A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Chemically Sweet Side Effect

It’s been just over a month since I kicked the chemical sweetener habit, and I feel pretty good.  I’m sleeping better than I have in years.

Most nights I’m sleepy and getting in bed at 11:00 to 11:30PM, which is about an hour and a half earlier than what has been my norm for the past few years.  I also fall asleep faster and feel less fidgety while lying in bed.  Last night was the first bad night I’ve had since kicking the habit, and I was still asleep by 1:30PM, so I still got five hours.  A bad night for me previously usually meant no sleep at all.

During detox, I did have a headache for eight solid days.  Not a terrible one, on a one to ten scale I’d grade it at about a three – but it was very consistent.  Then it cleared up, and I’ve been fine since then.

Occasionally I will gaze longingly at Ted’s can of Coke Zero, but other than that I’ve been fairly free of cravings.

There has been one downside: I am absolutely ravenous for refined sugar sweets.

Not being a doctor I’m taking my best guess at why this is.  Every day since my teens, I’ve had artificially sweet drinks on a daily basis, which means my tongue (and brain) were getting a signal that said: YAY, SUGAR! every single day.  Granted it was a fake signal and probably messing up my metabolism, but I still became very used to having sweet stuff (aka dietary crack) on a daily basis.  Twenty years worth of used to it.

Suddenly, that signal is completely gone.  When I drink, there’s no YAY SUGAR! there’s just water, or the refreshing, bubbly citrus of flavored seltzers.

So I’m craving sweet rather desperately.  Every day.  This unfortunately means I’ve been indulging in ice cream, or water ice, or a bag of MnM’s, or sugar laden hot chocolate every day.

So now I’m confronted with another addiction I’ve got to break to get through this.  My brain needs to accept that refined sugar and the taste of SWEET! is for special occasions only, not for daily use.  So, here we go again, another day another detox.

And I still miss chewing gum.


Footnote: As a reward I got a new piercing.  Well, technically I had an old piercing fixed that had clogged up with yucky scar tissue, but isn’t the hoop cute?!  I’m getting a third set in September as a reward for my sugar detox.

Kick bad habit – get jewelry.  Sounds good to me, no?


  1. Sooooo I really need to do this detox thing, don't I? ;-) How do you get your caffeine? I just need it like... in an IV so I'm not a monster in the morning... hahaha. I love the hoop!! So cute! (now I see this after I messaged you lol) I love rewards, that seems to work for me sometimes when nothing else will. Congratulations on your detox! <3

    1. Thank you! You don't have to do this, I don't ever want to make people feel food guilt! LOL It's the right choice for me right now, but believe me, Ted still drinks diet soda by the liter every day.

      I get caffeine usually through a cup of tea in the morning, but I'm not a big caffeine drinker so that part was easier for me to kick.

  2. Bahaha no no no, I feel no food guilt! lol I think it would be reeeeally good for me to give it up, that's all I mean. Part of it is that I totally understand needing to retrain the brain to not be like GIVE ME SWEEEEEETNEESSSS all the time. I wish I could drink coffee black, but.. nein. And I am jealous of your tea only regimen, if I don't have at the least one cup of decently strong coffee (with much sweeteners) I am just like... godzilla. I should cut back on that too... caffeine and sugar, fun but terrible addictions...

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