Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Heaven or A Sausage?

Today is the first day that I have been successful (so far) in cutting the sugar and refined carbs back out of my diet. I had gone about 3 weeks "eating clean" and felt SO wonderful. I'd lost a good chunk of weight. And then I got that stomach bug... ended up unable to keep down anything BUT refined carbs (saltines, cream of rice, 7-up) and then ate a bit of candy/sweets after Easter. But I knew... I just knew I had to get back off the sugar again in order to restore my food sanity.

This morning I had an Egg Beater omelet with asparagus, mushrooms, ham, and light cheese, plus some tea. Great start! And then I went out shopping.

I went to the store with the intention of getting just 3 things I needed. One of those things was in the freezer aisle. On my way there, I passed the deli counter. I was absolutely overcome with the desire for a deli sandwich. Fresh, soft-and-crispy french bread with deli meats and cheeses and all the extras. I stared at the sandwich counter as I walked past, nearly running into a young lady in the process. I was going into some kind of food trance. I don't know how else to describe it. Your head just "goes" to the food and the rest of the world stops turning. But I kept walking.

I still had that sandwich on the brain, with the usual head-battle running in quiet tones in the background ("you could eat a sandwich, it's healthy except for the bread. It would be ok." "NO! I need to get off carbs." "But you want a sandwich...") I just ignored it for the most part. Even as I went past the bakery, and got distracted by the donuts for a minute, I just kept walking. I refused to allow my head to STAY with those foods because I was just not going to buy that stuff. Then I got to the freezer aisle.

I stopped, looking for the one item I needed. But instead, I saw cream puffs. I saw frozen desserts, and a whole aisle of ice cream. I wanted ice cream!! Something with a lot of chunks of candy in it. I could get SUGAR FREE ice cream. I would find something for diabetics. I'd go home and enjoy the premium, yummy, sugar free ice cream and still stay on plan. Uh, no. Sugar free ice cream is still very high calorie, and guess what? It's a trigger. A binge trigger. If I was gonna eat ice cream, I may as well buy Ben and Jerrys, or Haagen Dazs. I actually walked over and started looking at the little pints of ice cream. I stood there and suddenly I was almost in tears. WHY is this so hard? WHY does stupid, junky sugary food call to me this way? I wanted a deli sandwich, a Coke, a donut, some Doritos with sour cream, and a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream!!!! WHY couldn't I just have it?

Oh I got upset in that store. More upset then I have gotten over food in a long time.

I knew it was my choice. I *could* have it. I could afford it. It was right there for the taking. And THAT is what made me so upset. I DIDN'T want it. But I did.

It isn't just a want, it *feels* like a need. It feels like an addiction. A longing. A desperation.

But I don't want to be a slave to my desires. I don't want some stupid food to dictate my life. To tell me how big I will get, whether I'll be able to walk in a year, whether I will have a heart attack before I am 50. I don't want to turn over my ability to play with my kids or fit into my clothing to an ice cream bar. I don't want it to be like this.

I left the store without any of that stuff, but I was truly upset. I felt angry that I was not letting myself have the things I wanted. I was sad that I would not be coming home with my "best friends" to enjoy in solitude... bite after bite, spoonful after spoonful going into my body in secret. I knew if I ate that stuff I would enjoy it. I would LOVE the time I spent eating it. But then I would be upset with myself for failing YET AGAIN. So I came home, angry the whole way, feeling deprived and resentful, with PMS cramps and a splitting headache.

I walked in and warmed up some split pea soup for my lunch and ate it, took some Excedrin, and sat down here to blog. And do you know what I found when I sat down to blog? Two things.

1) a comment on my last post, from athena, referencing this article about why certain foods make us crave MORE foods. Athena also took the time to leave a quote from this article: "Other researchers have described similar phenomena. An article in this month's Medical Hypothesis argues that for some people, refined foods with high sugar and carbohydrate content can be just as addictive as tobacco and alcohol."

I believe it.

And when I looked up THAT article here, I found this:
"In this paper we discuss evidence that food consumption shows similarities to features of other addictive behaviours, such as automaticity and loss of control. ... Empirical scientific and clinical studies support an addictive component of eating behaviour, with similar neurotransmitters and neural pathways triggered by food consumption, as with other drugs of addiction."

