Golly Gee Willikers! (A digression, but don’t you think this delightful phrase is underutilised?) Today I felt like snuggling under my duvet and staying there until next month.
I woke up with a bad headache, lethargy and aching limbs. Is it the flu coming on? Nope. It’s simply sugar withdrawal.
Feeling rubbish today is self-inflicted, and is one of the many costs of my addiction to sugar. I know this will be short-lived as my body adjusts to sugar-free living.
Like many overweight people, my body is often a huge source of shame and self-loathing. You hate yourself for what you are doing to your body, but feel powerless to stop. I know those sweet treats are not good for me, believe me I know. As I swallow them, I hate myself for ‘giving in’ over and over again. You think ‘If only I had more willpower’, and marvel at friends who are always in control of their weight.
But if my sugar-free journey has taught me anything, it’s that willpower is only a small part of the equation.
I am an addict.
I am addicted to sugar. I am just the same as someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol.
I cannot play around with this stuff. I am not someone who can get away with a bit here and there in my diet. That little bit here and there will put me right back to square one. All the willpower in the world cannot stop what happens to me physically when sugar is in my diet.
When I worked at a Soup Kitchen I would arrange for AA to come speak to our clients who were interested in giving up alcohol. I was required to be present for the meetings, and tried not to let my jaw drop each time one of the leaders recounted her battle with alcohol. I am almost unshockable, but her story was incredible. Anyway, I remember her telling us about the time she went to wedding when she was six months sober. She was told the punch was non-alcoholic so she had a glass. After one sip she said she felt almost electrified as her body went ‘Bam!’ The punch was alcoholic afterall, and her body responded as it always had. (This lady continues to be sober by the way.)
I suspect it is the same with sugar and I. My body is used to running on sugar highs. Even when it’s been out of my system for a while, it’s like my body remembers when a little bit of sugar is reintroduced, and says ‘Thank you! More please!’
Oh well, back to my duvet.