Posted by: cmittermeier | April 22, 2016

Quitting Sugar… Again

As proud as I am of my sister’s award winning cupcakes (yes, she actually has a blue ribbon), I am not sure I will ever be able to eat another one.  In the words of my nutritionist, “you’ve got to consider sugar as if it were crack cocaine”.

In the first part of the visit, I was okay.  I think.  I had a couple at the wedding, a few the day of the present opening, though already the cravings were starting to come.  I had not fully prepared for the fact that with a house full of company there would be dessert after dinner every day.  By the time we left I was looking forward to the four days without any sweets in the car, hoping it would break the cycle.  Problem is, I didn’t have four days in the car without sweets!  There was the small amount she sent home with us, and, I had bought small bags of chips for the boys (which of course I couldn’t resist).  By the time we got back, I was doomed.  The cycle had started again.

Now, somehow I just gained a pound, but it would not be long before I would have gained a lot more.  Instead being the house without dessert, every night I was searching out something.  It started with dates, dark chocolate – and then it moved into the frozen chocolate cake leftovers…  I was in serious trouble, and I knew it. Food had control, not me.

My nutritionist has put me on what I call five days of withdrawl.  No simple sugars, no starchy vegetables, and (dramatic pause) no grains.  I am not going to avail you with my tale of woe, there are plenty of articles already on the pain of breaking up with sugar.  It changes your mood, your outlook, and I am not immune to this…

But, as I go through this AGAIN, I’m faced with the merry-go-round review.  God has been with me through this all, and very coincidently, he has set a number of things up so I didn’t ignore this aspect. 

How many times do I have to eat stuff like this and fall into the addiction only to have to break it painfully?  Though I have often heard it said people with food addictions are not like other addictions (say to drugs or alcohol) because they can’t go cold turkey, I have been questioning that as I deal with the unhealthy desires floating through my brain between grumpy outbursts.

I cannot go without food, but, there is a difference between food and sweets in much the same way there is a difference between pop and water.  One is essential to life, the other damages it.  For whatever reason, even a few short days with very small desserts was enough to put me at the mercy of cravings.  Just as I had decided to never drink pop again, I think I have to put the foot down and say good bye to the ultra refined sweets.  Sugar and I need to say good-bye – forever.

Even as I type this the rebellion in me grows.  You can’t do that!  Go in moderation!  Etc., and I know the rebellion is coming just from the cravings because I didn’t say good-bye to desert, to cake, not even to icing.  What I’m saying good-bye to is using refined sugar and excessive amounts of unhealthy fats.  I have made my favourite chocolate cake with dates instead of sugar and it was satisfying, but easy to stop after a slice.  There are many options for icing – from fruit based, to honey whipped cream (much less fat than butter) just to mention two.  I have a few ice cream recipes as well, and there are a tonne of puddings.  I will not be lacking in desserts if I say a final good bye to sugar.  

The difference between a healthier option and the sugar and fat ones is that moderation IS possible for me with them.  I have proven that many times over, in much the same way I prove to myself that even small amounts of sugar is enough to start me craving.  In theory, yes, I may one day change my gut bacteria, or some other biological factor that would allow me to be moderate with refined sugar – but I have to live with the body I have.

So, good-bye old all refined sugar.  Time to fully embrace real food, all the time, even in dessert.

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