Wow. I made it! Today marks exactly a year without sugar. To clarify, I’m talking about sweet nothings such as candy, cookies, and chocolate. I ate primarily protein, veggies and fruit. Most days I eat no grains.
How and why did I do this? Glad you asked. 🙂 Most Americans are addicted to sugar. I love chocolate, and although dark chocolate is healthy in small amounts, I craved it daily. I read about the connection between inflammation and sugar, and thought my body would feel better if I ate healthier food.
A few years ago, I discovered a recovery group called Overeaters Anonymous. The meetings are for anyone with compulsive food behaviors, including compulsive overeating, bulimia and anorexia.
I went to my first meeting and met people of all body weights, shapes and sizes. Many appeared to be at healthy body weights. Later, of course, I learned some had lost 20 to 130 pounds and kept the weight off more than a decade. Since research shows diets don’t work, I was impressed. Like other addictions, dieters end up gaining more weight than they initially lose, statistically.
I continued to attend the meetings, and read the newcomer’s packet the members gave me. I learned that OA is a spiritual program. Each person is free to choose their Higher Power, and for me this is God.
“Well, this works for them, but I know it won’t work for me.” I thought. Why? You ask. Mostly because I had a love affair with dark chocolate. I heard countless stories about how their higher power did for them what they couldn’t do for themselves.
I didn’t plan to break up with sugar, but continued to hear stories of OA members who had been off sugar for months or years. Everyone chooses his or her own food plan, which gives people freedom.
I met with a lovely woman who has attended OA for 15 years, and she shared her experience, strength and hope. (Note: advice giving is not allowed in the program, just personal stories.) With OA, she hasn’t eaten sugar in 13 years, and has dropped 55 pounds.
On the drive home, I thought I could try – with God’s help – giving up sugar “just for today.” Not forever, but only one day.
I read the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, replacing the word “alcohol” with food. I called and texted other people in the program, and read the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous. I prayed each time I craved sugar. I talked to my sponsor, and texted ’til the cows came home. (They’re home now aren’t they? 😉
Just one day at a time, God did for me what I couldn’t do for myself.
Before you think you’re going to do this yourself, OA is a “we” program, not a “me” program. The power of community creates an ocean full of support. I’ve lost 7 pounds, but keep in mind I’m 5’2 1/2″ tall, so it’s about a size and a half. I really have only another 5 pounds to lose. I’m an athlete, even though I struggle with two chronic illnesses – lupus and ankylosing spondylitis. So I’ve never really been more than 15-20 pounds overweight. I’d like to report I’ve experienced a great healing of all issues related to Lupus and ankylosing spondylitis. I’m gradually improving, and hope this continues.
God has done for me what I couldn’t do for myself. And for that, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.~
UPDATE: It’s now been almost a year and a half! I’m going to stop taking my Humira injection because I think I can control the inflammation eating mostly paleo. I’m so excited and basking in gratitude! I’ll keep you posted.