For today's entry I'm going to tackle sugar addiction. Why? Because I had ice cream for dinner two nights in a row last Sunday and Monday and decided that maybe my stress is having a bigger effect on me than I thought. I worked hard to lose weight after having twins, but didn't even get around to doing that much until they were 2 years old. Now they're almost 4 and I've gained a lot of it back again due to one thing or another in my life. (Why yes, having the guillotine over my head for over a year at work before finally getting laid off in April DID cause undue stress in my life. Why do you ask?) So now I'm working too hard at my new job and am still not fully recovered from the stress of the last one. Not a good combination for someone who has a serious sugar addiction and is married to someone who's even more of one than I am. I call him my "enabler" for a reason!
I learned a long time ago that I can't do the complete abstention of sugar for long before I eat enough to average out the drought period. What worked for me back in 2004 (pre-twins!!) when I lost 25% of my body weight was to log my food intake for at least a month and schedule certain days for some amount of physical exercise. The food logging helped with making sure that I wasn't sneaking too many extra snacks that I didn't really need. At that time I really didn't have any idea of how many calories a day I was consuming or how many I should be consuming. Of course now, post-pregnancy it's a different ballgame in terms of how my body reacts to all sorts of things - food, running, sleeping, you name it. With my work schedule and commute there's no realistic way to exercise everyday anymore, but as long as I know that on some days I need to take the extra effort to get out the door, I should be fine. I also know that I do better with picking certain days of the week to exercise rather than a generic "4 to 5 days a week" - because when I do that inevitably I run out of days of the week before do all my runs.
As of yesterday I'm back to food logging again. (Not food blogging, that would take me in the opposite direction of what I want in terms of food intake). I won't blog about the daily in's and out's, but if it works, I'll certainly give updates! I got out and jogged 2 1/2 miles last night pushing both twins in their pj's in our folding stroller. Next time I'll take the time to get the jogging stroller out, but last night I didn't get home from work until after 7p and I had to put them to bed soon. My only goal when I got out the door was to walk for 20-30 minutes, so I didn't think it would be an issue - ha! I jogged, silly me. If I'm out of the house and exercising I generally am in a better mood and eat less sugar. It's one of those things that I always know is true as I'm digging around in the kitchen for hidden chocolate, but I'm out of practice in actually doing it.
Sugar addiction is obnoxious and I know that I'm no where near the level that many others are at. But everyone has their breaking point and I'm hoping that I hit mine. I don't want my doctor to ask me if I need a thyroid test to see if there's any reason other than my love of food causing me to gain weight (my lovely breaking point in 2004). Banning it from the house is only part of the solution for me since my husband inevitably goes out and buys chocolate chips during the day so he can make cookies and feed HIS sugar addiction. I think as long as I don't tell myself that I can't have ANY sugar I'm okay. As long as I give myself permission to have a little bit here and there as a treat I can do it. And that's the critical definition I like to use: if you have it everyday it's not a treat, it's a habit. I don't know who said that originally, but I've been using it for a while.
Here's where you, the reader, come in - what are your favorite methods for getting away from sugar addictions? How do you "detox" if you find yourself starting to eat more sugar than you'd like?
Update 8/16/10: As this is a continuing struggle for lots of people, there's an article on Yahoo! about it discussing "10 tactics for overcoming sugar addiction."