Does your hair fall out when you quit sugar?

Posted on August 28th, 2013

While I was riding a mountain bike in Sardinia’s barren hills last week a sugary fuss was hitting fans Down Under. Did you read the fuss?

Image via Favim

Image via Favim

The upshot of the fuss, if you missed it, is that a Sydney nutritionist is putting out a book that counters I Quit Sugar. It’s called Don’t Quit Sugar. I don’t think I’m flattering myself when I say it’s geared as a direct attack on my work.

(As an aside, I always feared “I Quit Sugar” was a negative title… but this whole thing started as a personal experience and blog post. The name was from this initial blog post and it kinda stuck. The double negative title of this new book would kill me. Ditto the didactic tone of it all. I like to say “I quit sugar, it worked for me, you might like to try it too.” An invitation, not an edict.)

Now, normally I prefer to let fuss fly by. There is plenty of room on the planet for all opinions and approaches. And retaliation and negativity and getting all didactic is generally not a great way to make a point. Or a pleasant way to cohabit with other human beings who are also just trying to do their thing.

But there were questions from so many of you, I felt a blog post was the most efficient way to respond, especially when one is meant to be having a holiday. Of sorts.

I first came across the forthcoming book’s author Cassie Platt a few months ago when she had a blog by the very similar name – I Didn’t Quit Sugar – which she shared with her friend Kate Skinner. I had a bit of a flick. At the time, a few things struck me as odd:

1. The message was the same as mine. Which confounded me. They weren’t not quitting sugar. They Read more

i ate sugar

Posted on August 26th, 2013

It was two chocolate croissants that undid me. I’d like to share how and why. I feel I need to, given that today marks DAY ONE of the new 8-Week Program that I spent ten months developing with Jo (and then Zoe, Jordanna, Stef, Jenn, Kate, Martyna, Shayne, Tom, Steve, and now Jane and another new Kate). I’d be a stinkin’ fat fraud if I didn’t. And, of course, I share only because I hope it Contributes Something Helpful.

Image by Greg Guillemin

Image by Greg Guillemin

So yesterday I ate two chocolate croissants. Let’s be sure: they weren’t even good ones. They were stodgy and filled with PUFA-drenched Nutella-like goo. And I’d already eaten a full breakfast. And ate them with extra butter. It’s not a big deal, of course. In the schema. Which is the point I want to make with you all, in case you’re making a big deal of “lapsing”. I really didn’t quit sugar to get all rigid. Nor to suggest that anyone else should.

Please note: this post has been updated a little to refine a few of the answers to queries in the comments below.

I ate two crappy croissants because I was having a flap. And the flap took me straight back to a well-grooved rut that I spent, ooohhhh, a good twenty years chiselling into my being. It’s the rut that I used to go to almost daily when I got hurt, uncertain, uncomfortable, wobbly. Stodgy, PUFA-drenched pastries were what I would drown myself in when the panic and anxiety in my gut got too much. The stodge was like a suffocating pillow I could jam down on top of the anxiety. It would work. For five seconds. Until vile guilt overwhelmed me. And the anxiety – now carrying the weight of a gluten-y, sugary pillow – would flare up again.

After I ate the two chocolate croissants, the same pillowy panic took over. I know some of you can feel like this when you “lapse”.

The rest of the day I felt incredibly ill. My thyroid symptoms kicked in. Sugar AND gluten in the one injection (gluten flares up my auto immune disease – I swell up in my joints, get foggy and weak). I should emphasise – the pain I was feeling was due to my auto immune reaction. When I was younger it was all about guilt and being caught in an emotional food cycle that I mention above. Although, to be honest, I know it will always be there, that pillowy panic, lurking in the groove. And sugar will often trigger it. However I now manage it, mostly with a way of eating and living that allows more freedom and gentleness. I should also emphasise – having a thyroid condition can cause unstable blood sugar levels and unstable moods…so you can see the cycle I can get caught in.

So maturity saw me get a grip. I now know what to do when I get off balance like this with my thyroid, and what to do when I “lapse”. I go for a walk. Get out! Move! So I hiked along some cliff tops and concentrated on calming down. I also sank into the ocean for a bit. I was not as emotionally open and grateful as I am normally with such experiences. I was aware of this. I witnessed how shitty I was with Read more

The number one reason to do yoga

Posted on August 22nd, 2013

Back in Australia I go to a yoga school (Power Living in Bondi Junction) and there’s a wonderful teacher there (Jason) who shares (during his class) that yoga is like life (excuse the woo-woo launch to this…it improves). You start off in child’s position and you end in corpse pose. And in between is the opportunity to….

practice finding the ease amidst the strain.

Image via Favim

Image via Favim

Bam. Wisdom, right there.

In yoga, each pose is about using strength, while at the same time giving in, allowing. It’s strong, but gentle, all at once. This is what we practice. When it’s all strain and grunt, it doesn’t work. You never quite get to that oozie stage where you can glide into poses effortlessly.

And, yes, it’s a practice. In yoga we practice for real life.

Meditation is the same. We practice finding that delicate nexus where we can put in effort and care and strive and push, but do it in a way that’s joyful and soft and gentle and flowing. It’s in that delicate juncture between hard and soft, effort and acquiesce, force and release – in that weightless space – that we find the kind of peace that can really get us through life. When I hit it, that nexus, my spine disappears. I become light and happy. The more I steer myself to this delicate point, the more I can emulate Read more