Sugar is one of my addictions. Some things in my life I’m ok with being addicted to, like running for example. I can easily keep that under control. But with regards to sugar, this easily spirals out of control. Some could call it a sweet tooth I inherited from my father. Yes, it’s easy to blame others for my actions. 😉 But I call it my addiction and here’s why.
I crave it almost on a daily basis. And when I say crave, it’s like my entire body has been hijacked and all I care about is getting some sugar into my system. Then to add on top of that, I can’t stop! Can you relate?
So this year, 2014, I have resolved to cut sugar out of my diet for 6 out of the 7 days each week. So far so good. But as I am going through this change I have found that there are a lot of similarities between sugar addiction and alcohol addiction. I’ve never experienced the alcohol addiction but from what I have learned with self education I have come to these conclusions. Once I have sugar on a daily basis it’s hard not to continue to have it everyday. And I also start to increase the amount I eat just to get that ‘sugar fix’. I know sugar does not give me any health benefits and can even cause health issues, but they are not as instant profound as alcohol which I believe is the main difference. So why not make the recovery process similar?
Let’s see how the 12 step humanist alternative program can help someone cut sugar out of their diet. These are the 12 steps listed on www.silkworth.net
I crossed out the alcohol reference and changed it to sugar instead.
1. We accept the fact that all our efforts to stop
drinking eating sugar have failed.
2. We believe that we must turn elsewhere for help.
3. We turn to our fellow men and women, particularly those who have struggled with the same problem. (Find a mentor, motivator, someone to hold you accountable!)
4. We have made a list of the situations in which we are most likely to
drink eat sugar. (ie late night after dinner, mid afternoon when feeling tired, favorite latte with flavor)
5. We ask our friends to help us avoid these situations.
6. We are ready to accept the help they give us.
7. We earnestly hope that they will help.
We have made a list of the persons we have harmed and to whom we hope to make amends. Hopefully this is not the case with sugar, unless you have crazy mood swings that make you lash out and hurt others feelings.
We shall do all we can to make amends, in any way that will not cause further harm. Again, this only pertains to sugar when you body slam someone because they won’t get out of your way of that last piece of chocolate cake. Let’s hope it’s not this bad. 🙂
10. We will continue to make such lists and revise them as needed. (Consistently review your progress and make changes along the way as needed)
11. We appreciate what our friends have done and are doing to help us.
12. We, in turn, are ready to help others who may come to us in the same way. (Spread the word about your sugar free life and how great you feel! You can help others do the same with leading by example)
So number 8 and 9 don’t really work for sugar unless you get a little crazy when it comes to getting that piece of candy.
I have allowed myself 1 day per week of sugar indulgence. For one, it’s a motivation tool for me to not have sugar for 6 days because I know that I can have that ice cream or baked good treat when I earn it. My rule is if I slip up then I lose out on a free day. Also, after going without sugar for 6 days straight my cravings start to subside. I actually don’t want a ton of sugar on my free day because I know it will make me feel moody and tired. Another reason to keep that 7th day free is because I know there will be birthday parties, holiday parties and other events where sugar is an obvious item on the menu. And with two kids baking cookies together once in a while is just plain fun.
Another vital tool to this process is not doing it alone. This is in my opinion the most important factor. If I were to take on this challenge without the support of my family and friends it would be ten times harder. They all know what I am trying to accomplish and will hold me accountable if I don’t continue. Some are even doing it with me which is awesome! We can check in with each other, talk it out when we feel a craving taking over us and provide motivation when they are in need of some as well.
The first four days of going sugar free are definitely the hardest. It’s like a detox for your body. Once it’s out of your system it’s easier to resist the cravings.
Are you looking to cut back on sugar and not sure where to start? First begin with reading labels. It will make you realize how much sugar is put in pretty much all processed food. Next, try to cut out desserts, candy and any obvious sweets. Once you have the desserts under control then focus on cutting back on processed foods so that you are not having sugars sneak into your body. And don’t forget to talk to someone about your goals. This is not an easy task to tackle so the more support you have the better. Feel free to contact me and I can help you on your journey to less sugar in your diet.