The 101st post should symbolize the beginning of a new and better chapter. But as someone once said: “the more things change the more they remain the same”.
All of a sudden it seems I am back to trying to forget a love, a love so deep that it seems more like a need, like water and air. It seems life won’t be the same without it. At least not as sweet.
I haven’t really realized the dis-functionality of my relationship with sugar until recently. I have always known I have a sweet tooth, but lately it is out of control. I am sitting in the train on the way home from work and I just inhaled a lemon square bar before the train even leaves the station. And that is after having a cupcake at work. No, not any little cupcake, Crumbs cupcake, which is probably 1,000 calories each!
Did I need that? Was I hungry? Do I really love lemon squares? No, no and no! I didn’t need it and I was not hungry. I wouldn’t give a lemon square a second look were not for the fact that I quit chocolate months ago. Since giving up chocolate I have learned to eat sweets I have never touched before, such as gummy bears and peanut butter. All of a sudden I don’t discriminate, all sugars are welcome. I am not proud of that! I know very well that I am replacing one addiction with another.
How do I feel now? Certainly not happy! The happy feeling disappeared almost as immediately as the lemon square did. I feel lousy and nauseous! I think it is high time that I face the fact that I am addicted to sugar!
Hi, My name is A. and I am a sugar addict!
I knew I was addicted to chocolate and one day last year, well on November 4th 2011 to be exact (http://blessedwithastarontheforehead.com/2012/05/19/bye-bye-chocolate-see-you-soon/) I promised myself to stop eating chocolate for one year. I am happy and proud to say that I haven’t broke that promise. I have not touched any kind of chocolate in any way, shape or form.
That makes it clear that I have some will power – chocolate is absolutely my favorite food in the world. Quitting sugar, however, even if only for a day, is not that simple. Sugar is a too broad a category to quit.
The past 8 months without chocolate hasn’t been that easy, but it hasn’t been that terrible either, except for this week. This week all I think about from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed is chocolate and sweets. Some of my friends asked me if I am about to get my period. No, I am not! I cannot use that excuse! Then another very smart friend said: you are missing F (F is for friend, the new friend that populates my imagination and heart. The friend that tucks me in bed every night with his voice). I think she has a point!
I haven’t been able to talk to my friend every night and I miss him. I miss the joy that his voice brings me. I have been suffering best friend withdrawal.
Gosh, what does that say about me? My need to always have comfort and joy. Am I a needy hedonist? Am I trying to silence some emotional need with sugar and people?
I had promised myself that next time I had a huge craving for sugar I would stop and take a few deep breaths, say a prayer, meditate, anything that would make me stop and think. Did I do that? NO. I didn’t think of it. There appears to be no time between the want and the action.
Well, if it is any consolation I am happy I didn’t eat the other lemon square. Yes, I bought two!! I am also happy that, unlike in the past, I am not considering that the day is over and now making a mental list of what else bad I can eat. Yes I am going to give myself credit for that. I am going to be nice and forgive myself whenever I can, that is my new attitude.
I also don’t want to think of food as bad and good, that will just make me crave the forbidden ones. I don’t want to make sugar the bad guy. I like sugar too much for that!
Now I crave salt, perhaps to counter balance the sweetness of the lemon square. I am sitting next to a huge guy, eating a huge bag of popcorn, the smell is killing me. I am dying for some. I want to just snag the bag from him. He is clearly on the way to eating the whole bag and he certainly doesn’t need to eat the whole bag, he can barely fit in the seat. Stop! Stop! Stop judging people, I tell myself! You don’t know what his issues are. Focus on your own issues and let others be!
After I scold myself, I let go of the thoughts of popcorn and try to focus on the whys of my sugar needs.
Perhaps I can blame my sugar obsession on my parents. Every time my sister and I cried we had a pacifier coated with sugar placed into our mouths. So, the association of sugar and love goes way back. But I am choosing a life of no blame, more acceptance and gratitude. My parents did the best they could with the tools they had. I owe my parents respect and gratitude, and I treat them as best as I can. Plus I am not a baby anymore, I am in charge of what goes into my mouth.
Following that same thought, it is not my friend’s absence’s fault either. After all, my friend is in my heart and mind and with me the whole time. Anytime I miss him all I have to do is close my eyes and I can hear him saying my name.
I think that the main problem is not wanting to let go of something that makes me feel good and has been bringing me comfort and joy forever. Sugar is part of every celebration. I turn to sugar when I am happy or sad, anxious or calm, run down or full of energy. Sugar is the best friend that is always there!
I don’t want to be enemies with sugar. I want to be friends with it and be able to have it any time I want it, but in small quantities. Is sugar my new ex-boyfriend? It is being bad to me and I am still holding on to it. The relationship is not longer working and yet I keep looking the other way. Can I be friends with sugar or, similar to Ex, I have to just cut it from my life until I am strong enough to deal with it in a healthy manner?
I cannot imagine a sugarless life! I don’t want to imagine it! And don’t even mention getting my sugar from fruit! When I want sugar I can eat a ton of fruit and I still want candy, cakes, ice cream.
The crux of the matter perhaps is some deep emotional issue. Am I trying to hide some pain? Am I trying to fill some need? It is scary to think that I may have some deep emotional issue that I am not aware of.
But perhaps the issue is nothing deep or emotional, perhaps it is just some chemical imbalance. There are too many variables. I know I have to do some thing, but not sure what and I don’t plan on going crazy and fanatical about it. Going crazy about it is the easiest way to have it backfire and make me crave sugar even more.
I am glad that I have already scheduled a complete physical on Tuesday. I am looking forward to making sure that the levels of my cholesterol, triglycerides, and all other tests they will perform are normal. I plan on learning more about nutrition, perhaps even visit a nutritionist. I also need to get back to keeping a food journal. I just need to stop planning and talking about and just do it!
The time is now!
I am always positive and optimistic. I am happy that I have come to the realization that an action is necessary. After all recognizing there is a problem is the first step. To me writing about is the second, and hopefully action is the third!
I would appreciate hearing from anyone that has or had to deal with a sugar addiction, or any kind of addiction for that matter. Perhaps with everyone’s input I can come up with a list of tips on handling cravings.
Now, once I have the sugar thing nipped in the bud, I am moving on to bread and butter …
But on a second thought, I never smoked or did drugs, rarely drink or gamble, enjoy sex as much as the next person, do I really need to give up sugar?