Still a work in progress (a post about sugar) …

Monday 1 Sep, 2014, 10:33am by Mrs D 69 comments

I have to be honest, sometimes I feel like a fraud because I’m not in the slightest bit ‘cured’ when it comes to dealing with emotional shit.

I figured out early in sobriety that much of my drinking was about wanting to avoid tricky emotions. Yes it was also about me wanting things to be fun and upbeat all the time.. but mostly it was about me being an emotion avoider.

Now I’ve taken the booze away and learned how to live without it (and discovered it’s entirely possible to have fun without it – yay!) I am left with the reality of living as a fully raw & emotional human being.

And sometimes I’m ok at this and sometimes I’m fucking awful at it (pardon my french). This weekend I was awful at it. It was a busy stressful weekend of me alone with my 3 boys.. just normal busy life stuff.. running around.. dealing with bickering and fights..cleaning & cooking.. just normal stuff, I’m not moaning about my life.. but what did I do..?!

I did major dysfunctional sugar binging every evening – felt sick going to bed and woke up in the mornings with the same awful feelings of guilt and disfunction that I used to have when boozing.

HELLO???!!! It’s the same behavior pattern as when I was boozing!!

I know sugar is not as bad as booze and for those of you still dealing with alcohol cravings you’d be right in thinking “what’s she worrying about?!” … but what it says to me is that I haven’t fully worked out how to deal with those strong emotions (life stuff) without reaching for some external ‘thing’ to help me cope. But the ‘thing’ isn’t helping, it’s destructive!

So I’m just fronting up and saying I am still a work in progress. I do have a big sugar problem, I’ll be honest, and I use it in the same way I used booze i.e. in times of emotional stress.

I am 3 years sober on Saturday and while that’s huge on one hand, on the other hand it’s not much in the grand scheme of life … and given I avoided emotions for 20 years it’s going to take me more than 3 years to ‘bed in’ new ways of dealing with stuff.

So I’m going for a Sugar-Free September and I know there are a bunch of Living Sober members who are with me on this. I’m going to stare down my sugar-cravings and starve my Sugar Witch to death.

Please – if you are early in sobriety then go hard for the sugar, do whatever you need to get you through early sobriety. You can always deal with sugar later….! It’s more important for now that you get that shit booze out of your life.

But for those of us a bit further along.. maybe this is the next step in getting to a calm place. Because I just don’t like how I feel when I adopt these shitty behaviors. And I’m not going to settle for anything less than Pure Unadulterated Sober Nirvana!! Or something close to that anyway….

Love, Mrs D xxx

69 comments

  1. congrats on the soberversary :)

    ah the sugar. i have heard that alcoholics often crave sugar once they are sober… makes sense if you think about all the sugar we drink when boozing!!!

    i watched Latta the other night. eye opener huh! hubby and i immediately looked at all the labels on all the things we eat. golly. we both want to cut back on the sugar but are going to be a bit relaxed on it. as an ex anorexic i know that obsessing over labels is not wise but i like the idea of eating more natural and less processed foods.

    i already dont add sugar to things. no sugar in my coffee etc but i am obsessed with those one square meal bars – they are my lunch every day at work (lack of vegetarian options nearby) and i see they are 15grams of sugar per bar. yikes. given Latta talked about the WHO guidelines being 24 grams of sugar/day for females… that doesnt leave a lot of room!

    so anyway, not sugar free september for me but ill join in for a cut down the sugar month!

    0
  2. Chocolate Avocado Chia Pudding

    Ingredients
    Serves 4

    2 very ripe avocados (I used Hass avocados)
    ⅓ cup / 4 oz / 113 gr raw organic honey (or maple syrup)
    ⅓ cup / 1.4 oz / 40 gr cocoa powder
    3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    ½ teaspoon ground chia seeds

    Directions

    Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and silky. You might need to stop the blender and mix with a spoon to make the blending easier.
    Divide pudding among ramekins/cups and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving (this allows the chia to thicken).
    Sprinkle with chopped almonds, walnuts, cocoa nibs or top with some whipped cream or Greek yogurt before serving.

    Enjoy!!!!!

