Some people come to me convinced they are addicted to sugar.
“Sugar is the devil,” they tell me. “I CANNOT stop eating sweets!”
“I feel SO much better when I don’t have sugar. So why can’t I just stop?! I think I’m addicted.”
When I was struggling with my weight, I was 100% convinced that if Hershey’s discontinued Reese’s Cups, my life would become at least 50% easier.
(I binged on them daily for a while).
It’s easy to think that if we could JUST cut out sugar, our desperation around food would be fixed.
And “easy” solutions are so insanely tempting when we’re caught up in the diet/binge cycle.
(**Which is why we get caught up in dieting! Because it seems SO easy to just follow “XYZ” plan)
Here’s the thing…
Sugar isn’t the problem. It’s our mindset ABOUT the sugar that’s the problem.
Sure, eating less sugar may feel better to you.
But demanding that you NEVER eat sugar again is that sneaky little diet mindset…and as soon as you tell yourself you can’t have sugar, BAM, all you think about are the cookies sitting on your coworkers desk.
It’s a very popular opinion these days that sugar elimination is KEY to health.
But thinking we’re addicted to sugar, and convincing ourselves that THAT is the problem is actually the problem.
Because we then start to try and cut out sugar for good. We restrict, white-knuckle and desperately try to rely on willpower.
And then when we binge, we think, “DAMNIT, these sugary treats are doing me in!”
So we resolve to start over again tomorrow.
Do you see where this is going?
Diet. Binge. Diet Again. That pesky little diet cycle that doesn’t seem to end…
This isn’t to discount the fact that some people feel better with less sugar (see this post here on that).
Or that some people have food allergies where they need to have a bit more of a limited way of eating (another post here on that).
It’s only to say that sugar or gluten or carbs or any specific food is NOT the problem.
It’s the way we think about them that is.
Pinpointing a specific food group to cut out is easier than looking at why we overeat in the first place.
Feeling emotions, learning to take care of ourselves, letting go of food rules, starting to trust our bodies, learning how to “hear” what our body says, and all of the other “work” that comes from digging underneath the food?
Yep, that’s the hard part. The part we wish we could just skip…
BUT, it’s also the part that has the lasting healing.
I’m the type of person that rebells against rules.
I know there are programs out there that promote abstinence with food, cutting out sugar, or eliminating your trigger foods for life. My soul simply won’t allow me to do that.
I want to be the person that shares cake at a birthday party, samples my Nana’s fresh Irish potato cookies on St. Patty’s Day, and tastes the chocolate my niece picked out for me at the store.
**Here is my disclaimer for this post. Above all else, I teach honoring what resonates with YOU. Even in the Normal Eaters Club, I always tell the ladies my goal is to guide them to hear THEIR guidance and wisdom. So if this doesn’t resonate with you, then feel free to skip it 🙂