Tuesday, April 25, 2006

No more sugar

Once again I am sugar free. I was this way for a number of years, but vet school stress had me sailing off the wagon like a parched fool in the desert drawn to an oasis. All the free cookies and candy... the sweet siren song of sugar, from all sides... the lure of free cheap energy... the sweet wonder of chocolate goodies, holidays laced with sweet powder, legal crack, kiddie crack...

It's so bad for me, so so bad. Years ago I was hooked and was jumping buggered nuts from the hypoglycemia it caused. I was a complete psycho to my boyfriends, to every situation in life until I was terrified I was certifiably mad or something.
WTF is wrong with me? I'd ask. I just didn't know.
Years later I read Protein Power, which was somewhat on the right track.
I still hit the kiddie crack on a regular basis, but backed it up with protein, thinking I was curing the problem. The crashes still came but they were gentler almost, slower and more predictable; but I still had inexplicable crying jags, bad judgement and bad feelings.

The bad feelings were the worst by far. When you have an emotion and you can't identify where it comes from, you want to label it just so you know you aren't completely bonkers. So often my boyfriends would take the blame (bastards!) Only they didn't know, as I didn't, that sugar is a completely evil poison that knocks out clear thinking and reason. The Twinkie Defense? Maybe there is more to that than we reckoned.

So years after the Protein Power, someone gave me a copy of Sugar Blues. This book saved my sanity. I had already recognized I had hypoglycemia, but hadn't a clue how to handle it. Oh well I thought, I will just have to recognize my crashes and deal with it for the rest of my life. Hey everyone, if I get 'hangry' (hungry + angry) just feed me some cheese, ok? Crappy!!! BUT, I read this book and realized it was a bunch of bunk. The gigantic corporate conglomerate that is our food industry was poisoning me and you on a daily basis, without even our permission. See if I'm wrong! Go for a stroll in the supermarket, and look at the normal things you eat. Ketchup? sugar. Mayo? sugar. Cereal, yogurt, table salt, dried fruit, juice, soups, tomato sauce, you name it and it has sugar.

I did it though. However at the time, I was living in a place that had a lot of access to 'alternative' food stores. There were lots and lots of 'sugar alternatives' that you could experiment. This was fun and handy, but what I ended up doing was trading white crack for the more natural kind, and lots of it. It wasn't any better even if it had a lower glycemic response curve and more fiber! It's still sugar, and I was still hooked.

That was before I fell off the wagon these last 2 years. I got sick last month with all sorts of ailments; UTIs, several in a row (a big clue!), flu which I never ever get, muscle aches, short attention span, crankiness... and on and on... but I wasn't ready yet! Not yet, I thought, as I devoured Christmas, then Valentines, then Easter candy, bag after bag. Please let me stop, I thought, as I just ate this crap because I felt that my life in school was so unhappy that chocolate was the only thing that would take the edge off.

Classic addict behaviour. Classic.
Then, all the sickness happened. This is two weeks ago! I went for a hike on a particularly nice day after feeling crappy for some time. I was sick, depressed, exhausted and unhappy.
In the woods I focused myself and wrote in my journal. I started to feel better, reminding myself who I am and all that I strove for the first time I kicked it. That I used to be a person that wanted a simpler life, something more (I hate this word) wholesome. Meaning, less refined, less processed, less stressed and rushed. Getting back to sugar free, yoga, meditation and art as ways to let off steam.

So it has been about a week and a half. I feel a lot better. My focus is clear, my body feels better, my skin looks better and I look less bloaty somehow. It takes a while to get past the cravings and that sneaky voice in your head that says (only a little... sssss... just a tassssste...) but once you clear it you're good. It was so easy for years to sail past the brightly colored seductive isle in Walgreens, filled with chocolatey holiday cheer! It will be once again, and I am nearly free.

This time I will not go heavy on 'alternative sugars' which still jack up the blood sugar. I will instead use more Stevia (goddamn government and Sugar industry keeping it from being a legit sweetener!!! more on that later). I am concious of eating whole grains, lots of veggies, less dairy and more whole foods in general.
I hope someday our society wakes up and realizes that they are being poisoned. It is in everything. It can't go on! It makes people so sick, and our society has to pay and pay for the resultant diseases... diabetes, obesity (why is everyone so surprised we have this problem? And that people can't control it? I'm not surprised) and so on. Even dementia, social issues, ADD! ADHD is sugar addiction out of control, I should know!
Can that shit, live healthy and long... fight the man! No more sugar!