Week o’ sugar–time to face the truth

Howdy!

Quick question: did you spend more time this weekend doing stuff like this,

or this?

Don’t worry if it’s the latter. You’re not alone. We had a sugar-tastic weekend at my house too, though I did NOT succumb to a Peep binge, which is nice. I did, however, have my share of sugar this weekend, including a slice of the sinful Easter cake my neighbor made.

Lately, it seems that sugar is stalking me. Opportunities to overindulge abound, from my birthday, to Easter to oh, I don’t know, days that end in “y.”

For the longest time, I didn’t really care about my sweet tooth. By the time I was in charge of my own food choices, the fat-free craze was in full effect, and sugar wasn’t really an issue. You know, when people figured low-fat = healthy. Remember Olestra? Might cause anal leakage and severe diarrhea, but the chips are low-fat, so go crazy!

We know better now (kinda), and I can’t ignore the growing body of research that says sugar is a major bad guy when it comes to overall health and longevity. In fact, studies show that whole fat-free thing did nothing to curb the growing number of Americans struggling with heart disease. Nope, the clues point to sugar–not fat–as the main culprit of heart disease, along with a host of other chronic illnesses.

So yeah, sugar has been on my mind. And along with eating too much of it, it seems everywhere I look there are messages about the evil nature of sugar: my email in-box, the magazines I read, even my conversations.

For example, early last week I got an e-mail from Spark People, with a quiz titled, “Are Your Sugar Cravings Out of Control?” Why yes, yes they are. How did you know, Spark People?

Just so I could see the hard truth in print, I took the quiz. Big surprise, my cravings are indeed, out of control.

Then, I was reading the latest Experience L!fe magazine, and came across a profile of life coach Laurie Gerber. She talked about how she struggled with bad eating habits for years, until she finally admitted her poor nutrition was affecting her health and happiness. She cleaned up her diet, started exercising, lost weight, and has felt better ever since. The interviewer asked, “Was eating healthier a challenge?” Gerber replied,

At first, yes. When I quit sugar I felt like I lost my best friend! I thought, ‘If I don’t have my numbing agent, I’m just going to feel my feelings and then I might die.’ But I lived. And I tell my clients, ‘You will live, too.’

I’ve re-read that passage several times. Seeing such an honest answer from a woman whose job it is to help people get their life in order, well, it had an impact. It’s what got me thinking about finally getting serious about taming my sugar issues, and chronicling that experience here. Because honestly, sugar is the one aspect of my wellness that I’m really unhappy about, and it’s something that many, many people struggle with. In fact, I think refined sugar just might be the root of all the health problems in this country. I’m not even joking.

So, what do you think? Are you up for a challenge? Are you ready to tame your sugar monster with me? Take the quiz, to find out where you stand. Then, follow wishfit during the “Week o’ sugar,” for more information about the impact of sugar on our health, sneaky places sugar hides, and the science of sugar addiction, among other things. Plus, I’ll let you know what I’m doing to cut sugar out of my diet, and who in my household is suffering the consequences.

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9 thoughts on “Week o’ sugar–time to face the truth

  1. Chrissy says:

    Why oh why does the truth really hurt? Keep it coming this week. Perhaps repetition will help it sink in. Is the creamer (the good kind) really that bad?

    • wishfit says:

      Seriously. I know what you mean.

      If you mean the fake, flavored creamer, yup, bad news. Research is showing that artificial sweeteners are just as bad, or maybe even worse (because of the chemicals) than real sugar. They de-sensitize us to sweet tastes, making us more likely to crave more sweet tastes. I actually gave up fake sweeteners (like crystal light and sobe water) in January, and if I taste something like that now I hate it. Hoping that happens with sugar too!

      Try a little bit of real, high-quality half and half, and you will never go back. I don’t even use honey or agave in my coffee anymore because the half and half we get is so awesome.

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