Edit: This post was completed and last updated on 6/9/2020.
Jump to end results and final thoughts (spoiler alert: I failed).
Back when I was trying to lose weight for my wedding, I cut out sugar and exercised a lot more. I practically lost 2lbs in a week just from cutting out sugar alone. I felt healthy and strong.
Lately I’ve been having anxiety on/off for no good reason recently, as well as bizarre, anxiety-inducing vivid dreams. My husband said he heard me gritting my teeth while sleeping last night, and I’ve had a headache since going to Costco yesterday.
We’ve been trying to figure out what’s been happening with my health lately. A month ago we realised I had almost all the symptoms of iron-deficient anaemia so I started taking some iron & vitamin supplements my parents sent me from England. It definitely helped to alleviate some of the symptoms I had before, but for the past week or so I’ve started getting headaches again and that anxiety came out of nowhere.
Thinking more closely about it, I’m wondering if it has anything to do with the amount of sugar I’ve been eating lately. My body responds to sugar quickly so I could be having withdrawal headaches, and perhaps the anxiety and lethargy has been triggered by not eating as much sugar as I did in the previous month and a half. It could also be from lack of exercise in recent weeks too.
Since we’ve had the Shelter In Place order and I no longer had a wedding dress to fit into, I’ve been baking and or at least eating a LOT of sugar daily: in the form of a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, chocolate chip & walnut banana bread (2 loaves), chocolate chip and walnut cookies (4 batches), girl scout cookies (2 boxes of Samoas), a tray of Ferrero Rocher, the list goes on…
However, yesterday I did not have any sugary snacks at all, and I don’t believe I’ve had any today either. We still have some cookies and part of a banana bread sitting on our kitchen counter, and I haven’t baked since the previous weekend. I’m definitely chubbier than I was back in February, but my greater concern is the anxiety and the headaches.
Even if these symptoms are not from having too much/little sugar, I do think cutting it out again would be good for me. I’m not very good at tracking this on paper, so I’ll try to note it on this blog instead.
|5/11||9hrs||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Grocery shopping||Watched TV all day after Costco. Really missed my grandparents after I called them.||??*|
|5/12||9.5hrs||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||None||I slept well for the first time in ages! I’d been praying for restful sleep, thank God.||??*|
|5/13**||7.5hrs||No||No||No||Yes||Grocery shopping||Woke up around 8:30ish and got up without even needing my alarm! Prayed again before bed that I’d have restful sleep and I did.||124.1lbs|
|5/14||8hrs||No||No||No||No||Moving furniture||Bloated and constipated in the morning. Not a good combo for weigh-in ><||125.7lbs|
|5/15||8.5hrs||No||No||No||No||35min walk||Slept well after prayer and was not feeling constipated this morning :)||122.1lbs|
|5/16||9hrs||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Forgot to pray for sleep quality last night. Did not sleep very well. Also weight is pre-poop because constipation. Couldn’t help but eat half a cookie.||124.8lbs|
|5/17||9hrs||Yes||No||Yes||No||None||Definitely had my morning grogginess and was pretty tired all day. Allowed myself a few spoonfuls of Ben & Jerry’s.||124.1lbs|
|5/18||9hrs||No||Yes||No||Yes||None||Felt bloated and hungry at the same time after a morning omelette. Bit better after eating some fruit then just ate fruit all day and a fish taco for dinner.||124.3lbs|
|5/19||9hrs||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||None||Woke up groggy and tired. Bleh. I wanted to bake cookies today. So I did.||124.8lbs|
