Saturday, August 1, 2015

Deeply personal - and for our loved ones who just don't understand our food issues

Written Friday evening. Published Saturday evening.

I'm sitting here on a Friday night - doing fine with my eating, not derailed from vacation and feeling good about my progress (again).

I just looked through our photos from vacation from last week and there are a few photos with me in them, and, of course, I hate them as I don't like that I'm heavy.

Then I started thinking a bit more about a conversation I had with my husband's cousin while we were on vacation and he said it, not me. He said something along the lines of this, "Sugars are like a cocaine addiction. They really are. When I don't eat them, I'm fine, but as soon as I start eating them I'm pulled in - like a true addict." Does he read my blog because I swear I've said that before - but I know he doesn't do Facebook or use the computer much, so probably not.

And it is so true. For some of us. That is the key. My husband and at least my older son (too early to tell yet with the younger one) don't have this issue with sugars (simply carbs) that I most certainly do.

On our vacation, I did great the first few days, but towards the end, as my carb count went up a bit with pizza crust, a cookie for a snack, and then totally being sucked into a pancake breakfast, I could feel myself slipping. Not completely, but that voice in my head was saying, "Ah, who cares. Eat those cookies. You will lose that weight eventually. What is one brownie going to hurt?" That VOICE!!!!

But, vacation ended, plan is fine. Water weight is coming off. I won that battle. This time.

That is the problem though. It is an addiction. I will have battles - life long battles. I will be surrounded by cakes and cookies and pasta, and bread and potato chips and pancakes and other desserts for my entire life. Some times I am going to fall. And sometimes I'm going to want the food more than I want the health and the feeling of being trimmer and fitter (and yes, you most absolutely do feel better when you aren't lugging around all that weight!)

And then I think back to a conversation I had with my husband several years back before I lost the weight last time. He felt that my not taking care of myself was showing that I didn't love him. It wasn't just about my size (though he was and is less attracted to me at higher weights and that is totally understandable), but it was more him fearing that he would lose his life partner. And that I am/was less active so we could do less things together. If I loved him more, I would take better care of myself because I was short changing him by making myself unhealthy.

And he simply didn't get it. It has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with anyone else, but me and this addiction (and problems with Seasonal Affect Disorder). Of course I loved him - and my children - always. But I have an addiction problem with sugar.

I think he gets it now, but I also think he thinks that if I loved him enough, I would stay away from the sugars. Much like a partner of an alcoholic or drug addict probably hopes/dreams that if their partner loved them enough, they would stay clean. It just doesn't work like that! And staying away from sugar is ever so much harder than staying away from booze and drugs - it's socially acceptable to eat cake and cookies and pancakes. And I can have them in a right balance here and there - just not regularly and not in big quantities.

I felt the pull last night after working 12 hours - and adding on another 1.5 hours of driving. I wanted a soda and something sweet - the instant "hit" that can keep me going for longer - keep the energy level up high enough when I feel the batteries draining. How often did I do just that? How often did I use food to help me through the day (especially in winter?) Every Pringle container and Reese's Peanut butter cup a drug high (a combo of salty and sweet). That is true addiction.

And it had nothing to do with my love for anyone else. It had to do with doing what the voice was telling me to do get the fix Melissa. And while on a sugar high, I feel good. It tastes good. I have more energy.. until I don't and I need another hit  - an ever increasing dosage too.

Sugar addictions are real. Sugar addictions are not about hating oneself or not loving another person enough. It's an addiction - a physical dependence and a mental one. Will power isn't enough. Love isn't enough. Keeping triggers at bay or in check are the only way to deal with it.

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