Friday, April 15, 2016

Recovering Sugar Addict

If sugar is an addiction, then I'm a recovering sugar addict.

Honestly, I never "bought into" what I thought was hype about sugar. I was reading about how bad sugar substitutes are and how "natural" is better, so, I mistakenly thought sugar was ok.....for me. But nooooo, I made a big mistake.

For years I've been doing pretty good, to the point where I could eat a few sweet things here and there. Then I got married to the love of my life, who unfortunately wants to lavish love and kindness on me by buying me sweet things to eat. "I bought you something", beaming with smiles, hubby brings me candy or bottled coffee. How can I refuse? Sure, I can set it aside for later, but soon enough I break down and eat or drink the gift, because, well, I wanted to. A "few" sweet things turned into almost a daily thing.

Couple that with stress, and I was destined for problems. My husband was stressed from health problems in California. I was stressed watching him suffer. Couple that with the fact that I was working and stressed from my job, and you can just about predict trouble.

After my cancer treatments nearly 19 years ago, my chemo nurses told me, "Don't get stressed". They impressed upon me the importance of living as stress-free as possible.

When I first began working it was like an aerobic workout. I was getting stronger, loosing weight. I felt like I was getting paid to get healthy. Over time that changed. My tummy started to gain weight. The longer I worked, the fatter my tummy got. Oddly enough, the rest of me didn't gain, only my tummy. I still feel like my "muffin top" has a lot to do with my health issues, and I really don't know why it happened, except, maybe stress.

When I got a meter and started testing my blood sugar, I was shocked to see my numbers. Fasting was never under 199, and I was mostly in the 250 to 290 range. I was scared. I cut back on food....WAY back. I felt hungry all the time. I felt weak and run down. I cut out sugar, but the bad numbers remained. I told my doctor and she ordered new medicine. It is helping tremendously.

My numbers are much better. I'm staying off sugar. It's in everything. I realized something. Americans eat a stupid crazy amount of sugar. Pizza crust...really? Since when should pizza crust be so sweet it tastes like dessert? Pasta sauce? Way too sweet. Foods that are supposed to be savory taste like dessert instead. I make my own, but because of my husband's crazy work schedule, I try to keep easy to make foods on hand. Until I tasted some of them, I didn't realize how sweet they were, and that was before I gave up sugar.

Grocery isles are filled with sugary treats and pastries. Sugar is in things that shouldn't even have sugar. Sugar is fine in moderation, but the American diet is waaaay past moderation. People are eating too much sugar.

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