The dangers of quitting carbs
Hi everyone I wanted to share about my experience going Paleo and the revelations it has taught me about myself-yikes! I read a magazine article about Paleo back in January of this year while on vacation and thought since I am a performance road cyclist, climber and general athlete that it would be a logical next step for me in being a better, healthier athlete.
I bought Mark’s book “Primal Blueprint” and got busy right-away like I do with everything. While weight loss was not my objective (better athletic performance and endurance were), I lost 10 pounds in one month. I went from 160 down to 150. I am 6’-0”. I cut out all sugar, grains and all other food items not previously eaten by my Primal ancestors.
In that first month it was relatively easy to stay on track with the program. However, after a month or so I started having massive cravings for the carbs and sugars that I was so used to eating all my life. I would occasionally start to “sneak” a handful of forbidden fruit be it Hershey’s kisses or what have you. I would feel horribly guilty and stay away again for a while. Then like an unrelenting stalker the urges would return no matter how I tried to stay satiated with good fats and protein.
Now the scary part. I have always enjoyed red wine and would drink a glass or two about 3-5 nights per week (prior to going Paleo of course). However, I would also go weeks or even months without drinking anything at all. I could take it or leave it. What I noticed though is that when the carb urges started to return I would resist but then started drinking wine in their place. Thus began a period of about 2 ˝ months of binge eating and perhaps not binge drinking but certainly drinking more than I was comfortable with. Honestly I was beginning to feel out of control. I have never experienced that in my life. I was terrified and frankly still am when I think about it.
My realization is that I am a carb/sugar addict and will seek it out in any medium I can. Since I never moderated my carb/sugar intake until Paleo lifestyle I never had undergone the stress of breaking that addiction and to my horror found that I could interchange the wine for the sugar-all without my wanting to and barely even able to control it. It has been a couple of months now since the realization and I have been seeing improvement in fighting the urges. In fact the urges themselves are subsiding dramatically with each passing week.
The lesson for me is that things I put in my body are nothing to mess with. I now have the utmost respect for food, alcohol and anything else I might ponder putting in my mouth, to the point that I do not care what others may think of my refusals for certain dishes and beverages. I firmly believe that sugar and simple carbs are the root of so many other addictions and mental disorders and wonder why our government does not help fix this with better food regulations.
I will continue to not tempt the demons of SAD foods while always being vigilant about my own responsibility to take care of myself. I do live in a household that at times does not offer the support I would like but that’s not their fault.
I have greatly shortened this post so that someone might actually read it and hopefully find some connection and therefore hope/help with their situation. If you want more information just let me know I will gladly share. This food thing is serious stuff and can really awaken a lot of other issues that may need to be dealt with. But it is getting easier and I have not binged in a while now. My weight is in the mid 150’s and has been steadily dropping since I have stayed away from the bad carbs. Also my head is so much clearer and I am not depressed like before. There is no scarier feeling than being out of control. I never want to go there again.
Peace to all,