|5/20||6hrs||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||None||I didn’t sleep well and ate a cookie.||125lbs|
|5/21||9hrs||No||No||No||No||None||I slept in, but I also slept late.||125lbs|
|5/22**||8.5hrs||Yes||Yes||No||No||25min arms & abs||Slept okay last night but felt a bit groggy this morning, probably due to sleeping late. Made a new batch of cookies. Had to taste test :p||121.9lbs|
|5/23||8.5hrs||No||No||No||No||39min Chloe Ting abs||Slept late and woke up late, which is not ideal, but thankfully was not super groggy.||122.4lbs|
|5/24**||8hrs||Yes||No||No||No||38min Chloe Ting abs||I slept even later and woke up late too. Initially woke up at 07:30 and felt awful but my sore throat and dizziness subsided after sleeping more. Ate some cheesecake.||125.2lbs|
|5/25**||10.5hrs||Yes||No||No||No||1hr 11min Chloe Ting abs||Slept in because my body needed to recover from the workouts. I am so achey today. Ate some ice-cream.||124.8lbs|
|5/26||8.5hrs||Yes||No||No||No||1hr Chloe Ting abs||What is up with that weight gain! I baked the most amazing banana bread today…||126.2lbs|
|5/27||9hrs||No||No||No||No||None. Rest day.||I didn’t have any sugar today. So proud of myself haha.||126.3lbs|
|5/28||8hrs 10min||Yes||No||No||No||1hr Chloe Ting abs||Started using sleep trackers so those numbers should increase in accuracy. I ate half of a small cookie.||124.8lbs|
|5/30**||8hrs||Yes||No||No||No||30min CT, 4hrs helping friends move||Important note in the edit below! Plus we rewarded ourselves with sugar after such an intense day of exercise.||123.7lbs|
|6/1||8hrs 50min||No||No||No||No||1hr 6min CT abs||122.6lbs|
|6/2||6hrs 45mins||No||No||No||No||37min Chloe Ting abs||With everything that’s been happening, I ended up not being able to sleep until 2am.||122.8lbs|
|6/3**||8hr 25min||No||No||No||No||1hr 6min CT abs & stretches||I did not sleep well or enough last night. See additional notes below.||122.6lbs|
|6/4||6hr 35min||Yes||No||No||No||Grocery shopping||I didn’t sleep well or enough last night. I am SO tired today. We finished off the banana bread and pistachio ice cream.||123.7lbs|
|6/5||9hrs 5min||Yes||No||No||No||None||I ate a cookie and half a chocolate mug cake.||122.6lbs|
|6/6||7hrs 15min||No||Yes||Yes||No||33min CT abs||123.2lbs|
|6/7||9hrs 10min||No||No||No||No||28min CT abs||123lbs|
|6/8||8hrs 40min||Yes||No||No||No||None||I ate pancakes.||122.6lbs|
|6/9||6hr 40min||No||Yes||Yes||No||None||I slept at 3am. UGH.||??*|
* I hadn’t weighed myself on these days so do not have a weight figure for these.
** These dates have additional edits below – please read for further information.
- Dates are written in American format since I live here now. That’s (M)M/DD, even though it doesn’t make sense :p
- When I say “excess sugar” I mean in the form of cookies, cakes, baked goods, sodas etc. rather than all sugars/carbs. I may still allow myself 1x/week and see how that goes. I did just buy 20lbs of flour at Costco yesterday, after all.
- I will aim to weigh myself daily before my morning coffee/meal and after my morning poop. We’ll see how that goes too.
- For these symptoms, I’ll be noting them as “Yes” if they occur any time throughout the day, and persist for longer than 30mins.
- Nope, I will not be cutting out caffeine too. We want me to succeed, not die, ok?
Wish me luck!
5/13 – We realised today that it looks like my iron deficiency is back to how it was before I started taking the supplements. On the first day I took a supplement, it was a much higher dose as we’d bought it from Walgreens (361% daily recommended intake) and I felt better after, but the supplements my parents sent me are just over the daily recommended dose. My doctor friend said that she usually prescribes the higher dosage to her anaemic patients and no, you don’t get iron poisoning from that dosage if you are anaemic.
