Ability to make me happy……CHECK
Massive body changes over the years. ……..CHECK
Constant yearnings for more…….. CHECK
Ability to make me become depressed…….. CHECK
Like any good drug, sugar has had me addicted to it for years! I’m sure I’m not the only one. I talked about sugar in the previous couple of articles (12 Quick Questions For Sugar Addicts, Why Is Sugar Stalking You?). I would now like to share my own struggle with sugar when I was going through my younger years.
Sugar In My Younger Days
There’s no denying that I ate pretty much like any normal kid. My mom tried to keep a pretty healthy household. We didn’t have an outrageous number of sugary substances regularly in our house. When they would pop up, of course it was a special treat and I indulged like any kid would!
During the summer, I typically stayed in Cincinnati with my Aunt Pam and two cousins. I remember being mesmerized by all the goodies she kept in her house. It was the complete opposite of my mom’s house. There were so many sweets, that my brother and I would always come back home a few pounds heavier by the end summer!
You want to talk about hyper! I would get super hyper after having meals during those summers. Looking back I know it had to be a combination of me being happy along with a boost of sugar to get the party started! That was my rep during my summers in Cincinnati. Give Mikey some food and desserts, and then look out!
Sugar in High School
I remember being in high school and always having some type of sugary substance every day. The sugary substance for me normally involved breakfast foods. In my effort to get out the house and get to school on time I always consumed some type a quick breakfast. My normal choices were cereal, instant oatmeal, or breakfast bars. All of those options had a ton of sugar in them. If you start your day with that much sugar, it’s a given that you started off badly.
During my high school years I had a headaches every single Friday. At that time in my life I thought it was because I was stressed out from school. I didn’t even think for once that it could be due to what I ate.
My next meal of the day was the school’s lunch. I normally ate whatever the school provided along with chocolate milk. School lunches claimed to be healthy but they contained lots of grease, oils and sugar.
The only water source you had at school was water fountains. Those were hit or miss. It seemed for every one that worked, six did not. If you found a fountain that worked, it most likely was violated in some way. By only taking small sips of water throughout the day, there was no way I was getting eight glasses of water a day. I’m pretty sure I drank more milk and juice than water for most of those years. I was definitely under hydrated during the majority of my high school years.
Sugar In College
When I entered college it was a whole new ballgame. I had access to an all you can eat buffet ten times a week. If my broke self had a pass to eat that much food in one setting you better believe I was going to eat it all! I made it my mission to stack up on any extra snacks I could possibly get from the buffet. I would sneak cookies and other sweets every night to become my snacks throughout the week. The sweets lasted longer in the dorm rooms, so those were my plunder of choice.
As freshman year moved on I started feeling awful. The Friday night high school headaches started to happen more often. “What was causing these headaches?” I constantly asked myself. I just could not figure that pain out.
It was around Thanksgiving of 1999 that I started to really educate myself on health. I wanted to start working out at the gym more often. That’s when I discovered websites talking about proper nutrition being the real key towards getting in shape. All the experts mentioned that a healthy diet does more for your body than exercise alone.
Even though I wanted to eat to gain muscle, the articles made it clear to me that I needed healthier food choices. After reading all those articles I realized that I had been eating way too much sugar. A normal cafeteria breakfast for me was eating oatmeal with three tablespoons of brown sugar. To drink I would have chocolate or strawberry milk. Lunch would be a sandwich, salad (with sugary/fatty salad dressing), fries and several cookies.
Sugar….It’s a Heck of a Drug!
I didn’t’ really drink water because just like high school it wasn’t readily available. It may have been in the cafeteria, but with all the soda, slushy & fruit juice machines on display, it was very easy to avoid! There’s nothing sexy about drinking water when it’s next to a state of the art slushy machine, right?
During my spring semester, I purposely decided to clean up my diet. I didn’t have the cleanest foods available but I made better food choices. That’s when I noticed that my headaches disappeared. For me it was pretty much a no-brainer that the sugar was causing my headaches.
In addition to the headaches going away obviously my body composition starting to change. Just by making a few changes in my diet drastically change my body. I started slimming down and lost over 10 pound just by reducing my sugar intake.
I wish I could say that my addiction to sugar stopped in that moment right there. But like any good drug dealer, sugar has had it’s grip in my over the years. Do you feel the same way? Ever wonder why? I’ll get into that at later time!