I used to think sugar was the reason I was addicted to food. Sugar was the reason my hormones were out of whack. Sugar was the reason I wasn’t skinny.
It was all sugar’s fault.
And depending on the diet I was on, this included all carbs too. Because all carbs turn into sugar. Haven’t you heard???
And occasionally fruit, too. Depending on my diet, fruit became a horrible, unhealthy menace, ruining my life and my skin and my ability to fall in love and become successful and happy and healthy.
And, of course, the more I cut out sugar, the more it all became a self fulfilling prophecy. The less I ate sugar, or the more I tried to cut it out, the more I craved it and the harder time my body had processing it when I would inevitably eat some. My body’s impaired reaction to carbs and sugar just seemed to prove my beliefs about sugar even more.
But 4 years ago I decided to give up giving up sugar. I started eating sugar again, full force. I was over my futile attempts to find the perfect diet. I was over the yo-yo. I was over obsessing over my weight. I was over bingeing. I was over it all.
I knew there had to be a better way. And now, 4 years later, my relationship to sugar is… awesome.
I did not spiral into a 4 year sugar binge. It was more like a 3 month sugar binge, then, it normalized.
And guess what? Now that I eat carbs, I can handle carbs. My weight is now stable and consistent. I eat lots of carbs every day, but I can tell when my body has enough. Not only that, but I can tell, mid-dessert, when I’m ready to stop.
Eating sugar does not make me a bottomless sugar pit, instead, eating sugar actually ended my dysfunctional relationship to it.
I fed my body sugar, and finally, my body started speaking to me and telling me what it needed.
And while I am certainly not saying that eating candy and only candy – or poptarts and only poptarts – for the rest of your life is a good idea, I now know that sugar is not my worst enemy. And chances are, it is not your worst enemy either.
Here is the truth: we need sugar. Our brain runs on sugar. We also need way more than just sugar (fat, protein, minerals, vitamins, sunshine, sleep, connection, oxygen). But we need carbs and sugar, too. And the less you eat it, the more you’ll crave it, and the harder your body will work to break down protein and muscle into sugar for your brain to use (to keep you alive!). The less you eat carbs, the slower your body will burn fuel, in order to conserve energy. Meaning, the less you eat carbs, the slower your metabolism.
Hey, if you are someone who has completely healed your life and your health by cutting out sugar, by all means, please keep doing what you are doing. I mean it.
But if you are most people, odds are, things aren’t better. You still feel addicted to food. You’re still bingeing. You’re still cold, and tired, and reactive to food.
Maybe, just maybe, your issues aren’t from sugar, but from the assumption that cutting out sugar is the answer.
For me, cutting out sugar was not the answer. And you had better fucking believe I tried over and over again for 10 years.
Let me ask you something… how confused do you get every time someone suggests Honey as a health food? Yea. I know. I did the same thing.
B-b-b-but how can honey be healthy… when it is SUGAR. And lots of it?
Even on the GAPS diet (the most restrictive gut healing protocol I’ve ever tried) she recommends honey. (I am not saying you should do that GAPS diet, I am saying… sugar is NOT the evil we have pinned it as.)
Sugar is not your problem. Your problem is your fucked up relationship with food. Your problem is the famine you keep putting your body on. Your problem is the judgement, fear, and misery you are experiencing and putting your body through again and again. Your problem is listening to everyone else except your body.