I had a sobering moment in my car today. While I was poking around in my glove box I came across an old candy wrapper. I sat holding it, having flashes of the me up until 3months ago. The sugar binger. The sugar hider. The sugar sneaker. I would eat my candy in my car, usually within minutes of leaving the store. I ate it quickly and I ate it all. A fleeting moment of bliss and then the guilt would beat down on me like a hammer.
When I refer to sugar as my drug, I am not being cute. I mean it to my core. Sugar ruled my thoughts, sabotaged my healthy eating, and made me hate myself. I was addicted. I was a bitch when I wanted something sweet and couldn't find any. I would eat other things to try to curb the cravings; that never worked. When I would get what I wanted I would binge on it, including ODing on chocolate cake until I was sick. I am not the only one. I am not the only person who has found the only way to stop themselves from eating sugar is to pour salt, soap, or Windex on it.
I had to come to terms with my addiction when it was seriously interfering with my health. If I did not quite sugar, it would be the thing that was going to make me very sick. Women with PCOS are wired to crave sugar due to having insulin resistance. Drastic highs and lows in blood sugar can cause mood swings, cravings, weight gain, fatigue, and depression. The huge risk in feeding the craving for sugar is the high risk of diabetes, stoke, and heart disease. I was walking a path of destruction. It did not matter that I was happy with the number of the scale and my pants still fit; on the inside I was destroying myself. Reality check time.
So, just like a drug addict or alcoholic, I asked for help with my addiction. I found what I needed by way of support and understanding. I woke up one day and never touched sugar again. The first week was horrible. I was a bitch. I was short with everyone and nothing would make me happy. I stayed strong, motivated by my own health and well being. All the research had sunk in and I wanted to be free from this poison. I detoxed from my drug of choice and I survived and no one died.
I came out on the other side free from cravings and binge eating. I had made peace with my body. I promised to no longer abuse my body and to only care for it with loving thoughts and healthy foods. I found great dessert recipes that not only satisfy but are so much better than the junk I was eating prior to my change. I have found myself happier and more stable in mood swings. I am happy with myself. I am proud of the adult I am working hard to become. I am not a victim of my addiction. I forgive my body for what it does with sugar due to my PCOS and now I make accommodations for my body and nourish myself.
Here are a few changes I made to break my bond with sugar:
-I do not eat anything with high fructose corn syrup
-No more white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, cane sugar, and sucralose.
-I read labels on EVERYTHING
- if I cannot read what is in it, I do not eat it. No more franken foods!
-No more white flour and very little wheat flour
- More fruit and vegetables
- I found Chocolate Covered Katie (google her....you'll love her) for healthy desserts
-I use coconut sugar
-I drink lots of tea, all sorts of flavors. It's my new spurge at the store instead of candy.
-I had to make myself be ok with saying no to everyone. Family or friends. It is not personal. Sugar items to me are like putting drugs in front of a recovering drug user. I had to be ok with being open about why I am making the choices I make.
-I made connections online. PCOS websites filled with stories just like mine. I am not alone. That helps.
The most important change I made was realizing this is about my health and well being. Sugar will not be the thing that beats me! I eat for my health and not a number on a scale any more. Weight is not the whole picture of health. I know I have to stay away from sugar. I have eaten it once since I stopped and I had a headache so bad I almost cried. That was all I needed to know! No cupcake is worth that kind of pain!
To read all about my sugar addiction click here
It is a very real addiction!