My Sugar Story
Updated: Aug 4, 2019
In my previous blog post, I shared with you my reasons for becoming a Certified 21-Day Sugar Detox Coach. The number one reason I decided to become a coach was because the 21-Day Sugar Detox has had a huge impact on my own health and wellness journey and I want to share the program with you!
I feel it is only appropriate that I elaborate on this point and share my sugar story with you.
I first stumbled upon the 21DSD in February 2016. At the time I was grinding through the home-stretch of my University degree; I was stressed out, unhappy, exhausted, and losing an on-going battle with acne. At the time, my go-to study snack was 2 handfuls of chocolate chips. I would eat this every night without even thinking about it (and sometimes I would go back for more). I ate what I considered to be a healthy diet (I am a nutritionist after all), but I relied on fruit smoothies, date and nut "energy bites" and these gluten-free beet crackers to keep myself awake during lectures. I was eating all the time, but constantly hungry. And if I wasn't hungry I was bloated, uncomfortable and sporting a "food baby". Falling asleep at night was a struggle and I always woke up tired. I was constantly researching and implementing new strategies to try and heal my skin and I was spending what little money I had on all sorts of supplements that weren't really helping. All the while, I had this negative self-talk track running though my head - "Why do I have acne? What am I doing wrong? What's wrong with me? My skin looks awful! Why can't I have more self-control? I eat much healthier than her, why doesn't she have acne? If only I could find that magic fix!"
So when I came across the 21-Day Sugar Detox on Pinterest, I thought, "What the hell, why not!?" I learned that one of the benefits was an improvement in skin conditions like acne - I had nothing to lose and the clear skin of my dreams to gain. So I jumped right into the February detox following Level 3, the most "restrictive" Paleo template, with the athlete modification. I tried all sorts of new foods and shared some of my meals on Instagram. I had fun doing the program and sharing what I was doing with friends and family members. Most of them thought I was crazy - "21 days without sugar? Not even natural sweeteners!? I couldn't do that! And limited fruit! You are so healthy anyway, why are you doing this!?" - but they were all so supportive of my mission.
After the 21 days I compared by skin before and after photos. My skin was starting to improve, it looked less inflamed but otherwise it didn't look much different. However, I was ecstatic about these results because for the duration of the detox I had stopped taking ALL MY SUPPLEMENTS! In any experiment, it is important to control your variables. I was curious to see what impact eliminating sugar, in the absence of all other support, would have for my skin. Due to my consistent results, I concluded that eliminating sugar was just as powerful, if not more powerful, than those costly supplements at supporting my skin. The supplements I was taking were intended to help cleanse my liver, support my hormone balance, and support intestinal health - all areas that need attention when dealing with skin conditions. For me, eliminating sugar was very helpful in supporting these areas, no supplements needed. YES! You can read more about mu skin journey HERE.
I was very encouraged by my progress and I continued to follow the 21DSD guidelines, with a few modifications, for an additional four months, finished up my supplements and saw significant improvement with my skin. So that’s it, my skin was magically healed forever, end of story…right? Not quite.
Life has a tendency to “get in the way” and de-rail us (momentarily). And I have a tendency to “emotionally eat” – I eat (chocolate, lots of it) when I’m stressed out or upset, which was quite a bit this past winter. And my skin was showing it. So in March, I committed myself to the 21-Day Sugar Detox again and I’ve been on board ever since. Has it be perfect 100% of the time? Hell no. Have I let that stop me from getting back on track? Hell no.
Adopting the 21-Day Sugar Detox guidelines as a lifestyle may seem restrictive at first (I know I thought so), but it’s actually quite liberating! I now have a better understanding of which foods work well for my health goals and which ones I need to be cautious about. Every day I am practicing new habits and learning about what “balance” looks like for me. I’ve given myself permission to be a work in progress and I want you to know that it’s ok for you to give yourself the same grace.
Without the 21-Day Sugar Detox, I never would have thought that I had a problem with sugar and I don’t know that I would have found the same relief for my skin. Looking back - hindsight bias is a bitch - it's easy to pick apart what I was eating and say, "No wonder you had skin issues!" and, "You were delusional in thinking you didn't have a sugar problem!". But this is not productive and it's not positive self-talk. To be honest, I probably still have a sugar problem, but it's something I'm working on. I'm sure in three years I'll look back at how I'm eating now and tease "2017 Danielle" for not knowing better. My point is this: health is a journey, not a destination. As long as we are consistently being conscious about what we are doing to support our health and taking small daily steps towards living our healthiest lives - that's what matters. Life is learning. This program has had such a positive impact on my life and my health journey, I’ve experienced the results first hand, and I can’t help but want to share this program with you. Can you blame me?
I am so excited to be able to offer one-on-one and group coaching for this life-changing program. You can learn more about my coaching groups HERE. Have a beautiful week, Lovelies.
Talk again soon!