Sugar–My deadly addiction

October 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Remember Bruce Banner?

The Hulk?

He had a problem

He was living a nice productive life

Until he injected something into his system

That made him lose control

Now he wanders through life

Never knowing when the “Other Guy” will take over

 

I can relate

A LOT

Because that’s me

When I eat sugar

 

I read a book once

Called Sugar Nation

It details a lot of the reasons why sugar

Can be addictive

 

My Crossfit Coach, Diana Tyler,

Wrote an excellent blog post on this subject

A Spoonful of Sugar Makes My Self Control Go Down

 

If I eat something

With any more than 4 grams of sugar per serving in it

Then I become Bruce Banner from The Hulk

It’s not as instantaneous as that

It’s a bit more subtle

But  slowly

It takes over

 

I become hungrier

And soon

The cravings begin

Obsessive thoughts seep into my mind

An ever growing need for more sugar

The calm is replaced with the storm

And now it begins

 

The slow descent into the madness

I can’t think straight

My mind invaded now by a steady stream of compulsive thoughts

A forceful preoccupation

That gives me no rest

 

I can’t focus on my responsibilities anymore

Now I want food

Now I want sugar

Because it’s in me now

Flowing through my veins

Drawing me in

 

Why is it so hard to fight??

I was doing just fine

I was totally in control

And just like that

I’m tossed back into captivity

Thrown back into the deep dark pit

As if I never had a chance

 

What’s happening to me?

Why am I suddenly feeling so unhinged?

Is it me?

Am I just a moral failure?

 

It doesn’t matter anymore

Now I just want a giant pack of double stuffed oreos

And a box of hostess cupcakes

And Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls

And a 2 liter of Pepsi

That is what I need now to survive

And I will have it

At all costs

 

It overpowers me

And once it’s taken control

And I’ve eaten everything it demands

I sit there utterly disgusted with myself

All hope is gone

 

I look around me at the empty boxes

The empty bags and wrappers

The sting of defeat

The despair at giving in

Failure wraps its arms around me

Like a familiar friend

And I sink back into its dark embrace

As it pulls me deep below the surface

Back into the abyss

 

You won’t see me now

You won’t see me for a long time

Maybe a year

Maybe longer

Because my dark master has claimed me once again

Taken me back to my prison below

Chained me inside its lair

Where I live like someone in a deep coma

Sleep walking through life

Living from one sugar fueled binge to the next

 

I see no way out

The effort it takes to escape

Seems to be nothing more than a waste of my energy

Knowing that in the end

It will find me

And pull me back into the darkness

Which has become my home

 

There is no escape for me now

Only the pain

Only the obsessive thoughts that never leave

Only the drive to find the food

To consume it

The addiction owns me now

It has won

 

There will be times

Where I will find the will to fight

The strength to try

One more diet

One more time

 

But here is the irony

My attempts

Will be nothing more than invitations

For my addiction to take me back into its control

Because almost every diet I try

Includes sugar

 

Have you ever noticed

That every diet

Has a disclaimer for diabetics?

Why is that?

 

It’s because  diabetics have to control their sugar intake

And almost every diet program that you will ever go on

Allows for a  lot more sugar than you think

If that was not the case

They would not have to include

A “P.S.”   for Diabetics

At the bottom of the food plan

 

But could it be

That sugar is not just a problem

For diabetics?

Could it be that a lot of us

Think we have a problem with food

When in fact

Our problem is a lot more specific than that?

Maybe our problem is not just with food in general

Maybe our problem is with sugar

 

For me it’s not quite that simple

Oh how I wish it could be

But my issues with food

Go far beyond one ingredient

However…

Sugar is 50% of the problem

And 50% is  A LOT

So if I control my sugar intake

I’m halfway there

And on a journey to lose 300 Pounds

Halfway there

Is a pretty big deal

 

If I’m going on diets

But those diets are feeding me the very substance

I am addicted to

Then is it any big mystery

Why I fail??