2) an email from an anonymous reader who wanted me to know that my posts about my relationship with sugar resonated with her. She is a recovering alcoholic, and the way I DO NOT WANT to eat sugar but feel I "have to have" it anyway is very similar to alcoholism. Her story touched me deeply... because I absolutely understand that feeling of wanting to stop, but not being able. With her permission, here is part of what she shared. See if you do not totally relate to her experience, as I do, but with food:

"My drink of choice was wine, and I would drink 2 1.5 liter bottles of wine every night (that's four regular-sized bottles, but it was cheaper to buy the bigger bottles). I would waken the next day, so hungover, miserable and sick, and swear off the wine. But by 4 pm that same day, I was at the grocery store, laying in my supplies for that night - and only that night, because I was going to taper off. Some nights I would promise myself that I would only have 2 glasses of wine, and would just buy a small bottle. I fully intended stick to the two glasses, but once I got that first swallow down my throat, the craving for more was overwhelming. I was stuck, because I would never drive after even one glass. I would resort to drinking either the vodka that was in the pantry or the rum that I kept on hand for my rum cake. Neither of which I particularly liked, but I had to have more alcohol. I would drink until I passed out, wake up sick, and start the whole ugly process all over again."

That is EXACTLY what I have gone through with food. Exactly.

I did a little more reading today on substance abuse. I found 3 different professional publications listing the criteria for a diagnosis of SUBSTANCE DEPENDENCE.

From the International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10:
A cluster of behavioural, cognitive and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated substance use and that typically include: A strong desire to take the drug, Difficulty controlling use, A higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, Persisting in use despite harmful consequences, Increased tolerance, Sometimes, a physical withdrawal state.

From the DSM-IIR:
At least 3 of the following criteria would be seen for a diagnosis of substance dependence: Substance often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than intended, Persistent desire or one or more unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control use, A great deal of time spent in activities necessary to get the substance, use the substance or recover from its effects, Important social, occupational or recreational activities given up or reduced because of substance use, Continued substance use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent social, psychological or physical problem that is caused or exacerbated by the use of the substance, Substance often taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

What do you think?

I am sure I have a physical dependence and addictive type problem with sugary foods and refined carbs. When I wanted that ice cream, I DIDN'T want it. I really felt almost powerless to the inner desperation for the ice cream. And I used to BE powerless. I *always* bought the stuff that I was craving, because NOT buying it was more painful for me than buying it and being fat. But there came a day when being fat got to be more painful than fighting the addiction. And that's why I am not morbidly obese anymore.

Okay, so all these words... what's the point? The point is, frankly, to EDUCATE myself and others about what is going on, to TEACH myself how to react in a more favorable way to these cravings, and to DISTRACT myself from how bad my headache is, how intense the PMS is, and how badly I want (and DO NOT WANT) to get back in my car, go back to the store, and buy that ice cream.

I dunno what the rest of my day will bring, but I do know that I have been 100% successful so far today. I know the PMS and the headache will pass. I know that I have learned and changed enough over the past year and a half to at least maintain in the 220's... so that I no longer believe I will ever regain back up to 280 pounds or more. I have made permanent changes that allow me to stick around THIS new weight. But like stair steps, the weight is going to go down again. Because every day I learn something new about myself, about food, about life. I am learning to cope. I am making better and better choices every day. It's not perfect, but eventually, I will get to where I want to be.

I am, however, going to have to abstain from sugar, I think, for the rest of my life. And I am getting closer and closer to accepting that. When I lived in the south, I taught a Sunday School class for teenagers. Part of the lesson we were having one day was about how, in heaven, all the people and animals will be at peace. Lions eating grass, laying with the lamb, etc. "But what about ribs?" said one strapping boy. "Ribs?" I said? "Yeah! If we won't be able to kill animals in heaven, what about barbecue ribs? And sausage? What about burgers?" "Well, " I said, "I guess we won't eat meat in heaven." Every teen in the room gasped. And my good ol' boy teenage student crossed his arms and replied, "I don't want to go to heaven if there ain't no ribs. No biscuits 'n' sausage gravy? Come on now. That ain't heaven. I ain't goin.'" And all the other boys in class shook their heads in agreement.

