Might as well face it I’m addicted to carbs (and Twitter)

The last week has been wonderful; it has felt almost lazy to have so much personal time, even though I’ve exercised more than I have in a while and eaten better than I have in longer while. So, we cut out SIMPLE CARBS, and it’s been enlightening. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, because I did it once before for two weeks and donuts invaded my dreams. And my waking hours, forming into an obsession I simply couldn’t shake.

‘Twas the night before the low-carb diet…

This time, even though it’s only been a week, it’s been chocolate croissants which have been the object of my fantasies. The ones from my favourite cafe, Ah Cacao, served caliente and deliciously gooey.

I don’t miss bread all that much, funnily enough, oh hang on, croissants are buttery, more delicious bread so scrap that.

But it is funny what happens when you eliminate bread, rice, potatoes and almost all sugar from your diet. I say almost because I still have one in my coffee (I used to have two!) while Tyrhone opts for sweetener which I believe was made by the devil, and also because, did you know there is sugar in MILK? Well apparently there is.

I’m NOT giving this up, don’t make me!

What happens is, there isn’t much left to eat. At least that was what happened to us. I realised that our diet was largely sugar and simple carbs-based, because sugar and simple carbs are DELICIOUS, but also, I think they may contain a tiny bit of crack because they are highly addictive.

Don’t worry, this isn’t a food rant. I will be eating carbs and sugar again, there is no doubt about it. That stuff is too good to eliminate from my diet completely and I still need to feel somewhat reckless (I may not drink but I can still cake and pizza you under the table).

We have been eating more eggs, more meat and more vegetables. Not a lot more fruit because of the sugar content, but a few bananas blended in a smoothy occasionally has seen us through sweet cravings. No, this diet is not vegan friendly, which is another reason I am very glad we are not vegan because then there really would be nothing left to eat.

Cutting out our major food group – simple carbohydrates, has definitely opened up more room for protein and vegetables, in fact, I have never seen my shopping trolley look more… green. Spinach and broccoli are taking the place of rice, potatoes and pasta, because we simply need more of them to fill up.

Instead of cooking eggs on toast on the weekends, I have been making scrambled eggs packed with spinach, mushrooms, tomato, bacon and garlic.

Rather than our usual ‘Special K’ (which not coincidentally shares the name of a hard drug, I might add) or vegemite on toast during the week, we’ve been making a smoothy from unsweetened almond milk, cinnamon (good for the heart!), raw eggs and bananas. I may sneak in just a drop of honey, but it still contains less sugar than our usual fare.

Morning smoothie- Almond milk, cinnamon, bananas and eggs, honey (not pictured) – it’s delicious!

We have returned to the gym after a bit of an absence, me to yoga classes which are sweaty and intense, and Tyrhone to the stair-master and treadmill. We are not going every day, but about four times per week, and we are walking at least twice a day (now that we don’t buy as much from the supermarket, we walk instead of drive. We used to have to drive to carry all the ice cream and cake home).

In a week, Tyrhone has lost 3.75 Kilograms (8.2 pounds) and it hasn’t felt too hard, more like a change of focus than an actual diet, and I’m getting a weird kick out of it.

Most of that may have been lost when he shaved off his beard…

I think I’ve lost 1.5 kg or so, although I did have a cheat day yesterday when I went out for a friend’s birthday dinner. And cheat I did – birthday cake, garlic bread and spaghetti, but you know what? I was happy to get back on the wagon today because of the positive effects it’s having on us. No-one is more surprised about this than me.

Tyrhone still hasn’t cheated, which is amazing. Like I said, we are addicted to carbs and sugar, so it hasn’t been easy giving up our nightly serving of ice cream or his favourite dessert – flan. One day I had to physically steer him away from the huge flan cake on display in the supermarket.

Flan (center), Tyrhone’s single biggest addiction since he quit smoking…

So ‘focusing on us’ week one has gotten off to a good start, but I’ve become aware of a few other addictions which could use some attention. Yes, the dreaded social media (yawn…).!

As a blogger it’s almost impossible to draw the line between work and play, and over the last two years of having a blog, I have grappled with social media, mostly Facebook, more than any other aspect of the ‘job’. I didn’t have a Facebook account for three years when I was newly sober, mostly because it was filled with drunken, embarrassing photos of me, but also because I really needed time to look inward instead of out.

