Sunday, October 9, 2011

DAY 282 -- Anniversary of sugarholic recovery

Today marks 10 YEARS of Sugar Addiction Recovery for me.  Giving up refined sugar was one of the best things I've ever done.  I've had some people tell me, "Well, I am toooo addicted.  I could never stop eating sweets."  Those people assume that I must not have been very addicted if I was able to give it up... they have no idea the hellish addiction I had.

How did I do it?  How did I give it up?  With Divine help in taking one step at a time, one day at a time, until those one days accumulated into ten years.

To better understand my before and after, here's an excerpt from the "My Story" page on this blog...

MY SUGARHOLIC STORY:  When people find out I abstain from sugary foods, they usually say, "I could never live like that."  They don't understand... I was not living before giving up sweets.  I was existing, but certainly not living.  I existed in a world of mood swings, depression, fatigue, sickness, anger, and self-loathing.  I had dreams, but no oomph to follow them.

I reached a point where I was desperate.  I wanted to be well!  I wanted good health!  I made appointments with my gynecologist (were my hormones out of whack?); an allergist (were allergies making me sick?); and an internal medicine doctor.  Surely someone would have answers.  In the meantime, I poured my heart out in prayer.  This was nothing new, but perhaps I was finally in the right frame of mind to understand the answer: sugar addiction.  Just as surely as someone could be addicted to alcohol, I was addicted to sugar.  I realized that addiction runs in my family.  Alcohol.  Drugs.  Sugar was my drug of choice.  I realized that just as an alcoholic needs to avoid alcohol at all times (one should not tell an alcoholic, "It's your birthday, go ahead and have a drink!") I needed to avoid sugary foods, even on special occasions.

When this realization hit me, I stopped cold turkey.  It was October 9, 2001.  I went through about a week of withdrawals...and then...the cravings ceased, and I emerged into a whole new world!  I felt alive.  Really alive!  

I am a different person.  Here are some things that changed for me:
  • Nearly every day of the week is a good day for me.  I used to have maybe one good day out of a week.  A good day for me is when I am productive and accomplish tasks.
  • More energy!  Sure, I still get tired, but it is because I have been on the go all day long.
  • No heartburn.  Before going off sugar, I used to have frequent heartburn.  I kept Tums in my purse, next to my bed, in the medicine cabinet.   Now I don't need them.  
  • Better sleep patterns.  I go to bed early and arise early.  (I never dreamed I was actually a morning person!!)  I used to go to bed exhausted, have insomnia, and never feel awake even after arising.  I slept in any chance I could get and the only thing that motivated me to get out of bed was the thought of something yummy to eat.  Sugary cereals.  Donuts.  I used to have a sweatshirt that read: "Start every day with a smile and a donut...the smile is optional."
  • No need for anti-depressants!  Prior to discovering my sugar addiction, I went on anti-depressants (off and on) always thinking they would help me feel better.  They did not.  Since avoiding sugars, I have never once felt the need for medication--and what's more, I feel mentally better than I ever did during the times I used anti-depressants.
  • Fewer skin tags.  I used to have lots of skin tags all over my neck.  Most of them disappeared when I stopped eating sweets!
  • Easier to donate blood.  When I was full of sugar, if I donated blood I became very light-headed and dizzy.  They would have to put ice packs around my neck and have me recline with my feet up for a long period of time until I could finally leave the blood mobile.  It was embarrassing, so I rarely donated.  Now, they take my blood, I hop up, grab a bottle of water and free T-shirt, and I'm out the door.
  • Courage to do hard things.  Now when faced with a challenge I think to myself, "The Lord helped me quit eating sugar, He can help me accomplish (insert any difficult task) too.  

Freedom from addiction tastes far better than any sweet.  I don't want to enter that bondage--the prison of sugar addiction--again.


  1. Thank you for sharing your story and happy anniversary!

  2. First of all, congratulations! That's a great record!

    I do have some questions for you.
    Do you refrain just from sweets, or from sugar in other products like catsup and spaghetti sauce?

    Do you end up having to do a lot of cooking to avoid added sugars?

    Do you use natural sweets like maple syrup and evaporated cane juice, all-fruit jam, and stevia?

    Do you use artificial sweeteners?

    I am asking because I am considering this myself, and wondering to what extent you went to get all those great results. I know when I eat sweets I hurt, but sugar is in so many things I'm not quite sure how to entirely avoid it. I assume refined sugar also means corn syrup products.

    Thanks! Lynn

  3. Susan... thank you!

    Lynn... those are great questions. I think I will use those for my next post, I hope you don't mind.