Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sugar Misery

Last night, I heard the call of the old sugary, chocolatey ghosts of the past whispering to me to make brownie batter. Now, you may remember that a couple months ago I actually emptied an entire sugar canister into the trash in an effort to free myself from Batter Obsession. You really can't make a decent brownie batter without sugar (and if you can, please don't tell me!), just as you can't make chocolate chip cookie dough without chocolate chips. So I banished sugar and chocolate from the house for my sanity's sake. And it worked.

Then a couple weeks ago, one of my high schoolers was given an assignment for a class: make a specific, teacher-generated recipe which contained white, granulated sugar.

I went to the store and bought the tiniest box of sugar I could find. It only had about 2 or 3 cups of sugar in it and it was far more expensive than a big bag of sugar, but it was worth the price to NOT have a bunch of sugar sitting around the house.

My mistake was NOT throwing the rest of that sugar away after my teen had used it.

So last night I was wandering around the kitchen, wanting chocolate (feeling pissy because I hadn't really indulged for Easter, perhaps? Plus the PMS monster is upon me). I took that little box of sugar and poured it into a cup. It was about 3/4 cup of sugar. I quickly whipped it together with butter, cocoa, egg beaters, and flour to make a batter, but as I stared at it, I thought, "I am NOT going to eat this bowl of brownie batter. This is just wrong." I licked the spatula and put the batter into an 8 inch pan and baked it.

It was a step in the right direction, because I generally don't like brownies unless they are *perfect.* They have to be chewy on the edges, crackly on top, firm enough to hold (but just barely) and fudgey and rich inside. No cakey brownies for me, yuck. So, ya know, my baking was designed to stop me from EATING all the batter in the bowl (which I easily could have done, and have done in the past with 2 or 3 times as much batter).

After they were baked, though, I had the nerve to decide that I *would* like a cakey brownie *IF* it was frosted. So I melted some butter, tossed in some cocoa and powdered sugar, and frosted the brownies. And ate 3 of them. FOR DINNER.

It was a bad idea, not only because I had had a rough day already (not enough veggies, a midday run to McDonald's, and not much else) but also because my body was no longer used to that amount of sugar. I've been "off" sugar and carbs for the most part for about 3 weeks now.

This morning, I woke up SO SORE that I wondered if I was a) sick or b) had been beaten up in the night without waking up. I literally hobbled out of bed. Every muscle, every cell ached. My head was throbbing (it still is). I felt nauseous. I groaned and got out of bed. I was also having bad cramps and a backache from PMS. It was sheer misery to even try to get up and function. I felt toxic. As well I should... sugar is a poison to me.

Well, I had some green tea and a bunch of water and I'm making a point to "detox" from the gross food I ate yesterday. Back to the healthy choices.... back to protein and veggies and stuff that makes me feel good rather than bad. I don't have any cravings... except maybe for watermelon. Mmmm.

One of my kids has a birthday coming up this week, which means a homemade cake, ice cream, and a dinner out. But ya know, I have *no* desire to eat crap, even on a birthday. If anything I may have a half slice of cake, but the rest of this week I just want to get back to the comfort of eating real food. Stuff that nourishes my body and gives me energy to live.

26 comments:

Ang said...

that is a huge sugar hangover..Hope that you begin feeling better and know you will do great this next week

Megan said...

You go girl. This weekend I just finished reading all your blogs. I got into it almost like a book and I just wanted to tell you a couple things I noticed. A) You are a very good writer B) You seem like a really good mom (special fun outings for medical appointments, celebrations, traditions etc) and C) You seem like a really genuinely kind person. Keep up the good work, I find myself thinking of your phrases when I'm trying to win one of those in-your-head battles. I've also been throwing out a lot more things with one bite taken out of them...:) Thanks for all your hard work and writing.
Megan

spunkysuzi said...

I know exactly what you mean. When i've overdone sugar the next day my arthritis is soooo bad! It does help me stay off it most of the time and i pay for it when i do indulge :( Lesson learned!

Karen said...

Good job starting off today right!

I have to say I've learned that I am my own worst enemy when it comes to a binge, or trying to stop one.

I literally have an entire conversation with myself in my head about letting myself binge or trying to stop it.

It is much easier to stop one in it's tracks with other people around who I can actually talk to, rather than when I'm alone.

Anonymous said...

At risk of stating the obvious: When you bake a birthday cake for your child, you are not obligated to eat any of it. You are not obligated to lick the spoon and bowl, either. I still make "the real thing" cakes for my family every once in a while on a birthday, but I am so committed to not eating sugar that I don't even taste. The problem with addiction is that even a small amount can and will send you into binge mode. Lyn, you struggled all last week with sugar after your illness, then had more sugar on Sunday, then had more sugar on Monday...so I'm concerned for you. I hope you're able to get through today and the next 2 to 3 days and get it out of your system again--things will be better then.

Fondly,

WarMaiden

PatriciaW said...

Just learned of your blog. Looked at your pics and how you are doing it. I'm staying because you're doing it the only way that really works, slow and steady. Less in, better in, and more moving.

I'm only down 16 lbs with 60 to go but I'm determined. I'm trying to surround myself with others who are motivated and positive, so I'll be back.

On sugar, I gave in to the cravings over the weekend. Bad move! I woke up feeling yucky, for lack of a better word. My fingers and ankles felt swollen, and my midsection felt as though someone had injected extra air. The sad thing is how much additional work I'll have to do to lose the 2 lbs I picked up.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, are you sure you'll be able to stick to only half a slice of birthday cake? I really hope so, I would hate for you to have to write about a post-cake binge.

Mike579 said...

Sorry you went through that buddy. Sounds icky. Hang in there!

bbubblyb said...

