About 4 years ago I realised I was an addict. In order to kick my drug addiction I needed to get honest about my relationship to my drug of choice – refined sugar.
First of all, I needed to realise that my sugar addiction was my baby, it was my comfort, my friend… and it was time to cut the cord.
But going cold turkey did not appeal to me. That seemed a bit harsh.
So I cut out ALL refined sugars first and supported myself with only natural sugars. This meant that I was only consuming sugar in the form of honey, maple syrup and fresh fruit..
And even though I was consuming these natural sugars, I still went through withdrawals from my dear friend, refined sugar. But I was determined to kick my drug habit and part of this detox was realising that sugar actually was no friend of mine, as true friends don’t intentionally harm you in the way sugar was harming me.
Exhaustion, Anxiety and the Quest to Eat Sugar
I had been medically advised that my body broke down refined sugars too rapidly, so thankfully, having decided to stop my sugar addiction then and there, I had halted the destructive behaviour that was possibly leading me down the path to insulin dependent diabetes. But… I still suffered with so many other ill symptoms from eating sugar that I cannot really say that I had indeed ‘gotten away’ with eating refined sugars all those years.
For instance, the exhaustion I felt when I stopped getting my ‘highs’ from sugar was debilitating for a while. I struggled to make it through the day and therefore I decided to support myself by having a rest in the afternoons just so I could physically make it through the afternoon/evening with my daughter and husband.
I realised this exhaustion had not necessarily been caused by having eaten sugar – it had in fact been around for some time – the sugar had just been numbing me to it.
Over many years I suffered from quite severe anxiety and this had indeed created a lot of the exhaustion that I was now feeling: eating sugar had stopped me from truly feeling this exhaustion and therefore inhibited my ability to actually address it.
But… could it be said that my sugar addiction had actually INCREASED the exhaustion I had already been experiencing?
The simple answer to this question is YES.
The Impact of Sugar on the Body and Mind
In fact, through researching sugar I have discovered how very harming sugar is to our bodies, and it explains a lot of the symptoms I was feeling during my sugar addiction that I was really unaware of until after I stopped eating sugar.
To explain this simply, once sugar is consumed it sends pleasure messages to the brain and this triggers an ‘excitement’ that reverberates through the body: this basically means that the body accelerates from its natural rhythm to a faster one. In order to maintain this faster rhythm the body works harder, which then depletes the body – as it is far from normal to be functioning at this excessive speed. This depletion exhausts the body and once the effect of the sugar wears off you will feel tired… so you reach for another ‘hit’.
This cycle also affects your mental health. When you are on the ‘high’ you ‘feel good’ and ‘alive’, but when the ‘low’ comes you can feel quite emotional and down.
But actually FEELING this cycle can be a challenge…
As I have also discovered, when I consumed sugar it disconnected me from feeling a lot of what was happening in my body: it NUMBED me. This then enabled me to use my body in ways that I would not normally use it, translating into my doing some or all of the following regularly:
- staying up later at night
- working longer hours, and
- racing around like a mad idiot getting an outrageously long list of things done… to just name a few!
All very tiring to my body and, always doing more than my body could naturally handle – depleting my body: no wonder I was feeling exhausted.
For many years I also added caffeine to the mix and I was like the super-charged ‘Energiser bunny’ that just went and went and went… oh, the exhaustion of it all!
Medical Research – Confirming the Ill-effects of Sugar
So how else does sugar impact on us?
The research is many and varied but it all shows that consuming sugar impacts us in many negative ways and contributes to many health issues we are currently experiencing on a world-wide scale.
Here are but a few examples:
- Sugar impacts on our mental health; in particular, it has been linked to the development of anxiety, depression and behavioural problems (especially in early childhood). The average age for anxiety diagnosis is age 6 and for depression the average age is 13. Wow!
- Sugar impacts on the health of our heart in various ways. Which makes sense, if you think about it, because if the body is running at a faster speed than normal, this puts strain on the heart (and all other organs) as it is being asked to work faster to cope with the extra pressure placed on the body!
- It has been found that high blood glucose levels are linked to the development of such diseases as Alzheimer’s and dementia and this includes people who do not even have diabetes. This is a concern, is it not?
- Researchers have also found that when people have been given a mouthful of sugary soft drink, their brain activity is the same as that which occurs when people take a ‘hit’ of heroin or cocaine. There was absolutely no difference in the pathways that were ignited in the brain. Scary stuff!!
The bottom line is that refined sugars are a shocker for our bodies and our state of mind!
Life Without Refined Sugars – It is Very Possible
I have now been refined sugar-free for over 4 years and it feels AMAZING!
For me, the most amazing part is that I am no longer controlled by the addiction – I am now completely aware that I have a choice as to whether I eat refined sugars or not. When I was being led by the addiction it felt like it owned me, that I was a slave to the cravings and the underlying exhaustion.
It has been as simple as being honest about what was driving the addiction and being willing to address the cause. It has taken a strong commitment on my part to heal the driving force of this addiction.
This awareness and willingness to commit to my health and wellbeing leaves me feeling energised and revitalised, which leaves no room for artificial stimulants such as refined sugars. For me this is truly AMAZING!
Kicking my drug addiction to sugar has not been easy and at times I have over-eaten natural sweeteners to compensate, but I have found many ways to support myself throughout this process… from resting to recover from the exhaustion, to creating and eating yummy sweets that are refined sugar-free.
Finding ways to support myself has been an important part of my success in stopping my sugar addiction.
By attending presentations by Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon, I was able to make the changes that allowed me to break through the fog that I was in (partly from the sugar, partly from my self-imposed ignorance) so I could see more clearly the harming effects of sugar in my life. This has enabled me to share today what I have come to know so clearly.
By Robyn Jones, 38, B.Sc. (Psych), Counsellor, Goonellabah, Australia
Read Part One: Addicted To Sugar… My Drug Addiction
Read Part Three: From Sugar Addiction to Gluten, Dairy & Sugar Free Yummy Delights