3 Reasons I Avoid Talking About My Sugar Addiction

I’m a sugar addict. I am.  When sugar gets into my system, I get high.  And then I need more. And more. And….Ugh!

I don’t like talking about my sugar addiction for three reasons:

  1. It’s very real, but conflicts with my position on dieting, and my disdain for food/body policing.
  2. I’m not sure I can stop, and that frightens me because it completely affects my fibromyalgia and arthritis. Let me be clear, I am talking about MY health, NOT yours.
  3. I don’t want you to judge me.  Yes, I can be that insecure.

So, in order to tackle this issue, I’ve decided honesty is the best policy.  I’ve given up sugar three times in my life, for periods ranging from two months to a year, and I had lots of help. It felt so good, and my body was grateful. If you want to know what I did, you can email me and I would be happy to share more. But for the purposes of this post, it’s irrelevant.

Processed sugar is one of those substances that is in so many of the foods we eat, that it requires a lot of awareness and intentionality to avoid it. I know, I know — I should eat more veggies and just stop with the sugar.  But it’s not that simple for me.  Sugar behaves like heroin in my body.  At first it soothes, then it gives me a spurt of energy, followed by an awful crash that can only be avoided by eating more sugar. And so, I do.  The cycle is beyond vicious. It’s insane.

When I was diagnosed with arthritis two years ago, and fibromyalgia a year later, the first thing my doctor’s told me was to eliminate sugar because it causes inflammation.  It made sense, and I thought that having a doctor tell me would change my behavior, but it hasn’t.  Why? Because I’m an addict who fools herself into believing she can control the controller. And I’ve proved to myself thousands of times that I will always lose this battle.

So, why am I sharing this with you? Why should you care?

Well, I know a lot of people who deal with this addiction, fat, thin and in between. And I want them to know they’re not alone. They may be size acceptance activists like me, who are struggling with the moral dilemma of having a sugar or food addiction and not wanting to fall into the misogynistic trap of fad diets. You guys know I spent many years dieting, and I’m so over it (mostly).  But this isn’t about weight loss, it’s about continuing to do something that I know is harming my body. It’s like if I kept dipping my toe into boiling water and burning the fuck out of it, but doing it anyway because I just can’t help myself.  Yes, it’s that crazy.  It’s doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Which, by the way, is the definition of insanity. The definition of addiction.

I talk to my close girlfriends and my husband about this issue regularly, but I’m tired of thinking about it now. I simply want to let go of it so that in it’s place, a peaceful, spiritually sound woman can emerge. I want to make space for more important things, like working to create a world in which women of all sizes, ages, colors, orientations, and abilities are free to use their goddess-given gifts without fear of being judged on their appearance.

Is that so bad? 

This inner work is never done and it’s hard.  But I know it’s worth it. So, I don’t have any hard and fast answers to my sugar problem, but I just wanted to acknowledge on a public level that I struggle too. And I want to remind myself and you, that body positivity takes so many formsI can love my body at it’s current weight, and still aim for better health.
 

 That’s me!!

I’m so grateful for the Health At Every Size campaign, which proves to me that even at 230 pounds, I can achieve my health and fitness goals without having to ever lose a pound. I want to improve my downward facing dog because it would feel fucking awesome to push my body that much.  I want to wear a tight yoga top and matching pants that hug my every roll, and celebrate my shape as I move into a headstand. I want to give up sugar so my body won’t hurt so damn much.

That’s all.

In solidarity,
Pia

8 Comments

  1. Thank you for putting this out there. I believe that stories like these need to told. It's not enough to say we should love ourselves the way we are and that's that. We need to acknowledge the road to self love and it's so important to know that we can LOVE love ourselves just the way we are in this moment but still have many issues that we feel we need to overcome. I struggle so hard with sugar and over eating and it's really hard for me to speak up about for fear of judgment or people policing what's on my plate. I am not as brave as you are YET. I thank you.

  2. Thank you for sharing.
    I know all about sugar highs through eating of peppermint. About a pound a day (and night).
    I am lucky to have been able to quit the peppermints altogether.
    I avoid sugar as much as possible but when I come across some M&M's eg they must disappear in me. No matter how much. Even if it means that I become sick and have reflux when I try to sleep.
    With the help of my wife I can avoid the sugar but it is like smoking, once an addict always an addict. I stopped smoking more than 17 years ago but I know that the first sigaret will soon be 2 packs a days

  3. I too had an almost unquenchable desire for sugar, until I was diagnosed with celiacs. Once I stopped eating all things gluten, my desire to eat sugar vanished overnight. Now, I can eat a cookie and be happy, or a few small spoonfuls of my dairy free ice cream (allergic to dairy as well). When I begin to crave sugar I know that something is amiss with my body and figure out whats making me ill and eliminate it. Maybe that's your issue with sugar as well? Love your writing, your energy and joy of life just rocket off the screen!

  4. Biki…I'm allergic to gluten and gave it up a few years ago, but my sugar cravings remain. We all have different bodies, so who knows what will work for me. I'm happy that you've found a solution!

  5. merimar

    I, too, have fibro. & allergies(limits fruits), diverticulitus(limits veges),celiacs, & sleep apnea. I hurt more as a size 10 working out 3 hrs a day than I do as a size 16/225#. Yep, you read that correct. For me, my cpap is key to resetting my hormones. Sleep Deprivation can make you have hypothyroidism, or mimic it. Do what ever you need to do for YOU to be happy & healthy. If you ain’t one of my 3C’s, I tell most to step off. Take care of yourself & thank you for venting & sharing for all us Girlfriends that need a Lady’s Night Out w/ women of real Size & stature.

    • thanks so much for sharing your story! i agree that health is personal and what works for you may not work for someone else. Wishing you good health and happiness!

  6. Shoshana McKinney

    Please consider a 12 step recovery program. Quit sugar completely because it doesn’t like you.

    True body positivity is giving optimally to the body, mind and spirit!

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