Have you ever wondered if you might be addicted to sugar? Does your day-to-day life revolve around sugar?
If you’re not sure, you could take this quiz, however I’ll also give you some “inside information” today.
So, what exactly does it feel like to be addicted to sugar? Here are some of my experiences, in my life as a sugar addict:
Update 2013: Note the date on this article, 5/1/2007. This is an old article that I wrote 6 years ago. At that time I had the thought that I had a sugar addiction and today it’s not true. Fact: 90% of your problems with food and your weight are due to your Mindset. Only 10% are about how you eat and exercise.
- As long as I can remember, I’ve had a “sweet tooth” and loved almost all desserts.My mom had (and has) a talent for baking: pies, cinnamon rolls, cheesecake, flour based cake, cookies, just about anything you can imagine. I’ve always been drawn to any food containing sugar (and high amounts of it).
- When I think about kindergarten, one of the strongest memories that I have of that time (this was quite a few years ago!) is of the one day a week that the little roll-up window in the wall would open and beautiful cupcakes would be displayed for purchase. This memory is so strong that I even remember the day of the week: Thursday. Imagine my surprise when I asked for confirmation of the day from my mom, and found that I was correct. I actually remember that; I’d say that’s a pretty strong memory! I would get to buy a cupcake each week, and I especially remember them as having chocolate frosting with candies on top.
- Another childhood memory is of a cake walk that I participated in at an elementary school carnival. All I wanted was to win a cake that had pink frosting and sprinkles on top. I don’t remember if I won it or not, but I sure wanted it!
- I used to hoard sweets when I was growing up. One time I put a piece of cherry pie on the top shelf of the cupboard to save for later. I forgot about it (which is actually a good thing 🙂 ), and when my mom found it, it was covered with mold. I also used to freeze my Halloween candy to save it for later and draw out the experience.
- My “sweet tooth” became an obsession after graduating high school. This was when I started abusing food and hiding it to binge on. Part of the reason was because I started to diet with Slim Fast (contains sugar) and Dexatrim. I lost weight but became obsessed with food. I can see now that I was keeping my addiction alive because I was still eating sugar, even though I was trying to lose weight.
- I started sneaking food and eating in isolation after high school, and in college. I remember walking from my dorm to a grocery store and buying a frozen apple pie, bringing it back to the dorm, and eating it alone in the room. This is embarrassing to even think about let alone write for anyone to read, but if it can help someone else to know that this is an addiction rather than a flaw in your character, then that’s what matters.
- I would reach for sugar when stressed, happy, sad, bored, etc. As long as I can have my sugar, then hey, everything is great! I’m fortunate that I did not become an alcoholic (liquid sugar), however sugar addiction is just as dangerous, not only to your physical health, but also your mental health.
- Just like any good little addict, I have denied my sugar addiction for years, and thought that I could moderate it. I’ve known ever since reading Sugar Blues (gosh, I read that in high school) that sugar is addictive, a real killer.
- I am always interested in watching the HBO documentaries and A&E intervention shows about addicts. Although these shows are about drug and alcohol addicts, I can completely relate to these people. Addiction is addiction, and sugar is currently a legal drug of choice for millions (if not billions) of people on Earth.
These are a few of the points that stand out for me in my life as a sugar addict. Even today, I cannot say that I am completely “cured” of my sugar addiction. I still want it, although my taste for it has greatly diminished. When I have been without it for stretches of time and I eat it, the sweetness is overwhelming and a little sickening. But if I persist, then I can get used to it again (of course, it’s addictive!).
The problem is that if I give in and eat it, then the entire process of withdrawal will need to begin over once I take the action to kick it again. It is much easier and healthier to just eliminate it altogether. You must be vigilant and read your labels though, because sugar comes in many other forms today, such as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and crystalline fructose, to name only a few.
Any time that I give in, thinking that “just a little won’t hurt”, it leaves me wanting more. Sugar is a dangerous, addictive ingredient. If you are also addicted to sugar, I hope that it helps to know that you are not alone. There are more people than you can imagine who are in the same position as you are. Awareness is the first step, though. If you aren’t aware of the problem (a post about food abuse), then how could you even think to change or imagine that there could be a better, healthier way to live?
If you would like to learn more about sugar and it’s addictive quality, the #1 book that I would recommend is Sugar Blues by William Dufty: