Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Spilling the Jelly Beans



See that picture right up there?
It literally makes my mouth water. 
I have to keep swallowing whilst I'm typing this.

If you've been a reader for any length of time - you've known about my weight struggles - I've been very open about them.

I'm here to say, that I still struggle.
I gained back 40 plus pounds during the nightmare of last year.
Now, I just have 25lbs to lose again.
And it will be lost.
It's definitely not something that is 'once and done'.

Food is an integral part of our lives.  It's our culture, it's our memories, it's our celebrations.
The dangerous part is when it becomes our friend, our comfort, our lover - or - our addiction.

I've had a very unhealthy relationship with food - a very unhealthy body image.  A couple of years ago
I felt like I 'got it' - like I was really on a roll with things - eating fabulous healthy food and it made me feel terrific.  But I was SO focused on the scale, so focused on what size pants I was wearing.
It was mortifying, debilitating and embarrassing to feel my pants getting tight once again.

  I have to say - I eat the way I eat now because it is a healthy way to live.  My thoughts as I fill up my grocery cart with pure, whole, real food - fruits, veggies, good quality meats - my thoughts are 'I don't want to die before my time' 'I want to feel good' 'I want to have energy' 'I don't want to get cancer'.

I really rarely think about my waist size.
I believe that it will take care of itself as long as I continue to eat this way.

I went from a size 26 to a size 4.
(the photo to the right is me in a size 8)
I mean - seriously - that's phenomenal.
But guess what?  I still felt fat.  I thought my thighs were flabby and my upper arms Aunt Bea like.
I was making peace with it though, and realized how twisted my thinking was when a friend asked me 'how did you feel at a size 4?' - and I replied 'I felt like I was getting there'.
I'm 5'8" and I was in a size 4.  What did I want to be?  A zero?
Getting there?  Did I want to evaporate?
I also thought my head looked much too thin and my ears stuck out.
My breasts were the size of kiwis.
Past their prime kiwis at that.
I think I should have stopped at a size 8.

Little people, why can't we just love ourselves?

I've openly said in the past that I'm a food addict - I'd like to clarify that today.

I'm a sugar addict.

The definition of addiction via Dictionary.com

ad·dic·tion

  
noun
the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physicallyhabit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.
Origin: 
1595–1605;  < Latin addicti┼Źn-  (stem of addicti┼Ź a giving over, surrender. See addict-ion


I have no trouble whatsoever saying 'no thank you' to an extra helping of sauteed broccoli.
I can stop at one sweet potato.
I don't have an emotional attachment to cauliflower - although it's one of my favs.

But sugar? Or anything sugary?
Hold on.
I have no control, none whatsoever.
I go into a trance and I eat it til there is no more to eat.

I was so fooling with myself thinking that I could have a little here and there.  
I was fooling myself thinking that I could sweeten my tea without consequence.
And sweeten my tea I did.  I ate perfectly all the live long day - but just drank tea, and a lot of it - each mug had a heaping teaspoon of 'raw sugar' or honey.  So basically - my tea was like a hummingbird feeder.

Now, for some of you - this will sound familiar - and for others - perhaps the lucky ones - you'll find it ridiculous.

I couldn't be trusted in a drug store alone.
I needed to 'psych' myself up before I went anywhere alone.
The pull to Dairy Queen, Starbucks, or anywhere that sold my 'drug' of choice was such a temptation.

I would tell myself I could have one 'treat' a week.
Really, a treat?
Something that kills me - is a treat - I'm not even going to go there right now.

My once a week treat turned into five times a week, to five times a day.
Then I'd go cold turkey from sugar and buy some figs and dates, and end up with diarrhea because I would eat whatever I bought all up in one day, or one car ride home from the store.

Then I'd have six oranges in one day.

My brain chemistry was hijacked by sugar.
My brain demanded it - and I succumbed.
I could never last over a week or so.
It.always.won.

The truth is sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine.
The truth is - it was ruining my life.
I was a slave to my cravings.
My moods were affected by it.
I was not living the life I wanted to live.

