Prescription Strength

February 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

twinkie insanity



I always struggled with my weight

And soon after I got married

We moved right across the street

From a Hostess Bakery Thrift Shop

Where everything was discounted

And that was when it started

My love affair with Hostess

Daily I would buy quantities of it

Boxes and boxes of donuts and cupcakes

Becoming more and more hooked every day


I still remember the day I stepped on that scale

And it said 200 pounds

I just never thought I would see that number

I had always told myself

“As long as you don’t hit 200–you’ll be ok”

And then I did


Somewhere around 1998

Phen Fen came out

And I remember driving to a house

Where some doctor had put a sign out front

And was prescribing it for people


I crammed into the living room

Or “waiting room”

Along with probably 50 other people

All waiting to walk out of there

With hope written on a white prescription note


I would have tried anything

And I did

But nothing ever worked

I lost maybe 20 pounds on Phen Fen

But it made me feel strange

So I quit

I’m glad I did

As studies later showed it was not safe

But I tried all the pills anyway

When you’re desperate….you’re desperate

And over the years my desperation grew


Of course I tried the usual over the counter pills

Like Dexatrim and Acutrim

They couldn’t touch my hunger

Not even close


Later they took the Fen out of Phen Fen

And then it was just Phentermine

So I tried that

But it didn’t work either


I tried Bitter Orange and Chromium

And Chitosan

Green tea extract and Hoodia

And Guar Gum

They prescribed me Meridia

And Alli

If they made it

And a doctor would prescribe it

I tried it

But my hunger was insatiable


Stronger than any medication a doctor could prescribe


But here’s the “prescription” that worked

To keep the hunger at bay

And it was all about the sugar

I can’t say this enough

Because it’s critical to keeping me sane

It’s so critical to my weight loss

That I have to share it


Because above all else that I do

This is the one element that has proven to be more powerful

Than any drug out there

Eliminate sugar


I know that people will tell you

That you can eat sugar in moderation

But what they SHOULD be saying

Is that THEY can eat sugar in moderation

Because while they may be able to

Not everyone can


No one ever says

ALL PEOPLE can drink alcohol in moderation

They readily accept in society

That alcoholism is real

And that some people have a tendency

To become addicted to it

No one ever insists

That alcoholics should try to acquire the skill

Of drinking alcohol in moderation

And yet almost every diet I’ve ever been on

Seems to believe that this is a skill

You can acquire

With sugar!


Think of how many people out there

Are addicted to this substance


And because they are still eating it

They can never rid themselves of the powerful hunger

That rages inside of them

There they go

Diet after diet

Being set up to fail

Over and over and over again

Because the diet they are on lets them eat

The very substance that sabotages them!

It’s amazing they have the strength to keep trying


In many ways

It’s like a cruel joke

A prank

To keep telling people

That they can eat an addictive substance

In moderation

If they just try a little harder

Be a little stronger

As if it’s their fault

As if they’re  a failure

Because they can’t stick to the plan


But this is what I have lived through

For the majority of my life

Trying so hard

But only getting so far

Because my willpower was never enough

To defeat a substance so strong


I saw a news article the other day on Yahoo

About Meth addicts

It showed before and after pictures

Of what these individuals looked like

Before they got hooked on meth

And then what they looked like after


It was tragically sad

There were young people with their lives ahead of them

There were people vibrant and full of life

And then the same people

A few years later

Their faces scarred

Their lives ruined

Many completely unrecognizeable

After meth took control of their lives


I have something in common with those people

Just look at a picture of me at 417 pounds

And you will see

The destruction that sugar has had in my life

Creating inside of me a raging hunger

That drives me to feed it

At all costs

Even unto death


People mean well

They do

But if they are not sugar addicts

They just don’t get it



The same way an alcoholic can’t drink liquor in moderation

It’s addictive


Maybe not to everyone

But to MANY

And definitely to me


So no matter what anyone says

I know the truth FOR ME

And it’s absolutely miraculous

The way it quiets the hunger when you rid yourself of it

It’s far more powerful for decreasing appetite

Than any prescription drug I ever took in my 20 years

Of trying to medicate the hunger away


There should be hospitals for sugar detox

Because it’s awful

Headaches and dizziness and shakiness

Mood swings

It’s real


But when you’re done with it

You’ll know

Because the insatiable hunger inside of you

Will start to quiet down

And suddenly you’ll have more control than you ever thought you could


I’ve been working on this for a long time

And I have found that the longer I work on this

The more pure I become with eliminating sugar from everything

The more amazing it is to me

At how my appetite disappears


I wonder to myself sometimes

“Is this how ‘normal’ people feel?”

