This is the end of day three without sugar. At the moment, I am not on a “diet,” nor am I currently focused on portion control. My sole goal is to stop using sugar as a crutch. As I told Chris tonight at Trader Joe’s tonight, when I am able to go back to thinking of sugar as a “sometimes food,” I’ll do that. For now, I feel like fell too far down the rabbit hole. I was turning to sugar like it was some exotic drug I’d found at the Mad Hatter’s tea party. In this case though, I was only growing bigger. The thrill, assuming one ever existed, was well and truly gone. Something had to give.
Sugar and I have a historically dysfunctional relationship. While it’s true that I struggle with eating sanely in general, sugar is my nemesis. I used to binge on it, in college. It never looked quite as crazy as those afterschool specials portrayed (I am quite capable of eating an entire package of Oreos one at a time, thank you very much. Shoving them in by the handful seems wasteful… it would just create a mess, and you’d lose cookies in the process), but the end result was still similar… me, fighting a constant battle with my weight as well as my self-esteem. Me, hating what I saw when I looked in the mirror.
When I stopped drinking, it was suggested I try to let go of other compulsive behaviors as well. So for awhile, I went to OA as well as AA, and I spent 15 months not eating sugar, one long day at a time. I hated every fucking minute of it. God may have lifted my desire for alcohol, but the desire for sugar sadly remained. Sure, there was a good side. I lost weight (although never as much as seemed fair, given my level of sacrifice). My moods were far, far more balanced and I had fewer headaches (not including the first few days without sugar, when I suffered from excruciating withdrawal headaches). Still, I missed sugar, every single day. I waited to stop feeling miserably deprived, but that never happened. After 15 months, I gave up. Went with sympathetic friends and got myself a giant slice of Baker’s Square chocolate cake. Yes, I still remember where I went that night. Vividly, even. Which side of the booth I was sitting on, who I was with. I always remember the food.
It should be said that I never got a headache this time. Maybe my sugar intake was nowhere near as intense as it was in the days when I consumed entire packages of Oreos (one would hope), but so far, so good. I mean, I have had moments where I’ve wanted to cave… the Almond Joys offered at Avery’s music class, the bite-sized Milky Ways at my in-laws’. Halloween is over, but the reminders remain. I keep saying no, so far, at least. I’m not planning to give up sugar entirely, not forever. But at the moment I still feel like I need it, in a way that I strongly suspect isn’t healthy. So I’m taking a step back, for now. Next stop, portion control. Again, I have been eating for comfort, and eating to numb what ails me. Trouble is, there’s a lot that ails me. If I continue to go that route, I’m going to run out of things to wear. Definitely never my goal. I want my clothes back, thank you. Not just the jacket (although it’s very high on the list), but a huge section of my wardrobe. When I lost weight on Weight Watchers after having Avery, I reclaimed some, but not all, of my pre-baby clothes. I want them all back. They were expensive (many were purchased at Anthropologie with my employee discount), and I can’t afford anything that nice right now. What I can do is return to attempting to control what I’m eating. It’s certainly not a quick fix, but it can’t hurt. As always, when I am not actively abusing my body with food, I feel better, immediately. Not just physically, but emotionally. I could use a little of that… feeling better, all around. So here I go, again. Trying to trudge slowly down the path of healthy behavior. I wish it came more naturally… maybe someday.