 

If I was addicted to cocaine

And you told me

To ingest LESS cocaine

To just do cocaine

In ‘moderation’

Do you think I would succeed?

 

If I was an alcoholic

And you told me

To just drink less alcohol

To have a smaller glass?

To just drink vodka

In moderation

Do you think I’d stay sober?

 

You don’t take a sugar addict

And give them a diet

That includes sugar

And yet that is what almost every single diet does

 

The diet I’ve had the most success on

Is the Low Carb diet

Because it controls the sugar intake

I tried it for the first time in 2003

I was told not to take in more than 4 grams of sugar per serving

Do you know what happened when I followed that program?

I became physically sick

 

Severe headaches

Nausea

Shaking

Dizziness

Mood Swings

Anxiety

Itching and Hives

Extreme Fatigue

Do you know what that’s called?

DETOX

That’s called

WITHDRAWAL

 

I hated it

So I ate a Donut

And then I was fine

Much better

No more shaking

No more nausea

No more headaches

Because I was back in my addiction

Welcome Home!

 

But I tried again

I suffered through the withdrawal symptoms

Day 3 is always the worst

And when it was over

The dark clouds rolled away

And for the first time in a long time

The cravings were gone

I was free

 

Until one day I picked up

A new salad dressing

And there I was

Craving

Hungry

Feeling out of control

Dreaming about Donuts

I had forgotten to check

The amount of sugar in the salad dressing

So I suffered for a few days

Waiting for it to leave my system

And then went back to freedom

 

Sugar addiction is real

I lost 104 pounds when I finally got off the sugar back in 2003

Then one day

I bought a box of white powdered donuts

Ironic right?

WHITE POWDER

Cocaine…..sugar…..

Call it what you want

For me

That box of donuts

Is my own personal

Meth Lab

 

 

I don’t know why I did it

Why I decided to buy the “drugs”

But I did

And just like that

I was gone

I gained back all the weight

Headfirst back into the addiction

And lost another 6 years of my life

All it took was one mistake

One box of donuts

And I was back in chains

 

It was 6 more years before I would find the strength

To try again

This is what I wrote in an online journal I kept

Back in 2009

 

Old Thu, Sep-24-09, 17:55
armywife3's Avatar
Senior Member
Posts: 328
Plan: Low Carb
Stats: 364/346/140 Female 65
BF:
Progress: 8%

Location: Alaska
Default

Well the sugar is out of my system. AGAIN.  I’ve been back on the wagon about 2 weeks now and I’m down 14 pounds.  I feel soo much better now that I’m off the sugar . I can think straight again and I don’t want to knock down doors to get hostess cupcakes and donuts. I remember how great it feels not to be controlled by my appetite. Once again I cannot understand why I allowed myself to get so close to the prize only to have it slip away. This is what happens in life though. Not to get biblical, but I can’t help recall how Paul says in the Bible that our life is like a race and we must run it to win.  Last time I was in the race and I saw the finish line in sight. Temptation took me off course and I found myself in a deeper hole than before. Well I am back on the course and this time I plan to finish the race!Freed from the chains of sugar and feeling fantastic!!!

 

So there I was

Finally finding the strength after 6 years

To try again

But we all know how that story ends

Like a prisoner let out on probation

Who immediately commits a crime

There I was

Back in chains

Back to prison

 

Like  most addictions

It gets worse each time you go back

Because when you stop feeding an addiction

It doesn’t change your desire for it

For something

It just means that something

Needs to be replaced

With something else

Something that won’t kill you

Something that’s stronger

More satisfying

More fulfilling

Than the addiction

 

Just read one of my earliest blog posts

Written right after my surgery

It didn’t matter that I was losing weight

I began sinking into a severe depression

Struggling with how to cope

With the empty space left behind

 

If you don’t fill the void

The addiction will come back

It will find you

And this time

It’s bringing friends!

