enough research from reputable sources that we can trust. I am not convinced that GMOs are safe. We are just now entering the second generation of Americans being raised on GMO food, all the while, rat studies show there are significant birth defects associated with the offspring from the second generation.

I don’t even have to put on my conspiracy theorist hat to blame the sugar industry for demonizing fat. It makes sense if you can take out the competition of fat and salt, there is only one place to go. Yes, you may fear the fat, but one question, how is sugar consumption going for us?

Not well, but quitting sugar…. that’s a commitment. It is everywhere. What exactly do I have to quit to get sugar off my back? Sugar in its direct form. Corn sugars. Grains that convert to sugar in the body. Fruit.

Deep breath. You can do this.

“Alright, I’m going to be strong and power through this.”

Nope. We will not be utilizing ANY willpower. Willpower is finite. You can willpower your way through breakfast, maybe lunch, but come 2:00 if you are still on the willpower train, your chances of succeeding go down each second. ESPECIALLY if you have any stress in your life at all. Kids, job, spouses, traffic, running a house, you are going to want to reach for your energy boost at some point.

So, what do we do????

First, know that sugar is going to be a part of your life forever, You will have to dance with it for the rest of your life. You MAY be able to power through a day, or a week, or if you are some sort of alien goddess make it through the month, but this isn’t about this powering through, only to binge like a crazy person come November 1 – Halloween anyone? So get comfortable with that.  Sugar isn’t going anywhere.

Secondly, realize that the sugar cravings are your body’s way of asking for energy. Which can be derived from other sources. Fat is a great energy source, and your body has a regulatory system in place to assure that you don’t consume too much. It’s called “disaster pants”.

Third, let’s discuss the sugar cycle. When you start consuming sugar, your blood glucose goes up. If it goes over a certain point, your insulin kicks in to control it, which leads to less blood sugar, which leads to the energy dip, which leads to the sugar craving, which leads to the sugar consumption, which starts the whole process over. The best advice that I can give you here is that the longer you can hold off on sugar during the day, the less you will crave it.

If you are like me, my main sugar came in the form of Coke, which I had for breakfast, every day.  It put me on the sugar roller coaster, needing to refeed every two hours. And despite what you’ve heard, you will not die if you don’t eat 7 times a day.

I utilize intermittent fasting now, but that may be months or years off for most people.  The habit of eating is huge, paired with the BS that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. (misleading marketing) So, I will take you back to the beginning of how I ate to quit the sugar.

Breakfast should consist of fat and protein. Eggs, bacon, sausage, from the highest quality source you can afford. Pastured, grass fed, is best. But do not beat yourself up if you want to start with factory farmed. We are not zealots here, we are establishing the habit. Do what you can do to get it done. No bread, no fruit, NO JUICE. Drink water or coffee. If you have to have 80 lbs of sugar in your coffee, you may want to skip it until you can alter your taste for sugar. If you need that jolt of energy, I have had really good luck with nicotine gum. Yes. I never smoked, but this is a great hack for when you need to be alert and focused.

Lunch should also be mostly fat and protein. You can add in some veggies. Which are technically carbs, but the lower your net carb intake the better. Again, the highest quality you can source, local organic is best, but if the only vegetable you can find is a can of green beans, I will jump up and down and be happy for that. Quality will improve with habit. Now, here is the important part of consuming vegetables. Cover them in butter. Lots of butter. They will taste amazing. Kerrygold butter is the only brand nationally available that is grass fed. Again, drink lots of water.

Skip the afternoon snack. You can do it. If you find yourself needing a snack, go ahead and have one, but up your fat intake for breakfast and lunch the following day.

Dinner, you can carb it up at dinner. With vegetables. Try to stay away from pasta and bread, at least for the short term.  Lots of butter on everything. Even the meat.

The more fat you consume, the longer you will feel full.  I know it is scary, but give me a month to convince you. Let’s say I’m wrong here, which I don’t believe that I am. Can it make you feel any worse than sugar is making you feel at the moment? If you don’t like the way you feel at the end of the month, you can always go back.  I consume roughly a stick a day.  My good cholesterol is up from 45 to 52 this year. My non- HDL cholesterol went from 139 down to 86.  My triglycerides have gone from 71 down to 56. I will be redoing my blood test at the end of the year and expect all of those numbers to continue in the right direction.

To recap, sugar is here to stay. How we dance with it is about to change. Get more fat into your diet. It will help with the sugar cravings. Even if you don’t enjoy the higher fat diet, it will change your sugar cravings and you can phase out the fat once your NEED for sugar passes.

Drink lots of water.

Breakfast should not contain any carbs, no fruit, no breads, not oatmeal, no juice.

Lunch should be high fat, moderate protein, low carb.

Dinner should be high fat, moderate protein, moderate carb. If you go overboard and get too much sugar, you can go to bed when your sugar roller coaster crashes down. Use the sugar crash to your advantage.

Skip desserts and snacks for now, but if you feel that you can’t, don’t think you’ve failed.

There are no “cheat” days in life.  We are grown ass women who can eat what we like, when we like. You know you want to eat better, so evaluate whether you “need” something or not. If you decide that you do, in fact, need a Coke, enjoy the hell out of it.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Until next time,

Be awesome!!

annie-headshot-lake

My name is Annie, I am a Fitness and Nutrition UNstructor. I help women unlearn the bad habits, bad science, and misleading marketing that is keeping them from reaching their health goals.

If you haven’t done so already, I would love if you joined us on Facebook.  If you would like to join our private group of amazing women to share this journey, you can request to join here. I currently do have openings in my one on one coaching if you would like to get on the phone with me to discuss whether coaching is something you could benefit from, you can make an appointment here.