Nancy Sinatra belted out the popular 1967 tune, Sugar Town? It went like this:
“ I got some troubles but they won’t last
I’m gonna lay right down here in the grass
And pretty soon all my troubles will pass
‘Cause I’m in shoo-shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo-shoo
Shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo sugar town.”
I loved that song and belted it out right along with my radio. I’m not quite sure why that just popped into my head. I think it is because I have made some major changes to my life with regards to my sugar eating and health. I am not sure at which point I am allowed to call it a “lifestyle” change. I am guessing that it would have to be at a point longer than the two weeks I have been following my new protocol. Throughout my entire life, sugar has been a part of me..both literally and figuratively. I remember when I was a very young girl and had any money at all, it was typically spent at the nearby drugstore on whatever penny candy I could afford. If there were cookies in the house, I had to have them. Of course, positive reinforcement of my behavior as a youngster typically involved some form of sugar or one of my favorites, a good ole’ Southern Moon Pie! And a southern dinner wasn’t a dinner unless it was followed by dessert. Of course that determination to have sugar sometimes concluded with a bitter ending..like the time I spent a summer at my aunt’s and discovered what I was sure would be a delicious chocolate bar. Note: Bittersweet chocolate is not the same as Hershey’s.
Was/Is It A Sugar Addiction?
While I’m in nostalgia mode, I am reminded of my older sister announcing (in typical tattle mode) as loudly as possible that I (her cute, younger sister) must have a sugar addiction and probably had diabetes and that our Mom should take me to the doctor to find out. I didn’t even know what diabetes was, but it certainly felt like a damning declaration to make. It always elicited my loud and angry response that I did not have ‘Di-beet-eze’ or a sugar addiction. Even then at eight years old, there was clearly a negative connotation to having a sugar addiction.
The reality is and probably was, that I did indeed have an addiction to sugar or chocolate in any form. For most of my adult life it has been true and I didn’t even care. In fact, I am a person who has had very severe, chronic medical conditions which have involved a lot of medicines, tests and specialists for a long time. I have focused on healing myself with western medicine, the typical standard american diet (SAD) and a steady sugar influx. It never occurred to me that sugar was anything other than an immediate endorphin high and necessary part of my diet.
The Queen Of Rationalization
Yes, that’s me..the Queen of Rationalization. I deserve chocolate and sugar and by damn, I’ve earned it. Lord knows I suffer enough with all of my other health issues, it would be cruel and inhuman to deny myself my daily dose of sugar. I mean, afterall it’s not like I am binging on sugar every day. Have you ever said that? I have (a lot) and I really and truly believed it. I never “researched” sugar like I do most everything else..why would I? What’s to know..I enjoy it and can even salivate like Pavlov’s dog just thinking about it.
Anyway, researching sugar would mean that I might be confronted with the real truth about sugar and it’s damaging and inflammatory impact to my body. I’d be lying if I told you that I had not heard Dr.Oz, Dr. Weil or others address the latest research about sugar and what it does to our bodies. Deep down, I have never believed that I could give up sugar/chocolate..even if I wanted to..so I might as well as accept and enjoy it.
The Big Picture
Every now and then, we have a revelation or breakthrough in our lives. For parents, it’s when our kid’s are mature enough to get the “big life picture”..you know, all of those things that our wisdom allows us to see and know from experience that we try desperately to impart to our children. As adults we have these breakthroughs also. It is with great enthusiasm that I share my most recent breakthrough with you. Yes..I have had a total about-face when it comes to my health and approach to eating. For years, I looked at thin women wondering how they stay that way. Or I would meet someone who had embarked on a new eating approach with eye-popping results. Obviously, I thought, they have a very active metabolism, not like mine I rationalized. I wondered why it wasn’t easy for me. Why did every “diet” I tried end up in failure?! Why was it so darn hard to stick to the things. And why oh why, did/do I always give in to those drug-like cravings for sugar?
And what about those food plan trail blazers and authors. They tell us to just follow the plan and it will work. The reality is that it will not work without a commitment and determination to make it work. That my friends, is/was the missing ingredient for me. No matter how much my mouth always said all of the right things, my attitude had not arrived on board for the journey. Until now.
Every time I read about or hear about another restrictive food plan that eliminates most of what I’ve eaten my whole life..it seems overwhelming. All of my past weakness and seemingly obvious lack of willpower I have always given credit for my lack of success. But guess what I just learned! One can arrive at a place of total frustration or some might call, “rock bottom” (not Rock Candy bottom). This is what happened to me…finally. Miracle? I don’t know. All I can tell you is that after just celebrating my 35th wedding anniversary and a birthday, I took a hard, depressing look at myself. I decided that I did not like what I see and don’t want to spend the rest of whatever time I have left being an unhealthy, whiny load. I want to be the fun me..the unstoppable me that used to stay active and love it.
As luck, karma or the planets aligning would have it, the right people and timing came together for me to discover an alternative medicine doctor who is working with me to chart a new course for my eating and improved health. It is undoubtedly the most restrictive eating plan (along with supplements) that I have ever been on. Before I would have cringed in disbelief and lasted a few days before diving back onto the shoo shoo sugar train. Not now. An amazing thing has happened…I am following (with ease) the food plan (Paleo for those of you who might be interested) without gluten, dairy, sugar, vinegar and a few hundred other things. Now granted it has only been two weeks..so I can’t declare total success. What I can say is that I am having no blood sugar dives which translates into no sugar cravings. Because of this, and the steady dose of the right supplements, I am finding that this totally restrictive food eating plan is the easiest I have ever followed. Not only that…I am sleeping better and already have more energy. Will it cure all of my ills? Too early to tell/tale..but for now..the train has left Shoo Shoo Shoo Shoo Sugar Town!
I Will Leave You With This..