Feeling Great in One-Eight – Step One

My goals for 2018

When I unveiled my big goals for 2018, I mentioned that I just couldn’t help but have a goal to “lose weight and feel great” this year.  I put on a BUNCH of weight during (and after) cancer treatment, when my hormones were getting all messed up and my lifestyle suddenly became more sedentary. {Read my entire cancer story here.}  As a reminder, though, there are many reasons why I am focusing on losing the cancer weight this year that go beyond a number on the scale:

  • I am supposed to be watching for cancer recurrence, and one of the major signs of recurrence is new aches and pains.  Right now, I am feeling all kinds of achy, but it’s just from carrying extra weight and being out of shape.  I want to get back to feeling strong and healthy so that any aches and pains of recurrence would be easy to recognize. Preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best.
  • There are several aspects to my diet that are not ideal for a cancer survivor.  I have already quit sugar once since my diagnosis, but fell off the wagon quickly.  Let’s get real…I will probably never be able to quit sugar altogether (life’s too short to never eat a Reese’s again), but I want to seriously decrease my intake because it is one of cancer’s favorite things to snack on.
  • My particular cancer type also feeds on hormones.  I had my ovaries removed to help my body limit the amount of estrogen it produced, and I am also taking a hormone suppressant to help take care of the other estrogen my body produces.  Did you know that body fat produces estrogen?  I figured that cutting fat can only help my body’s battle against hormones.
  • I am tired of feeling fatigued!  I want to have more energy to keep up with my kiddos.
  • And last, but definitely not least, is that I haven’t felt truly comfortable in my own skin since my mastectomy.  I feel like a stranger in my own body and the fact that I am the heaviest I have ever been just adds to that feeling.  I think it would do wonders for me if the rest of my body could look a little more like it did before my diagnosis, even if my boobs never will.

My perfectionist tendencies are a major battle when it comes to any weight loss journey I have undertaken in the past.  I try to make all of these healthy changes all at once and then, the first time I slip up, I get frustrated with myself and eventually quit.  Does this sound familiar to anyone else or is it just me?

Well, I decided to take a different approach this year.  I am changing my habits, one month at a time.  Since it takes 21 days to form a new habit, I figured that in one month I could form a new habit and get comfortable with it before moving on to the next thing.

And, my friends, I am going to start by eating the frog.  I am going to stop snacking on sugar.

Feeling Great in One-Eight - Step One: Ditch the Sugar

Why not cut out sugar completely?  Well, I have enough going on right now that trying to completely revamp our family’s entire way of eating is just not feasible at the moment.  To throw out or modify any of our favorite recipes that contain added sugar is just too much for me to fathom; I would get overwhelmed and quit.  So I’m taking the first baby step, but it’s actually a pretty big hurdle for me.  Here are the guidelines I’m setting for myself:

  • No pop or juice
  • No snacking on sweets
  • Only one sweet treat per week (of reasonable size…no massive sundaes or extra large milkshakes)
  • Try to cut back on meal-time sugar as well (use smaller amounts of condiments, syrup, etc.)
  • I will not be substituting with “Sugar Free” items; they can be just as bad for a cancer survivor as sugar.

It sounds fairly simple, but I know it’s not going to be easy.  I am really dreading the sugar detox…it is a BEAST.  If anyone has been there, I’m sure you understand.  I am hoping this is the last time that I have to go through this process and that I’ll stick with a life of less sugar.

Any tips for getting through my month of sugar detox?  I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

One Last Side Note:  In case you were wondering, I HAVE taken a “before” picture and have my baseline measurements, but I won’t be sharing them until I have a comparison to go with them.  That will be coming in February!