I've been deep in denial - thinking I could somehow manage my addiction, but it was managing me.
The months of October through April are the worst for sugar addicts.

Good grief - Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter.

Give me a break!

My breaking point came about 2 weeks ago.
I went to Hobby Lobby. 
Alone.

Easter candy abounds.
The sweet, chewy jelly beans.
The soft Peeps.
The creamy nougats ensconced in chocolate.

I bought a half pound bag of jelly beans.
It was gone before I made the 20 minute trip home.
I was eating them as fast as I could - and hating myself with every mouthful.
I literally had no control.
I kept telling myself  'Jesus Jayme - you can have some of these tomorrow- you don't have to eat them all now'.  Ha.  I wish.  The sad truth is that if I had bought a pound bag of them, I would have eaten a pound - the same is true of a 2#, 3# - 10# bag.  However, the 10# bag may have lasted more than a day.

So, right then and there - I knew I was in some deep sh*t.
I knew I had just set myself up for a few days depression, bloating, brain fog, and general self loathing.

I went cold turkey.
Hard core cold turkey.
Like - what little processed food I do use (like a canned tomato sauce) I read the labels and make sure there is no sugar.  I drink my tea unsweetened.  I don't even trust myself with honey for the moment.  It's been two weeks since I've had a grain of sugar.   

I'm here to tell you the first few days were hell.
Drinking my beloved Tazo Awake tea without sugar?
What's the point of living?
I felt that I would have done shameful things for a Snickers bar.

But - I got through it.
Now...when I eat that orange?
It tastes like candy.

Oh - and I only allow myself one fruit a day.
Figs aren't allowed at the moment.
I'm a bit over dates - so I'm safe there.

My head has cleared, my mood stabilized.
I'm sleeping like a log, I've lost weight.
I don't have that bloated feel - my mind is sharper.
I have a lot of energy, and in general - everything in my life is much better.

I take it one day at a time.  I never want to get cocky again and think 'I got this'.
So far today-I've been sugar free.
I plan on going to bed tonight saying the same.

I feed myself real food three times a day, sometimes I have a snack.
It's always real food.  Protein, veggies.
I really enjoy my food - it's delicious!
I refuse to graze anymore - and I don't eat a few hours before bed.

I tell myself I'm beautiful no matter what size I am.
I like my life better sugar free.

I baked Glenco and Aaron some gluten free peanut butter cookies - and they smelled divine.
There was just a moment of a temptation - but it wasn't bad at all.
It wasn't demanding like it had been in the past.
I was in control.

For today - I'm just not willing to give up my life, my happiness, my well being, my health, and more importantly - my joy - 
for a flipping cookie.

If you feel that you struggle with this - I'd be more than happy to talk to you - support you in anyway I can.
Please feel free to write.
Seriously - life is much too short for this foolishness!

If you are one of the lucky, blessed, fortunate ones that doesn't struggle with a sugar addiction, please get on your knees right now and thank your Maker.

Amen.



24 comments:

  1. Yep!!! It's never once and done at least not in my world.

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  2. Hello. My name is Janie and I am a sugar addict. I cannot even do a little. It haunts me if I do. I refuse to go back to my unhealthy, fat ways. Because I was miserable. and felt awful. But I hear ya...never done. Never got it. I just keep taking it a day at a time. My weight goes up and down but I am committed to eating well and moving my body. Longevity runs in my family and I plan to spend those later years healthy and active...not sick and popping pills.

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  3. Oh my dear...I am right there with you. I can't just stop with one...anything... Proud of you for sharing. You are still helping others, Miss Jayme!

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  4. Sugar gets me every single time. Good for you, speaking about it here. It helps me focus on taking better care of myself.

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  5. At the beginning of January I had to have emergency gal bladder surgery. The doctors ran all kinds of tests. Every body started asking me if I was diabetic? My sugar level was out of this world! I told them I had been eating lots of cookies over the holidays. Even doughnuts! They thought...sure she did. It was the truth. Sugar is like crack once your start eating eat it takes over your brain. I was re checked 10 days later I was in the normal range. It's a constant struggle. I get totally understand.

