Friday, March 28, 2014

Confessions of a Sugar Addict-Body Image

Body is something we all have to deal with and has been a cause for controversy for many many years. As models get skinnier the debate begins about “what is too thin?” Parents of girls worry about how body image will impact their teenaged daughters; and rightfully so. Dolls who are disproportionate and unrealistic are alway a source of controversy. This debate about body image is constant. Hollywood pushes the image of sexy on everyone; men, women, teenagers (both boys and girls). Somehow our society has decided that sexy means a size 2 (or worse size 0) figure and gives this unrealistic expectation that thin is pretty. People forget that magazines and movies are not real. Every single picture that appears in most magazines has been airbrushed. I would lose several inches and acne too if I were airbrushed. What is this mentality that thin is sexy and attractive? This is a thought that I have ingrained into my head as well. I have thought for many years that thin was attractive. I have spent years putting myself down because I have gained some weight and am currently in the overweight category. Being in that category has been a struggle for me. A struggle on my self-esteem and my outward appearance. I used to be super thin and super tiny. So gaining all that weight really had a great impact on how I thought about myself. Where did this sense come from because that is not how I was raised. I was raised to be healthy. After having a conversation with my husband this week, I realized a shift in my thinking. Beautiful is not determined by size. It is determined by character, personality and in how you take care of yourself and others. I have been thinking about celebrities who are heavier set that I still think are gorgeous; Melissa McCarthy, Brooke Elliot. These women are gorgeous and so talented. It doesn’t matter that they are not hollywood stick thin. They are still beautiful and successful. That is not what it is about. It is about being healthy and this is the first time I have really grasped that thought. Previously it has always been for vein reasons. My journey with my new company has also helped me realized that. For the first time I really realize, understand and am embracing that fact that what I eat is about health; not about being thin. I am taking greens everyday and drinking enough water. It is a world of difference by just these small changes. It is about how I feel after a meal and eating foods that allow me to be productive in my day. As I chart my foods and really pay attention to what I am eating; I realize that I have a huge reaction to sugar (as most people do). As I cut out sugar and journal how I feel after I eat, I have realized that sugar and white breads make me so incredibly tired. Well, I know you are all thinking, “well of course! Everyone knows those are not good for you!” I know that too and have for years but it wasn’t until I realized exactly how it was making me feel that I have been able to slowly cut them out. Over the last two weeks, I have journaled in what I call my BDA journal (Before I eat, During, and After). I keep track of my motivations and why I chose to eat sugar. I am becoming more in touch with my emotions and why I am eating the way I am eating. It is emotions or stress, feelings of inadequacy (typically from my visions of body image). I have also made small changes in my sugar habit by cutting out hidden sugars. I have switched to breads that do not have added sugar (now sprouted wheat bread), gone to plain yogurt that I add my own fruit to and using honey as often as I can (like in my coffee instead of white sugar). I have learned that small, slow steps that keep weight off are more important than yo yo dieting just to gain the weight back. I am celebrating successes, keeping God in my journey, and remembering how far I have come; not how far I have left to go. Since my son was born, I have lost a total of 60 pound and kept it off. I have done this even when I fall off the band wagon for months at a time. This is a huge success. I have now lost more than I have left to lose!!!! My next steps: Substitute my sweet tooth with more healthy treats. I figure my sugar addiction is not going to just go away so I am attempting to replace my sweet treats with treats that have nutritional value. As I try them I will update and give recipes to you guys. My ideas so far are coconut rolled dates, apples with honey and crushed up pistachios, and coconut milk/frozen pineapple “ice cream”. What are some of your favorite treat substitutions? I would love to hear from you and find some great ideas!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

My Name is Mel and I am...a sugar addict part 2

When most people think about addiction, they think of alcohol or illegal drug use. Merriam-Webster defines addiction as, “a strong and harmful need to regularly have something or do something.” Unfortunately, addiction is not reserved for those who have developed habits that are illegal or come by way of intoxication. People do not think about sugar being an addiction. It is not recognized as a true addiction but a sugar addiction is by definition a real addiction. For people out there like me, sugar is a true addiction. Tonight is a great example of that. I wanted to be good. I really didn’t want sugar but I had sugar anyway. I know the thought process of so many out there, “Well sugar in moderation is not harmful and sugar is not necessarily harmful.” That is true. If it actually eaten in moderation, once in a while, it isn’t harmful. When it is eaten to excess, like most Americans eat it (myself unfortunately included), it becomes harmful. When it becomes harmful, by definition, it is an addiction. When consumed in excess this white, legal, encouraged drug can cause obesity, exhaustion, anxiety, depression, and lack of productivity. It impacts people’s callings. If you do not have the energy or motivation to be productive in life, you are not living up you potential. Well, that’s all fine and dandy. I know the statistics and I know how it makes me feel. As I track what I am eating and how it is making me feel, I realize how much it is impacting my life. I am not taking care of my family like I should, I am not the weight I should be, I don’t have the energy to manage my household and work out. All of those things tell me that I am not living up to what I could be and not creating the family life that I need. When I look at those facts, I do say that I have a sugar ADDICTION. If I do not have energy to complete what I need to and lead the life I am leading, I have an addiction. It has had a harmful effect on my life. This is no excuse for what I have not accomplished or my failures and shortcomings. The first steps to recovery is admitting you have a problem right? Well, here is my admission. I have a problem. My name is Mel...and I am a sugar addict. My mission right now is to develop a step by step process that works for me to kick my sugar addiction permanently. I want to break my addiction, get healthy, lose weight and become the person I know I am meant to be. Step 1: Track what I am eating so that I can see where my shortcomings are and what my feelings are when I do eat sugar. So far I have found that I do tend to eat sugar when I am stressed, feeling inadequate, or to “self-medicate”. Check back soon for more details and steps to my plan to become a recovering sugar addict.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