    0
  3. It’s virtually impossible to avoid sugar as it’s in everything, even bread contains sugar, even a tin of baked beans etc fruit is absolutely loaded with sugar. The only way to try & avoid it is to eat totally natural food & a strict diet. Fish, veg & salad, more or less, chicken, fresh meat etc. I followed this regime & lost 28lbs in two months & felt absolutely fantastic. The only thing is I nearly died of boredom, especially when going out for meals & everyone is tucking into their marvelous dinners & I was eating boring salad. Now, I eat healthily but avoid all crap. When I go out though I have a desert etc, now & again a bag of crisps, etc but everything in moderation. As for the emotions, well, that’s all part of being a human being and living a life. We just have to get on with it, ride through it, life is tough at times, having kids is stressful. My mum never had to come home & have a bottle of wine. She would come home & say right, let’s have a nice cup of tea!!! X

    0
  4. OMG I make custom made cakes for a living and YES YES YES! I have not really ever touched them other than to know a recipe is great and my ganache tastes amazing and so on but NOW I want to EAT CAKEEEEEEEE!

    I am really struggling and I was wondering what the hell was going on!

    It all makes sense now, thanks so much for bringing this to my attention as I was really baffled by the shift in my behavior!!

    I must say though OMG my cakes a little slice of heaven now i have actually eaten REAL pieces hahahaha!

    0
  5. Another one here joining you for sugar free September. Well -ish. I’m keeping fruit and not looking ultra hard at the labels if generally healthy cereals etc.

    0
    1. yeah that’s basically my plan .. if I do look at labels I try go for less than 15-20% sugar in each 100g (I think that’s how I do it). It’s amazing though… after resisting some sugar cravings last night and having nothing but a cup of chamomile tea I woke up this morning feeling so proud of myself and it’s really reminiscent of when I was first getting sober… such an easy uplift! Resist cravings = instantly better feelings of self… xxx

      0
  6. Lotta….have you tried L-glutamine? It works well for me as does consuming more healthy fats such as nuts, avocados, coconut oil,and nut butters (almond, cashew walnut, etc). Healthy treats made with Xylitol are great alternatives. I know it sounds terrible, but I make a chocolate pudding made from cacao powder, avocado, chia seeds and a little honey or xylitol for sweetening. Even my picky kids will eat it…..if I don’t tell them what’s in it.

    0
    1. Chocolate Avocado Chia Pudding

      Chocolate Avocado Chia Pudding Print this recipe!

      Ingredients
      Serves 4

      2 very ripe avocados (I used Hass avocados)
      ⅓ cup / 4 oz / 113 gr raw organic honey (or maple syrup)
      ⅓ cup / 1.4 oz / 40 gr cocoa powder
      3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      ½ teaspoon ground chia seeds

      Directions

      Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and silky. You might need to stop the blender and mix with a spoon to make the blending easier.
      Divide pudding among ramekins/cups and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving (this allows the chia to thicken).
      Sprinkle with chopped almonds, walnuts, cocoa nibs or top with some whipped cream or Greek yogurt before serving.

      Enjoy!!!!!

      0
    2. I’ve not tried L-glut amine but have been sugar free for two years, so like you I’ve discovered the joys of choc cheesecake made with avocado!! And xylitol and chia seeds.
      Now just 15 days into kicking the alcohol sugars. I did it with proper sugar, so I reckon I should be able to do the same with booze. But, like Mrs D says, it’s how we mask the emotional needs and life stresses.

      0
  7. Yes. Waking up with a sugar hangover feels way too familiar. I am ready to find other ways to comfort and support myself that do not include candy, ice cream, and cake. Thank you for this.

    0
  8. I see you have lots of wonderful book recommendations, but I will add another in case you ever get time! “Sweet Poison” really helped me. Go well lovely, and like everyone else is saying go easy on yourself. You are doing so well, you are doing amazing xx

    0
  9. SUGAR FREE SEPTEMBER SUCKS? Lotta I’m with you. I know that my sugar intake has everything to do with addictive behaviours and nothing to do with the sweet treat in itself. I eat chocolate and biscuits as soon as I get in from work because I deserve it as a treat for having finished a days work the same way I popped the bottle of wine cork as soon as I got in from work. I then have dessert after tea because that’s part of the ritual as is chocolate or biscuit again around 9pm. Why is it I feel the need to reward myself at the end of the day? I don’t have the answers but will continue on the journey of analysing these emotions and behaviours. We are babies at dealing with emotions having hidden behind a bottle of wine for so long I now have to tell myself to put my big girl panties on when I have to deal with hard emotions and learn from each challenge.
    Lotta as for feeling stressed on the weekend, who wouldn’t be with three boys and a husband away. Be kind to yourself, you are an amazing mother doing a hard job of raising three incredible children, it is a tough job, the hardest there is.
    Right I am of to eat some stupid bloody nuts because I need a reward !!! What is that?
    Yeah finally got my avatar loaded.

