America’s Sugar Addiction

It’s funny, when I first started contemplating giving up all/most wheat (and sugar) in winter 2012, I thought giving up wheat/grains would be the harder part.  I LOVED grains, in all formats!  Put warm, buttered bread (especially sour dough) next to a plate of cookies, and I’d go for the bread every time.  Crackers (I went through a box of Wheat Thins a week, all by myself!), potato chips or tortilla chips and dip, toasted bagels for breakfast 6 days a week (Bruegers, sorry I’m not a customer anymore)….pasta, hamburger buns…you name it.  I was a real grain junkie.

Turns out, in the long run, giving up grains was pretty easy for me, once I read up on the subject of modern day wheat, and it’s real, scientific detriment to us.  (if you haven’t already, I highly suggest the books Wheat Belly by Dr. Davis and The End of Overeating my Dr. Kessler.)  Yep, I dropped kicked all grains to the curb REALLY easily, on my 2nd try.  (the first try got derailed because I think subconsciously I wasn’t yet 100% convinced it was a healthy thing to do.  ‘whole grain products’ has been SO ingrained in us from the medical community, let alone big Agra and other mega companies.  But I digress…)  Oddly enough, giving up sugar has been the tougher part.  I guess I was more addicted to sugar than I thought.  During the first 2 years of maintenance (I’m now in month 15)….sugar has been the remaining culprit.  Don’t get me wrong; it’s not bad.  I seem to still be hovering in a healthy BMI weight of 132-134.  But I sincerely want to return to the high to mid 120’s I was the first half of this year, and sugar has been the culprit, not grains.

It just goes to show how strongly the sugar addiction is ingrained in us!  How insidious it is!  I don’t eat much sugar, but when I get stressed, I still have to really put my mind to work to stop the knee-jerk reaction to stress with sugar in some format.  I still need to read my mantra (see my side bar) most days.  The days I don’t read it, I’m not as mentally prepared.  Don’t get me wrong, though!  MOST days, like 90-95% of them….sugar isn’t a concern at all.  Stress isn’t at an intolerable, ‘must medicate’ level.  I breeze through the day, happy as a clam, ‘in the zone.’  But when the occasional shitty thing happens, I still want to knee-jerk react with some small form of sugar.  I still haven’t entirely broken the addiction.  95% of the time I have.  Stress still gets me.  I’m still working on that aspect.

So I sought out more on it today.  I started googling ‘the psychology of obesity.’  Then ‘sugar addiction.’  I found a GREAT article, from just last week, that I want to share.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/11232747/Americas-sugar-addiction-Just-how-bad-is-it.html

America’s sugar addiction: Just how bad is it?

As the United States’ first tax on sugary drinks goes into effect in California, here’s a look at the facts and figures for America’s love affair with sugar

Photo: ALAMY

• More than one-third of Americans are currently obese, including 17 per cent of children.

• Type 2 diabetes diagnoses have increased tenfold in the last thirty years.

• America now spends over $190bn (£121bn) annually treating diseases which are tied directly to obesity.

While a number of factors have contributed to these worrying trends, health advocates and policymakers are now focusing on one culprit: sugar.

Berkeley, California recently became the first US city to enact a tax on sugary drinks, while larger cities such as New York and San Francisco have debated similar measures.

Americans don’t like the government dictating their diets, and the US surely won’t come down from its sugar high overnight, but there are significant costs associated with America’s addiction to sugar.

And Britain isn’t far behind.

Fizzy drink fanatics…

Americans consume more fizzy drinks per capita than any other country on earth, and super-size sodas are contributing to America’s equally enlarged rates of diabetes and other diseases.

• A typical American child has, on average, 8 ounces of fizzy drinks per day. Those rates increase significantly among adolescents. Having one sugar sweetened beverage per day increases an individual’s risk of both diabetes and heart disease by upwards of 25 per cent.

• The average American purchases 170 litres of fizzy drinks per year, more than twice as much as a typical Brit.

• Drinking more sugar calories does not significantly reduce sugar consumption elsewhere in the diet. Sugar dissolved into fizzy drinks reduces an individual’s appetite only 1/7 as much as solid sugar.

Whole wheat toast, hold the sugar…

It’s not just fizzy drinks that have led to skyrocketing sugar consumption rates.

• Beginning in the 1970’s America waged a “war on fat”, which led to food producers cutting fat content and – you guessed it– sprinkling in some sugar.

• From whole wheat bread to soy milk and nearly everything in between, over 80 per cent of American processed foods now contain added sugar.

• According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a typical American now consumes roughly 120lbs of sugar per year. That’s approximately 50 per cent more than in 1950.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo:Alamy

A costly habit…

• The obesity rate in America has more than doubled since the 1980’s amongst adults, and tripled amongst children.

• Seven per cent of Americans now have some form of diabetes, while an American is ten times more likely today to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than ten years ago.

• According to one estimate, America now spends approximately $190 million (£121million) annually to treat diseases directly linked with obesity. That’s more than the entire gross domestic product of New Zealand.

 

diabetes rate

And Britain’s addicted too…

• Two-thirds of Brits are considered overweight, with one in four classified as obese. Among Western European countries, only Iceland and Malta have higher proportions of overweight individuals.

