I let go of a lifelong heavy sugar habit about two years ago.
That may sound like it was instantaneous. (it was not.)
And it may sound like I never eat sugar any more. (I do. and, it’s just not possible to ‘never eat sugar’ if you’re, say, a human who eats food ever.)
Over a period of three or four months I eliminated about 85-90% of the excess sugar in my diet, the majority of it refined, but a surprising amount “natural.”
As you can imagine there were some pretty sweet (see what I did there?) benefits: my moods stabilized, I lost weight. My immune system could support me better because I was supporting it better. Unexpected and oh-so-welcome results were the calm-focused-centered states that became my new normal.
But this ain’t gonna be all “This Is How I Did It So You Do It This Way Too”.
And it definitely ain’t gonna be “Sugar is the Evil Demon and We Must Battle It to Extinction!”
‘Cause, well.. NO. Surprising, maybe, but there it is… and if you love waving that battle flag, you’ll be wanting to slip out the side door right about now. (you’re welcome.)
I’m writing this as an honorarium of sorts, feeling strangely grateful.
A far lesser version of my sugar habit, without tentacles and hooks, has circled back to pay me a visit.
There’s been plenty-much discomfort, in psyche and in body.
I’m learning a lot during this visit (“hello, sugar, my old
fiend friend, you’ve come to talk with me again.” Nod to Simon & Garfunkel.) I’m seeing how numbing out and self-medicating with sweets was a pretty savvy option for many years, sometimes the only one I knew to try. And I’m seeing how my judgment of myself for doing that, later (known as “hindsight bias”) turned into the bigger detriment to my health.
I’m even starting to grok that I may’ve been a wee bit invested in my roller-coastering mood states, conveniently held in place by my roller-coastering blood sugar levels and body chemistry. (Yeah, that’s a weird one to contemplate. And yet, as I simply acknowledge that investment, recognize it ever existed… I can feel it ceasing to exist. Farewell!)
I wasn’t ready for this stuff two years ago. So it’s back.
Thank goodness for that.
I was unable to see this front view of the mountain while I was still standing ON the mountain.
The wisdom goes that any habit we have – lotsa sugar, or smoking, excessive reading of words – exists because it is serving us somehow. It has something to teach us, or is there to help us/ protect us/ allow us to cope or function in some way.
When its work is done, it will go. Far, far away.
(If we will allow it to go.)
For now: no rush. A little gratitude. Glad to know that the parts I still need will come back when it is time. “That which is For Me, is never lost.”
Leaving the door open for this visiting teacher to slip out when it is time.
It really is that simple.