I felt that way too for awhile. If I can't have cake and candy bars, then what's the point in living? I couldn't imagine NEVER having another peanut butter cup or a loaf of French bread slathered in butter again. But you know what? I am finally to the point where I want heaven more than I want a sausage.

48 comments:

Chubby Chick said...

Thanks for your honesty... yet again.

I think the PMS is a big factor in your temptations at the grocery store. Good for you for not giving in!

Is there a Subway or McDonald's near where you live? You could have had a turkey sub topped with veggies on whole wheat for less than 300 calories. And McDonald's ice-cream cones are around 150 calories each. Maybe if you ate healthier choices of the foods that you are craving you would not feel deprived and the cravings would diminish.

Just take it one day at a time and do the best that you can each day, Lyn. You CAN do this... and you are definitely not alone. I'm rooting for you, girl! And I totally believe in you. :)

Chubby Chick said...

PS: (A 6" inch sub... not the foot long... but you probably already know that... hehe.)

spunkysuzi said...

I have known for a number of years that i am addicted to simple carbs and sugar! Although i can't go low/no carbs due to kidney issues i do try to keep them in check and only eat complex carbs. I don't always do it but i'm doing a lot better than i used to. And yes it is an addiction. I totally believe this. I don't think this is true of everyone just as not everyone is an alcoholic but i do believe that there are a lot of us out there.

Saje said...

I absolutely love reading your blog. The journey you are on is so inspiring, and I feel like so many of your posts are a reflection of my own thoughts and struggles. Thank you!

Ang said...

this goes along with what I posted last week, and I can so identify with this..Thank you for writing this and showing us your inner thoughts

LizB said...

I'm glad you wrote about this; as I mentioned to you in e-mail (thanks for your reply by the way) I do think sometimes that the food-addiction mindset definitely causes me to sabotage myself. I find that I have to avoid the food I am craving, because if I give in, thinking I can have a small amount in moderation, I will overdo it. Maybe someday in the future I won't have to be rigid, but for now, it is what it is.

Jess said...

Great post! *HUGS* I totally relate to my inner toddler having a temper-tantrum in the grocery store!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Your writing is so terrific, it always seems to say exactly what I'm thinking but can't articulate. Thank you. You continue to inspire me with your words, your deeds, your honesty.

Theresa said...

Heaven will be so full of "what matters" we will not even miss the ribs. That's what we need to strive for. Making heaven on earth by filling it with things better than ribs could ever be. Great post. You're not alone. :)
Theresa

Anonymous said...

There is strong scientific support for sugar as an addictive drug, Lyn, as you have been finding out. I have known this for a while now and I believe commented about it to you before--but you weren't really ready to hear it then. It seems like you are ready for the information now, and I know once you quit sugar, you'll be able to kick it for good. AND...you won't miss it.

Keep goin'.

*hugs*

WarMaiden

Aneleh said...

Hi, I'd just like to say I LOVE reading your blog! You have so much insight to this weight loss journey. I can relate to the carb/sugar addiction. Even though I've lost weight and am in a healthy range now I still struggle with this quite a bit. It's such a feeling of being out of control of your actions. The only thing that made me feel normal was cutting out sugars completely (which I am going to try again starting today!).

HiddenJewel said...

Seems like I remember reading somewhere that sugar and alcohol actually work in similar ways in the body. I could be remembering this wrong (it wouldn't be the first time :)) but if this is true then it could explain a lot of the similarities.

Tamzin said...

amen sister!

skinnyhollie said...

I am going through the exact same thing, but I realized that my sugar habit was an addiction quite a while ago. It's just now that I've decided to do something about it. See, my husband was addicted to drugs, and seeing him succumb and withdraw for so many years allowed me a glimpse into what an addict goes through. I always knew that I could relate to him, but my addiction was food (namely sugary food). I WILL live the rest of my life without candy and cake, I have to...

~TMcGee~ said...

This post came at the right time for me. I wanted to blog today but I didn't...I was too busy stuffing my face with poptarts and a candy bar. :-( I am deeply ashamed and sometimes think I should not even be here because I am not giving this 100%
Now, that the last of the "bad" food is out of the house, I'm ready AGAIN to give up sugar. I hate how it makes me feel afterwards (during consumption, it's almost as good as sex)...but after...I feel like I'm literally going to pass out and never wake up again.
I can't even limit myself to "sugar free" products because it irritates me further and I break down and buy the real thing.
Tonight' menu? Grilled Tilapia and Green Beans....
Thanks for writing this, Lyn...you help me so much.

