Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sugar Freedom: Part 2

Insanity: Doing The Same Thing Over And Over, And Expecting A Different Result.

I have seen the quote above attributed to Albert Einstein, and I think it confirms his genius, and his sense of humor.

When it comes to physical transformation this quote applies, not only as fat is released,  but in the weeks, months, and years afterward when maintenance is the goal.

Actually, when it comes to maintenance, this may be an even better quote:

Insanity: Finding what works, then doing something different because it's the latest thing.

The photos on the left show my transformation during the fall and winter of 2009.  At Christmastime that year, I read Tim Ferris' book,  "The Four Hour Body."  Now, even though I had just finished transforming my body by following a low carb, high quality fat, moderate protein food plan, I was intrigued by the idea that an all-out cheat day once a week could help me keep the body of my dreams.  So I tried it.  Each Saturday for four weeks I ate all of the sugar, flour, and vegetable fats I wanted.  Candy, cake, doughnuts, they were all on the menu, and I chowed down.

It was an unmitigated disaster.

I felt sick, bloated, achy, and out of control.  What was even worse was the fact that once I started eating sugar, flour, and junk fat every Saturday, I couldn't stop eating them on the other days of the week.  I gained 15 pounds so fast it made my head spin.  I was riding a runaway sugar train, and I only got back on track by switching to a ketogenic diet: i.e. the induction phase of Atkins.  In January of 2010, I began exploring the possibility that I was a compulsive overeater with an addiction to sugar and starches- especially when those sugars and starches were mixed with trans fats and processed vegetable and soy bean oils.

For the past two years, every time I've come within five pounds of what I consider my authentic ideal weight, the insidious voice has come into my head, urging me that I'm cured of my compulsion and obsession, and that it's safe to try sweets again.

The voice has plenty of experts to back it up.  From Dr. Oz with his love of whole grains, to successful trainers who have seen countless clients cheat their way lean, to the most famous weight loss club in the world:  Weight Watchers, that assures us that no food is off limits, and that giving up sweets for good is unrealistic, there is a powerful chorus of voices in my head that tell me complete elimination of sugar and grains from my eating plan is wrong.

Perhaps the biggest barrier that stands between me and my own wisdom is the fact that true food addicts make up a small percentage of the population.  15% is one estimate I have seen, and that means that the majority of people who are dealing with overweight and obesity are not afflicted with the "allergy of the body, and the obsession of the mind" that characterized food addiction.  Sadly, I have always wanted to be liked and understood by as many people as possible.  That's one of my weaknesses.  I wanted to come up with a diet and exercise plan that was right for everybody, and become a hero of transformation.  I understand now that I can't help anyone until I have resolved my own overeating.

Honesty demands one simple thing of me now.  I am resolved to stop playing games with sugar, and to commit to a sugar, grain, and vegetable oil free eating plan from now on.  It may be that I need to give up my desire to inspire and influence the 85% of the population that doesn't share the strange and sad way I react to some foods.

Over the past few years, I have met several individuals who react the way I do to certain foods.  It is very encouraging that those who have confided to me that they have eliminated their compulsive trigger foods, are at an ideal weight.  I've also noted that they look unusually youthful.  Could it be that avoiding sugar slows visible aging?  I certainly hope so, because it is my intention to eliminate sugar, flour, and processed oils from now on.  My experience may now be of much use to the majority of people who want to transform physically, but if I can achieve health and peace of mind, than I will be more than happy to write and speak for my 15%.

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