You are a sugar zombie and your addicted body has taken over your mind. Quite literally, if you consume sugar in any quantity, your body has actually taken control of your mind.
If you eat sugar, your mind is not your own. If you eat sugar, your physical needs for this drug outweigh ALL mental requirements. So if you know you need to go to the gym and you need to eat clean and you need to avoid certain foods and you need to 'think more positively', until sugar is completely out of your system, your body will not allow your mind to succeed.
When I started my CrossFit journey, I was eating strict paleo. I'm not talking 80%/20%, I mean strict 100% all the time. I ate meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, seeds and nuts. No sugar. No dairy. No grains (no rice, wheat, pasta, cakes, pastry or bread). No legumes (pulses, beans.lentils etc.). I didn't drink alcohol.
I felt amazing. All the time. Genuinely. I didn't ever feel like I was depriving myself. I was full of energy, I didn't have that 2pm slump, I felt well, alert, clear-minded and happy. Genuinely felt great all the time.
After 2 years of eating like this, I slipped into adding sugar back into my diet. It was a gradual decline over 2 years.
I have some perspective now on those two years. I was way more tired. Workouts in the gym felt hard - I was sluggish, I felt heavy. My cardio suffered. I struggled to think clearly about things. I genuinely couldn't think straight. My mind felt foggy and I found it difficult to make good decisions, especially when it came to food choices but also as far as emotional responses to situations. Things that I could have handled before then became insurmountably hard. I wasn't depressed but I was frustrated and angry and incredibly negative a lot of the time.
I know it sounds extreme to suggest food was responsible for my state of mind but going on the evidence I have, it's the only variable that changed.
Just before Christmas 2017, I started feeling exhausted, especially after I ate something heavy on starchy carbs or sugar. It got to the point where, if I ate some chocolate (and I'm not talking your 95% single origin Ecuadorian stuff, I'm talking cheap nasty, vegelate with double the sugar required) I would be asleep inside 10 minutes.
So, having made myself reactively hypoglycemic, 2 weeks before Christmas, I decided enough was enough. Gave up sugar again, cold turkey, gave up most starchy carbs. Back on the paleo.
What have I noticed?
Everything is better! I am more alert, less foggy-minded, less tired, no more crashing on the sofa after meals. While my performance in the gym does reflect the fact that I am 46 years old and a bit lazy, I feel so much stronger, my cardio has improved massively in that I don't feel half as out of breath mid-workout as I used to and bodyweight movements like pullups and burpees feel way, way easier. But more than that, I feel positive!
I feel mentally more cheerful about everything!
What has changed since Christmas? My job is the same, my family is the same, the weather is the same, my nutrition is different.
Sugar is to blame for how you feel mentally.
Sugar is to blame for how you feel physically.
You think you don't eat much sugar because you don't add spoonfulls of table sugar to your tea or cereal? You're wrong. Starchy carbs (like cereal and bread) are converted to sugar and anyway, most cereals have added sugar!
If you eat a lot of rice, pasta, bread, pastry, beans, processed food - albeit savoury - you are addicted to sugar.
Addicts lack the ability to think clearly because their bodies are on a constant mission to stay normal (homeostasis) by getting more of what they crave, be that heroin or sugar.
If your body has a purpose higher than yours (homeostasis) it will take control of your mind to force you onto its own path so it can get what it needs.
Sugar makes your brain into a zombie controlled by your body.
For example - while my diet was bad, I would drive to the gym to train (my mental pathway that was good for me) and on the way stop at a petrol station to get something to eat - it was a compulsion (my body controlling my zombified mind). I couldn't not stop at the petrol station. It genuinely was as if I had no control over my actions and when I got to the petrol station, they didn't sell paleo things there and as my brain was literally sabotaging my efforts in order to satisfy it's physical requirement for sugar, I would get a sandwich and a sugary snack.
I literally could not stop myself. I could not think straight.
Now that the sugar is out of my system (it literally only takes a few days) I am quite happy to have breakfast, go and coach then drive to where I train without eating again. It just isn't an issue. I have control over my brain again.
Try quitting sugar for 30 days and keep a record of how you feel and what you notice. You need to stop eating processed foods and take-aways, you need to read all the ingredients on every label (although non-processed food has no ingredients list!) and you need to eat a lot of vegetables - like triple what you think.
If you cannot do this for just 30 days but still complain about feeling down, tired, stressed, out of control etc, then you need to seriously rethink your life!
Free your mind and the rest will follow!