Addiction: This is Not What I Want

Those words were on repeat as I went to bed last night. I texted them to myself so I would not forget. I may be the only person who texts themself reminders;).

This is not what I want.

This is not what I want.

This is not what I want.

Yesterday was Friday, the day our family practices Sabbath, a day of rest/play and celebration. We take Friday dinner through to Saturday dinner as a 24 hour retreat/reset for our week. We ditch work, chores and try to do what we delight in. This is also the day that I am allowing myself processed sugar (I allow fruit during the week). Besides Monday of this week (my middle daughter’s birthday) I have not had sugar. Knowing the sugar addict I am, this is amazing.

So normally Sabbath begins at dinner. But yesterday I woke up craving sugar for breakfast and decided what’s the big deal if I start Sabbath a little earlier. You know that voice that talks you into things that later you will regret. So I had cereal that had dried strawberries and chunks of chocolate. Chocolate for breakfast always sounds good to me. While visiting Italy I delighted into chocolate croissants and other pastries that were often available.

Then an hour later I decided to make these box muffins. There are one of my favorites with cranberry and orange. And since I already declared it Sabbath (just making an excuse for sugar) I decided to eat 2 of these muffins. So far my body is only running on sugar. Next, I take my daughter to the orthodontist at 10:50. She has been craving a cookies and cream milkshake from Chick-fil-A so after her appointment we drive through there. And of course I get a shake as well. I drink all of it even though the last few times I got one I told myself that consuming anything beyond half I feel full and yucky. But even knowing that I quickly plowed through it. So it’s noon and sugar has been my only source of fuel.

Later I had some guac and chips. That was followed up with a small handful of chocolate chips and pecans and a glass of milk. I had homemade sourdough pizza for dinner. Every family fun night we have soda with dinner. I actually did not have any knowingly that I would a Coke later with popcorn during our movie. The pre-movie marketing at the theaters has absolutely worked. 😉 After dinner we had a giant double chocolate cookie/poozkie that we split. This was accompanied by a scoop of ice cream. The cookie was so rich yet I finished every last crumb though my stomach said “Stop!” earlier. I was not hungry when I had the popcorn and coke but ate out of habit and craving. This experiment of not having sugar during the week is really showing me how very addictive my behavior is. When I give myself the green light to eat sugar, I EAT SUGAR!!! There is no moderation. It is certainly indulgence/without restraint. The behavior very much mirrors one who is addicted to other substances such as cigarettes, alcohol or drugs. I see it in my kids as well. I hear about their longing for the Cook-Out Heath Toffee shake. I see how it consumes their thoughts til they get it. I see how in the following days they think about the next time they will get their “fix”. I see how even just having a dessert at their grammy’s they come craving another round of sugar. This is no fault of theirs. It is not that they are naughty or bad kids because of this. They are merely having a physical reaction to an extremely addictive substance.

Yesterday afternoon I also met with my spiritual director. I shared with her how I am just eating sugar on Sabbath. Saying this aloud made me realize that on the one day a week that I really enjoy the good gifts from God (nature, reading, spending time with family, etc), I also put toxic junk into my body. My thought process before was that this is a special day so why not enjoy “special” foods? But I have done the research. I know how addictive sugar is. I know how it causes inflammation in the body. Is it special to have my body be inflamed? It is lovely to have these cravings and longings that consume my thoughts and dictate my actions? Processed sugar has zero positive results. Yet I now see the irony of choosing to eat this toxic substance on this day of delight. Sweets give me the momentary delight with first few bites but then after that I am just behaving out of addiction, with my body demanding more regardless that it makes me feel like junk.

I went to bed bloated, looking like I was in my 2nd trimester of pregnancy. I like to fall asleep on my back but I was so full that position felt uncomfortable. I couldn’t lay on my left because I could feel the pressure on my stomach. So I rolled over onto my right side and propped an extra pillow under my bloated belly for relief like I used to do when pregnant. I am 30 pounds heavier than the day I got married. I have headaches at least a few times a week. I have had 3 molars pulled in the last days years as alternatives to having the needed root canals.

This is not what I want.

This is not what I want.

This is not what I want.

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