Eighteen years ago today, I took my last drink. After 17 long years deep in addiction, I found my way into recovery. That incredible transition turned Halloween into one of my all time favorite holidays.
Sobriety is definitely worth celebrating. Unfortunately all those years ago I hung onto one unruly little addiction: sugar. This one seems to be hanging on for dear life.
I thank Jesus every day for delivering me from the prison of drugs and alcohol. But I can’t seem to understand why candy and sweet treats still rule so much of my life and keep this extra 70 pounds morphed onto my body.
Maybe it’s the fact I found sobriety on Halloween. It is literally wrapped up in the joys of candy. Or perhaps my unwavering cravings are due to my parents naming me Candy which I answered to until the age of 21 when I finally switched over to Candace.
I still remember little Candy hiding a pack of Razzles from my older sister. Several years later, I found those fruit flavored gum treats stashed atop my drapes, covered in dust. They were far past their prime. I ate every last piece anyway.
I knew then I had a definite problem. My life was so chaotic as a child. A little sugar overload would turn out to be the least of my worries. Soon after that dusty candy binge, I found alcohol and drugs. My sugar obsession quickly became inconsequential.
Sugar seems to be a typical drug of choice for us in the recovery world. It’s the acceptable addiction so we all cling to it like a comforting blanket. There are donuts and heavily sweetened styrofoam coffee cups in 12-step meeting rooms around the world as I type these words.
How ok is this? I get it. Sugar is way better than the heavier demons that brought us to those recovering tables. But it’s still a crutch we use just as we did those other harmful substances so long ago.
Sugar numbs me when my emotions overwhelm me. It acts as a sweet friend when I’m lonely. A little chocolate can even bring a smile to my worn and weary face at the end of a long, stressful day.
But those benefits no longer outweigh the negative consequences. We know how toxic sugar can be for our bodies on so many levels. Every day, it seems like a new study is released with pages of unnerving statistics about the dangerous and habit forming characteristics of that legal white powder.
Just because something is permissible does not in any way, shape or form guarantee it is good.
You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.
~1 Corinthians 10:23 (NLT)
Sugar is allowed, but it’s truly not beneficial in any way.
So how do we escape this final and all consuming obsession? We completely cut it out of our lives, just as we did with those other harmful addictions. Get it out of our homes and bodies.
I would never think of having a glass of wine or keeping a bottle in the fridge for company dropping by. We must have the same rules for candy, cakes, and even sugary cereals!
And if we are not there yet, it’s time to Live As If. Let’s use one of my favorite mantras, “I don’t eat sugar” even if we don’t fully mean it today. This reminds us who we want to be and can properly focus us to meet this important goal.
If you’re in need of a food plan, the elimination diet of Food Addicts Anonymous is incredibly effective. It’s restrictive but really helps with heavy cravings. During my 31 Days to Food Addiction Recovery, I felt amazing following that plan. Adding all of those eliminated foods back into my daily diet was not a smart move.
I’m a work in progress, usually taking 3 steps back for every baby step forward. But today on this important anniversary, my 18 year sobriety birthday, I recommit to a sugar free lifestyle. I’ve said this before but the important thing is I refuse to give up.
If you’re struggling with leaving an addiction behind and are tired of hearing yourself say I’m really quitting this time. Don’t give up. Say it again and again until it sticks.
I don’t eat sugar. I don’t eat sugar. I don’t eat sugar…
Do you have something you’re desperately trying to release? Sugar? Too much TV? One too many glasses of wine at the end of your day? I understand. I’ve struggled with all of these. Let’s chat in the comment section.