I think we all go through these struggles, sounds like you're aware and trying. I think realizing how bad sugar makes you feel after the fact is a big plus too. I know when I was eating terrible for the longest time I didn't even put it together that it was the crappy sugary food making me feel so bad. As for the Birthday, my nephew's was on Easter and I did eat just one piece of cake and was ok. So I know it's possible. Way to go on 3 weeks of no sugar too that's great. I'm sure you'll get yourself back on track. Here's to a good clean eating day. *hugs*

Ceres said...

Ouch, sorry that you're feeling bad today, but it looks like you started the day right! I think I'll join the rest of the readers in urging you to try not having any cake. I think it's really hard, but you're a fighter, and I have faith in you! Since sugar is a trigger for you, just cut it off, at least for a while. Maybe arrange for yourself to have another special treat instead, one that involves no sugar but that you really like and can only have rarely (gourmet cheese with crackers?). Or reward yourself by, I don't know, new clothes or a great cd or something, if you abstain from the cake. Just a thought...

Nicole said...

Thanks for admitting it. I have been struggling with such batter-type demons on a daily basis. And to know that someone who's seen SO MUCH success deals with these things, too, makes me feel like I will still have success so long as I keep at it! Thanks for sharing. You are doing beautifully! Even though you gave in, I give you so much credit for the all the effort you had put in beforehand to avoid it! Those are things to celebrate in themselves! Because there was a time when we wouldn't have thought twice!

gogo girl aka sian said...

Funny we just did a post about sugar hang-over as well...ours was just a silly one - but yours sounds oh so real - I hope you feel better

Fat[free]Me said...

I hope it was just the PMS - it sends us seeking sugar so badly.

Sounds like you are very sensitive to it and should avoid sugar at all costs - glad you are detoxing and back to fight another day!

Karen In Tennessee said...

Lyn,
I have been there a million times before. Oh that sugar hangover. I am detoxing too from my weekend with my family where I did my best to not eat one nourishing morsel all weekend. Today is a new opportunity to love ourselves with healthy eating.

~TMcGee~ said...

I have a suggestion (I hope you don't mind...*cringing*). When you make your child's cake, make a smaller one and take it with you to the restaurant. They'll let you have it there and when everyone has had their slice (it's up to you if want one but a social setting might make you eat a smaller piece or none at all), leave the rest behind for the restaurant to dispose of.
We can come up with ideas galore but you have to have a gameplan for that day. Hugs, lady. I feel I cannot say too much on this sensitive subject as sweets are my "cocaine".

antgirl said...

That PMS monster is a real bear. I have not figured out how to shut that one up ... I just have an order of healthy snacks I go in.

redballoon said...

Lyn,
Best of luck getting over the sugar incident. I'm kind of in the same boat. I know what the sugar does and yet I will, on occasion, still take the plunge. There IS a difference, though. I know what it'll cost me in terms of how I feel and what I can do with the drop in energy. Sometimes I don't mind the tradeoff. And I am doing it much, much less now because I know that price.
Birthdays are rough though. Why has cake become the end all to end all in terms of celebration? Probably for kids you have little choice, but why not try to start a new tradition for birthdays and use that for yourself for now. Can you think of some recipe you can make or some restaurant you could go to that could be used to make a birthday and yet not leave you feeling guilty, sick or in some way that you've "fallen off the wagon?"
Just like with Easter, I understand the feeling of not having "marked" the day "properly." But that "proper" is only ONE way, a way that has been fueled more often than not by interests that certainly don't have YOUR interests at heart.
I say, "Make your own way." Empower yourself and break from the fold. Yeah!!!

The Crazy Woman Inside Me said...

Love your blog, Lyn. I can really relate to your posts--especially this one on sugar. I'm a food addict, with refined carbs, like sugar, being at the top of my list.

Aside from needing to lose weight, I have AS (ankylosing spondylitis, an autoimmune disease) and whenever I eat sugar, believe me, I pay for it over the next several days.

As much as I adore it, I've decided that sugar is just plain evil. Poison. Toxic. And I hope I can finally break my addiction to it soon.

I wish you continued success on your weight loss journey, Lyn. I looked at your photos and you've made wonderful progress. From one dieter to another, be careful not to sabotage your efforts after you've accomplished so much.

Be well--and stop by my blog for a visit if you get a chance. I think you'll be able to relate. :-)

--Susan

mak'n Changes said...

This same thing happened to me last week and I scared myself a little. But I was able to keep going and I dropped out of the 200's today. So just keep going, you can do this. I BELIEVE IN YOU! I wouldn't be following your blog if I didn't.
Cindie

moonduster said...

You could always make a Scan Bran cake to eat while the kids are having cake and ice cream. It's sweetened with Splenda and is full of fiber. It's also low in calories compared to traditional cakes. (The texture's a bit different though.)

Cold Spaghetti said...

I know this is a low point, I know... but THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for having these moments AND SHARING THEM. Your courage and honesty is an inspiration!

fattykins said...

Man, your post is making me want a brownie ;) Yum! I have been enjoying your blog, it's so nice to read about others who are encountering the same sorts of struggles that I am. You keep up the good work!

athenaintraining said...

I didn't do so well over Easter, either - but tomorrow's another day.

Here's an interesting article in Wall St. Journal talking about why sugar/high-carb foods make us crave MORE food! Thought I'd share: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123966898930315491.html

athenaintraining said...

wanted to quote one paragraph from that 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."

LolaPeron said...

I am so addicted to sugar it's not even funny. I recently went to the dentist and was totally surprised to find out I had no cavities. However, the rest of me knows I have been eating sugar!

Chubby Chick said...

I feel like crap after I eat crap, too. Go figure. hehe