• One in five children aged 4-5 and one in three children aged 10-11 are overweight or obese

• British teens get 15.6 per cent of their food energy from sugar, that’s three times the recommended amount.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo:PA

Despite these staggering statistics, we continue to consume more sugar than ever.

So far it doesn’t seem to be working, but if Berkeley’s “soda tax” experiment catches on in the US, it may just come to Britain next.

*****

The data is just STAGGERING, isn’t it?

But I can attest that sugar addiction is SO insidious.  We want to believe in ‘moderation’, but for many of us, we find it’s really impossible.  Yet we also have to juggle the realities of ‘deprivation mode’….but then we learn that deprivation mode thinking is just another aspect of ADDICTION.  Talk about insidious!  We really can mind-game ourselves into a corner, when we are addicted, can’t we?

I don’t know about you, but I feel I’m just scratching the surface on learning about sugar addiction, the mind games we play on ourselves because of it, and how to continue to educate ourselves, so we can combat/control these addictions.

It has become my new personal mission for MYSELF to read all that I can on the topic!!  Now, here’s a disclaimer.  In the last couple of years, I’ve gotten really turned off to non-fiction reading.  If I’m going to research, I prefer to do it online.  Non-fiction books are like homework assignments to me.  No fun.  I MUCH prefer to read for pleasure.  That said, the two things that most drastically altered my life course in the past 4-5 years, have been the two books I mentioned above.  Both non-fictions.

So, right here, right NOW, before all of you. I am promising to you and to myself that I’m going to become an expert on sugar addiction (science.)  I’m going to read all I can get my hands on, on the subject.  I do have to tread lightly, though.  I’ve already seen a few promising books that denigrated pretty quickly for me, because they are still pushing ‘healthy whole (wheat) grains.’  Yeah, no.  Not going to work for me.  So I will have to do more than a cursory research on the author/his/her ideas, before I purchase their book.  Because wheat is still a non-negotiable for me, (other than my 4 onion rings 1-2 times a month and 2 tablespoons of Ranch dressing 1-2 times a week.)  (those trigger nothing.  I think.  But I’m going to start journaling on that, just to make sure.  A sidebar new n = 1 project for me.)

BUT, I am officially committing to going FULL BORE, HARD CORE to educating myself even further against sugar addiction.  It’s the one bugaboo left in my nutritional status.  The only thing left that occasionally derails me.  I’m not sure why I’m not as diametrically opposed to sugar as I am wheat, but that is where I want to be, and I’m no longer going to be passive about my resistance.  I’m going to go out, read all that I can, educate myself, and become as super passionate against sugar as I am against wheat!!!

HELL YES I AM.

So, that’s where I stand.  Where are you, re sugar?  Could you stand to be a little better at resisting it too?  Forewarning; as I learn, I’m going to share here.  This blog is going full bore ahead at kicking sugar to the curb by full on education.  Hope you’re game!  :)

Holiday Scale Accountability Club, v. 6

imageedit_18_6774815507

Six weeks already!  Wow!

Well, I’m down .4.  Not a great amount, but considering I ate in restaurants four times last weekend, and had a big family get together Sunday for dinner/football watching, I’ll take it!

But I want to be better.  I still haven’t given up the 120’s yet.  I will fight indefinitely for that!

This weekend will be better; only planned meals out are the always Friday for lunch today, and then tomorrow night we are going to a nice small neighborhood sports bar restaurant for the USC-UCLA football game that starts at 5.  Other than that, at home eating.

Of course, the biggest challenge for all of us Americans is Thanksgiving on Thursday.  I’ve decided I won’t be partaking in any gravy.  If it was MY (my dad’s) recipe, I would.  Flour base and all.  But no one else’s gravy can get within 10 feet of that recipe, and so…isn’t worth it.  I will have a healthy dose of turkey.  I will eat my green beans, and a garden salad.  I’ll enjoy a little cheese and fresh veggies (and the veggie dip.)  I will probably have a glass/flute of champagne.  I won’t touch anything else.  NOTHING else.  I will wake up Black Friday (at a normal hour LOL) happy, sane, with no regrets.  What a great way to really kick off the holiday season?

People think this is so hard.  Most of the time, it really isn’t.  Sure, it can get a little frustrating when the scale doesn’t match our efforts.  That is when we have to dig deep and remember to TRUST THE PROCESS.  Believe, to the bottom of our souls (and feet) in the science behind what we are doing.  Put 100% faith in ourselves to dedicate the rest of our lives to improving ourselves, our health, and therefore our longevity AND our legacy.  If we can keep that front and center through ALL of the temptations coming our way for the next 6 weeks, we will greet 2015 healthier, and proud.  Isn’t that THE best way to start a new year?!

How’d you do?  How are you going to handle the challenges of the coming week?

GO SC!!!  :)

Gluttony at work

Okay, I love my co-workers, but this is just crazy!

Next Wednesday, we get off 2 hours early.  (we always do, the day before a work holiday.)  Additionally, it’s the final ‘close’ day for the November ‘period.’   I will be SLAMMED on Wednesday, hoping I CAN leave 2 hours early.

Now, for the gluttony part.  They’ve decided to do a POTLUCK BUFFET on Wednesday!  THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING.

Who the hell:

1.  wants to cook extra on Tuesday night…2 nights before Thanksgiving?

2.  needs/wants all the calories of a 100 person office buffet potluck THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING?!

I mean, SERIOUSLY?!?!

