Sugar Addict

zajaraApril 26, 2010

I'm a 45 year old SAH mom. I've been overweight practically my whole life. I'm 5'9", and I weigh 350 lbs. I've been a yo-yo dieter for so many years, I've just about given up. I've got so many comorbidities, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression. In addition to that, I'm hurting so much. My joints have just about given out. I've been to physical therapy for both knees, and now my ankles have become so painful that I can't walk without limping. It's so difficult to just get up from the couch or go up and down the stairs. I stopped going to physical therapy because it's pointless if the weight doesn't start to drop. I did Weight Watchers about a year and a half ago. I was able to lose 40 lbs. I got so close to the 300 mark, which I haven't gotten below since having my three kids. I stopped after five months, and now I've gained it all back plus some. It happens every time I've ever dieted...gain it all back plus some. I've tossed around the idea of surgery, went so far as to consult a doctor several years back, but I chickened out. I most certainly qualify.

My thoughts are, other than the risks involved in having surgery...what about what got me here in the first place: My lack of self-control??? How can I go through an invasive surgery if my head isn't there yet? It's sweets. It's always been sweets. Cakes, cookies, pies, ice cream. Forget regular food, although I could do better with that too. But there's something about sweets that I can not control. I'm so ashamed to admit this. When I was younger, I'd blamed my bad childhood, taken by my mom and step-father at age 7 and dragged around the country with my three younger siblings for over two years trying to escape my dad, sexually abused the whole time by my step-father. Kidnapped by my dad and taken back home, only our home wasn't our home anymore...blah, blah, it goes on and on. But the reality is I'm 45, and you'd think I'd have figured it all out by now. I can't explain how sweets make me feel. It's completely indescribable. I know what I should and should not do, but it's like something takes over me. This is all very embarrassing, having such a lack of self-control and willpower. I know I'm at great risk of just dropping dead. I've got a husband and three teenagers who I need to be here for...I just don't know what to do.

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Hi zajara:

Yours is the tale of many overweight people. The baggage of your childhood that you are carrying around is what is keeping the weight on not just food and sweets. You eat to soothe the hurts of childhood. Sweets become a comfort, a substitute for the love and nurturing you should have had. It is not lack of self control.

Have you ever watched the biggest loser. I watch it all the time and you want to know what is the greatest attraction for me. It's not to watch the challenges, or a bunch of fat people working out. No--I have cried when people have found their sense of self worth. When they have that AHA moment when they discover that their past does not define them as a person. That they are as good as anyone and deserve to be happy.

Get help to deal with your past. Get mad at your parents and your stepfather. Punch a pillow and tell them they had no right to do that to you. Don't let them win!! Don't you see that killing yourself with food is giving them power over you just like when you were a child.

You have to get to a point where you really want to change things for your own sake and start on that path. Don't sit there, but do something about your life to change things.

I really wish you well. You DO deserve to be happy. Believe that if you believe nothing else.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 7:24PM
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I'm 62 and still working on it. I too am addicted to sugar. Many scientists are now saying that giving up sugar can be akin to giving up heroin for those who truly suffer from a sugar/carboyhydrate addiction. I have just gotten "clean" again but it has only been 3 weeks. I am not calling it a success yet and maybe never will. It takes most people 3 days to clear BUT it isn't going to work if there are sweets around the house. I know it will be hard to remove those from your house, but consider that your kids and husband need you around more than they need sweets. I don't count calories and I don't worry about fat, although I am pretty careful to make sure that I have very little saturated fat. Once the 3 days have passed, go shopping for all the good food you will need.

I eat very little grain. I think that for many people, myself included, grain is as big a trigger food as the sugar. The only grain I eat is rice.

I eat lots of nuts - but need less to satisfy my cravings as time goes on. Nuts are a healthy food even if they are high in fats - it is good fat.

Can you tough it out for 3 days? It is so hard, I know, but give it a try. See if cutting grains and sugar might work for you. Take a B vitamin multi if you are worried that you won't get enough without grain

The real secret is to never, never, never have "just one". I know I can't and that means paying attention. If I have so much as a doughnut hole at church, I will be stopping on the way home for a bagel and then it can be a year before I find the will to try again. It is much easier to just avoid it. Last week was my grandson's 2nd birthday. I didn't have any cake or ice cream because there is no such thing as just a little for me. I hope you try this and good luck to you.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 7:21PM
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zajara, is there an Overeaters Anonymous (OA) near you? Visit their site at The very first page says, "I put my hand in yours, and together we can do what we could never do alone. Welcome." You know, I looked it up for you, but I think I will stay a while and see if I can get motivated. I know I have a sugar addiction problem and I absolutely know it's affecting my health/mind/body/metabolism/well-being. I think of how much longer I will live if I can get off the sugar. I am going to read up about the OA program. It's helped a lot of people and there is support in-person, over the phone and online - whatever you are comfortable with. Good luck. Wish me luck too.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 11:39PM
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Zajara, you're not alone with this situation. The worst thing you can do besides craving sugar is to go on a diet. We all need to eat to live not live to eat. Try to eat as healthy and nutritious meal as you can, starting from breakfast and try to be aware of when you begin to fill full. This is when you stop. Gradually you can shrink your stomach down. If you can, a vegetarian diet or heavy veg diet with lean protein will satisfy you better. I always include nuts and veg oils like avocados, fish oil or fish, and olive oil, flax, lots of fiber but start gradually unless you are accustomed to lots of fiber. Don't be hard on yourself, you should acknowledge that you love yourself and be good to yourself. I don't want to be long winded, I would like to encourage you to think of yourself first. You should love yourself first, you would not feed a child sweets all the time so don't do it to yourself. OA is a good place to start, it can help you with your motivation and give you support to find out why you are finding it difficult to break the addiction. I wish you good luck, you can do it as you've taken a first step to try to reach out for help or advice. Don't give up on yourself.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 2:01AM
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Zajara, I really think I have a good answer for you, if you will email me. It will definately help your situation. :) Arum

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 6:44PM
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I'm 67 years old, 6' tall, and weighed just over 300 lbs and was just diagnosed with high cholesterol and high blood sugar back in January. That was enough to scare me.
I've stopped eating beef and dairy products or anything high in saturated fats. I eat broiled chicken, vegetables and broiled fish. I've stopped deserts with the exception of jello and sherbert. These I eat only once in a while.
It's now May and I've lowered both my blood sugar and cholesterol. In the process I've lost 40 pounds. I exercise at a local gym also.
There is no silver bullet. You just have to have the will power and determination to improve your health. Believe in yourself and your goals.
I have lots more to loose and I will do it.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 11:56AM
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Bob--that's AWESOME!!! Congratulations, and best wishes for continued success.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 12:00PM
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My friend was diagnosed with diabetes and in 15 months she lost 28 lbs. by following the diabetes diet. It's slow but that is the way you are suppose to lose it. And if I was her I would be very angry with the doctor. The doc told her "lose another 10 lbs and you won't be obese". Crazy. Of course you can't see her, but she is not obese, she was not obese when she went on the diet. Poor choice of words for a doctor.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 8:18PM
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I don't love being called obese, but I am. It is a technical term based on body mass index. Most doctors will try to get a person under the measure for obesity. It is not a fool-proof system, but I imagine that is what the Dr. was referencing - not her appearance.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 2:58PM
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