100 lb. Club - A Cautionary Tale




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time2lose
04-28-2011, 12:24 PM
I firmly believe that I got to 300 pounds because I am addicted to sugar. I can not eat processed sugar in “moderation”. Eating one piece of cake will cause me to crave more and more sugar. Since I know this about myself, it seems that I would have enough sense to avoid the sugar.

During the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays, I started the “I should be able to eat anything in moderation.” line of thinking. *Sigh* How foolish of me. So I spent January trying to get rid of the sugar cravings and the weight that I gained in Nov/Dec.

February came. I went to take care of my parents when my father had surgery. The house was loaded with food that people from their church brought. I could not throw out their food. The time in the hospital was stressful and the hospital food court had plenty of junk food, so I excused my indulgences as “stress eating.”

I spent March trying to get off the remainder of the holiday weight and the February weight and getting rid of the sugar cravings.

April brought my father’s second surgery. Thinking that I had finally learned my lesson, I determined to avoid the sugar cravings by not eating the first bite. That was a good strategy and would have worked …… if I had followed it. I did well for the first 5 days but then decided that I could have that last piece of caramel cake because I was feeling “deprived”. That started me again. I take a little satisfaction knowing that I did much better than I did with the first surgery.

Now, I am back home and struggling with the cravings. I really want to eat sugar and high carb foods. The vending machine at work is calling my name. I know that I just have to hold on for a few days and the cravings will leave. To be honest, I am scared. I know that I can put back on all the weight that I have lost and more in a short period of time if I don’t get back in control.

So the best case scenario is that I get back under control and, in May and June, lose the 10 pounds that I have gained since the first of November. If that happens, I will lose, at least, half a year of what could have been weight loss progress. Worst case scenario is that I don’t get control again and continue to gain weight. I am going to have more trips to help my parents so, if I allow it, I could go through this again and lose even more time. I must get control and then keep it.

So the moral of my tale is that some of us just can’t take that first bite. I can’t be overconfident and have the “I have this weight loss thing beat” type of thinking. I can’t eat sugary items “in moderation.” “Comfort eating” may give momentary comfort but will result in longer struggle. I don’t “deserve” junk food. I do deserve a healthy life.

*Sigh* this really is a life-long struggle.


JamiSue3916
04-28-2011, 12:32 PM
Cheryl - I'm so sorry to hear of the struggles you've had these past 6 months. Those are some tough ones for sure. You are doing a great job of acknowledging the addiction and being honest about your choices so good for you there!

Now, for the hard part (for all of us)...following through on what you know. Seems if sugar truly is an "addiction" for you, which it definitely sounds like it is, maybe some philosophies from NA and their 12-step program would help. Help you make it through the withdrawl process and fight the cravings better when you're in those high stress, away from home type situations. Just a thought.

Stay strong and remember to ackowledges successes when they come - no matter how little! :hug:

calluna
04-28-2011, 12:32 PM
Cheryl, I could have written this - and for the same reasons. Only last winter it was me in surgery, and this spring it is my partner with cancer. Sugar is the bane of my existence...


hatgirlie
04-28-2011, 12:49 PM
Cheryl ~ Please watch this video. It's long, but well worth it. Everyone should watch it!

Sugar: The Bitter Truth
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

beerab
04-28-2011, 01:40 PM
I know how you feel *hugs*

It's taken me a LONG time to learn any form of moderation and there is nothing wrong with just knowing you can't eat in moderation right now.

Good luck!

time2lose
04-28-2011, 01:47 PM
And wouldn't you know it...... Someone just walked in with a cake for my boss's birthday. :)

MEH1969
04-28-2011, 01:48 PM
I feel your pain. I also am addicted to sugar. I cannot have baked goods in the house at all or I will eat them until they are gone. It's a bitter pill to swallow. I feel so abnormal.

Moderation does not work for me with that kind of stuff at all.

Emme
04-28-2011, 01:51 PM
Cheryl ~ Try not to look at the past 6 months as a failed effort in weight loss. Maybe you needed to have these 6 months to see what happens to your body with sugar and stress that way you'll be more aware of it in the future (as you are now) -- you are able to acknowledge that you are a sugar addict, so maybe this was just a time span needed to go through something. Don't look at it in a defeated way. You have done so well with your weight loss -- just brush your shoulders off and move on from here. You do deserve a healthy life, and that is most important.