If you're tired of starting over, then stop giving up

This particular quote really rings true to me previously in my life. If you know me personally, you know that I am a perfectionist. If I don’t feel like I will success I cower away or avoid something. I also have let fear drive me in the past. A good example is that I have wanted to run a 5k for 3 years now. I all fairness I was pregnant for 10 months of one of those years but what about the other 2 years and 2 months? Well, no more! I recently signed up for my first 5k with the encouragement of a couple of incredibly supportive friends. They encouraged me to sign up so I would actually participate and not put it off again. Yesterday, I finally started training. I was incredibly proud of myself. I got home from work and decided to go for a run. I was exhausted. Between daylight savings (whoever thought that was actually a good idea?), not sleeping the night before and being up since 5:30am, this was not a normal feet for me. But I had my greens from It Works! (go check out my website if you are curious or our facebook page If you enjoy my blog, come give us a like.) and it gave me SO much energy. While I was running, I was thinking about how if I were that tired and I still went running, how can I justify not working out most days? Then this quote popped into my head. I do give up with my workouts all.the.time… and then I do feel like I need to start over. Well, no I don’t. I need to keep going, building off wherever I left off last time. I have been working out inconsistently but semi regularly since January. Even though I have worked out maybe 1-2 times per week I have made progress. I was able to run 12 of 16 intervals before I really felt it. While doing yoga, I recently mastered upward dog. I haven’t been ever able to do this. I am making HUGE progress and I feel more successful when I focus on where I have come from not where I have to go yet. So my point? Small, little, manageable steps are better than no steps or taking too big of steps and getting discouraged. Small steps are more likely to become permanent habits. It is not about getting it perfect every time. A healthy lifestyle is like anything else. It is about learning, making mistakes and finding what works for me. If you keep starting over, you never make progress. So, I am going to stop starting over and stop giving up.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Name is Mel and I am...a Sugar Addict

Hi! I am Mel and I am...a sugar addict. I know that it sounds silly. You are probably thinking to yourself, “a sugar addict? really? How is that a problem or something to be confessed.” Well, let me tell you. Over the past few months I have tracked what I have eaten and how it has made me feel. I have found that sugar and foods that turn into sugar (white bread, pasta, etc) in the body make me extremely tired. They ZAP my energy. I have also found that it causes anxiety, depression and feeling overwhelmed. Let me tell you why that is. Sugar has been called the new “white” drug. gave the statistic on their website that the average American consumes 130 pounds of sugar per year. 130 POUNDS!!!!!! That is so much sugar. It averages to about 22 teaspoons of sugar per day. As convenience foods have grown in popularity, so has the amount of sugar Americans are consuming. In 1820’s the average American only consumed 20 pounds per year. Food companies have started adding sugar to all sorts of packaged products. Did you know that jarred spaghetti sauce has sugar in it? Why? Why is it necessary to add so much sugar? (If you would like to see the graphics that go along with the statistics I gave, check out So what does this have to do with anything? This is my journey and my challenge. Sugar has power over me and speaks to me, trying to lure me in each and every day. I am on a step by step program to get this out of my system. No, this is not a detox program. It is a lifestyle change. I have to change my ways for myself and my family. God has made me feel convicted about what I eat and how it affects how I take care of my family. This is where my journey begins and my confessions start. Please join me for my Confessions of a Sugar Addict journey; you can follow me as I kick this habit, get healthy, find motivation, and lean on God.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Start of My Journey

Before you read too far in my blog you are probably wondering how I got to this point or maybe you aren’t. Either way I am going to tell my story. I married a wonderful man in June of 2007. After we married the world handed us some outside challenges. Our marriage was great but our circumstances were stressful. During that time I began to struggle with depression and anxiety. To cope with those emotions I ate. I ate sugar, pizza, anything I could get my hands on. My doctor also put me on a depression medication to help me cope better with these emotions. Between my eating habits and my medication, I gained 50 pounds in about a year. Once I reached the point of my 50 pound gain I knew I had to get healthy and get the weight off. I began cutting calories and trying all sorts of crash diets. That, of course, did not work and I put on another 20 pounds. In the summer of 2011, I became pregnant with my son. I had a fairly easy pregnancy but a very difficult delivery. The only issue that I had was sugar was an aversion for me. It made me sick. This was fine for me. It helped me keep my eating in check. I gained 35 pounds, which isn’t to bad. After I had my son, I lost about 25 pounds without any problem. the last 10 pounds were extremely difficult for me to lose while breastfeeding. I did not have the normal success most women have where they breastfeed and the weight just comes off. In December 2012, I started doing some research on why I continued having chronic sinus infections, stuffiness and allergies. I found that I might have a sugar allergy or intolerance. I began researching nutrition and trying to decide what the best path was for me to take on my journey to health. I had to get better, healthier. My weight impacted every aspect of my life, my self esteem, my marriage...I mean everything. I decided to go for clean eating. I did some more research and found out how many foods are synthetic and chemical. YUCK!!!! I tried clean eating for a while but it wasn’t completely for me. Then, I stumbled across a documentary called Hungry for Change and the blog As I started searching I found another great blog that inspired me, These two blogs helped me to see that eating real foods is for me. I still like dairy and sprouted wheats. I have been eating real foods off and on for about a year now with just a few MAJOR vices. I have lost 59 pounds since I had my son and 30 pounds over the last year. I have about 30 more pounds until I am in a healthy weight range. Once I hit that place, I will re-evaluate. I am working on my two major vices of bread/wheat and sugar. Follow my blog and you can follow my Confessions of a Sugar Addict coming in the next week.