A tale of sugar, weight loss and why I’ve been feeling cross!

Recently I decided to give up give up eating sugar.  I gave up sugar for a number of reasons, but one of the reasons in particular was because I want to drop down to and maintain a healthy weight for the rest of my life.

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Weight loss is a very sensitive issue for me. Throughout most of my life I have wanted to lose weight and until now I really didn’t have a clue how to do it and sustain it.  For years I felt like a total failure in the area of weight loss and rightly or wrongly – especially when I was younger – I felt that I wasn’t good enough.  I felt that people with perfect figures were somehow better than me.

When I became a mother weight loss slipped off my agenda.  My youngest son isn’t a baby anymore though and people close to me have started commenting on my weight.  My immediate reaction was to tell them to go away, leave me alone and accept me for who I am. I felt as though they were telling me I wasn’t good enough again and to be honest I felt really annoyed.  It did make me think about losing weight again though.
My last attempt had losing weight had involved reading Paul McKenna’s book I Can Make You Thin which said
  • eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full
  • eat only foods you like
  • visualise the foods you need to quit in the most disgusting ways to put yourself off them.
I tried to follow it, but I couldn’t work out when I was full at all and my favourite foods were biscuits and chocolate.  Was Paul saying I should eat more of them?  I wasn’t sure which foods I needed to quit and wasn’t too keen on disgusting visualisations.  Not surprisingly it didn’t work for me and in fact I started eating more ‘junk food’ than I was eating before I read the book!
I thought listening to his CD, other hypnotherapy downloads and more recently visiting a hypnotherapist might do the trick, but it wasn’t until I read  this article in the New York Times about why junk food was addictive everything started to make sense. 
  • Processed foods, often containing salt, sugar and fat are designed to keep you eating more, so you have no clue when to stop and they can be addictive.
  • When you are addicted to something you think you like it or even love it and it is very easy to be unaware you are addicted to it.  So if you follow Paul’s advice of only eating foods you like, you are likely to stock up on those foods you are addicted to and you won’t know when to stop eating them. 
  • Finally if you don’t know that a particular type of food is a problem then you aren’t going to spend time visualising it in disgusting ways
If there is a food or drink that you can’t say no to, i.e. you eat it to excess, you can’t leave it on your plate/ in the cupboard even when you are full and sometimes you even make a quick trip just to buy it when you have run out, then it is quite likely you are addicted to it.  I have finally realised that I have been addicted to sugar and that to change my weight for the better for good, it needs to be eliminated totally from my life. 
Although I am really happy that I now understand that sugar is not my friend, I want to know:
  • Why is the food industry getting away with selling food that is not only really bad for us, but is incredibly addictive so that we can’t get enough of it?
  • Why doesn’t the government/ health service give us the information we really need i.e. a little of what you like can do you a lot of harm if it leads to a lifetime of addiction!  They should set up sugar cessation services alongside smoking cessation services!
  • Why are people who don’t have perfect figures made to feel so inadequate and then taken advantage of by people selling them unhealthy solutions to the ‘problem’ e.g. diet pills, surgeries, fad diets and so on?
Although I have been feeling a little cross about the above, I’ve decided I’m not going to waste my time and energy on this.  Basically the lesson learnt is don’t eat processed foods at all!  Aside from the salt, sugar, fat and ingredients I don’t understand added to these foods, these days you can’t even trust that the label is actually telling the truth.  Take the recent horsemeat scandal for example!  Ultimately I believe that I need to take responsibility for my own life,  to make my own choices and decisions and from now on my choice is to buy local, seasonal, unprocessed, whole, sustainable, organic / wild produce whenever possible!
What choices do you make about food?   Could you give up processed foods altogether?
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  1. Once your tastebuds are re-balanced, the taste of whole foods is far preferrable over processed foods. You know exactly what goes into your mouth. And generally it's cheaper. To me, it's worth the extra time it takes to prepare it.
    As to your "Why" questions: just follow the money. Companies are not out to feed you, they're out to make a profit. And they have the clout to make significant changes in government pronouncements in their favour. It's that simple. But knowing that puts a lot of power in our hands; let's use that.
    (Glad to have found you through Small Footprints' Meet&Greet!).

  2. Zoe

    Thanks for your comment CelloMom. You are definitely right about the money thing!

  3. What an inspiring post.

    Wish you the best of luck with the sugar-free choice! I have yet to cut it out completely – but when I do cut back even a small amount, it makes a huge difference in my cravings and clarity of mind.

    Happy to find your blog!

  4. I quit added sugar for about a month after reading your articles and have to say I felt much better for it, so thanks!

    I've recently faltered but am going to get back to it as I definitely think it's the way forward, there are so many benefits!

    Its nothing to do with the weight for me, I'm a bit of a skinny Minny, but I often feel tired, like a lot. Like many things in life, counterintuitively (although not when you actually know the full facts), I found that cutting out the sugar actually gives you bundles more energy! Also stopped having headaches, and teeth and gums are healthier. It's a no brainer really!

  5. Zoe

    Well done for quitting sugar Andy. Don't worry about going off track – whenever things aren't going exactly the way I plan, I remind myself of something I read somewhere once about aeroplanes being off track 90% of the time. They have to keep correcting their path throughout the flight and (usually) eventually do land at their planned destination!

  6. Thanks for the reply! That's a good way of thinking about a long term plan… nice 🙂

    Have you thought about putting a plug in for your site so people can "follow comments" by the way? I know you can do it easily in wordpress (you get an email alert when a new comment is posted), I see you are using blogger, maybe there is a similar plugin for blogger? (not really sure). It's just at the moment when you leave a comment here there isn't really any way for me to know if any one has replied apart from remembering the post and then checking back when I remember and have time. Which is a bit of a pain as you can imagine! Anyway not a critism of the blog in any way, I really like what you are doing here, but thought that might help your readers (including me of course 🙂 )

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