A scant few years ago I got an earful from my physician about how my excess drinking was starting to wreak havoc with my health. I had managed to put on a whopping 60 pounds in one year. Well, technically, 59.5 pounds, but I figured, hell, why not just round up? “Michael, that’s five pounds a month,” admonished my doc. “I mean, that sort of weight gain takes effort.”
Actually, it didn’t.
It was caused by imbibing wine. A lot of wine. A holy crap-ton of Chardonnay to be specific … uh, and the occasional extra large sausage pizza. Meh. So I stopped drinking cold turkey. And Wild Turkey. And any other alcoholic beverage for that matter. Slowly but surely, the bloat came off.
Little by little though, I replaced alcohol with a much more powerful drug—one that I had zero control over. We’re talking about the white stuff. (No, not that white stuff. The other white stuff—sugar. The only coke I wanted was in cola form.) I went from having an occasional sweet tooth to eating sugary crap three meals a day … um, plus snacks. And the occasional treat. I could easily pass up a margarita, but if you denied me a donut, there would be hell to pay.
True story, I gave up sugar for 90 days about a year and a half ago. Never felt better. My constant fatigue, inflammation and irritability gave way to mental clarity, clearer skin and a renewed sense of spirit. But like any good junkie, I found myself face down in a pecan pie one day—and pretty much every day since.
Now I’m setting my sites on bigger and better. Sugar—in any form—is going out the window at the beginning of the year. Call it keto, call it paleo, call it whatever you want—but I will be vigilant in avoiding gluten, carbs, starches and, of course, anything sweet for the next twelve months.
“You might as well give up oxygen,” said one of my friends. If that isn’t a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is.
Fortunately, I have a little help from the boys at Evolve—who specialize in creating meal plans with no gluten, no sugar and no dairy—no kidding. They’re bound and determined to help a brother out. I’ve also got a nutritionist to help me figure out other plans of attack. And I have a support network of friends to keep me accountable. (Well, save for the aforementioned friend above. They can suck it.) My only vice? Some honey in my tea in the morning. I figured a dollop of honey is the one thing that will keep me from needing to see a mental health specialist or parole officer. Ahem.
Allegedly, the human body is prone to sugar cravings for upwards of 40 days—so I’m anticipating feeling, uh, less homicidal by Valentine’s Day. If anything this process should be interesting and give me plenty of good material to write about, yes? I won’t miss the cravings, the headaches and the feeling of constant, impending arthritis. I won’t miss the sugar-rush highs and the crashing-insulin lows. My new motto? If I can’t eat one donut, I won’t eat six. Seems simple enough, yes?
For me to attempt this—well, it’s completely bananas. (Damn, there’s another fruit I can’t have. The average banana has 14 grams of sugar in it.) But I’m gonna see what it does (or doesn’t do) to my overall health, my waistline and my mood. (Sugar makes me bitchy. Lack of sugar makes me bitchy. Go figure.) Lab blood work is scheduled for January 2nd. I’ll report back soon.
Keep your fingers crossed and keep any/all pecan pies away from me in 2019 lest you want punched you in the throat. Kthankxbai.