    0
  10. OMG, your blog is just where I am at today. 63 days no alcohol but feeling very fraudulent. I didnt’ have any secretive behaviour when it came to drinking but eating crap and I hide all sorts of things. I don’t let onto hubby I still drink V or about the sneaky chocolate bar or biscuits etc. I hide all evidence. I never did that with wine, never. But I feel as shit about myself for my weakness and seemingly inability to control my sugar addiction as I did when I couldn’t seem to stop from drinking that bottle of wine. Today is a bad day. I am 47 years old and still doing the same ole crap. I love that I don’t do guilt over alcohol anymore but just can’t seem to see any light at the end of the tunnel over sugar. So very much a work in progress, although I feel like the works have come to a halt…………………………………

    0
    1. yeah I’m a bit sneaky when it comes to my really bad sugar binging (not the lovely treaty sugar.. the awful dysfunctional sugar binging).. I hide it…

      0
  11. Another thought I have had on the “don’t beat yourself up” variety with regards to sugar & booze :
    - do u send text messages that you don’t remember when under the influence of sugar?
    - can you get pulled over for being over the legal limit of sugar?
    - do you fall over under the influence of sugar?
    - do you have trouble reading your book at night under the influence of sugar?
    - do you worry when you kiss your children goodnight that your breath smells of sugar?
    I could go on, but please, everything into perspective and just go easy on yourself! We need treats and everyone gets through their sobriety journey in their own unique way – one day, one hour at a time xx

    0
    1. I like this Catherine!
      I can see where the sugar junky worriers are coming from but I am with you on eating too many biscuits etc. Although I do have my special(v big) bar of Lindt hidden away because otherwise they will eat it and I will not get a look in!!
      I go for weight watchers bickies, Special K biscuits, and any other low cal options.
      Also , there are around 600 calories in just 1 bottle of red. I would drink about 1.5 most nights, more at the weekend. If my average weekly intake was about 9 bottles that is 5400 calories a week plus the chips, bread, nuts etc that I would devour because of the munchies. That is an over eat of about 3 days worth of food every week !!!!
      Not surprisingly the jeans have got a bit baggy! – now on day 12…..
      Keep your chin up all!
      Xx

      0
  12. Mrs D – there is no such thing as a “getting to a calm place” when you have 3 boys and are effectively solo parenting. After putting them to bed, run a bath, light a candle, grab your book and a slice of brownie and congratulate yourself on surviving the weekend. Are they still alive? Did you feed them all? Did you manage not to scream so loud you lost your voice? Don’t be so hard on yourself with the sugar stuff. Its a pleasant reward for doing an amazing job!!! xx

    0
    1. I agree with you but I know where Mrs D is coming from, 3 times in a week I have opened a tin of condensed milk to have that lovely taste then ending up throwing the remains away incase I eat the full tin…crazy I think

      0
    2. Absolutely!!!! I have 3 who know how to push every button, but at least now I can remember what I said, did, and whether I even put them to bed ……
      Was I really that bad ?
      Yep! X

      0
    3. I ‘m still only at 42 days, and I have huge sugar cravings. I give myself treats to get thru. Maybe after a little more sober time I will think about this sugar thing……..

      0
  13. I am really with you on the sugar thing, Mrs D, but at day 33 I am putting it on the back burner for now – but I will deal with it. However, @Catherine has some really salient points about giving too much up. However it is not nice to feel controlled by anything booze, sugar, whatever it may be so good luck with the no-sugar and dealing with those demon emotions. There has been one time in my life when I really didn’t crave sugar and that was when I spent 3 weeks juicing. Check out Joe Cross and his movie on you tube Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. He is pretty extreme and it wouldn’t suit everyone but even just putting one fresh juice in a day might help the sugar cravings? If nothing else it is an interesting watch and to me, he seems quite altruistic.

