Allergic would be putting it mildly. I actually have a full-blown sugar addiction! An addiction that I have had for years but just started battling over the last 5 or so.
There was a time (a long, long, time ago) when I could eat ANYTHING I wanted and still be somewhat slim. I used to joke that as long as when I looked down I saw my breasts and then my feet – with NO belly in between – then I was happy. Well, my friends… the day came when that belly was sticking out so far that I could’ve passed for someone in early pregnancy.
Yes, I gained fat in the rest of my body too – but the amount hanging and pulling from my stomach was by far the worst.
I TRIED and I TRIED to cut down on the sugar. But I was seriously – honest to God – addicted to it. It gave me a high – for real – a high. I could grab a few of those sugar cookies with icing on them and each bite would send this wave of almost euphoria through me. But it wouldn’t last long – I’d have to consume more.
It was not unlike when I was a heavy smoker (1 pack+/day). If you’ve ever been a smoker you know the nasty hold it has over you. Your body craves nicotine and all the gross chemicals they add in with it. That first puff is sheer delight….then you want MORE!
I went on special diets to help me kick my sugar habit. But then I’d have just one lil ol’ piece of cake – ya know out to dinner. And maybe I couldn’t finish it all cause it was just too sweet. I’d take it home and eat it before going to bed that night.
I used to like these crap-tacular sugar cookies from the supermarket in the bakery area. They were soft with a heavy layer of icing on top – and sometimes sprinkles (I love sprinkles :). I’d open them in the car and eat 3, 4 or more on the short drive home. Needless to say – they didn’t last long in the house.
I know there are people who can eat sugar laden goodies in moderation. I most definitely AM NOT one of those people. It took me a long time to come to terms with that. Like an alcoholic who can never have a drink again. If I consume a sugary confection it’ll probably lead me into a sugar binge. Then I’ll have to detox from sugar all over again.
So I’ve taken to telling people that I am allergic to sugar. If they want more info I then explain to them a bit about the addiction and how it makes me fat.
2 1/2 weeks ago I made the decision to finally cut out all processed sugar.
With that I also made a mind shift. My ultimate goal with eating is to supply my body with as much quality nutrients as possible in the smallest amount of calories. When I look at a piece of cake I see something high in calories and severally lacking in nutrients. Contrast that with a bowl of fruit – pineapple, grapes, blueberries, melons, strawberries – loaded with nutrients and tastes delicious too…. PLUS… far fewer calories. And that bowl of fruit will not spike my blood sugar so high that my body stores the excess as fat. That is what would happen with the cake – blood sugar spike, then excess gets stored right on my expanding belly!
In the last 2 1/2 weeks I have lost 10 lbs. and 3 inches off of my waist.
The above blog post was originally written a few months ago. Since then, sugar has crept it’s way back into my life. Little things (and big things) here and there. I’d forget my Stevia so I’d just put some processed sugar in my coffee. I would think that just a little Ben & Jerry’s wouldn’t hurt – uh, yeah – right! And I also gave into peer pressure…”surely you can have just once piece of cake – you can’t give up ALL sugar” (as if sugar has health benefits and is one of the 4 food groups!)
And… just as sugar entered my mouth, the pounds appeared back on my belly. I’m still a bit smaller than when I started, but not anywhere near where I’d like to be.
So… this leads me to something…
Setting yourself up for success when kicking the sugar addiction.
Looking back on my relapse I can see where I goofed – I didn’t have a plan in place for those inevitable temptations.
Here are some of the challenges and solutions I’ve come up with:
Challenge: Not having Stevia with me when grabbing a cup of coffee. I would say ‘oh well’ and dump in processed sugar anyway.
Solution: I bought Stevia packets (from SweetLeaf brand) and have them in my purse, car, bag…etc. I’ll also be leaving a few at my Moms house too.
Challenge: Wanting something sweet to eat at night – usually a bowl of ice cream, preferably Ben & Jerrys.
Solution: Keeping fruit on hand – especially FROZEN bananas. Some of my sweet tooth substitutes:
- large bowl of fruit.
- in my Nutribullet I mix up: 1 frozen banana (in pieces), some almond milk, a little vanilla and either some other fruit OR – when I have a chocolate craving – some cocoa powder (raw – not the sugary kind).
- Fage greek yogurt 2%, some fruit (usually thawed strawberries, raspberries, blueberries), little bit of vanilla, cinnamon or apple pie spice, some crushed nuts or sunflower seeds. NOTE: I found this one took a little getting used to, it’s not as sweet as the others.
Challenge: Going out to eat and ordering dessert.
Solution: Yes, I could just say “no dessert for me”…but that is just NOT me! Instead, I opt for a bowl of fruit – or even oatmeal with fresh fruit would be a good substitute.
I want to hear from you!
Do you have a sugar addiction? What are some of your favorite substitutes?
Share with me in the comments below 🙂