Hello, my name is Ute and I am a sugar addict.
This may sound funny at first, but the truth is really not funny, and I know that I am just one of millions of people with this very same problem.
According to this post on Harvard Health Publications, added sugar makes up 10% of the calories of the average American's diet in just one day.
"A sugar-laden diet may raise your risk of dying of heart disease even if you aren’t overweight. So says a major study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Added sugars make up at least 10% of the calories the average American eats in a day. But about one in 10 people get a whopping one-quarter or more of their calories from added sugar."
This is just one of the articles you'll find on sugar these days. The evidence really speaks for itself, what with about 65% of American adults being overweight or obese and suffering from diet related problems including diabetes right there at the top.
Here is the real problem, though. Sugar is in everything, and it is not regarded as an addictive substance. You won't find warnings on cookie or cereal boxes that the consumption of sugar may lead to obesity or even death. As a matter of fact, we mindlessly use sugar as a reward for everything.
Think about it!
The first time we get in contact with sugar is usually when we are small children (or we have small children) who were and are rewarded with candy for using the potty or behaving like a "good girl". We promise a piece of candy if the child can last through the grocery store trip. Dessert will be offered as a reward for eating dinner.
Doctors and even some dentists offer candy to children if they are brave during their visits.
Once school starts, sugar treats are offered for good grades, good behavior (once again) or simply a job well done.
On Halloween (which to this day I'm struggling with as a German girl), we send our kids out to retrieve copious amounts of candy which will send them into a sugar induced temper tantrum followed by "coma".
Vending machines with sugar laden snacks can be found in schools, airports, sports arenas and pretty much any public place.
And what do we find at the register in the grocery store? Trash magazines and candy.
I am the first to admit that I fell victim to the sugar trap, both as a child as well as a parent. I have gained and lost a ton of weight because of my sugar addiction, and yes, I promised sweet treats to my children for jobs well done or good behavior. To this day, I reach for sugar treats (chocolate preferably) when I fall off the real food bandwagon. I am an m&m's junkie! See me blush!
Recently, I spoke with a client (posted with her permission) who told me she would go on diets only to reward herself with a big bowl of ice cream if she made it to the end. Not a new dress, not a visit to the spa, not a movie with a friend... no, she would treat herself to a big bowl of sugar. This would send her on eating binges, and she would regain all the weight she had just lost through hard work, calorie restriction and suffering. She called it suffering. There was no joy in it. The only reason she went on these diets was to lose weight. It never occurred to her that she might suffer consequences other than just regained weight if she fell of the bandwagon. She hadn't made the connection between her headaches, fatigue, brittle nails, and constipation and her terrible sugar habit until she met me. I am pleased to say that she is doing so much better now. She has lost weight, yes, but she really shifted her focus on her health.
As for me, I tried to stay strong during the Christmas season, but of course I was not successful. I fell of the bandwagon, ate a bunch of cookies, drank too much wine, and started feeling like crap. I know what to do. I know how to help people find better health and wellbeing. I love the success stories on my testimonials page. And I know that I will continue to do this work for many years to come. But I cannot kill that demon that is addiction. This is a fight that each person has to fight for themselves.
The desire to beat addiction has to come from within. No amount of outside pressure will lead to the successful elimination of that addictive substance. The good news is that, even after you do fall off the bandwagon, you can jump back on and continue on your path. And I will be happy to guide you through the process of cleaning up your diet and on your whole body approach to health, physically AND emotionally.