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Trouble getting over sugar addiction

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Old 03-10-2014, 12:14 PM   #1
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Default Trouble getting over sugar addiction

Hey chicks. I have mainly been a lurker here for the past year but this morning I found myself at a new low that reading through some forums just doesn't seem to ease my pain or give me hope.
I have a sugar addiction. A serious one.
In my latest escapade, I blasted through a family sized box of Lucky Charms and a box of Dark Chocolate Cheerios between 8pm last night and 10am this morning. I feel sick. Really sick. This isn't the first time I have done this. My sugar binging has been non-stop for 3 weeks. That I can accept. I have also gained 7 pounds in that time and 10 pounds in total this winter. This I can also accept.

However, the alarming part of this is that I could not stop eating the cereal even after I MY GUMS STARTED TO THROB IN PAIN from the crunchy pieces and I still didn't stop. That's how much I ate. I ate so much that I INJURED MYSELF. As I am sitting here typing this, I am holding back tears of agony because my mouth hurts so badly. This is also not the first time.
Now, I am truly scared that I won't be able to get this under control.
This is an addiction. I realize that now. I am not being facetious or dramatic. Even the thought of never having a chocolate chip cookie again makes me panic. Like serious anxiety ridden PANIC. WHO DOES THAT?
I equate the feeling to losing a child. If I imagine that someone told me that my dog Eleanor was hit by a car (which is the worst thing I could ever imagine. She is numero uno to me) that is the feeling of panic that I get.

I'm not sure what happened to myself. After being terribly obese my entire life, I had initially lost 80 pounds in total a year and half ago and physically peaked back in November.

For general info I am 27, female, and 5'2. I am currently 154 pounds but my lowest was 143 at a shirt size 4 and pant size 6. I was cut, muscular and in fantastic shape. Something I had never dreamed I could be. They called me the "beast" at the gym because I lifted some pretty heavy weights Now, in the span of 3 months, I feel like I've lost it all. Not so much because of the weight gain or lack of fitness but because of the addiction. Like I couldn't keep what I had attained because I hadn't really earned it yet. I hadn't fixed a root problem. It just been hiding and waiting.
Now its here leaving a wake of destruction. I can't ignore it. And it's a devil.

But old habits die hard I guess. One thing I know is that "moderation" does not work for me. It simply enables me. It's cold turkey or nothing.

Do you treat your sweet tooth as an addiction? Did you learn to deal with it? How did you finally go cold turkey? Tell me it gets easier.

Perhaps this simple post will be all I need to GET ME THE F OFF THIS BUS! Pardon my french.
And thanks for hearing my story
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:49 PM   #2
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Hi Earthling- Thank you for sharing. I also feel like I suffer from a sugar addiction. It's the one thing that is really hindering my weight loss- I've gained and lost the same 10 pounds for almost a year. I feel like I just CAN'T stop eating sugar. It makes me feel completely out of control, which ironically, is probably why I'm soothing myself with more sugar. I really feel your pain.

Like any other addiction, I think cold turkey is the only way to handle this situation- but it seems so harrowing and impossible. For me, I think I use sugar as a coping mechanism for stress (even just everyday stress.) I feel like I need to find and create new ways of soothing myself and "rewarding" myself that do not involve food or spending too much money.

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Old 03-10-2014, 12:54 PM   #3
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I have not learned to deal with it yet. I agree with you that for folks like us, there has to be some "cold turkey". I also agree with your dog analogy. I digress, but I just lost my dear little cat to kidney failure. This loss and a few other things going on in my life right now have really brought home to me how I use food as a drug.

It is really hard for me to admit to my unhealthy relationship with food, and mean it. I can't do anything about it until I accept that I have a problem.

When we get all this right, we can write a book and get rich. We can never be too rich or too thin, right?
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Old 03-10-2014, 01:19 PM   #4
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Oh honey, been there, done that, so many times. Usually it was the roof of my mouth that I tore up.

Sending you LOTS of hugs.

I do consider myself addicted to certain foods (many of them sugary -- cereal is definitely THE DEVIL), and I believe for me to be the most successful at weight management AND the most peaceful inside my own head and body, I have to avoid them completely. I'd LOVE to do moderation but it just doesn't work for me.

The withdrawal period from those foods was tough for me, and I did feel like alot of the color went out of the world as I adjusted to a life without constant thrill eating and binge eating.

But it did get easier over time (I won't say it is EASY, but it did get much easier), and the color has come back to the world.
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:17 PM   #5
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I agree with everyone else. For some, moderation can work nicely. For the rest of us...well, we need to do what's best for us. For me, that's telling myself no. At least for the time being. I haven't had a sugar treat since The last day of February. For this month I am going sugar free.

Sugar is just as much a demon to me as it is you. I've sugar-binged on 25 pounds in the last year! Once you get going it feels like it's hard to stop, but maybe think of it short term: draw the line. Say you're not going to have any for a week, or whatever you think you can handle. And stick to it. After you make it through the week (and you will) extend it again, say a month.

