I was watching the new episode of Private Practice yesterday, one of my favorite shows. The episode was dealing with an Oxycontin addition which one of the doctors and her fiance had. Her rock bottom moment was her fiance dying from an overdose. This got me thinking about food, and how much I hear food is an addiction just like drugs. I used to believe that, in fact that was my excuse for many years. Let me say this, I DO NOT believe that food can be an addiction; however, I DO believe that someone can be addicted to sugar. I think it's important to separate these two. Food to me is classified as real and whole whereas sugar is fake. I could only wish I had a spinach addiction.
I often get messages from people, I don't know, who read this blog asking for help. The most common response I get when I tell them what it takes is that they are addicted to food so it's just that much harder for them to overcome. Trust me, I know what it's like to be overpowered by the urge to binge to get that high, but it's the sugar that is overpowering. I've never once wanted to binge on broccoli, though apparently I should be doing this, it's always been something sugar filled or carbs.
I used to believe that it was harder to overcome this addiction because you have to eat, whereas with let's say alcohol, you could avoid it all together. Now I see it in a whole new light. You CAN avoid sugar all together. You CAN eat a diet filled with FOOD (real food) and be healthy and fulfilled. Absolutely it is hard, don't get me wrong, but don't allow yourself to use the fact that you have to eat to be an excuse not to try at all. To me saying "I have a food addiction" is an excuse to not even try. I have heard on numerous occasions people say "I will be fat forever, that is the way it will be, i'm a food addict". That statement makes me cringe. But the reality is when someone hits their rock bottom and they are ready to change they will reach out and make that choice to do so. No one can force it.
So what are the steps to overcoming a "sugar addiction"?
#1: Make the choice that YOU WANT TO CHANGE NOW
#2: Purge your kitchen, get rid of all the bad sugar and replace them with nourishing foods. No "one last time" meals (refer to #1)
#3: Realize that there will be withdrawals and make a plan how you will deal with this. Maybe it is keeping lots of yummy fruits or veggies prepared and easy to access or maybe it is finding a new favorite tea to drink
#4: Commit to the process for 30 days. After just a few days you will notice a difference, but after 30 days of constant clean eating and no sugar you will not crave it physically. When it's not in your body and not in your environment then you don't need it or crave it.
#5: Be kind to yourself and reward yourself for working hard. Create a reward for yourself that you will get when you reach the place that you feel you have conquered your sugar addiction.
And when you find yourself falling off the wagon start back again at step #1.
"Success is not final ,failure is not fatal,it is the courage to continue that counts"