Sugar addiction, kindness and weight loss

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I was driving through Sydney one fateful day listening to a fabulous documentary on the radio.  As I listened a massive light bulb went off in my head.  They were talking about sugar addiction!  It was the first time I’d heard it described in such detail with a number of people sharing their stories.  I recognized the stories in myself, and fully realized for the first time that sugar addiction and emotional eating were intimately linked.  What I heard that day totally changed my approach to my diet.  If you struggle with your relationship to food you’ll be interested in changing your approach too.

We know an “addictive personality”  precedes addiction but remaining addicted to any substance keeps the pain and suffering in place.  We also know that the addiction is a coping mechanism for deeper issues that never really get revealed or handled while we remain addicted to our particular substance of choice.

Sugar is the substance of choice by many, many people: it’s socially acceptable; you can drive while under the influence of it; the police won’t catch you while you’re on a high (well they may if you are driving funny but you won’t go to jail for it!), you can hide it from just about everyone you know, including close intimate partners.  But it’s still an addiction and it still ruins your life.

Unlike a recovering alcoholic, you can’t completely avoid sugar however; you can do a lot to massively reduce it.  Cutting out white sugar or other sugars found in processed foods (like soft drinks) is the first step and one of the kindest acts you can do for yourself.  Loving kindness is the only way out!

Cutting sugar out can look like dieting!  It’s our choice to do it because we really love ourselves or to do it because we find ourselves disgusting.  Once perspective works and one doesn’t!

Having said that, it is also imperative to start to identify and heal the underlying issues of your food addiction.  Part of the process involves relearning how to eat like someone who has a healthy, natural relationship with food.  This can be learned or more accurately the addictive behaviours can be unlearned and replaced with the healthy behaviours.  Interestingly everything we need to know to free ourselves from the struggle with food can be found by exploring our dysfunctional eating.  For example: you might be relearning to listen to and acting appropriately to your hunger and finding that even when you’re not hungry, you still eat.  By exploring this, you will discover that your hunger means so much more than just fueling your body. Perhaps you’ll discover what you are really hungry for.

What I know for sure is that dieting and denial will never bring resolution to your struggle with food.  Eating less and exercising more will not fill the emptiness inside, heal self-sabotage or help you address the real issues.  Indeed it simply keeps it in place or fuels it.

Consider treating yourself with loving kindness this week and see what happens!

Brenda Rogers

With over 25 years experience as a corporate trainer, naturopath, yoga teacher and wise woman educator, Brenda is the head clinician and coach at Quintessence Health.

"A healthy mind and body simply ensures you have the time and energy to fully express and manifest your life’s purpose – it facilitates the unfolding of joy."

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