    0
    1. At least while we are watching stuff like that we aren’t eating sugar, hey Mrs D. :-) Thanks @allseeingeyes that is interesting – I hope to get to that place eventually. I have read a lot of research out there to say that is good for all sorts of things controlling weight, fighting off dementia, longevity etc, etc.

      0
    2. That’s a great film. I juice fast 2 days a week and have done for a year now. I gave up sugar at Easter. Juicing has really helped me, Ive lost weight and kept it off and feel great. A lifelong habit for me now!

      0
  14. Best of British Mrs D! Shite, giving up the booze is one thing but sugar too! Especially when solo parenting! (My word Mr D must be working loads of hours with all the political shannigans, by the by). Not sure what you are going to lean on but I figure meditation or reading/watching tv while on an exercycle (it is hard to eat and exercise) might be your ‘go to’ solution. I can’t personally do the introspective, quiet thought thing (yet), I am an ‘active relaxer’, I can thank my Mum for that. However, the Peaceful me will get to it I am sure. I eagerly await Nigel Latta’s programme tomorrow night on sugar to help convince me that is my next journey. My husband and I were talking on it last night, it seems to be the latest fad. And when you start to look at sugar in foods (especially anything processed) – it is everywhere. Meantime, I will be sure to eat your biscuits too.x

    0
  15. Excellent post Mrs D! Unacknowledged, or, ‘yet to be dealt with’ emotions, are at the crux of all our addictions, I reckon. I did eight weeks sugar-free earlier this year. And yep – I didn’t crave so much sugar after a period of time. And it got easier with each passing day….. and I got really inspired with creating sugar free culinary treats…..best of all – I felt amazing! Lost some weight even. But then BAM something happened and I stopped working so hard at it. I’d started being obsessive and really reading labels and realised that almost absolutely everything we buy at the supermarket is loaded with hidden sugar. Then I thought I’d do myself a huge favour and ‘up’ my ‘real’ fresh fruit intake (instead of getting it in my usual way with a firm favourite – ‘fruit and nut chocolate’)! HELLO, what is fresh fruit loaded with? EFFING FRUCTOSE! AND WE ALL KNOW THAT FRUCTOSE IS A FANCY WORD FOR……SUGAR – OH YEAH, BABY! So, unless it is home-grown greens from our vege garden or the trusted organic place down the road, meat from an equally trusted source (additive free), or unsweetened ‘whatever’ made by you from scratch…… then it’s a mammoth challenge – one as huge as ‘not drinking’. But, it can be done! By educating ourselves. The answer is as ‘Ducky’ says; up the good protein intake (don’t forget about the ancient grains – quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and others), loads of greens (avoid high sugar veges – carrots, parsnips, potatoes and many others), plain nuts without the dried fruit, good oils, full fat dairy – milk & yogurt without the added sugar and fruit (low fat is no good – they’ve replaced the fat with sugar and lumped it into the carbohydrate calorie count). So, I’m willing to give it another go too – starting now….says ‘she’ who has just finished lunch with a piece of pink iced slice – full of delicious raspberry jam, followed up with an almond finger which I did share…….I’ve got a long way to go with this one! How many days in September………?

    0
    1. Dr Libby recommends this way of eating I think she is on good morning show tomorrow. She has some recipe books and there are others out there too for sugar free treats that are quite yummy. Try her brain balls! And yes up protein to reduce sugar cravings and a nice serving of a good cheese is yummy at 5.00 with your sugar free Non alcoholic drink!! I add olives, nuts and salami when I really feel like treating myself!!!

      0
    2. I’ve just written out your list of foods to go for. What is amaranth? I’ve never been able to find a quinoa recipe that works for me but I do have a yummy buckwheat porridge one from Eleanor Ozitch’s book Petite Kitchen so I might make a batch of that in the morning xxx

      0
  16. Alcohol is a shocker. Poisonous, addictive, expensive, and, eventually, a guaranteed relationship-breaker. So I totally agree, when it comes to tossing up between sugar and alcohol, the booze must go first. And in the early stages, sugar treats might be needed to replace the booze. But at the risk of sounding a bit gloomy (to go with the shitty Auckland weather today), the long term effects of too much sugar can be just as damaging, health-wise. I think that the medical people have finally got it right when they are now saying that sugar is real bad news. Especially as the years tick by. I really try to keep my snacks sugar free – nice cheeses, crackers, nuts, humus. And I understand that the sugar in fruit doesn’t count, because our bodies can cope with it better than pure sugar. But when it comes to sugar vs alcohol, beat the alcohol first!