CRAZY.  CERTIFIABLE.

I am not only NOT going to cook…I’m not going to participate.  At all.  For starters, I don’t have the time.  But secondly, screw that!  I think it’s just beyond stupid, the timing of it in relation to Thanksgiving.  As if people aren’t going to get (MORE MORE MORE) than enough calories on Thursday…(and probably the rest of the 4 day weekend)…but let’s pile it on the day BEFORE, too?!

What is WRONG with people?

Why is gluttony SO PREVALENT everywhere (in America?)  I mean, seriously, WTF?!

141722719493851278_RE7cEhx7_c

 

quote-gluttony-is-the-source-of-all-our-infirmities-and-the-fountain-of-all-our-diseases-as-a-lamp-is-robert-burton-379350

And this is just the beginning, of a season filled with See’s chocolate boxes EVERYWHERE, and all those other baskets loaded with processed shit food.  EVERYWHERE.

I’ve already talked to three vendors who gives me chocolate every year.  I’ve explained my diet and that I can’t eat chocolate anymore.  And that I’d appreciate any gift that doesn’t contain chocolate, or preferably any sugar at all.  We’ll see.

It’s just crazy, living in this ‘parallel food universe.’  All around us, gluttony.  We get to figure out the best ways to navigate through it, and maintain our nutritional integrity.

medicine is not healthcare quote

4769

Overeating is always a decision

Such a (sad) waste of a life

Directly across the street from us lives a lady, her adult son, and a renter (guy.)  The adult son is a classic loser.  He is always out in the garage with the renter, smoking, drinking, doing pot, swearing…just being a loser.  Supposedly he worked at Old Navy, but it had to be part time.  I don’t know his age; 30’s, or maybe very early 40’s.  All tatooed up, hardest core rock going possible, all hours of the day and night.  Smoking so much that if it was a hot night and we had our office window open upstairs, you could smell their smoke.  His smoker’s cough was nonstop.

Well, apparently his mom came home yesterday after a full day’s work, and found him collapsed.  Just after nightfall, two police cars, ambulance, and fire truck arrive.  There was no sense of urgency.  Mom was in the garage with neighbors, distraught, crying, etc.  I figured the guy was dead.  I was shocked when, about 40 minutes later, he was casually wheeled out, but face not covered so still alive.

We didn’t want to pry, so hubby waited until the ambulance was gone to go out and talk to neighbors.  Apparently he was alive, but not responding and there wasn’t much hope for him.  He apparently was one 8 prescription drugs for God knows what reason, and asthmatic as well.  He was also about 40-50 lbs. overweight.  Not obese, but close to it.

What kind of idiot smokes non-stop and smokes pot TOO on top of all those drugs…guzzles beer nonstop, all while taking 8 other prescribed meds?  Could he be any stupider?

Such a waste of life.  Total and complete.  I feel bad for him, his mom…but he had plenty of opportunities to get his shit together, and chose over and over not to.  I won’t go into the co-dependent way his mom must’ve dealt with him…not going to throw stones like that.

In any case, what a waste.  I doubt he’ll live.

It just reminds me of how precious life is.  And how many people just fuck it away with stupid behavior.

One of those stupid behaviors is not getting healthy.  Not fighting addictions.  Not seeking professional help to do either.  It really is a form of masochism…the way we abuse our bodies.  The way we think we are bullet-proof, when we aren’t.  It makes me wonder which ‘diet’ blogger will be the next to die of a heart attack.  Anyone who’s been blogging for any length of time knows at least one.

We can be such idiots with our body.  It is so damned sad and unnecessary.  And if it only affected us alone, it wouldn’t be as tragic as the fact that it rarely DOES only affect just us.  There is family and loved ones who really care…and we are letting them down in the process.  All to keep eating the damned sugar.  (or drinking it.)

Just SO FREAKING SAD.

quote-up-sluggard-and-waste-not-life-in-the-grave-will-be-sleeping-enough-benjamin-franklin-379425

171121-Sayings+about+life+13+

tumblr_mft0p3yIwD1qzs35no1_1280

Are you a lift or drag force?

Another great post by Leo B. at zenhabits.net:

In our lives, the people around us lift us up, or they drag us down.

I see this in my life: my life contains many people, and I’m lucky enough to have surrounded myself with people who mostly provide lift. They inspire me, hold me accountable, find happiness for my successes, lend a hand when I need it, give me advice, and root me on.

I wouldn’t be where I am without these people. I have been lifted by them, and that fills me with joy.

But I’ve seen others who provide drag on the people around them. They criticize, have a negative attitude, complain, and in a thousand small ways show you that you shouldn’t do what you’re doing. They mean well, and they don’t even realize they’re providing friction and making things difficult.

Which are you? The lift or the drag force on people around you?

You might not actually know, so pay attention today to how you interact with everyone. For some, you might be positive, but for others you might be negative. See if you can find it in you to provide lift instead.

Be the force that lifts everyone around you.

This is so true!  I’m very lucky in that I don’t have a tendency to depression.  I have one daughter who has had issues with that in the past, so I know how all encompassing it can be.

