Well, everyone…I have an announcement.
No, I’m not pregnant. 😉 I wish.
After weighing the idea for quite a while, and after some timely encouragement I received yesterday, I’ve made a decision. I’m giving up refined sugar. So is Ryan. No mo’ suga’. If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll know that Jack is already sugar-free. I would like to try living this way – well, for many reasons – but mostly because there is no nutritional value in sugar and there just isn’t any good excuse to eat it (umm…besides the fact that it tastes glorious – but that’s not really the best excuse).
My value for the health of my family has increased majorly over the past 10 months or so. Some of you don’t know this – but I had two major gallbladder attacks in 2007 – one on my 21st birthday in August and one on Thanksgiving (that one lasted 7 hours, if I remember correctly, and was at least 5 times more painful than childbirth – no exaggeration). After my first attack, I was not convinced I needed to change the way I ate. I was told I could stop an attack by taking Tylenol with codeine. As a result, I still ate fried, fatty foods and pretty much anything else I wanted. Anytime I felt discomfort in the gallbladder region, I took a bit of Tylenol with codeine, had a little sleep, and woke up feeling better. This was obviously bad because not only was I taking excess amounts of strong medicine, I was also nursing, and had to try to keep Jack from nursing until a few hours had passed (even then, I’m sure some of the medicine got into his system).
My second attack was a lot scarier. Ryan and I were chatting in bed after we’d put Jack down for the night. We’d eaten ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, bread, buttermilk pie and pumpkin pie. I told Ryan I was feeling kind of funny and within minutes, I felt like my body was being cut in half. I battled the pain as long as I could – each time I tried to drink water, it caused me to vomit. Nothing would stay down.T Tylenol didn’t work this time. There was no relief. After 5 hours of dealing with this, we went to the ER (without insurance) and waited for almost 2 hours until they finally allowed me come through the doors. I was given a shot (which caused me to vomit yet again [I think I counted 12 times that night]) and then, after the pain had somewhat numbed, I was given some kind of pill. It was one of the worst nights of my life.
After that, I changed my diet drastically. I took out almost all fat – except for skim milk, some low-fat cheeses, non- or low-fat yogurt, and meat (it’s kinda hard to find fat-free meat). I stopped eating fried foods and stopped eating at fast food restaurants altogether. I stopped eating butter. I only allowed myself to eat vegetable oil and olive oil – in very small amounts. Along with this change in diet, I promptly lost about 30 pounds (I’d already lost 20 postpartum – so basically, all my pregnancy weight and then some! Woohoo!). Since then, I still haven’t eaten anything fried and if I am forced to eat at a fast food restaurant, I order grilled chicken or a salad (even that’s scary, though). I allow myself a bit more freedom with dairy, but I don’t eat butter and I eat red meat only on occasion.
I have gallstones to thank for giving me such a different perspective on health and eating. What we put into our bodies has a huge effect on how we feel and function. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I realize that sugar doesn’t help one bit, either. Considering I have a high standard for what enters my son’s body – why shouldn’t I hold myself to the same standard?
Last night, I talked it over with Ryan and asked him if he’d like to join me in the sugar-free journey. You know what he said? “Okay…what do I have to give up?” I was pretty surprised. So, basically, as of today, our goal is to rid our kitchen of all refined sugar and sugar-containing foods. I’m going to sit down with my shopping list and adjust it, and from here on out, we eat no refined sugar whatsoever.
It’s gonna be tough, but I am excited!