Sunday, May 18, 2014

Taking Things to the Extreme

Extreme remedies are very appropriate for extreme diseases.

If gangrene gets into a limb and the choice is loss the limb or loss of life, will you choose to live or die?

Accepting the need for an extreme remedy in weight loss/maintenance is not as obvious even though it is every bit as deadly to deny the need. Why else would so many diabetics facing blindness, heart disease, loss of limbs and life, continue to eat the foods that are killing them? I am not a diabetic. When I was in my thirties I had the idea that if I ever got diabetes THAT would be enough to keep me from eating the damn sugar. Thankfully God does not always give me what I think I need. I am lucky. While diabetes runs in my family or origin, I have been spared (so far).

I already had a working knowledge of labels and ingredients and hidden names for sugar when I started out on the mission to lose the weight and keep the pounds off. I knew where the sugar was. I fought against the corporate food machines and ate unprocessed foods and foods that did not have sugar added - except when I purposely was looking for sugar foods like chocolates and ice creams. So, for a long time I was able to lose weight and maintain my weight with no sugars added in my daily food.

As regular readers know, my practice of having the occasional dessert became a dive into the pit of hell for me. (I am not exaggerating how addiction feels - it is hell).

At first I would only have sugar when I succumbed to the desire (craving/compulsion) for sugar infested concoctions - and could limit myself to two . . or at least no more than three . . .servings. Then I would put my brain back in gear and fight off the urge to continue eating that way and return to a non-sugar food plan - until the next time. Eventually the next time started to come closer to the last time and then it became the next day and the next. I couldn't maintain the weight loss. I couldn't get away from the craving/compulsion to shove something sweet into my mouth. Artificially sweetened didn't satisfy. Today it is only by getting away from any added sugar that I have the strength to say no, mean no and do no harm.

Hippocrates said of the physician "First, do no harm."

As the first line of defense in my own health I have to be the doctor inside my own body. Today (and for the past 86 days) I have not harmed myself with sugar or any other foods. I have not starved or used my inability to consume sugar as an excuse to make anyone else miserable. I am doing no harm.



Tiffany said...

Good for you.

Caron said...

I have not been able to stop thinking about your Wednesday blog post. Specifically, the line "What is maintenance but a never ending plateau." keeps running through my head. That is so simple and yet, for me, it is profound. It is similar to the light bulb moment I had at Weight Watchers when my leader said about maintenance that "You just keep doing what you've been doing."

After years of dieting to get to a goal and then promptly revering to my "old" way of eating, that simple statement was life changing. Thank you, Jane, for a great post. :)

LuckyMama said...

I'm struggling with this very same thing. The sugar is no good for me at all. Your comment, "... until the next time. Eventually the next time started to come closer to the last time and then it became the next day and the next..." really struck home.

I wrote about this in my blog yesterday. The little things become regular things and that leads me nowhere.

I've recommitted again. I just wish I could make the lesson stick!

Great post!

Jane Cartelli said...

Caron - I think it is great to get a new light bulb moment every now and then. Keeping it fresh (without trying to re-invent the wheel).

Jane Cartelli said...

LuckyMama - It took me a long time for the message to stick and then even longer to stop trying to scrap the message off like mud on boots. Now I try to think of it as a butterfly on my shoulder. I don't want the message to leave me.