During this no sugar challenge I had an ah-ha/light bulb moment. I’m their supplier!!! I’m their dealer!!! In the past I have known that I am the gatekeeper of our home. I do pretty much all the food purchasing. I do the meal planning and grocery shopping. I have known that I need to get my sugar consumption under control so I can help my kids do the same. I recognize I have passed down my unhealthy habits. I see how I have attached sugar to emotions. “Oh you fell and skinned your knee, here have a popsicle to feel better”.
I totally recognize I am not their only dealer. There are others who show their love to them by showering them with sugar. We all do it. We have been trained as a society to do this. To not do it, feels like swimming up stream. We are flooded by sugar everywhere we go: gas stations, check out lines, and I even saw a Starbucks in our local hospital!!
True giving my kids ice cream is far better than giving them crack cocaine. But studies have showed that sugar is 8x more addictive than cocaine. Too much sugar can lead to so many ailments: cavities, root canals, tooth extractions, diabetes, weight gain, anxiety, yeast infections and the list goes on and on.
There are doctors and authors who advocate zero added sugar like Sugar Crash, The Case Against Sugar, Fat Chance, I Quit Sugar, That Sugar Book, Bright Lines Eating, The Hacking of the American Mind and the list goes on. Who knows they may be right. But I feel like I can live a good life with a healthy balance. I just have not found it yet likely because it is so addictive. I don’t think Cherry Garcia ice cream is evil. I think quite the opposite but it is heavenly. It is just difficult to not eat an absurd amount. I am hoping to learn alot from this experiment.
It grieves my heart to see my kids demonstrate the same addictive behaviors that I have. I don’t shame or fault them. It is the sugar in the food that makes them want cereal every morning. It is the sugar that makes them want to eat their meal to just be able to then get to their coveted dessert. I see them stare in the pantry frantically searching a sweet fix. I see how they beg for a ice cream shake run. 3 out of 4 of them can’t drive so it’s me who supplies them by running through the drive through. It does not make logical sense if on these runs I choose not to get one for myself because I see it is not good for me yet I get it for my offspring!!! How does that make sense?!?
Sugar is just so readily available and it is in everything. I highly recommend the movie Fed Up. 80% of all the items in our grocery stores have added sugar. The times we live in are not the times of Little House of the Prairie where their prized Christmas stocking gift was an orange. Imagine that in my kids’ stockings? Nope I fill them with their favorite candies like sour skittles, ring pops, Kit Kats, and others. I have gone overboard in attempt to love them. But I am learning the more loving thing is less. Of course as I reduce sugar consumption in our home they don’t feel like it is loving. They feel it is more loving to buy them the pop tarts and sugary cereal for breakfast. They feel I am not being nice by limiting it. My hope was that we would have dessert just once a week for Family fun night’s ice cream. But I buy so many types of ice cream to appease everyone’s tastes that it last for days. Our once weekly ritual has no turned into at least 4 nights of the 7 having ice cream. My kids may not have dessert every night but they certainly eat sugary things everyday during the day. Many of our breakfasts are sugar filled like pancakes, chocolate chip banana muffins, waffles, cereal and smoothies sweetened with fruit juice. Then there are the sweet snacks throughout the day like a spoonful of cookie dough, yogurt, granola bars, cookies, snack crackers which basically turn to sugar in the body.
Something has gone awry. I am committed to make things better for our family. I am considering doing the 10 day challenge (from the movie Fed Up) with my family. True it will cause revolution but I really want to.
**the photo was taken by Joshua Coleman from unsplash.com