Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The White Powdery Stuff is Addictive

"The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself--the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us--that's where it's at." - Jesse Owens

A few days ago I decided I'm going to get healthier and save my teeth from sugar. I had no idea it would become an inner invisible battle between myself, and I. A battle to rid myself of an addiction I never knew I had.... I always thought of addicts as drug users or smokers...why don't they just stop? Me, oh so straight laced would never get addicted... Who knew sugar could so stealthily show up and addict me? Trying go without makes me feel jittery and lightheaded... I am fascinated by this actual, physical reaction!

On one hand I could rationalize: this is my body telling me that I NEED it. But my body does not need a twizzler. There is no redeeming quality to it whatsoever and our forefathers certainly did not consume sugar on a daily basis. It's withdrawal. And quite literally a battle of the inner sort.

22 comments:

Mansoor said...

Bravo on the sugar! I read about the effects of sugar in the South Beach Diet book, which similarly describes sugars and simple carbohydrates as an addiction.

The book recommends two weeks cold turkey, and those two weeks were the hardest thing I've ever done, but they had an amazing effect on my energy level and my waistline.

Aisha said...

Hey Mansoor! Thanks:). I remember, I was there when you were doing the cold turkey no sugar. There were times (like when we went into a fudge store) that I thought you'd have just a little teeny bit, but you kept your resolve and ate that celery with gusto! :). Did you actually see an effect on your waist line after two weeks????

Shabina said...

Aisha, this sounds like human torture! I give you props for wanting to be healthier, but I'm of the camp that moderation is a more reasonable, sustainable tack than going cold turkey. 'Why prohibit for yourself what hasn't been prohibited,' and all that jazz.

-from your friendly chocolate addict :)

Aisha said...

I agree Shabina, but having withdrawal from not having any??? It is strongly encouraged to maintain self discipline. This is my goal :)

Anonymous said...

just no sugar at all is not good either bc one day ur body is going to rebel.modesty is the key as the Quran says.

Jane said...

Good luck to you on your battle against this. Can I ask why you would do this to yourself? A little bit in moderation will not harm you. I could never voluntarily give up a little sugar in my morning coffee or the ocassional sweet. Brownies, chocolates, ice cream, cookies...Jd literally has to hide these things from me or they'll disappear instantly. I have no self-control when it comes to sugar, chocolate in particular.

roora said...

First time for me to know that sugar and carbohydrates can cause addiction. I heared about the chocolate thing, but i may realize that this is due to the cafine, like the coffee. I have an addiction too but for the nescafe' and I wana stop it especially that it ulters my mood when ever I am fasting.

roora said...

what jane said could be even nice, moderation is very good in every thing.

Hasan the Not-So-Great said...

my current candy addiction is Nestle Chocolate turtles.

estarz said...

I dig those Ferarro Roche candies! Love those!

Aisha said...

hasan and estarz- thanks for all your help. NOT!!! :)

ASH said...

Actually our forefathers were worse than you think. Not only did they eat a lot of pastries and tea with sugar (from sugarbeet, not sugarcane). But they also drank liquid mercury for a number of problems. And any number of addictive drugs as painkillers. I actually grew up no liking sweets so I don't do the sugar thing too much, my addiction is caffeine. If I decide not to drink tea (iced or hot) for an entire day I get nasty headaches and am extremely grumpy.

Mansoor said...

I did see an effect after two weeks. That's the amazing thing about South Beach: it has very quick results, and it's designed so that, even when you start reintroducing carbs, the fat don't come back.

I completely agree about doing things in moderation, but when I gave up sugar and simple carbs, I realized a pretty amazing thing: I was not taking them in moderation. Due to the modern food processing methods, most people are not taking these things as moderately as they believe.

This one's a bit obvious, and it might just serve to prove how ignorant only I was, but I was shocked to discover that the LIGHT version of my beloved Grande Java Chip Frappuccino contains 32 grams of sugar! And, I would kick one back in 15 minutes.

Now, consider the amount of sugar we overtly use in fruit juices, coffee, candy, and ice cream, combined with the sugar used by restaurants and food manufacturers that we're not aware of, and you begin to realize that it's an awful lot of sugar.

Personally, I have a very serious problem with realizing that I'm dependent on anything. Yes, yes, I know I'm physiologically dependent on food, water, air, and sex, but anything beyond that just bothers me. In college, I shaved my head and only then did I realize I depended on my hair for identity. Similarly, when I gave up sugar, I realized how much I depended on it.

So, try to give up something, and you may just discover you need it more than you think. Except, food, water, air, and sex.

PS Studies have shown that a significant number of people, when they stop watching television for an extended period of time, show signs of withdrawal. (http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/TV_Danger_SCIAM.htm)

Aisha said...

That is awesome that you saw results so quickly. Did you work out as well?

I completely agree with you. I mean there are some things I jokingly say that I can't live w/out but to actually have physical withdrawal from stuff you KNOW you don't NEED is very bothersome. You have strengthened my resolve. And its SUCH a good point. A bar of chocolate is really not moderate amount of sugar when you look at the amount of sugar in it. A moderate amount might be half a teaspoon in your chai.

And thanks for the article. I have a few more on TV that I was going to post about whenever I had a chance to write a lengthy post. TV IS EVIL. Seriously. It sucks your time away without you even realizing it. I have seen people who had the power out for a few days adn their physical withdrawal from the TV. Anxious, irritated, frustrated. It's not good. Anything that is not needed as you said, for you to NEED it... Not good at all.

Tee said...

Absolutly! I'm sorry you're having these side effects of detox. I was also struggling with this a few weeks ago... Just like a cocaine addict without the proper support, I went back to my drug of choice though. I think trying to beat sugar cold turkey is too difficult for me. Instead I am just trying to make healthier choices and reduce the amount I take in, little by little.... By the way, Diet Coke takes the edge off those shakes... Ha, trading one addiction (sugar) for another (caffeine.)

Baji said...

How's it going? I have done this a few times and have lost weight and felt absolutely fabulous and full of energy after the first few days pass.

Aisha said...

Tee, Diet coke works!!!

Baji. It's going much better! After a few days you start to feel better which is motivation in and of itself.

Saadia said...

Aisha, we do need sugars and ultimately a lot of food turns to glucose. But I think its the extreme that occurs when we consume all that is in the foods we buy. And if you think about sugar cane, not only does it retain all its vitamins but the stalk cleans your teeth while you eat it. A lot of sugar is stripped of the balancing qualities, but you can buy "turbinado sugar" or "sugar in the raw" which is just cane sugar, and use it to make recipes. Or you can use honey. But I agree we definately need to balance this because it causes jitteriness, mood swings, tooth decay, and can lead to type 2 diabetes (which happens after 40 in people and is preventable throug diet and exercise). In fact a few people in my family have diabetes in their later years so I really need to be careful.

Saadia said...

Mansoor I still think you are a virgin so stop saying "sex". Thank you.

Saadia said...

Shabina, when you are deprived of sex chocolate becomes your best freind. But these married people want to have nice figures. I guess they don't get it.

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