Megan said...

Great post, thanks for all the info! I'm impressed with your resolve! Thanks for responding to my email, I had to laugh because it almost felt like hearing from a celebrity and I thought that you might get a kick out of that! Keep up the good work!
Megan

Lori said...

Lynn - not sure if I mentioned this before, but there is a great book out there called The Sugar Addict's Recovery by Kathleen DesMaisons.

Sugar addiction is physical - and her book was breakthrough for me

Bethany said...

Wow. Once again I am in awe of how spot-on this post is. I am an addict, too. I mean, I've known that, but reading your post really brings it home again. I am from a background of very addictive personalities. I've never smoked or drank or used drugs, but I'm an addict nonetheless. My drug of choice is different, maybe, than the drugs and alcohol that many of my family members succumbed too, but it is addiction. Wow. I'm just sitting here trying to process this and figure out how this is going to affect my efforts from here on...
Bethany

Jules said...

My husband is a recovering drug addict... I've known since we met that it's a lifelong journey for him. But until this last year I could never TRULY understand as I've never been addicted to drugs or alcohol. But this last year I've come to realize I do have an addiction. It's just not your normal "substance abuse" It's food. Not just sugar, not just carbs... FOOD!!! Ok... maybe carbs. But really, my cravings can be satisfied (or not satisfied as sometimes it takes too much to get there) by just about anything I can get my hands on. Since starting my new healthy lifestyle in Feb I've been working on the WW plan so that i can become realistic in serving sizes. I've been working on learning to learn to eat for the purpose of living, not living to eat. It's hard, but attainable.
So many of us completely relate to your blog. BUT we're so glad that we do. Because you again have showed us... we're not alone. :)

Keep up the good work. As soon as you come to terms with your forever lifestyle... It'll get easier. :)

mythreemonthokinawadiet said...

I hope more people talk about food addiction. I really believe this is true for myself and many others.

If over-eating was treated as an addiction then it might be bennifical to society as a whole.

My over-eating and over-drinking have the same pattern. I don't crave beer. I don't drink beer everyday. Sometimes not for weeks...But I never just have a few beers. After 4 beers I am guaranteed to have 12. Same as food. I never to to all-you-can-eat places for that exact reason.

Thank you for your candor

Lauren said...

Thank you for this post. I've really been struggling lately with everything. I'm going to copy and refer to a bit of this post on my blog if it's ok.

ryry the adventurous said...

I completely, utterly, sincerely know exactly what you mean.

And unfortunately, I think you are right. You may never be able to really eat these things again. It's the bitter realization that you can't eat the same things as everyone else.

Like me and gluten. No breads, no pastas, no wheat.

And I love thin mints, so much.

Anonymous said...

This post is terrific! I've been telling everyone about my belief that sugar addiction is as strong as drug or alcohol addiction. I often get a polite smile or a dismissive laugh. People just don't get it!! I watch the show Intervention, and there are so many similarities b/w the drug addicts and myself (I've never drank or drugged in my life!). They will show an addict who just got out of jail, and they vow to stop using, and on the first night at home, they cave to the need, and get in the car to go find their fix. Me, and I'm sure all viewers, are thinking 'no, no, no, don't do it', but the person just has to do it. I'm the same way with food. I'll do good all day, and the thoughts and desires for sugary snacks pile up in my mind so much that it's all I'm thinking about, and I'm fighting it as hard as I can, and I'm a mess, and it just seems easier to fall apart and stuff my face, just to end the stress and anxiety over NOT eating. Sighhhhh.It sometimes seems so helpless, hopeless. A lifelong struggle, I suppose. But, it gets no respect!!!!
Thanks for your honesty, and ALL the great advice, resources in this post. You are awesome!

IRJessica said...

Amazing post Lyn. I really like your attitude about food addiction. I agree with you. You never know who your readers are and what impact you are making, but I'll tell you it's a very good one.

Off topic a bit- I've been following you a little while now. PMS seems to be a real trigger and struggle for you. Have you thought about options to eliminate/reduce it...?

I'm proud of your good decisions- feel better soon!

antgirl said...

