Monday, 15 June 2015

I am a Sugar Addict

And like most addicts, it's taken me a long time to admit to. 

I think it's been rather obvious to everyone who has known me more than five minutes, and it's probably been obvious to those reading this blog, who have never met me. When I read my posts back now, it's startlingly obvious, and I wonder why it's taken me so long to figure it out myself. 

Even now it's hard to admit to, to really admit to. I can joke about it, and do, all the time. But to actually stand up and say that I think it's more than just a sweet tooth, that I think it's something that is having a negative effect on my life, that is something different altogether. 

It still sounds ridiculous. It's just sugar. It's just something that makes things taste sweet. It has no nutritional value whatsoever. It's just food. 

Except it's not just food when you will drive 10 minutes in the car to get the right ice cream.

Except it's not just sugar when you will buy chocolate in the shop and stuff it down your throat on the short walk home, so you won't have to admit to eating it. 

It's not just food when you choose to skip dinner in favour of a box of After Eights (when your husband is away with work, so won't know about it). 

It's not just sugar when one piece of cake just isn't enough, and even after three pieces you don't feel full and could happily eat more. 

I have done all of these more than once. Many more times than just once. 

I crave sugar most of the time. I'm always trying to work out a way to get to that next piece of chocolate of tub of ice cream. But even a full tub of Ben and Jerrys won't satisfy the craving, and I'm immediately thinking of the next excuse, the next celebration, when I can eat lots of sugar. 

I know it's an addiction because if I stop eating sugar for three days, the cravings stop. At one point, after a Circuit Factory challenge, I actually threw away half a bar of UK made Cadburys Dairy Milk because it tasted too sweet (!!!!!!). 

I know it's an addiction because when I don't eat sugar, I sleep better, I feel like I have more energy, and my skin improves. 

I know it's an addiction because I'm on day one of no sugar and my hands are actually trembling. 

I lost over 4kg on my last Circuit Factory challenge. In the two weeks following, I put on 2kg. By eating cake. By baking and eating more cake than a family of four could eat in a month. 

I have no off switch. My body doesn't even respond to it. When I am eating clean, I feel full. My body seems to recognise the food and signals for me to stop eating when I am full. When I eat sugar, that just doesn't happen. My body doesn't tell me I am full and I can happily eat an entire cake without batting an eyelid. 

I'm getting to the point where I am genuinely concerned for my health. Concerned about what I am doing to my body. And more importantly, what I'm not providing for my body, because I'm eating more sugar than actual food. 

I need to redefine my relationship with food, and with sugar in particular. I need to stop rewarding myself with sugar, and work out another way to treat myself. I need to give it up. 

That last sentence actually makes me sweat slightly. I need to accept that I cannot control my sugar cravings, and so I need to make them stop. The only way to make them stop, to stop eating sugar. 

So I'm on day one, by day four I'll no longer crave sugar. I'll be able to get through my day without feeling like I NEED to go to the shop and buy some chocolate or ice cream or cake. 

But this time I know that sliding back into sugar isn't going to work. I need to quit it, permanently. I feel sick at the idea of not having cake, not having ice-cream again. Ever. 

Am I being too severe? Possibly, but I suspect I'm not. I have a really bad suspicion that I am never going to be able to gain control of my sugar cravings, while still indulging. 

I have a thyroid problem (which leaves me at much higher risk of diabetes), I have suspected PCOS and I have a sugar addiction. I'm likely to be somewhat resistant to insulin because of the above. So ramming chocolate down my throat is going to have a negative effect on my body and my health. 

So Gary and I have set a target of eight weeks. I want to extend that by at least another eight weeks, with the goal to get to one year without eating sweet treats. At the end of that year, I'm going to take stock of how I feel, and the difference in me from not eating sugar. That should give me a pretty good indication of whether I should abstain from the sugar on a more permanent basis. 

I'm going to need all the help I can get. So please use whatever force necessary to stop me from eating chocolate or ice cream or cake etc etc etc. I do really mean that! Stop me at all costs!