Do you struggle with sugar addiction? Studies have shown not only what sugar does to our bodies and minds but also the difficulty of breaking free from its tight grasp. Many of us have heard all about this type of research, yet we continue to inhale foods dripping with sugar and their equally devastating fake counterparts.
You can read more about the dangers in Toxic Sugar or why to avoid artificial sweeteners as well in Sweet Misery, but today I want to share how I’m finally breaking free from this addiction. It has been a long and difficult journey, but I think I’ve found the key.
Seven weeks ago, I adopted the concept of Living As If. Along with this new way of life, I quit sugar and quickly started using the simple mantra “I don’t eat sugar” throughout the day. This worked incredibly well until I added the equally short, but sweet “except on special occasions” to the end of it.
If you’ve ever tried this, you know how easy it is to use any special occasion to allow yourself an unnecessary treat. So the week of Easter, I decided to have one of my long lost lattes. This, of course, led to 10 days of “special occasions” totaling 4 lattes, 5 girl scout cookies, and a creme brûlée.
Now this could still be seen as somewhat of a success considering the pre-“I don’t eat sugar” me would indulge in daily lattes, entire boxes of cookies, and desserts at every meal out. However, each taste of these sugary concoctions sent me straight back into the painful pits of my addiction. I could suddenly hear a constant scream from the girl scout cookies in my pantry when they hadn’t even whispered to me in the prior weeks. Cravings began to overwhelm me again and take up far too much headspace.
Around this time, I stumbled upon Tsh Oxenreider’s The Art of Simple Podcast with Gretchen Rubin. One of my biggest takeaways was the fact we are, by nature, either abstainers or moderators. Gretchen shared this important thought: The problem with being an abstainer using moderation is we will become obsessed with that item or substance.
I’m definitely an abstainer. I must be all or nothing in certain areas. Just as I know I can’t have a glass of champagne on New Year’s Eve due to issues with alcohol, I now understand creme brûlée is off the table (literally) for Easter Sunday.
If you continue to struggle with sugar addiction no matter how hard you try to cut back, perhaps you are an abstainer too. Here’s the beautifully relieving news: the longer you stay away from sugar and artificial sweeteners, the cravings get weaker and will eventually disappear.
I used to think I shouldn’t have to give up anything else after the struggle of leaving drugs and alcohol behind over 16 years ago. Now I see it’s just how I’m wired. All or nothing. Letting go of sugar is empowering NOT limiting.
We can do this together! I would love to help each other on this continued journey. Join me on Facebook as we build a community seeking healthier bodies, emotional well-being, and unprecedented faith. You can also subscribe to the weekly newsletter for more encouragement.
Are you an abstainer or a moderator? Let us know how you’re wired or anything else you want to share in the comments…
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
~1 Corinthians 10:13