I see it a LOT in the healthy living/dieting blogging community.  You know the bloggers; the ones that are ‘down’ a lot.  I have to wonder, what is the horse, what is the cart?  In other words, are they ‘down’ because of their weight, or does having a ‘down personality’ lend itself to weight issues?  But when looked at that, scientifically, one has to conclude that neither is directly related…there are lots of people like me who don’t deal with depression who have or have had serious weight issues.  That’s not to say that specific events that can trigger episodic depression can’t make you not care about your weight.  It happened for me.

It was insidious, though.  I was ‘diagnosed’ with the markers for Macular Degeneration.  I have several close relatives that have or currently suffer from this malady.  It has turned them into being legally blind.  When I got the diagnosis, my heart went to my stomach, and I became nauseated because it was such a blow.  To be told there was a 60-80% chance you could go blind at any moment…is/was devastating.  My whole (remaining) life flashed before my eyes, and it was grim.

I had lost 70 lbs. the previous year.  At that moment, I stopped giving a shit.  Looking back on it, it was depression.  But I was functional…life marched on, but I just no longer gave a shit about my weight or my health because who gives a rat’s ass when you are legally blind…how you look?  I couldn’t see the forest for the trees.  I re-gained 60 lbs.  It was awful.  And about the time I finished that weight gain, I went to an opthamologist and was told ‘bullshit’, that everyone over the age of 50-60 has those markers.  It meant NOTHING.

SoooOOOoooo, I gained all that weight (back) for nothing.

I learned some valuable lessons.  Most importantly, not to ever give up on myself or my situation, no matter how dire the (sometimes quasi) diagnosis.  That my health still mattered, even if some aspects of it turn to shit.  (because let’s face it, turning to shit is going to happen rather sooner than later for anyone who’s 63 or so.)

So, having lived through that, I wonder how many other people might have situations in their lives that are less than ideal.  Still, no one has a perfect life.  We can wallow in self pity (like I did for the better part of a year), or we can pull up our big girl (or big boy) panties, and DEAL WITH IT.  Stop using it as an excuse to eat the freakin’ kitchen sink.  As an easy excuse to eat all the junk food and sugar.  Because frankly, that only makes a bad situation worse.

I realize it’s hard to sometimes see the forest for the trees when it feels like life is screwing you over.  I also have seen more than a few bloggers who seem to almost relish that, though.  We can’t let life’s lemons turn us bitter.  We need to make some lemonade, instead.

Sure, it’s easy for me to say, when things are going pretty great right now.  Sure, it’s rougher to do when life isn’t.  That said, don’t use excuses to define you.  Because we ALL have EXCUSES.  But, like the old saying goes:

Excuses are like assholes.  Everyone has one, and they all stink.

LOL

But you get my drift.  If life is treating you shitty, don’t succumb.  GET UP AND FIGHT.  Fight for what you CAN control, and you can ALWAYS control your weight, and your nutrition.  Because the best defense against so many diseases, and emotional mindsets, IS HEALTHY NUTRITION.  I wish I’d done that.  I wish someone had given me that advice, then.

Positive Thinking Quotes10

Be Positive Quotes  Week 2 (7)

Positive-Attitude-Quotes-Be-miserable.-Or-motivate-yourself.-Whatever-has-to-be-done-its-always-your-choice.-1024x680

So not only for yourself, but for everyone around you, are you going to be a drag, or a lift?

I for one don’t ‘follow’ bloggers who are drags.  I surround myself with those that are trying, are positive, who are moving forward.  I know success breeds success, and I like bloggers who are not just talking the talk, they are walking the walk.  Even if it’s just the beginning of their journey to better health.  And they don’t bitch and moan about everything all the time.  Positive people DO breed hope, and success.  For themselves, and for others.  THOSE are the people I prefer to surround myself with.  I won’t be co-dependent for any blogger…in the negative way.  For those mired in self pity, wallowing in the depths of despair or depression.  If that makes me a bad person, so be it.  I cannot help those bloggers, and they cannot help me.  So I just move away from a blogger when I find that is their path/mindset.

How about you?

Moving right along…

I had a BEAUTIFUL weekend!  We picked up my oldest grandson Friday right after work.  Yes, the toll road had a major accident that shut the road down, and it took 60 minutes to go the normal 30, home.  But I had my darling grandson at the end of that rainbow (and my hubby), and I took it in stride.  :)

We picked him up, (eventually), and made it to Sizzler for dinner.  I had part of a small salad, 1/3 of the steamed broccoli, and about 1/4 of my steak.  Here was what was sitting across from me:

10357133_10152783870625502_2591453745930436542_n

Actually, that photo was taken at lunch on Saturday.  Dur.  LOL

The boys had cinnamon rolls Saturday morning.  I didn’t.  By 11 am, we headed out, and went to lunch.  I had a hamburger patty with guacamole on it.  And 4 french fries in Ranch dressing.  Then we went to a collectibles show, and walked around for about 3-4 hours.  Then we went to my younger daughter’s home, nearby, and visited for about an hour.  Rare opportunity for all 3 of my grandsons to be together:

10378161_10152784303025502_1089978416304205709_n

10376426_10152784302875502_5935036149789664424_nIt was hard to get them to sit still long enough for these photos; a sure sign they were having a blast together!  D, the oldest, was SO good with both of them, even L, the 2 year old.  Warmed the cockles of my heart, indeed!

After we left, we decided we weren’t hungry for dinner before the movie.  We went to see Dumb and Dumber To.  Funny, for sure, but I remember the original being even funnier.  I did have a small amount of popcorn.  Afterwards, we went to Starbucks, and I got a small (“tall”) caramel machiato.  YUMMY.  Done for the day.

