I wrote at the start of the year about issues I was having with my weight, the truth was I weighed far more than I should have, and the fact was I needed to shed some weight in order to be able to race, or for that matter train properly.
Since then my weight did come back under control to the point where whilst not as low as I would have liked it was certainly under control. This then led to another issue, those being stomach issues, properly more correctly referred to as gut health.
I have long suffered with issues in that region, the exact details I will spare you but let’s just say the song Ring of Fire was very apt!
The cause of these issues has also long been known to me, it is nothing more complicated than sugar. This ingredient is found in very many foods and is particularly prevalent in my favourite food of cake. I have a sweet tooth, I love the cake, chocolate, biscuits, a full fat coke, I think you get the idea.
Now, the simple idea is that you can just stop eating all of those foods and all will be well, but it is not as simple as that. I am sure I am not alone in that feeling of craving something sweet to eat particularly when you want a quick snack, yes I know there are other options but are they as satisfying? Ask yourself.
So cutting these foods out wasn’t that straight forward, but I knew action had to be taken as the issues with my gut were causing problems when racing and just in general life.
I can be quite driven when I want to be, it isn’t a natural state for me, but I can do it and so I decided the only option was to cut out the puddings, cake etc I didn’t believe I could do it gradually I just needed to do it all or nothing.
The first week I did this it was so hard, I often found myself getting the biscuit tin opening it and just staring at the contents, I felt like an addict I was scared one biscuit would lead to another, another and so on. I got to the end of the first week and felt ok. The second week went ok, a little less hard but still not easy, and at the end of that week I had a small pudding, I didn’t suddenly want another or anything after it but never felt like I had cracked it.
Another week went by, and no sweet stuff or desert, then another week, this time I had another small desert. The count of deserts was still less than the number of weeks I was trying this.
My gut health improved a lot and I was feeling better generally.
However, an second issue raised it’s head, the number of calories in all the sweet stuff is quite high and I found I was now struggling to eat the required number in a day as salad, fruit etc are much lower. This has now led me to keeping track of my calorie in take so I can ensure I eat the right amount, and now having an extra meal in the evening is quite common or even just a bowl of chips (I know but you can’t cut out all treats!)
Overall, I am now feeling much better, my weight has come down again I am eating a better diet and generally feel I have taken a good step forward. I haven’t really got rid of the feeling of being a sugar addict and only have the occasional ice cream, but I think I will eventually be able to have a dessert or something sweet more regularly without impact, but until I feel I have reached that point I will carry on my sweet way (pun intended!)
I know that there has been a lot of press around sugar and how much you should have etc and I am certainly not going to preach to someone how you should eat, but for me this is working and if it stops working I will only have one person to blame, myself.