Anxiety and Blood Sugar

Well, let me cut to the chase: I officially only made it to day 12 of the Sugar Detox.

Yep, the day after my last post that was all about toughing it out and sticking to it, I had coconut flour chocolate chip pancakes for lunch. I felt guilty and a little disappointed in myself, because I thought that I could stick to this for 21 days, even if it was rough, and maybe learn a few things about myself, even if nothing else came of it.

But, the reason I quit is not quite that simple.

On Thursday morning, I woke up with a familiar, but awful, feeling: lots and lots of anxiety. You know that horrible jolt you get when you wake up and realize you missed your alarm and are going to be an hour late for work? My anxiety on Thursday felt like that, only it lasted all day. Whether it’s from wedding stress, food stress, just being tired, or maybe for no “reason” whatsoever (anxiety is like that, after all), I found myself at about 9:30AM sitting on my couch, trying to answer an email (I work from home on Thursdays), and suddenly bursting into tears. It is not a fun feeling when that happens, especially to someone who is not typically a very emotional person. In fact, it sort of makes me feel like I am literally going crazy. After a few minutes of recovery, I decided that, even if it wasn’t the root of the problem, 10 days of low blood sugar was certainly not helping my cause. So I walked into the kitchen and made some chocolate chip pancakes. And I was disappointed, and I felt bad, but I also immediately felt more emotionally stable, and even though that panicked anxiety feeling lasted all day, there were no more random bouts of crying. There were, however, some apples and a few more small handfuls of chocolate chips.

Unfortunately, anxiety like that does not just switch on and off (well, it does just switch on, but not so much the “off” part), and I spent most of the weekend trying to regain my emotional footing. To aid in this process, Brandon and I even split a beer at the Broncos game on Thursday night (one perk to living 5 blocks from the Broncos stadium is that scalping tickets is pretty dang easy), we went to one of our favorite sushi restaurants on Friday night, and I had a little bit of tequila at a Mexican restaurant last night. Apart from those instances, I am still working to keep my diet as clean as possible for the rest of the month, because while restrictive eating was adding to my anxiety, I know that swinging to the other extreme won’t help, either. So now I’m treating this more like a Paleo challenge that occasionally allows tortilla chips (I just can’t resist them).

So, if you have been following along with my 21DSD, I hope that your third and final week of this detox is going amazing. But I also hope that, if you have found yourself stressed and grumpy and generally just not benefitting from the detox at all, and most especially if you have found yourself randomly bursting into tears at the sight of your email inbox lately, that you will give yourself permission to have a few chocolate chips.

  • Melissa

    Thank you for this post. It makes feel a lot more human knowing others struggle as well. Your outlook and drive to push forward is very inspiring.

  • Theresa Baumgartner Mahlik

    Lemme just say this ( I outrank you by 20 years, at least), you are 24 years old (am I right),smart. healthy, strong and look great in those booty shorts, you do NOT need to restrict anything in your diet. Eat well, live well. And if that means eating red apples in the morning, DO IT! Especially right now with the wedding coming up, the last thing you need is more stress about your supposed failure. Carbs/sugar fuel your brain. Please, eat apple. With chocolate chips. Be well.

  • Christi

    I went through the same thing. I got to day 9 last week and realized the only benefit I was getting was a little deeper sleep and tons of anxiety, stress, and irritation. I was miserable. I wasn’t starving but the affect on my mood was not pretty. It hit about day 3 and never subsided- I was truly miserable. So I added a bowl of cereal and felt like a million bucks. Then the next day I had some peaches and blew the lid off my workout. Up until then I was dreading my workouts- I ached and felt like I was coming down with the flu. My macro and micros where good and my water intake as well. I have done many different plans and felt, all the negative I was experiencing was just not worth it. I lept off the bandwagon apprehensively but after reading your blog I feel a little less guilty and a lot more normal. Cheers to good health.

  • Jennifer Hudy

    You have done plenty of these challenges before and done awesome, so kudos to you for even attempting such a restrictive one again.

    I think the biggest thing I have discovered in my “paleo” journey is that you have to do what makes most sense for you in all health aspects. Sure not having tequila is probably a better option than having tequlia, but your mental health is just as much important as anything else!

    I think you and me both can preach why paleo is ideal ALL DAY LONG.. but I think as long as you aren’t swinging to the other extreme, keep doing what makes you feel best physically and mentally.

    You’re awesome either way. :)

  • Simone

    Oof, I’m sorry. Been a pretty anxious season for me too and I don’t wish that on anyone :( That “going crazy” feeling is miserable.

    I’m glad you’re doing what you need to to take care of yourself! You made it over halfway and it sounds like you’re not going wild with unhealthy food now — sounds like you’re doing just fine :)

  • Kelsey Ann Yoki

    Glad you attempted to do this for yourself, but also makes me feel good to see that sometimes you just can’t restict yourself. I’ve thought about the 21DSD, but I think I would feel similar. I’ve had my bouts of anxiety and depression, and they are no bueno. I could definiltely see myself doing something along the lines of a Paleo challenge or even a whole30. Hope you continue to feel better!

  • Gabby

    Good for you recognizing what was going on and calling it. I can definitely see how adding an additional stressor (food restriction) would sort of push you past the stress tipping point with so many things going on. Willpower isn’t exhaustible and more stress isn’t always a good thing. Plus sometimes, a girl just needs some chocolate.

  • Elizabeth Ulmer

    ah– boo for anxiety!! :( but major props to you for allowing yourself to chuck the 21DSD in order to achieve better emotional/mental/physical health. tough to do, but so important!!

  • Jen@PregnantDiabetic

    Low blood sugar can do crazy things! When I have a crash, it’s BAD. I get a little insane and yes, super anxious.


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