I was prepared to write an inspiring post about food labels tonight, but instead, all I could think about was my little stash of left over Easter candy. I’d reserved just a few pieces of candy to ration over the coming weeks. Actually, I’d reserved a canister full of little candy bars, and I ate six last night. Yes, I’m addicted to sugar.
Signs of addiction
Before beginning this blog a few months ago, I was adding sugar to as many foods as I possibly could. I told myself, “I don’t have a weight problem. One teaspoon of sugar in my coffee can’t hurt.” Later in the day, I’d tell myself, “Just one cookie. Okay, maybe two.”
A heaping teaspoon of sugar has about 25 calories, but consider this: I was adding three teaspoons to my oatmeal every morning, three to a mug of coffee, and eating the equivalent of one desert every day in the form of a very large chocolate chip cookie, several scoops of ice cream or a couple of cup cakes.
Coming out of denial
I’ve had high triglycerides for over a year now, and sugar is supposed to contribute to the problem. That’s why I decided to write about heart disease. I knew I’d have to walk-the-talk and tackle my sugar addiction. I try to eat sweets only on special occasions now. And I’ve eliminated added sugar from my diet in all other forms, which has turned out to be a lot of items. It’s amazing how many food labels list sugar or its equivalent as an ingredient.
Honestly, it’s been much easier than I expected. I sweeten my oatmeal with dried fruit and I don’t even like coffee with sugar anymore. The mayonnaise and salad dressing in my refrigerator that I’ve recently discovered have added sugar may eventually need to be thrown out, because I’m not eating them.
Kicking the sugar habit
During tonight’s random sugar attack, I couldn’t help remembering how sluggish I felt when I ate sugar all day. I didn’t know I was feeling sluggish; it felt normal, because I’d been eating sugar every day most of my life. I have so much more energy lately that it surprises me, and it feels better than a sugar high ever did.
Tonight, instead of eating candy, I ate a desert bowl full of dried apricots and yummy walnuts, and then I filled it up again. It worked. The craving is gone and I don’t want the candy anymore.