Friday, March 14, 2014

How Appetites Change!

Perhaps only other sugar addicts, or perhaps alcoholics, will understand this, but I am experiencing freedom from sugar cravings for the first time in my life.  

All my life I have not been able to refrain from eating ALL the cookies in the tin, the ENTIRE cake in the pan, EVERY square of the chocolate cravings turned me into a runaway train. Some of my earliest memories are of me standing in the kitchen begging my mother, with sincerely desperate tears, to please please please leave a little extra cake batter on the mixer beaters for me to lick off when she was finished baking.

As an adult my cravings became so intense that unbidden images of sweet treats would suddenly invade my mind, from out of nowhere, no discernible triggers.  I would be walking down the street, entering the post office, driving through the country on a sunny summer day, when into my mind the picture of a sugary snack would appear.  In my mouth I could "taste" the sweetness, feel the texture of the food as I chewed and swallowed it.  As soon as that happened I knew I was doomed to drive to the nearest store for candy, or home to my kitchen to bake. I tried so hard to control it year after year with no satisfactory or long term results.

I discovered early in life that the only way to overcome the cravings was to distract myself by doing something energetic and time consuming until the craving passed. Sometimes I was busy for 2 or 3 days trying to get over it, to forget the mental images and to fill my mouth with crackers to try to be rid of the imagined sweet taste.  Sometimes it worked and other times I would end up throwing up until I could get something with refined sugar into my system.  Natural fruit sugars accomplished nothing in reducing the cravings.

By this time last year I was frightened at my inability to stop the cravings. Added to those cravings for refined sugar came the cravings for carbohydrates.  I know now that was the diabetes and I am so grateful I sought help when I did.

Now, nearly 4 months after the diagnosis, the diabetic diet and exactly 1 tsp. (ONE TEASPOON) of dessert later, the cravings seem to have ended at last.  I am so grateful! This is life changing for me.

The other night on television I watched an advertisement for what used to be one of my (many) favourite chocolate bars.  I saw the bar. I remembered the joy of pulling the paper and foil off those bars in times past.  I remembered what they felt like in my hand on the way to my mouth.  I remembered that first sweet, satisfying crunch and the explosion of chocolate, the relief I felt at having the craving satisfied.

There was however one major change in my reaction last night:  I no longer craved the chocolate bar.  I remembered it all but with no sign whatsoever of the return of sugar cravings.  It was shocking and wonderful all at the same time.  The relief this time was due to a realization that I could visualize all manner of candies and desserts with no desire to so much as taste the teensiest, weensiest bite of any of them.

Today I woke up thinking of cereal and oranges because I was hungry for breakfast.  I didn't lose sleep over not being able to eat refined sugars any more.  I didn't think of any of it all day, until I saw that same advertisement on tv this evening.  The reaction tonight was the same as the one I had last night, only I wasn't able to conjure up the memories of times past quite so vividly.  That is 2 reminders in 24 hours of what I have been able to give up eating and I have had no negative nor frighteningly out of control impulses to eat treats after seeing those ads.

This is a milestone for me.  I am very very happy about this huge change.  The sugar train has ground to a halt. The relief is as intense as the cravings used to be.

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