“I have seen, I have seen what these changes mean to me. If you’re thinkin’ of changin’. If you’re thinkin’ of stayin’ with me. We need to agree. We need to make some changes. We need what we need. Do I need you? Do you need me?” ~Sugar, Changes
I’m embarrassed to admit, I recently had to curb my sugar addiction. It was awful, but it needed to be done. I craved candy like a crazy person. I knew every office and cubicle that had a candy stash. I went out of my way to take candy out of their bowl…when they weren’t there so they wouldn’t know how many times I was stopping by to take a piece…two pieces… I even had my own stash at work and home. Even after all of that, I would sneak down to the vending machine. My work vending machine has my favorite candy bar, Take 5. Once I wanted a Take 5 candy bar so bad, I went down to the vending machine and got angry when there was a bunch of Pay Days in front of the Take 5s. I remember thinking, “Fuck you Pay Day!” Super normal reaction, right? I didn’t take this as a sign to not eat candy. Oh no. I did the right thing and bought the three Pay Days to get to it. I saw no problem with this. I started running and working out more so I could swipe office candy and stay within my daily calorie count. I would get so excited on my long run days because this sugar fiend could eat some cookies!
When did I hit rock bottom? I think I hit it a couple of times. On the day after Valentine’s Day I got pumped for discount candy. That was not a typo. I waited ON PURPOSE to buy myself Valentine’s Day candy because it was 30% off. I texted my friend about it a week before, the day before and then sent a picture of me with my candy right after I bought it. I didn’t even wait until I got home to open it. I inhaled them like a crazy person and got mad (actually mad) when it was gone.
I’m so excited like I won a prize. I took the picture before I even started my car! What is wrong with me?
It got worse. I went to the grocery store hungry and came home with a box of cookies. I ate a couple and went back 15 minutes later for two more…and so on. When it was half gone, I snapped out of it and threw them out. But then…I can’t even believe I did this…I pulled them out. I ate a few more while standing over the trash can like an animal. When I stepped outside my body and saw my sad self, I finally threw them out for good (I poured water on them and then immediately took the trash out). I told my friend about it because I felt like someone needed to know. In my sugar brain, if I admitted my shame out loud I wouldn’t eat trash cookies again. (Her response was not judgmental but one of laughter. She followed her laughter by recommending I watch the Sex and the City episode where Miranda eats chocolate out of the trash. This was surprisingly comforting. Someone must have done this before me to make an episode about it, right? Yes? Cool.) I haven’t done it since, but I can’t say I’ll never do that again. I don’t know what kind of shit the future holds.
Was work stressing me out? Nope. Sugar withdrawal, ya’ll!
When I couldn’t outrun my sugar calories, I decided it was time to get myself in check. I can’t afford to buy all new pants. Wouldn’t you know, my main man Steve Harvey came to the rescue again? He had a couple of trainers on his show doing a competition, and I paid attention to their meals plans. I decided to give one a try for a couple of weeks because it focused on limiting sugar. I thought this might help to curb my sugar addiction. Why not, right?
Did it work? Oh, yes. It worked, but it was not painless. I don’t mean it sucked because of cutting calories. I was already doing that. It’s just that half those calories were candy and carbs. It sucked because on day 2-3 I had a screaming headache. Pain meds did not help. At first I wondered if I had a stress headache. Was work stressing me out? Nope. Sugar withdrawal, ya’ll! (Sorry. I never say ya’ll. It just rhymed.) The headaches were so bad I never want to go through this again. It hurt to sleep. I was so mad at those mini candy bars lurking around my office. I was mad at myself, too, but mostly at the makers of all things delicious.
I have since maintained most of a low sugar intake because I lost more weight than I anticipated. Oh, and I feel good, yada yada yada. But realistically I will never give up candy for good. I have mostly kept myself in check. Except for one major free for all last week, I feel like I can safely say, I curbed my addiction. I still love all things chocolate and sweet, but for the love….no more slamming of cabinet doors because there is no candy in the house while I yell at myself to eat a vegetable and to get it together, woman!