What if instead of concentrating on the negatives of the foods calling to you, you tried using positives and passion toward the foods that are better choices? It's an attitude adjustment that did wonders for me.

Just because not everyone has a weight issue with *normal* foods doesn't mean they won't develop the same health issues down the road. Normal is not good for anyone. :) That's another one that helps me.

Lyn said...

IRJessica~

Yes, actually, I have gone down the medical path with my GYN, tried a few things including various hormonals and birth control and other things, some of which made me violently ill. I asked my Dr "what next"... and there really isn't a next, yet. But he thought it was interesting that when I am eating healthful foods and not junk, my PMS is quite reduced. A key, I am sure... but tough how the PMS feeds the craving for what makes the PMS worse!

Vickie said...

I think it was an excellent posting and true statements for 99.9% of US. But there will only be a small percentage that TRULY believe and understand and can apply what you have discovered to their own life.

I did not read any of the comments attached to your posting. I can well guess the mixture that you received.

And I wanted to let you know that for all the people that absolutely do not understand what you were saying - REMEMBER - they are listening to the addict on their own shoulder - who is whispering all kinds of things to them.

Anonymous said...

Do you have a grocery store near you that will deliver? If so, I recommend that route. You can order over the internet or phone and thus won't be confronted with the sights and smells that tempt you in the grocery store.

Anonymous said...

I'm cheering you on today.
And I'm going to be walking around grateful that I don't have the struggle that you do. I've got my own row to hoe, and your posts give me courage to tackle what I need to work on. Thank you.
Today reading the other comments I swore I wouldn't give you advice, not really having walked in your shoes, but . . .
If you haven't explored complementary medicine - acupuncture etc. for PMS you might find it useful. It can also be useful for substance abuse.
Marie

Lynne said...

Overeater's Anonymous - Have you considered looking up a chapter in your area. Alcoholics have sponsors; I am sure OA does as well. It might be a great place to admit your addictions and deal with them head on (blogs are great but human contact and accountability are much stronger I've found).

You are doing great - seems like you are more "ON" than "OFF" lately -- keep up with the exercise as that will help control the appetite/cravings as well!

GO Lyn GO!! !

kaye said...

Lyn,

When I read your blog I feel like I am reading about me. I COMPLETELY agree with the sugar addiction. Years ago, when I did the Atkins diet, eating no sugar, I felt the best I've ever felt--lots of energy, no cravings. But now that I'm vegetarian, that is much harder to obtain. I struggle as you do daily. I want the ice cream, the chips, the cookies. I also get ANGRY that I can't have what I want. And it seems that others can. They don't have to worry about what they eat. It doesn't seem fair. Your blog is such an inspiration. When you speak, you reach many. Thank you.
Kaye

PatriciaW said...

I'm certain sugar has addictive properties. If it didn't, the withdrawal wouldn't be so intense and the cravings so strong. And when you did indulge, just a teensy, weensy bit, you wouldn't fall completely off the wagon and roll down the hill, the way I do.

I think there's even more to the story, as Chubby Chick suggested. Hormones play a role too. I've discovered that my biggest battles with sugar come in the week between ovulation and my cycle. Right after my cycle? Not difficult at all. So I try to really rev up my workouts in that tough period and do the absolute best I can, aware that the urges will subside greatly within 7-10 days.

Madame said...

it's amazing to see someone tackle not only obesity ... but focus on sugar and unhealthy carbs in the process ... I always think I have my diet down to a T and end up getting something SF which almost always, acts as trigger I then find myself succumbing to a real sugared item ... sometimes in a moderately healthy way (regarding proportions) but I so desperately need to ... lose the "addict-ish" feeling of NEEDING it.

Alanna @ Kitchen Parade said...

As always, so open and direct and poignant and truthful and insightful and and and ...

NewMe said...

Personally, I'm sad that so many people have to take an "all or nothing" attitude towards certain kinds of food.

Maybe I've just not been done quite the same road as people here. I do have a weight problem, but my idea of bingeing is a couple of cookies every once in a while. No kidding. Obviously, over the years, I've eaten just a bit too much and that has made me gain weight, but I know I will never get to the point where I have to stop eating xyz like an alcoholic swears off alcohol or a smoker stops smoking forwever.

