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sugar, i'm done with you.

hi, my name is aly. and i'm an addict.

there i said it. that makes me feel better. and i'm dead serious, though some of you may giggle, roll your eyes, scoff, or even feel relieved when i tell you that:

i'm addicted to sugar.

those of you who will scoff and roll your eyes are either addicted yourself [but you're not ready to face it yet], or think that i'm making a big deal out of nothing. alcoholism, eating disorders, pornography... those are real vices. come on Aly, stop trying to make yourself out to be someone who struggles with some huge secret sin when you don't. i get it, i understand what you're saying, and i would agree with you except that you're not inside my head. you have no idea the grip this has on me.

the ones who feel relieved, it's because you think, oh good at least it's not anything serious. and i understand what you're saying too. and i think because a sugar addiction and really food addiction of any kind doesn't always manifest itself outwardly. it's one of those "pretty sins". something you can hide, something that doesn't bother everyone else, something that doesn't necessarily seem life-threatening right? especially if you aren't overweight, no one cares.

but if i'm honest, it is life threatening. on so many levels, it is life-threatening.

i'm not trying to say that if you have a sweet tooth you're sinning. or that you should give up sugar or that you aren't being honest with yourself if you don't think you have a problem. i'm not saying that at all. i don't know that anyone else in the world struggles with it the way i do. i just know what goes on inside my head, not yours. but inside my head, i have a legitimate need to consume sugar.

some of you are tracking with me, and feeling a little bit convicted... if that's you, please keep reading.

when i say "sugar", of course i don't just take a spoon and eat literal sugar from the jar... i mean processed foods, chocolate, any type of baked goods, soda [even though it's diet, which is even worse] and just all around junk food.

i love it all. but mostly dessert.

that's a stupid thing to make such a big deal out of, right? something i should not care about at all, unless i was gaining lots of weight from it or had some real health issues. it's just food, it's just sweets. but on so many levels, in my life, it's not just anything silly like that. in my life, it's a heart issue. and i'll tell you why.

on a normal day you'd see me eating pretty healthy. i love plain old veggies and fruits and "whole wheat" and quinoa and flax seed and almond butter and lots of other weird things. i legitimately enjoy them.

but there's also another side, almost a split personality, that craves anything junk food. craves it. like, my mood depends on it. it's cute to say "i will not survive this day without stopping at starbucks", or eating this cupcake, or whatever. people high five and amen all day long to comments like that. and it's more or less a joke, a way to convey the fact that it's been "one of those days" and you need a treat. nothing wrong with that, folks.

but that's not what it is for me. based on my consumption, i am actually dependent on it. if there is dessert of any kind in the house i will sniff it out like a dog. for some reason chocolate chips were big for me. and i won't just have a handful, i will have 6 handfuls. if there are cookies, i will have eight. and then i'll walk away and come back and hour later and have 3 more. i cannot control it.

the thing is, i wouldn't call myself obese or fat. sure, i just had a baby and sure, i have 25 pounds to lose, but that's not the issue. here's the issue:

1) i have no idea what my body's health looks like on the inside. it would probably terrify me if i did know. did you know that sugar is really a poison to your liver? it has the same effect on it that alcohol does, and requires just as much attention and effort to rid it from your body. that's taxing on your liver. for someone who eats as much sugar as i do, my liver may be worse than someone who drinks that much in alcohol. i don't know, i'm presuming... there are a hundred more things that are wrong with consuming too much sugar, but i'll spare you the biology lesson and the scare tactics and the propaganda, but you can read these articles if you really want to know more.

Is Sugar Toxic?
The Harmful Effects of Sugar and Choosing Healthy Alternatives
Americans are killing themselves with sugar
Experts agree - Sugar is a health destroyer


so, i know that it's bad for me. i know that it's poison. i try to limit my daughter's sugar intake as much as it is in my control to do so. i know what a healthy eating lifestyle looks like. i'm not ignorant when it comes to that. i buy all organic for goodness sake [even a lot of the junk/processed food i buy is "organic"?!] so it's not for lack of knowledge. i know what it does to my body.

so why can't i stop? why do i keep grabbing the next handful of chocolate chips or the eighth cookie of the day? that brings me to my second point.

first, it's about health. 

but second, it's about my heart.

it's funny because i just tried explaining this all to my husband and he has no idea what i'm even talking about. no idea that i even have any sort of heart issue with sugar or sweets. that tells you how under-the-radar, socially acceptable, and almost invisible this whole thing is. something in my mental capacity cannot not eat the next bite. i'm not even hungry. that's really the whole thing- i'm not even hungry but i will eat sweet/dessert/junk food if you put it in front of me. and a LOT of it.

there's got to be something wrong if i crave sugar or starbucks or chocolate to unwind or to relax or help me not have a breakdown after a crazy day. shouldn't i be seeking peace in the presence of God? shouldn't my calm and focus and and solace and rest and enjoyment and satisfaction come from Him?