When I began writing this blog, it felt very different than posting a brag shot to facebook. I was sharing my fears and insecurities as well as my dreams and triumphs, so to me it felt more… real. I didn’t open a Facebook page for the blog because I didn’t want to get lost (again) in the external search for acknowledgment, but after some time I felt confident that I could strike the balance I needed to get my writing in front of people whilst still ‘keeping it real’.

I have neither succeeded or failed in this endeavor, I have simply given it a go, but one thing is for sure – I feel better about myself when I’m not using facebook as a mindless distraction. As a tool to share my writing and show love to the people I care about on the other side of the world, it is of course, a great medium. To interact with my fellow bloggers and support what they do, it’s fantastic, but like anything I do, it requires some monitoring on my part and is still shaky territory for me.

If I am 100% honest, I would absolutely rather not do it at all, but I do want to continue writing and sharing what I do, and since I’m not hiring a marketing intern any time soon, I kinda have to market myself.

Like all things that are a problem for me, they first try to convince me they are absolutely under control. I used to think, “Thank God I’m such a good drinker and it’s sooo not a problem for me, because if it were, I’d have to give it up like those poor alcoholics and that would be just ghastly!”

We all know how that ended up.

So my beloved Twitter has gone the way of the booze and jumped to the front of my addictions list. “It’s so safe, not addictive at all!” I kidded myself, thinking it to be the safest of the social media vices (which was of course how it reeled me in with it’s harmless looking hash tags).

Today when I woke up, inspired by a fun new writing project I’ve started, I said to myself, “No social media today.”

And whilst I have shared my beloved’s post, I have managed to abstain from ‘mindless scrolling’ and have found there to be more room! Room for creativity and some actual productive work which I can’t quite believe I’m chipping away at (telling you guys about it is productive too, right?).

So, I’ve banged on long enough to say I’ve learned this – alcohol is okay unless it’s not (it’s not for me), carbs and sugar are okay unless they become your staple diet (like they became for us), and ‘Twitface plus’ is okay unless you squander your most creative hours mindlessly scrolling (like I do sometimes).

And sometimes, you need to cut them the hell out for a little while or a long one, just to see what happens when you do.

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Might as well face it I’m addicted to carbs (and Twitter) — 21 Comments

  1. I would also love life a little more if I wasn’t on Facebook. I never even considered that some people must hire marketing interns. This is now on my list of things I will do if I ever make enough money to hire someone else. And now I’m dreaming about it already.

    It’s always a struggle for balance, isn’t it?

    • Ha! I will continue to dream :-) Yes, I know I will never find balance, it’s a game of tipping and toppling over and coming back to center and tipping again… But I think over time I don’t tip quite so far and become aware sooner. It’s a fun journey!

  2. THIS on the social media sucking you dry. Facebook is my Achilles’ heel – I gravitate to it like a refrigerator when I’m ostensibly working. I know exactly what it contains, but I still open the door to see if something new has popped up. Every week I play with the idea of quitting but I do find some legitimate value in it and the cycle continues.
    Lauren recently posted..Expat Thanksgiving: Finally Nailed ItMy Profile

    • Ha! Love the fridge analogy, that is so spot on :-) I’m doing good, on my second day of ‘no mindless scrolling’ and I’ve had another pretty productive day, so maybe one solution for you could be not a total ban, but a ‘need to use’ basis, or something like that. Thanks for your comment Lauren.

  3. I also love carbs a lot and I crave a lot of rice, noodles and pasta here in China. A little exercise helps me maintain my weight and I do a lot of yoga to keep me relaxed. I’m so addicted to social media channels, you would not believe it!
    Agness recently posted..5 Things To Do For Free In AmsterdamMy Profile

    • Hey Agness, it would be tough not to eat rice and noodles in China for sure! We are cooking just about all our own food because the Mexicans love their sugar/carbs too :-)

  4. If I’m going to write a post, I make myself stay away from social media and reading blogs until it’s mostly developed. I let too many other ideas infiltrate my brain and eventually I start to notice that my writing sounds nothing like me – it sounds like so-and-so whose blog I like. Or sentences become clipped and awkward sounding.