I think I should also try the other supplements again. At the same time, I’m trying to get an appointment with a local doctor so I can actually get this checked out. There’s a minor complication with my signing up to Kaiser because we haven’t got our new address listed, but I called them today and they’ve sent over the relevant forms. Jacky also got our address updated on his end with his employer but it’ll take time to process. Just a waiting process now.
5/22 – So I’m confused why almost a week’s worth of cutting out sugar resulted in no weight change… then I went from 125lbs to 121.9lbs today. I had to weigh myself twice to double check this number was correct. It’s so bizarre, and I don’t particularly think I look slimmer. Did I lose a bunch of muscle??
5/24 – Wow those weight fluctuations. I’m guessing it’s water weight or just my body trying to heal up from yesterday’s work out. I’m so sore today.
5/25 – Welp, if I thought yesterday was bad, today I am extra sore. However, I can already feel that I’ve gotten stronger because we’ve just cleaned the house and I can feel I was using my core to do it and I’m not as exhausted as I usually am after. It turns out I usually have another poop after brunch/coffee so I think my iron supplements were being flushed out of my body. I started taking them in the evening for the past couple of days and I can already see colour returning back to my under-eyelids when previously they were a ghastly white.
I think I’m also gaining confidence about my body in general though – I went outside to take out the rubbish in my sports bra and my workout pants and I didn’t feel body conscious at all. In fact, I felt great. Could also be to do with it being 32°C outside and me being too mad about all the bugs growing in my compost waste to care but I still felt well.
Finally, it looks like my weight fluctuates majorly after my second poop, lol. Yesterday I weighed myself after my post-coffee poop and I had dropped to 123.6lbs.
5/30 – I realised this morning that I had been inaccurately weighing myself this whole time. I realised when I was weighing myself this morning that depending on where I put the scales on our floor it gave me a number between 123.7 – 126.5lbs.
It turns out the scales hadn’t been touching the floor properly during a bunch of my weigh-ins because the vinyl floor area in our apt is wonky and thus it causes the displayed weight to increase.
If ever there was a sign that I shouldn’t be so weight-conscious haha.
I moved the scales to the stone tiles in front of our fireplace, which is even throughout. Numbers should be much more accurate moving forward :)
6/3 – We were woken up at around 6am this morning from our carbon monoxide alarm beeping loudly. It was running low on battery so it was doing the 3 loud beeps every 30 seconds thing. Unfortunately, it turned out that that particular alarm had been placed near the top of our vaulted ceiling. We did not have a ladder tall enough to reach it.
Jacky called in for an emergency maintenance request, and thankfully they came around 10am to fix it, but it still disrupted our sleep majorly. I was able to put myself back to sleep by stuffing one ear into my pillow and covering the other with a blanket (a talent learned by having a hubby who snores loudly haha) but it was still poor quality sleep.
End Results and Final Thoughts
When I first started this, I didn’t really have a plan in mind. I just figured I’d try to track my eating habits. Now we’re 30 days on and I think it’s a good time to stop because, let’s face it, I’ve kinda failed spectacularly at giving up sugar lol.
In the past 30 days I have:
Had sugar: 13x
Felt lethargic: 8x
Had a headache: 7x
Had anxiety: 7x
Weight change: ?? who knows because my scales were inaccurate half the time anyway.
There’s nothing conclusive, but it feels like my anxiety went back down after I started regularly consuming sugar again. I feel like my fatigue and lethargy could have been cured more from my increased iron levels after I started taking supplements, and I feel like my headaches can be more attributed to the lack of iron and/or lack of sleep as well.
Clearly eating sugary goods every 2 days or so is not good for me. But I almost feel that after I’ve started to track it, it’s like I’ve started to think more about it and just thinking more about sugar makes me want to eat it more.
What I do feel improved though, is my overall sleep quality. Weirdly. I haven’t had those as much lately, but it could also be from eating so much sugar again.
I also noticed that when I haven’t slept enough, I definitely get more headaches more easily. I’ve been sleeping terribly lately so I’m going to try to challenge myself to improve my sleeping habits, and I’ll write that in a new post.