Hi, I’m Laura Thomas…
..a 27 year old self admitted health and fitness ‘keeno’ (as some of my friends call it), currently working and living in London. I’m training as a certified health coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and I kindly coach others away from sugar with my 28-day sugar detox programme Mentor Me Off Sugar. I love a good party, drink wine, enjoy travelling and I’m not so shabby at the old Salsa dancing.
For history purposes, I used to be a management consultant and spent a lot of time in hotels and at airports. I largely blame free biscuits, desserts on expenses and airport lounges for my sugar woes, as I’m about to explain….
So let’s say it…I am a former, and now recovered, sugar addict.
Sounds scary when you say it like that but I really had it bad. I was dominated by sugar, constant cravings and an ongoing battle with my will power. I didn’t see it as an addiction because everything else I kept pretty healthy and I’ve always loved to exercise which helped burn it all off. Sugar was my ‘vice’ and I thought eating a ridiculously healthy low fat and calorie meal justifiably balanced out the sweet treat afterwards. That sweet treat was necessary after every meal. I was also relying heavily on ‘healthy’ sugars like dried fruit, low calorie diet snacks or diet drinks to give me my suitable fix.
I then had other occasions where I would lose it and just go mad on my favourite cake, biscuits and treats. These were most notably weekends and special occasions like weddings where I’d just think ‘sod it’, I’m going to enjoy myself by enjoying all the sweet food I secretly want to eat all the time. I usually felt a bit gross and guilty after these binges.
Soon cravings started to do strange things to my behaviour and would distract me immensely and dominate my thoughts. I also needed more to satisfy them. I was eating often and I was thinking about food a lot, snacking all the time.
The turning point
Out of curiosity one day and with consultancy money to spare, I had a colonic irrigation (oh god have I really just written that on the internet). It’s a key part of the story, so sorry about the detail. The specialist told me I was eating a lot of sugar and that I would feel detox symptoms quite a bit. Yeah yeah whatever, I said. Low and behold, I couldn’t get out of bed for two days I felt so groggy. I thought something had gone horribly wrong but I was sleeping ridiculously deeply and after the first few horrible days, I felt great. It really made me consider sugar and after researching, I realised could eat lots of sugar, burn it off and keep slim but I was doing my insides some serious damage and could still get diabetes even if I was a healthy weight. For more information on the dangers of sugar check out The bit about sugar.
From that point I started to look at labels in a different way and learn a lot around what is being deemed as the most dangerous substance in the Western diet: sugar. I was shocked at first because I had never ever looked at sugar on a packet before and was gutted to learn so many of my favourite things were scoring very high on the sweet front. It was a slightly depressing time, I’m not going to lie.
I cut down gradually over two years and then I started this blog as an outlet for sharing the information I was learning. If I’d analysed the sugar content in yoghurts, I may as well share it right? My interest grew and I continued to research not just around sugar, but the emotional and physical side of things too.
Saying goodbye to sugar
I then went on experimenting with a ‘sugar detox’ type period and the cravings went almost completely. Now I eat so completely differently to how I used to, sometimes I can’t quite believe it. My eating habits and how I view certain foods have literally turned on their head.
I lost a little bit of weight that’s stayed off, but more importantly I have control and no sugar cravings which just makes everything in my life so much easier and pleasant. I’ve never felt so free about food and I eat what I want when I’m hungry, enjoying more foods like cheese and full fat yoghurt that I’d always deprived myself of previously.
Where I am at now
Other health benefits have included better sleep, glowing skin and no energy slumps throughout the day. It took a while, and this blog has been with me through these later stages of my journey, so you may notice some slight differences in the posts.
Now I feel completely safe from sugar. If someone has something in front of me, I literally don’t care. I can sit in peace without it, but I can also have a mouthful and decide that’s enough. I don’t have to have a little dark chocolate after every meal but occasionally I do. I like to think I’m in a healthy place and can concentrate my efforts now on helping others get there too.
In writing this blog I hope to collect, verify and spread good, simple, easy knowledge in way that educates and enlightens without preaching. I know everyone is different and no one size fits all, but I also do believe most people are eating way to much sugar, many of whom possibly don’t realise.
Saying all of that, I also understand that there is a fabulous life to live out there and a serious amount of fun to be had i.e. music festivals, holidays, wedding/birthday celebrations (including cake!). I maintain to keep things realistic where I know being a perfect sugar saint all the time is just not going to fit everyone’s preference.
I hope to help others learn and adapt some healthier habits around sugar, with a minimal compromise on a lifestyle that makes them the most happy.
In a nutshell…
Happy Sugar Habits is a one stop shop to help you become more aware and adopt a healthier lifestyle, understand sugar properly and keep the weight under control whilst the fun, humour and zest for life are not flattened by a pair of dumbells.
Please note I am not a medical authority but I endeavour to research thoroughly and bring to you the right facts. I am studying as a holistic health coach and will be certified soon!
If you want to join my low sugar revolution, subscribe to the blog to get weekly tips, a free snack guide and my monthly newsletter which also notifies you of the latest posts. I know I would have loved that two years ago so I’ve made it happen for you! Sign up below.