We live in a world of disordered eating, overeating, under-eating, obsessing over calories, labels, organic, sweeteners, starving ourselves and binge eating etc. There is a conception that the thinner you are, the happier you are. We obsess over losing those last 10 pounds. We have become obsessed with weight and food, our own body weight and even the weight of our food! We know exactly how many calories and grams of fat are in everything! We exercise excessively, even when we are sick or exhausted. We avoid social occasions that involve food. We start wearing clothes that conceal our bodies. We start fad diets that are restrictive and ultimately detrimental to our health. We talk nonstop about being overweight, or how to loose weight. We consider taking laxatives or diet pills.
If you can associate with any of these statements I want to ask you today, what else is going on in your life that makes you want to lose those last 10 pounds? Are you in a job you hate, a job that puts pressure on you, in a relationship where you crave more love and physical contact, in a city where you are lost and lonely, in a headspace where you are trying to cope with change, a new baby, the loss of someone or dealing with getting older?
I’m currently getting my head around the idea that my parents are aging – they were a couple that were the life and soul of all social occasions until very recently when health issues kicked in, the major one being arthritis – its the hardest thing in the world to watch someone who danced and talked her way through the years become a victim of chronic pain with limited energy on a daily basis. Its hard to plan anything with her or for her as you never know how she’ll wake up. I am now doing all I can to prevent arthritis in my own body – I do now want my life to suddenly take such a dramatic change in my 60s. Many medical professionals won’t or can’t admit that diet and nutrition have anything to do with arthritis but I am not taking the risk!
It took such a long time to realise that I had a huge sugar addiction and its taken a while with the help of my own health coach to get it under control. I loved sugar in all forms, I ate it daily and I hid it, hid it well (as in nobody knew exactly how much I would eat when on my own, the biscuits after my walk cause I’d just walked off enough calories, the Riesens to go with my coffee, the Minstrels to walk me around the supermarket while buying dinner, the jam and toast before bed) but my skin was a state, my hips didn’t lie and my moods were crappy. Why did I eat so much sugar? I was addicted and had been for a long long time. It was my crutch, I had zero willpower, and I felt I needed it. I even remember as far back as the age of 16 going to aerobics classes on Thursday nights, on my way home buying a Twix to go home, plant myself infront of the TV to watch Knots Landing! I’d worked out, I’d deserved it! It gave me a high for about 19 seconds and my mind was incredibly powerful in telling me it was OK to have another as I hadn’t had my dinner, or I’d gone spinning, or I didn’t go out drinking that weekend. It had its own personality. And it was bloody scary.
But I did it and you know what I am proud of myself – I still have chocolate and ice cream every now and then and boy do I enjoy them, but I have learned, learned how controlling sugar is, how it can latch onto my taste buds and tell my brain to give me more, but I have also learned how it irritates my gut, my skin, my moods and this is what has driven me to stay off it. I am a nicer person without it!
Lots of my clients ask me how I cope with certain situations, like eating out, travelling, driving long distances – what do I eat, do I snack, do I find ‘life’ restrictive? Some of my friends go to huge efforts when cooking for me thinking I won’t eat certain things anymore! As much as I appreciate this effort, I’d hate to think that this is the perception I give off! I have taken control over my own sugar habit, as in when I am in my own kitchen or doing my own shopping I eat and buy the foods that I know my body now craves and needs, when I have been invited somewhere I eat what is made or cooked for me. I will never get to the stage of being the annoying guest or picky eater.
If you are struggling with sugar addiction, or like me, in denial about how much you eat, or perhaps you are completely innocent as to how much you eat by not knowing where all those hidden sugars hang out, get in touch. I want to help you, I feel your pain but believe me I can’t wait for you to feel how good it is to be able to say No thanks! And not necessarily for my clear skin and slimmer figure today, but so I can still dance and talk the hind legs off you when I’m 65!