I used to brag and laugh about my addiction. It is socially accepted and considered “cute” to have a “sweet tooth” but other than the taste itself, there’s nothing sweet about it. Sugar made me compulsive and unable to hold my will power, caused me to gain weight, contributed to my headaches, caused me to be bloated, and feel generally lousy. While I’m no expert, and don’t have evidence to back it, I also believe it weakened my immune system and caused inflammation throughout my body.
I’ve been successful with eating “clean” through several periods in my life before, but when I get stressed or overwhelmed with life circumstances, I find myself going right back to the same habit of sugar binging. Ice Cream is my guilty pleasure and one scoop can send me back into a downward spiral of way more than just ice cream… my days are soon filled with soda, cookies, chocolate, flavored coffee creamer, and ice cream, just to name a few. Drive throughs quickly become a routine part of my errand list…daily.
So after a trip to Nashville last weekend, I came home and knew that once again, I was going to need to cut the sugar addiction…cold turkey.
My hubby just shook his head. He asked me why I don’t just taper off slowly.
The answer is quite simply…that is too hard for me to do.
Every time I quit cold turkey, the first 7 days are agony, but if I can stay the course, that breaks the sugar cravings and clears my system completely. In plain English, I bite the bullet and the rewards are almost immediate…
weight starts coming off
my joints no longer hurt
headaches are 50% less frequent
my food actually tastes better
I don’t need to snack between meals
my mind is clear and I can remember things
I know I’m just like an alcoholic who cannot have even one drink. One bite of anything sweet and I WILL fall right off the healthy wagon, head first. So how have I done it in the past and what am I doing this week to break the addiction and start benefitting from my body operating the way it was designed?
This book: Bright Line Eating (I am not getting anything for this recommendation…I’m literally just sharing something that works for me)
Before you run out and buy it there are a few things you should know…
if you’re not “all in”, you will not succeed…you can’t “sort of” use this plan because your brain will still be affected in a negative way even when you just cheat “a little bit”
the book goes into great detail about the brain and how it is affected by what we eat; for me, understanding why I wasn’t successful in the past was so helpful…no more beating myself up!
Yes there is meal planning and weighing food, but this actually is freeing in that I don’t have to think about what I’m going to cook or eat…the decision is already made for me.
So today, I’m on day 2. Yesterday was rough (not gonna lie)…I was CRAVING sweets. I had emptied out the pantry and kitchen of anything with sugar, so there was no way I could cheat at home, but the real test came when I had to run to the post office and the grocery store. I drive by Dunkin Donuts (maple frosted and vanilla bean coolatta…mmmmm), Wendy’s (chocolate frosty), Panera (brownies or chocolate chip cookie), McDonald’s (large Dr. Pepper)…grinding teeth kept my foot on the gas.
Then on the way home, I had to stop at Winn Dixie to pick up my hubby’s medication…the bakery is right next to the pharmacy…WHYYYYY?!!!! More grinding teeth as I forced myself not to glance in that direction.
The final test was the checkout line where I was surrounded by sugar on all sides and of course a basket of monster chocolate chip cookies right next to the register…individually wrapped and only $1, they used to be my “treat” for the 5 minute ride home. It’s a miracle I have any teeth left at this point!
I am so proud to say, I DID NOT GIVE IN!
Today is slightly better…no errands to run, so I won’t have to resist the temptations in town.
But I did whine while I drank my coffee with plain milk, no sweetener.
Tomorrow it will taste better…
I can do this…
I need to do it for me and I need to help my hubby keep his heart healthy, too.
Are you struggling to stay on track with a health plan you know will work for you? Subscribe to my blog and we can cheer each other on! Accountability is a huge factor in the success of any difficult task…just sayin’
If I can do it, I KNOW you can do it!
Onward and upward,
For more scientific info and explanation of the sugar/brain connection/addiction see THIS ARTICLE