Updated: Jun 19, 2021
It occurred to me today, whilst giving advice to my step sis that I have talked lots about my journey from an emotional perspective, but not really from a practical one. The odd tip here and there but nothing massive.
So, I figured I’d devote an entire post to it.
My tippy top tips are of course based on my own experiences on going on a sugar detox for 92 days straight, which is somewhat extreme I know. Having said that most of these tips are transferable to anything you plan to do whether it’s train for an event, cut down on sugar, get more active or maybe quit smoking.
Tippy top tip numéro un
Launch the statement ‘I’m going to be good’ into the stratosphere and never ever speak of it never ever again.
Seriously, Peter Sutcliffe probably said ‘be good’ to himself right before he used his hammer, as did John Flanagan before he used his.
Don’t ‘be good’ instead ‘be specific’ but more importantly ‘be kind’ to yourself.
If your average day currently involves sugary cereal for breakfast with sugar in your tea/coffee, then a mid-morning snack of cake or something else with sugar in, then the classic meal deal – sarnie, fizzy pop and crisps, followed by an afternoon snack of a chocolate bar followed by a carb heavy dinner and throughout the day drinking more sugary drinks hot or cold. With no exercise. And your idea of ‘being good’ is cutting all this out, without planning and then going for a 10-mile run, you’re just setting yourself up to fail because that is just too much to change too quickly and without having planned on where to start. You might make it through the day or even the week, but it will be horrible, and you will hate it. Then you will wonder how in the world other people manage to do it and with a smile. Then you’ll start resenting the goody two shoes people that eat celery and seem to enjoy it. The weirdos.
I’ve been on both sides of the celery. I’ve been horrible to myself for the best part of two decades, whilst being kind to everyone else. Now I’m the kindest to myself 😊
When I went on the detox, I spent the entire day before planning it. I did my research and came up with a bunch of do’s and don’ts. I decided on my definitive list and then went shopping, I dusted off my cookbooks, then looked up recipes on the internet. I also did a purge of my kitchen cupboards and gave all my carbs to the local food bank (that sounded weird). I live alone I’m therefore in charge of everything in my kitchen. I realise that this isn’t going to be the case for everyone else. So, making sure that the house is void of temptation isn’t necessarily as easy for you as it is me. I guess you’ll have to agree on a course of action in that department with whomever you live with.
If you’re going to do the detox, then plan it first. Don’t jump straight in. Give yourself time.
Give yourself time no matter what your planning. Get your facts all sorted, understand what it entails and most importantly work out how it will fit into your life in a practical sense. If your going to be making your lunches from now on, then work out when you can realistically make it. No matter what you want to change it will be a challenge, of course it will but at the same time it also needs to be realistic in a practical sense.
If you’re on the other side of the celery, then maybe think about just cutting down sugar in your tea/coffee. Get used to that for a week then think about cutting it out the next week. Do things gradually. That’s what I did/do. And remember to be kind to yourself. When you achieve a week of cutting out or down on anything, pat yourself on the back. Buy yourself a book or a pair on knickers or something.
Understand your addiction, first up admit you have one. Addiction isn’t the word reserved for cocaine users, gamblers or stoners. It’s also for those people who can’t go one day without a chocolate bar, or coca cola or bacon sarnies. Seriously my ex, before I knew him was referred to as the bacon sarnie man, when someone couldn’t remember his name.
My last and final addiction is coffee. I can go without anything; I mean I would be sad to not eat grapefruit daily but at the same time I wouldn’t miss it to the point of craving it but coffee, I love it so much I would struggle. Unless the world was thrown into a zombie apocalypse where all the coffee beans vanished, and the only thing left is instant coffee.
Then I would give up, though I would probably be quite busy surviving said apocalypse to worry about coffee, instant or otherwise.
Admit you have an addiction then research it. Find out what it does to the body. How it causes your body to crave it. Then of course understand what the withdrawal symptoms are. In understanding, you can better manage it. Knowing it’s a normal thing will help.
Set goals, then break them down into smaller goals.
For example, my goal is to run the marathon in under 4 hours. I broke this goal down into bite size goals, starting with being able to run 1 mile without stopping or walking. When I achieved that I celebrated with a cheeky slice of lemon in my water (I’m serious). I ticked that off, then onto my second goal which was 2 miles without stopping and walking, and so on. As time went on and I had the running thing locked in, I re-joined the gym.
It can be anything though, that’s just mine. If you want to improve your fitness and you maybe haven’t done any exercise for a while start with walking. Figure out a route or download an app to help. Or listen to music whilst your out or borrow a dog.
If you plan on doing the detox like me, and you want to get fitter give yourself time to get used to not eating refined sugar and carbs, everything becomes trickier when you’re body is transitioning between under the influence of pretend energy, or pretenergy (a word I made up earlier thanks to my step sis) and natural energy your body creates without the fake stuff.
Tell everyone. Ultimately you need to set yourself goals that you can achieve when you’re on your own, but at the same time being motivated coming from every angle also helps.
Telling everyone you know helps with your motivation. Not just because if you do quit you have to answer to them as well as yourself, but because they become your cheerleaders. That way if you forget to be kind to yourself, they will remind you of your achievements.
My main cheerleaders continue to be my work colleagues. They have been brilliant, and I can’t thank them enough for constantly cheering me on.
And this one is specifically for cutting out refined carbs and sugars. In other words, the sugar detox.
Avoid things that are typically all about the refined sugars and carbs. So, cereals for breakfast or even porridge is typically sweet. Even if its muesli. If you continue to have this, your going to remind yourself you are missing out of sweet stuff. Instead have a savoury breakfast, mushrooms, tomatoes. If you eat meat, then meat. Eggs if you eat them.
Refined carbs – try not to find alternatives for bread, you’ll only disappointment yourself with how little choice there is, instead just eat a lunch that doesn’t need them. Salads, or stews.