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  6. I don't have a sugar addiction but I do have one for salt which is just as bad. Usually just a once a month craving. I detest being 'enslaved' by anything.

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  7. Jayme, I laughed about your mouth watering. But believe me I know the struggles of losing weight. I know all the right things to do....but doing them is another story. I like sugar also. I wish I could do better. I've tried it all. I am planning on losing some weight for a couple weddings coming up. I wish you blessings, xoxo,Susie

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  8. First, sorry this is lengthy, but you hit a nerve with this post.....Wow! I don't think I was ever a size 4, except for my late teens. Geez Jayme! I have to say I have been proud of myself, up until the last two years. Four kids, all the weight gain and loss. I was usually a womans 8. I am gonna say it now though... ..Menopause sucks!!! I would take back my monthly in a heartbeat. Insane right? But with all the hormone flux and yes sugar all the more being tougher to process in this ol' body of mine, I can say I have hit a wall this last year. At age 50 and 51, I was full of energy and on top of my game. Sporting a Junior size 12 jeans. Then as time came to age 55, I could keep the weight off with regular exercise (Curves) and a once to twice a week zumba class. Oh, my tummy was flat, and could eat my treats. Then this last year it just got harder and harder. My energy wasn't there. I struggled. The goodies, starbucks, Mcd's coffee drink were my fix. Mind you not everyday happenings, but enough for my body to just start saying "Baby...you need to work twice as hard to stay in these 10's and 12's." Pooh!! Downton was even so much more enjoyable with my tea with honey and a couple of good cookies. Candy, well, I go in spurts. Soda is not even in the house except for occasionally having ginger ale or sprite. I don't even care for can coke anymore. Well, enough babbling. I get ya girl...but I have to say I have never had a bag of candy at my side while driving, mine was a coffee drink, with as many calories though. Your not alone Jaymes....I think a food diary is a great idea. I am now keeping track of what I put in my mouth. Exercise is a struggle right now with this Polar Vortex frick'n winter. There I said it!! I am considering looking at gym membership again, though I know as a bird is just chirping outside as I type, I will turn into a digging darling, that is if my body will allow me to have the strength. Yes, sugar can be an issue, but just looking at labels now, makes me sad at all the additives. We know its not good for us. I want to enjoy my food and my life. I'm still trying to find a happy medium. So frustrating...Sorry I went on..I get ya girl and you are younger than me. Well, lets say goodbye to winter and let the gardening commence! Come on SPRING!

    Debra



















    Debra

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  9. I've been off sugar AND caffeine for 10 days now. I crave the sugar but I also realize that some of my cravings are conditioned as to activity (reading) and time of day (all afternoon). I can't say that I feel better yet but at least the headaches are gone & that's something, right?!

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  10. Thanks for your honesty in this post....great one. My walking partner and I were talking about addictions, losing weight etc. Many of the points you touched on...sound just like me. I still think after losing over 50# that I still have more areas to lose....my imagine is still distorted.

    My current addition is buying groceries. Like I need to stock up for a famine or I could be house bound for a while. It's kinda' weird as I am still good about what I eat. I think I am a food hoarder! :)

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  11. Well, you and I have talked about this before. I have been sugar-free (again) for 12 days. I am a different person when I am off sugar. I know for sure , without a pinch of doubt, that sugar is my drug of choice. For me a bite is DANGEROUS- it leads me down into the sugar pit and it is harder to get out every single time.

