Sweet Nothings: Overcoming My Sugar Addiction…again

February 9, 2017

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HoneyLine

{my name is missy, and i’m a sugar addict}

Sugar. It is quite possible that sugar is the single most addictive substance on planet Earth. It is certainly my drug of choice.

Sugar is a socially acceptable drug. It is a welcome and expected guest at all birthday parties, arriving dressed as cupcakes with fluffy buttercream hats. (I read a plaque once that said, “A party without cake is just a meeting.” Word.) And nothing quenches the thirst on a hot summer day like a syrupy glass of lemonade or sweet tea (because this is the south after all), or warms us up like those $5 froo-froo coffees oozing with the sweetness of it. Heck! This time of year, there are adorable, 4-foot tall dealers in front of every Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club in the country peddling the stuff in the form of Thin Mints and Tagalongs!

My name is Missy, and I am a sugar addict. I was clean and sober for over 60 days before I fell off the wagon again.  All it takes is one bite.  Just. Like. Drugs.

{sugar kills}

Please do not mistake my satire for deprecation. Addiction has affected my family in very real and painful ways, so I truly am not downplaying the seriousness of addiction. I’m sincere when I compare my addiction to that of a drug addict or alcoholic.

Sugar, along with all its cleverly disguised cousins (high fructose corn syrup and fructose), is a slow, stealthy killer whose effects on the human body are being linked to more and more health problems. I could go on and on about how sugar kills, but here is a link to a great article by Dr. Mercola about metabolic syndrome. I urge you to check it out.

As if sugar weren’t bad enough, we also have access to synthetic sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, and acesulfame potassium, many which have been linked to cancer, multiple sclerosis-like symptoms, and more.

Sorry! I took you down a little medical bunny trail. It’s the nurse in me!

{laying it down again}

Anyhoo…About two weeks before Thanksgiving, my daughter and I decided enough was enough. We were sick and tired of being sick and tired. We began sugar-free lifestyle. It was bold, but we were both at the end of our ropes. And guess what? We not only survived, but we THRIVED!

Together, we made it through the carbotarians favorite holiday of the year! We replaced Granny’s traditional cornbread dressing with cauliflower stuffing. IT. WAS. DELICIOUS! I even had a craving for it a couple weeks ago.

We survived Christmas, too!  But little by little, we both fell back into our old ways.  Just like the crack addict, all it takes is one sweet morsel for the sugar addict to be back out on the street looking for a Girl Scout or standing in line at Starbucks to order a double frappa mocha bullcrap with three shots of syrup and extra whipped cream.

I’m here to say – no scream – I’VE HAD ENOUGH!!!  I’m laying it down again…after I finish this glass of Coca-Cola. But seriously. This is it.

{would you join me?}

Whether you are a sugar addict yourself or just come along for support, I invite you to join me as I journey back to a sugar-free lifestyle. Notice I have not used the word “diet.” That word, in its typical use, seems to imply a temporary change. I’m seeking a lifetime change, hence I’m changing my lifestyle by consuming a diet free of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods (which almost ALWAYS have hidden or not-so-hidden sugars in them.)

I’ve started my meal plan for the next couple of weeks and begun my shopping list. Tomorrow after work, I will head to Sam’s and Market Street to gather the ingredients for those meals, along with great snacks like nuts, cheeses, protein bars (I love Rx Bars!) and more. I’ll meal prep on Sunday and hit the ground running on Monday.

I’d love for you to join me in this journey! We can be accountability partners!

{sweet nothings}

During the first 21 days, I’ll be reteaching my tastebuds to enjoy the flavors of food, so there will be nothing sweet. Even natural sweeteners like honey and stevia are eliminated during this phase. It sounds like the stuff of nightmares to an addict like me, but trust me…once you get past the first four or five days, it’s really not that bad.

 

The journey begins Monday, February 13. In my typical attitude of martyrdom, the day before a holiday typically observed with chocolate. We can do it!

{the rewards}

One thing I noticed in the couple of months during which I wasn’t putting poison into my body…so many people commented on how good I looked!  They weren’t saying “You look pretty,” but rather noticed that I had a healthy glow about me.  And I did! I looked like I felt, and I felt GREAT!  That’s one of the greatest rewards!

Staying healthy so I can have more moments like this:

Minnie and Langley

I’ve also managed to dodge the metabolic syndrome bullet for 50 years and plan to keep doing so. The reward of great health is far sweeter than even the most savory dessert!

Let’s do this!

All the sweetness I need!

 

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