I Dechoxed for A Month, Little Did I Know It Would Be for Life
In March of this year I decided to ‘Dechox’ and raise money for the British Heart Foundation in memory of my Nanny Rose, who passed away two years ago. This meant no chocolate of any sort for the month of March. In the UK that also incorporated Mother’s Day and Easter this year. I also thought it would be a good first step to kicking out some sugar from my diet along the way. I have previously spent thousands of pounds on nutritionists, dieticians, personal trainers and seen very little positive impact. I decided this would be a good step to once again putting into place everything I had been told was stopping my weight loss. Little did I know this action would be the beginning of a new lifestyle.
I knew giving up chocolate would be hard for me as it had been a big part of my life for sixteen years. When I was at university, working, running a home and raising my daughter it was quick to grab on the go. I do love chocolate. When I was growing up chocolate was a treat not something that was eaten on a daily basis. So on reflection this is also when the weight started to creep on, by creep, I mean pile on. I assumed, which was later confirmed by one nutritionist that this was due to the sugar and the dairy. I warned everyone I was coming off chocolate for a month and maybe a wee bit grumpy. This was in memory of my Nanny Rose and I was not going to be beaten.
Initially it was hard, I was missing my mid-afternoon fix, but I found alternatives. I was tired but again found alternatives, one of which I was to find out was just as bad for me. Half way through however I broke through the pain, my sinusitis started to clear up, I had a healthy amount of energy and I was losing weight. This was a promising a step in the right direction, I was still counting down the days until I could have chocolate again. Marking each day off on the calendar.
Finally, the month was over and I couldn’t be happier, I could eat chocolate again. I was feeling great and losing weight so I thought what harm would a little bit of chocolate do. Little did I realise. The first piece was disappointing and the taste nothing like I remembered but soon with the help of Cadbury’s it was the taste I remembered and craved for. I had a small bar which I enjoyed. Weigh-in day for me the next day. I had put on 7Ilbs. Incomprehension hit. What was going on?
I mentioned my confusion to a friend and colleague as I had no way eaten my weight in chocolate or enough to have that impact. I assumed it was an intolerance to dairy I had previously been diagnosed with. I decided to go for allergy testing to get to the bottom of my own concerns. I had already swapped to decaffeinated coffee and still was undertaking a reduced chocolate consumption, but my weight was not coming down and neither was my blood pressure. The results were not what I was expecting. I was expecting Dairy, Gluten, and Wheat but these were all fine (I was excited I could eat bread again). Other than grass and house dust my allergy was coffee and chocolate. Both of which contribute to the health issues I was having. The reaction was so strong that I could not even have decaffeinated coffee or chocolate flavouring. Two weeks in, I feel awful but I am persevering although habit sometimes overtakes my brain. I manage to knock out one and not the other. However, 'Dechox' showed me that the end result is worth it. I just need to make sure my anxiety does not overtake my willpower. For now, I breathe, walk away, remember the health benefits of doing this and repeat.