Thursday, September 13, 2012

Life is Sweeter Without the Sugar-Coating

 I first lied to myself when I was six years old. I was already being called 'fat' in school. I knew I was larger than my cousins and school mates. I remember sitting in the bathtub and looking at the way my stomach divided into three rolls (small, medium and large) when I hunched over. Unaware of anatomy at that innocent age, I thought  the small stomach roll was from vegetables, the medium sized roll was what I considered real foods like spaghetti, meatballs, pizza, chicken, cold cuts, etc., and the large stomach roll was desserts and sweets of all kinds. At six years old I could not imagine not having desserts and sweets - so I just reorganized my thinking and claimed that the larger roll was from the real foods (starches and fats) and my middle roll was the sweets.

Found this on line. Love it. 
Six years old and I was lying to myself. I could not fathom that I needed to limit sweets or that I could even try. I could not comprehend the possibility.  Twenty years later, even when the truth was held in front of my face like a mirror and I could not escape the reflection, I sought a way to find distortion in that truth to make it untrue. I wanted to believe starches like bread and corn and potatoes were the only problem. I wanted to believe fried food and fat was the only problem. I wanted to believe that quantity was the only problem. All of these were a problem and sweets were ALSO a problem but the BIGGER problem was the lies I told myself. I would not, could not, did not accept the truth that each day I ate sugars, I kept eating them - many times to the exclusion of all the healthy foods. 

Fast forward to my forties; keeping off over 200 pounds by eating healthy. I still ate sweets but only occasionally because I could recognize that each occasion brought me closer and closer to the gutter with needing more. Not wanting more - the craving, needing, insanity-behavior of needing to feed on more. 

In keeping the pounds off, I know life is easier when I do not have  sweets. Easier, healthier, happier- life is sweeter without the sweets.I know it but still I have those occasional sweets. That is my sick brain hard at work. I believe it is somewhat okay if  the occasions are spaced by large periods of time and  not followed by strong cravings and the bitter resentment of not getting it.  It is not 'occasional  if it happens with any regularity or schedule. For instance, \ I cannot think that I can have one 'only if I pass the stand' because I will find a way to go out of my way to pass it. I cannot have one every Friday because soon I will be having one every day that ends in a 'y.' How do I know that will be my behavior? Long experience with trial and painful errors. 
I own this shirt and wear it to exercise. 

I don't like that eating sugar can bring me down to the gutter. I don't like reminding me or you. But I have to keep saying it so I can hear it and remember where the road leads. I have a broken brain. It forgets the damage. It forgets the pain. It forgets the insanity. I write to remember  so I can continue to choose a better path. I want the sanity and peace in my life more than I want the sugar. I hope I will come back and read this  if  when the sugar monster comes knocking on my door.  

What does your sugar monster look like? How does it try to get you to pick up?



Norma said...

Wow, Jane; that was pretty complex thinking for a six year old...and pretty amazing how you analyzed it and skewed the rationale to your liking...really speaks to how embedded the whole food/eating thing is in us from pretty much infancy.

My monster is usually something typical like ice cream or cake or pastry -- stuff from the grocery store that I just can't have in the house. A single serving of dessert at a restaurant or an ice cream cone at the beach on my birthday, though, does not trigger me. My monster can also come in the form of pizza, pasta, chips and all the usual savory/crunchy/carb-y triggers but those are all sugars in the end, as well.

Miz said...


thank you for being willing to share all this.

Karen said...

All processed sugars are my monster. Wheat is my monster that makes me painfully ill, so its easy not to choose it. Sugar is my monster that lies and says "just one serving". I kicked its lying self and the slippery slope thinking to the curb, then locked the door.

I became overweight at six. I stumbled upon the answer several times. Gave my brother all my Xmas candy one year ( he is skinny). Sold candy bars for a school fund raisers and ate none during 2 months of the sale.

I even had a counselor tell me 10 years before I lost weight for good to stop eating wheat and processed sugar because I was sensitive to it and I lied to myself and said that couldn't be true.

Totally awesome post today. Well written and I love it! Thank you. Karen P

Krissy said...

Great post! I definitely have a sweet tooth. And, the terrible thing about it is- the more sweets I eat the more I want. It's a vicious cycle. I'm trying to really limit my added sugar intake now.

Vickie said...

How are you doing? Settling into your new routine?

Jane Cartelli said...

Vickie - Ugh, no. I was on a cruise last week, had our 29th anniversary on Monday and I have a trip to DC next week. Right now I am on day three of eleven days of straight work. Routine? If this was my new routine I would seriously run away and hide. I need to work on my meditation time so I can hear the little voice that is trying to tell me to say no. I really appreciate you checking up on me. :-)

Vickie said...

Very glad to know you are (shall we say happily?) busy. I have a post up today with two links to posts of yours from last year.

Jane Cartelli said...

Vickie: Happily is one word for it. I think stubbornly busy is a better description.

Unknown said...

Hi Jane! Oh, I love that gym shirt.

For me, the first food I eat in the morning pretty much determines how my food is going to go. If it is carbs, it's going to be a rough day. If it is egg whites or beans, much better. Yes, refined food is like a drug.

:-) Marion