"I saw few die of hunger; of eating, a hundred thousand." -Ben Franklin

Saturday, June 30, 2012

I'm a Sugar Addict

For the first year or so of this lifestyle, I was pretty strict: I only ate animal protein and vegetables.  I rarely touched fruit and wouldn't eat starches, nuts, or dark chocolate (I can't control myself around any of those).  But then when I really got into this ancestral movement and discovered things like Paleo/Primal baked goods and desserts, I loosened up a bit, thinking that my sugar addiction was long broken and I'd be perfectly content to just eat one cookie or one or two squares of dark chocolate.

Bad move.  I was so wrong.

I'm not going to deny that all of those Paleo/Primal brownies, cookies, cakes, and chocolate- or fruit-based dishes are amazing... because they're so delicious!  But what I realized right away last year is that if you give me any of those, I can't just have one-- I'll eat half the tray!  Or I'll finish off an entire dark chocolate bar or bag of nuts or bowl of fruit... and then feel disgusting afterward and say I won't do that ever again.  But guess what?  I do do it again, and I end up in a vicious cycle.  All of these sweets have reawakened my former food-addicted self, which is something I've tried very hard to suppress these last 2.5 years, and I can't live like that anymore.  Even starches (such as sweet potatoes and yams) will trigger me to go insane, because my body goes, "OMG SWEETNESS!  EAT!  KEEP EATING!"  It needs to stop!  I had all of these habits under control, but when I gave myself an inch, I took a marathon.  I've gained weight (and if I look at anything other than a plant or animal, I put on weight), my acne is back, and I just feel gross.

So it's time to stop the baked goods/desserts, starches, nuts, and fruits.  Yes, they're certainly better than eating non-Primal foods (i.e. things with gluten, sugar, and other toxic ingredients), but they're still not optimal for health.  I also need to stop snacking while I'm at it (I've noticed that I only snack when I'm eating a lot of sweet foods throughout the day).  So no more trigger foods!  I'm still-- and always will be-- a food addict, so I should know better by now not to let myself touch things that set me off.  (You'd think I would've learned a year ago when I first realized the addiction never went away, but nope.  I got back into the I'll start tomorrow mentality that's been going on ever since.)

This is the "MyPlate" I'll be sticking with from now on:

Animals and plants!  I can do that!  I've done it before, and I can do it again... assuming I can get that self-control back in order, and learn to only eat when I need to, and not because I'm bored or emotional or because it's in the house.  As much as I love all of the yummy baked goods that the Paleo blogosphere has to offer, my health comes first... and optimal health for me doesn't include anything even remotely sweet.  (If you're in my position and like timed challenges, check out the Whole30 or 21-Day Sugar Detox from Balanced Bites!)

Quote of the Day:
"If you're happy, you eat.  If you're sad, you eat.  You lose a job, you eat.  You get a job, you eat.  It's, you know, it's addiction."  -Barbara Cook


  1. I have the very same problem. I either eat no m&m's, paleo dessert, or other treat or I have the entire bag/batch/whatever. I get my sweet tooth from my mom and when she transitioned into paleo her sweet tooth all but disappeared. I wish I was the same! Sigh... Oh well i guess we will continue to obstain in the name of optimal health! Haha thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This couldn't have come at a better time. I've also just recently decided to eat more simply and omit the fruit/nuts etc again. I had eaten like this for a while as well and thought I was *fine* and tried some sweet treats...and boom! So much weight gained and I feel miserable. I'm also a university student, and LOVE your blog. Thanks again!

  3. It only shows that you're human and sometimes self control and self discipline goes on a vacation. Good thing though you admit it and take charge.

    Good job! :D

    I also recently started on my Paleo Diet plan and I've been searching the interwebz for more Paleo Diet recipes.

    Well, good luck on our Paleo Diet journey!

  4. I just found your blog. This post was the perfect thing for me to read today. I'm the exact same way and have fallen way off the wagon. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

  5. I know a few individuals who want to end their fight with sugar addiction. They ought to read this blog and hope that they embrace the Paleo Diet.

  6. My catalyst downhill was just the other day when I ate 4 cookies (not even close to paleo or GF) on my walk home from the store and then the remaining 6 within a couple of hours. Since then I've been wanting and eating sugar even when not hungry. So glad I found your post, it is inspirational to my situation right now. Thank you!

  7. I've just started with Paleo and FA Food Addicts Anonymous who are a little different to OA Overeaters Anonymous. At FA they abstain from sugar and flour I am told. I'm in other 12 Step Fellowships but I believe my sugar addiction will be the hardest road. I cannot remember a time when I have not been addicted sugar. David from Melbourne Australia.

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