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I am mourning the loss of sugar from my life...

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Old 04-01-2008, 11:16 PM   #1
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Default I am mourning the loss of sugar from my life...

It's pathetic, I know, but I have finally come to accept the fact that I can't handle sugar. Thinking I could have just a little has been responsible for countless binges and undone so much good I have done for myself. So I have to let it go. I decided a few days ago, and have been sticking to the decision. And I am genuinely sad about it. I see it in the store, people offer it to me, and I say no - but with sadness. Is this how people feel when they let the heroin or the alcohol out of their lives? I was okay when I thought it was only going to be two weeks, but thinking of it as a lifelong commitment feels pretty devestating. Anybody else feel like this?
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:37 PM   #2
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I know cigarette smokers do mourn cigarettes. One technique I've seen tried - writing a breakup letter. Talk about the good times you had, and then get into ALL of the reasons you've decided it doesn't belong in your life anymore. Acknowledge the role it has played for you, and give all of the reasons why it won't be in the future.

If you're really in mourning for the sugar, it's worth a shot. I've talked to ex-smokers who wrote such a letter to their cigarettes and, while they felt a little silly doing it, say it helped.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:55 PM   #3
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Hi there,
I do to love my sugar I am trying to see if I have enough willpower to have small doses in my life. I am giving myself a week to see how I do with some "desserts" in the house, I got no sugar added ice cream and grahams this week, and some pudding. Can I do it in moderation.....YES!!!! Will I???? We will see
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Old 04-02-2008, 01:23 AM   #4
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LaurieDawn I hear you. I have such a sweet tooth. When I don't eat it for awhile it's easier to avoid, but I'm always going to have sugar issues. I still eat it but i rarely keep anything sugary in the house. (Sigh)
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Old 04-02-2008, 02:08 AM   #5
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I had to give it up sugar initially, too. I really had to accept that eating one sugary item (or white flour item) just set off this weird TRIGGER. I wanted to stuff another item in my mouth, and then another and then another, while I was still chewing.

After 3 years, I hope it makes you feel better to know that I didn't have to give up sugar permanently and irrevocably. I still do have to CONTROL it - that means I don't have it in the house. No tubs of ice cream, no GIRL SCOUT COOKIES, no pretzels. I have to be careful with most cold cereals (especially after the entire box incident of Kashi Go Lean Crunch, which I still remember as Crunchgate 2005). Desserts on a buffet table? Uh uh, no. I can't trust myself with multi-serving packages, especially if I'm in a place without witnesses.

I can have single portions though. I love a Starbucks biscotti with my latte. I like a single mini scoop gelato from Whole Foods. I can split a dessert with a friend in a restaurant. A single serving portion of really good dark chocolate. I LOVE to eat, I love sweet things, I just had to find techniques to handle those foods in a way I could manage.

What really helped me was discovering the naturally sweet tastes of good, natural foods. If you had told me 4 years ago that I would anticipate my fresh berries every morning instead of my former coffee cake and venti caramel latte I would have thought you were crazy. If you had told me that a caramelized baked sweet potato would literally taste like candy to me or I would find a really ripe mango almost decadently sweet, I would have thought you were nuts. But, it is true.

It's like my tongue was...burned by sugar. When I ate sugary junk all the time (and let me tell you, I was a sugar addict who sucked down an endless stream of sickly sweet baked goods, M&Ms and syrupy Starbucks drinks all day), I couldn't TASTE how good regular food tastes. Now that I limit sugary stuff to fewer than a handful of treats a week, I can taste how great good food can taste. Fruit really satisfies my old sweet cravings.

I had to kick the sugar to free myself, though. Within the first couple of weeks of changing my life, I felt so much BETTER that I never looked back, I wanted to feel that way forever.
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:55 AM   #6
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As someone who has given up alcohol and tobacco, I can tell you that yes, it is awful at first--and so is giving up sugary foods. But, I can also tell you that not only does it get better, it gets so that you no longer want them.

The longer you stay away from sugary foods, the more your tastes will "normalize." Most things of a dessert nature just taste too sweet to me anymore. It seems like so many companies and restaurants just want to add more and more sugar, and it's ridiculous.

Also, once you get used to portion control with starchy foods like potatoes and rice, the less you will overeat on those foods as well.

I can have some sweet foods now, in moderation, without going off the deep end. But I have to be careful with it. Some foods I just can't have in the house at all, though. So, I don't!

Hang in there! You can do this!

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Old 04-02-2008, 07:01 AM   #7
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Laurie, you might be interested in an article in Slate.com yesterday by a woman who gave up sugar, describing her experiences: Footloose and Sugar-Free: The odyssey of my no-sweets diet.