“Is this what I’ve been missing out on all my life?”

“Is this what it’s like to not be starving to death every second of the day?”

Is this what their life is like?

Going through the day without being plagued

By a constant hunger

By a ravenous, insatiable, merciless hunger

That stalks you every second of the day

That overwhelms your mind

And brings you to your knees?


Is this what it’s like to live

Without obsessive thoughts about food

Because it’s AWESOME

And I really think that this is how we are supposed to feel

This is how those NOT addicted to sugar feel all the time

Maybe that’s why they don’t “get it”

Why they can’t relate to that hunger that stalks you day and night


I’ve put sugar back into my body

And it all comes tumbling down

Before long I’m as insane as I was before

And it’s scary

Then you have to detox and suffer for a time

Then wait for the peace to restore you once again


This is as close to a magic pill that I’m going to ever get

I still have to work hard

The way an alcoholic has to drive past the bar and not look back

But to be released from this dark master who I thought would never  unchain me

Is one of the greatest things to ever experience in this life


More people should know

How dangerous sugar can be

Because I’m only just realizing

That I was a junkie

An addict

And every single diet I ever went on

Was destined to fail

So long as it was feeding me

The poison

That kept me hungry


This is not the cure all

It’s not the only thing I have to work on

To be free

Because there are certain foods I have to stay away from

Even if they are sugar free

Not because they do something to me chemically

When I eat them

But because after so many years of pairing that food

With an emotion

I now have a psychological tie to it

Classical conditioning


Being me can be tricky

So many layers of issues related to food

To carefully manage

But in the end

It is worth it

It is possible to break the ties that bind you

To conquer the strongholds regarding food

That keep you so deeply bound to its destructive pull


If you’re hungry all the time

And you feel that you can’t control it

Give it a try

Eliminate sugar

And see what happens

The detox will hurt

But then you’ll find freedom

And when freedom comes

You’ll never want to let it go


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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie February 4, 2013 at 7:06 am

Wow. Powerful. Exactly right. I have a very addictive personality. Doctors have told me sugar and/or carbs cannot be addictive. As you said, maybe not for them, but it is for me. One piece of candy, leads to two, ten, twenty, etc. I have found I cannot take calcium “chews”. I will eat the entire bag in a few days. I cannot stop at just one. So, like you, I must stay completely away from sugar, to maintain my weight loss and my sanity. Thank you for your post!


joy February 4, 2013 at 8:26 am

I agree fully!! I was wondering do you eat sugar-free foods or drinks??? Some say that sugar-free food cause hungry but I am still on the fence about that???
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down February 4, 2013 at 9:48 am

I check the sugar content first. A lot of foods listed as “low
Sugar” or “no sugar added” do contain sugar still. If it says sugar free and has no sugar listed then I will usually try it. However I still am careful and pay attention to how my body reacts. Some people say that artificial sweeteners set them off too but luckily I haven’t had that experience.
Holly from 300 Pounds Down recently posted..Prescription StrengthMy Profile


Lee Ann February 4, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Good post. This is one of the reasons that I went to Clean eating and why I try not to give my kids too much candy or juice or kool aid…etc.
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Staci February 4, 2013 at 3:05 pm

And the more you eat of it, the more you crave of it. But the more you eat of it, the more you need of it to satisfy the craving. And then you realize “that just wasn’t what I was wanting. I will eat this, too, and then I’ll be satisfied.” Nope. It doesn’t taste as strong and yummy. It takes more and more to give you your fix. Ugh.
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TS February 4, 2013 at 3:22 pm

I have hit that point, my body craves healthier stuff, but I haven’t kicked the sugar yet. I just the way it makes me feel to be coming off. High sugar intake does the same thing in the brain that Prozac does, helps keep serotonin working so you feel happy. High fat helps with dopamine, which gives you the rush. Most foods that are one are also the other, so who in the world would say that isn’t addictive?


