I think I have a sugar addiction.
I am not sure how long this blog post will be. I feel I need to do some more exploring before I can fully express my thoughts, but I wanted to at least get the subject out there. I haven't had sugar in awhile. I mean, I suppose I have had some, but not this way. My daughter brought home a box of Girl Scout cookies the other day, and gave everybody one. Thinking nothing of it, I accepted one. It wasn't that great tasting at all really. However, since then, I have had an intense desire for more sugar. It is so intense. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I want sugar. During the day, when I am driving, watching a movie, feeding the baby. I want it badly. Sitting here typing about it, I am picturing exactly where in the kitchen I have more. It blocks my desire to eat anything else even. In fact, I found myself calculating the caloric value of some sugary treats so I could see if I could cut out some veggies or a meal to allow it. Yea, it's that bad.
I talked to my mom today, while she was walking 9 miles. Yeah. I talked to her a bit about this sugar thing. I did not ever think I had a food addiction or sugar addiction. I mean, I just like food, I can stop whenever I want to, etc. (Yea, THAT doesn't sound like a smoker or alcoholic!) I don't remember it being that bad stopping eating sugar. I don't even know if it was a conscious decision, versus a cost saving one, you know? But after that one cookie, I almost couldn't stop eating more. And I haven't been able to stop wanting more either. It's almost frightening how badly I want that sugar.
Last night we went to a birthday party. I knew there would be pizza and cake, so I made sure to allow myself calories to eat it. I had two slices of pizza, and a very small piece of cake, perfectly within reason. I didn't even finish the cake. I didn't like it (sorry to my friend!) But all the rest of the evening, I wanted more pizza. Today too. And the cake? My husband brought some home. I told my friend no thank you, we didn't need it, but I guess my hubby can't turn down free food. So now, this cake is in my kitchen calling my name. I didn't even like it. But I crave it, and pizza. WHY?!?! That I do not know, I don't understand the science behind it. But, I do know this. Something in the cake and cookies (sugar?) and something in the pizza must trigger something chemically in my brain or body to make me crave more of it. Especially, since I didn't even like the two sugary options when I had them.
I am starting to see the wisdom in my mother's method of 'dieting' (term used very, very loosely). She never cheats. With her, it's all or nothing. Maybe moderation is NOT a good idea. I didn't have these cravings until I had just a little. Is this what an alcoholic tries to do? "I'll just have ONE beer, and be responsible." Does that work for them? Or a smoker, "Instead of two packs a day, I will just do one." Do those types of responses lead to the addictee to being able to quit? I don't know. But I do know that trying to keep things in moderation this time around, is harder than just abstaining from the junk completely. And I fear I am addicted to it. As I try to picture myself never having cake again, and the sorrow, the deep sense of loss I feel. Like saying goodbye forever to a dear friend. Why have I made food my friend instead of real people? That's not right.
We were discussing the dangers of smoking and alcohol in the children' class on Sunday (discussing agency and choosing the right) and one of the teachers brought up a powerful point. Some people (maybe more, I don't know) have a genetic (perhaps) trigger to being addicted. One puff or sip might be all it takes to pull that trigger, and when that trigger is pulled, we give up our agency to choose. We then can't say no to having more. I am feeling the same way about sugar right now. I don't suppose I will ever stop wanting to eat it, but I hope the intense craving lessens over time.
I need to tie this into how our traditions make us fat, but I think that is a topic for another day.