See, for awhile now, I've been having joint pain in my hands. At times, to the point of tears. My joints have swollen 2 or 3 times the 'normal' size. When I could cut down on my sugar consumption, it would get better. And no, I haven't been to the doctor. And yes, I know that I probably should get checked out.
But lately, my stress level has been through the roof. It's just been a combination of things - personal matters, life in general, too much stress on myself, feeling of inadequacy, lonely, and the list and stress contributors go on and on.
But what I've found is that one candy bar (or serving of ice cream a day) isn't enough. I started consuming 2 (or more). My kid size ice cream turned into a small with a kid size to go and even having Hubby stop on his way home to get more. (He of course didn't know about the previous consumption during the day) What I used to consume isn't enough. I now want more. I've found myself 'hiding' to eat sweets because I don't want anyone to know.
People this behavior is NOT normal. This is not the normal eating of sweets (or any food). This is an abnormal simply put out of control behavior.
And today in a particularly stressful moment (aka Hubby was getting on my last nerve), I drove down the road bought a hot fudge sundae (and not the smallest size) along with a quart of ice cream to go. It was at that moment as I drove home that I had to be real with myself - I am truly addicted to sugar. I was simply eating this because I was upset and needed something to 'make me feel better'. And this treat that I allowed myself (hence the name of my blog) is no longer a treat but a crutch.
And the quantities of sugar that I am consuming on a daily basis is astounding. This week alone I not only had sweets every day, but I had it multiple times a day. One day this week my entire food consisted of nothing but candy bars, ice cream and Pita chips. I wish I was making this up, but I'm not.
Did you know there are actually treatment programs for sugar addiction? And although it's 'just a candy bar or serving of ice cream', if my behavior toward it is the same as an alcoholic would be toward alcohol, well it's a pretty strong addiction. And this is where I am at this point. Enjoying a sweet treat is definitely different than needing the 'high' that comes from the dopamine that is released in the brain. ("Under select dietary circumstances, sugar can have effects similar to a drug of abuse." is a quote taken from this article Daily bingeing on sugar repeatedly releases dopamine)
So what's the next step? Beginning tomorrow I plan to do the beginning of the Sugar Smart Diet by Prevention . I bought this book back in December, and earlier this year I tried to do the first phase of eliminating sugar. But I didn't make it past day 2 - partly because it was hard, but also because I really didn't think that I had a 'true' problem. I don't believe in total elimination of food groups (and that was another reason why I didn't stick with this).
For 6 days you eliminate all sugars including fruits (which is the part that I don't agree with doing). But I understand the science and the reason behind it. The thought is to 'reset' your sugar threshold, especially if it's severely out of whack like mine currently is. After 6 days then you add back fruits etc. So it's only 6 days that you are totally eliminating fruits. In fact, with this book you gradually add back sugars (even sweet treats) as the month progresses.
But for now I'm focusing on the tomorrow and the beginning of the next 6 days. I know that the detox will be difficult both mentally and physically. But I also know that my relationship with food (sugar in particular) isn't healthy and it's impacting my life. And it's time that I took control.
So why am I telling you this? Well, because it's my blog and I can write what I want to ;) ha. But mainly because I need to come clean - with myself - with my readers (thank you Mom since you might be the only one reading this).
Will I enjoy sweets in my future? I hope so. But I hope to do so with a healthy mindset. At this point, that is not where I am.
So wish me luck as I start my sugar detox tomorrow. I hope in 6 days from now I am in a better place than where I am now.
(*Oh and totally unrelated, I had already planned to double up at the gym with adding in strength, extra cardio and yoga to my routine - so please don't think I'm doing that because of the sugar detox). Since I've decreased my running mileage, I had planned to supplement my running with cross training, strength training, and yoga).
Time for some tough love. I have a sugar addiction, and it's time that I took action.