Sugar is the most socially acceptable, readily accessible, and affordable drug there is; and it has a multitude of negative effects on our physical and psychological health.
Sugar doesn’t only make us fat, here are some of the dangers of eating it:
- Causes diabetes which has horrendous effects on health.
- It’s highly addictive – the more you have, the more you want.
- Causes a dangerous inflammatory state in the body.
- Causes nerve damage in limbs.
- Mood swings, fatigue and headaches are often caused by sugar consumption.
- Likely to shorten your life.
- Purified sugar is the favourite food for cancer cells.
- Lowers your immune system and increases risk of wide range of dangerous conditions.
- Being addicted to sugar causes a psychological state of passivity and less inclination to take responsibility for positive change in your life.
- Can cause depression.
- Can trigger autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, asthma or MS in susceptible individuals. The list of autoimmune conditions is long.
Obviously you do not get hit by all these conditions at once, just because you eat a bit of chocolate or pie! The sneak up on you gradually, as you grow older. But you really don’t have to be that old. Today there are already lots of young kids with Type 2 Diabetes (the type that is caused by eating too much sugar).
Similarly, you do not wake up one morning severely depressed. Instead it builds up gradually. The same goes for cancer and autoimmune conditions. But the longer you allow yourself to abuse sugar and refined carbohydrates, the closer your body gets to the point when cancer or diabetes is a fact.
First you have to decide, are you a serious addict or have you mostly got your sugar consumption under control? If it is the latter, no drastic or very difficult measures are needed. Just cut down on sugar as much as possible.
For myself and millions of others out there though, sugar has become a drug. It is not possible to have just one square of chocolate or a small serving of ice cream. Just like an alcoholic cannot have just one drink or a heroinist can’t shoot up just once after they are clean.
We need to stop and stop for good! If the devil offers you a deal, will you take it? Sugar is of the devil. It tastes so good, yet it’s so dangerous. Just like what the devil has to offer. Do not do it. When you quit, stay off it. No compromise, no “but I just….”.
I am just beginning my journey as I’m writing this. I’ve been clean for 4 days, so I have nothing to brag of and I don’t yet have the answers to how it’s done. But I’ve read the testimonies of people who quit. It’s always the same. They come to a point when they admit that the addiction is out of control and destroying their lives. That’s where I am as I am writing this. At the very rock bottom. I’ve allowed sugar, self-pity and depression to rule my life and have ended up in a dangerous situation which I will tell you more about once it’s resolved. If I stop the blog, it means I couldn’t stay off the drug, or I am somewhere where I can’t blog.
The abstinence you experience as you kick the sugar habit is real. You will find yourself craving and obsessing over the sweet treat that your body is hooked on.
You may get headaches and mild eczema as your body rids itself of the residues of what’s already in your system. Your joints may ache and your skin may have a brief breakout. This immediate state of abstinence lasts only for a few days.
Once you are out of the extreme states of abstinence, it becomes a battle of will-power and self-discipline. The good news is that the longer you endure, the easier it gets. Alcoholics in AA will tell you the same thing. It’s the first days, then the first weeks where you are really vulnerable. Once an alcoholic lasted a year his confidence is boosted and his new identity without drinking, has started to feel natural. While it remains a struggle for him not to drink, he doesn’t think about it as much as he did initially.
The 12-stop programme recommends that you take one day at a time. If you can last through the day without the drug, you can re-evaluate the situation again the next day, after a good night’s sleep.
The following tricks are helpful as you ditch the habit:
- Drink a lot of water. Fills you up and is good for the body.
- Make sure you get enough sleep. When you are tired, your will power is lower and the body’s craving for a fix gets stronger.
- Pray and lean on your faith if that is a part of your life.
- Enlist help from friends and family, if feasible. If not, use the internet.
- Do not dwell on what you are “missing”. If you find yourself thinking about your favourite sugary treats, actively force your thoughts away from that and think of what you are gaining (health, slimness.
- Take one day at a time. Just stick with your commitment today. Tomorrow is a new day.
This section will be updated as I progress on my journey. Good luck to all brothers and sisters who have decided to kick the habit for good. Please comment and share your thoughts, reactions or fears.