Get Thee Behind Me, Sugar

January 27, 2012 · 11 comments

in Bad Things, Birthdays (everyone else's), Dieting, Health, Serious

So, it’s time to fess up about my New Year’s Resolutions. We won’t get into the sordid details of every single one, but the big one has been giving up sugar. Which I have done. Sugar and I have gone our separate ways. Yes, I still eat things like bread that have some sugar in them. But I try to at least stick to whole wheat.

As I’ve mentioned about a million times on this blog, I have a major sugar addiction. An honest-to-goodness addiction and I’m not even exaggerating. I have never traded sex for baked goods, but I’ve done just about every other unseemly thing that involves sugar. And I was starting to scare myself.

Unlike other people who can “fill a craving”, I am a bottomless pit when it comes to sweets. There is no “off” button; only one that says “more, please”.

So I decided on New Year’s Eve to go cold turkey. As a farewell I ate half of a lemon pound cake (I would have eaten the whole thing but I didn’t make it til 3:00.) I also drank an entire two-liter of Mountain Dew. Myself. And I wasn’t even wired.  So you see why I had to do this?  It’s gotten a bit out of control.

You guys, I have been praying my guts out. That is the only way I have been able to have the strength to do this. I started the year out with a fast. Which I think will be my new tradition because it is such a zen, contemplative way to start new goals. Every day, almost every hour, I have had to pray for strength and discipline.  And that’s what I’ve gotten.

So last week when I did my cinnamon roll tutorial? I didn’t have even a smidge.  When I made coffee cake for my family on Sunday? Not a bite.  Nor have I had cookie dough all the times when my kids have made it. I am so incredibly proud of myself.

So proud.

But I’m still praying hard. Because it is still difficult. Man, is it difficult. It’s easier to say no than it was at the beginning. But it’s hard having the thing that you love so much surrounding you at ever store, at every restaurant and church activity.

My goal was to make it sugar-free til today, which is York’s birthday. I decided that I can have a piece of birthday cake on my children’s birthdays and then it’s back on the wagon. So I had my one piece of cake. A cake which is one of my favorites.

Holy crap, I feel horrendous. The sugar made me feel like I’m going to either throw up or die. And the cake didn’t even taste that good!  What is happening? Who am I?

So, yes, sugar free again. I had my little fling and I’ll be good  until March 14th when I get my slice of cake (it’s the next birthday in our family).  And after the reaction of my body to the cake tonight, I’m kind of excited to get the sugar out of my system again. Bleh.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Shelley January 27, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I am inspired. Some days I sincerely think I could sit in a barrel of sugar and eat my way out. I honestly feel my heart racing in panic at the idea of quitting.

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Blue January 27, 2012 at 11:52 pm

You and me, Sugar and Sweet. I could have written your description myself, and in fact, last year I, too, went off sugar because I couldn’t seem to be moderate and I was putting on weight. I went cold turkey, and even went so far as to make most foods from scratch, and read labels and not ingest ANY added sugar in any form. So, yeah, oil and vinegar salad dressing. Mashed fruit jam. I did have natural sugars (fruit, honey), but actually for the first 3 or 4 weeks I tried to stay away from bread products and fruits, sticking to veggies and eggs and lean meats for the most part.

I lasted a month. The intense, painful, overwhelming craving never went away. I made it through Valentines, Easter, and a lot of special events and parties without caving. I felt deprived and miserable and got depressed and then even googled “Is there happiness without sugar?” one night…which led to my discovering sugar addiction. I hoped that it would get easier, but it didn’t, and then when I let myself have a treat for a special occasion, it was SO good! I’m sure I don’t do well with it, but sadly my side-affects were mostly just massive fatigue (sugar low) afterwards. I wish I’d felt terrible as you described.

