Balancing Val

Sweet! . . . Not Really

Posted on: September 21, 2010

I’m pretty sure I was some how able to convince myself that I’m NOT addicted to sugar. When I ate it it wasn’t in huge amounts and I had a good amount of control over it.

I think the convincing came from my restricting days when I was trying to tell myself things were ok when they weren’t. Trying to convince myself that 2 workouts a day 6 days a week was normal. Trying to convince myself I wasn’t a failure for not eating something CLEAN.

Somehow, here and NOW I have ended up . . .

Addicted To Sugar! šŸ˜ˆ

Ok, admittedly I don’t do that . . . often

I’ve been trying to trace it back to my roots and I remembered some interesting stuff while digging around. Sugary snacks and desserts were ALWAYS available in my house. I never remember a dinner where we didn’t have anything sweet afterward.

“Finish your food, or no dessert!”

I always made sure I finished everything so I got to have it, no matter what it was. It got to be such a habit, that I would do the same thing with lunch. If I didn’t WANT lunch but was craving something sweet, I’d make sure I’d eat something just so I would have an excuse as to why I was ‘allowed’ to have a snack. But then as I got older, I started using dessert as a reward for other things like getting through a day of school (hellllloooooop gushers), being sad, being excited, getting a good grade. It’s clear now that it’s ingrained in my head that sugar equals reward.

Even now, I find myself wanting something sweet after every meal. It’s almost as if it’s innate now. I’ll eat lunch and have a small bowl of cereal. Or ill make sure there is some sort of cookie or something ready for after dinner. I pour agave on oats or in coffee. I’ll open the fridge looking for something sweet as soon as I get out of work just because.

I don’t blame my parents at all. They were just trying the best they could to make sure we got all of our veggies and normal food in. It’s what their parents did. Plus, they wanted to make us happy and that’s what worked.

So how does adult Val feel now?

Scared.

I’m honestly scared now. I’ve only ever given up sugar completely once in my life at the beginning of this year when I was doing a 2 week cleanse where all I ate was fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. For the first 3 days, I was a completely different person. Groggy, foggy, depressed, zero energy, horrid headache. It was a HUGE wake up call, or so I thought. After those days passed and my body got used to running on foods with actual life in them, and I felt AWESOME! Tons of energy, focus and i slept great too. But after the cleanse I resorted back to my old eating habits because I didn’t feel a good enough reason to keep going. I guess it wasn’t a big enough wake up call?

Here’s the point plain and simple. Sugar makes me feel awesome for a tiny bit of time, then it makes me feel like garbage for way longer. I am not the best I can be when I eat sugar like this. Sugar makes me want more sugar. Sugar eaten in this way screws with my goal to eat intuitively.

An unhealthy body wants to keep an an unhealthy body.

A healthy body wants to keep a healthy body.

I’ve picked my poison, and it’s the sweet stuff.

I had another wake up call yesterday. I didn’t eat much in the morning or really the day before that. I started to feel like sugar withdrawal Val that was explained above. I reached in the drawer at work for a half packet of coconut m&ms and I instantly felt better. One hour later, every life sucking symptom was creeping back in.

I flashed to a vision of future self Val scarfing down a sugar loaded cupcake on the streets of NYC trying to get some energy and at the same time trying to reward herself before school. I saw her completely crash during class and not give her all. I saw opportunities missed. THIS was a wake up call.

I don’t want to be addicted to sugar. For once in my life, its more important for me to feel good steadily then feel good for 15min and CRASH and be desperately needing more to function.

I know sugar has its time and place, but it’s time to take a REAL stand against it. My health and my future is more important. For now on I am going to stop being so sloppy with sugar and stop thinking I’m fine and that I can handle it. I’m going to ask for help from my body in telling me what it really wants here even though it may be clouded from years of sugar-washing.

It’s good to finally have a reason.

If you struggle with this too, you may want to check out the FREE teleconference led by Christie about sugar and its place in intuitive eating on Thursday 9/30/10 @ 7pm. She has limited spots available and I took one of them so CLICK HERE and go sign up now!

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6 Responses to "Sweet! . . . Not Really"

Thanks for the shout out about my teleclass!!

No problem! I know there are many others out there that struggle with this so Im hoping there’s a good group so we can all learn a lot!

Your description used to fit me to a “T.” I craved sweet foods after meals (especially if I ate a rich meal) and I used to feel very guilty about these cravings. Pretty much my whole adult life I would “treat” myself with something sweet. I remember when I would be preparing to study and I would buy a pint of ice cream or a couple of candy bars to “help” and within 20 minutes it would be all gone and I wouldn’t even remember tasting it.

Your description of eating a cupcake for energy right before classes? That was me last year eating cookies and baked goods because I “deserved” it and my life was super rough. (A little bit of that was me being in denial about making peace with food at the same time.)

Good for you for realizing now how you want to be before life gets crazy instead of trying to fix everything when you are under a lot of pressure!

Wow, at the end of this I was going to recommend Christie’s class but you beat me to it! I have huge issues with sugar too. As I read this, I am munching on a dish of M&M’s, the ultimate “gimme more!” candy.
Sugar messes us up, but I can’t imagine life without chocolate chip cookies or cheesecake. What’s a dessert lover to do?

I hear ya! Did you ever try the coconut ones? Yum!

By no means do I want to give it up completely AT ALL. I just want to be in a comfortable place where I choose my health over something that will make me feel like garbage the majority of the time.

I feel like I definetly took a step in the right direction finally though šŸ™‚

I love that you are going to ask your body what it really needs instead. Dr. Karen Wolfe described a craving for sweet food as also a need to boost serotonin levels… but that our bodies are addicted to it much like any other addiction. In studies, the same light pattern lights up in the brain whether we are filling a shopping addiction, sex addiction, alcholol addiction, sugar addiction, binging addiction, etc….. this floored me! Awareness is always key and I see you have it! šŸ™‚ I wish you the best. Janelle

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    • Ayla: My easiest dinner recipe? PB + banana sandwich. Takes 2 minutes which makes me a very happy girl.
    • kristisn: Yum! That looks like a great dinner.
    • Kate D: After two scarring experiences stuck in big city rush hour traffic (facing the wrong direction) while on vacation with my parents I totally understand

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