Yesterday, the normal Sunday breakfast.  The boys finished off the cinnamon rolls with theirs.  My daughter and her hubby arrived about 11 am, and all of us watched football together.  Hubby grilled steak and veggies, and baked potatoes for the men.  My daughter has lost 30 lbs. on the Beach Body program, so neither of us had potatoes.  I ate about 1/4 of my steak and had maybe a cup of veggies.  I wasn’t that hungry.

It was just a WONDERFUL weekend.  :)

If you haven’t already, PLEASE read my weekend post.  I truly believe it to be the very best, most important post I have ever written.  It has transformed my life!  If you maybe need a little transforming too, I am hopeful it will help.  :)

That’s it for now!  Feeling very blessed, very strong, very ‘all is right with the world’.

Love you!

Lucidity

lucidity

Definition:

1. clearness of thought or style

2. a presumed capacity to perceive the truth directly and instantaneously

THAT IS IT.

When I am in the ‘throes’ of chocolate….I may seem and FEEL and talk like I’m lucid, but really, I’m NOT.  It’s the craving/addiction cycling pattern at work, as the components of the chocolate work on my brain chemistry.  When I talk about needing to work out a way to allow chocolate into my life every x number of weeks/months/whatever…that is the craving/addiction cycling pattern still at work.  The key word being NEEDING.

Addictions are like that.  When our brains are trapped in the middle of processing the chemicals that affect our particular brain neurons, we literally can’t think straight.  Not everyone is addicted to a substance.  Not every person with an addictive ‘gene’ (or whatever causes it)…is addicted, of course, to everything.  Just certain items.  For me, it’s clearly chocolate.  Which is so weird because until I was 50, I really didn’t even like chocolate.  I preferred caramel.  But I’m not going down that path for the one millionth time here.

The point is, I AM addicted to chocolate.  When I talked for a couple of days (waxed on, really) about the deprivation mode, and perhaps ‘needing’ to find a way to allow a little bit of chocolate in my life every couple of weeks or so to stop ‘deprivation mode’, that was addiction talking.  Addiction still processing the neurons of the chocolate I had consumed

Now, three days removed, right on schedule (my schedule.  Might not be yours.)…..the brain is clearing and seeing things as they are, not clouded by addiction’s physical brain chemistry reactions.  THAT is the power of the substances we are (brain) chemically addicted to.  We THINK we are thinking rationally when our body still has it in our system(s), but we AREN’T

That’s one of the scary parts of addiction.  We think we are firing on all cylinders, but we aren’t.  Even a couple of days later when we start to go through the ‘rationalization’ portion of addiction.

I stopped writing at this point, wanting to find some information on the internet about that aspect of addiction.  I came up with an AMAZING piece of work, but it’s rather lofty and intellectual.  I am getting EXACTLY what she says, and it’s exactly what I want to say, but it’s kind of hurting my brain because I’m not super intelligent.  I will try to paraphrase below the link to the piece, which if you are pretty intellectual, and are interested in the mental games that go on with addiction, will be REALLY good information for you:

http://www.bma-wellness.com/papers/Addiction_Defenses.html

(italics below are her words.  everything else is my explanation:)

In essence, part of the process of an addiction includes creating a little internal world that will help preserve the addiction.  A self defense mechanism, to keep the addiction alive.  Without it, addictions would die off.    Everyone, every body has defensive mechanisms.  They are necessary for survival.  It is not the existence of these natural and necessary mental defense mechanisms but their maladaptive application that causes problems for people.  Like when you are addicted to a substance.  Brain chemistry changes from the addictive substance start to create maladaptive changes to normal defense mechanisms, to protect the very existence of the addiction.  Weird, crazy, but true.

Harmful and ultimately  painful addictive behaviors require a bodyguard of lies, distortions, and psychotic denial to fend off the natural corrective consequences of cognitive and behavioral dissonance resulting from addiction.  Like, say for instance, rationalization.  Like, convincing one’s self (or trying to) that ‘once every two weeks’ will keep the deprivation mode/mindset at bay.  THAT WAS ADDICTION TALKING in the format of maladaptive defense mechanisms.  Faulty thinking, in an attempt to keep the addiction alive:

For while psychotic denial may indeed protect the addicted individual from seeing the proverbial ‘elephant in the living room,’ he usually will be left with a certain smell and perhaps other reminders of the presence of the elephant that must somehow be accounted for and explained away in an agreeable manner,  i.e. in a manner that does not betray the presence of the elephant.

‘It’s not that bad,’ or ‘I am definitely going to stop – one day’ are classic evasions and rationalizations commonly found in established addictive processes. The addict is frequently quite ingenious in developing personal theories of his behavior that attempt to acknowledge, even if in a minimized and diluted fashion, the destructive consequences of his addictive behavior, while linking it with a complex, often Byzantine web of justifications, excuses, complaints and explanations, the bottom line of which always seems to be that ‘I don’t really need to stop just yet’ or ‘Now is not a good time to stop.’

HOLY SHIT.  That was me EXACTLY the past two days.

The worldview that is created by the addictive process is one that is compatible with and friendly to the interests of the addiction.

