Sweet Epiphany–Kicking the Sugar Habit, Part 2

Thanks to all of you who sent emails about kicking the sugar habit. I am going to share more details here and answer some of your questions.

Most wanted to know ‘how’ this works now, or more specifically, what am I going to ‘do’ differently now.

First, the ‘reason’ this was so huge is that when I originally thought that sugar was a ‘no’ category, this created tremendous resistance around it. I literally felt like an alcoholic with it in that I could put it down for periods of time, but when I would pick it up again, I felt powerless to say no. I’ve heard people say that if they start in the morning with sugar, they want it all day long, for instance.

Now, to know that I reach for it primarily for anxiety, which is fear of the future/projected pain in the future, I can simply be aware of this and move back to the present. In this moment, I can take an action instead of triggering my lifelong habit and checking out again. When we are under the spell of habits, often we reach for them so quickly that we lose our conscious choice to do something different.

As I have allowed my mind to wander with this new epiphany, other thoughts came to me. My childhood abuse involved sweets…a reward of sorts. Children’s taste buds change around 7 and 8, and children naturally like sugar more when their taste buds change. My stepfather at the time was part deaf from working on airplanes for a living without proper headgear, and his voice boomed through the house startling my brother and me. We were terrified of talking in front of him, and for a long time, would whisper our requests into my mother’s ear.

Action has always been my safe haven. When I am moving, I feel empowered. I may not know all the details of where I am going, but I know I will be guided in the moment.

Fear trips a wire within each one of us and we choose fight, flight or freeze. When I was little, I would fight. As I grew older, I learned that fighting was not ‘acceptable’ at school, at home, with friends so I started to run away. By the time I hit my 20s, I realized running away was only prolonging the pain. However, I can readily see that I freeze on the big decisions in my life. I knew a year and a half into my first marriage I wanted to leave, and it took nearly 7 more years and 80 lbs. before I did it. I did the same thing again with switching careers. Oh, yes, I moved and did take action, but not in a proactive, empowered way.

I believe in the power of awareness so much because I realize that awareness offers us a key into the Self we truly are. Awareness offers us a gift to speak our truth and to live it, too.

What I will do differently now…I’ll use the tools I share with clients to acknowledge my fears, form an intention in alignment with what I most want to create and then come back to the present and take inspired action. The searing burn I felt on my left side the last two weeks held old energy, which I cleared. I often say…expand first unless you can’t keep moving. If you are stuck, clear and then begin again with a new intention.

The teacher teaches what she most needs to learn and remember!


By |April 23rd, 2011|Fear, Habits, Well-Being|0 Comments

My Sweet Epiphany–Kicking the Sugar Habit

I often share stories about how I ‘arrive’ at an awareness. Each person has their own way, I believe. Still, the steps are often the same.

In coaching and working with people for the last 20 years, I have noticed that most people’s ‘problems’ or ‘concerns’ are ‘bundled’ around two or three items – no more, ever. What this means is that no matter how big your problems might feel or seem, they are really held together by two or three ‘central ideas’ that, once you become aware of them, will lose their grip on you.

When I work with clients, I am searching for the linchpins so we can release them quickly so the person can move quickly.

Now, why I never decided to do this for myself in this area, I can’t tell you, but, as always, when I am ready…my soul is waiting for her turn.

When I was a little girl, I was a normal weight until I hit 8 or so. That’s when I started stuffing myself with sugar in all of its delicious forms. From boxes and boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to cakes, sugar became a dear friend. In high school, my favorite lunch was a Vanilla Coke and ice cream sandwich from Dairy Queen.

I played competitive sports and though I was never ‘thin,’ I was able to keep my weight down to about 25 lbs. overweight for most of my teens. This was a tremendous improvement from being 80 lbs. overweight before discovering tennis.

There have been times in my life when I have had absolutely no desire for sugar at all, but given the chance, would love to eat it.

In 2008, I learned I have ADHD though the doctors say I have ‘mastered’ my distractedness, the ‘H’ stands for hyperactivity, and people with ADHD (according to my doctor) have brains that naturally need more sugar. Our bodies are getting the message over and over again, “Hey, send some sugar on up here!” But, the problem is that if we feed our bodies refined sugar, then we set off an insulin response that dumps more adrenaline into the system.

It’s clear to me how I have literally been using sugar like a junkie to ‘get myself’ to do something. When I am ‘sugared up,’ I can drive right to a finish line. Luckily, nature is telling me my body can’t keep doing this.

Last week, a series of event led to one of my ‘sweetest’ epiphanies and I want to share this ‘journey’ with you.

I woke up one day at the end of March and ‘remembered’ that when I kicked my two-latte a day habit, I just asked the angelic realm for help. I said, “Angels, I don’t want to be addicted to caffeine any more and I don’t want to go through withdrawals, either. Please help me.” And they did. I just went about my business and a couple of days later, I just didn’t want them anymore. No headaches. No withdrawals. Just no cravings. After that, I could have a latte here and there without the impulse to keep drinking them.

