She Who Failed At Breaking Her Addiction To Sugar

Okay. So remember when I tried to break my addiction to sugar? (It was a long time ago. Like 2 weeks.) Remember how awful day 01 was? You all were so great and encouraging.

It didn’t help. On Thursday my daughter lost a tournament soccer came and there were a lot of tears cried by a lot of girls and I needed something from Publix and one of those things was 4 glazed donuts. Nikki looked at me eating them and said, “You can’t eat that, it’s not vegan.” To which I said to her using my possessed-by-Satan voice, “DO NOT TELL ME WHAT I CAN AND CAN NOT EAT.”

For the record, the breaking-the-addiction-to-sugar thing had fallen apart days before.

So…it was hard. Too hard. Something that was making me depressed and anxious and upset. And while Logical and Smart Zoot knows this is EXACTLY why I need to break the habit. Emotional and Self Loving Zoot made some sort of decision that amounted to, “You are a beautiful person who sometimes eats foods to call her anxiety and emotions. It’s okay. Let’s just try to work with that without making ourselves more crazy, okay?”

You could either look at it like I was being gentle and letting myself off the hood and allowing myself to try to improve my relationship with food in a less extreme way…OR…you could look at it like I was an addict falling off the wagon and justification that fall with some sort of twisted view on my own abilities.

Either way! It’s a fun game where Zoot shows a hint of Multiple Personality Disorder!

When I look at my days with food there are either GOOD days or BAD days. I have very few days in the middle gray area. They’re either days where I eat the right amount of food that fits within my activity level and my hunger. Or they’re the days where I eat what I want when I want because I’m upset/tired/anxious/stressed and RARELY because I’m actually hungry.

So, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were GOOD days. And when I have a GOOD food day, everything else seems to fall into place. I sleep better (a LITTLE better, my sleep habits have been dreadful lately), my emotional surges are less extreme, and I go to bed NOT hating myself.

And this is the key with me and food. If I could really connect with how much better I feel about myself on a GOOD day, and acknowledge that BEFORE I buy the therapy donuts, I’d be better.

But in those Donut Moments (that’s the name of my memoir), all I can think about is how those Donuts will make me feel better RIGHT THEN. And there’s a voice that says, “But you’ll feel crappy ABOUT those donuts later!” but the predominant voice says, “Then later we’ll eat better, but RIGHT NOW these donuts will make me feel better so they’re going in my face.”

And of course, we all know that the whole, “Later I’ll eat better!” does not work. Most of the time those donuts are part of a great downward spiral that often lasts a whole week if not more before I get to the bottom of the hill and can right myself. In a perfect world I’d have those Donut Moments and they’d stand alone and I’d get back on track immediately after, but it doesn’t work that way.

So – basically I’ve made the PROBABLY unhealthy decision to just work within the parameters of my faults. The main fault being: ONE STUMBLE OFF THE WAGON RIPS ME OFF COURSE FOR SEVERAL DAYS IF NOT MORE. Therefore, I need to avoid that one stumble.

And in order to avoid that one stumble? I need to NOT set myself restrictions that are crippling me emotionally.

I still am eating plant-based, but trying to also avoid EVERYTHING with refined sugar in it was stressing me out terribly. And me falling off the wagon was terribly distrubing for the general course of getting to a better place.

So…I’m still aiming towards BETTER…which is always my goal…BETTER…but I’m trying to limit how much I stress about. I’m letting myself have the peanut better that has a tiny bit of sugar in it because I hate the good peanut butter. And when I was trying to avoid that refined sugar I went crazy trying to fill in that craving for one of my peanut butter flatbreads WITHOUT my favorite peanut butter.

I don’t know. If I were an alcoholic this would be the equivalent of me saying, “I’ll just drink at parties.” And I know that’s awful for an addict. BUT – I also know that I am, in general, a healthy person who just has an emotional relationship with food. But I’m not obese, I keep it in check enough to keep my weight in balance with my fitness, so maybe I can NOT be so hard on myself.

It’s probably not going to fix the grand problems in my relationship with food, but I’d really like to at least try to stay on a gentler/less extreme course towards “BETTER” so that I don’t completely lose my mind on that journey.

Just keeping my fingers crossed for no more Donut Moments.


2 thoughts on “She Who Failed At Breaking Her Addiction To Sugar”

  1. You are so brave to recognize your issues! In my opinion, it’s the hardest part. Have you tried books with exercises/tools for dealing with emotions? I recommend ‘On Eating’ and ‘Fat is a Feminist Issue’ (It’s not a feminist book at all, I promise) by Susie Orbach. They talk about women and our relationship with food and with our bodies and HOW to eat vs WHAT to eat. It has a few exercises you can follow that have nothing to do with restricting food types or eating this or that, they are more to do with working on dealing with binge triggers, nourishing your body, and how that feels. Both books greatly helped me deal with my issues with binging, so much so, that the urge to binge only comes back when things are reeeeaaallly, reallly bad for a loooooong time and after a few binges I can put those strategies in place again and they get better. I’m not going to lie, I had to do the work, but the exercises and views in the books worked for me at that level. I loved them because they didn’t focus at all on food, and I felt I could put aside the food issues and restrictions and eat ‘normally’ while I worked on my emotions and gradually the need for binging so much stopped and I found new strength/interest in looking at the foods I ate and became healthier. If these books are not for you, there’s loads of other authors out there with good coping strategies for overeaters such as Gene Roth or Evelyn Tribole. It’s a tough path and every one of us has to find our own way and what works for us (and take it slooowwwly one step at a time, one moment at a time), but wouldn’t it be nice to not have this food thing here with you all the time? I hope you find your path to freedom soon, you certainly are on your way, methinks 🙂

  2. Hoo boy I can relate! Only I don’t stress eat. My sugar habits are more along the lines of, “it’s 6:43 am on a Tuesday! Donut time!”
    But I’m finishing up day 3, where the only sugar I’m allowed is the 2 tablespoons of creamer in my morning coffee. AND I REALLY WANT A CUPCAKE.
    I am convinced that as long as I keep trying to kick the habit (even though I cave within a week every time so far), then I’m moving in the right direction. I’m in a pretty good head space right now, so I’ll probably make it a bit longer this time. And I’ll count it as a win.
    You’ll get there someday. Remember when you were trying to be runner? And look at you now!!

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