I have been a sugar addict for as long as I can remember. My mom teasingly called me a junk food junkie when I was a kid, and I became ashamed of my food preferences from a very young age. When hard things happened in my life, sugar was my friend and loyal companion. Through thick and thin, sugar was there to lean on and take the pain away, even if only for a brief moment.
Through high school, college, and my early 20s, I continued to use sugar to cope with my anxiety and stress. Then one day, everything changed.
I was heading home from work and got hit with the strong pang of a sugar craving. Something in me said to pull over to my favorite bakery to get a mini cheesecake, and without even thinking, my body turned onto autopilot and drove in the direction of the bakery.
I went in, got my cheesecake, and got back in my car. I told myself it would be much more enjoyable if I could drive the last three minutes to get home, and eat it with a real fork at my dining table. Then this crazy feeling overtook my entire body. I ripped the plastic fork from its wrapping with shaky hands, threw open the pastry box, and put that first bite of cheesecake into my mouth. The wave of euphoria that overtook my body was startling. My jitters calmed, and I was hit with this huge feeling of relief. The cheesecake was gone in a minute (of course), and I sat there in shock and scared by what had just happened.
In that moment, I felt like a junkie. The shaking, the urgency, the feeling that overtook me when I finally got my fix. It terrified me.
I gave up sugar that day. And my life changed around that decision. Do I have times when I indulge? Yes, of course. But I know that sugar being a daily occurrence in my life turns me into a crazy person and also makes me feel terrible. Giving up sugar for the first time can be brutal, and these are my favorite ways to get that sugar habit in check.