Sugar, that sneaky little devil

6 06 2010

I started seeing a naturopath a couple months ago. No specific reason, just looking for a well-rounded approach to my overall health. My appointments are a mix between therapy, nutrition counseling, and health counseling (which, isn’t it all really health?). I’ve been paying much closer attention to what I’m putting in my body and the biggest thing I’ve noticed (that feels different immediately) is SUGAR. It’s everywhere! In huge amounts! By simply noticing the amount of sugar I was consuming, I reduced it. Reduced to the point that when I was craving it, I noticed (Found myself eating handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips, the kind for cookies. They are not exactly good on their own, but it was the closest thing I had to candy at home.) Once I was able to ignore the cravings for a couple days, (just a couple! really!) they stopped. Stopped like, “hey, what was the big deal? I’m surviving just fine without sugar!”

Then I took a roadtrip to visit friends, about 5 hours away. It’s pretty standard for me to buy an enormous diet coke and some kind of chewy candy for the road. So I did. Headache alert! It was awful! Probably made more awful because I was sitting in the car with nothing to do except think about the sugar! in my body! giving me a headache! for 200 miles or so. Really, the headache was nothing compared to a caffeine headache or a hangover, but it got me thinking that I’d probably had them all the time before and just didn’t notice because I wasn’t paying attention. Moral of the story? What I put in my body affects how I feel. (duh.)

Story number two: I’ve cut down my diet coke intake from 1ish-per-day to 2 or 3-per-week in the past couple months. (no, not giving it up completely. yet, anyway.) Today, as I was working away, struggling to get stuff finished at work on a dreary Friday afternoon, I bribed myself with the promise of a soda. I keep some at work and told myself I could have one after finishing 5 tasks on my to-do list. I thought about it the whole time… “one down!” “one more to go!” and the like. Then I walked over to the community fridge with a warm can (I keep them under my desk and replace a warm one for a cold one, one at a time, so I’m not hogging fridge space) and … THERE WAS NO COLD ONE. Someone took it. It even has my initials in sharpie on the top! I was devastated (too strong a word? perhaps.) My Friday afternoon treat was gone. Which I’d so been looking forward to for a couple hours. Later, in retaliation, I bought myself one of those ridiculously huge fountain sodas. I think it was 44 ounces. 44! I’m not even sure why. But I sure drank that whole thing, yes I did. This is an example of the absurd behaviors I need to eliminate. Something happens that I don’t have control over, and I take control by putting something in my body it doesn’t need. Seems so silly when I write it out like that.

I stumbled on this website (by way of this other wonderful blog) and read several of the articles. Read this one first. Then try to keep eating the same way you have been. I was certainly much harder for me! I also watched the documentary Food, Inc. around the same time and read many other articles scattered across the internet around the same time. I’ve got LOTS more thoughts on all that stuff, so be sure this isn’t the last I’ll write about it.

Comments:

May 22, 2010 6:14 AM

I was just browsing through a copy of “Drink This, Not That!” at work the other day and I was ASTONISHED at the amount of sugar in some of those basic beverages. You should look into those books… they have great alternatives by way of calories and sugar and they compare them side-by-side. For me, I LOVE orange soda. Love it. Instead of Fanta, I can drink that Aranciata Pellegrino stuff and it’s WAY better.

May 22, 2010 8:07 AM

Good for you!
I have had a similar experience with greasy food. The more I eat the more I crave it. If I quit cold turkey the cravings go away quickly and greasy food starts to sound nasty.
BTW, who is the jerk who took your soda?

this chick says:
May 23, 2010 5:09 PM

p – I have no idea who took it! Maybe someone with as much animosity towards that place as me?

c – I’ve seen that Pellegrino stuff in the store and thought it looked cool. Plus, Pellegrino is pretty much the best bottled, bubbly water in the world! I’ve wanted to get the first book, wasn’t aware there was a drink version as well. I suppose I’d probably like that one as well.

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