Oct 05 2009

Addict

I am an addict. Have been for some time, but lately it has moved from controllable to life-running. Like, I have structured my days around it and been thinking about it constantly and been a bitch when I am coming down.

What’s my addiction?

Sugar.

I’m not joking. It is an addiction. Perhaps not as life-ruining as alcohol or prescription drugs, but it is a problem for me nonetheless.

I was doing fairly well up until a couple of weeks after Rowan was born. I didn’t crave it as much while I was pregnant for some reason. But, for whatever reason, be it sleep deprivation or hormones or breastfeeding, after about two weeks in, I was a slave to it. I literally think about dessert all day. Cookies, pies, cakes, cupcakes. I am mostly a fan of baked-goods, but I will take anything. Even worse, I get a pass by everyone around me- shit, they even SUPPORT my addiction- because I am breastfeeding and “You can eat ANYTHING when you’re breastfeeding.” Sure you can.

Except that I started to gain weight, and I saw my energy dropping, and I noticed that I was spending 15 minutes straight in front of the cookie jar shoveling handful after handful of animal crackers down my gob and not really even enjoying them. But they were organic! And low sugar! Yeah- doesn’t mean so much when you eat 10 servings at a time. I was making excuses to stop and get turnovers every week and then getting them again at the farmer’s market on the weekend. I was figuring out which paths from home to the grocery store would take me past a drive-through coffee place and wondering when the pumpkin-spice latte would be available. I was dreaming up reasons for me and Cole to go to the candy store for a treat “for him.”

Last night, John caught me eating a half-roll of Necco wafers. As I had already expressed my concern over my problem, he asked if I should really be eating them. I told him that it was either that or I was going to bake cookies or start drinking heavily, and I thought this was probably better. I think he thought I was joking, but I was ABSOLUTELY serious.

Today, I have been making fucking TEA all day (decaf) just to do something when a craving comes. The only really sugary thing in the house is sorbet, and I don’t get cravings for that. I have a headache, and HOW. I am feeling significantly more tired that I ought to. I’m also feeling lucky that Rowan and I didn’t get thrush through all of this.

This week I should be receiving a bathing suit from Land’s End (it was on sale!). When I do, Cole and I are going to go to the local gym and pay their exorbitant fee so that we can start swimming in the heated pool two times a week. It means learning to really swim before next summer for him, and a little bit of exercise and butt-kicking shame for me. Shame is a good motivator for me, at least to start. I need to start somewhere. I need to be healthy. I need to have energy for my kids. I need to be in good shape so that, when the kids are finally ready to leave the house, their father and I can still have fun together. I don’t want to be old before my time because of poor health choices now. I am 30, but right now I feel like I’m 50, and an unhealthy 50 at that.

So laugh, if you feel you need to, at my little problem, but know that it really is a big problem for me. But also know that I intend to do something about it, and writing it down here is my start.

ETA: And what should I get in my mailbox today but the November issue of Bon Appetit with HOLIDAY DESSERT recipes, reminding me once again that the season of greatest temptation is upon us. Thanks a lot, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, you fuckers.

2 Comments

  • By Sizzle, October 6, 2009 @ 5:36 pm

    I'm a recovering sugar addict. Now that I've purged the white stuff from my system, when I eat it I feel sick, tired and crabby. I much prefer my sugar-free self! But it was hard to break the habit. I highly recommend Potatoes Not Prozac- a handy little book that recommends using potatoes to curb the cravings while quitting sugar. It really helped! And I have a ton of recommendations for sweets made with natural sugars like honey or agave if you want them.

  • By nrp, October 7, 2009 @ 8:54 pm

    So, after reading this I had a dream that you and I were having huge, frosted chocolate cupcakes at some bakery together. Let's do it! Minus the chocolate cupcake part!

    I find that I can sometimes curb cravings by chewing (sugar-free) gum–Orbit makes all of these wacky flavors and some of them are wierd and interesting and tasty enough to make me forget the baked good/candy bar/sweet I had been wanting (some of the flavors are just nasty though, so get a variety). Even brushing my teeth helps keep urges at bay, not always, but it's a good trick to keep up my sleeve (and in the time it takes me to brush my teeth, I sometimes can talk myself "down" from the sugar-need).

    Good luck!

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