Cleaning the sugar slate in my body to get sugar sober revealed who I was and how I was functioning at levels I didn’t originally enlist myself to discover. Some of what I saw was embarrassing. Like how I preferred to commit my crimes standing, rather than sit down where I would have had to admit I was messed up. But the bigger malfunction was probably that I could stand at the counter eating a jar of honey and my alarms weren’t going off. Or that I went to bed thinking about what I would eat for breakfast! Would it be maple syrup sponges disguised as pancakes? Or a thick pond of honey surrounded by organic oatmeal?
Addiction is like having a back seat driver who has pedals and a steering wheel
But this back seat driver lets you think you are driving
It is not a secret that I am not a morning person, but I didn’t know breakfast sugar was my crutch for being a happy camper when I did get up. Without that crutch, I was grumpy, morning was laborious and I was off to a bad start for the rest of the day. Getting sugar sober was like burying my biggest secret friend and since breakfast was our special time of day it stung more. Rather than soldier through breakfast boot camp each morning I reinvented it by eating salads and vegetables for breakfast, and I have never looked back.
Addiction may be a disease, but it is also a choice
It wasn’t long before I gave up all whole fresh fruit too. I needed my sugar slate to be sterile so that I could see what was feeding it. Emotions? Situations? Habits? Food choices?
Removing an addiction comes with the risk of filling the empty space with a different addiction. If I was creating a great big gaping hole in my life then I needed to plant the garden I wanted to tend in that open space. I only wanted to move through the sober process once. I worked on and had a ready-made list of what I wanted more of in my life (activities, experiences and qualities).
Like a 12 step addiction program, I counted the sugar sober days as they passed. Stevia helped me snuff out the sweet cravings without triggering the addiction patterns. Soon it was weeks and before I knew it I was counting the months. It was when I stopped keeping track of how long it had been that I knew I had arrived somewhere new that was stable.
Tell someone you are recovering from a gambling, drug, alcohol, shopping or sex addiction and most take a step back. Announce that you are a sugar addict and they still step back, but not for the same reason. American’s see sugar as fun, smiles and good times rather than as the sharp teeth of destruction that it is.
My sugar sober milestones were celebrated by doing a balance sheet, never a material reward. What had changed for the better? Did I discover a new food I would never have tried if I was still eating sugar? Did a body symptom magically vanish? Had I strengthened a personality quality or acquired a new one?
The farther away I got from sugar, the less I missed it and the more my mouth came back to life. I had born again taste buds, was really tasting foods and relishing the fine subtleties. Confirmation I had closed yet another chapter on my sugar addiction was when I started craving foods like cabbage, turnips, rutabaga or cucumbers with dill.
I did make a boo-boo and fall off my bandwagon. I went from sane to being stuck in a hole like Pooh Bear when he is off scavenging for honey to steal. The contrast was alarming and the experience concretized a more peaceful resolve to stay sugar clean. No more inner fighting. The event also left my mouth sore and raw. The sugar stripped away the healthy lining of my tongue and mouth in one go. If sugar did THAT to my mouth so quickly… then what was it doing to the lining of my intestine?… and the rest of my body?
Sugar perverts your body and burdens your weakest links until they snap and leave you with ailments and disease. Being sugar sober is like having an army of freedom fighters in a land that never had them.
After being sugar sober for a few years I added back different whole fruits one at a time to see which ones could be eaten safely without triggering the sugar addiction. The change that struck me the most was when after 10 years of being sugar sober I tasted some honey and it was TOO sweet. There was no pleasure, no yearning and no draw to what had once been my crutch. Now for some strategies.
Beware to Be AWARE
Sugar Sober hooks, hitches and glitches
Get honest. How do you prefer to commit and camouflage your sugar crimes?
Do you compensate and reward yourself with “sweet”?
What foods, emotions and situations trigger the wanting?
Just because it is “sugar free” doesn’t mean it won’t trigger your sugar addiction.
Go from Hole to Whole
Celebrate addiction sober milestones by doing a balance sheet. Identify what has changed for the better. Seeing the good in black and white keeps you trekking until you no longer need the balance sheet Sherpa.
Addicts often unknowingly work to remove one addiction only to discover later that they filled the hole with another addiction! The goal is to have a Big FREE Life with no addictions. So write down and keep a running list of what you want more of in your life, but only work on this list when you are in a flavorful mood of thriving and in your own inner light. You need at least 10 items on this list and it should include activities, character qualities and your quick fix strategies such as drinking a glass of water, going outside and laying down on the earth, calling into your heart the essence of a special person who believes in you unconditionally, a hug, touching a tree, or maybe you just need to get in your car close the door and belt out a scream. When things get dark this list is YOUR map back to YOUR light.
You might find these two articles of value if you are moving more towards a sugar sober life.
Aroma is to eating… what foreplay is to…
Don’t just eat… Food Taste
People’s lives change dramatically when they get sugar sober. Asking and getting help doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you, it actually means something has shifted into its proper place.
PS – If you missed my previous article “Sugar Addict – Sugar Addiction” then it is worth taking a moment to look at:https://blog.kristaumgelter.com/sugar-addict-sugar-addiction-weight-loss-no-27/