13 April 2012

Confessions of a Sugar Addict

It has been three days since I ate sugar.

I mean, I guess there was probably sugar in the Tom Ka soup at the Thai restaurant last night, but WHATEVER! I have been seriously strung out on the stuff for decades--forever I mean, since birth. I was never breast fed. The therapist the other day said perhaps I am still trying to get that sweet mother's milk but I ain't gonna find it in a  Snickers bar or a vegan organic cookie.

So fuck it. That's right, I said F#$% YOU SUGAR! I quit. Sugar can kiss my dimply 40-year old ass. And speaking of that booty, I am getting in shape too. I feel a bit cliché being another middle-aged woman who is finally declaring that she is tired of hating her body. But don't worry, I have declared it many times before! And THIS TIME I am really working a program. I am acknowledging that being addicted to sugar is just like being addicted to tobacco, alcohol or heroin. It is a tool of the death-machine. It is nasty from every angle. There is no good excuse. And of course, it will eventually kill you. It's not that I mind dying but slow, painful suicide? Seems like a waste.

I am rereading Sugar Blues by William Duffy. You should too. I can't begin to explain how important this book is to humanity, to the sustainability movement, and at this moment, to me as an individual. I can't believe I ever put a drop of that crap in my mouth since the last time I read this amazing book about 12 years ago. It reads like a novel, but gives you the real truth about every aspect of why sugar is wicked. Politics, health, environmental issues; you name it, sugar is the Darth Vader of dietary concerns.

Sugar is everyman (and woman) 's heroin. The great catharsis. Suitable for children and adults of all ages. I was taught as a young child to be an emotional eater, that ice cream could make everything better. It doesn't. It makes everything worse.

I got hypnotized the other day to help kick the habit. It was amazing. I felt very comfortable with the therapist, Shirley Kimmel at Portland Hypnosis Center. She is an amazing healer and very compassionate. We made a CD of the session and I listened to it again last night. She explained that the brain makes new neurons every day, and that we have to feed them with protein and exercise or they will not be able to take root and mature. She helped me to understand how using sugar instead of protein to fuel my body was not only putting me at risk of diabetes, heart disease and bacterial infections throughout my system, but it was also decreasing my brain power by leaps and bounds. In addition, because the brain offers new opportunities for behavioral change with every fresh crop of neurons, then all I have to do is focus that protein-eating and exercise time on breaking the sugar habit and it will become easier and easier.

Neurons in the Brain
I am feeling really good about this and about all the ways I have been taking my life in a positive direction. When I reflect on the fact that, a year ago, I was suicidally depressed, I feel very proud of myself and grateful to my support network that things have changed so much. I owe my life to friends, salad, singing, and walking.

And no, I am not manic! I am making positive, healthful changes that will last a lifetime. I am learning that it is possible to heal everything from our past, whether early childhood abuse, mistakes and regrets from our youth, or yesterday's bad habits. And I am also learning that true change and authentic healing take time, commitment, and a willingness to educate oneself. Cultivating the love from within, as it were...

Here is a blog about staying off sugar by Portland Musician and fellow Goddard-ite David Vanadia:
Stop Being Sweet

 I will keep you posted about my own battle with the Sugar Blues. I remember three years ago I was going to write a book about what it was like to stay off sugar for a year. Ha! I lasted ten days and abandoned the project in misery and denial. I gained ten more pounds from the self-punishing binge-eating that happened after that. Oh well, its all ok. Because now is now and here we are. *hugs*

**Update 2015: I ended up not eating any sugar at all for over a year, losing 40 pounds and discovering that overcoming my sugar addiction empowered me to make a lot of other huge changes in my life. I fell "off the wagon" for a few months last year, but got right back on and am convinced that sugar is basically a white drug that ruins people's lives. That's all for now!

1 comment:

Coach Julie Butts said...

I think a lot of people have problems caused by sugar and don't even know it. I learned the other day that Americans eat 156 pounds of added sugar every year. It's hard because most people think of added sugar as the white stuff they're adding to cereal or coffee. It's actually added into most processed foods including vegetables and ketchup! Who would've thought? As a health coach who specializes in weight management (http://lifestylehealthcoaching), I try to help educate people on the effects of sugar and how to cut down on it. It's not an overstatement to say sugar is an addiction just like caffeine or alcohol. Thanks for making your readers aware of this topic.