My name is Trudi and I’m a Sugar-Holic

Has the thought of giving up sugar come across your mind? Or has someone ever suggested that sugar take the back seat in your diet? Does the thought of no sugar make you think you’ll die without it?

Part I

In 1996 I totally balked at the suggested by someone to eliminate sugar in my diet. I was at a church fellowship function, where of course there were lots of sugar-laden deserts and my plate was full of them. I had elected to take a nutrition course in college and according to the text and the professor, there was nothing wrong with sugar. (Bet your bottom dollar that will be the subject of a future post!) I was a distance runner in high school and college and still competitively running 6 years later. Between my genetics and active lifestyle, I didn’t need to worry about calories and weight—or so I thought!

In the year 2001, I somehow came across the book, Lick the Sugar Habit. It changed my life, and my health. I recall now reading about the physiological process of bone calcification and how sugar interfered with this and caused soft tissues for examples muscle and fascia, to develop calcification—tissues that in order to function properly, should not have calcium deposits. This kind of freaked me out. In fact I was more than kind of freaked out by Appleton’s list of 77 diseases that sugar contributes to or causes—all footnoted with scientific references! Asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, osteoporosis, varicose veins…the list goes on and on.
I’m one of those people that typically will learn a lesson to stay away from something really bad through seeing others facing the consequences. But like most people, I do have to just learn for myself—from my own experience. Still, one very motivating factor for me is understanding the how & why. When we read books, as with any art, we naturally are affected by them somehow.

I read this book and came face to face simultaneously with knowledge and fear—and the option to change. Suddenly, my 20 year-old habit of eating 95% of my daily calories in the form of highly sugar-laden foods didn’t seem like an option anymore—at least it was worth an experiment! The author’s personal story intertwined with her documentation of the science was intriguing and scary to me.

My sugar-laden diet had grown considerably since flying away from my parents nest. We had regular breakfasts & dinners as a family and fairly well-balanced meals (although in some cases highly processed), including vegetables at dinner and fruit for lunch. Our family diet also included plenty of home-baked cookies, fudge, and popcorn balls for after school snacks and weekend deserts. When sweets were available during my high school years the only limitation was that of sharing, it wasn’t a matter of “You’ve had enough sweets for the day.” Result: I could eat a whole dozen snickerdoodle cookies after one of Mom’s afternoon baking sessions. During college and early in my career, I continued to increase my sugary foods for breakfast and snacks. Typical breakfast: 2 Bowls of Honeycomb cereal and a glass of orange juice, then a convenient store pit stop on the way to work for a 6-pack of mini powdered donuts and another orange juice. It reached the point that one day a co-worker stated to me, “Every time I see you, you’re eating.” It was true, and what was worse, was that it was always sugary foods (fruit yogurt, ice cream bars, milk chocolate, donuts, cookies, etc.) I ate something every few hours and I thought it was just because I had this crazy high metabolism—but I learned exactly what the underlying driver of this incessant craving was all about!
Her story, combined with her scientific documentation, was enough motivation to give it a try–licking the sugar habit for myself.

So how about the motivation?

To be continued…