 

Like a bully who goes out and rounds up his buddies

To team up on you

Now it’s a gang

And they make sure the chains are stronger this time

So next time you can’t break free

You’re “far worse off than if you’d never gotten cleaned up in the first place.” (Matthew 12:44)

 

This is what it did to me

My food addiction

My sugar addiction

 

 

That’s real

That’s death calling

Maybe you’re not downtown

In a crack house

Shooting up

But you’re addicted just the same

And while it may take longer for death to find you

If you stay on that path

It will

 

Sugar

Mighty and powerful

A demon of sorts

 

 

It gets in my head

Takes control of my thoughts

Like a record that sticks

And plays on a neverending loop

It plays thoughts of food

Over and over and over

Telling me

You need this

You need that

Never leaving me alone

Never giving me a moment’s rest

Even waking me in the night

Not even allowing me to sleep

Without calling to me in the darkness

To get up and go to the refrigerator

I can’t even have a moment’s peace

Not even rest in the night

 

It’s a nightmare

And everytime you find the strength

To try one more time

To make one more attempt at freedom

You face the withdrawal all over again

The mind games

The headaches

The nausea

 

Because at first I did not know what the problem was

Why I failed at every diet

Why I lost control

But now I do

Now I know I can’t let sugar in my life

Now I know I can’t eat certain foods

Now I know my triggers

 

But how many times have I gone back?

How many times have I bought the very food

I knew would be my demise?

 

How many times have I experienced freedom

And then walked straight into an ambush

Knowing exactly what I was doing

Knowing exactly what it would cost me

 

Because I often go back to doing

The very thing I despise the most

Eating the very foods

That take me back into the fog

 

 

 

And I know my enemy is waiting

To drag me back down

To the familiar prison

That awaits my return

All it takes

Is one bite

And I’m gone

 

This is a battle

An every day battle

Like an alcoholic avoiding a bar

We must avoid the foods

That are waiting

To make us their slaves

 

You may have tried a thousand times

Only to find yourself giving in to bad decisions

That send you backwards

Into a downward spiral

I know

Because I’ve been there

And I could be there again tomorrow

That’s how quickly it will come for me

If I let it

 

But It doesn’t matter how many times we have failed

For I have failed more times than I can count

It doesn’t matter how many years we’ve lost

For my lost years are a timeline of their own

Regardless of these things

We will find freedom

So long as we pick up our sword

And fight

 

For while the battle is long and hard

You will not fight alone

Many fight along with you

And there is One

Who will come to your aid

Giving you strength when you ask

And picking you up when you fall

 

And one day

You will hear the clink of your chains

As they fall to the ground

That’s when you’ll know

That’s when you’ll realize

FINALLY

You’re free

 

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Lady Amanda October 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm

You are right about the detox off of food- it is horrible. I can be fine, but see that it is “lunch time” and I will eat (and I am not even hungry) and if there is a bunch of bread or sugar in the meal I will immediately want more- it is like I went from being fine/full to being starving and raiding the closet and fridge for more and more food. Then I feel horrible and tired and have no desire to do anything except sit and watch tv or sleep. It is sad- but true. It is a vicious cycle- that is for sure. Great blog. I like that picture of the tree- half good and half evil. Cool pic. You are doing really great. Am soo proud of you!

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Karen P October 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm

You are not alone Holly. The 4grm sugar cut off is the same for me. Glad you are blogging about this. Safe travels. Even one sugary food item is not worth it. Food sobriety is worth it. You are worth the work that it takes, we all are. Never easy, always worth it.

So glad that others understand this. Karen P
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Dagny October 28, 2012 at 5:44 pm

You make a critical point here that a lot of people don’t want to hear but it’s the truth: Moderation is a marketing strategy, convincing people they can “eat anything” and still lose weight and remain in control. Some people can, but some of us have to accept what needs to be done. We have to let certain trigger foods go. It’s tough but we’re so much better for it when we’re on the “other side” and experiencing the benefits!
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Christine October 28, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Ha – I just posted about eating a donut this morning and the sugar rush it gave me, until I crashed. So not worth it, but addicting just the same. Sugar and simple carbs are a problem for me. Getting off of them is so difficult and it just takes a bite for the addcition to return.
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Daphne @ Daphne Alive October 28, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Thank you for another amazing post 🙂
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Staci October 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm

