Sugar Freedom

Like you, I never knew when the overwhelming cravings would start. I tried to distract myself, but I couldn’t.

I could be anywhere, at any moment, doing anything – and then WHAM! The urge would hit me. Getting a fix was the only thing I could think about.

If that helplessness sounds familiar, don’t worry. It’s not your fault, and I’m going to show you EXACTLY how to kill this shameful craving for good.

But back when I struggled with sugar addiction, It wouldn’t matter if I was happy, sad, stressed, tired, or even just feeling ‘normal’…the binges would strike at any moment.

Frantically, I would rifle through my college roommate’s cupboards as if I had a search warrant…

“I’ll just ‘borrow’ a slice of Maria’s bread,” I’d say. “I’ll have a spoonful of Louise’s peanut butter.” I’d even think, “Colin won’t miss just ONE Rice Krispie treat.” These destructive thoughts would take my brain prisoner.

Sometimes, it would just start as innocently as eating a ripe banana. But seconds later, after taking the first bite, this demonic presence would take control of me, and I would enter an unstoppable feeding frenzy.

I would inhale the banana, and move on to cereal. Handful by handful I’d feed my addiction. But it wasn’t enough. I knew there was chocolate. There had to be chocolate. I’d turn the house upside down looking for just a square of chocolate. Thirty minutes, even sixty minutes would pass.

Full to the point of feeling sick, I’d finally come to, ashamed of what I had done. But there was no going back. It was over, and I’d quickly destroy any shred of evidence. Even the CSI team wouldn’t be able to know what I had done.

I can only hope you’ve never experienced anything like this…but if you have…you can relate. You know the powerlessness of the being in “binge mode.” You know the post-binge shame. You know the highs and utter despair found in the lows of sugar addiction.

How can I describe the devastating power of that first bite to someone that has never experienced it?

One small bite of a glazed donut, and my taste buds would demand more as my heart would be sinking at the same time. And every single time, I would tell myself, “Oh no Catherine, you’re doing it again. Stop, just please stop,” my rational mind would cry out.

It’s bad enough to be caught in the middle of yet another binge by your sugar addiction, but it’s even worse when someone catches you taking THEIR food, even AFTER they specifically warned you again and again.

To this very day, the expression on my friend and roommate Beth’s face as she asked me to stop eating her cereal when she was out of the apartment haunts me. She looked puzzled, and so disappointed in me. I was supposed to be her friend, yet I was stealing her food to feed my addiction.

I was a grown woman, for crying out loud. I was auditioning to be a Hollywood actress. I was independent, on the verge of success, and yet I couldn’t even control myself around children’s breakfast snacks.

Shame was a terrible consequence of my sugar addiction, and the morning after was worse. My throbbing head, bulging belly, and puffy face were obvious symptoms of my sugar hangover.

I was always depressed after those episodes (that were repeated over and over), and it wasn’t just because I was disappointed in myself.

If you’ve never felt the compulsion to keep eating long after a food stops tasting good, you probably won’t understand my helplessness.

If you can stop eating after 2 Oreos or one potato chip, you might think I’m just some silly drama queen looking for attention, and making excuses for being fat.

That’s fine, I understand that some people have superhuman willpower. I don’t. I’m just a normal woman that loves food…but parts of my brain love certain foods just a little too much.

I’ve cried over that a lot. Actually, I’m crying right now. So I will look for understanding from the women and men who have felt what I feel whenever I eat the sugar, flour, and fake fat combination that is my drug, my poison, my kryptonite.

Why did I steal and eat those foods? The momentary rush they gave me was so overwhelming, so powerful, that I was willing to give up my dignity for it.

So how did I finally break this miserable addiction that kept me from having the body, the energy, and the self respect I needed to create the life of my dreams?

But I’m not shocked, nor will you be when you learn just how pervasive this highly toxic and addictive ingredient is in North American food today.

Get in your car to go to work or take the kids to school, and you can’t avoid it. There are fast food joints on every corner, ice cream and yogurt shops in every strip mall, candy and snack stores at every gas station, there are even candy and chip racks at the hardware store!

It’s in salad dressings, condiments like mayonnaise, whole grain bread and cereals. Even in a healthy snack like yogurt there can be as many as 5 teaspoons of this addictive substance that acts just like a drug in in the pleasure centers of the brain.

Once you start eating it, it triggers the release of the fat storing hormone insulin, while it blocks the brain’s ability to recognize signals from leptin, the hormone that tells you when you’re full.

My name is Catherine Gordon, and I will never forget the day I was put on my first diet by my pediatrician…