For months I haven’t felt myself. Nothing life threatening; mainly constant fatigue and lack of concentration. I know, I know. We’re all tired. But this seemed to be an out-of-the-ordinary kind of tired. It was impacting my productivity and the quality of my work, not to mention my mood. Completely frustrated, I brainstormed possible causes. Stress, work load, inactivity, lack of sleep, diet, family changes, and even my increasing age were added to the list of (AGE?!?!?!).

For years I’ve exercised regularly, at least 45 minutes to one-and-a-half hours, five days a week. “Inactivity” didn’t seem to be the problem. So I went to bed earlier, making sure I had 7 to 8 hours a night. Check. Then I started making some job changes. Check. Relationship changes. Check. With those things in progress (and knowing I can’t do a darn thing about my age), I started taking a serious look at my diet.

In short, I noticed sugar and breads were taking up too much plate space. Time to make a change, the biggest of which was the complete removal of refined sugar. The first few days felt like … ah-hem, NOT GOOD. I dreamed of dark chocolate with my coffee and sweet jam on my toast. During the day I wanted to hurt someone, which lasted until I fell asleep again to dream of Candy Land and Willy Wonka.

On the other side of detox, however, I’ve begun to notice some changes. I wake up ready to go in the morning, rather than slowly coming into consciousness. My to-do list is more manageable and I’ve started tackling writing projects that have been begging for my attention. And I’m enjoying my day again!

Please understand that I’m the chocolate-chip-cookie-making queen around these here parts, which means making this decision required no small amount of effort. I’m now going on two weeks without a lick of anything sweet (even my oatmeal and pancakes are plain). No sugar, no sweeteners, nada. I plan to see this through for a few more weeks, after which I might allow myself the RARE cheat.

But then again, maybe I won’t. Because in the past two weeks I’ve felt more focused and productive than I have in months. And I’m turning into a writing machine!

Any diet secrets you’d like to share?

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