Sugar Addict Anonymous: Weight Resolutions

Photo by Alan Cleaver

I wish I could say I’ve lost an incredible amount of weight since my last declaration of change.

I really did try. I purchased healthy cookbooks, pulled my trainers out of the closet to go on hour long walks and cleared my kitchen of anything remotely destructive (i.e. Oreos, caramel chews and tapioca pudding cups). I’d written down my health goals on a bright yellow sheet of paper and posted it on my refrigerator door so that any time I had the urge to graze its contents, my eyes would have to read the following:

“LOSE WEIGHT OR LOSE YOUR LIFE.” Dramatic? Yes. Effective? Eh.

I started planning my meals out according to whatever SELF magazine had in its pages. Egg white omelet and wheat toast for breakfast. Salad with light dressing and lean protein for lunch. Grilled salmon and sautéed veggies with brown rice for dinner. Yes folks, I was well on my way to a fab new me.

It felt good to stock up my refrigerator with fresh produce and organic protein. I loved how pretty the bright green kale, bell peppers and deep orange carrots sat on my refrigerator shelf in an array of colors that said “J is now healthy” to all who opened the doors for a peek.

This was Sunday afternoon, of course.

On Tuesday afternoon and two deadlines later, I’d failed miserably at keeping up with my meal plan and by Thursday morning, I could barely remember what I’d stocked in my refrigerator. I’d ordered takeout every day that week and the candy bar wrappers in my desk drawer proved that I was doing something wrong.

By Saturday, I’d sworn off my new plan completely. If I was going to fail, I was going to fail big and it didn’t feel good when I polished off my Five Guys burger and fries.

I re-evaluated my previous week that following Sunday. It was a new week for me. I needed to try something that would work. No matter what magazines, books, or diet websites told me, no one knew me better than – me.

I have to wean myself off the junk food, not quit cold turkey to make this work. So for week 1 (my third or fourth) of my new plan, I decided to just replace one thing in my day with a healthier alternative and I chose breakfast. Whatever I ate for the rest of the day didn’t matter. Breakfast just had to be good for my health.

So this past Monday, instead of my usual detour to a famous bagel chain for a sugared-up toasted cinnamon bagel slathered in hazelnut cream cheese, I opted to make my own tasty breakfast at home. I woke up 20 minutes early to make scrambled eggs, topped with salsa, and with whole wheat toast. I included a side of freshly sliced fruit and enjoyed the benefits a full, homemade breakfast.

By lunch, I was so happy with my breakfast, I thought I’d keep up with lunch and chose steamed veggies and lean protein over the usual slice of pizza.

I still had an ice cream sandwich that night, but realized one small choice each day could positively impact my attitude towards eating, even if just for that day.

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.