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:
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!)
Sometimes I'd bring a banana to work or nibble on some almonds. But mostly, I'd skip snack and move right into lunch
Jimmy John's sandwich (Ham and Cheese)
Another vanilla latte
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
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!