JOLINA
04-28-2011, 02:13 PM
If you crave sugar, you might actually be craving the vitamins and minerals contained in sugar cane and sugar beets. These nutrients are removed in the refining process. You may be deficient in these nutrients.
:stir:

Molasses is made by refining sugarcane and sugar beets. During processing, sugar crystals are extracted leaving a dark, syrupy mixture.

If the molasses is from sugar cane grown in high quality soil, it can have an abundance of minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium.

Blackstrap Molasses is the darkest color molasses you can get, and this indicates the presence of less sugar, and more nutrients.

Try taking a tablespoon of dark molasses daily to see if the sugar cravings go away. I take a spoonful every day and I feel much better now.

:)

Just search the internet for 'health benefits of blackstrap molasses'.

VermontMom
04-28-2011, 03:09 PM
Cheryl ~ Please watch this video. It's long, but well worth it. Everyone should watch it!

Sugar: The Bitter Truth
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

OMG . I just watched the whole thing. What an eye opener. Thank you!

Cheryl - thank you for your words! I also can't have 'just some'. It snowballs horribly.

time2lose
04-28-2011, 04:13 PM
Thank you, everyone. hatgirlie, I will watch the video when I get home. Thanks for the link!

Sandi
04-28-2011, 04:36 PM
I can have some sugar, although I am careful about when & where. I try and make sure the is only a single serving when I do indulge.

I wrote this in my blog this week..."I know what my limits are and I know what triggers me. I kinda feel like I have the fat Sandi with all her bad eating habits and "don't care" attitude finally safely locked in a closet at the end of the hall. And I am not even going to peek in the closet (aka try to tell myself I can have 2 slices of pizza) because I am afraid she's not dead, will knock me down and escape. Nope, I am not even going near that door, in fact, I am not going down that hallway."

So my trigger may not be sugar, but there are things that I simply can't have not because they don't fit into my plan, but simply because of the reaction they trigger when I have them. I am OK with living my life without some things so that I can maintain control.

Trazey34
04-28-2011, 04:37 PM
I've often wondered how my grandparents -- who ate bacon and eggs virtually every morning LOL - stayed super slim and trim.... first off, they weren't lazy like ME, they did stuff morning til night... they also ate 3 meals and nothing in between... and more importantly, rarely ate sugar!

I've often wondered for people who feel they are sugar addicts -- is all the excess weight ONLY related to sugary foods??? Do they overeat 'real' food as well? if so, why?? Once they're 'off the white powder' does weight just fall off of them?? Are the behaviours & rituals of eating sugary foods as addictive as the product itself??

JamiSue3916
04-28-2011, 04:38 PM
VermontMom -- Has anyone ever told you that you look like Ali Larter? The pic you have posted on your profile reminds me of her everytime I see it! :)

cherrypie
04-28-2011, 04:56 PM
I am struggling with the same thing. It helps knowing I'm not alone.

MEH1969
04-28-2011, 05:36 PM
I've often wondered for people who feel they are sugar addicts -- is all the excess weight ONLY related to sugary foods??? Do they overeat 'real' food as well? if so, why?? Once they're 'off the white powder' does weight just fall off of them?? Are the behaviours & rituals of eating sugary foods as addictive as the product itself??

For me personally, my combination is fat/sugar. I don't eat sweets that have no fat in them---jelly beans, licorice, etc... It has to have the fat and sugar combo. So, cakes, pies, pastries, candy bars, chocolate are addictive to me.

I think that typical fattening food---cheeseburgers, pizza, pasta with cream sauce, also have a lot of sugar in them or at least carbs. It must be that combination that triggers the overeating compulsion.

KatMarie
04-28-2011, 05:50 PM
I've often wondered how my grandparents -- who ate bacon and eggs virtually every morning LOL - stayed super slim and trim.... first off, they weren't lazy like ME, they did stuff morning til night... they also ate 3 meals and nothing in between... and more importantly, rarely ate sugar!

I've often wondered for people who feel they are sugar addicts -- is all the excess weight ONLY related to sugary foods??? Do they overeat 'real' food as well? if so, why?? Once they're 'off the white powder' does weight just fall off of them?? Are the behaviours & rituals of eating sugary foods as addictive as the product itself??

