Meet Heather! She has been following the ALWAYS HUNGRY Book plan for about eight months now and has lost 44 pounds!
For Heather, she found that sticking to the book exactly for the two weeks of Phase 1 lead to the most success. She then eased gently into Phase 2 and began experimenting with recipes of her own. She now sticks mainly to Phase 2, but takes “Phase 3 field trips.” She may have a homemade cinnamon roll at church functions or a cheeseburger on certain weekends, but believes “it’s nice to make those conscious decisions and not be constantly chasing a sugar fix.”
Advice For Those Just Starting Out
If Heather were to give any advice to people just starting the AH program, she’d say, “be willing to try new foods! There may be things you previously thought you didn’t like, but your taste buds will change on the program. The foods that you want will also change.” Part of the Always Hungry program is exploring new foods and learning how to include them in your diet. Enjoy this time!
Heather advises you “set aside time to prepare your food. It helps if you have a partner willing to help out, but it’s also something you should do simply to take care of your own well-being. It’s easy to find reasons not to prioritize your own self-care. Not just in the food you eat, but also in how much you sleep or exercise each day. Being on this program is an excellent way to relearn how to practice self-care. That’s a good thing! It’s not selfish. It’s a valid, worthwhile step on your journey towards healthy living.”
Heather and her Husband began the ALWAYS HUNGRY book program in January, but the very next day, she had an accident and broke her ankle! They decided to postpone the program until she had recovered, but they were even more motivated to begin than they had been just a day earlier. Even after only one day on the program, they both knew this was something they wanted to do, something that made them feel good and energized.
Heather’s favorite part of the ALWAYS HUNGRY program is the fact that she now enjoys sustained energy throughout the day. She doesn’t slump halfway through the day like she used to. Before the program, Heather would only be able to go a couple hours without eating before being struck by ravenous hunger. Now, she is able to recognize her hunger and think, “yes, it will be time to eat soon,” but it’s never a feeling of starvation like it used to be. She is no longer at the mercy of cravings.
Emotional Dependency on Sugar
Part of Heather’s journey has been recognizing the emotional dependency to sugar that she had developed. She equated sugar with positive feelings and used to turn to sugar as a way of combating negative emotions. Now she no longer needs sugar to deal with life’s ups and downs. When her young daughter had a difficult medical procedure, she was able to talk and process her feelings about the situation. Before beginning the AH program, she would have automatically gone for a milkshake after such an emotional experience. It used to be, “this is difficult, let’s eat sugar,” but now, she can better process emotional events and doesn’t have to use sugar as a bandage.
For Heather, as for many people, sugar had become an emotional crutch. When beginning the AH program, it’s important to recognize the it’s more than just habits and food. It’s emotional. Heather had never before taken the time to think through why she always turned to sugar for comfort, and now, she no longer needs to.
Another huge benefit from the AH program has been learning that weight struggles and cravings are not a personal weakness. Heather had always berated herself when she gave into cravings and ate sugary treats. This would then be followed by guilt and feeling like it was her own fault. The ALWAYS HUNGRY Book opened her eyes to the fact that it was never her fault at all. She learned so much about the reasons behind her constant desire for sugar and the way sugar was impacting her brain. Knowing these things have not only helped curb her cravings, but also set her free of the guilt that she’d carried!