I was doing great this week and then had a diet drink. Ever since having the diet drink, I have been having severe cravings and feeling hungry. Even the fake sugars do it.
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Sarah October 28, 2012 at 8:04 pm

You are right. Knowing and naming those monsters are a big part of the solutions. You know you have to stay away and stay away for good. It’s no easier with sugar than any other drug though. You will always be recovering. The monster will follow you but you are strong and you will win. xx
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suzanne October 28, 2012 at 9:06 pm

I had tears in my eyes as I read this because it truly is what I feel when I have sugar. All the foods I make I make with sweetener. I just cannot do sugar any more. I really wish that I had realized this a long time ago 🙁
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Sunny October 29, 2012 at 2:47 am

wowza….great post,. i have always done moderation and failed. I am pre~op should have surgery before the year ends…done all my tests. This was so helpful…thanks

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Trish @I_am_Succeeding October 29, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Absolutely correct!!! Great post Holly.
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Pam October 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm

It sounds crazy, but I hadn’t thought about sugar that way. After losing 180 lbs., and keeping most of it off for 18 months, you’d think I’d realize what a trigger sugar can be for me. I had a bad 4 days, starting on Thursday and continuing right through yesterday. Today, I am determined to get back on track, and now, after reading your blog, AVOID sugar entirely. Perhaps sugar is what gets me started, binging, wanting more and more and more and then I look at the wrappers all around me and am dismayed and seriously considering making myself upchuck. But I don’t know how to do that and when I think about what I would have to do, I don’t want to do that, so I have got to stop myself from eating all that STUFF in the first place. I’m going to quit buying those “healthy” but unnecessary snacks at the grocery store. I always end up over-doing on them. Sure, each one is only 100 calories, but 8 of them is 800 calories! If they are not in my house, they cannot tempt me! When Halloween is over, the leftover candy will be sent to work with hubby, so that I no longer grab a mini bag of M&M’s, justifying it by saying, “It’s only 70 calories!” But when that one bag leads to other sugary treats, it’s way more than 70 calories! Thanks for a good reminder on a day when I sorely needed one! NO MORE SUGAR!
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molly October 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Corn candy. I have fallen into the pit of corn candy, wanting to think of it as a vege (totally kidding) but finding that what you describe is exactly what happens. I have lost control. I wake up with headaches. My stomach starts screaming for food almost immediately upon rising. And I want more! When I was eating completely vegan, none of this was an issue. I was content. In control. But I’ve lost it. Thank you for this post. There really is a demon of sugar. He won this battle, but he won’t win the war!!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Corn Candy!!! I totally get it. Completely!!! They can take almost anything and lace it with sugar and I’ll fall madly and deeply in love with it!! It compels me. LOL

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Amanda October 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Sugar is my kryptonite…no doubt about it.
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Tom Woolley October 29, 2012 at 6:35 pm

You make so many good points how one slip up pulls us back into our old habits that we hate. Yet the comfort in what is familiar seems to be more alluring than our success.

Stay strong, away with the sugar pushers!

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Nikki Mohamed October 29, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Sugar AND aspartame make my bladder go nuts….after having 5 kids, 2 miscarriages in the second trimester, and a complete abdominal hysterectomy, the very last thing I need is additional bladder control issues. I stopped putting sugar in my coffee. I either drink it black or with a little milk. Same with tea. I just gave up diet sodas. (I know how extremely bad they are for me….but I just couldn’t give them up.) Now, cold turkey…I’ve been off of them for 2 weeks. I’m sticking bottles of water in the freezer and putting a tiny drop of Orange Blossom essence into them first to give them a nice flavor to cover up that horrible metallic taste in our water.

I’m trying to wean my 11 yr old off of the sugar, too. He loves to drink lemonade at night….and you know what? My laundry is evidence that he’s inherited my bladder/sugar problems. *sigh* Sugar is quite addictive.
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