Surviving Starvation

And believe me, it was starvation! Those first few days nearly killed me. OK, I exaggerate slightly, but they were pretty difficult. I am used to being able to go and help myself to whatever I fancy from the fridge or the cupboard. Although I didn’t really buy biscuits or cakes, there is usually a little something sweet to eat. Maybe a bar of chocolate that I could have a square of or something like that. But this time whenever I felt hungry, I was supposed to embrace it! Embrace it? Given the chance I would have punched it right in the face! The book “The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet” recommended a few tips to take your mind off the hunger. Go for a walk. Have a drink of water. Seriously? Those were not likely to cut it with me!

Having a dog makes it easier to just go off out for a walk, and my doggy was well-walked those first few days! She wondered what was going on! It did work to an extent as it took your mind off the fact that you were hungry while you were out walking, but to me it just increased my appetite! Not exactly the desired effect! The theory about having a drink of water is in case you are actually thirsty and not hungry. I can’t say these two things have ever mixed me up, but it is possible I guess. Unfortunately I am also prone to migraine headaches, which for me are caused if I go too long without eating or drinking something and in those first couple of days I did have a few migraines. Luckily they don’t floor me completely but they are not pleasant. I was careful to always have water near-to-hand just in case, but the problem was not really being able to eat and that was going to pose problems for the next 8 weeks.

I also gave up caffeine during this time. Now, I am not a great coffee drinker anyway, so that didn’t make too much difference. Tea, however, is a different matter. I probably drank 6-8 cups a day, easily. One in the morning, one when I got to work, another about 10ish, one at lunchtime, another about 3ish and then at least 2 or 3 in the evening with a few extras thrown in here and there. I decided at work that I would switch to herbal and fruit teas. It wouldn’t draw too much attention, as a couple of other girls in the team had also made this switch recently. A couple of people asked if it was a new year health-kick/detox. I just batted it away by saying it was a health-kick, but not only for the new year. People soon lost interest and it made the tea-run easier when people only had to pour a cup of hot water rather than make me a tea (and I am fussy about the strength of my tea!)

It was actually easier to stick to the plan at work. All I had to do was ignore any goodies that people brought in (which, after Christmas was plentiful amounts of chocolates people had been given but didn’t want to eat all themselves and was not easy, I admit) but I didn’t take any food to work with me, so I couldn’t snack on anything. I just threw myself into work, not allowing my mind to wander to food at all. I had to zone out so I couldn’t hear any conversations about food from my colleagues. “I was so bad last night, I had an Indian takeaway”, or ” I was so bad last night, I had 2 glasses of wine and a whole bag of crisps and a dip”. It is so hard to listen to people talking about food when you know all you ate the night before was a few salad leaves, tomatoes and a bit of grilled fish! And your stomach is grumbling now!

Slowly but surely though, my stomach was becoming accustomed to the (much) reduced amount of food I was now eating and I was starting to find it easier. My sleeping was better too. I wasn’t tossing and turning before getting to sleep. I think that by that time the sugar was pretty much out of my system and I wasn’t even craving it. My philosophy was that I would take one day at a time and do my best on that day. If I cheated or fell off the wagon then I would not let it get me down, but just get back on the horse and carry on doing my best for next time. I wasn’t going to think in terms of “good” or “bad” just that if I wanted something I would have it, within reason. If that meant a square of chocolate then so be it, it would be better to eat a square of chocolate than the whole bar, wasn’t it? I only had to keep it up for another 7 weeks or so….

Next: The Birthday Girl





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