Balancing Val

Posts Tagged ‘Sugar

Yep that’s true. I overate.

Let me rephrase that . . . Yesterday, I MINDFULLY overate. To be fair, I didn’t exactly set myself up for success from the beginning.

I was cramping pretty bad before work. When that happens, my appetite drains out like a sieve. So, all I brought to work was my spinach protein smoothie and nothing else. I immediately regretted that decision as my pain went away and my hunger started raging.

Caroline took me to lunch about 6 hours later. I had a Monte cristo wrap with fries and a cup of cream of potato soup. I didn’t eat all of it, but I definitely was bordering a 7 on the hunger scale by the end.

We went to Target before we had to be back at work, and we picked up some Halloween candy for our stash. Our stash included these babies . . .

Yes, PUMPKIN SPICE hershey kisses. They speak for themselves šŸ˜‰

I spent the rest of the work day eating sugary candy. Each time I took some, I was absolutely conscious that I wasn’t physically hungry for it.

So, what was the result? . . . .

Obviously, I felt like shit. I had a headache, felt sluggish, and just had an overall sense of heaviness that I haven’t had in a couple weeks. I wasn’t a fan.

I’ll tell you what I didn’t feel though . . . .


I honestly didn’t. I ate out of pure boredom and I ate for taste. But I am learning that it’s ok!

It’s not the end of the world if I overeat. Overeating every once in a while is not a problem. In fact, its perfectly acceptable . . . . Really!

A problem arises when:

A: you overeat without being present (aka bingeing)
B: you overeat HABITUALLY

I always knew this, but sometimes it takes a while for something to resonate enough with me to embark changing my belief patterns. When I gave up dieting in favor of intuitive eating, I still held myself in a diet frame. Yes, eating intuitively 24/7 generally means you wouldn’t overeat anymore ever. So, when I called myself an intuitive eater and overate . . . I felt like a failure once again. It was easier to blame the process then myself.

The difference is that NOW I am conscious of the effects of overeating, especially sugar, and I don’t enjoy it whatsoever. I’d rather have more days of feeling energized then not. It’s worth it to me now.

I know that everything I am learning is serving as a non linear guideline. A guideline that gives me structure . . . but allows me to fill in my own rules based on what works for ME.

I realized that I tried to be a perfect intuitive eater this whole time. My diet mentality still found it’s way to wrap itself around a concept built so far away from dieting.

But you know what? . . . .

I now believe there is NO such thing as a perfect intuitive eater. More importantly, I also now truly believe that this is ‘perfectly’ ok.

How do you feel when you overeat?

I came upon an interesting thought yesterday, and I want to see what you think.

As you may have read in my Intuitive Eating Series #2, I decided against having a cup of coffee in the morning. I knew that if I had it, I wouldn’t like it because I didn’t have the necessary half and half.

I acquired some half and half that very night and this morning, it was ALL I was craving. And I mean that literally. Lately, I have been drinking a green smoothie (I’m sorry, I just can’t call them green monsters for some reason) EVERY MORNING for the past week. In fact, I think that it is one of the reasons I have felt more energized lately. This morning however, I did not want one at all. I asked my body AND my mind and it STILL didn’t want it. I actually even set up the ingredients to make a small one but all I could think about was the coffee.

Here’s the thing . . . Had I not bought that half and half yesterday, would I have been craving my smoothie?

Are some cravings simply based on what we have available?

Or is it possible that my body was phantom craving the 2 dangerous intuitive mind tricks . . . Caffiene and Sugar?

This isn’t the only time this has happened though. A lot of times my cravings are based on what the situation is. Or like the times I’m hungry but can’t eat what I want.

Have you ever had this happen? What is your take on the situation?

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?


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!

    • 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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