Tuesday, May 3, 2011

MAY WEEK 1: Sugar Detox

Other than the infamous feature on p. 32 of the May 2011 REDBOOK (and the Kardashians article) my favorite piece is an article called, "I was 'Fat' in a Thin Family" by Sunny Sea Gold (sounds like a made up name, huh?) The article is about Sunny who grew up in a family that emphasized thinness so much and for so long that she ended up with an eating disorder by the time she was a teenager. While her experiences were more extreme than mine, it still echoed my own history with eating. Here's the difference:

I've heard from my parents:
"Boys can have seconds, not girls."
"Don't finish everything on your plate. It's not lady-like."
"I want you to get married...[skeptical expression] but it looks like you've put on...what? 10-20 lbs."
(Please know that it wasn't all bad. My mom taught me how to cook healthy, filling meals. That's a talent I'm so glad that I have now. And we rarely ate out. I wish I would've held on to that one in college.)

Here's what Sunny experienced:
After logging in only 800 calories in one day, her mom said, "That's good, Sunny!" (118) (I wonder if she'd have give Sunny a high-five if she also threw-up that 800 calories. yeesh.)
Sunny: "We always had calorie counting books in the silverware drawer" (118) (As a teen I did too.)
She was a vegetarian most of her childhood (120).
Instead of buying her a larger dress, Sunny's mom took her to the gym so she'd fit into a tighter dress for Homecoming (118).
Sunny's grandfather would announce in front of a crowd, "Whoa, you're packing on the pounds" (122).

Sunny spent her youth rebelling against her mom by eating "bad" foods. A psychiatrist, Charles Sophy  put it best, "You get fat in a family that really cares about thinness, and it's like you're flipping them off" (120). Fortunately, Sunny's mother started to recognize that Sunny had real food issues and they both started counseling. Her mother was raised similarly, and as they say "old habits die hard." The relationship between mother and daughter is mended now and both are way more chill about weight.

Since I was raised by folks who focused a lot on weight and thinness, I wanted to avoid detrimental remarks and habits with my children that were so injuring to me. Here are 3 hints from the article:

1. Don't tease with mean nicknames like "fatty", "Butterball", "Our Big Girl". (Check.)
2. Stay Positive. Motivate kids to be healthy and active with positive reinforcement.
3. Don't encourage dieting. Change your whole family's health lifestyle rather than focusing on just one overweight kid. Be a healthy family.

The good news is that I can't have junk in the house or I will eat it. Which means the kids don't have access to it either. I don't know if I'm making the same mistakes that my parents made, all I know is that my 6 yo daughter went out to IHOP with her cousins the other day, and when everyone wanted pancakes, she ordered grilled fish and broccoli. Her aunt questioned this several times, but Lane wouldn't budge. She ordered it and ATE it! Faced with the same choice at home, I swear she'd pick the pancakes. Hell, I would. I bet it was a fluke.

Having a healthy family will be a constant work in progress.

But onto my goals this week:

This is what sugar detox feels like.
DIET: NO SUGAR ALL MONTH! That's right. A friend challenged me. I accepted. Now I'm 3 days into sugar detox. I'm also watching my calories, keeping them between 1200-1500.

EXERCISE: I'm putting in my garden this week, so I'll be outside shoveling, hoeing, lawn-mowing, raking, and tilling ALL week. This uses a large amount of exertion, so fear not. It will be workout worthy.

Goodbye, Sugar.
Hello, Healthy Lifestyle.


  1. It's nice to have friends just as zealous as me!! I'm taking it a step further and cutting out white flour, white rice, potatoes, and salty starches (chips, etc.) It's easy to fall into the trap of eating pizza and greasy burgers just because there's no sugar in them. But cutting calories is also the best way to keep it in check.

  2. That article in Redbook was definitely nuts. I was thankful that the mom finally came around and helped out her daughter. And, LOL, that Cookie Monster picture has been a favorite of mine for some time! I'm curious to see how the No Sugar part of your diet goes. Headaches? Do you avoid fruits and the sugars in those? So far I'm using the sugar-free JellO cups but I want to see what it would be like to totally eliminate it (or most of it). Looking forward to your next entry!

  3. Sugar detoxing has been going great. I knew I would cheat a little on my birthday, so when Rick brought me a cupcake, I only ate half before the kids tackled the rest. You'll be pleased to know that I got a migraine an hour after. My body and I are in a fight now.


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