So, in March, I thought, Ah, I just need to ask for help again with sugar. The ugly truth about ADHD in adults is that after years and years of overloading the body with adrenaline, the acid builds up in the body and starts to look a lot like fibromyalgia. I would literally wake up hurting from head to toe after a sugar binge. I certainly appeared to look like a junkie! My mother is 20 years and a month or so older than me, so I have watched her walk the path, and she and I went together to find a ‘cure’ back in 2008, and came home feeling like new people. However, there is no ultimate ‘cure’ other than to quit poisoning the system and stop the vicious cycle!

I took the cue to ‘ask’ for help and just like a charm, I left sugar alone for two weeks. I didn’t crave it or want it. I breezed by ice cream, cakes and soda. Then, I wanted to finish a project. I reached for my good ol’ standby…coffee loaded with cream and sugar. All sugared up, I flew through the project. If you have seen the movie Limitless, I am like the guy on NZT when I have my caffeine-sugar cocktail!

From there, I had some major decisions to make on my website. I tried, but nothing felt right. The truth is my intuition was talking, and I felt scared. I felt ‘frozen.’ I started eating ice cream like I couldn’t get enough of it. I am not a binger…but one ice cream a day is a lot for me. My favorite stress reliever is peanut butter chocolate ice cream.

All of these things are happening. I am eating the sugar, so I am numbed out. My breasts are screaming at me telling me to nurture myself, but I am trying to ‘get something done!’ My website! I have a deadline!!! It’s coming up!

Last Saturday, we attended a bar-b-que with many other families. I ended up talking to a friend about sugar. The topic of our kids craving sugar like little addicts came up, and, of course, we have seen this with Chance. My friend told me about an article she had read about Demi Moore and how she eats NO sugar EVER. And commented that she felt that was very ‘grown up’ to just say, “No” to sugar and be done with it. I mentioned that I had felt the same way recently, that it was time to ‘grow up’ about taking care of the physical. It’s not like I don’t have all of the ‘knowledge’ to do it. And, certainly, I feel MUCH clearer and less moody without the sugar highs and lows.

I am not sure what happened with that conversation, but as we drove home, I had many ‘noticings’ drop into my awareness. I thought of asking the angels and how that is a surefire way to definitely do away with the cravings. And, then I had some paperwork to submit for my degree plan, and I happened to see that Deepak Chopra says anxiety is pain projected into the future. I then remembered a dream I had a couple of months ago about being in my kitchen “creating” and not being able to ‘finish’ because I kept stopping to go eat peanut butter cookies (the wafer kind) with melted chocolate on them. Then I remembered when I feel anxious in a group of people, often because I am not grounded, I will drink a cup of coffee with cream and sugar to ground my energy quickly.

It was as if a reel of clips played out on top of my consciousness! I realized in that moment that the only time I reach for sugar is when I am anxious. And, just like I’ve seen with clients, the awareness of what is causing the chain of events set me free!

It is one thing to think you are a sugar junkie and to claim a huge burden of ‘stuff’ and it is quite another to know that each time I am reaching for sugar it is to 1. Drive over my anxiety or my intuitive sensitive side and/or 2. Avoid feeling what I am feeling in the moment and/or to feel SAFE. I realized, I ‘check out’ when I feel anxious or unsure. Sugar makes it easy to do this because it is like taking a numbing pill. I discovered sodas will put you into a comatose state!

When I told Mark about my discovery, he just looked at me quizzically and said, “So, you’ve always known you are an emotional eater?” But, that is not true! I eat sugar to squelch my feelings and to numb out what I am feeling. I went back in time and sure enough… I have done this over and over again when I have a HUGE DECISION to make and I feel UNSAFE.

Of course, Louise Hay in Heal Your Body cites the same thing for ‘overweight’ – Fear, need for protection. Running away from feelings. Insecurity, self-rejection. This is absolutely it… Self-rejection! I reject my SELF when I turn to this habit to ‘get through’ whatever I’m feeling.

I have been using sugar to lower the intensity of what I feel since I was a little girl! This is simply a habit formed by a little girl who had no other way to ‘protect’ herself from the energy she felt swirling around her in many ways. Today, I am an adult that can help with new strategies.

So, I have ONE thing to be aware of now. I can manage that. It feels so EASY! And, I know EXACTLY what to do when I feel these things (Spirit brought us the most amazing program last fall during Ultimate Well-being), but I must CONSCIOUSLY choose to do something else. Now that I am aware, I can’t go back to being ignorant. If I choose to eat sugar, then I will do so consciously now that I know this is my habit.

Another thing I noticed is that when I go ‘numb’ I feel that I lose weeks of my life to it. It is as if I ‘wake back up’ when I am ready to deal with the decision that needs attention. What I realize most is that the part of me that could ‘answer’ is silenced by the sugar…so managing the anxiety is important. I realize, too, I am not alone. There are many other ‘superstars’ who deal with this type of anxiety.

I believe awareness is key, though. Now, instead of feeling there is a huge mosh pit to be dealt with in the ‘sweets’…I can simply acknowledge my feelings in the moment and choose to stay conscious, and notice that if I am craving peanut butter and chocolate, there is some part of me that requires my love and attention. Life is too short to ride around with tire tracks on my back from driving over myself!

Feels like a whole new day!


Brand New Day

By |April 21st, 2011|Fear, Habits, Well-Being|0 Comments