I have had a love-hate relationship with sugar for years.
It began in childhood shaking the white stuff over margarine slathered slices of bread after school, buying big bags of penny buns last thing on a Saturday when they were cheap and rushing to the sweetie shop with my pocket money to stare in awe at the array of delight filled jars.
I always LOVED sugar, especially sweeties and chocolate.
As adulthood progressed I ate a lot of chocolate bars, wrappers hastily stuffed in the car door pocket till they spilled out caught on a gust of wind, flying my guilty secret along the street.
If I couldn’t find sugar I’d snack on dried fruit or a spoonful of jam, nothing ever stopped me. I could make a sweet treat out of nothing.
As far back as the early 1990’s someone suggested I might have an issue with candida and what did I do? I ignored it of course. I knew you had to give up the sweet stuff and that was simply not going to happen.
Yes I had digestive issues, yes I felt unwell a lot of the time. IBS was the label I had been given several years before with no offer of treatment or help other than taking horse-sized mint pills, which incidentally did not work.
Now I realise my body was yelling at me, telling me something was wrong. Did I listen? Did I heck. I had no idea about anything, I lived out of my body and often out of my head, most of the time.
When, many years later my body, fed up with screaming at me, brought me to a standstill, and I had no choice but to pay attention and listen if I wanted to get better. I had to start finding out what was going on with the eco-system called Mairi.
Although I had flirted with several no or low sugar diets over the years prior to ME/CFS none of them really helped me. I still suffered from terrible bloating and a great deal of discomfort, pain and of course sugar cravings. Slowly as I began to learn more about myself, my gut and my emotions I had to accept my digestive system was way out of whack. I needed to heal my gut.
I have done an incredible amount of work to heal myself ove rthe last few years, and although I am largely recovered from ill health there are a few remaining immune issues I want to deal with.
I believe our bodies know what to do, look at how they heal up a cut or cold, but often we are bombarding them with more than they can cope with and things get horribly out of balance and dis-ease is created. To heal we have to help our bodies physically, emotionally and spiritually. We have to create an environment where healing can take place.
So long as I continued to consume processed sugar, a highly inflammatory food I was inhibiting my body’s ability to heal.
Recently I decided to follow the Vital Mind Re-Set Programme developed by Kelly Brogan MD. This is a comprehensive life re-set which requires many changes including eliminating Sugaaaaaar.
Although I haven’t eaten much sugar for a long time, I still had the occassionaly slice of cafe cake, munched on very dark chocolate a lot and pinched toffees from the tin in my husband’s car; you may know the sort of behaviour yourself? It’s sugar denial in action.
But the Re-Set is no processed sugar AT ALL, nada, nothing, none, argh!
AND……..a very interesting thing has happened to me. I have found that my craving for sugar has for the time being anyway, disappeared, and I am feeling incredibly free and clear.
Stopping all processed foods and removing toxins from my home and body feels liberating. I love feeling this clarity and strength and I am finding that I do not want to put any poisonous or processed (often the two come together) stuff in my body anymore. I still have a way to go, this is not an overnight sensation, it is life changing and therefore a process. Sugar, however is out out out and it is my intention to keep it that way.
So how the heck am I doing it, and so joyfully too, you may ask?
Well we are able to use a little honey or maple syrup. I thought this might keep my cravings alive, but it hasn’t. It really is the white stuff that DOES IT. I do not get the same zing wham, mad-dance buzz from these naturally sweet foods. This means dessert and treats can be had without re-triggering the desire for the white poison. It also helps massively with the missing-out and depravation I have experienced in the past when going hard core on nothing-sweet.
Me being me I have been experimenting and testing out recipes for sweet treats using a small amount of maple syrup or honey. Instead of white knuckling through going-without I have made sure that I do have a treat when others are indulging.
So if you are trying to quit sugar ditch sitting feeling sorry for yourself, complaining and lamenting about your situation ( all of which I have done!). Instead create delightful, delicious snacks and treats which you know you can have.
You do not need to miss out.
At a recent family gathering I took a couple of these non-processed sugar treats and found everyone loved them, so much so I had to hide them to make sure I still had some when they all ate the cake.
If sugar is your nemesis, and you just can’t break free, try this:
Be gentle with yourself, stop being mean to yourself if you cave in and instead take note, become more aware. Start checking in with yourself, was it a physical craving or an emotional one? Were you looking for the energy lift or were you stuffing some feeling away?
Emotional eating is a huge area but one worth delving into if you want to be free. I had many attachments to sugar and sweetness to do with treating myself and feeling cared for. These were so powerful I had to do a lot of tapping on the idea that I could find sweetness elsewhere in my life, it didn’t have to involve sugar. Honestly, when that was first suggested to me I laughed my head off at such a preposterous thought, I actually thought the person was joking.
So consider how you might deal differently with why you want that sugar. Do you need a rest, or a little nap? Could you talk to someone, or use EFT Tapping to help alleviate the emotional need?
Think about what you could eat instead, what treats can you prepare and have to hand for these times? Think ahead; think about where you will be going and what you will be doing that day and take treats or puddings so you have what you need and you won’t then be tempted to give in, or feel under pressure to say yes to something sugar laden.
Learn about how to stabilise your blood sugars better. You could start by downloading my Simple Healthy Breakfast Guide. I was delighted to hear Dr. Brogan’s opinion on this:
“Your entire performance in life can change based on what you ate for breakfast.”
Sugar is a massive issue in our society. Everywhere we go there it is saying eat me, eat me, often accompanied by others encouraging us on, “Go on treat yourself, a little won’t hurt, oh come on it’s a special occasion.”
Well you can be prepared now, here are links to two blogs I’ve written. The sugar is all non-processed and in small amounts so you can eat and enjoy without any of the associated mental and emotional rollercoaster processed sugar brings with it.
And if after all this you just can’t do it, give me a call. I offer a free consultation where we can chat through your issue and find a way forward that’s right for you. You can contact me here.
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