I rarely over ate regular food. It was the sweets that I ate every single day that put all the weight on me. I remember days where I wouldn't eat anything but rocky road ice-cream...half a gallon in a day and that's all I'd eat that day. Or eat a pound of m&m's and maybe a sandwich for the day. I lived on sweets and never ate a vegetable or fruit, unless the fruit happened to be in a pie. I'm surprised I never developed diabetes....I'm surprised I'm still alive with all the sweets I inhaled. Why didn't I over eat regular food?...because it didn't taste near as good as sugar. Did the weight fall off when I quit the sugar?...I've lost 150 pounds in a year.

time2lose
04-28-2011, 11:02 PM
I've often wondered for people who feel they are sugar addicts -- is all the excess weight ONLY related to sugary foods??? Do they overeat 'real' food as well? if so, why?? Once they're 'off the white powder' does weight just fall off of them?? Are the behaviours & rituals of eating sugary foods as addictive as the product itself??

I can't say that all the excess weight is only related to sugary food. I ate lots of southern fried foods and chips. There was a time when I would had said that I did not eat many sweets, but I think that I was just fooling myself. The author of The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite (http://www.amazon.com/End-Overeating-Insatiable-American-Appetite/dp/1605294578/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304042303&sr=8-1) describes the effect of the combination of sugar, fat, and salt and he is describing me in that book. However, the sugar seems to be the biggest problem to me.

shannonmb
04-29-2011, 09:53 AM
Cheryl ~ Try not to look at the past 6 months as a failed effort in weight loss. Maybe you needed to have these 6 months to see what happens to your body with sugar and stress that way you'll be more aware of it in the future (as you are now) -- you are able to acknowledge that you are a sugar addict, so maybe this was just a time span needed to go through something. Don't look at it in a defeated way. You have done so well with your weight loss -- just brush your shoulders off and move on from here. You do deserve a healthy life, and that is most important.

I love this post! I am in awe of the learning that takes place in this journey of losing large amounts of weight, and the times I've been tripped up have been the biggest aspects of my finally REALLY taking control of this. The times I've been thrown off are MORE important to me in the grand scheme than the times I have been perfectly on plan. I'm really starting to scratch the surface of understanding how the heck my body reacts, why, what triggers me, what keeps me in control, etc, etc, etc, ETC! This period may feel like a big waste of 6 months, but it MAY be a major key to your understanding.

Finally, HOLD ON TIGHT and get rid of those cravings! You know it's not going to take long, just get over the hump, just get over the hump, JUST GET OVER THE HUMP! RAAR!

caryesings
04-29-2011, 10:01 AM
I've often wondered for people who feel they are sugar addicts -- is all the excess weight ONLY related to sugary foods??? Do they overeat 'real' food as well? if so, why?? Once they're 'off the white powder' does weight just fall off of them?? Are the behaviours & rituals of eating sugary foods as addictive as the product itself??


Sadly, in my case I can report the answer is no, getting off sugar did not budge the fat at all. I generally ate up to 1 lb. of candy daily for @30 years. In April 2005 I quit eating candy cold turkey. It was the hardest thing I've ever done and I really thought I'd be rewarded by the pounds just falling off. But no, I just now had room to eat other foods and frankly often stuffed myself with salty snacks to stop myself from reaching for the candy. Overall though my diet did improve even if the number on the scale didn't.

However it did mean that when I decided to take off 100 lbs starting in April 2009, I wasn't fighting candy craving and binges at the same time. I do still eat some sweet foods that I can eat reasonable amounts of such as chocolate and ice cream. But for the most part I try not to start on things like cookies and cake as a "reasonable" serving doesn't satisfy me.

WebRover
04-29-2011, 10:11 AM
Are there any healthy foods that you truly love? Is there something you can "arm" yourself with? Something you can make sure you have on hand so that when the last piece of caramel cake, or the boss's birthday cake shows up, you know you have right there and can eat instead "if you chose"? Not saying that if an unplanned treat shows up that you have to eat anything, but that you have something that's a treat for you if you chose to eat it.

If you know you are going to be at your dad's again or at the hospital again, can you take healthy foods with you? Even a lunchbox sized cooler to the hospital with fresh ready to eat veggies, lean proteins, etc. How ironic it is that a hospital is one of the hardest places to find healthy foods.

