Keto isn’t really hard. I mean c’mon, you get to eat scrumptious, flourless peanut butter bread, pictured above, and bacon. The food is very flavorful and filling, and includes fresh vegetables, full fat dressings, oil and butter on everything, and even berries. The amazing benefits start within just a few days. By day 3, I no longer needed to take my daily allergy medicine, or water pill. I wake up naturally much earlier than normal, with the energy to tackle the day. I feel motivated to accomplish things I had put on the back burner. Brain fog is clearing, I don’t find myself searching for words or names as often. I don’t get sluggish or yawn for an hour after each meal. The thought crossed my mind “I feel so amazing, why would I ever not eat this way?”
On day 4, I woke up feeling great, and completely went off the rails. I ate chow mein noodles with spicy fried chicken chunks and drank tea partially sweetened with cane sugar. WHY?????????!???!?!! I was feeling great. I had acknowledged the benefits. I have meals and snacks prepped in my fridge. I have no excuse. I really must break my dependence on carbs and sugar.
Sugar addiction is real, folks. I was a smoker for a long time, and quitting that was easier than letting go of sugar. It’s our best friend. It’s been with most of us from childhood. Every treat, reward, celebration, failure, or even distraction was sugar filled. We had a good day, here’s a chocolate bar. We got an award at school, ice cream on the way home. Birthdays and graduations are celebrated with cake and ice cream. Want a child to behave in the store, give him a lollipop. Sugar is fully intertwined in our lives. It’s more than a physical addiction, we’ve been shown since childhood that sugar is the key to all happiness. To me, the hardest part of Keto is not having sugar at all.
Next, I have to give up glorious gluten from my diet too. I am a bread and pasta addict. Every birthday meal I have every chosen has been pasta and garlic bread of some sort. I love them so very much, but they certainly don’t love my body. Gluten wrecks havoc on my immune system: my joints start swelling, my sinus allergies kick into overdrive, I get sluggish and usually require a nap. I know that there are many decent Keto options that don’t contain gluten. In fact, I really enjoy zoodles, spaghetti squash, and these keto friendly Garlic Knots by All Day I Dream About Food are just as good as the “real thing”.
I know that I have delicious options that don’t cause my body pain. I just have to find a new relationship with food. My dependence on food to fill the gaps of boredom, sadness, celebration, even purpose has to end. I know this will take time and will be a huge hurdle to climb, but I’m determined. This week, I’m going to try the Food is Fuel approach. I’ll ask myself “is this bite for fuel” before stuffing it in my mouth. Fingers crossed this is a step closer to overcoming my food addiction.