Its day one, week two and I haven’t started the I Quit Sugar Eight Week Challenge by the fabulous Sarah Wilson. My fridge is overloaded with vegetables but I’m poor from eating out. I woke up with a headache this morning from the packet of double choc cookies I ate last night.
The ‘life style change’ is do-able, it’s been made easy for me and anyone else willing to fork out $20 bucks a week. All my excuses have been evaporated through Wilson’s wand of magical simpleness.
So what’s the deal? That’s a question I’ve been trying to answer since I put on 30kgs through my pregnancy four years ago. I’ve seen a psychologist who specializes in weight-loss for two years now. Each year, I’m getting heavier and unhappier and no closer to losing the weight or figuring out why my subconscious won’t let me.
I sat down, over a coffee and a piece of healthy banana bread – loaded with fructose I’m sure – and wondered, what is it that makes me so unhappy about my up-sized body? The fact that I can’t go thrift shopping because bargains don’t come in my size? The fact that I never get a second look in return from my crush? The fact that getting in and out of my car or putting on my shoes requires elasticity of my back bone, to mauver past my undesired stomach. These things do make me unhappy, but they are just mere surface reasons, I’ve obviously been able to live with for the past three years.
The real reason my body is making my soul feel unhappy, is because my body does not reflect who I am. I actually love health. All of the forms of health, spiritual, mental, physical and I’m especially fascinated in ancient forms of well being, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, Ayurveda, the science that discovered that the heating effects of coconut oil on my liver, can make me burn calories without lifting a finger. I love my body’s ability to change, for example, in response to the actions I take, the chemical balances, or lack thereof, in my brain and to the morsels of chocolate coated hell, I place in my mouth, just as Sleeping Beauty placed the poison apple.
Every so often I wake up from the poison I gleefully place into my body and I stop eating it. The slime on my skin after a good detox, reminds me that what I eat doesn’t just go into a vortex of nothingness. It reminds me that my weight is not an optical illusion, created through voodoo dolls and bad karma. The slime reminds me that I have control of my body. The slime comes out from my organs. Those pumpy things that keep me alive, so I can be the person I have been striving to be, before I hit the grave with the slime on the inside on my skin and pocket full of Lost Hope coated chocolate bars.
It’s easy. The excuses have been lifted out of existence in the I Quit Sugar lifestyle. I have everything I need in my kitchen to do it. I want to do it because it is in line with who I want to be and, to a certain extent, who I already am.
So what’s stopping me? Why am I sabotaging myself like the villain of my own story? Because my weight has nothing to do with not being able to lose it, not wanting to lose it, or not having the will power to lose it. It has everything to do with my self-esteem.
You might find this ring true for you too, within any sort of addiction.
I binge eat when I’m stressed. Why do I get stressed? Because I get afraid I can’t deal with a difficult task or situation. Eating releases soothing hormones, as scientifically proven, and as it has done my whole life.
I remember my son crying until he had milk as a tiny baby. It has been programed into us to eat for comfort, to relieve the pain of hunger. To relieve all pain, so it seems. Lack of self-esteem on the other hand, to deal with pain, is something that has been learned.
Because I don’t have the self-esteem to handle the feeling my stomach jumps with after a double take from my crush, I binge eat just imagining myself as thin again. Another binge eat-a-thon occurs when I fear that judgement of me, for who I really am, would be far worse than judgement of me, for my weight, which I could change.
I binge eat because I am afraid to try not to as well. I lack the self-esteem, to know I can do it, without failing. So I give up before I start. Or give up as soon as I slip. Concluding this thought a self-fulfilling prophesy. This continuously spins around, and invisibly spirals around my hand as it reaches for another chocolate. This spiraling effect is so successful because it happens before I notice it, and then it wears a mask, so I can never really tell what it was that made me reach for the poison in the first place.
Knowing the facts, being prepared and taking action are not the only tools towards obtainable, sustainable success. I’m not sure where to start when the demon of self-doubt comes out to play. However I’m told that acknowledgement is the first step to recovering from any addiction. I have two to tackle. The physical addiction poisonous sugar holds over me and the sneaky mental addiction of self-doubt.
My name is Jade Black, and I am a sugar addict.
This is the beginning of my journey to health and recovery from sugar and encounters on my long stumble home from discovery.
I would say too, that binge eating for comfort is also reinforced by our parents or care givers. Traditionally we give a child a lollipop to distract them from having a immunisation shot, or maybe a serve of ice-cream because their best-friend at school has suddenly decided to stop being their best-friend, and so on. In addition to that the fats as well as sugars make these things taste good, so of course we grow up preferring them to healthy foods!