we need to talk about sugar
And when I say ‘we’ I mean ‘I’, and when I say ‘talk’ I mean ‘write this down, maybe it’ll make more of an impression’.
Years ago after having a spectacularly bad hangover (that’s all I get, is spectacularly bad hangovers, which is why I basically don’t drink. I’m not reserved enough as a human being to require the inhibition-loosening aspects of alcohol and I stay hung over for *days*) I wrote down all of my symptoms to clarify to myself why I shouldn’t do that. I haven’t drunk to excess since, because the act of writing it down made it seem more real and memorable, apparently.
So I need to do the same with sugar. Or fat, one or the other, probably both, but it’s sweetness that I’m thinking of/craving when I go for junk food, so: sugar.
Aside from the fact that sugar makes me swell up (like, i get fatter, not, like, an allergic reaction, except i like saying it like it’s an allergic reaction :)), my persistent inability to only eat a little leaves me feeling *terrible*, and it’s like I can’t remember that from one gobble to the next. Or rather, I can, I just don’t care enough, and live in this vague belief that a hit of sweet stuff will Make Me Feel Better This Time. I know better. I *know* better. But my desire for the stuff overrides the intellectual knowledge almost every time.
Even more offensive than the heavy pit of grossness in my belly is that–especially if I eat too much sugar in the evening–it’s started to have the same sort of *effect* that drinking too much has on me. Not a hangover* per se, but the accelarated heartrate I get from drinking too much. It’s not nearly as extreme, but it’s noticeable and unpleasant, to the point of keeping me awake if I’ve gone to bed too soon after eating all that crap.
There’s a bunch of other things too. The fact that sugar doesn’t trigger satiation properly so I eat a bunch of junk and then I’m vaguely hungry again half an hour later but Real Food doesn’t sound appealing (because sugar (and salt, for that matter) creates a craving for More Of It, rather than something actually satisfying. I didn’t even used to *know* that, and now that I do I can sort of recognize it sometimes and grimly break the cycle by eating Something Else, but it’s an active act to do that, requiring thought and effort.
Or the pretty horrifying thing where I realized that VERY OFTEN when I want ice crea it’s because I’m thirsty, and what I want is something cold. How fucked up is it to go for ice cream when you need water? That’s FUCKED UP. I’ve pretty well got that one under control, I’ve learned to recognize & rewire it, but holy shit, dude, that’s messed up.
And I know from experience that really the only way to cope with this is to go off sweets (candy, cookies, cakes, ice cream, hot chocolate, etc) entirely, and cold turkey, because if I let myself have ‘just a bite’ that’s the whole shooting match, for me. After about three weeks it’s not that hard, but getting through the initial window is very, very difficult. I’ll go 3 days and think “that wasn’t so bad, I can have a little something, it’ll be fine!” and it never is. Never.
And knowing it doesn’t make it stick any better, but maybe writing it down will…
*I’ve had one sugar hangover in my life and it was awful but also very funny and fun because I was out with a bunch of girlfriends and we’d eaten hardly anything for most of a day and been up all night before binging on Krispy Kremes and got sugar-drunk and five hours later we were all like SWEET GOD WHY ARE WE HUNG OVER. To this day I don’t know that any of us can eat Krisy Kreme doughnuts. :)
I know what you mean, and the best way of dealing with it is to not have the stuff in the house. I can apparently deal with the alcohol more easily than you can (it’s been years since I’ve had a hangover), and my true craving is always salt. But I have found that if I eat my ice cream out of a 1/2 cup bowl, I can think of it as a real serving, and quit after one bowl. Maybe that will work for you, too.
Yeah, not having it in the house is the way to go. Part of the problem is that I love to bake, and find it stress-relieving, but I have nobody to fob goodies off on.
And I agree, using a smaller bowl does work wonders on one’s mental perception of A Serving Size. Humans are so easy to hack. @.@ :)