I don’t like talking about my sugar addiction for three reasons:
- It’s very real, but conflicts with my position on dieting, and my disdain for food/body policing.
- 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.
- 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 forms. I can love my body at it’s current weight, and still aim for better health.
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.