Yep, exactly.  I was trying to create a ‘new worldview’ that would allow for the addiction to continue.  (i.e., 100 calories of chocolate every two weeks would be allowed.)   The drug of chocolate still obviously coursing through my veins.

And you know what?  Every ‘addict’ goes through this.  This trying to change their worldview to allow for the addiction to continue.  EVERY ONE OF US ADDICTED TO A SUBSTANCE DOES THIS.

Your drug might not be chocolate.  It might be nuts.  Or donuts.  Or bagels.  Or wine.  Or sugar in any/all forms.  Or wheat in any/all forms.  Or beer.  But if you are addicted, if you see yourself in the above mindset about anything, rather food, drug, drinks, sex….you have an addictive personality.

And if you want to stop this type of worldview distortion, this type of mental gymnastics where the addictive substance takes OVER your brain and your thought processes, you have to remove the substance from your brain.

AND, it’s why ‘moderation’ really doesn’t work on substances we are addicted to.  WHY moderation gets so fucked up in our minds is because we aren’t addicted to ALL substances, so there are, of course, many many items we CAN eat in moderation and have no issue with.  We aren’t addicted to THOSE items.  But we try to say, universally, that ‘moderation’ should / can / must work on all items in our lives, and if we are addictive,

THAT JUST FUCKING CANNOT WORK.  SCIENTIFICALLY, CHEMICALLY, IT CANNOT WORK!!!

People who aren’t addictive, don’t get it.  They don’t get why moderation doesn’t work…because they aren’t addicted to anything.  They can ‘get away with’ moderation.  But seriously, because of all of the scientifically and medically done proof above, addictive personalities cannot live in a world where they consume their specific addictive substance(s) in moderation.  Because almost instantly the maladaptive defense mechanisms KICK IN.

It’s like going overboard on a boat in the middle of the ocean.  You have to struggle against the waves and swim and swim until you get back on the boat before calmness returns.  That is our brains after consuming our addictive substance.  It is fighting the waves and swimming and swimming to get back on the boat of normalcy, all the while the addictive substance is the waves and the tide and the sharks and whatever else conspires against us to return to the calm of the boat.

Don’t be afloat in the ocean, fighting the waves and the tide and the sharks and the jellyfish to get back onto the boat!!!

To take it one step further, for just a moment, you are probably asking yourself ‘why the hell would anyone knowingly or even unknowingly go through that hell?’  The answer is that in addition, the addictive substance is providing bio-chemical changes that give us the “AHHHH” / highs of the substance.  And that is what our body tries to preserve.

So there is your struggle, when you are addicted to a substance.  For me, it explains EVERYTHING.    EVERY FUCKING THING.  Sorry my potty mouth, but it’s SO SO IMPORTANT to me, that I’m resorting to gutter talk to make the point.

I want to live a life of Lucidity.  I want to live large (figuratively speaking, not literally LOL)…and IN CHARGE.  And I am not large and in charge…I am not thinking lucidly, when I’m digesting chocolate.  Or for several (usually three) days afterwards.  Oh, I go about my business, I appear to everyone and myself like I’m very intellectually rationalizing everything, but that’s the key:   ‘rationalizing’ things.  THAT is the addiction defense mechanisms at work.

This is such a freaking AHA moment for me, I’m putting the Lucidity sign on my side bar.  I want to see it every freaking day.  I want it to remind me to NOT let the maladaptive defense mechanisms of addiction to take over.  To fall trap to that.

Will I be 10000% successful at this, from this very moment on?  I will try very very hard to be.  I do deserve the right to give permission to any one of you to slap me upside dah head and scream LUCIDITY to me if I veer off course.

I will say though, two more things:

1.  each time I consume chocolate, the length of time before the next consumption HAS been increasing.  By a lot.  That is telling me that I am ‘winning’ this war over this addiction.  Growth is always in baby steps…two steps forward, one step back.  Still moving forward though.  That is NOT giving myself permission for more chocolate consumption.  That is saying that despite the addiction, I can see that I am improving, getting better, breaking free.

2.  I never had this information about addiction at my disposal before.  I truly feel like it is a game changer for me.  The sad thing is, as a child of an addict, why didn’t I read up before?  Why didn’t I discover medical/science information like this before?  I could even see how it was my (inherited) addictive personality maladaptive defense mechanisms at work; keeping me from researching that which might help end / alleviate the addiction.  Not that an addict is EVER cured.  Doesn’t happen.  But we can lucidly work to keep our sobriety!!  It’s articles like the link above, and hopefully my layman’s explanation of it, can help all of us in our own individual addictions.  Because like to hear it or not, every overweight person, every person who has ever been obese or beyond a ‘healthy BMI’…is addicted to some substance.  Whether they have been able to rise above their maladaptive defense mechanism to identify it or not yet.

I feel AMAZING.  This is SUCH a game changer for me!

So, in a nutshell, fuck chocolate in two weeks time.  Hopefully, if I keep all this front and center, I can say fuck chocolate for all time…certainly WAY longer than two weeks or even two months!!!

Are you ready to see if this is applicable to you?