Believe me, it is so incredibly hard to let it go, I know. But that is what I am doing right now. for ten days I have powered through despite pangs for Little Debbies (certain ones look so yummy) and fruit snacks (which my daughter has in the house). The other day I had no breakfast and the only items in the nearby vending machines were Poptarts (oh, yum)! I sighed. I thought about it, attempted to jusify it ("It's the only option...") then stuck to my promise. I knew I wouldn't die or anything, just be a little hungry for a couple more hours. It's simple and hard at the same time but JUST DO IT ('cause you totally can)
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:52 PM   #6
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OMG I should have read this before I made a thread, I struggle with this all the time!! It's always sugar. I can forego anything salty/burger/fast food for cakes/cookies/ice cream. I know sugar is what got me so fat, you'd think I would know to go cold turkey but I still fight that battle!!

I just have to say, you're doing so amazing!! I think we all have the temporary lapse, this past weekend and today would be mine, but ugh I totally feel you. I wish I had some good advice but I'm still trying to get down and battling the sugar addiction as well!
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:06 PM   #7
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Wow, i'm sorry your feeling so scared and anxious right now. A lot of the other posters seem to have given better advice than I would be able to, but I'm just wondering if when you mean sugar you mean refined sugar or do you mean ALL sugar including fruits? Would it be possible for you to satisfy your refined sugar cravings with a bunch of grapes for example? I find that works best for me, but I haven't had a huge sugar addiction - for me it's always been the carbs and savoury foods. But maybe give it a try?

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Old 03-10-2014, 11:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaybee1 View Post
Wow, i'm sorry your feeling so scared and anxious right now. A lot of the other posters seem to have given better advice than I would be able to, but I'm just wondering if when you mean sugar you mean refined sugar or do you mean ALL sugar including fruits? Would it be possible for you to satisfy your refined sugar cravings with a bunch of grapes for example? I find that works best for me, but I haven't had a huge sugar addiction - for me it's always been the carbs and savoury foods. But maybe give it a try?
omg...I never thought about grapes!!! You're a genius!! I have so many weird allergies to fruits (tongue feels like it's getting bigger, insanely itchy throat) so I keep myself away from them, didn't think of grapes!!!!
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Starting measurements
8/23/12--->42-37-45 (200lbs)
10/4/12--->41-37-44 (190lbs)
4/09/13--->40-36-42 (180lbs)
5/18/13--->40-34-42 (170lbs)---then the holidays happened
3/01/14--->40-34-42 (170lbs)
09/15/2014---------- (173lbs)--why grad school WHY?!

Lowest recorded weight as an adult -->160!

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Old 03-10-2014, 11:18 PM   #9
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As my mom always said, "they're nature's candy!" lol. I hope it works for you!
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaybee1 View Post
As my mom always said, "they're nature's candy!" lol. I hope it works for you!
Haha so true! I so need to buy grapes, completely forgot about them. I just started a thread about box of sara lee snacks I have, I'm going to toss them out right now!!
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Starting measurements
8/23/12--->42-37-45 (200lbs)
10/4/12--->41-37-44 (190lbs)
4/09/13--->40-36-42 (180lbs)
5/18/13--->40-34-42 (170lbs)---then the holidays happened
3/01/14--->40-34-42 (170lbs)
09/15/2014---------- (173lbs)--why grad school WHY?!

Lowest recorded weight as an adult -->160!
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:41 AM   #11
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I have struggled as well with sugar. I had to give it up completely at first along with wine and pretty much anything that would raise my blood sugar. I have a very low tolerance for carbs even grapes, rice, or "healthy grains". Some brown rice would send me out searching for gummy bears! So I broke that addiction first which meant no carbs at all because I just could not control it. It was completely physical but when I get stressed and I have had
a blood sugar crash...forget it, I will eat a truckload of it which would send me on an endless cycle of lows and highs that sounds like you are on now. I still avoid most sugar like max of 10 grams a day and that's the only way I have found to keep this addiction under control. You know I was told once that sugar has a chemical make up similar to cocaine...I believe it! Now I am working on getting rid of any sweeteners like Splenda and truvia. I am not sure they are good for me so I am working on weaning that. I do have to say when you give up refined sugar that an orange tastes like the most deliciously sweet thing ever and same with other fruits (that I eat sparingly). You have earned this! You have done so well with the 80 pounds! I don't know you but I know these feelings. It's hard but look how far you came. That was all your inner strength. I think the sugar could be contributing to your panic attacks. I find it's amazing how much our body and mind reacts to what we feed it. Good luck and hang in there.
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:17 AM   #12
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I love sugar. I go crazy if I don't get a can of diet coke at the end of the day. I cry and hyperventilate. The diet coke and a few squares of dark chocolate are my reward for a day of good eating, without them I don't know what I'd do.

One thing I really enjoy is earl grey tea, black. If, god forbid, there's no diet coke in the house, I'll have a tonic water with lemon and the tea later. It's floral and sweet enough on it's own that it satisfies me enough to get through the remainder of the evening.

