I’ve bowed out. Last night was the last meal on the Busy Babe Sugar Cleanse for me. Those who know me well know I am not a quitter. I’m the opposite of a quitter and usually am dedicated and loyal until the bitter end. This time, though, I had to listen to my body and know when to quit. My hesitation with a sugar cleanse was always the low carb nature of the plan. I knew I needed healthy carbs for energy and I worried about how the lack of carbs would affect me.
I am up at 4:44 a.m. every morning (Syracuse University reference all the way with that specific time!). I go go go all day long, from the gym where I strength train pretty hard, home to make sure everyone is ready to start their day (I have three kids) to work at Syracuse University, where I put in a 9 1/2 hour day on average with a very short to nonexistent lunch break (I eat but not always away from my desk.). It doesn’t stop there. I head home by 5:20 p.m., get dinner on the table, clean up, make school lunches and help drive the kids to practice or lessons. I set up for the next day and by the time I’ve put my youngest to bed, it’s 8 p.m. I attempt to have at least a half hour to myself to read or cross stitch or play on my phone and just be. I’m in bed by 10 p.m. at the latest. I share all this because it’s relevant to the reason I couldn’t hang with the sugar cleanse. I believe I may be too busy!
This cleanse has you prepping every two days. After seeing what my day is like you might wonder how I had time to prep!? Well, it was rough. I often didn’t get things wrapped up until after 8 p.m. on prep nights and my husband helped clean and drive the kids around. It was exhausting to be honest! I didn’t have any time to spend with the kids the way I usually do in the evenings and that made me sad. I knew it was only for four weeks though so I pressed on. But, one thing that was nagging me the entire time on the cleanse was the complete and total lack of energy. The exhaustion was real. I was having trouble concentrating at work and every five days or so I had a massive headache the entire day. My workouts were poor and I was winded more than usual. I could barely get through some of my lifts. Finally, at the risk of oversharing, despite my increase in magnesium intake and taking everything as prescribed in the cleanse, my constipation was rough and uncomfortable and I just plain hated it!
After much debate with myself on whether to adjust the cleanse to add carbs to the meals or transition out or just stop, I decided to transition out. I prepped the week 3, days 3/4 for my husband last night, making sure I added a carb source to my own lunch, and moved on. He will prep his own for the remaining week and a half on the cleanse. It was my daughter’s birthday last evening and she turned 10. I had a cupcake with her to celebrate; life is good again.
Do I think it was a mistake to try the sugar cleanse? No, not at all. But, it validated something for me that I knew all along – I need healthy carbs to complete my diet. Too much protein and some fat is not going to fuel my busy life and metabolism. I have so much muscle on my tiny frame and it needs carbs along with the fats to synthesize the protein and help me maintain and grow that muscle. I’m in my mid-40s and it’s super hard to keep mass on my frame now more than ever. But, carbs are an essential part of the formula.
Going forward, I will keep the shakes and breakfasts that the cleanse included. They are healthy and excellent ways to start my day. I may also use some of the snack ideas for my mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks at work (the cleanse only had a mid-afternoon which also was a bit of an issue for me – I need to eat every few hours, smaller meals). We also decided that meal prepping could be useful for us on nights when the kids are all over the place. But, I don’t think I can sustain meal prepping every two days. It took way longer than a half hour to prep and usually took 90 minutes. That was tough to fit in to an already packed schedule.
I think the cleanse is terrific for those with the time to do it and the weight to be lost. My husband has lost 16 pounds and counting! For some, I think it’s super valuable. But, for me, who already only took in around 40g of sugar a day anyway, and didn’t have any weight to lose, it was more an exercise in sacrifice, organization and willpower! I’m glad I got through two weeks and feel that is better than not trying at all. And although it hurts me to quit anything, I’m slowly feeling good about stopping. I know I listened to my own body and did what was right for me. If you try the cleanse, I’m curious to know how it went for you! Or, if you’re on one now, I’m happy to answer any questions. Drop me a note in the comments! And, remember, always listen to your body. It’s OK to quit, if you need to. No shame! Stay healthy!