Karen Sanders February 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm

I think you’re absolutely right and it isn’t recognized at all. I don’t think I have as strong an issue as you describe, but I can definitely feel a difference when I step away from sodas and desserts. Thanks again for sharing your strength and weaknesses!
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Amanda @RunToTheFinish February 4, 2013 at 3:59 pm

sooo true sugar is definitely the one issue I still battle. i have had to really shift my mindset to work on it as well. if I did the simply don’t eat sugar route I suddenly wanted more more more, but if I focus on eating fruits and veggies it seems to naturally get crowded out
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Tasha Cantrell February 4, 2013 at 4:28 pm

So true! So true! I’ve learned this since having my surgery. I don’t crave sugar…until I give in just a little…then I have to get back that control…again! I now crave beef…and fish! Who would have ever thought!?! 🙂

Thanks again for everything, Tasha


Pam February 4, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Addiction is powerful….and I would guess there are many more food addicts in the world than any other kind of addicts. Sugar is powerful, but so is salt and so are carbs and I believe I am probably addicted to all of them. It remains a constant struggle for me NOT to overeat. I’m like an alcoholic who is allowed ONE drink per day. ONLY ONE! Everyone knows that is impossible. Still I try. Lately I find myself eating more, even after I am comfortably satiated. I try never to get that “stuffed” feeling anymore–that stuffed feeling that I experienced daily in the past. I know how uncomfortable it made me feel and I know what it did to my body, and yet I still fight to keep myself from getting to that point. I do think I can fill fuller more quickly now, and that is without WLS, so I’m happy about that.

I have come to accept the fact that my addiction is not curable, only controllable. This morning as I showered, I thought to myself, “Breakfast!” Food is one of my first thoughts every day, right now I’m thinking about what I’m going to have for lunch, even though I’m still satiated from my breakfast oatmeal. I want so badly for this new way I eat to become just a way of life–easy and normal. I read the blogs of two women who lost over 175 pounds, kept it off for a while, then in the last couple of years have put back on about 50 of those pounds. They both grew weary of obsessing over every morsel they put in their mouths, they grew tired of worrying and focusing on FOOD all the time. They are trying to eat more mindfully now, but not many pounds are coming back off for either of them.

When I got below 200 pounds I was happy. I thought I looked good and was satisfied with my weight. After weighing over 300 pounds for 30 years, to weigh less than 200 pounds was a miracle to me. And then I lost another 50 pounds and started experiencing life as a completely normal-sized human being, no longer overweight or plump, but just NORMAL. And even though I know my health would not be terribly compromised if I got back up as high as 199 pounds, (and getting healthier was my only goal in losing weight at the beginning of my journey), I fight to keep those extra pounds off. I like being completely normal so much, I hang on to it with all the power I have. I cling to it, I fight for it, I work for it. I love being normal and I don’t want to go back to that even plump woman that 50 more pounds on my body would result in.

I too tried lots of drugs, although not as many as you. Most of mine were over the counter type drugs, because I was too embarrassed to ask my doctor about any pills. Alli scares me, I had enough bowel problems without taking drugs like Alli, which evidently exacerbate those kinds of things.

I’m glad you seem to have found an answer to your cravings. I’m still looking for mine.
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ErinB February 4, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you. Just because my addiction is not drugs or drink, doesn’t mean it’s not killing me.


Jane February 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Amen sister! Sugar is definetly the evil one for my body. Thank you for always putting it out there. Till you started writing about it I thought I was the only one with this problem.


Linda Kuil February 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Cakes and cookies and chocolate are my downfall as well. Chips and crackers could rot in my cabinet, as long as I had my loves on the shelves next to them. I still have a small problem with them.
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Amanda February 4, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Once again, you absolutely nailed it! I am going to share this post with my husband, as he is one of those “moderation” pushing people. That just won’t work for me, as crazy as it sounds. I am glad that I am not “crazy” alone! Other people feel the same way, that it would be easier to go without sugar, than try to regulate it.


Alisa cutler February 4, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Hi Holly,

I am trying to quit sugar also. Do you eat any fruit or vegetables that have natural occuring sugars? I am struggling,
As to what to eat! What is a daily meal like for you? You are remarkable. Much admiration from me. ;).


Holly from 300 Pounds Down February 4, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Hi Alisa! I am going to post something this week I think more in detail about what I eat. I hope that will help!


Joyce February 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I’ll be waiting too. So glad you’ll be posting it. Yesterday, after reading your blog, I stopped eating the obvious stuff: cookies, white bread, etc. but what about that protein drink that I have? And what about my Yogplait Lite that I eat. But figured I’ll start with what I know and go from there. Thank you for inspiring me/ us.


