how I gave up a lifetime of sugar

Archive for July 2012

17 Days and Counting

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I like to see Americans moving their asses, don’t you? And now I’m one of them!
copyright Getty Images Inc.

It’s been 17 days since I gave up white sugar. It’s been 17 days since I joined a gym and nearly 2 weeks of walking on the treadmill, 30-45 mins per day, at 2.5 to 2.8 mph. I got my heart rate up to 118 today. At about 25 mins any pain I have goes away (I have minimal pain, btw). I do have a left foot problem from weight and type 2 diabetes. But I work through it by slowing down a bit. The key is not how fast or hard you walk, but how consistent you are when walking. Just keep doing it, 6 days out of every 7. And NO sugar makes the physical reward instant for me. I don’t dread going to the gym. I plug in my iPhone and go. I walk to the Indigo Girls and Vince Gill’s “These Days.” It makes all the difference. And I don’t try to run marathons. I just go at a reasonable pace that I can keep up for 45 minutes.

I’ve lost about 15 lbs in 2 weeks. I’m down about 30 lbs in the past 4-5 weeks. Some of that weight loss was due to having insanely high blood sugar. I knew something was wrong when I was down 10 lbs and hadn’t stopped eating Milano double chocolate cookies and peppermint patties.

I am not interested in junk food right now. I made it through the first 14 days, that helps a lot towards changing the lifestyle. I am living in the moment. How do I feel at this moment? I feel good. I feel better than I have in years. I move better. I’m not consumed with “I need to lose weight” 24/7 and I my anxiety level is much better because I’m not having to constantly deal with 1) pain and 2) worrying about every place I go and whether it will be comfortable.

All those little things really creep into your life and make it hard to enjoy your life. “What if this restaurant has tiny chairs and no aisle room?” “What if I have to walk too far from the car to …wherever?” The worst is traveling on an airplane or train. That’s another blog for another time.

Written by Bacce B

July 29, 2012 at 6:53 pm

The Beginning

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When I was 7, nearly 8, my mother married an angry, sadistic pedophile.

In less than a year, my body went from normal to chubby. In that year I also began to sleepwalk, which would amuse my Grandmother, at whose side I’d appear each night. What I remember most clearly is that I would tear my napkin at dinner each night, into tiny flakes of cotton, which I’d twist on my lap. I did the tearing and twisting under the table so I wouldn’t be discovered. My stepfather had a horrible temper and a sick sense of dealing with anything of which he didn’t approve. I was hyper-aware that I did not want to suffer the anger and humiliation he would deal to me, as effortlessly as if he were dealing a hand in Bridge. It was a way of life for him to be an asshole, in other words. He was quite comfortable in doling out the consequences of our perceived unacceptable behavior.

The year of my first significant life change was 1963. I believe the cortisol levels in my body were likely astronomical from the stress of living with this maniac. There had been a lifetime of drama leading up to that year, most of which I managed to suppress and have left in the dark. I have no desire or need to stir up that pot. I’ve heard stories of the years about my natural father and my mother’s marriage to him. Lots and lots of drama is the most succinct way to describe it. Guns, and rocks on prositute’s heads, and shoving women down stairs, and God knows what else. It’s impossible to know what really happened during my first 5-6 years of life but even if the above was an exaggeration, someone’s clearly got a histrionic problem (and it’s ain’t me!).

So, I think the new stepfather was the icing on the cake, so to speak (oh how I miss birthday cake).

I think I gained about 20 lbs at 7-8 years of age, which is a lot of weight for a little child. I was getting chubbier by the day and feeling a dark side of life as well.  This was the year that processed sugar was introduced in our household, as well. We had never been able to afford candy, cookies, or sweets. I’d never seen any up to that year. My stepfather would bring home “Archway” cookies once a month and we’d tear into them like crackheads.

archway molasses cookies

Then, of course, there would be the drama of “what the hell is wrong with you ? You’re all eating all the cookies~!”  But it was worth the drama to get the sugar. I had an insatiable desire for them. I could have eaten them day and night (and did so in my later years).

This is where it all started, as I recall.  And I’ve spent many years in therapy with the image of that house, the landscape, the kitchen, the driveway, everything around that year. I am confident my next 40 years of ill health and anxiety stemmed from that year, that house, that man. It was as if I’d caught a lifelong virus.

Written by Bacce B

July 21, 2012 at 3:21 am