Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Day 2.

Well, it's 10:00 at night and I have yet to post. Why? Not because I fell off and ate sugar, but because I am like so many people who are Gung Ho about something and then soon after,  fall off. That is what I have done in the past. But, tonight, aha! I conquered ONE moment. It was a Bday celebration at a meeting tonight and of course there was cake. With frosting. I made someone take a bite of the frosting and describe it. It gave me an uncomfortable amount of pleasure even just hearing it described.

So, today, I have given a lot of thought about sugar and it being a reward. Yes, we have heard that it activates your reward system in your brain, but what I am talking about is how it triggers emotional rewards. Growing up, we were most likely rewarded for something we did "right" or "well" with a "treat". Our treats meant  we were special, we mattered, we did the right thing...we were loved. As I look back at my history, I realize the moments that my mother veered away from her tofu hawking ways and allowed me a treat, were special moments. Usually they meant that something big had just happened. We take a pee in the potty for the first time, we get M&M's. We pass a big test, we get a cupcake. When and why has sugar been a reward for life's accomplishments.

Sugar is made like a drug, right? I've heard it is made by refining sugar cane, a process involving many chemicals. And the effects to the brain are similar to cocaine. The sugar industry, like the tobacco industry, has gotten away with it for a long time. And here's the problem, I still want it. I know that my mother passed from pancreatic cancer and I have to watch my sugar, but I still want it. Wow.

So, after my meeting, I usually stop for frozen yogurt, but tonight I didn't. I came home and had air popped popcorn. I am a big believer in replacement therapy. Replace one harming thing for something else. And more over gratitude...

Today I am grateful for:

1. Getting through an anxious moment with ease and grace...in the past it probably would have blown it up into a full panic attack
2. Friends
3. The realization of how far I have come in my life and knowing how much I still have yet to work on. We are all works of art in various states of progress. 
4. Progress, not perfection.
5. My husband's patience with me.

Physical symptoms today:
1. Anxiety
2. Slight headache

OK, sugar addicts. This Sugar Whore is going to sleep, proud of her sugar free day. 

Yours Truly-
Sugar Whore

Monday, October 6, 2014

First day of a 21-day experiment - No Sugar, More Gratitude

OK....as I said, might as well face it, I am addicted to sugar.

I have been a sugar whore for as long as I can remember. I was raised by divorced parents. One house hold was tofu, sugar-free everything and carob. The other household was double stuffed Oreos for dinner and Nutter Butters for dessert. I'm serious.

So, I grew up needing, wanting sugar.  I befriended kids who actually had sugar in their house. Ice cream, chocolate syrup, Nestle chocolate milk. They never wanted to come to my sugar-free house. Speaking of my sugar free house, my mother did everything she could to be "healthy" and then died of pancreatic cancer at 52. God has some sense of humor.

So, I am addict. Not just a sugar addict, but I am in a 12 step program, as well. So, as I have been working on my addiction and attending meetings, the subject of sugar came up. One after another, we shared stories of shame, relating to our sugar addiction.

Here is mine. This was yesterday. And this is an example of a typical day. Here goes:

My husband and I got out of town, returning to our hometown. He has been watching what he eats and his sugar consumption. I have been "trying" but when it comes down to it...I can't last more than 12 hours without finding the nearest sugar.

So, while on our trip, I dropped him off to film something (he is a filmmaker) and I returned into town to get something we left behind. In my mind, I thought, Aha! This is my break! So what do I do? Swing by a place that has sugary sweet cinnamon roles. I'm in a hurry. I'm tapping my foot, anxious to get the man in front of me out of there. Get me to my sugar! Finally, it's my turn. I order a pumpkin cinnamon role. I run to my car. I tear out of the parking lot like a bank robber who just got a sack of cash. I'm driving, haphazardly, as I am licking the sugar off the cinnamon role. I pull into the place we left the item that I was on the "mission" to pick up. I'm aware of my fingers. I have wipes in the car. I am wiping down the steering as I go, as to not tip off my husband of my debaucherous behavior. I get the item, run out, make my way back to husband continuing to lick the sugar off the roll. After I have licked all the sugar off, I put it back in the bag and shove it under the seat. Wiping down the steering wheel one more time. I pick up my husband like nothing had happened.

This has happened often. I will lick the icing off of a cupcake. I will eat the frosting off of a donut.  My husband watches in amazement as I shave a seven layer slice of cake of all it's frosting. I leave just the cake. I am a frosting whore. 

On our drive home, I thought about how much of my time I have thought about sugar. I have cut short social occasions, to make sure that I am at the yogurt shop before they close. I have put sugar before family and friends. This is sick.

So, on our way home. I thought, well, let's be Sandra Bullock in 21 Days with sugar. So, I am cutting sugar out and blogging along the way. But, in addition to cutting sugar out, I am adding gratitude. Yes, gratitude.

So, today:

First day without sugar. I feel great! I have cleaned the house, worked out, made dinner...I have been a dynamo. I'm riding the fumes of the sugar that is still there.

I am going to record physical symptoms to see what happens along the way:
I have a bit of a cough, bringing up mucus. Gross, I know.
A mind that won't stop...constantly going and active.
Canker sores in my mouth...totally hot.

Scared shitless about not having sugar. What is it going to bring up?
Will I just be tired all the time? I like being "up" and "on" at times.
Frosting. Frosting. Frosting. Good-bye my sweet Frosting.

Here's what I am grateful for today:

1. The realization that in my ego probably needs to blog in order for myself to stay accountable and on track with this decision.
2. Taking pause and learning that my sugar consumption is directly tied to my emotions.
3. Feeling strong enough to know that I want to be honest with myself and you guys as to present the real emotions that come out when I don't get my "fix". Because I know that I relate to when people are honest and flawed. We are all beautifully flawed.
4. My husband- being an inspiration to me with his own self discipline. And to be honest, it makes me a little jealous. It was easier when he overate and gorged himself with food, because then I didn't have to work on myself.
5. Fixing a healthy dinner tonight.

OK. More tomorrow, my fellow addicts.