Health & Nutrition

Sugar & Me: A love/hate relationship

Why I love sugar:

I have associated sugar with feeling good, safe and loved. It calms me down, if I am stressed, agitated or angry and it lifts me up or gives me comfort, if I feel sad or depressed… Moreover, it is always there, if you feel lonely and doesn’t judge you or has any conditions you have to fulfill.

I don’t think it, I created all of these associations myself but was conditioned in this direction through my family, friends and overall the “society”. Everyone shows appreciation, love, caring and thankfulness through gifting sweets. All kinds of sweets are used as signs of your love: chocolates, cake, cookies, muffins, cupcakes and so much more. Starting with your childhood you learn that you will get a treat as a reward, e.g. if you are well-behaved, or you will get a mars bar later, if you are quiet now. This makes me think of all the commercials for sweets, that tell you what kind of positive effects you will get from eating this or that treat. For example, if you are grumpy or hungry, you have to eat a snickers to become “normal” again.

Now I ask the question: How could you possibly not get addicted to sugar or “the feeling” sugar gave you? We were trained to use sugar as emotional management and for expressing our love for someone.

Of course, if you start taking responsibility for yourself and realize the “bad” habits and patterns you accumulated, it is up to you which of them you want to keep and which you would rather get rid of. We are not the victims but powerful beings that have the possibility to choose whatever path we want to continue following.

Therefore, I propose to retrain ourselves slowly and learn other ways of showing love and affection – to yourself as well as others. Maybe start with saying out loud: “I LOVE YOU!” and hugging as well as cuddling each other more often. Even a simple smile can say more than 1000 words or chocolates. What does it help me, if I get a sweet but no real feelings and love from my partner, friend or family. A good example is the aunt or even grandma you see once a year but you know for sure she will bring you a ton of sweets at this occasion. Therefore, I ask: “What is worth more?”. The time you spend together or the amount of sweets you receive once a year? For me the answer is very clear. I would love to sacrifice all sweets on this planet for more quality time with your loved ones. I am dreaming of real heart to heart conversations or just sitting together in silence but being present with each other. I am imagining more hugging, holding hands, cuddling, sitting next to each other etc. I think this would be so healing for us. It would resolve many fights and arguments without any words. What I found out for myself is that, if you have a good relationship with somebody, it is also no problem to have a discussion with that person.

Coming back to the topic.

Why I “hate” sugar:

As I told you before, the journey of yoga & meditation will without doubts lead you to a closer relationship with your body. It will become easier and more obvious to understand your bodies needs and reactions to food as well as emotions etc. I don’t say it is easy to always listen and do what you know is best for your body, as knowing is the first step and then acting accordingly is one step further.

What I found out about my bodies reaction towards sugar is pretty worrying for me. I have definitely seen a connection between sugar and my mood swings which even lead to depressive stages at times. Furthermore, I found myself getting lethargic and unmotivated to do anything but sleeping at times of high sugar intake. One time, when I started to eat sugar again after a longer period of abstinence, I got headaches every day and stomach aches too.

For me the signs that I am addicted to anything (here sugar) are:

I mentally as well as physically “need” the substance every day. If I cannot get it, my thoughts revolve around the substance continuously and then I get miserable and unhappy about not having it. The fact that I am missing it makes you nervous and I also get physical reactions, if I am not consuming it. I imagine it to be comparable to a withdrawal treatment for drugs (not as intense of course). Sometimes I even feel dizzy, lethargic, low energy or even sweaty, cold and your head or other parts of your body ache – during times of withdrawal from sugar (the first couple days).

Long-term effects of sugar can be:

Due to the acidic environment in your body through high sugar intake many diseases can arise. Only to mention some of them: cancer, depression, arthritis, tinnitus, eczema… This shows that sugar is a societal drug, which can be highly dangerous, if misused. Only that nobody seems to accept nor see this fact. Now, after looking deeper into this topic, I can’t understand why we are against some drugs like Marihuana etc. and acknowledge the bad effects of alcohol but don’t even think about sugar as a drug like substance.

What I propose to you:

One month without sugar (or if this seems impossible start with one week). You have to be 100% strict to see the effects and benefits of it! I know, it may seem challenging at first, but I guarantee it has the potential to change your life.

Therefore, I want to tell you some of the positive effects of a sugar free life:

High and stable energy levels, a positive mood, better connection and feeling of your body’s needs, weight loss, no more addiction!

Doesn’t this sound amazing? Imagine what you could do with so much more energy…

Some tricks and tips of how to handle this time:

I would highly recommend you to not have any products containing sugar or sugar itself at home. This is the best tip because then you simply haven’t got the possibility of not being able to resist the opportunity and this will save you a lot of energy! Energy management is a very important topic for me (I’ll write another blog entry). Moreover, I would suggest to write a diary or blog about how you feel every day or as often as you wish. This helps with your emotional management. If you are feeling low or a little “down” in the beginning, the following things could help lifting up your mood:

  • Go outside in the nature and get some fresh air into your system.
  • Move yourself, to get your circulation going (run, walk, bike, hike…).
  • Do yoga or meditation to calm you down and get your energy moving.
  • Listen to your favorite music.
  • Take a bath.
  • Get creative: draw, sing, dance, play an instrument.
  • Read your favorite book.
  • Meet some good friends and have a conversation with them.
  • Cuddle with your pet, spouse, friends…

Here some recipes for sugar free meals, if you are vegan or want to try it out (these are in German):

https://www.veganblatt.com/zuckerfrei-wochenplan

I will start to do one week (or maybe extend it to one month) without sugar starting in the next couple days. I will keep you posted and maybe write the next blog post about my progress and how I feel doing it!

If you feel curious, just do it with me! Moreover, if you have questions or thoughts accordingly, feel free to comment, write me a message or contact me through any other channel.

Namaste & so much love,

Cornelia

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