I’ve known for a long time that sugar makes me grumpy.
And not fun to be around.
Unfortunately, my sweet family received the brunt of these dark moods. The well known quote, “When Mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy” was a common reality in our home. It discouraged me that a dark cloud settled over our house just because I broke down and ate a Twix. Eating any kind of sugar caused angry, hurtful words to easily pour out of my mouth, making my husband and sons walk on eggshells around me. Seeing the affect I had made the self-loathing I already struggled with that much more intense. It didn’t help that feeling depressed made me want to eat more junk. What a vicious cycle!
But if you have a sweet tooth like me, you know that giving sugar up is a lot easier said than done.
I used to think that if I just limited my sugar intake, I could somehow manage it. I decided to only eat sweets at night where there wasn’t enough time before bedtime for my blood sugar to crash. It was a way for me to “cheat the system” and still satisfy my sweet tooth. In addition to staying away from most desserts and treats, I also stayed away from hidden sugars like those in sweetened yogurts, granola bars, or cereal. After years of unsuccessfully trying to make that work, I finally put my hands up in defeat and asked God to somehow change me. I know with God all things are possible, but I honestly didn’t see how He could do it. Come on, this was the girl who grew up on a steady diet of donuts for breakfast and Oreos as an afternoon snack. It is embarrassing to admit, but giving up sugar felt almost like death. I can be a bit on the dramatic side at times but the thought of life without sugar was like life without color. Gray and boring.
Not long after, my friend, Julie, told me about Trim Healthy Mama (“THM” for short) and my life has never been the same. I knew I connected with the authors, Pearl and Serene, when they wrote something like this in their original Trim Healthy Mama book: “Trying to live life without dessert is like trying to ignore a beautiful sunset.”
What is Trim Healthy Mama? It is a way of eating designed by these two sisters who had tried every diet under the sun and were sick of all of it. They looked at Scripture and realized God made everything good to eat. Cutting out certain food groups, like grains or fats, wasn’t going to work long term because our bodies were designed to live off of them. I love the balanced approach Trim Healthy Mama has to offer. I still eat things like bread, rice, beef, butter and cheese but do it wisely. And the best thing, I eat a lot of desserts! Where eating chocolate in the middle of the day used to send me into a mild panic attack and angry outbursts, I can now eat it at any time of the day without a problem.
How does THM work? It’s a low glycemic way of eating that balances blood sugar. The natural result is no more emotional highs and lows from eating sugary or empty carbs that cause blood sugar to crash. For some people, hypoglycemia can mimic severe depression. This is what happens to me when I consume sugar, which I talk about in this post.
It took a lot of learning to grow accustomed to eating this way, but it has been so, so worth it. I even have a YouTube channel where my desire is to help others learn how to implement THM. While I still struggle on occasion with situational depression and also dark moods due to PMDD, my life greatly improved by staying away from sugar. Trim Healthy Mama taught me how. I seriously believe that if I can give up sugar, anyone can. If you would like to know more about Trim Healthy Mama, comment below or check out their group on Facebook.
Note: If you are someone with PMDD, I strongly suggest that you consider giving up sugar and caffeine, especially around that time of the month. You won’t regret it! If you don’t know what PMDD is, you can learn more about it here.