Friday, May 02, 2008

Sugar Attack Part 1

Ta-daaaa! Our first installment of Inside Out will focus on that sweet, awful stuff that has plagued me for years: sugar. I can't get enough of it, and as time goes on you will see how serious I am about that.

My parents fed us a healthy diet. My Mom cooked well-rounded meals pretty much every night, and we ate at the table as a family. We had ice cream after our dinner sometimes (almost always with wheat germ on top) and once in a while they'd let us ride our bikes over to 7-11 and pick out a candy. We rarely ate fast food, though we did go out to pizza lots of Fridays with our neighbors, and I was allowed to drink root beer on those occasions. What I'm saying is that we weren't fed a bunch of junk, but we weren't stringently denied sweets, either.

When I went to high school there was much freedom of food choice at lunchtime. Freshmen & sophomores were required to stay on campus for lunch, but there were lots of options in the cafeteria. Do you think that Lynette & I stayed in the cafeteria and ate salads or sandwiches? Would that we had, but we instead chose each day: one soda, one bag of chips, two candy bars. We took them in to the gym and laughed hysterically as we ate our nutritious lunch. I'm sorry, Mom. Once in a while we would get on a health kick and get taco salads from the cafeteria. Ok, that makes even me laugh to think about it. Even funnier though, we would eat outside and as soon as our tight little tummies felt full we'd pile dirt on so that we wouldn't keep eating just for the pure yumminess of it. Hey, at least we had some self-control. Let's not forget the times that we would also get donuts from the gym during zero period and also the times we would scrounge for change and then rollerblade over to Circle K for as much candy as we could afford.

After high school I was a mature college student and employee. I got my own apartment and lived on Corn Pops. I was thin as can be and the owner of the restaurant where I worked would pinch my side and say, "you too skinny, take home some calamari from mama. Go eat, gain weight." A couple years went by and I got a real job at a desk. My coworker Barb & I would go out to lunch and eat reasonable things like sandwiches and side salads. About once a week we'd load up on candy and gum or get a big chocolatey dessert. Not too horribly bad, I guess.

Then I got married and had kids and became a stay at home mom, and the kitchen was (is) available all day every day. Oh, my friends, it's gotten really bad. I have gained over 70 pounds since I met my sweet husband. I binge on sugary stuff like candy, fruit snacks, cereal and when I am eating stuff like this, I just seem to have no stop mechanism. I don't get full or tired of the sweetness of it all. Embarrassingly enough, I will now admit to you what I ate yesterday. It was a particularly horrible day. The kids and I went to Target and I loaded up on snacks. I was embarrassed even buying this stuff! We came home and I ate: one pint of dulce de leche ice cream, almost a whole package of swedish fish, several packets of fruit snacks, four pop tarts and a handful of gummi bears. It took me a few hours to consume all of that and of course I wasn't hungry the rest of the day. So basically, I ate nothing but sugar and a little wedge of watermelon all day. This is so not ok.

Now you have it. My history of sugar consumption. Tell me where you stand - are you a health nut and never, ever, ever eat refined sugar? Do you eat well most of the time and allow yourself treats? (How often and what type?) Do you eat sweets every day? Do you consume large quantities like I do?


  1. You know I am right there with you. I am addicted to sugar in a big way!

  2. oh my and us 3 are going to be neghibors??? this is crazy i am addicited to sugar lets see today i had 2 diet dr.pepper, 2 choclate pop tarts, and a bowl of ice cream!oh and 2 big glasses of sweet tea!

  3. I'm a complete sugar addict! i'll eat little bits all day long and beat myself up over it all day long too!!

  4. Well I personally NEVER eat sugar. Hate the stuff. Ewww. LOL jk. Yes, I'm pretty much a sugaraholic. I do like what Jillian Michael (is that her last name?) said in a little enewsletter thing: "What do you crave? Sugar doesn't count, cause we all crave sugar when we're worn out and tired." I DO find myself reaching for it when I'm at the end of my rope. So the next step for me I think is- why am I at the end of my rope and how can I avoid that?

  5. sugar is my weakness too! I love dessert. I find myself wanting something sweet after every meal. Not a healthy idea.

    Well, I will be interested to see where this latest idea of yours goes, and I'm sure I will be inspired by it! :)

  6. Emily, have you heard of "Potatoes Not Prozac"? Or "The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program," both by Kathleen DesMaisons? There are actually lots of book out there about why sugar is addicting, but those are the ones I'm most familiar with. She talks about how sugar acts on brain chemistry that is low on seratonin, beta-endorphins, etc. If you have any alcoholism or diabetes in your family (I have both), then there's a good chance you have a genetic predisposition to low seratonin and sensitivity to sugar.

    I'll bring my copy of "The Sugar Addict" to the next co-op. :) I haven't been a very good program-follower (I'm just not good at following other people's programs! LOL), but the information on brain chemistry is really helpful.