As a baby, we are given candy to shut us up or as a reward if we pick up our toys or do something good. There is an extensive list of rewards that gets longer as we get older of sugar being the reward or to make us feel better.
Candy to occupy us or as a reward as a child
If we finish our dinner we get a sweet dessert
When we do not feel good we get ice cream
Stopping to relax in the winter we have hot chocolate beside a fire
When upset we seek solace in the form of a candy bar or something sweet
Family events usually include cake or a pie
Holidays – Halloween, Easter, Valentine’s day, Christmas, Birthdays
The list goes on and on and on of the sweet rewards
How do we change our thinking from childhood to not associate everything with something involving sugar? When I think about how I started feeding my children an addictive substance before they could walk that can be as addictive as a drug or cigarettes I am heartsick.
When researching this subject and knowing my own problems with sugar I have read over and over about sugar being addictive. It reminded me of watching people quit smoking, some just quit and moved on and others like myself went through the fires of hell to break the addiction. It was HORRIBLE and I will never repeat that experience; now how to conquer the addiction to sugar? We cannot quit eating, we cannot quit attending family events, and we cannot give up on holidays. Sugar also reminds me of the odd addiction, some can have one bite of sugar and walk away and others will eat the sweet till it is gone. How many can have a bowl of M & M’s on their desk and take a week to eat them?
This comment from Authority Nutrition really got my attention:
I’m here to tell you that addiction to sugar and junk foods is exactly the same as addiction to abusive drugs like nicotine, amphetamine and cannabis.
We are expecting our first grandchild and I think about how our society expects something sweet at any family functions from the baby shower before the baby is born, to birthday parties, school parties, holidays, and special treats. How much sugar is an additive to much of what we eat daily with us having no clue. Our daughter and son-in-law will test their imagination for ways to not use sweets as a reward.
Quitting smoking was huge for me as I started smoking at a very very young age and I used smoking as a crutch when nervous or needing to get away by myself. People with good intentions offered up the silliest way to quit smoking that drove me nuts and many of these suggestions came from people who had never smoked or who gave smoking up easily. While good intentioned they set my teeth on edge to not hurt them as I went through withdrawal. Sugar though is a different story as it is hidden in many of our foods that we do not even think about. Pass me the ketchup and then read the label as that is a bad one. This article is almost enough to make me quit sugar until I get the craving again. http://articles.mercola.com/sugar-addiction.aspx
Truckers are constantly seeing that we deserve a break with a candy bar, we should have a share size bag of candy to snack on while driving, and then let’s have those sugary drinks to help keep us awake. We are bombarded by signs and also candy on sale beside all of the cash registers. Our emotions can run the gamut as we drive with only out thoughts and emotions to keep us company and then see the signs that if we eat this sugary treat we will smile like the person on the billboard. Truth in advertising is not used when advertising junk food as it does not make us feel better or feel healthy in the long term.
Looking back sugar is a form of love as it is used to reinforce good behavior, when we are sad, when we attend an event, or when we are relaxing with friends. For those of us addicted what is the answer and how do we get this addiction under control when sugar is what we eat when happy, when sad, when bored, and when tired?