    0
    1. yeah i don’t mind having the odd bit of sugar to treat myself always – i.e. *shock horror* Moderation!! (something I could never achieve with booze).. but this sugar free September is to knock my current hard-core sugar habit on the head.. I’ve been really reaching for it majorly every evening for a while now so I’m going to resist fully for a while and then let in little bits every now and then.. always a work in progress. What is it they say – Progress not Perfection xxx

      0
  17. I so understand where you are coming from on this. There are ways to support yourself biochemically with certain amino acids that can reduce the power of cravings. I recommend a book called The Mood Cure by Julia Ross.

    0
  18. Ive definitely been cutting down on sugar lately. Have found it pretty easy to be honest (aside from the boozey sugars!!) I think its impt to up your good fats tho…eat full fat yoghurts, cheese, nuts, seeds, mayo, good oils, dairy etc and protein.

    0
  19. Oh Mrs D, I don’t think there was a person in NZ who has read your book that wasn’t sending you a big hug after the big weekend Mr D had to endure leaving you single parenting for the weekend. I just wanted to share a little of my story as a word of warning to the sobersphere. I gave up drinking for two glorious years; I was NEVER going back to it! Then I have up smoking, Woo Hoo! I’m training for a half marathon, Yippee! I’m feeling so damn shit hot so I decide to give up coffee! BAM!!!!! I started drinking in February and so far haven’t been able to stop. I felt like I didn’t have anything for me, no reward treats & stupidly thought that just a little drinkie would be ok every now and then! It wasn’t! So please please all you fantastic, strong soberites out there, do what you need to do to keep the alcohol away from your life because, take it from me, the second time is not only harder your consumption will probably increase too!!
    I have just finished reading a fantastic book by Marnie McDermott “Beyond Happiness” and I thoroughly recommend it. It helps with goal setting, getting in touch with your inner self & rediscovering happiness, bliss, love & joy!
    So it’s Day 1 for me again !!!!! This time I’m going to try not to be too hard on myself in my quest for perfection.

    0
    1. Thank you Catherine for your post. How right you are. I have kept my coffee because I NEED something for me. Your post is very wise and I wish you all the best and lots of strength in beating the booze again. How amazing that we can still slip off the wagon so easily after so long. Such a pernicious drug. I find I am less likely to think I can moderate again in the future because I read this website EVERYDAY and it keeps me in mind of the fact that MODERATION NEVER WORKS. X

      0
    2. Thanks so much for that reminder. And this is why we need people at all different stages of sobriety with all our different journeys. Everyone can teach something to someone. We are so glad you are here xo

      0
    3. Thanks Catherine. That’s a very sobering post. In more ways than one. I’m still very much a beginner. Still tempted daily. And I need to, must, keep reminding myself, that I must never, never fall into the trap of thinking that one glass will be enough. Great that you have started on the journey once again! xx

      0
  20. I love that you are so real Lotta!. Is funny as I have just been thinking about how I manage sugar and being day 15.Hear what you say about not worrying about sugar too much this early stage – it’s just that food was my first problem (from childhood years) and cousin alcohol came on later. They kind of work in tandem for me – trouble and more trouble. Apparently eating lots of greens helps curb the cravings for sugar – like at every meal if you can – bit of spinach here and there. Will give it a go x.

    0
  21. I have been sugar free since Easter, it just sort of happened, didn’t suddenly plan to stop. But it really is not hard, I found after a few days/weeks you actually stop craving that sweet hit. So just be prepared to have nice snacks available like unsalted nuts, avo’s, popcorn etc. I don’t miss it at all and have no desire, I think in all that time Ive had one piece of chocolate cake and then just went back to sugar free, no big deal! Good luck!

    0
    1. yeah if I resist my sugar cravings for just 3-4 days they fade away pretty fast… so it’s not such a hard one to beat as the booze one.. but it can be just as strong at first (if I really let sugar in like I have been lately.. it’s been baaaaad)

      0
    1. good luck.. I’m beating off some hard-core sugar cravings tonight but am determined.. have a nice hot mug of chamomile tea beside me right now…xx

      0
Add Comment Register



Share your ideas

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>