At the office, I find having one more healthy snack with me than I plan to eat, makes me feel like I have healthy choices and I'm less likely to even think about the vending machine - even though I have to pass it to get to my snacks.

Sugar, white flour, cheap fat and salt - the evils of modern life!

Kae
04-29-2011, 04:47 PM
I kinda feel like I have the fat Sandi with all her bad eating habits and "don't care" attitude finally safely locked in a closet at the end of the hall. And I am not even going to peek in the closet because I am afraid she's not dead, will knock me down and escape. Nope, I am not even going near that door, in fact, I am not going down that hallway."

LOL Sandi! That was great... and so true. What a great visual!

Cheryl-
I feel your pain. I too started slacking off around the holidays. One cookie became many cookies, which became chinese food, chips, and chocolate, chocolate, and MORE chocolate! I thought I had my cravings under control but when I tested the waters I ended up going off the deep end. So, I can also relate to feeling like you've wasted several months of what could have been potential weight loss. ...The only thing I can say is, like the others, it's better to look at it as time you needed to learn and prepare yourself. :)

kaplods
04-29-2011, 06:24 PM
The book The End of Overeating by David Kessler was an eye-opener for me.

He calls it "conditioned hyper-eating" rather than addiction, but it amounts to the same thing (if you google conditioned hypereating, you'll find some very interesting articles that summarize some of what Kessler reports in the book).

The term "conditioned hyper-eating" is a bit awkward and unnecessarily techno-speak, but better I suppose than "addiction," because addiction has so many other connotations that don't apply (at least not well) to food. (including severity of social consequences, and suspicions and implications of an underlying mental illness).

I think comparing sugar addiction to nicotine and caffeine addictions is more appropriate than comparing it to heroine or cocaine addiction, and yet a study done last November found that even cocaine-addicted rats chose sugar over cocaine.

I never thought I had a "sugar" problem until I read David Kessler's book. I didn't even think I had a sweet tooth, or a salt tooth, for that matter. It was only the combination of sweet, salty, fatty, and preferably tangy and/or spicy.

Overcoming my control problems, is not as simple as banning sugar. It's more a learning process of discovering which flavor/texture/ingredient combinations are so WOW-inspiring that complete avoidance is a more practical strategy than attempting moderation.

I had a very weird experience with a chocolate chip cookie a few days ago. My diet is by no means perfectly clean, but I've been doing fairly well in keeping the most super-intense sugar/fat/salt "decadent" foods out of my diet. I eat food that tastes good, so I'm not being deprived, but I've avoided the "super-OMG-to-die-for-absolutely-orgasmically-delicious" foods.

Hubby brought me home a few individually wrapped gluten-free gourmet chocolate chip cookies. I'm usually not a big dessert fan, especially cookies, and especially chocolate chip. Though eating sweets, even though they're not my favorite, they can trigger hunger that makes me go looking for everything else in the house that I do want to eat (it's not only the "addiction" response, it's the hunger-provoking insulin spike as I'm diabetic/insulin resistant).

After going so long without the POW of refined sugar, eating that cookie was a drug-like experience. Pleasure center neurons firing in the brain? You bet ya, it was almost like a full-body orgasm (sorry to be graphic).

It literally was almost sexual. Actually, in some ways more powerful than sexual (sexual pleasure requires more "work" and builds more slowly before the "wow," this was an instant JOLT of pure pleasure).

For me, moderation is not primarily about quantity or frequency, it's about intensity. I do best on "moderate" food choices. Tastey is great. Wow, this is really good is ok too, but when I head into "OMG, I don't know if I've ever tasted anything so amazing," I'm in dangeorus waters.

What was weird about that cookie, was that it had been so long since I'd had "OMG, amazing" that I would have sworn it was the best thing I had ever tasted (and as good as the cookie was, I guarantee it's not the best thing I've ever tasted. It just seemed like it, because it had been so long since I've eaten anything that intensely concentrated in terms of flavor and sugar/fat/salt content.

I've been able to avoid eating the remaining few cookies only by sheer determination (using "tricks" and mind games, like burying them in the bottom of the chest freezer so that to get one, I have to move about 50 lbs of frozen food).

JamiSue3916
04-29-2011, 06:57 PM
Kaplods - You are hilarious and I L.O.V.E. how you talk about food! You can definitely create a great picture. Thanks!