on February 13, 2012

Today I avoided all refined sugar.  It’s a choice I made last night.   This evening I could feel the rationalizations start in my head as I saw some candy on the kitchen table (that I didn’t buy just for the record) “one isn’t a big deal” and “you really shouldn’t forbid yourself from having something you want”.  But the truth is – did I really want it – or was it just a physical reaction to an emotional feeling?  Or was it just that my body simply craves sugar?  I am pretty sure it’s a bit of both.  If I’m honest with myself, today it was a craving for the feeling that binging on sugar gives me initially (not the bloated depression and self loathing that comes later.) I had already chosen that today I was not going to eat refined sugar so I didn’t have a piece of candy or the Rice Krispy treat sitting on the counter.  So matter how I wanted to rationalize it – I knew it wasn’t something I would sit and savor and enjoy.  I wanted to use it as a drug for a “high” and an escape.  I know it’s not this way for everyone, but I have to own up to some things that are different about my mind and my body.  For one thing – my body craves sugar and carbohydrates and one big rush of sugar opens the flood-gates for cravings.  These are things that I will own up to and stop hiding my head in the sand:

  • I have metabolic syndrome.   My doctor last time told me that if I was not taking the diabetes medication my blood tests would show me as diabetic.
  • I have taken SSRI’s for over 15 years.  Studies now show that long term use leads to obesity and cravings for carbohydrates and for some the cravings are intense and overwhelming..
  • I have sleep apnea – and my cpap hasn’t been working right and so I think I’ve been lacking oxygen when I sleep.  I’m sure this is why I have been gradually been more and more tired over the last couple of months.   In my reading, people with sleep apnea crave carb’s too.  I’m making the call tomorrow morning to get my cpap fixed.

It’s been a triple whammy!  But — part of changing is to stop living in denial.  Whether I like it or not – my body does not process simple carbs like others.  Wishing it was different will not change it.  Being resentful will not change it.

It’s time to just play the hand I’ve been dealt!  I’ve been very harsh on myself for my weakness.  Instead of seeing myself as someone who is morally flawed for my lack of self control, I need look at this plainly and develop strategies that will work for me.  Being overly critical of myself hasn’t worked so it’s not a helpful strategy and one I need to let go.  One strategy that does work is to ask myself how I will feel in 30 minutes before I put it in my mouth.  There are no moral judgements, just a simple moment for me to face the facts before I act.

It’s not realistic to think I’ll never have treats or sweets again.  But I know that I can diminish the effects by being smart about what I choose and when, and also paring it with protein.  When I choose to have a treat it needs to be something I really want and know that I can slowly enjoy and savor.

It’s not just about losing weight.  That will come naturally as I learn to honor my body.  It’s about being honest with myself and working with what I have.

So this Cleopatra is taking off her crown and exiting denial.


3 responses to “Denial

  1. laurel says:

    “It’s about beign honest with myself and working with what I have.”
    Amen and amen.

    And you are not in this alone…don’t you forget that.


  2. Erin says:

    Proud of you De. Some very hard truths you are facing. I love and support you!

  3. tikenmoose says:

    I really should try this. I think i’m addicted to carbs too. And I’ve had weird things lately, like tingly hands and feet. Yikes.

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