After MANY years of struggling with sugar, I think I'm finally at a point where it no longer controls my life. In fact, I've been able to walk by the two cupcake bakeries in my neighborhood without buying ANYTHING from them this year (that's a HUGE step for me). Now, this isn't something that magically happened overnight. In fact, this is something that's been in the making for a while now…and here are the things that I think helped me get here:
- I learned my triggers: We all have something that makes us reach for the sweets. For me, it's stress and anxiety, usually brought on by certain social situations, overscheduling myself, and sadness or disappointment. Now that I know what causes me to dive head first into a bag of peanut M&Ms, I've come up with other, non-sugar ways of coping: an intense workout, sharing a laugh with my girlfriends, or just taking deep breaths and going for a walk are my coping mechanisms of choice. I actually FEEL my feelings instead of FEEDING them. I still love my M&Ms though.
- I know how sugar makes me feel: Sugar is NOT my friend…too much of it makes me feel terrible. I get sluggish and I just want to take a nap, which is not the thing to do when I have deadlines to meet. I also get a massive headache when I have too much sugar. I don't want that feeling, so I avoid coma-inducing sugar bombs. If I really want something sweet, a very ripe banana (with or without almond butter) always does the trick for me…my cravings satisfied without the sugar crash.
- The way I eat makes me happy and keeps me satisfied: I rarely eat packaged, processed convenience foods, so my taste buds aren't bombarded with sweetness morning, noon, and night. Have you noticed that the more sugar you eat, the more you want? If almost everything you eat has sugar in it (check the labels!), it's going to keep you coming back for more and more. Once I cut out the crap food and started eating nutrient-rich whole foods every day, I have so much more REAL energy, not the kind you get from a sugar high. Also, starvation and deprivation during the day lead to raging sugar cravings at night. Back in my dieting days, sugar was always my nighttime companion, but not anymore. Ditch the diets and eat REAL food all day, every day!
- I'm living a "sweeter" life: Yes, I loved the taste of sugar, but I was also using it as a substitute for things that were missing in my life. Dissatisfaction with my job, relationships, and a whole bunch of other things left me trying to find love and happiness in a deep dish apple pie. Now, I'm more focused on doing things and spending time with people that make me truly happy. Inspiring others by sharing my story is something that brings me incredible joy, something that I was never able to find with sweets. Trust me, I tried and tried to find happiness in pie, cake, and chocolate chip banana bread pudding…but, for some reason, it never showed up in any of those places.
I hope you can find what works to help you kick your sugar habit. If a sugar queen like me can do it, so can you!
I'd love to hear how sugar affects you, so leave a comment in the section below!