Sugar Relapse

The results of ONE week of high sugar

caitlin gordon eating cupcakes during a sugar relapseIt was my birthday last week and starting Tuesday of last week, I decided to celebrate. This celebration involved many activities, but the one of note today is my sugar intake. I am a sugar addict, always have been, always will be. So, when I fall off the wagon, I fall off in a big way. Guys, I had a sugar relapse. My sugar bonanza lasted roughly a week. Today, I decided to take back the reigns before I end up a basket case. Sounds dramatic? It FEELS dramatic. Ugh, sugar, my nemesis.

I ate some type of chocolate or sugar every day, often multiple times a day. I had trail mix that had peanut butter cups and chocolate chips in it. I licked spoonfuls of almond butter sweetened with maple syrup and honey. I munched 2 gluten-free (Aaahhhmazing) cupcakes–see photo, I got dessert after eating out twice, I had gluten-free french toast, orange juice, champagne, peanut butter ginger chews, strawberry coconut ice cream, and chocolate covered bananas. I’m telling you, I went for it.

What happened?

Over the course of a week, I gained 3lbs, despite going to the gym three times and hiking 17 miles with a 30lb pack. Exercising does not mean you can eat whatever you want. Granted, it probably saved me from going up a jean size and kept me mostly sane, but it doesn’t cancel out a sugar binge.

I had such a hard time getting out of bed for the last 5 days. My alarm goes off and I just feel like a lump of clay. I’ve also been having lots of anxious dreams that make me feel like I didn’t get true rest but ran around in my head all night instead.

I have woken up with moderate anxiety several days. It is no fun to start your day feeling worried and antsy for no particular reason. Overall, my anxiety level the last 4 days ramped up, with the only explanation being blood sugar and inflammation.

I have less motivation to exercise. Yes, I went to the gym this week, but I sure as hell didn’t want to. I dragged my feet the entire time. I fantasized about going to Ripple and eating fro-yo instead. This is not the normal me (anymore).

My skin broke out… All over: My face, my chest, and even my back. Holy inflammation response! Yuck.

My digestion slowed way down. Food stopped moving through me at the pace I prefer. Not fun.

I got throat phlegm! That sticky back of the tongue sensation, mostly in the mornings. I am 90% phlegm-free and proud of it, so this was a big bummer.

My skin dried out. Sahara-level dry. I got flaky/ashy legs, all my wrinkles on my face popped out for me to appreciate, and I even felt mildly itchy. Some of this is probably due to my high altitude excursions recently, but again… systemic inflammation responses all thanks to a high-sugar fiesta.

I felt dizzy when I stood up from my chair several times throughout the day. This is a blood sugar problem, and blood sugar is very hard to regulate when you’re eating sugary crap.

ALL OF THIS in one week?! Craziness. I am probably becoming more sensitive to the effects of sugar because I eat so little on a regular basis. However, it’s astonishing to me that many of these symptoms I experienced for months on end and just assumed were normal stuff I had to deal with. Now it feels like I’m falling apart when these symptoms crop up!

Diggin’ the sugar relapse post? Check out more of my sweet tooth battles in The Sugar Diaries.

Ready to do a sugar cleanse with me? My 3 week cleanse starts TODAY! Read Sugar Cleanse: How-To


About the Author:

Caitlin Gordon, M.S., L.Ac., C.M.F.P., is a functional medicine clinician, board-certified acupuncturist, and transformative health coach based in Boulder, Colorado. Owner of Amaluna Wellness, Caitlin treats patients online and in-person. She specializes in treating stress, anxiety, and depression without pharmaceuticals.

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