As a child I often played on the streets, ran or cycled as much as I could or sat in the meadow, creating necklaces of flowers or just gazing at the clouds and wondering what shape would appear this time. I could also stare at an ant and wonder how he was able to carry that relatively big grain of sand. At that time I felt part of nature, took my health for granted, was curious and playful at the same time.
My personal health diagnosis
Three years back I noticed a lot of chronic physical issues amongst myself, my friends and family-members. Ranging from diabetes, chronic pains, cancer, migraine, rheumatism, obesity, inflammation (in Dutch: ontsteking) or just not being able to run for 5 minutes.
My personal health diagnose:
a) 10 kilo’s overweight (set against a length of 1,62 m is quiet a lot) and
b) I wasn’t even able to run three minutes in a row!
However although I wasn’t as healthy as I could or should be, I didn’t do anything at all about it yet. Except gaining some additional weight during that same year. Why? Because I still believed the story I kept telling myself. I believed that I respected my health and took good care of it. I had never smoked. I hardly drank alcohol. I had never used drugs. And even common medication (like pain killers or antibiotics) I refrained from. What more could I do?
100% sugar-free challenge
But than in 2015 I got challenged: eating 100% sugar-free. So no sugar at all, not even fructose. Main idea was to find out how hooked I was on sugar. My thought was this experiment would be a piece of cake, because if it comes to taste I prefer both sour and salt over sweet. The result: I was more hooked on sugar than expected. I even experienced some serious withdrawal symptoms the first days. The five most important insights related to this experiment:
- Almost everything in a grocery store, contains sugar
- I mistook my sugar cravings for hunger
- Quitting sugar only takes 4-5 days!
- Your brain needs sugar to function (short term memory started to falter)
- My taste improved and I felt so much better without sugar (no brain fog)
However my biggest insight was that I didn’t know my body and it’s functioning at all, let alone the impact of my diet on my health.