On August 2nd I started a 40 Day No Wheat, No Sugar Challenge on FaceBook. Yesterday I created a live video where I shared my personal experience on this journey and the many benefits that I have received by committing to not consuming any food with added sugars or even natural sweeteners. Check it out below.
This is what has helped me stay on track on this journey.
1) Eating only when I am hungry.
This becomes easy after the first 2-3 weeks of being wheat and sugar free. Once you go past the withdrawal phase. The withdrawal phase is very challenging. This is where most people give up if they do not have support. You will want the wheat and sugar laden foods because your brain will need that "fix" but this is not true hunger. Do your best to stick it out. This is why I decided to create a group around this challenge. The support is crucial. Doing it alone can be difficult for many many people (including me).
2) Paying attention to my thoughts and emotions.
Taking mental notes all the time. It is very interesting to see now clearly why I was eating chocolate in the past and what made me turn to sweets. Do not be afraid of your feelings. They are harmless. When you resist them is when they can become harmful. Our feelings have so much to teach us. When you drink or eat instead of feeling - you do not know how you experience the world. You do not even know if you like something because you are BLOCKING ACCEES to the truth of how you truly feel. By overeating or drinking or shopping. You may think your job is tolerable because you are always overeat through it. When you take the overeating out what is left is is what you need to pay attention to. If you are miserable in your job for example and you are overeating in order to stay there -you are missing out on the opportunity to be in enough pain to let you drive to action. Makes sense??
3) Moving my body
Not to lose weight but to feel good since diet is 90% and exercise is only 10%. Having a yoga practice (kundalini yoga is known to be very helpful when it comes to addictions), walking in nature, kayaking, swimming and biking are my favorite activities in the summer. I only do what brings me joy. It is just as easy to do some type of exercise as it is to not do it. I learnt to exercise for the sake of feeling good. Most people have a love/hate relationship with exercise. They do it but they do it for the result they get. Do it for the joy of it.
4) Always having appropriate food in the fridge, freezer and pantry at all times.
It is easier to stay on track when you make simple meals at home versus eating out constantly which can become very stressful especially when you live in an area where organic juice bars and healthy eateries are just not present.
5) Raising my joy index.
I choose to do things that bring me joy and not food related. A big part of that for me is being in nature and having time to chill. If get to add this to my week or my days, I am more balanced and I do not need to fill myself or that hole with sweets. Doing pleasurable things has become a big part of my life since I noticed that when I was hooked on sweets and flour laden products what I was missing and trying to replace with food was pleasure. We often turn desserts and sweet treats because we are lacking pleasure, love, touch and/or connection in our lives. As Geneen Roth beautifully put "We don't want to eat hot fudge sundaes as much as we want our lives to be hot fudge sundaes.” Love her work.
6) Prioritizing self care.
I do not mean lotions and manicures. More important than that is how we treat ourselves. Many of us women usually treat everyone else more kindly than ourselves. Be tender with yourself when you go through difficult emotions. Take time to see what you truly want. Take time to prioritize yourself. Self-care is not selfish or a luxury, or something you can get to later. Just as you schedule regular oil changes for your car, you also need to take time for yourself so you can run smoothly. The truth is, if your well being is not a priority, everything else will go downhill.
7) Having a a plan for challenging situations.
For example, I do my best to eat at home before I go to a party, or I bring at least one dish that is ok for me to enjoy. Many people fall off the wagon when they socialize because they are not prepared with what to say or do when they are offered desserts, alcohol or anything that they are avoiding. Have a plan for what you are going to say and stick to it.
8) Having structure to my day.
Structure and staying grounded throughout the day has been very helpful.
I created a simple morning ritual for myself this summer. I start my day with drinking hot water with lemon and I either do a one minute breath exercise or 3 minutes of stretching (I actually do that now first thing in the morning while still in bed. It is nice to not jump out right away. Even your car needs some warm up time so why not give it to our bodies?) I also have a doable evening ritual - I take a quick shower, washing away the stresses of the day or soak my feet in a small tub of warm water with Epsom salts, then I use a magnesium spray on my soles, take my magnesium capsules, some digestive enzymes and read a little bit (I am working on shutting off all electrical devices before bedtime). I thrive on structure and summer is hard for me actually with not having a daily set schedule. As soon as school begins - things will get easier. :)
9) Having my focus on the future, thinking thoughts that support who I want to be.
Instead of trying to fit in the clothes that I wore when I met my husband and looking back to the past, I focus on my future. I place my focus on how I want to feel and be when I am 55, 60, 70 years old. Thoughts are powerful. Thoughts create. I focus on positive and motivating thoughts. This is an ongoing process. We CAN change the thoughts we have. Deprogramming our brain is crucial. Be kind with yourself and become interested. You cannot beat yourself into thinness for example. Only kindness works. Thought work is everything. And when you are sugar and wheat free - this part becomes much easier - the fogginess is gone from your brain so you can stay sharp. It is a beautiful circle. When you ask the women who worked with my privately in the past, they will tell you that the thoughts they had at the beginning of their program and the thoughts they have now are completely different.
So start thinking about the thoughts you need to be thinking in order to get the results you want and running those models and then being able to practice those thoughts and rehearse those thoughts and then become the person who thinks those thoughts even without effort. Become the person who doesn’t care about tempting foods.
May we all go through this week with love, peace and gratitude. Namaste.
If you are interested in being part of a group challenge like this, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org or simply join my mailing list here so you can get notified.