Once she had been sugar-free for a while, she describes her body's reaction to eating sugar again:

Quote:
Then, just as inevitably, would come the crash. Proof of sugar's power—the flooding of my system with insulin and the subsequent drop in my blood-sugar level—would knock me off-balance and send me crawling back to bed. After extended periods of living off complex, slow-release carbohydrates, I was clearly no longer inured to these rollercoaster blood-sugar fluctuations.
The funny thing is, I'm the same way. If I eat sugar or refined carbs now, it makes me want to sleep! I call it a "carb coma" and tell myself it's just not worth the taste of the food. Who can take stop and take a nap in the middle of the day?
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:36 AM   #8
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I am right there with you.

And like Glory I DID have to give it up initially. I simply could not have the sugar in any capacity (and white flour, most grains and potatoes) in my life AND be that slender and healthy and normal weight person I so badly wanted to become. I had to make a decision and decide which I wanted more. So after 20+ years of struggling with my weight, it was buh-buh to the white stuff. And you know what, after a pretty darn difficult 2 weeks, probably even less, it was good bye and good riddance. It was without a doubt the very best decision I could have made. WITHOUT A DOUBT.

I have added it back to my life in small amounts under controlled circumstances upon reaching my target rate. Not sure if that was such a good idea as I think it's a possibility that's the very reason I am having a harder time with maintenance then with losing. Maybe I have to make it under even more controlled circumstances. The stuff is MAJORLY evil. MAJORLY.

Anyway, I understand you and applaud you and wish you tons of good luck. I also know this - you made the right decision. You won't be sorry. You won't be. You'll be thrilled to pieces and wonder why you didn't do it earlier.
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:57 AM   #9
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I haven't missed sugar so much because I replaced it with Splenda. Yesterday, I started thinking about stopping the use of Splenda and foods made with artificial sweeteners. It sounds crazy, but I started getting really anxious about not having my "sweets." Honestly, I'm not sure if I can give them up completely. I know that I'm still very much addicted to sugar because, despite the headrush and the queasiness, if you put a sugary pastry, cake, cookie, etc, in front of me, I'll eat it in a heartbeat and love every single bite! Artificial sweeteners have been my lifeline.
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:14 AM   #10
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Wow, this is such an issue for me chicks. I was (and am) a total sweets addict. I do South Beach and of course we aren't supposed to have any sugar, although use of artificial sweeteners is okay. Not sure if it's okay with me though. When you can keep the sugar out of your diet completely (and that's added sugars in all kinds of places you wouldn't expect it too), it does get much easier, but I never seem to be able to keep it out for good. I was experimenting with whether or not I could have a few sweets as treats here and there without going overboard, but that has not worked so well either.
The one thing I do allow is some agave nectar on my yogurt in the evening, and this doesn't seem to set me off. It is low glycemic.
Glory, I think your point is a good one. It's when they're in the house that I have issues, so I think from now on, it'll have to be out of the house treats only. And I love the idea of the letter, Mandalin.
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glory87 View Post
I had to give it up sugar initially, too. I really had to accept that eating one sugary item (or white flour item) just set off this weird TRIGGER. I wanted to stuff another item in my mouth, and then another and then another, while I was still chewing.
I have fought with any addictive substance over the years. I'm a recovering alcoholic and ex-smoker. Now I've been off sugar and white flour since September 07 and lost 50 lbs without exercise.

I look at it as an addiction. Once I have one piece of sugary junk food, I need more. And then I eat it everyday telling myself tomorrow will be different. And white flour will trigger this craving. I've come to the conclusion that there will never be enough sugary foods to satisfy me. I have been to the point of binging and purging on and off over the years.

So I embrace the 12 step lifestyle AA/OA. So I just don't eat sugar or white flour just for today. I'm not going to worry about tomorrow because it is frightening to think of never eating sugar again.

Avoiding sugar and white flour also helps my bipolar by maintaining a more stable blood sugar level.

Good luck. It takes time for acceptance. My acceptance came easier this time and again just for today. I've played enough games with my diet and failed so this makes sense to me and is actually a relief to be freed from the cravings and binges.

Amy
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandalinn82 View Post
I know cigarette smokers do mourn cigarettes. One technique I've seen tried - writing a breakup letter. Talk about the good times you had, and then get into ALL of the reasons you've decided it doesn't belong in your life anymore. Acknowledge the role it has played for you, and give all of the reasons why it won't be in the future.

If you're really in mourning for the sugar, it's worth a shot. I've talked to ex-smokers who wrote such a letter to their cigarettes and, while they felt a little silly doing it, say it helped.
So so so true!!!! I started smoking when I was about 12! Cigs were my best friend, when times were tough they were always there, when times were good me and Marlboro would celebrate together! I didn't go anywhere without my companion. They kept me going through a very abusive 9 year relationship. They held my hand when I got away... they really were my everything! I quit smoking 4 1/2 years ago! On my own (and with the love and support of my now hubby).. I did still have a high stress job, and kept a pack there and wasn't afraid to resort to them when I couldn't get through the day, but the day I quit that job I left them there and have never gone back to see my friend. The loss of that friend combined with becoming a stay at home mom is what helped me become the obese person I am. It was the hardest thing I have ever done! I'm sure that quitting the sugar would be just as hard. Honestly it took me this long to have the strength to fight the good fight again. It is hard to break an addiction to something that you rely on sooooo deeply! I have looked at my weightloss this time as the same kind of battle... see I had tried to quit smoking before then by cutting down and found I was never completely committed to doing it when I tried it that way... so I have used that knowledge and entered the new phase of my life (the finding fawn/losing weight phase) the same way.. it is pretty much all or nothing. I can't let myself slip even one day!

