I feel so blessed that I recognize my sugar "addiction" in my early twenties, and that I found the help I needed to actually get to the root of my emotional eating in order to change those patterns for good.
Do I still have days I want to wolf down a pint of ice cream in one sitting? Of course! But do I do it? Nope. I may turn to a scoop of ice cream out of boredom or stress, but I stop after the first serving.
I had left a borderline abusive relationship - my first long term relationship, and that boyfriend had come from a family where the example his parents set was to be rude and hurtful to each other. So he said critical and hurtful things... he was "just being sarcastic" according to him, but it hurt me and I took it all seriously.
I felt lonely and confused coming out of that relationship, and while I had always loved sweets and enjoyed eating them, it was the first couple years I'd been away from home and I just kept turning to them over and over.
Add into that mix I had ideal goals for myself and the world and had become vegan... and it's a lot easier to find vegan sweets and junk food than it is to find nourishing balanced normal foods (especially back then). So feeling I was automatically "healthy" by my restrictive diet also made me think I had a free pass.
I was reading through some old journals when I had first left that relationship and become vegan (all in the same few months), and I was writing things like the following... these are direct quotes from the things I actually wrote in my journal back in my early 20s.
EAT LESS SUGAR!!!! I'm so addicted.
I felt kind of sick again today. Too many snacks and junk food.
I was in a bad mood this evening. I ate too much processed food today. I got heartburn and felt shitty.
And of course my new year's resolution many years in a row was: "Stop eating so many sweets." Pretty sure I just copied that from one journal to the next over several years!
I'm not going to embarrass myself right now with any of the poems I wrote.... luckily those were not about sugar, or I might feel I have to!!!!
So why is it so hard to stop eating sweets, even though we tell ourselves over and over that we are going to???
Because it's not the sweets... it's what is behind the sweets. I had to figure out the BIG PICTURE before I could finally get to a healthy place with the sweets.
I continued to eat too many sweets, make myself feel sick, and judge myself for doing it...
If you have felt yourself on this cycle, then get the support you need from me or someone else who can help you recognize the big picture and hold you uncountable to begin shifting your perception and habits.
So you, too, can ENJOY that one scoop of ice cream, without eating the whole pint, and without feeling guilty.
Want to learn more? Start by signing up for my 5 secrets to end emotional eating.