Am I the only one who struggles with a sugar addiction?
I always had a sweet tooth as a child, and I just assumed it was normal that everyone craves chocolate. Throughout my teenage years I fell in love with all the traditional chocolates including Reese’s, Hershey, KitKat you name it, they were all my favorites. Yet it wasn’t til 2014 that I finally realized I had a true addiction, when I overcame it for the first time ever. Here’s my story.
Ironman Triathlons and Sugar Addiction
When I was training for my first Ironman Triathlon at 28, I was also working for Hershey’s Canada at the same time – yes the one that makes the chocolate bars and candy. It was incredible! We had free full chocolate bars every single day and we could take home bags of all of the different seasonal chocolate at every single season. You can imagine how incredibly serious my sugar addiction became during this time period. Amazingly, because of all of the training I was doing, I didn’t gain any weight so I assumed that I was still healthy. I might have looked healthy on the outside, but on the inside, I wasn’t.
A few years later, I trained for a 2nd full Ironman triathlon (Switzerland), and I found it strange that after two full Ironman triathlons I hadn’t lost a single pound. I trained for 40 hours a week and didn’t lose any weight – I didn’t really gain any either so I assumed I was simply gaining muscle. I was on a high-glycemic roller coaster, fueled by lots of bread, pasta and yes, chocolate. Once I learned about low-glycemic eating in 2006, I actually released weight for the first time and dropped two sizes and 20 pounds and have been that way ever since (with exception of when I was pregnant).
I completed my 3rd Ironman triathlon (Arizona) with 20 lb less on my frame and it was a very different and more enjoyable experience. Yet even though I had lost the weight I still remain addicted to sugar. However I wasn’t even aware of it. What I did know is that I was addicted to Diet Coke. And it turns out that my Diet Coke addiction was making my addiction to sugar even worse. Did you know that diet drinks can actually make you crave sugar? My addiction was so out of control that if I didn’t have any Diet Coke in the house, I would go to the corner store to grab a can (had to be the can) and a chocolate bar (whichever one was on sale). I finally gave up that addiction in 2011 when my 1 year old daughter tried to drink a can I had left on the floor. That was the last time ever. I haven’t had a sip since.
And in early 2014, my sugar addiction became very serious. We were going through a difficult financial time, my husband had unexpectedly lost his job and was looking for work. Thankfully it only took him 3 months to find a new role but we suffered financially for over a year. During those three months, sugar was my comfort and in the form of ‘Eggies’. Eggies are the Easter egg candies made by Hershey’s – I discovered them while working there and every February, right after Valentine’s Day I would start to buy them. They come in a 226 g bag, which is a lot more than a traditional chocolate bar.
During those few months, from February to April, I bought a bag almost EVERY SINGLE DAY. It was out of control. My daughter, who was 3 at the time, would also have a few out of every bag. I was embarrassed and would hide them from my husband. At $5 a bag, this was also bad for the budget. I couldn’t stop. If I didn’t have any in the house, I would go out to buy a bag. And it was affecting my mood (and my waistline too). I was starting to lose motivation for my USANA business and I even thought about quitting.
What ended up saving me from this endless sugar addiction? The 30 Day Whole Body Detox program. This is a program that I designed with a naturopath and holistic nutritionist in 2012. And in 2014, for the 3rd edition, we had planned a huge event to kick off our program. I knew that I had to make it a success, even though I was feeling like crap! And I still hadn’t realized why. The first 3 days of the detox that year were AWFUL. I had such a bad migraine, I couldn’t get out of bed and really felt terrible. I survived those first three days, thanks to my commitment to the program and it took me 14 days to finally feel like myself again. I had no idea how ‘sick’ I was from the sugar consumption.
And at the end of the 30 days, for the first time in my life, I was no longer craving sugar! What a SHOCK! I had no idea that I could live without craving chocolate. I made a 3 minute video halfway through the program to share the amazing transformation:
Over the next two years, my sugar addiction has returned every once in a while, usually around the Christmas holidays. Much like my Diet Coke addiction, I would probably be best served by never having sugar again. However life it too short to completely give up my favorite Kelly’s Bake Shoppe treats so I have to be mindful about the quantity I consume. And I’m more able to recognize the signs and make changes to stop the cycle. I decided to create my own 7 Day Sugar Detox program to complete. This is a new program that I have designed based on the new USANA MySmartShakes which have zero added sugar and low-glycemic meals and snacks. I’ve also made it possible to extend the program for 14 or 28 days, without doubling the cost. Take a peek here for all of the program details and pricing. Would you like to join me?
Lifestyle & Leadership Masterclass – Thursday Jan 12th at Le Jardin in Woodbridge with one of my mentors, Natalie Dion. Registration now open! www.lifestylemasterclass.eventbrite.ca
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