I know, I know – a dramatic statement but read on. I swear it is true, for me at least.
I have been a sugar addict all my life, a combination of an 80s childhood full of Frosties, Sunny Delight, penny sweets and Munch Bunch yoghurts and my genetic addictive personality, Sugar is my go-to for everything, stress, joy, tiredness, breakfast…you name it. I don’t drink alcohol or coffee, or smoke any more (at Uni I tried a cigarette while my flatmates were having a joint – I was too scared – and I was a 20-a-day smoker within 3 months) so this is my vice and I went to town with it.
Apart from getting fat, (and it not being healthy) on the whole it hasn’t affected my lifestyle but in the last six months I had noticed a really worrying trend. I didn’t want to play with or be around my kids.
It’s hard to even write it down but it was true. I counted down until bedtime every day. I know we ALL have those days but mine had become constant. I was groggy every morning no matter how much sleep I got and I didn’t want to do anything with my free time.
In some ways I feel lucky, having suffered anxiety off and on for all my adult life and after my daughter was born I had Post Natal Depression so I knew what all these signs were pointing to – a form of depression – but could it really be sugar induced? Apparently so.
Before Christmas I made the decision to quit the Junk for January. I knew I wasn’t addicted to fruit sugar (no matter how desperate I got I would never resort to binging on grapes!) so I decided to quit chocolate, sweets, cakes, biscuits, crisps and for good measure Honey. Who doesn’t love warm toast with Honey? Mmmmm…
Obviously to stockpile for the month ahead, I upped my sugar intake over the Christmas period so that I was ready to quit come January 1st. A last hurrah if you will.
And here I am – 37 days on and writing this, feeling AMAZING. I can’t tell you how different I feel. I have so much energy and motivation, I have lost 10lbs, wake up refreshed even after bad nights with my non-sleeping children, I’ve had the motivation to sort our house out (KonMari style), I’m kinder and more patient. But most importantly, I want to spend time with my kids. I enjoy being with them again, a LOT, meltdowns and all.
Mostly. I’m only human.
The question I have to face now is whether I will go back to the white stuff. The thought of quitting for good makes my heart ache (sad I know) but the changes in me are undeniable and far outweigh the sweet, sweet sensation of chocolate melting in my mouth.
But it’s everywhere, Kids parties, coffee shops, friend’s houses and every damn aisle of the supermarket. And it’s so socially acceptable. It feels silly saying to people “No Thanks, I can’t eat sugary treats as I can’t stop at 2 biscuits” because it’s not like being an alcoholic is it?
Well actually yes, for me, I think it is.