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socks and cat

Please hide the treats

I feel like the theme for my life this year is addiction. Of course I have no place complaining about it compared to some addicts who have lives completely destroyed by drugs or alcohol. But as minor or as legal as my addictions are, they still shift my life in directions that don't fulfill me or make me happy. The focus of the second half of my year has been about watching my health improve and new welcome opportunities present themselves as a result of giving up things that drag me down. But it's not that easy because I often have to *see* the addiction of choice that I have given up and then have to deal with the compulsion to have it back.

I was reminded of this because the bachelorette party I taught on Saturday was at a hotel and fully stocked with food and goodies. The center of the food table had a large untouched cake. Every time I glanced at that cake (which was every chance I got) I had desire to simply dig my hands into that cake and scoop up bits with my fingers to put into my mouth. I just wanted to go wild on that cake like a starving animal. I could actually see and visualize myself doing this many times. And thinking about it I could practically taste the way the chocolate cake melted in my mouth following by the sweet sugary sting and bliss of buttery textured frosting swirling around my tongue and all the pleasure points the texture and taste of it sets off in my brain one after the other in an ecstatic procession like fireworks on the fourth of July. The compulsion for sugar is so much worse when people put sugar in front of me like this.


My last few years have been a progression a LOT like this. Only in the last year or so have I gotten sugar and refined carbohydrates almost entirely out of my diet, and it's still a struggle the way I struggled to not eat boxed / microwavable food several years ago. Maybe it will always be a challenge, because we will always be improving and raising the bar for ourselves in some way. And maybe the challenge makes it epic and romantic. :P

I had something with sugar in it the other day and I was not-completely-surprised at how my addictive imagination made it out to be some amazing thing (like your very sexy cake description here)... but actually EATING the thing was a bit... eh. I was like, okay, it's sweet... I guess... and I was fascinated at how despite the ACTUAL effect of sugar on me (so-so or eh a lot of the time, followed by health badness ALL of the time), the addiction ALWAYS tells me it's going to be way, way more wonderful than it is. It's pretty interesting.

I should also mention that you mentioning Sugar Blues in a comment response to me a WHILE back was probably the biggest initial catalyst for me getting rid of sugar in the first place. Sugar Blues was a pretty big turning point for me. After Sugar Blues, I cemented my arthritis hypothesis (that sugar and wheat were giving me arthritis I wouldn't otherwise have, and that was true) and I started actually coming off sugar for good. I can barely handle even eating it at all now, which I think is excellent. So anyway. Yeah. Thanks. ;}
While sugar blues helped me kick the stuff, I might have stayed off the stuff longer had I actually finished the book. So since I didn't finish it, can you tell me, did they address sweeteners that are NOT refined sugar? I'm still eating things with all natural sweeteners such as pies sweeted with pear syrup and juice and cookies sweetened with maltitol. Did the book address all natural non-refined sugar sweeteners?
They talked a TEENY bit about non-sugar things, but I don't remember exactly. And honestly, I haven't seen a ton of stuff about alternate sweeteners other than agave syrup, which I had a LOT of luck with for a very long time. (I'm doing a particular experiment right now that precludes agave, but when I'm not on this experiment I eat agave instead of sugar and am very happy that way.)

I don't think I read anything about agave in Sugar Blues -- I'm pretty sure I came across it when I started researching raw foodism. But if I remember anything else I'll let you know!
I stopped eating refined sugar for about a year. It was one of the strangest things to walk by the candy isle and start physically shaking because I wanted it so badly. I am not as strict any more, but that has stuck in my brain. Refined sugar = drug.
I'm curious -- what's the motivation behind avoiding sugar?
I'm hypoglycemic. So when I eat sugar my body produces too much insulin which causes me to crash. It also makes my ADD worse. And it also effects my mood and can actually make me pretty depressed. For years I was depressed and had no idea why. Once I give up sugar (and I have had to several times because I keep falling off the wagon) I'm a happier person with more energy and focus. My life is better in more ways than I can count when I'm not eating processed sugar.