Thursday, June 1, 2017

Treating your eating disorder will treat your "sugar addiction"

I've been thinking a lot about sugar recently. Sweet Biscuits! You too?!

I just went to the dentist...da, da, da, duuuuum (the ominous Beethoven chords). I have several cavities, all on the left side of my mouth. The dentist said it was most likely from the gummy prenatal vitamins I took last year. Hmmm. Well, that's a bummer. Sometimes you feel like you just can win, ya know? You think you're doing something right...

Also, my older son has been having chronic diarrhea that comes and goes for, I don't know, forever. We recently figured out that it is likely from a fructose-malabsorption issue. Meaning, it is not good for him to eat too many high-fructose fruits or food with high-fructose corn syrup. We're talking about blowing through boxes of diapers. I've never heard of someone not tolerating fruit before, but a low-fructose diet is helping him tremendously. It is most likely something he will grow out of, hopefully. Or, at least, he should be able to handle more fruits in the future. Weird, huh?

There are so many opinions about sugar. So many. Say! Why don't I add another? OOOOOOK.

Some people think it's a slow acting poison. Some people think sugar is addictive. Some people think that sugar tricks our brains into thinking we aren't full when we are.

I'm not going to scientifically study sugar and it's effects so I guess I'll never really know the answer to the ever popular question, is sugar bad or not? There's fructose, glucose, sucrose, lactose, and maybe more, I don't know. But if you were to say that all sugar is bad and you should not eat it, I'm not sure what else you'd have left to eat!

So, I can't answer the blanket sweep of a question, but what I do think is that I can answer the question of is sugar bad for me? For me. Not you. Not you. Not you either. I can only answer the question of whether or not sugar is bad for me.

Honestly, and maybe a priest can correct me here, sugar is not inherently evil in and of itself. Sugar is neither good nor bad, morally speaking. It's neutral!

Yup, that's right. Eating sugar does not make you a bad person. Go back and read that again. You are not a bad person if you eat sugar! There is no such thing as "sinfully delicious chocolate", "decadently indulgent cookies", "wickedly naughty ice cream", or whatever. All those things, chocolate, ice cream, cookies, or other sweets are morally neutral. Eating them does not make you a bad person.

Similar to alcohol, also something that is neither morally good nor bad. However, ahem, however, how one uses it determines the morality. It's about what you do with it.

Personally, I cannot handle drinking alcohol. It was a long road to get to where I am today, and I'm not about to throw it all away so I can have a glass a wine. By the grace of God, I realize I am limited, and humbled, by the unfortunate fact that I do not know when enough is enough. For whatever reason, and it's not just because I haven't tried hard enough, I cannot moderately drink alcohol.

The best way to approach my situation is to end my relationship with alcohol completely. No more drinking. No more getting drunk. No more addiction. No more sin. (It's so not that easy, I know.)

I used to feel the same way about sugar, once upon a a decade ago....or longer.

I do not feel the same way about sugar now. I feel like I am capable of eating sugar in moderation. I actually feel like I can eat anything in moderation....again by the glorious grace of God. Ever since I found healing from my eating disorder, I am freed from any sugar binging episodes or temptations. I am actually listening to my body and my hunger cues. I actually pay attention to things that give me an upset stomach or headache. I pay attention to food that I like and make me feel good. I don't like to drink pop because it makes me too bloated and gassy. But I'll still have one every now and then. But I'm not like drinking it by the case just because I am over my eating disorder (myth buster #gazillion). I love Sea Salted Carmel Truffles. I get them every now and then and it makes me happy. Again, not eating them by the case.

Treating my eating disorder inadvertently treated my "sugar addiction".

I thought I was addicted to sugar. I felt like I had absolutely no control when it came to eating. And that is absolutely terrifying. Especially, because of, influenced by, etc., all those dang grocery store checkout aisle magazines. We. must. control. our. bodies. If not, we are likely to end up fat, loveless, jobless, joyless, and oh yeah, did I mention fat?

With alcohol, you can give it up and never go back, if you so choose. But if you are struggling with an eating disorder, especially Binge Eating Disorder, you can't really give up eating.....then it would be called Anorexia.....which happens more often than you might think.....and you are still in a mess.

So, I think (just my opinion) it is very possible that some people think they are addicted to sugar or can't eat it in moderation, but, in reality, they are struggling with a binge eating disorder.

The withdraw symptoms of a "sugar addiction" don't hold a candle to the withdraw symptoms of an alcohol or drug addiction. Talking about your past/present/reoccurring sugar addiction at a party is really pretty rude, considering someone else there probably is personally affected by drug abuse or alcoholism.

I will not down play a perceived sugar addiction. The effects of an eating disorder are very awful. It consumes your life. It can cause depression and suicide. So, yeah, misdiagnosing an eating disorder and calling it a "sugar addiction" is dangerous.

Some people are lactose-intolerant. And it makes sense to give up dairy or take those cool little expensive pills. My poor son won't be able to have too much fructose for a while, but he needs to so he can grow and not be in intestinal pain all the time. Some people can't drink sugary drinks like pop or Gatorade because they want to protect their teeth from further decay. But most of the time, these people are totally ok with it and do not battle themselves with their decision.

I think whether or not to eat sugar is personal question. I do not think it should be banned in our country. I do not think the government should get involved. I do not think schools should brainwash children with lists of which foods are "bad" or "good". And I do not think that people should plaster their anti-sugar agenda all over everywhere.

Eating disorder treatment is the better option. I think we could save more lives and give people better lives by facing the eating disorder epidemic in our country.

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