Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Breaking Up With Sugar

Sorry to miss a post yesterday.  I got to work and found out all my access had been terminated.  Someone forgot to renew my contract and they shut everything down.  It's still shut down but I've managed a work around so that I can at least do SOMETHING today besides get frustrated with technology.

This is day two on Atkins for me as I try to leave a relationship that has become toxic.  I chose Atkins as my recovery method after reading a book called "The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program" by Kathleen DesMaisons.  In it she describes the difference between someone who likes sugar and someone who's addicted to it.  She outlines "sugar sensitivity" and how common it is in alcoholics.  Apparently the same brain receptors that create the addiction to alcohol, create the addiction to sugar. 

When you read a book like this and take the questionnaire (they always have one), and you check all the answers "yes", and you find yourself saying "OMG!  She's describing me!" - you know you're on to something.

It all started because I haven't been able to make the weight I gained during the final phases of my active alcoholism go away, and I couldn't figure out why.  No amount of exercise, low calorie, low fat diets would make it work.  Even Weight Watchers didn't work.  Nor did Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem or any other of the hundreds of books I've read and diets I've been on in the last few years.  Because they all have one thing in common - they are low calorie and low fat but relatively high in carbs. 

Everytime I started one of these "lifestyle changes" I knew it wasn't going to work.  I knew because my subconscious had filed away how I felt when I didn't eat so many carbs.  When refined sugar was not a part of my diet.  When white bread was a treat at dinner and not a staple.  It knew how much energy I had.  How my joints didn't ache.  How well I slept.  How clear my thoughts and memory were.  My subconscious knew...but I just DID. NOT. WANT. TO. GO. THERE. 

As I've said before, I gave up cigarettes and alcohol and now sugar?  Really?

Yes really.  Especially when I can't get my tryglycerides to drop to an acceptable level without medication.  My cholesterol ain't lookin' too good either.  I am a smart woman - but I can also reside in the land of denial and be very happy for a very long time.

Until I'm not...

Until I pass a mirror and see my mother instead of me and all that comes to mind is how she aged and how she died and how I do not want to die like that.

My mom fought her weight her entire life.  She was a large woman (big boned and tall), but the extra weight she carried around was all about her eating habits which were awful.  She also smoked.  She really didn't drink which I guess was a blessing. She never exercised a day in her life with the exception of an aerobics class she took in the 80's to compete with me...but that's another post entirely.

As a result, she didn't age well at all.  She ended up pre-diabetic due to her eating habits and then later having 2/3's of her pancreas removed due to a large benign tumor that had grown there.  This put her into full diabetes and she could never accept that she had to take insulin.  She denied she was diabetic like it was an STD and never monitored her sugar levels or administered her insulin appropriately. 

Not too many years after the surgery, she went into congestive heart failure and had bypass surgery.

She lived until she was 76 but they were not good years.  She had a pacemaker/defibrillator for her heart. She was beginning to lose her eyesight due to the diabetes mis-management.  She was in pain.  She couldn't walk well and couldn't control most of her bodily functions.  She wore adult diapers.  She was miserable and she made us miserable and when I think of her all I feel is sadness.  I think that's all she felt as well.

I do not want to live or die like that.  More importantly, I do not want to do that to my children.

I already hate looking in the mirror or seeing myself in pictures and videos because all I see is her.  I look more like her than I would like.  The weight doesn't help.  Originally that had to do with the kind of person she was which made her unattractive to me; but now it has more to do with the fact that I don't want to age like her and die miserable and sad.

THAT's why this is day two of Atkins.  THAT's why I will persevere and be a bitch while I detox from anything white.  THAT's why I will suffer the headaches, dizziness, shakiness, foggy brain and restlessness that comes with detox (sound familiar anyone?).  THAT's why I will find a way (if this isn't it) to get this weight off and get back to my healthy, gym rat roots.  And THAT's why I am breaking up with sugar.

Because I looked in the mirror and saw my mother and it scared the living shit out of me.


  1. You're out of the gate and down the straightaway going into the first turn...It is a race but not for speed...you're a winner, baby, and this you will complete and succeed!!!

  2. I find that eating low carb is the way to go for me too. I just avoid anything that is processed, which really limits the choices!

    You can do this and you will be so happy in a week or two when the detox is over and your energy level is off the charts and you feel GOOD. Keep us posted!

  3. Powerful girl! I have struggled with the weight too since stopping drinking, and I do crave sugar. You've given me something to chew on. Since I'm feeling worn out, giving up sugar (and yes I've done this before and the side effects suck) could give me more energy. Thank you my friend, your post was just what I needed. Food (sugar free) for thought....

  4. It does take 2-3 weeks to get it out of your system, but then--kaboom--you will realize, suddenly one day, you feel more alert and energetic.

    Keep your eye on the prize!

  5. I have been taking the easy way out and just avoid mirrors.

  6. Great post. Oh yeah ... sugar sugar sugar ... you are talking my language. I have been indulging way too much.. thinking it will make me feel better and help me deal with the stress (sounds like I"m talking about alcohol!!).. I am going to give it up now too.. to see what happens. Aside from the obvious things (slice, biscuits, white bread) what else is there?

  7. Your persistance amazes me, so does your will power! As you never give up you WILL succeed - congratulations to your breakup with sugar.

    Hang in there! *hugs*

  8. Great post! This has got me really thinking. I am absolutely addicted to sugar and I will binge on chocolate if it is in front of my. I quit sugar
    For six months and it was awesome. But I fell off that wagon and have never recovered. You have motivated me!



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