Confessions of a (“healthy”) Sugar Addict
For many years I’d been a somewhat healthy eater. When my kids were young, and my oldest child (then 9-10) was shown to be hypoglycemic, for his sake, I began learning to cook from scratch. I learned about growing a garden, eating organic and in season, and also about real foods and avoiding the boxed and processed stuff. I learned about whole grains and healthy oils, butter v. margarine, and about the “low-fat” lie. I learned about glass being better than plastic, and about the purported evils of the microwave.
Yet, we weren’t independently wealthy….. Nor was my husband entirely on board with it all. So I chose to do the things that were most important and to do the rest as the budget did or didn’t allow, week by week.
We ditched the vegetable/hydrogenated oils. Switched from chemical-laden margarine to real butter. Made sure to get farm fresh eggs and raw milk. I learned to can and dry foods.
So we were “healthier” eaters… But still. I cheated. Rather often. ?
Yes, I’d learned about the evils of white sugar, but learning things doesn’t always equate to having them truly change. Truth to tell, I was addicted to sweets. I didn’t eat as much as some, but I ate enough. For way too many years, I NEEDED a sugar hit every day in some form.
As we continued to learn about eating healthier, we made the switch from white sugar to raw sugar which was a little better since it was less processed and still had some of the nutrient-rich molasses in it. We stopped eating store bought stuff and learned to make our own sweet stuff. Cookies, and muffins, and cakes, etc. Again, that was a little better, but still…. I was addicted to sugar.
…My body craved it. I fasted from it occasionally to keep it under control, but mostly that was just me living an illusion, for I gave in regularly to the temptation and call of those sugary treats. And they do seductively “call” to you, btw.
You know, you can’t physically abuse your body with any addictive substance without paying a price eventually. And what you do in your youth affects you later on. How I wish now that I’m over 50 that I’d been more wise and more my own person in my 20’s-40’s instead of finding my identity in food and people, and in the acceptance of what was marketed as popular.
Sure, from my 30’s on I was on the edges of healthy. And I WAS eating healthier than most people around us. So, I justified it. A treat here and there was okay as long as I ate healthy otherwise. Still, I didn’t really see myself for what I was. I was a sugar addict. A junkie. Just as surely as if I were addicted to weed, meth, or alcohol.
And most Americans are just like me.
Over half the American public are diabetics. There’s so much fatness everywhere (and I’m not judging cuz I was in that group too). Really take a minute to look around you when you’re out and about in public and you’ll see what I mean. We tend to just overlook it and treat it as normal, but even as few as 20 years ago it wasn’t like this. Yet, let’s keep that in perspective too….many (most?) skinnier folks don’t eat any better than the fat people; the only difference is that their metabolism is higher and so the weight stays off, and so outwardly they seem better off. But many are just as addicted and just as unhealthy.
I don’t want to leave the impression that diabetes is only about sugar. It’s a multi-faceted problem with many triggers, with hyped-marketing and greedy money-makers being part of the cause. But one cannot deny that sugar addiction is rampant.
Yes, I’ve overcome my diabetes…. But I’m still an addict. In remission maybe, but still a sugar junkie.
Yes, I’ve learned to think about sweets very differently and am more careful overall. I do still have times when I indulge, but they’re few and far between now, and carefully controlled. I have overcome diabetes. However, I’m very very aware of the fact that I have to be very very careful to not overdo or I’ll be right back where I was. Addicted again. A diabetic again.
Like an alcoholic who falls off the wagon. Even just one cookie still makes me want more.
Friends, this is where it starts. This is where responsibility starts. This is where overcoming starts. Looking at yourself realistically and being brutally honest and naming your sugar addiction for what it is– an ADDICTION–and learning to think of it that way. Until you own it and take responsibility for it, as with any addiction, you’ll never change it. The best you’ll ever do is cover it up with meds that allow you to stay in the same unproductive loop.
Our diet is wrong. …So, our health is wrong.
What we eat is so important.
Diabetes. Obesity. Depression. Migraines. Autoimmune diseases. Fibromyalgia. Skin issues. PMS. Muscle pain. A host of mystery problems. Etc., etc., etc. So much of our health is directly connected to the food we eat.
Next time we’ll discuss more of the particulars of my diet that helped me go from a 10.1 A1C reading down to a 5.2 in just over a year.
Thanks for listening. ?
Healthy, non-sugary blessings to you! ?
P.S. We’ll be at the Market tomorrow. If you’re local, stop in and say “hey”. 🙂
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