Confession of a Sugar Junkie

Before & After Transformation

Many of you who follow my blog, know that I enjoy cooking. Especially easy quick healthy meals for you and your family. What I’m about to do is to make a confession.

If you read my bio, I started cooking while living in California out of necessity to curb the ‘going-out-to-eat’ all the time. It wasn’t healthy by any means. Especially when the places we frequented at the time were basically Mexican restaurants. There’s another side of the story….so here goes.

I’ve been a sugarholic for decades. My downfall started early but I didn’t realize it till I hit 31 yrs. old. I saw my body changing and kept telling myself I needed to do something about it. I never did. I lived on sugar. If there was cake, I’d eat it. If there were cookies laying out, I’d devour every last one. Candy? Ugh. My downfall were peanut M&M’s because they were easy, not messy and it became a ritual in the car to grab the King Size (now called Sharing Size) and a Coke on the way home or after leaving a clients office. Surprisingly I kept my weight around the 185-190 area.

For years, I had no energy, no stamina and started to develop other ailments I couldn’t figure out why they were happening to me. After my reign ended in California, I continued to telecommute back and forth to California from Texas for work. Airplanes were no longer offering food, so it was the Pizza Parlors in the terminals and Starbuck Fraps. Yes, more fat added to my crappy diet. If you are not eating right, you can’t really call it a diet. I call it being a lazy-ass.

Well, from no energy all the time, I developed severe insomnia, borderline high cholesterol and depression. When your diet isn’t right, neither is your mind. Yes, I’ve confessed that to you. Because it needs to be said…from me. I want you to know, if your diet isn’t healthy, then your mind isn’t healthy either.

To give you an idea how bad my sugar habits were…get a load of this. I could sit and clear an entire bag of peanut M&Ms in a 42 ounce bag. I use to sit down with a glass of milk and clear out the entire bag of Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies watching tv. My kids knew I had to buy 2 bags. One for me, one for them…to share. If they didn’t eat them fast enough…I finished them off. Then add the fact, I love ice cream. Blue Bell is my all time favorite. Eating a pint is easy…in one sitting. Sometimes two pints. Years ago, I could eat an entire quart size of Sherbet. Now that is sugar! I could go on, but you get the picture. It wasn’t healthy at all…and to figure out that I may be allergic to chocolate…I ate it anyway. Developing a skin condition I couldn’t figure out what was causing it. Duh, Chocolate dork…and stress.

Back in May of this year, I decided I needed to do something about it. I KNEW what to do but needed some guidance. If I’m going to be posting healthy meals, well I better be living the life I portray!

I made a trip to Dallas to see a new doctor. I live in Houston. The doctor I was recommended came by the way of my brother @DrWardBondTV, www.drwardbond.com, as I had watched him transform into a magazine quality bodybuilder before my eyes. Now mind you, I do not like exercise. Anyway, I made an appointment to see the doctor after filling out all the paperwork so he knew the troubles I was having before I drove up there. Then sit down and discuss it all. Dr. Jay is one cool dude. www.lifeclick.com We sat down to discuss all my ailments and diet. He had taken a couple of blood samples to send off to get a full report and be sure nothing was major happening inside my body. We had a great almost 2 hour meeting. Yes 2 hours, not 2 hours in the waiting room.

We discussed everything. What I was most impressed about, is Dr. Jay didn’t say, you gotta do this. His mild, funny manner spoke volumes to me. When I went it in, I weighted 187lbs. I didn’t think I looked overweight, but I felt it. More so, when you look at the photo above, it really shows! What I found out from the doctor is my sugarholicism was causing most if not all of my ailments I had been experiencing for decades. We focused more on my insomnia, my anxiety and yes depression phases. Also skin condition and overall well-being.

After I left his office, I headed across the street to Cafe Express to have lunch. It was a rainy, stormy day so I wanted to grab some lunch and sit by the window and think about all we talked about. I remember what I had for lunch; a Danish Blue Cheese Bacon burger with sweet potato fries and a nice glass of chardonnay. This was my last day of red meat for awhile. At that point, I went cold turkey on sugar. Didn’t even have dessert. That was it. The sugar days had come to an end for good. Including my wine….for now. I had to get everything in order before I got back into doing wine reviews.