You are doing wonderful sweetie, keep up the good work... oh and sorry for rambling!
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Old 04-02-2008, 01:30 PM   #13
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Such wonderful, thoughtful responses. I feel like I've been posting too much lately, and was hesitant about starting the thread, but I could not think of anyone that I could call and talk about this with. It seemed so crazy and melodramatic, but the feeling was real - and very strong. I can't tell you how much I appreciate y'all validating it. Rhonda - I know that anxious feeling so well. Right before Christmas, I had a small amount of candy, something that I had been able to do succesfully in the past, and it set off a 2-day sugar extravaganza that was so bad, I had difficulty taking my daughter to the store because it meant that I would be away from my sugar for an hour. I got jittery just thinking about it. I did feel exactly like I imagine a junkie would feel. Fawn and Jay - thanks for articulating exactly how I feel about my toxic friend, sugar. It's very comforting to know that someone else feels the same way as I do toward an inanimate companion. I have an alcoholic brother, and I often wondered how he could continue to drink despite the negative impact it had on his family. But if I'm being honest, bringing the sugar home and pawning it off on my kids so I would eat less of it is pretty awful behavior. Glory and Robin, I value so much hearing about your experiences. Maybe some day, I can consider making it a small part of my life. But for now, I think that I might be just like the alcoholic who recognizes that even a single beer could set her up for a downward spiral. I know that's true for me today, at least. Oreo and Schmoodle, thanks for understanding how I feel and giving me the confidence that it can be done. Ideal and Spify, I know exactly what you mean about having it in the house. It is not doable for me at all. Amanda, I love your concrete suggestion. I'm feeling better today, so I won't do it right away, but I'll put it in my toolbox and write that letter if I ever start to feel as sad as I did last night. Meg, thanks for posting that article. You are amazingly well-read on these subjects! Reading the article that you posted, as well as a shorter article that was linked to that article, has given me an additional, very tangible reason to avoid the sugar. There was a study that linked sugar to asthma. I have had allergy-induced asthma all my life, but only recently developed exercise-induced asthma. I am controlling it with an Albuterol inhaler, but I hate that I'm using more medication now than when I was at my highest weight. So, I will continue to excise the sugar from my life (though I'm still not willing to limit my whole fruits and veggies) and hope that my asthma responds to that decision.

This will be good. Thanks to everyone for understanding what still seems to be a melodramatic and whiny characterization of my feelings.
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Old 04-03-2008, 06:50 AM   #14
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Laurie, please don't ever feel like you're posting too much or being whiny and melodramatic. The 3FC slogan is "we're all in this together" and it's so true! Everything you post, I'm sure a dozen members have thought about. Plus, have you ever looked at the times a message is viewed? We have at least 100 unregistered users reading for every member who posts. So what you post about is undoubtedly helping more people than you or I can imagine. Keep posting!
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:28 AM   #15
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As a former smoker, I can totally relate to the need to come to terms with the fact that the addictive substance is out of your life forever, and to the sense of loss that follows. Quitting smoking was the hardest thing I have ever done, and it took several quits for me to accept that I really cannot have cigarettes at all - it is just too easy to go back to full time smoking.

I started smoking in 1986. My first serious quit was in 2003 and it lasted 5 months. I quit again in 2005, and it lasted 10 months. I quit again in May 2007, and I believe I'm going to make it this time, because I accept that I cannot smoke that first cigarette this time. One leads inevitably to more . . . not necessarily immediately, but once smoking is an option again, I choose it more and more frequently until I'm back to my old level within a month or two.

I had a really hard time realizing that I cannot have that first cigarette because the inevitable result (full-time smoking) doesn't happen right away for me. I'm able to bum a cigarette here and there on and off for quite a while without problems, but if smoking is an option sooner or later I buy a pack of my very own . . . and then I'm back to full blown smoking.

This thread has made me realize that I should consider going sugar-free. Although I do try to limit highly processed carbs, I've never thought I needed to cut sugar completely, since I don't have a problem with binges - I got this fat by not exercising and eating large portions/second helpings of just about everything . . . sugar is but one character in a large cast of villains for me! But now I'm thinking that it may be the case that sugar triggers overeating in general for me. I'm going to pay attention to this for the next couple of weeks, and I may be joining you sugar-free-ers if I notice a pattern.
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