I love sweets and the thought that I could NEVER have something sweet again would make me blow a gasket. My answer--and it's mine alone, I'm not trying to convince anyone else--is to work really hard on moderation. It's tough, but I can have a spoonful of ice cream and put the tub away. The process is long and painfully slow, but I feel that I'm on the right track for me.

I suppose I haven't realized just how many people out there have a real addiction to food or to certain kinds of food. I've always felt that I don't have an addictive personality. A few years ago, I had surgery that went very badly. I was on oxycontin for about two months, but had absolutely no trouble going off it. I knew when to lower the dose because I would get a stupendous headache if I took too much. The stuff never got me high, it just eased my pain.

Food is different, in that we have to eat to survive. That's why so many people seem to have to put themselves in a food straight-jacket. Otherwise, they go off the deep end. It makes me really sad for all of us.

Ceres said...

Hi Lyn,
thanks for sharing and for being so honest. These cravings are very close to what I feel sometimes. I think your post speaks to most people who have a serious issue with their weight.
I think that you wrote a very similar post a long time ago. I clearly remember that you were writing about the parallels of food/sugar and alcohol/substance addiction. I guess my point is that you've been down this road before, you've managed to get out of the "sugar fog" (to borrow your phrase) and to lose more weight and feel better. You know what works and what doesn't, and you'll get it right, I know you will :-)

Fat[free]Me said...

Great post and I totally get what you mean!

well done for not giving in and choosing heaven instead!

Karen in Tennessee said...

I feel the same way about sugar. Its an addiction for me and when I am in the midst of indulging in the addiction, I just go from one binge to the next and never eat one healthy thing. I know what it does to me...yet I continue to buy it and binge on it. Its such a sickness. I am doing well today but since I am in "start over" mode, I am hanging on by a thread. Why is this so hard? I never touch alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes...or have any desire to do so. But sugar? OMG. If I could eat it without paying the price I absolutely would. That is the hardest part for me: the truth is that I really don't WANT to give it up but the penalty for eating sugar is so high I know I must.

Heather said...

great post! I too cannot eat something that is still a trigger food but sugar free. I tried ice cream and all of that, but I still would end up binging on it. it doesnt matter that its slightly better than the real thing, its still not great. I think if you are going to cut it out, then cut it all out including those binge foods. its helped me be successful and it sounds like you are really catching on to what helps YOU be successful and what you need to stay away from and how to deal with those cravings.

Nicole said...

Such perfect timing for this entry. As you could see in my blog, the past two days have been so hard for me in the terms of wanting, longing, pining for food.
And you are so right at the end, I want heaven more than I want sausage. I realized, the old saying goes is still true. What do I really want. The bread loaf... or what I have said that I've wanted for over 20 years of my life.
Yeah, that.
Thanks for your insight and for struggling right along side with me. On one hand it's hard for me to see that after all your success you still limp along some days, because it makes me feel like maybe it won't get easier. But look at your progress, those tough days are worth it.
Just have to get through today and maybe tomorrow will be better.
i don't want the food to control me but I need to find out - what exactly else am I to do with the feelings of longing - other than haunt my own blog and take my frustration out on scrubbing my bathroom?
At least it's sparkling clean now....

Sugarshakes said...

Such perfect timing for this entry. As you could see in my blog, the past two days have been so hard for me in the terms of wanting, longing, pining for food.
And you are so right at the end, I want heaven more than I want sausage. I realized, the old saying goes is still true. What do I really want. The bread loaf... or what I have said that I've wanted for over 20 years of my life.
Yeah, that.
Thanks for your insight and for struggling right along side with me. On one hand it's hard for me to see that after all your success you still limp along some days, because it makes me feel like maybe it won't get easier. But look at your progress, those tough days are worth it.
Just have to get through today and maybe tomorrow will be better.
i don't want the food to control me but I need to find out - what exactly else am I to do with the feelings of longing - other than haunt my own blog and take my frustration out on scrubbing my bathroom?
At least it's sparkling clean now....

Anonymous said...

Addiction is so tough. I was a heavy smoker for almost 30 years. I quit 2 years ago. it wasnt easy, I was super depressed and actually was trying to convince myself that life wasnt worth living if I couldnt smoke. the bad part..I gained 20 lbs, but I started to exercise and last Sept completed the Danskin Triathalon and in a few weeks will be doing a half marathon, mostly walking it, but hey its still 13miles! keep it up. we are all routing for you! Kathy B

muttonfish said...

