June 15th, 2018 Sugar, Sugar
Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.
I've written about my abstinence from sugar and how it's given me a peace and calm like I've never known. It's not something necessary for everyone. You may not have the reactions I do when you consume sugar. Arriving at this point in my journey has required a bunch of trial and error, or more accurately, a bunch of denial and struggle. I'm glad I've experienced things this way, though. Because without the trials, the struggles--I wouldn't be where I am today. And I love where I am today.
If you're not someone affected by sugar, like me, good! For you, moderation is key. After experiencing the last more than four years without sugar and the resulting peace and calm--I've never been surer of its effects on me. When denial and struggle is replaced with the positive perspective of peaceful acceptance, it's life-changing, certainly has been for me.
Here's my deal with sugar:
This was one of the biggest points of contention for me since I started losing weight in 2008.
I lost 275 pounds eating cake, ice cream and desserts--all within reasonable portions at appropriate times. Using prior success as a reference, It made it very hard to get to a place of acceptance for abstinence.
How did I stay consistent for as long as I did, despite all the sugary foods in moderation?
In hindsight, I clearly see how my support and accountability system importance level was set so high, I didn't dare give in to the struggle, temptation and the obsessive like attraction to "getting more." There were a lot of prayers and meditation--surrounding myself with people, instead of isolating--and connecting as much as possible with a variety of support sources.
When I basically abandoned almost every support and accountability component I had leaned on for so long--then it was a very different dynamic.
When the biochemical reactions of sugar addiction swirled through my brain, I followed its lead without question--as if possessed. I traded one struggle for another. Instead of struggling against the compulsions to binge, I gave in--then struggled with the regret, shame, and embarrassment associated with weight gain and the guilt associated with doing the very things I wanted to be diametrically opposed.
I was very much NOT wanting to let go of the sugar or, the option to enjoy it occasionally in portioned doses. My denial was slowly revealed and chipped away by learning. What ended up happening is, I kept researching the effects of sugar, specifically the addictive nature of it, and then as if I was destined to hear--I kept having conversations with people in recovery from food addiction---people who have what I want--years of recovery and maintenance behind them--and 100% of them said the same thing in relation to sugar and how it creates a biochemical reaction in our brains---and then sets off the addictive cycle of, "I gotta have more and NOW!!!!"
Will I ever go back to eating ice cream, cakes and other sugar-laden things? I pray I never do. My short answer is no, I don't plan on ever going back. I now know, understand and appreciate what I must do in order to stay abstinent. I also know that if I ever decide to abandon the principles and daily practices of my personal recovery, I'll surely go straight back to the very familiar reality of an unmanageable and chaotic existence.
It's important to note that fortunately, not everyone is a food and/or sugar addict. For some, the basic fundamentals of eating less, exercising more and developing an "in moderation" approach to food is the answer. I wanted it to be my answer. And as much as I wanted to wish it into being--summoning the law of attraction and constantly telling myself I was someone who could be okay with a non-addict approach to recovery--I finally realized it wasn't me. And it's okay. I'm okay. And I have a wonderful, rich and fulfilling life ahead of me without sugar.
Thank you for reading and your continued support,