    On the diet thing…I do love me some carbs. They are always my downfall (that and cheese). I have found that it’s good for me to hit the reset button and banish them from my diet for a week or so when I feel like I’ve started a bad habit (like our ice cream habit in Thailand or Damla/candy habit in Mongolia), but I know I’ll never just give them up completely. first of all, I’m a baker and that would just be insane. Secondly, it would be setting myself for failure. But it’s good to cut them out where it feels unnecessary. When I first started trying to lose weight in my early twenties, I first cut out the sugar in my coffee, then eventually was able to cut out the milk, too. Now I love black coffee (although not usually in Asia because the coffee here generally sucks). Small, manageable steps…just like in life!
    Carmel recently posted..WAT TOOK YOU SO LONGMy Profile

    • Yes, I guess I just wanted to highlight that when you do drop them, you do actually drop weight, since so many people struggle with losing weight while still maintaining a ‘healthy’ diet with a lot of carbs. It’s much easier for us to do it as we are in one place, and have eaten ourselves stupid over the last almost two years. Food is such a big part of travel for us that it will be impossible to maintain on the road, but it’s been a good learning experience :-)

  5. Social media marketing of my blog can be a huge time suck but it’s also a necessary piece of the puzzle. On occasion though, I’ll tell myself, “not today” and it’s a good reminder that I have a life. But then I’ll have other days when I connect with someone(s) and find myself totally enjoying the time. Go figure?! And how else would I have found Sarah Somewhere? 😉
    Patti recently posted..See the U.S.A. – 3My Profile

    • Yes, I’ve made some good connections too, like you! I just struggle with it still. I wish that magical fairies could carry my stories to whoever is in need of them and I could focus on writing more :-)

  6. I find social media difficult because I can only spend so much time on an electronic device.

    Your diet seems excellent. Greens like spinach are key to overall health. Processed sugar (like salt) is apparently our enemy. But, sugar from fresh fruit, like fresh sugar cane, is really good for us.
    Mike | Earthdrifter recently posted..An Amazon Riverboat CruiseMy Profile

    • Yes it’s definitely been a case of cutting out the bad to make room for the good. I can spend hours on electronic devices, that’s my problem, so limiting what I do on them helps me turn those hours into productive ones :-)

  7. Well done you! I couldn’t give up carbs I think. Chris is a vegetarian and I am a flexotarian, so if you take away pasta and potatoes there is not much left to eat apart from vegetables. :-) I know they are bad for me, but I try and make up for it by adding healthy vegetable sauces to my pasta or eat healthy rye bread instead. This illusion keeps me going! :-)
    TammyOnTheMove recently posted..Goodbye CambodiaMy Profile

  8. It’s incredible how we can develop dependencies without realizing it and how long it can actually take to get over them. I think I spent our first 6 months in Asia desperately missing sandwiches and dairy, but now I realize that while I certainly wouldn’t say no to a nice French cheese plate, I don’t crave bread and cheese the way I used to. Same goes for the internet—back when I was working on my dissertation, I realized how I had developed this nasty habit of checking out entertainment/celebrity blogs whenever I couldn’t think of what to do next or whenever I opened up a web browser. I’d lose so much time down the rabbit hole and fill my brain up with inane trivia and just felt so groggy and sluggish. I finally just refused to allow myself to visit those sites at all; at first it was really hard, but eventually I moved past the habit and forgot about them and felt so much better for it.

    I don’t think I could give up basic carbs like you have (can you imagine no rice in Asia?!?), but then again, I never thought I could live without bread and cheese so never say never!
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..To Market, To Market: Kota Kinabalu in PhotosMy Profile

    • No, I cannot imagine no rice or noodles in Asia!! You would starve! Not to mention miss out on so many yummy things! This is definitely a short term weightloss solution for Tyrhone, and an interesting experiment for me, it will be interesting to see if I just go back to my sweet tooth/carb overloaded self after this, it seems I need to cut things out completely for a while rather than just have a healthy balance… unfortunately :-)

    • Honestly, no one is more surprised than me! Weirdly, we’ve been enjoying it as we feel so much more energetic. Previously, I always crashed after lunch, now I’m staying awake the WHOLE DAY, which is weird for me :-) I miss croissants though. Might have one tomorrow!