    God bless you for your honesty, Jayme. It helps me stay on track and offers hope to others that are out there struggling and believe that they are alone dealing with eating sugar. xo Diana

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  12. I read an article the other day about Lent and how so many people give up sweets during that time. It suggested that we should instead give up gossip and cranky attitudes. Well, shoot, I was going to give up the bad carbs anyhow, so I just tacked on the gossip and bad attitude, too.
    I had a farewell donut yesterday from a new bakery in town. Mercy, it was good, but I know how much better I am without it. So today is the first day of Lent and I have zipped my lip on the gossip front and have eaten only good protein and veggies so far today. Dinner is already in the fridge. No temptation there.
    Already, I feel better. I will not get on the scale again until Easter, because my actual weight doesn't matter. I want feel so much better and I know I will.
    I'm not really giving up anything for Lent, am I? I am becoming exactly what I am supposed to be. Healthy and kind.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for reminding us that Lent isn't just about giving up things like food, but an opportunity to make a critical examination of how we conduct our lives! Thank you to both you and Jayme for keeping it REAL!

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  13. Don't be so hard on yourself. One day attah time .
    I am so proud of you. A slip up? We all have them.
    Love yourself as you are. You are terrific!

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  14. I don't think I (personally) realize how sugar affects me ...or anybody. I bet IF I did stop cold turkey I would see some results myself. I have lost a lot of weight (for me!) while not really trying it and I feel so much better - because clothes fit better, etc. My deal is the toning and getting out there with the exercise... I'm sure those two things alone would make a HUGE difference even if I only cut back on sugar even more.

    Thankfully - right now - I can say I don't know that I would call me "addicted" - but just your story alone is cause for celebration and I call it pure inspiration... for sure.

    You truly are that!

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  15. I'm also a sugar queen. I eat small portions and never snack on salty, but a little ice cream, a cookie with my tea and sugar in my coffee have packed on 60lbs of weight over the years. I've gained and lost and cannot keep it stable. Sugar is evil and I need to quit it, but i have poor self control. As a matter of interest, do you think it affects sex drive....mine has plummeted?

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  16. Here's a deadly cocktail...I have cystic fibrosis with absorption issues which means I can eat five whole pies in one day and not gain weight. But, I still get the foggy brain, the moodiness, a hurting tummy, and I'm at a greater risk for getting diabetes since cystic fibrosis is a pancreatic disorder just like diabetes is. So...I almost have no outward, visible motivation for cutting sugar out of my diet. I just FEEL terrible on the inside.
    Oh...I totally feel the addiction! My crack is anything baked...bread, cake, cookies, brownies, pie, oh my. None of those things are safe in my house. And I'm an award winning baker! But, other than feeling horrible and knowing I'm cutting my life short, I'm still skinny and looking good from the outside. Just killing myself on the inside.
    I hate sugar. But I love it, too. And then I hate it.
    Arrrgh!

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  17. Oh I didn't want to do it, admit it, face it . . . . still don't . . . but I am one day sugar free, and now it is today. No, just one bite for this gal . . . on and on . . . You get it, you really, really get it.

    You my friend are inspiration for my day two.

    Keep on, keeping on!

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  18. Your self awareness and honesty is admirable. I don't have that kind of struggle, due to a stomach-digestive issue I struggle to keep weight on. But it is important, I think, that no matter the size being healthy is what matters. It seems youre very aware of that. Blessings!

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  19. I have been 'sugar free' for several years now,but still I cannot have chocolate or cookies etc in the house.I am lucky in a way I live alone,so just do not buy,if tempted I talk very firmly to myself about how rotten I will feel if I do eat the sugar.I have found Pita that has no sugar in,and check all things for it.I am 82 and know being sugar and meat free (other than free range chicken and turkey)has helped me stay able to keep up with my 60year old friends.So hang in there,you know you have the 'power' to do it.

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  20. Love your honesty Jayme. I can relate. :(

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  21. Jayme- we are one, sister! I am still fighting the cravings at this point but know I just have to get through this day and tomorrow will take care of itself. If a person has never suffered a sugar addiction they have NO idea what it is like. There is no such thing as just a "taste" of something...or a scoop of something....God bless you for being so open and honest. We have to do that to be willing to change. xo Diana

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  23. oh, you are so right on with all of this. And you are also talking about ME with the sugar addiction. *sigh*. I think I"m gaining on it, but it will always be a battle, I"m sure of it.

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