Now I remember why I’ve never succeeded at quitting sugar. Withdrawal feels just like depression. In fact, according to healthline.com depression and anxiety are two possible symptoms of sugar withdrawal, along with changes in sleep patterns, cognitive issues and cravings. Yup. Check. Check. And check.
My brain feels like it’s offline. I wake up exhausted and stay exhausted all day. I got to bed feeling like I’m made of lead but I’m not sleeping through the night. I struggle to care about anything and I just want to escape to oblivion.
Also included in this package deal are nausea, tingling, dizziness and lightheadedness.
The good news is that it only lasts about 10 days and, for me, I want to experience a little anxiety along the way because my plan is to deliberately break the link between tough emotions and eating. As Dr. Eddie O’Connell says in The Psychology of Peak Performance, “If you want to do well in high pressure situations, you have to practice in high pressure situations.”
Although he is talking about elite athletes, this is my everyday version of a high pressure situation. I am practicing the art of managing uncomfortable emotions without masking them with food, drink or some other unhealthy strategy.
It’s funny how much you realise you’re capable off when you stop trying to escape the bad stuff. There have been so many times I’ve said, “I just wouldn’t cope with that.” Turns out I would. I can and I am, and every time it I do it, I trust myself a little bit more and feel a little bit stronger.
That’s what I’m choosing to focus on right now, while I feel fuzzy and miserable. It won’t last long and when I get to the other side, I’ll have proved to myself that I can blast through limitations that have held me back my entire life.