Holly from 300 Pounds Down February 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm

I drink atkins protein shakes b/c they have about 1 g of sugar and maybe 1-2 carbs. I can’t eat yogurt b/c of the sugar. Not any kind that exists. Not even greek yogurt which is a great source of protein but still kills me on sugar. Basically I don’t eat anything with over 4 grams of sugar per serving. I spend a lot of time reading labels and then putting things back on the shelf. For every 100 things I pick up I probably have to put back 99. If only everything did not have to be so covered in sugar!


Joyce February 6, 2013 at 12:37 am

Thanks – saved me some time looking for the non-existing yogurt. So are you on Atkins? I just checked milk out and it’s pretty high in sugar. Have you omitted dairy? You don’t need to reply if you’re short on time but was hoping to find out in the info that you’ll be posting. Also, for the times that you eat something questionable and then you wait to see how it affects you – how long before you start feeling ‘it’? And what do you feel? Sluggish? Depressed? Or ?
Thanks Holly.

Valerie February 4, 2013 at 8:39 pm

I have a big problem with sugar too, and unfortunately for me, I cannot handle artificial sweeteners at all. As in, they give me a raging headache, make me nauseous, and do a number on my GI tract. Do artificial sweeteners ever affect you negatively? I remember you saying that Atkins shakes have been very helpful in your journey. I drank two of them yesterday, and was laid out for the whole day. Maybe I’m sensitive to artificial sweeteners because I almost never consume them? I was definitely disappointed when the Atkins shakes didn’t work out for me.


Holly from 300 Pounds Down February 4, 2013 at 9:28 pm

So far I have not had a problem with artificial sweeteners but I have heard many people do. I am so sorry that is happening to you. I know there must be an alternative out there somewhere!


Loretta February 4, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Hi Valerie,
If you are interested in trying stevia, I did a post all about that a while back, where I put together all my info and links on one page. If you use it sparingly, it might give you a little sweetness, without the side effects of the artificial sweeteners.
Hope this helps,
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Marjolein February 4, 2013 at 11:27 pm

I agree with you on the sugar feeling. I am fine as long as I don’t have any. The minute I eat a piece of candy, I can easily eat the whole bag! So now I just eat fruit, sweet and has fiber. Thank you for your posts, they are super encouraging.


Michelle W. February 5, 2013 at 12:50 am

Yes, this is very true for me and you’re right about the addictive properties and how they’re pretty much the same as for drugs or alcohol.
It’s a shame that society makes us sugar addicts feel like there’s something wrong with our self-control and yet they fully recognize that a drug or alcohol addict needs sheltering from the thing they’re addicted to.
Really good post…so nice to know that I’m not alone in my addiction.


Florence February 5, 2013 at 1:35 am

Yes! I have lost 25 pounds on Weight Watchers. I think it is a good program for me. However, I have learned that I just can’t eat sugar. It makes me crave more and more and more. I am fine on my WW program as long as I scrupulously avoid sugar. But if I eat just a little, it really messes with my mind and I can’t think of anything but getting something else sweet.
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Margaret aka The Brown Recluse February 5, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I agree…sugar is an addictive drug for some of us. I was just blogging today about giving up saying “I can’t,” because we can, indeed, give up sugar! What a difference it makes!
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Margaret Rogers February 20, 2013 at 8:13 pm

I agree with every word you have written here… everything. I too started this journey at 417 lbs and was crazily addicted to sugar. I had to have it. Even when I started eating healthy I still had ice cream and sweet treats. The only thing I gave up was chocolate because that was the worst for me. Slowly my tastebuds changed and I began craving fruit in the place of sugar. In January I did a spiritual fast on which we were allowed no sugar, that was the end point for me. I still eat bread but I find that which has the lowest sugar content and it’s only an occasional treat. I noticed that my energy has increased, my joints don’t ache as much and my moods swings are quite as bad. Sugar is like a drug to some of us and we have to avoid it.
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down February 6, 2013 at 3:27 pm

I do not drink milk at all b/c of the high sugar content. There is a milk that I buy called Mootopia and it has half the amount of sugar. I buy it for the kids but I still do not drink it b/c it still has 6 grams per serving. Atkins is basically what I follow. Low carb/low sugar. I drink atkins shakes. I do my own version but Atkins basically covers it 🙂


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