In the first few weeks of calorie counting, I almost went cold turkey with the sugar. I felt it BAD. The detox period lasted for weeks. I wanted to run into the kitchen and binge on sugar and butter. I stopped baking my kids their school snacks because I couldn't stand to smell them cooking and know they were in the kitchen. I felt like I was constantly starving and craving. I told my DH I felt like I wanted to hurl myself off the balcony, even though I honestly had no intention of doing so, my head was just screaming at me from the inside.

It has gotten better now though. I can say No to many sweets and when I do eat them, I can stop or limit my portion without going back for seconds. I have a tray of caramel fudge in the fridge that my niece made with me. It's been there for a week. I had a 1/4 square with her and I've ignored it since.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:17 AM   #13
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Thank you all for such great comments. I feel so special. lol.

I feel better this morning. I didn't sugar binge last night or this morning. I will tell you my thought process if only to just justify my actions to myself.
Initially, I wanted to get right back to my Spin, kickboxing, and weight lifting schedule. HARDCORE. I thought "don't be a wimp! This is WAR!"
But when I woke up, true to actual withdrawal symptoms, I felt shaky and weak and not ready for any of that. Part of me thinks that this is when you have to PUSH through and JUST DO IT. The other part is overwhelmed and says "you can't seriously expect yourself to just jump right back into it as if you had never left it. That's a recipe for being overwhelmed and injuring yourself." (I did, in fact, injure my wrist by doing too much at to high a weight once)
I think, with this new way of treating myself, I need a few days for a sort of meditative- self- therapy thing. Seriously. Not in the way I might have taken a personal day in the past- laced with guilt and frustration over feeling lazy. My hard won muscles will have to deplete for a while But I will consider this a strategic move.
I think I should spend the day really play-living in a world without sugar. Imagine what its like. Imagine never eating tiramisu. I am pretty confident that I can convince myself that its not so bad. Sugar is not the reason I am on this Earth. So, who cares? Not I .... Eventually. The more I am fantasizing, the easier I feel about it. That's the plan. And so far I haven't eaten sugar. I even traded my 2 pump iced white mocha for an iced coffee at Starbuck this morning. OUCH! That hurt. But I am proud over such a tiny thing. It only takes 1 good day to get on a roll.
In the meantime, I have resolved to just let the weird, shaky, even tired "withdrawel" feeling run its course without the added pressure of the gym or any sort of work AT ALL. For some, work is a welcome distraction from food but I don't feel that distraction is what I need. Distraction is temporary and its a band-aid. I need to face the ugly and deal directly with the devil.
Meditate. Perhaps I have to learn to be kind to myself. I know I need to learn to be patient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gailr42 View Post
I have not learned to deal with it yet. I agree with you that for folks like us, there has to be some "cold turkey". I also agree with your dog analogy. I digress, but I just lost my dear little cat to kidney failure. This loss and a few other things going on in my life right now have really brought home to me how I use food as a drug.

It is really hard for me to admit to my unhealthy relationship with food, and mean it. I can't do anything about it until I accept that I have a problem.

When we get all this right, we can write a book and get rich. We can never be too rich or too thin, right?
So sorry about your kitty. I have had to let go of several cats in my life time due to various illnesses and old age. The last one was particularly hard because she had been with me since I was 7, she was born in my dining room, and lived until 19 when I finally put her down. I mean, that was basically all of my life she was with me. All of my cats are special but she was kind of like my kitty soul mate. I felt as if she were on this earth to help me. And help me she did. If you cry as easily as me over furry people, then cry because you know you will see them again and that makes you happy.

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Originally Posted by Mrs Snark View Post
Oh honey, been there, done that, so many times. Usually it was the roof of my mouth that I tore up.
LOL! You made me laugh with that.

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Originally Posted by Sassyblonde View Post
You know I was told once that sugar has a chemical make up similar to cocaine...I believe it! Now I am working on getting rid of any sweeteners like Splenda and truvia. I am not sure they are good for me so I am working on weaning that. I do have to say when you give up refined sugar that an orange tastes like the most deliciously sweet thing ever and same with other fruits (that I eat sparingly). You have earned this! You have done so well with the 80 pounds! I don't know you but I know these feelings. It's hard but look how far you came. That was all your inner strength. I think the sugar could be contributing to your panic attacks. I find it's amazing how much our body and mind reacts to what we feed it. Good luck and hang in there.
Yes, I remember coming across the same thing about the cocaine. I totally get it now. I do not mean to belittle anyone with a severe cocaine, meth, or any other sort of hardcore drug addiction by calling my sugar problem an addiction. But someone else's hard is not my hard and vice versa. I know you guys get that but some folks don't and I have to remind myself of it. Just because it is not an illicit drug on the street does not mean it doesn't have the same chemical AND life altering effect on me. And yes, when I was initially losing weight it was weird and great how suddenly previous food items tasted sweet like they had never before. I'll never forget getting a plain iced latte from Starbucks one day, convinced that they had accidentally put syrup in it. But they hadn't. Gotta keep reminding myself of that too!

I think I am going to have a good day sugar-wise. I'll let you guys know how it goes. I guess that first post and your responses was just what I needed to kick start myself. Yaaaaaay!

Now... we meditate.

Last edited by Earthling : 03-11-2014 at 11:36 AM.
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