it could really be anything for you, maybe it's not sugar. anything can be made into an idol in our lives, right? it could be that you go shopping or browse online or watch TV or spend money or have a diet coke. i mean, really those are all harmless things in and of themselves. but i'm of the belief that anything taken to the extreme is wrong. anything but love and peace and patience and all the fruit of the Spirit, right? anything that takes the place of God is an idol. if shopping or reading blogs or eating dessert is what you do to fill a deep down void in your soul, you've gotta stop doing it! just give it up.

i started this post two weeks ago, right when i decided to go cold turkey off of sugar and processed foods. it's been in my drafts ever since. and you know why i haven't posted it yet? because i didn't think i'd be able to really commit to this. i wasn't sure if i wanted you to know about my struggle and what i was planning to do about it. i wanted to stay in the dark and just sort of struggle on my own.

and if i failed? well at least nobody was the wiser.

i'm done with that lie.

once you expose darkness to light, it scatters. it has no power anymore. so now i'm publishing, so that i can have accountability.  i need to quit. i need to detox. i need to break this addiction.

over the past two weeks, while i've been silently quitting, i've "cheated" twice. you'll be glad to know i didn't feel ashamed, but i did justify it with the fact that i had worked out that day. well, i'm done with that too. no more cheating and no more justifying. i'm done with it. and i know that as soon as i post this, i will be attacked like never before with cravings and thoughts and everything else. i may cheat again. but i am determined that it will not have the victory over my life anymore. 



just today on twitter, i got into a little conversation with sarah and jami and hannah and carina about this very thing. and i think knowing that they were in the same boat with me gave me some courage to finally finish this post and publish it. we're all at different stops on the journey, but at least we're on the same road. so thanks girls, i could not feel more blessed to have you in my life, even if we're just "e-friends" [that's what my husband calls my blog friends.]




Comments

  1. with you, girl!!
    so glad you posted this!
    i have a hard one scheduled for thursday. you've given ME courage.

    love you. we can do this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. yes. yes yes yes. so glad for truth. like I told you earlier today, I have a post in the works about this VERY issue. it is a BONDAGE for me, truly. and I know, like you said, that people may laugh...but it IS a big deal. and it is a big deal that you brought it to light. Im tracing with you friend. (haha I even was gonna start my post the same way, talking about how I am an addict!) we CAN overcome this together girl!!! :) LOVE YOU!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. ok, for real. i have been convicted about this very thing for the last week and praying through it. these "fun foods" have become an idol that i feel entitled too. i don't see myself cutting sugar out completely because then i'll obsess over it, but i am trying to give it to God and eliminate it from our house. i am a total sniffer-outer too!! if it's available, i'm eating it. thanks for this post and for the encouragement that it is. so helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. ok. did i write this? because it is ME to a tee.
    i gave up sugar except for agave nectar, honey, syrup, etc several weeks ago and the less i eat it, the easier it gets. i do have relapses where i eat it, and then all i want is more.
    it is so true that sugar is addictive like alcohol.
    like it literally does something chemically in your body to make you want more! it also supresses your immune system for 8 hours! no wonder kids get the sickest in between halloween and christmas...too much sugar our bodies can't keep up.
    i recently read that your taste buds are new every 7-10 days, and so they are easy to retrain if we can just stay away from it.
    thank you so much for posting this, deep down, i know it is a heart issue, something that the Lord wants me to trust Him for deliverance from.
    believe me! i've been praying for His help! :)
    thanks so much for posting this.
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  5. i'm with you one million percent, aly. i am addicted to sugar and can see how powerful of an effect it has on me. i am emotionally attached to it..the pleasure of it. of baking, of the batter, of the tastes, of how it LOOKS good.
    the whole experience has become an idol for me. please pray i can obey God in this area of my life!

    ReplyDelete
  6. okay - i just ate about 5 handfuls (big ones) of peanut butter m&m's...then stumbled upon this post.

    i have no self control around sweets - especially at night.

    i think i have some thinking to do.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for posting this! I really needed to hear this: ))

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm a little late to the party- but this couldn't have come at a more perfect time to me. I've been thinking about my similar feelings (mainly toward oreos, iced coffees & peanut butter cups... & more, ugh) & you summed it up for me perfectly. Thank you for this post, as I'm working on cleansing my body physically & spiritually, this post helped me a ton. You are courageous!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ok so I just posted about something like this today and I had a friend point me your direction. I have had a very painful struggle with this for sometime and and still not finding peace. I would love to talk with you sometime. Have you worked through this, was there anything in particular that helped? Idk I just know I am read for a change.

    ReplyDelete
  10. One of my favorite books for years has been Sugar Blues by William Dufty. Have you read it? It's amazing, life changing. I read it in my teens for the first time and I'll never see processed sugar the same way! Holistic, organic, natural, sustainable living has a giant appeal for me. I haven't figured out a way to implement it into my reality permanently (my hubby is a fast food/soda junkie -- argh).. and having kids and a small budget makes it even harder.. but I love seeing other women who are really making changes for the better. It inspires me to keep fighting for what I want. So, thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete

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