As someone who is on a continued journey of recovery from an Eating Disorder, I know all too well the high that comes from inhaling a packet of Tim Tams, a tub (or three) of Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream and a few bagfuls of peanut M&M’s, all on zombie mode in a quiet place free from view. The subsequent sugar rush an exhilarating, comforting, effortless therapy for the ugly feelings and thoughts circulating ones being. Things suddenly feel better, sadness is dissolved, doubt overridden, fear withdrawn and anxiety abolished. Its (sugar) “medicinal properties” only last for as long as it takes for you to swallow that final mouthful; that my friends, is where it expires and the sugary exhilaration which made you feel all so invincible, is immediately replaced with remorse, stomach cramps and those very same thoughts & emotions* which triggered that wicked first bite.
Much like a toxic friend, sugar is always lurking around, ready to pounce at the slightest moment of weakness. She stalks your emotions and advertisers herself as a great therapist when things are pretty low. All sweet and delicate, wrapped in a seemingly enticing veil of comfort, she gloats and parades herself about, using her great knack for reverse psychology to subtly convince you into believing that her presence in your life truly lightens your load. When really all she leaves you with is a modified self worth and pant size.
Moral of the story – your happiness will never benefit from toxic people or sugary treats.
But, it’s not only when times are low that sugar makes a star appearance. It’s every single day. It’s the awkward office morning teas, the first date dessert, your best friend’s birthday, the lazy Friday night dinner. It’s thrown in our faces constantly – on the back of the bus in traffic, in between episodes of New Girl, at the checkout when trying to subtly by tampons. And, whilst saying a simple two letter word (NO) would save many a cursed comment in front of the mirror, it’s just not that easy. Having that kind of strength, especially when we’ve trained our body into becoming reliant on a sweet “pick-me-up”, takes much time, effort and surely a few hissy-fits, to master.
In a shared NYE resolution, my dearest friend K and I have committed to each other, and ourselves, to Sarah Wilson’s 8 Week “I Quit Sugar” program (which kicks off tomorrow) in the hope that we not only find the strength within ourselves to fight that double coated Cherry Ripe addiction, but to instead crave a healthier, more nutritious option. We’re determined to offer our bodies, minds and pearly whites the opportunity reap the grand benefits of living a more balanced, nutritious, sugar-free lifestyle. Surely, there’ll be killer headaches, childlike tantrums and unsavoury words, possible road rage, zombie like lethargy and withdrawals similar to that of kicking a drug addiction – but hey, who wouldn’t want to share that experience with their best friend? Encouragement is the key and I have no doubt we’ll keep each other well & truly motivated, and most certainly amused along the way.
Feel free to check in on our journey over the next 8 weeks, and don’t hesitate to share your tips for overcoming the hurdles – I have no doubt we’ll need it!
Liss Actually x
* If ever you find yourself consumed by sadness, fear, doubt or hopelessness, please find someone you trust to talk these feelings though, or call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636. You are never alone.