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    SWEET_CAROLYN   25,404
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Food Addiction


Thursday, April 18, 2013

I firmly believe that I am a sugar addict. Before I started on this journey, I had to have something sweet daily - sometimes after every meal as a "treat" (funny how a "treat" became a necessity after every meal!). A typical meal in my Old Life would look something like this:

Breakfast
Medium vanilla latte (if I was feeling healthy, I would try to ask for non-fat milk and sugar free syrup)
Most days, I felt too sick to eat breakfast, but if I stopped for coffee, I'd often pick up one of their pastries - be it a coffee cake or a scone (and we all know the proportions for those are obscene!)

Snack
Sometimes I'd bring a banana to work or nibble on some almonds. But mostly, I'd skip snack and move right into lunch

Lunch
Jimmy John's sandwich (Ham and Cheese)
Diet Soda
Low-Fat chips
Cookie
Another vanilla latte

Snack
If I didn't already eat my cookie at lunch, I'd have it here. Otherwise, I'd swing by Rite Aid or Walgreens or some place like that and pick up a candy bar

Dinner
This is where things REALLY got crazy! Sometimes I'd pick up a meal from Dairy Queen. Other times I'd get a pizza and have the leftovers for lunch the next day. Sometimes I would pretend to be healthy and have bagels and cream cheese - only I might have more than one bagel.
Dinner was always followed by dessert, be it cookies, cake, or chocolate bars.

Looking back, no WONDER I couldn't lose weight! There is so much processed food in this list - and WAY TOO BIG of portions! (Also, no wonder I felt sick to my stomach in the morning, after eating all this!!)

One of my problems (besides the obvious portion sizes) was simple: I loved (love!) food! There is a really small list of things I absolutely will not eat because I don't like it. And of course, the things I REALLY love almost always end up being the most fattening.

Just before I started my diet, I did make an attempt to eat better. But I had constant cravings for sugar. I needed it - not much different than a crack addict needs cocaine!

There are people who believe that everyone who is fat is just a lazy person that won't take care of him or herself. I refuse to believe that 100%. Yes, I was lazy and didn't want to change my diet. Yes, I refused to believe that there was a problem and I needed to change. But part of that problem was my addiction to food - to sugar, specifically.

Once I cut myself off from the huge amounts of processed sugar I was eating, from all the bad things that I had grown accustomed to having, the weight came off. Eating healthier became easier, more natural, and I started to like the taste of more natural foods. And while there are times I'd like to have a piece of cake or a burger, I don't have anywhere near the cravings I used to have.

Food addiction, I believe, is just as much of a problem as other addictions. It harms yourself, your body, hindering you from the lifestyle you want. It makes resisting temptations very difficult - and while I do believe our American society focuses too much on fast food and convenience foods, *I* was the one who chose to eat regularly at Dairy Queen, no one at DQ was forcing me into the drive-thru!

Like the 12 steps of AA says, the first step is recognizing you have a problem. So, I'll come clean: I'm Carolyn, and I'm addicted to sugar. I've been (mostly) processed sugar free since November 16th.

Letting go of sugar won't be easy; I get bombarded with images of yummy processed food daily. But I have a choice - I don't need to let my cravings for sugar hold me back from my goal of Lifetime Health. It's a challenge, but one that I am more than willing to confront!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAWCOOKIE 4/23/2013 1:13PM

    Gosh, it's so wonderful to have this open sharing here on SP - I've been saying that I am a sugar-addict for ages - and there are articles where people say that it's not an addiction, it's a behavioural thing - but, despite the technical terms for 'addiction' we all know what we feel around the stuff! Well done Carolyn! I've lapsed back into eating it again - and feel much worse for it!

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KARIEWILLIS 4/20/2013 4:29PM

    Oh, let me join you: I'm Kari, and I'm addicted to sugar! The last time I had sugar had to have been over a year ago, probably longer. I'm not exactly sure.

I think a lot of people that become significantly over weight are addicted to sugar, or even food in general. Not the food itself, but the feeling one gets from consuming the food. I know I was addicted to it!

Well, I guess I'm still addicted, and always will be addicted.

I remember a while back, during a different diet phase, and I hadn't had sugar in a while, and I broke down and had something. Can't remember exactly what. Some kind of sugary cereal bar? Anyway, it tasted TERRIBLE. Like straight syrup, full of chemicals. But of of course, I kept eating stuff like that until I got used to the taste of preservatives and such again.

Which is crazy, now that I think about it. I didn't like the way it tasted! Why did I ever go back to eating it?? I guess it's... an addiction!

Great blog post! You can confront - and conquer - this challenge!!

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STRONGDJ 4/18/2013 10:02PM

    Well said! emoticon

A lot of the research I've done talks about how many people (yes me included) are addicted to processed food (sugar, salt & fat). I experienced so much of what you describe. I believe I did go through some withdrawal symptoms when I started "eating clean" by eliminating fast food, restricting processed food and increasing the fresh (one ingredient) foods. Now I am so delighted by the vegetables I get to eat every day and shopping is my adventure to find the perfect produce for the week!

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SUMTHINGSPECIAL 4/18/2013 9:57PM

    Yes - letting go is not easy. I have had to struggle with my own battles as well. Fortunately for me - I am finding that I am actually allergic to what I was craving. My stomach thanks me for taking notice and doing something about it!

Sugar - is another thing. I don't use a lot of it at all. I try to stay away - and to keep stuff like that away - and usually I can do pretty good. Only have a craving from time to time and it is probably emotionally motivated. Chocolate!

Sumay

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STEFIGURL 4/18/2013 9:30PM

    from one addict to another...good for you for coming clean. we do this together...one day at a time. thank god we have SP and this amazing community!!!
best wishes in your recovery!

stephi

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SNOWYOGA 4/18/2013 9:09PM

    Wow great blog! And sounds like were all in the same boat, (maybe we should make a club) No i'm not being funny or mean it just seems like a lot of us are having the same addictions. Thanks again you post really good blogs!

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IMAVISION 4/18/2013 8:22PM

    The good news is that when one reduces their sugar intake it eventually loses its hold. I am surprised to no end how sweet some old favorites now seem.

God bless you with continued success!

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AGOALOF150 4/18/2013 7:37PM

    Way to go! You made it through what is likely the most difficult time-christmas!


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SCRAPBECCA 4/18/2013 5:53PM

    I know that I am a food addict too. Addicted to sugar, flour, wheat, volume and caffeine. The only relief I get from the addiction is when I totally abstain from all of those substances. I love my abstinent life!

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DAWNSJOURNEY 4/18/2013 5:51PM

    emoticon I too am a food addict .. Carbs/ sugar everything Processed . I am so proud of you for being able to say it, write it and post it. That is not easy .. letting the world know .

How great is your accomplishment 5 months clean... that is AWESOME !!

you rock.

Dawn emoticon

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NIKKICOLE83 4/18/2013 5:51PM

    It is definitely an addiction. Your menu sounded a lot like mine. I have not given up processed sugars completely but I have improved dramatically. I no longer buy pre-packaged stuff but I will eat the baked goods that I make. My only rule is that I can only keep a little and I have to give the rest away. The people at my job just love me!

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