Lyn,
I rarely comment, but wanted to tell you I LOVED THE TITLE OF THIS POST!!! When you consolidate this blog into a book (and I really hope you will), "Heaven or a Sausage?" is the PERFECT title. Keep on keepin on with your wit, your wisdom, and your brutal honesty. You are a winner.

Muttonfish

austex99 said...

I can identify with this. For me, it wasn't so much a specific food, but food in general (particularly indulgent, unhealthy food) which was a way of feeding my anxiety and self-esteem problems, I think. Still, many of the behaviors are the same. Here's the good news: it gets easier. I've lost almost 50 lbs over the last 10 months on Weight Watchers. Tonight I had several points left over and thought, "I haven't had a REAL Coke in soooo long, I can use those points on a real Coke with sugar." And then I imagined how that coke would taste and just... wasn't interested. The craving wasn't there at all (and I have always loved Coke). My point is, I truly believe that, as your body changes, so does your brain. I don't know about the physiology of it, but I think that the more you feed your body healthily, the more your body adjusts and stops needing the drug, so to speak.

Sassle said...

I can identify with both sugar and alcohol addiction. When I got sober 9 plus years ago, I started losing weight, all was fine but in 2005-2006 I was going through some tough life issues and knew I couldn't drink. Starbuck Macadamia nut cookies become my drug, in the Weight Watchers World they were 10 points each and I would eat at least 3 a day aside from all my other cravings. In my mind I knew I could never drink again and at the time I wasn't going to any AA meetings so I had no tools to learn to cope so I ate myself from 128 pounds to 305 pounds in record time. People thought something was wrong with my health, since I gained almost 175 pounds in a little over a year's time. I am addicted to sugar, I refuse to eat a piece of chocolate, cookie, cake (#1 drug of choice) or anything other then jell-o or pudding (both sugar/fat free) because I will binge once I've tasted sugar. Just like I will start drinking again if I should ever have a sip of alcohol. I've even opted out of having my pudding or jell-o some nights simply because I don't want my body to expect sugar (sugar free still tastes like sugar) every day.

It's weird, after 9 plus years of being sober, I don't resent being an alcoholic, I can cope, I have wonderful life tools and I have a great life and support system in AA, but I sure do resent the sugar addiction and in time I will have a better hold on that demon too.

Anonymous said...

I am a broken record - as I just posted this on Once Upon a Diet (because I found her blog when searching some information on Weil/Taubes).

This needs to be your mantra hence forth and forever.

I WILL read 'Good Calories, Bad Calories' by Gary Taubes (Yes you will. You must. It will save your life, as it has mine)

I will not eat refined carbohydrates EVER. Not EVER.

There is a whole world out there of good food, that will not kill you - as these craved for carbohydrates will. They ARE addictive, read what you write!

You don't need to 'diet', you need to ALTER your diet.

I am on a personal campaign, as I have been watching a friend commit suicide slowly... and have just this past month been able to turn him around. He is a diabetic, short, and weighs 300 lbs. My best friend, and I do NOT want to lose him.

I don't want to see another person who has 'bought the party line' sicken and die because of it. You are not to blame, you are an unfortunate victim of the food industry.

Read the book. It isn't an easy read, but nothing worthwhile in life is easy.

It is the ONLY nutrition information that is backed up by actual science. If you think that the lipid hypothesis of heart disease is correct, then you have been very much mislead.

Read it. Save your life, your marriage and your heart...

Cap'n Jan

From 235 to 150 (5'7" 60 years old). It took a year, and I never ONCE dieted. Never ONCE felt that gnawing need for fudge, M&M's, Iced Cream or any of the other systemic poisons. Which is how you need to start thinking of them...

Vickie said...

are you doing okay? missed seeing you today.

Anonymous said...

The Mood Cure or The Diet Cure by Julia Ross. Both alchoholics and carb addicts have similiar brain imbalances which can be "cured" by balancing brain chemistry with certain amino acids. You feel you "need" those sugars because your brain demands it. You can get either book from most libraries. I cannot survive low-carb without a daily HTP-5 to supplement my seratonin levels.