Saturday, 28 February 2015

Confessions of a Sugar Addict

It's been really interesting being open about my weight on social media. Many people, even those who know me and have met me have said things like "no you can't be obese" "but you lead such a healthy lifestyle". I have had even more interesting comments like "the scales must be wrong" "maybe its the medication you take"

I am indeed obese, and the reason I am obese is that I have taken on too many high energy foods over a long period of time and not expended enough energy to compensate. Simple. Decrease my energy consumption, increase my activity = weight loss. Brilliant. Simple yes, easy no.

This in advertisement I snapped out of my latest Good Food Magazine. And this, my friends, is at the heart of my problem. I have had many difficult periods in my life and have come to rely on sugary foods which usually also contain fat, in order to cope with life and to make myself feel happier.

My dad used to regularly buy us sweets, and I came to rely on them. When at the age of 12 my mum sought advice from a chiropractor to manage my asthma he put me on a whole food diet but we made a fatal mistake. We still used raw sugar and honey. That's still sugar. My downfalls are cakes, biscuits, sugary drinks and chocolate. My meals have always been relatively healthy its the "treats" that are the issue.

This time I am approaching my weight loss in a different way, and this is why my weight loss is so slow. I am making large changes one at a time. Because these changes have to be for life. If I don't change my relationship with food  and more importantly with my self, I will just be back here again.

When I initially started this I bought some alternative sugar products like rice malt syrup, date syrup and coconut sugar. These are still sugar. I thought I would break my reliance on the more familiar sugar first then decrease those, thinking about it, kind of like a methadone programme. I also made Bliss Balls, which are highly calorific sweet hits but don't contain added sugars. I have now decreased all of these in my diet.

I have also decreased my fruit consumption. I still have fruit twice a day but what I have done in the past is immediately replaced my high sugar treats with sugary fruits like mango and grapes. I am now eating apples more often and the very occasional banana and still having the fruits I love but less often.

I have been beating myself up a little and came across this extract from a TED talk about sugar and it made me feel so much better about my situation.

Now I know what is going on, I realise that my approach is spot on. I am concentrating on eating a variety of foods and trying new foods, not relying on the same meals over and over. I have totally eliminated sweet drinks, even artificially sweetened ones. I am drinking water, herb or green teas and coffee occasionally. I am still occasionally having dark chocolate and I think that's for now.

This is a forever journey. It's ok that in the initial stages I'm only losing a small amount of weight. I am making small changes for life I think my weight loss will speed up if I keep focussed and keep making changes.

Sometimes I think it would be much easier to go to Weight Watchers or Slimming World but I am not convinced, having been there before, that that is the right approach for me.

And now I have a firm goal for 2015.

By Christmas I want to weigh 100 kilos. That's 16 kilos off from now.

I can and I will


  1. Sugar really is a killer. In 2001 I gave it up. I started in February and by June had lost 3.5 stone, effortlessly. I went on an anti candida diet, so no bread, or alcohol etc etc etc. I literally MELTED, without doing any exercise. My colleagues could not believe it. I wish I had the willpower to do it again, as I know it is easy, BUT I just can't get in the zone. Really what happens is you reduce your acidity which is why your body can then lose weight. Once you become alkaline, horrid food tastes horrid, and then you actually CRAVE healthy food, which is when it gets extremely easy as your body is working FOR you and so are your cravings. It's a pleasure when you start to crave water and greens x

  2. Brilliant! and SNAP! I'm really not a sugar addict, I never have been, luckily. I'm just stunned now I am monitoring it exactly how much sugar is in EVERYTHING!

    Given I have developed an auto-immune condition, managing my weight is a must as exercise, while vital, is limited compared to pre-AI days. I'll be living on raw carrots and lettus at this rate!

  3. Very interesting, as I read this I'm sucking on a strepsil as I have no sweets. . .
    Good luck with this. I think removing sugar as much as possible from your diet can be one of the best things we can do for ourselves!

  4. I think it's great that you are being really strategic about eliminating things slowly. Cutting out sweet drinks is definitely a good, big change. We always had cordial in the house and I never liked drinking water until I became a grown up (but my memory of childhood is I never drank juice because you always finished it!) Cutting down on fruit was weird for me, it seemed counter-intuitive, because I'd always thought of fruit as a "healthy" snack, but when I was pregnant especially it was not uncommon for me to eat 5 or 6 mandarins in a day! Retraining your palette is really hard, and in times of stress it's easy to fall back on bad habits (or that's what I find). Planning ahead made a difference to me. I found it easier to eat smaller portions when I knew I had something else ready to eat in two hours.

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