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My Love Affair With Sugar (From An Addict)

My Love Affair With Sugar (From An Addict)

Iíve long had a love affair with Almond Joy pieces. Every night we would climb into bed together and I would caress the blue bag, pulling them out one by one to nibble at the candy shell, hoping upon hope that when I finally bit into the luscious chocolate there would be an almond surprise in there waiting for me.

Before that it was Nerd Ropes. Our passionate tryst lasted a good couple of years and I would twirl them around my finger like rainbow locks of hair, gently pulling the big Nerds off the gummy and popping them into my mouth.

Once upon a time, I was even married to Rice Krispie treats. We lasted about ten years. Unfortunately, after so much time together, the relationship grew stagnant and we fell into a comfortable routine wherein I would no longer bother to shave my legs and the krispies would no longer conform to a pan or squares. They would show up as a blob on my dinner plate accompanied by a fork and just really let themselves go. We were quite the threesome when the utensil came along. Eventually I realized the dysfunction and we parted ways.

Iíve cried over a good strawberry rhubarb pie.

Lemon bars have broken my heart wide open.

Warm brownies topped with vanilla ice cream have done me in. Over and over again.

As a kid I was less discerning about who I cavorted with. There was Hubba Bubba, Big Hunk, Snickers, Pop Rocks (though, admittedly, he was a bit old for me), Baby Ruth (he was too young), Mike and Ike (I was too young), Watchamacallit Ö Ah, lovers all. The only two I couldnít hang with were Peeps and Candy Corn. We just couldnít get along no matter how much I tried.

Like any decent addict I wasnít always in integrity when it came to my relationship with sugar either. One summer, when I was about ten, my seventy-five year old Grandmother came to stay. I was in dire need of a sugar fix, but my mom didnít keep much on hand in the house. I cried to my Grandma that I had a project due at school Ė a mammoth sculpture comprised of colored miniature marshmallows and toothpicks Ė but my parents wouldnít get me what I needed. She looked into my tear stained face and agreed to walk the two miles with me to the store and purchase my goods. That night in bed, I stared at my masterpiece composed of about twelve mini marshmallows and saw the empty bag lying next to it and clutched at my heaving stomach. Then I prayed to God for forgiveness for my lies in the name of my addiction. Okay, in reality, I probably just said, ďIím sorry, GodĒ and uttered about half a Hail Mary.

Iím forty-three now and not much has changed (aside from the integrity piece now that I have my own money to get my fix.) When I walk into the grocery store during any holiday I head straight for the middle two aisles. Itís like opening the door to Willy Wonkaís chocolate factory. The colors are so bright, the lighting so optimized, and there are shiny tinfoil chocolates for every seasonÖ and Valentineís hearts and Cadbury eggs and jellybeans and Christmastime Ö Forget about it.

On January 10th, due to some pretty severe health issues, I cut out the sugar.

100 percent.

Iím in mourning.

Coupled with fits of denial.

What about Stevia? What about pure maple syrup? What about coconut palm sugar? What about certified organic pure maple sugar?


What about a bullet to my nucleus accumbens, then? (I mean, I no longer really need that part of my brain associated with reward now, right?)

Now I eat bananas every. single. day. A staple that was never before included in my diet because I hate the texture. Mush anyone? In my previous life the only use I had for banana was as a flavor in my Runts candy conveniently shaped just like a banana and oh-so-delicious. Now this, umÖ soft fruit has †become my saving grace. My savior. My best friend. I blend it up in shakes and I mash it up with coconut oil, pure vanilla extract and cinnamon and pour it over baked apples for a mock apple pie.

And still I mourn.

As for my health issues and this new anti-inflammatory diet, Iíll be writing about that another time when Iím over the withdrawals and have shed my black veil.

Iíd love to hear about your relationship to sugar. AndÖ any tips you might have for my cravings would be oh-so-welcome.

article by Melanie Bates

Read more: Addiction, Health, , , , ,

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6:03PM PDT on May 11, 2014

I've had a long-term relationship with sugar, but am never tempted by the brightly wrapped and oh-so-inferior goodies that are trotted out for various holidays. There are many brands I wouldn't touch, and I do love stale Peeps, but before I'll eat junk, I have to eat real food, or I'll feel sick.

6:44PM PDT on May 10, 2014

I have been decreasing my sugar and it has made quite a difference. Marketing processed foods, sugar substitutes and anything 'fructose' in mass quantities should be illegal.

11:41AM PDT on May 10, 2014

Consumption of sugar activates the same receptor sites as opiates -- hence the craving and addiction to sugar.

I gave up sugar a long time ago -- including the "substitutes." Not easy but it was worth it. And I loved desserts and home made jams, etc. My father's pancreas was injured during WWII and became a diabetic thereafter. His deteriorating health scared me off sugar. My paternal grandmother was "addicted" to sugar and gained so much weight and that too convinced me to avoid sugar.

Fruit is healthy. Table sugar is not.

Good luck to all those weaning yourselves off of sugar. It may take a while but your body and mind will thank you.

11:01AM PDT on May 10, 2014

My love affair is with salt which somehow i must cut down on. Well large quantities of both are equally bad.

7:30AM PDT on May 10, 2014


5:48AM PDT on May 10, 2014

I love your openness and honesty. It sounds like my sugar addiction too. It has definitely been a journey. Eating really sweet fruits such as strawberries and watermelon really help. I still mourn too. I have recently cut sugar. It's like i've lost a great comforter. The weight loss is great though. 15 pounds down. Emotionally still a struggle. Best of luck too you. I know you can do it.

5:48AM PDT on May 10, 2014

I love your openness and honesty. It sounds like my sugar addiction too. It has definitely been a journey. Eating really sweet fruits such as strawberries and watermelon really help. I still mourn too. I have recently cut sugar. It's like i've lost a great comforter. The weight loss is great though. 15 pounds down. Emotionally still a struggle. Best of luck too you. I know you can do it.

3:52AM PDT on May 10, 2014


9:22PM PDT on May 9, 2014

to deal with my insatiable desire for sweets. Eating them in moderation is almost impossible, unless they are unavailable. I appreciate any HELPFUL suggestions (not preaching about lack of self-control from someone who has no idea what it's like).

9:20PM PDT on May 9, 2014

I have problem with sugar, too. Unfortunately, I am pre-diabetic, as of now. I have severe kidney disease, bile gastritis and am a vegetarian. So there is so much I can't eat. I can't eat bananas, avocados, nuts, dairy products, (high potassium/phosphorus). I lost a great deal of weight, and in order to gain some, my nutrition-ignorant doctor told me to drink milkshakes, Boost Plus (junk), ice cream, and that it was okay to eat entire bags of tootsie rolls, at a time. He even told me that I could live on Boost Plus, alone, for the rest of my life! Well, I gained weight, but my kidney figures plummeted and my glucose soared, as well as my hemoglobin. So now, in addition to really being a sugar addict (or whatever you want to call it), I have other issues to deal with. If I eat anything sweet, I want lots more. If eating an entire bag of toosie rolls in one evening is not addictive behavior, I don't know what is. I have been the same way with chocolate and ice cream, eating huge quantities. If there is something in the house that is sweet, I will desperately search for it, like a nicotine addict searching for their last cigarette. My doctor recently informed me that I have a heterzygous gene mutation of METHFR--which can indicate, in short, a dirth of neurotransmitters like dopamine and seratonin--could explain the intense desire for sugar to elevate my mood.
In any case, I am not here to debate whether it is an addiction or not, but merely to find a helpful way to

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