Sugar Addict Anonymous: I Have a Problem

It usually happens in the evening after a long day in the office. Under the fluorescent lights of a grocery store, pushing my squeaky cart down aisles of pasta, canned beans, and sugar. I take a mental inventory of the items in my cart. Kale? Check. Organic almond milk? Check. Brown rice? Check. To most people standing in the check-out line, the items I carefully selected make me seem like a responsible, healthy adult. Someone who probably takes yoga, enjoys a long run after work, and goes to sleep at a decent hour. But I have a dirty little secret.

Under the bright leafy greens and organic apples are two boxes of cookies. Glorious chocolate chip cookies that I fully intend to consume during my ten-minute drive home. I make sure the cashier checks all other items in my cart before I hastily throw boxes in my bags so I can rip one open between stoplights and eat. One cookie after the other. No breaths in between and no breaks to brush the crumbs caking my shirt.

When I arrive home, I make sure any trace of my ten-minute binge, or fix, are hidden before I walk through the door. I’ll usually throw the empty box in my trunk and the other one in my purse. Because even my roommate doesn’t know about my daily sugar habit and I can’t imagine the shame I’d feel if she found me out. All of my designated shelves in the kitchen refrigerator and pantry are stocked with food labeled “non-GMO”, “organic”, “fair trade”, or food with you-probably-paid-way-too-much-for-that labels.

Every time I empty a tray or bag, I get this sick, sweet feeling of satisfying my craving which immediately turns into disgust.

This sugar addiction is killing me.

My sister came to visit a few months ago and we walked into a donut shop. There is something about hot donuts, right out of the fryer, smothered in a sugary glaze that makes this girl go weak in the knees. After devouring my first donut, I insisted we go back for just one more. My stomach already hurt from the intense amount of sugar but I just couldn’t let go of that need to taste another donut.

My sister stopped me from walking inside the store again by grabbing my arm.

“You can’t do that, J. You’ve already had a donut. That’s too much.”

Enraged, I yanked my arm away and began to cry. Hysterically.

“I…just…want…a..doooo…nut!” I screamed between sobs.

I didn’t know why I was crying at the time. Was it because I really wanted a donut? Or was it because finally I felt the full impact of my habit and what it was doing to my body (now 50 pounds heavier) and to my life?

I know something has to change. Not next month, next week or next summer solstice. Now.

Please join me as I fight my way back to health through self-directed education and following doctor’s orders.
Hopefully, I can inspire you to do the same.

J is a single, young adult living and working in Central Maryland who loves wrinkly puppies, Ryan Gosling, and everything sweet. Her life appears happy and healthy, but she’s been keeping a secret: she’s a sugar addict. Witness her journey toward healthier living inside and out here on Well & Wise.