Veiled behind the acceptability of having a “sweet-tooth”, my sugar addiction reached an all-time high in my early twenties. Now 26 years old, I’m about four months into a life with less sugar and more clarity on my relationship with food.
Being a foodie is all the rage. But the followers, likes, social shares and engagement don’t improve the health of my thyroid or regulate my hormones. Being body positive is trendy, but catch-phrases don’t help me up the stairs of my complex or sustain my energy. And one day when I am ready to have a child, the fact that being plus-sized is now a little cooler than it used to be, won’t guarantee my fertility – which worries me now that pregnancy is an option for my husband and me.
It was an ordinary shopping trip, not the trip where I left a mall in hysterics because nothing fit me, and not the trip where I arrived at an event after it started because it took me that long to find something to wear after visiting three malls and countless stores. Just a regular grocery run. As I discussed with my husband what we would buy, my subconscious decided then and there, that I was ready for a change, for good. We bought some healthy foods, but more importantly, I left Spar that day with no snacks in tow. I remember telling my husband that he couldn’t refuse the stuff we bought after a few meals, he needed to follow through because when he gives up, he demotivates me. Of course, I was the one who had a near panic attack at home when the sugar addiction kicked in and wanted those darn snacks I left behind.
Sugar used to be such a thing for me that when I had some, I would want more. Now, even the smallest quantity repels me. And before you turn your nose, I’m not a sugar snob, I’m just recovering from a sugar addiction.
The Authentic Girl recently asked me about the eating regimen and exercise routine I’ve been following. She raised this question because I shared with her my first milestone in what is truly more of a change of heart, than a change of lifestyle.
I’ve lost 5kgs!
My conversation with Megan is the reason why I’ve been prompted to write this blog post today even though I’ve been meaning to touch on this transition on Instagram and on the blog anyway.
My eating regimen
At the moment, I am not following any meal plan. This is mostly because we’re on a budget right now and can’t adjust our grocery list very much. The only and biggest change I’ve made is cutting down on sugar. And this my friend, should tell you that my sugar addiction was real! Between the two of us, Shad and I could finish a 2L cold drink per day. We scoffed whole cakes in two days tops and bought multiple snacks on every trip to the store. The issue here, is that when you read it like this, it sounds like a problem, but when it happens in your own life, in your own home, in your own fridge, in your own secret stash, all it seems like is making sure there is always “something nice” in the house. It is just eating out. It is just spoiling your partner. It is just having something to wash down a meal or reward yourself for a job well done. It is never sugar addiction. Until things get real and your body starts acting out, that is.
My exercise routine
I’ve mentioned this to my new friend Aanisa, who recently did a wellness assessment for me. I do not enjoy exercise. I do quite well in a gym with a personal trainer but we all know that attracts an additional fee. I want to take up dancing and pilates in future, but right now, the only physical exercise I get is from walking. Again, illustrating how much of my weight loss and the overall improvement of my health can be accredited to having sugar only in moderation.
Besides the niggling feeling that I had a problem, my main motivation for giving up the crack, is another niggling feeling, about another problem: infertility. I’ve always had painful, irregular periods. In recent years I would menstruate as infrequently as twice or thrice a year. And during my engagement, in particular, all warning signs pointed to an overactive or inactive thyroid. My hormones were out of control, and wedding stress could not take the blame for it all. There had to be something else feeding the fatigue, the sleeplessness, the numbing pain in my thighs and calves, the pressure on my feet when I walked short distances.
And so, even though I’ve learned to love myself at any size, I don’t love the sick. I don’t love the idea of wanting to do something and experiencing the opposition of my physical body. I’ve enough troubles – dental (again, caused by flippin’ sugar!), vision impairment – miss me with this ya’ll. I’ve been tired.
In closing, my take-away after reflecting on the above, is that you don’t always have to implement lots of new things to make a change. You can start the process of getting rid of that one thing that has been at the center of your problems. For me, that’s sugar addiction.