Holiday Scale Accountability Club, v.5

imageedit_18_6774815507

Well, up .4 for the week.  :(  We know why.  I was ‘good’ the rest of the week….including yesterday.  No chocolate at all, but I ain’t gonna lie.  Between 2-4 pm, at work, I did have cravings.  But I toughed them out.  And when they announced a vendor had brought cookies, around 4, I pushed past that out too.  (oh hell, yep, it’s beginning to be THAT season!!!  The ‘season’ of nonstop vendor sugar holiday offerings…)

But, my mind is made up.  I cannot have any chocolate for 2 weeks.  I will try up to 100 calories at that time, IF the craving is there.  I won’t ‘force’ chocolate on myself at that time, just because 2 weeks have passed.  We will see.  Today should be easier.

BUT, the weekend is going to be fraught with challenges!

We pick up our 17 year old grandson after I get home from work today.  He’ll be spending the entire weekend with us.  Wait.  Let me back up.  Lunch today will be at Newport Rib Company.  I will get their (amazing) tri tip (BBQ’d/sauced) lunch.  I get 2 sides.  I will get cole slaw (eat it sparingly), and steamed veggies.  No loaded baked potato, no floured french fries.  No garlic mashed potatoes.  My lunch partners will all have those.

After we pick up my grandson, we always stop at Sizzler for dinner.  I’ll have a small (6 oz.) steak and steamed broccoli.  Best I can do for the day.

Tomorrow, we’ll have 2 meals at restaurants.  I’ll be beef protein, with some veggies.

ALL of these meals will include the gentle request of ‘no added salt, please!’

Sunday will be normal; just watching football with him.  Still undecided if his parents will come up for the afternoon game and we’ll grill, or if I’ll meet them somewhere halfway between late in the afternoon to drop him off.  (they live 2 hours away just above the Mexican border.)

Tomorrow we will take him to Frank & sons (a collectibles show, like a mini Comic Con) and to see Dumb and Dumber to-the movie.

So you can see, lots of dining out challenges just for the weekend.

The rest of the week should be a piece of cake, except, wait, on Tuesday we have an employee meeting followed by our annual Holiday Raffle.  In the past it has always had a bake sale attached to it, but now that I think about it, they haven’t mentioned that at all, so I’m hopefully ‘off the hook’ re seeing homemade desserts littered over everyone’s desk.  LOL

ANYHOW, I have made it through the chocolate foray of Wednesday, without a repeat yesterday, and each day the cravings will lessen, so I got that going on.  ;)

Still, weight is up for the week by a few ounces, but still, that’s a ‘lose’ for the week.  With this weekend ahead of me, it will be a challenge to lose, but what the hell Gwen, that’s what this CLUB is for!  Makes better/the best possible choices, each and every day!

So, how did you do?  What challenges lie ahead for you over the next seven days?

Make it a GREAT week, my friends!  Love you, and thank you so much for being part of the Club, and supporting me over the past 48 hours!  :)

 

Reviewing the event

reviewing-quarterly-performance

I’m assuming everyone has read’s yesterday’s post….the one I wrote after I more-than-a-little indulged (impromptu) in some milk chocolate for the first time in nearly 2 months.  If not, please go read it.

Since it happened, a couple of things:

1.  Once I posted here, I stopped the chocolate consumption.  Dead cold in the water.

2.  I made sure I exercised, even though I’ve been having a problem with one of my ankles.  The ankle (thankfully) wasn’t hurting, so I pressed on with my dancing for a good work out.  First in several days.

3.  I ate nothing but protein and non-starchy veggies for dinner.

4.  I allowed no snacks.

5.  I spent some spare time pockets thinking.  Not self berating, but thinking.  Not justifying, not rationalizing, but THINKING.  Not disordered thinking, but mulling over, self-evaluation/process-evaluation thinking.

ALL good.  It was time to do that.

First off, let me state that this was the first time in a LONG time that I chose to eat chocolate NOT due to stress.   I did it from a sense of just wanting to.  With full, conscious willingness to accept the consequences.  Yes, there WAS a sense of deprivation that caused it, if ’cause’ has to be determined. (The ‘why can everyone else enjoy chocolate once in a while if they aren’t physically, classically allergic to it, but I can’t?  Just for 5-10 minutes?’ type of thinking.)

I almost look at that ‘deprivation’ mode as more of a source of concern than if I’d simply been stressed out.  Only because I know the ‘deprivation’ mindset has been an issue in previous attempts to maintain weight loss.  So I’m paying a lot of attention to that.

I have to say, also, while I was hashing things out in my mind, I felt I needed to address that it’s also bugging me a little that staying at 1200 calories for so long, without these 8-10 lbs. melting off as usual…has been mildly frustrating.  I think THAT is what caused a bit of a deprivation melt down yesterday.  It’s bad enough that my adult lifelong yo-yo dieting behavior has jacked up my metabolism enough that anything over 1200 calories leads to weight gain.  I know better to not drop below 1200 calories consistently, so/but when 1200 doesn’t drop the weight off consistently…it ticks me off.  Because I feel boxed into a corner.

So rather than beating myself up about it, I’ve been contemplating that perhaps I might need to try to wrap my head around the fact that maybe low 130’s is where, at this point in time, my body needs to be….period.

That’s still a healthy BMI for my height.

I still wear size small clothes.  Even if I were to wear a size medium or a 6, so what?  2 years ago I would’ve begged for that.  ANYONE overweight would beg for that.

I set expectations for myself that are, for right now, probably unrealistic.  I am beginning to see that.

but I still CRAVE control.

I still crave a healthy sense of self esteem.

I will NOT alter that, not for any taste or any flavor.

