To read Part One click- My Sugar Addiction, Part Two Sugar Addiction & Self-Punishment, Part Three Could This be part of the Answer, Part Four A Seed of Transformation, Part Five Back to Haunt Me , Part Six Addiction Uncovered, Part Seven Can You Relate?
Our bodies are powered by sugar (but it doesn’t have to come from the white stuff!!) Our cells use sugar for energy. So on some level we need sugar but we need the proper balance of water, salt, nutrients and sugar, and therefore when we have an imbalance it can cause serious biological problems.
Our brains are wired to crave sugar but instead of eating fruit, which contains fiber and nutrients which slows down the digestive process avoiding the big sugar crash, like we did in the distant past, we are consuming sugary drinks, candy bars, breads, pastas and sugary treats and our bodies & minds are freaking out. As the scenario from last week sadly indicates.
Notice if any of the following resonate with you. If so, it may mean you have a mild, moderate or severe sugar addiction.
- You have a sweet tooth. It may not be out of hand but you have a tendency to want sweet and you can feel your body craving it. Begin to notice your cravings. What are you craving? When are you craving it? What triggers you to want to eat it?
- You need sugar to keep you going. Instead of a healthier alternative like nappies, drinking water, breathing, you crave sugar. You notice that you used to need just a little to feel the high, but now you need more, which is why this stuff is addictive. It stimulates the pleasure center of the brain but you keep needing more to feel the same effect and you may now find yourself bingeing or having withdrawal symptoms (headaches, mucus, rashes, moody etc.) after your sugar intake.
- You are noticing that you are “crashing”. You’re consuming sugar (in whatever form) and when you stop you feel exhausted. You have put a large amount of sugar into your bloodstream, this produces large amounts of insulin production to remove it from your bloodstream, and then you feel “pooped” because of the sudden drop of sugar in your bloodstream. You will either crash and feel the effects or reach for more sugar to keep yourself going until the next crash.
- When you attempt to stop eating sugar you feel like CRAP. You get headaches, running noses, the inner “bitch” rears her ugly head and maybe your skin breaks out. Hey, why when I trying to “be good” is all this bad stuff happening? Well, whatever you put into your cells has to come out. We tend to suppress in this culture. We’re upset so we eat or avoid with another addiction (drugs, drinking, smoking, shopping etc.). We’re tired so we eat, drink, pump ourselves up with caffeine instead of resting, breathing and relaxing (of course there is no time for this foolishness – there is too much to be done). Then we are feeling all these horrible symptoms and we reach for drugs to take the pain away which further adds to the problem instead of letting ourselves heal naturally or by using natural healing such as clean water, essential oils, rest, and simpler shifts instead of the all or nothing approach.
I don’t recommend cold turkey because it can be really hard on us when we don’t understand detoxing full. I support small shifts which may also bring up some detox symptoms but maybe not as severe as stopping cold turkey. However, we all have our own journeys, so it’s up to you.
- Why am I tired all the time? Why don’t I have the energy to workout? Why do I feel like the couch and TV are always calling my name?
If you are always on the go, maybe you need to rest. But, if you drive to work, sit at work, drive home, sit for dinner and then watch TV and you have no energy, something’s up! Your body has become accustomed to a large amount of sugar (bread, pasta, chips, sugary drinks, starchy food) and without you feeding it this constant supply of sugar, your body simply does not run efficiently or effectively. Switching over to fruit and vegetables which are still forms of sugar, will gradually give you more energy and you’ll be bubbling with energy in time.
- Moody? If you need a constant supply of sugar to keep your mood friendly, you may have a sugar problem. Notice and keep track of your moods and how they are affected by the foods that you eat. I definitely could tell that I would use sugar to get me out of a bad mood instead of journaling, mediating, breathing, going for a walk etc. It was much easier just to stuff something sugary in my mouth and get that automatic mood high, but now I know that is not the right thing to do for my health and well-being. So I began to change. By noticing my moods, being aware of what my automatic behavior was (to eat) and then slowing changing it over the years to other strategies (breathing, inner positive self-chats etc.) , I have rewired that connection but it didn’t happen overnight.