I lasted four months, and then, like Charlie in Flowers for Algernon, reverted back to my sugary ways and quit trying. I’m like an alcoholic. I can only imagine how hard it would be to quit the drink if I ever started. I have that kind of personality.
But the difference between you and me is that I didn’t make it a matter of fasting and prayer. I suspect you’ll have more success because of that component than I did. Sadly, my “I can do this” attitude and desire to even try all dried up and evaporated. I hope yours sticks around for a long time!

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Blue January 27, 2012 at 11:54 pm

(clarification: I lasted a month without bread and fruit. then three more for a total of four months sugar-free but with bread and fruit added in)

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cindy the cottage chick January 28, 2012 at 8:44 am

Hey good on ya Girl. I totally get it. I also have T2 diabetes that I’ve conveniently let get out of control again. I’m on day 6 of no blatant sugar, and I feel physically so much better.

I’ve done this in the past, gone cold turkey. It’s hard not to feel sorry for yourself when you go out to dinner or to a party. I don’t know the answer. I don’t think I want to live the rest of my life without a sweet now and then, but for now, I need to push the swing really hard the other direction to remind myself how good I feel without sugar driving my thoughts and behaviors. The one stickler for me is that even when I go off sugar, increase healthy whole foods, I don’t lose weight. That’s a huge motivator, and when it’s missing, it’s hard to stick with the program.

Sorry for the blog post-length comment. I wish you well, and I’ll remember that another mama with 6 prodigy is pushing thru the sugar craves with me. *fist bump*

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Nicole M. January 28, 2012 at 8:49 am

Congrats! I live by moderation rule. I go to Canyon Ranch (group huge big discount otherwise I couldn’t afford it) and they push to give up white sugar and go with cane. Wow. What a difference. I highly recommend it. I too love sweets. I can go forever. Ever been invited to a dessert party? I don’t even try to wear something cute. I just go with a waist ban pair of leggings that can expand forever. We don’t eat processed at all these days. But, when we went to the rodeo my husband got nachos. Of course those are organic right? NOT. I was so ill. I wanted to die. I only ate two bites too. Keep up the good work.

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Tanya H January 28, 2012 at 11:48 am

Ah. That’s the secret. Way to think it thru! I have tried giving up sugar too, I know I am addicted. Its never worked for very long and I’ve never included the Lord. I have, however, thought a lot about King Lamoni wanting to give up all his sins and wondered what I am holding on to. I don’t know that sugar is a SIN but it isn’t taking care of the body I have been given, that’s for sure. Thanks for your thoughts on this. I think I really needed this today.

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B January 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Wow, I’m impressed. I gave up sugar for Lent a couple years back, and intend to do it again. It was SO hard. SOOOO hard. Thinking about it is enough to make me want a cookie!

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whitneyingram January 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Go you! I find it admirable that you recognize the problem is serious. I felt the same way about soda. I quit that, but it hasn’t been as hard as you are describing. I think what I like the most of quitting something is feeling in control. Being in charge. That feels good.

BTW, are we still on for lunch sometime this week? If not, no biggie at all. I totally understand how busy one can get when they are on vacation.

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Charlie Holmberg January 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Wow! I am so impressed! That takes hardcore commitment!

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Bree D. January 30, 2012 at 9:43 pm

We think too much alike! Same resolution except I allow 1 cheat day a week. It helps me so much through the rest of the week knowing I will have a reward. I was afraid at first that it would cause a rebound, but so far it has been completely satisfying and I jump right back to my regular routine. I have also given up eating out except for my cheat day, truthfully, I am finding this harder to stay focused with!!!

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doodles February 5, 2012 at 10:07 am

First off I found you thru the Blog Fairy FB page………great find!! Thanks Emily.
You have inspired me to do the NO SUGAR thing. I entertained the idea of nothing white. Man that makes ya cranky!! But just no sugar I think I can do. We should do a FB page of others that want to do the same for support. What I never knew till yesterday was that there is sugar in milk – skin milk – no fat but sugar!! It’s a conspiracy I say.
I shall follow your “I can do this” venture…………hoping I can do the same.

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