So I have to weigh it all, in my heart and my brain.

It’s apparently time to tweak, perhaps re-calibrate.  I’ve been in maintenance for 14 months.  I’m about 8 lbs. higher than my lowest in maintenance, but still several pounds lower than I was when I DECLARED I was in maintenance.

Things I DO know:

1.  I will never allow myself to vary more than 2-3 pounds again, even in a lengthy vacation setting.  (which happens rarely, and won’t happen again before summer 2016.)

2.  I don’t trust myself entirely around chocolate, but I think it’s because I’ve convinced myself I can’t.  Does that make sense?  I used to be able to eat, for months, (through the entire time I was losing the 60 plus excess pounds)….1-2 Hershey Nuggets many days…while I was losing all of my weight.  (I wasn’t NGNS-5 then.  I was more into the 80/20 or 90/10 principle.)  I stopped because of concerns about healthy blood sugar reasons.  Now I have to decide if that would be doable, say, once every 2 weeks maybe.  On a trial basis.  To keep the ‘deprivation mode’ reaction that yesterday was after nearly 2 months of no chocolate.  I have to weigh the pros and cons.

That requires a few more days of mulling that over.  CAN I control chocolate like that, as I do onion rings?  Is it emotionally necessary for me to try, in perhaps one controlled setting test on myself?  I’m not sure.  I’m thinking on that.  I DO know that if I do this kind of lapse again, I will be happier if I am able to set one set of rules upon myself over it.  Perhaps, knowing that I can allow myself to do it once every couple of weeks, removes the cloud of ‘deprivation’ from it, and will allow me to stop at the acceptable level of ‘100 calories worth ONLY, no two days in a row’, because I will know there will be another 100 calories allowed, guilt-free, in another couple of weeks.

Yes, it is mind gaming with myself.  But it’s necessary.  As a very controlling (self) person, I need to set guidelines and rules for myself, to be at my happiest.  THAT is a fact.

Right now, I’m juggling the knowledge that to be physically happiest, I have to continue to keep chocolate at bay, mostly all of the time.  But to be emotionally happiest, probably once in a proverbial blue moon, I might have to relax, allow 100 calories worth or so, and just enjoy it…to keep deprivation mindset out of the picture.  It IS TRULY a juggling act.  I am weighing now the pros and cons.

3.  it’s the same thing about my weight.  It appears, for right now, mid 120’s is impossible without ruining my metabolism further, or going into deprivation mindset from cutting out the tiny amounts of non-primal I emotionally need to enjoy in my ‘5%’ of NGNS-5.  I’m juggling the science with the emotions, to come to terms with that.  I fear deprivation mode.  I know how it has derailed me in the past.  Every single time in the past.  If I have to negotiate a tiny bit more with myself and the science of healthy primal foods, to allow for a 5% bit of humanity (Mark Sisson himself allows for 20%!)…then I just do.  I’m working on reconciling to the fact no one expects perfection….and being okay with that.  While still maintaining 95% control.  95% of anything is a solid A work level.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m going about my day (and nights.)  Life rolls on.  I’m not sitting in a rocking chair, frozen, obsessing over this.  I watched TV, did football picks last night, I’ve come to work, etc.  Life does roll along.  I’m not fretting.  I’m just mulling over my options.  I’m reassessing what is working, what isn’t.  I’m not holding myself to something that worked in 2013, but isn’t working the end of 2014.  In other words, I’m not stagnating, and I’m not holding myself to a level of perfection that isn’t sustainable.  But I’m also NOT ‘caving.’  I’m not giving up.  I’m not NOT believing in primal eating, and the nutritional soundness of it.  I’m just trying to figure out, for me in November 2014, what level of tweaking of the less than 100%, is doable and sustainable for ME.

So, that’s where I am this fine day.

One thing I DO know; there will be no more chocolate for at least 2 weeks.  I’m pretty much working with that new ‘ism’, at the moment.  Structure is Gwen’s friend.  :)

Thanks for listening to the inner workings of my (twisted? LOL) mind.  :)

How are YOU doing?

I’m human! OHHHH, how I’m human.

After no chocolate since mid September, I face palmed into chocolate today.

Back to Square One, tomorrow.

Well, it’s proof that even after over 2 months, I can’t have one piece of chocolate and stop THERE.  If there was any doubt about it’s ‘trigger food’ affect for me, not anymore.

Yeesh.

doh

MjAxMy1jZTU5NmExM2M0NzRhNGM3

SOOOOO, re-set the calendar:

1.  Tomorrow, day One of 3 days of abstinence required to stop the chocolate urges.

2.  Tomorrow, day One of the newest ‘no chocolate’ streak.

Will I ever kick chocolate permanently to the curb?  If I don’t, is it really the end of the world?  I mean a forage once every 6-8 weeks or so, is that really so bad?  It feels like it is, but is it emotionally healthy to be that way?  I know Karen and her food sobriety would think so, but …?

81-groan

 

In any case, I WANT to be sober from chocolate.  I really do.  Just, apparently, not today/this afternoon.  I’m not going to use any excuses about why, it just happened.  And then I had several more ‘nuggets.’  :: groan again ::

Well, OVER AND DONE.

Sorry guys; don’t look up to me too much.  I’m not perfect.  I doubt I ever will be.  But I’m pretty darned good most days, weeks, months.  That’s what matters, right?  :(