- Why can’t I lose weight? When you eat, whatever you don’t use will get converted to fat. Once in that fat cell it doesn’t want to come out easily. If you keep eating sugary food you will use that energy first and therefore won’t tap into your fat cells. In fact, any time you eat, what isn’t used will be stored as fat. The other issue is, that we are overfed and undernourished. Our cells are craving “real nutrients” which unfortunately are so devoid in most of our current food choices. So how do you start to lose fat? Simply stated, start eating real food. Load up on fruits & vegetables.
This is where I had to shed my inner child and grow up. I was seeking immediate gratification to pump up my mood, give me a boost of energy and feed my sugar addiction. So, shifts began. I discuss them throughout the remainder of this book in more detail but here are a few to get you started. I believe you already know them all. I believe we all know what to do but we don’t believe small shifts will work fast enough, we may be sabotaging ourselves because there are deeper issues that we need to resolve but it’s easier to focus on controlling food and counting calories, and we may lack support, love and direction so we just remain stuck and continue on this never-ending loop.
- Go SLOWLY. You have time. It took you time to get where you are and it will take time to go in another direction. Have patience. Have a goal. Enjoy the journey.
- Eat fruit when you want something sugary. If you don’t want fruit instead of “that sugary thing”, what’s going on beneath the surface?
- Instead of sugary breakfast cereal switch to smoothies, fruits or even sprouted grains with local honey, local jams and nut butters.
- Add protein to your meals to stabilize your blood sugars.
- Increase your healthy fat intake
- Drink more water which makes you feel full
- Exercise which will flood your body with natural happy feelings
I wanted to see results quickly. I wanted all of my efforts to show up in some physical way so that I could see the payoff. I wanted everything to be better NOW.
But I now understand that we don’t get to see it all, we have to believe that what we are doing is working. It’s either working for us or against us and in my case, the insane sugar bingeing was working against me. It took time to rear its ugly head in the form of my deteriorating health and when I finally accepted the truth of the abuse I was putting my mind, body and spirit through, I decided on a different path. It’s been a bumpy twisty-turny path to say the least, but also fun, interesting and one that I am pleased that I am on.
Stay tuned for next Tuesday– You are what you Believe
Tanya Morrison has been in the Health/Wellness and Fitness Field for over two decades and has coached and trained many clients during this time. She is a certified Personal Trainer, Precision Nutrition Coach, Pilates/Aerobics/Yoga Instructor and more. She is the creator of the Busy Mama Reboot 28 day program, 10 Day Body Reset Detox, 30 Days to a New You, Holistic Weight Management System and many more on-line programs. To find out more about these life changing programs check out the testimonials and information at www.moveyourbody.ca
Tanya has created FREE Healthy Living Challenges that you can sign up for HERE, because even though we know all this “healthy stuff” it’s good to be reminded to keep it in our awareness. Tanya created the Busy Mama Healthy Mama Facebook page so that like-minded mama’s could get great healthy information and recipes in a fun and light-hearted way.
Tanya also teaches many different classes at Move Your Body Studio in Bobcaygeon, www.moveyourbody.ca and has written Healthy Snacks for Kids, Get the Skinny on Skinny Jeans & Living Vibrantly with Raw Goodness – Your Guide to Juicing & Blending, the 21 Laws of Irrefutable Fat Loss, How to Get Rid of Cellulite and more. Her blog, www.tanyamorrison.ca has lots of great articles to help you navigate your way to the healthy life you want, tons of recipes and great tips!
Tanya presents High Performance Nutrition for Kids and Teens, How to Become an Efficient Fat Burner, hosts Raw Smoothie Parties and many more presentations. Please contact her to set up your presentation.
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