“I’ll just have one,” I tell myself. Positive that this time it will be the truth and I will hold myself to this promise.
But then it goes by so fast. It’s too fleeting. One wasn’t enough to calm the turmoil inside me.
Now I’m positive it’s the second that will do the trick. “Okay, so maybe just two. For sure, just two.” I think.
I even walk away at this point. Confident this is the time that two is enough.
I got this.
I am strong.
I am in control.
I am done with the second.
I am still not okay.
I am reaching for another.
I am weak.
I give in.
I give up.
I have as many as I want.
I eat until I have a stomach ache.
And the heartache only grows.
What an empty promise chocolate held. I swore etched into it’s sugary surface I read the words, “I’ll heal you” so why do I feel worse now? Why couldn’t I stop at just one? When will I learn? What happens in that moment I’m eating the sugar? Why do I forget all the other times it hasn’t gone well? I finally lie down with a full, hurting belly and a head full of regret and guilt and shame.
What’s wrong with me?
I don’t know the answer. I wish I did. This is hard to write because I’ve known for awhile that one of the things I need to do in order to leave my old ways behind me and fully step into the new me… I need to label myself as an actual sugar addict. Some people have the “just one” capability. I do not. One bite and the monster inside me won’t shut up until I have one more, one more, one more, one more. I go numb trying to rationalize it as my hand just keeps going into the bag of chocolate like an alcoholic to their drink, or a smoker to their cigarette.
It’s so fresh in my mind because this scene played out this weekend. I’m so embarrassed to admit it. I feel like as someone who is trying so hard to live a healthy life that I should have mastered this vice by now. I’m supposed to be totally free of these chains. But I’m not yet. I’m still imperfect. I had the weekend precisely planned out in my head but then something didn’t go right in my plans. It wasn’t like I envisioned it and it threw me for a loop. I got angry. Frustrated. Sad. I felt anxious and the anxiety felt so big that all my healthy resolves were crippled in it’s tumultuous wake.
The “just one” temptation snuck up on me and I fell for it. I know there are many sides of this story for me. First of all, the food industry has manufactured food to be addictive and keep us coming back for the sugar and fats that light up the reward centers of our brains. Secondly, this habit of going to sweets for comfort isn’t new… it’s been a lifelong ingrained habit from my childhood.
I have in the last year made huge strides in amending this crippling addictive tendency. I have learned to focus more on my motivation to be healthy than on the food I’m saying no to. I have learned to stop in the moment and challenge and weigh the choices in front of me before choosing the thing that will advance me to my goal of lifelong health, or the choice that will take me further from it. I have learned to consistently eat in a way that doesn’t spike my blood sugar so that I don’t experience cravings on a day to day basis. I don’t let myself get super hungry since I’m eating 6 times throughout the day. I always carry healthy snacks with me.
And 98% of the time I do great.
And 2% of the time I trip and fall and roll backwards.
I want to look at the 2% and make it huge and punish myself and berate my imperfect, weak side. But if I did all that for the 2%… then in all fairness I should give WAY more attention to the 98%. And that’s the side of me that should get rejoicing and congratulations and pride and smiles and hugs.
Or what if I just looked at the whole picture together? What if I could look in the mirror and see someone who’s just trying their best?
I am a sugar addict. I can’t just have one piece of chocolate (most especially not if I’m in an emotional state). It will not help me. It will not heal me.
I think that in claiming and owning my weakness, I will find strength. I have to accept that I need to lean on a strength bigger than my own. This is where my faith plays such a big role in my health journey. Like an alcoholic working the 12 steps, I have to resolve to believe that my higher power, my God, can restore me to sanity and wholeness. Where I am weak, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-11).
Sugar promises a lot of things, but my God is the one who follows through. He is so much more powerful than my emotions, anxiety, whims, and cravings. He is the rock on which I will stand. I don’t have the answers, all I can do is surrender to the truth that this battle exists, but that I don’t have to face it alone.
I am imperfect and praise God for that because it’s another reason I have to lean on Him. It’s another way that I can connect with others who struggle with this.
We’re in this together. I’m praying for you.
You Are Enough
Don’t ever forget that okay? You are beautiful and precious and deserve good things — and I can’t tell you that enough! Look I even dedicated a side-bar-box-thing to it. God has a plan and a purpose for your life and He died and rose again because He wants to spend forever with you! Okay, read on. Important reminder over.
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“The glory of God is man fully alive.” St. Irenaeus
What if you decided to finally lose the weight you’ve been trying to lose because you’re tired of not showing up in your world as your best, most energetic, vibrant self?
Tired of feeling distraught when the scale doesn’t show you a number that pleases you? I was too. Here’s how I stopped letting my weigh-in days affect my mood!
And then (as they do sometimes) my day sort of crumbled into a heaping mess and then the messiness dripped into the next day too… and soon enough I forgot about the photo. I forgot about my big, awesome, fitness accomplishment.