Monday, October 25, 2010

Self Examination

I am 31 years of age as of this post. For as long as I can remember I have struggled with a desire to eat desserts for comfort and for fun. Let's face it, food is a huge part of life and culture. At about age 12 I became more interested in physical fitness and began to discover that I had a difficult time leaving sweets alone. For nearly 20 years now I have battled with myself, attempting to eradicate the desire for sweets from my life. If you are not sure if you are addicted to refined sugar (desserts, candy, soda, etc.) I suggest asking yourself a question: Can I walk away from dessert forever and not care? What do you feel? Does it create anxiety? How is your body reacting? What thoughts are coming to your mind? For me, I got to the point that when I asked myself that question I nearly puked with fear and felt very depressed.

Now I'm not saying that eating dessert is an evil, sinful thing. DON'T misunderstand my intention here. What I am saying is that if you 'can't live without it' then refined sugar is destroying your health and retarding your capacity to feel and experience life. We are talking about addiction to refined sugar, not the act of eating it. After all, sugar in and of itself has no intention, is neither evil or good, it just is. It's what we do with it that can create negativity in our lives. I want to explore why it is bad for health in a future post.

So, do you have a problem with refined sugar? I do. It was difficult to admit addiction and even more unpleasant to accept that I have a problem. But, you know, it wont go away on it's own. And I speak from experience that the longer you ignore it and push it away, the worse it will get, especially if life gets stressful for long periods of time.

As part of a self examination here are several other questions to ask yourself:
1. Do you get a small, euphoric high when you eat something packed with refined sugar?
2. Do you eat excessive amounts of refined sugar or salty snacks when you are stressed?
3. What do you do in down time? What are the first thoughts you have when relaxing? Is it 'go to the kitchen or fridge'?
4. Do you make desserts or drink soda to relax or have fun?
5. Have you tried to live without refined sugar (desserts, candy, soda, etc.) without success?
6. Does your body feel awful after eating sugar? (It should whether you're addicted or not! :)
7. Do you have an affinity for sweets?
8. Do you buy lots of sweets? Eat lots of sweets?
9. Can you live without desserts, drinks, etc.?
10. Do you have a problem with yeast infections (candidiasis) of any kind?

I have a problem with sweets and I'm going to beat the problem. Because I want to feel better and have the satisfaction of knowing that I am the captain of my own ship.


  1. This is some advice i gave to a friend once who asked me how I lessened the sugar urge:

    One powerful way to beat it, is to give in to what your brain is really trying to tell eat more simple sugars. I don't know how much fresh fruit you eat, but I guarantee if you satisfy that urge with eating a piece of fruit first, and give it ten minutes, it will get easier. I'd maybe give it a week. You can think of it as a refined sugar fast.

    Also I don't know if you have ever had a bad experience with food, or if there is something you find very revolting. Use your most powerful visual to help you overcome bad food. I read that someone would visualize broken glass shards when she’d think of sugar, and how it would cut her up inside if she ate it. Chocolate… you could come up with some nasty things.

    You can also reduce the sugar intake of things you make by ½, that way you still have some sugar, but it is decreased, and you’ll find that you’ll get used to things less sweet, and I think that might be the easiest way, to dial down your sugar meter.

    One thing for me is if I know something is bad for me, I try to relate it to a very bad sin. (I agree with Carey, it is not a sin in an of itself these are just ways that have helped me) I would never steal from someone, or anything worse, it just helps me put it into perspective: D I guess I mostly use that one with bad or negative thoughts. They can be just as addictive as sugar.

    Just with any bad habit or vice, really the best way isn’t to merely remove it, you need to know your triggers, the situations you get into that make it harder. If you were a recovering alcoholic you wouldn’t go to a bar. You need to plan ahead, be prepared for those emotional or physical triggers, and rely on the Lord. Replace the negative with something positive. And pray allot :D

    avoid artifical sweetners like the plague. they increase the bodies desire for sugar more than "real" sugar does.

    I admire your quest Carey, since I've known you, you were skinny and healthy. Since you've known me I was greatly overweight. I admire those who seek out health improvements when it looks like everything is fine. hope that makes sense.

  2. So true! My husband and I have tried to visualize it as acidic poison in our bodies. Because the quantities we were eating were just that - poison. What does poison do other than kill you. Again, thanks so much for your perspective and thoughts.