Many have asked me, was it hard to walk away from sugar entirely? Honestly no. I had to make a drastic change in my health if I planned on being on this Earth any longer.

I began to practice what I have been preaching here. Now all the meals you see on my blog are healthy. What wasn’t healthy is what I was doing behind the scenes.

At 147lbs. Beard is gone. Happy as ever!

When I got home, I gutted my pantry and frig. I swore off all sugar products. Candies, bakery goods and even breads and heavy starches. Anything that would convert to sugar in my body had to go. I started on a protein diet, no added fat…and the one thing I dreaded the most. Exercise. I needed to get fit.

Lets back up for a bit. When I stopped sugar cold turkey, I literally dropped 10 lbs in 5 days. I’m not kidding you. I started working out with crunches twice a day. I was lucky if I  could do 25 without bitching about my back hurting, but I continued with diligence! Today, I’m up to 400 crunches a day. I break them down in 4 sets throughout the day. 100 crunches when I get up in the morning, another when I get home from the office and a final set before I go to bed. No the exercising doesn’t keep me up at night. I do at least 100 push ups a day. I work out with tension bands for toning too.

Due to a skateboard accident when I was a kid I have a weak lower back, so I’m still working on strengthening that area and yes it’s working. I retired from skateboarding 3 years ago when I crashed hard on a half-pipe. So I live through my kids when it comes to skateboarding. As my kids put it, ‘Dad, you have farther to fall than we do.” Due to the accidents, that is why I breakdown my crunches throughout the day, to ease my back pain.

Six weeks after I had driven to Dallas to see Dr. Jay, I went back to discuss my test results from my blood that was drawn. He told me I was healthier than most 25 year olds, but I was borderline high cholesterol at 230. Not a number I wanted to be. So I started on Red Yeast Rice Capsules and Time Released Niacin. This brought it back down to normal quickly. When I walked in, Dr. Jay was amazed at how much I had lost in 6 weeks. I went from 187lbs to 155lbs. No it wasn’t dangerous weight loss. It was eating right, cutting out all the crap that had done me in for so long. I’m not a 3 meal a day eater. Never have been. It amazes people I work with that I can go without lunch. I will either have an apple or a protein drink if I think about it. I’m always on the move, so food is the least of my thinking. I do not live to eat. I eat to live. Remember that.

I am now at 148lbs. Lean and mean. Is it too thin for someone 6’1”? No. I used to be a cyclist in my previous years so I was use to being on the lean side. I felt better back then. I power walk daily and fell in love with the treadmill. I can’t wait to get one in my house as I will use it twice a day. Walking and running is a great way to clear the mind and get my ass outside, regardless of the weather.

I have many of my ailments gone now. Honestly I’m still dealing with insomnia but it’s gotten better. Being a designer and an idealist, my mind doesn’t shut off, so we are still working on that. My cholesterol is normal. My skin condition is gone. My mind is clearer and anxiety is kept in check. Am I afraid to confess that? I use too, but if it helps one of you…then it’s well worth the confession or testimony.

It’s been four months now and I’m still at 147-149lbs. I feel the best I’ve ever felt in my life. I have no sugar cravings till this day. It’s not part of my vocabulary or diet anymore and I’m grateful. You see, Dr. Jay never told me to stop sugar. He just said it was cause of many of my problems. I made that step back in May to change MY life. No one else was going to do it.

I cannot stress enough to you, being healthy IS the way of life. You can’t blame anyone but yourself for the unhealthy situation you may be in. Whether it’s mental or physical. My two teen boys are now following my footsteps when it comes to sugar. They both are working out, staying fit and cooking dinner in their own home. It’s nice to know, my diligence is rubbing off on them!

 
Self-Portrait. New Look. New Weight.

Don’t wait 16 years to get your ass in gear. Yes, I’m 47 years old. Start today. Be diligent in your goal, as your goal will come sooner than you think.

God Bless…I’ll be seeing you in the kitchen. Eating healthy.

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