First, a hearty ‘thanks’ to all you people who read my A.A. birthday-BlogPost, and responded; I REALLY appreciate it; seriously.
Second, now you’re going to find this a little bit hard to believe, because *I* find it hard to believe. — I’m not going to ‘tease’ you about this; I’ll just straight up tell you… one year ago TODAY, I gave up sugar! – That’s right, on May the 18th, of 2019; I made a decision to give up “the drug”, SUGAR. I call it a drug because it ‘fits’ the category. — To me, at least… sugar is addictive, it has noticeable withdrawal symptoms, it takes “more and more” sugar to satisfy the craving for sugar… and “I also believe” that sugar is a toxin to the body, (much like alcohol.)
Okay, so what was going on to make me WANT to give up sugar? Right?… “Everything”… I weighed 262 pounds; I felt like I had a ‘gray-fog’ over my mental processes; my sugar-consumption was out of control; – for instance, I would go to Winchell’s DoNuts, on purpose, because they give you a ‘bakers-dozen’ of donuts; that’s 13, instead of 12. THEN… I would eat them in my truck so I didn’t have to share them with anybody. – When I went to the grocery store, I bought THREE half-gallons of Breyer’s Ice Cream. One was to eat immediately, the second one was ‘to have on hand’; the third one was the ‘mental-satisfaction’ of knowing I had a ‘stash’ laid away; hey, that ‘stash-business’ is a BIG DEAL in the ‘drug-world’.
PLUS… I’m convinced that sugar is a “gateway-drug” to other drugs. Drugs like ‘fast-food’, ‘processed-food’, ‘industrialized-food’ (hot dogs, bologna, boxed-cereal). – ‘Sugar’ dulled my senses making it okay to eat too much: pizza / Italian food / pasta / bread / butter / mayonnaise / and PEANUT BUTTER. My peanut butter consumption was out of control too. It might as well have been, “Breyer’s Peanut Butter” (I always bought three jars.) — — Uh… fade in: cookies, candy, chips, dip, and “special-occasion” foods like: “Peeps” (Easter); “popcorn” (movies); Crazy-Dave’s sugary ribs (July 4th); “Candy-Corn” (Halloween)… and LIQUID-SUGAR (egg-nog) all through the ‘holiday season’; (it was one of the main reasons I looked forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas.)
So, “what happened” to cause me to do it? Right?? – WELLLLLLLLL… On Saturday, May 18th, of last year, I came home from the gym, after doing ‘BodyCombat”. ‘Who cares, right?’ – Well, B-C wipes me out; then that VERY SAME AFTERNOON, my diverticulosis kicked in. Trust me; if you have a problem with your ‘plumbing’, it’s a BIG deal. THEN… (as Johnny Carson used to say, “I kid you not”); I started coughing, and (because I’d had it earlier in the spring, and knew what it was), I developed “walking-pneumonia”, coughing, hacking, sputtering all over the place. ALL THREE OF THOSE, started on the same afternoon, and continued deep into the following Monday. –
Now, you may not believe this, but in A.A., we don’t think one can get truly sober without a ‘spiritual-experience’. – TO ME… all three of those maladies occurring on the same afternoon, seemed like the “Hammer-of-God” banging me on the head. On Monday morning, I was “sick and tired” of being sick and tired all the time because of my out-of-control sugar-madness. So, I ‘really did’, ‘no joke’, drop down to my knees and asked God for guidance, (I learned that in A.A., doncha know) – And I swear to you that the ‘whisper’ that came to me was (very similar to “Overeater’s Anonymous”) – “I admitted I was powerless over ‘sugar’, and my life had become unmanageable because of it.”
So, ‘just like A.A.’… I gave up sugar “one day at a time”. Actually, it was more like fifteen minutes at a time on that first morning, and then, maybe 30 minutes at a time for the afternoon and evening. THE NEXT DAY, I really DID have ‘the jitters’, from the beginnings of ‘Sugar-Withdrawal’, every bit as obvious as withdrawing from a drug-habit. It literally took me about ten days to ‘get off’ the sugar, to where I wasn’t ‘focused’ on it all the time.
What freedom!… on that 10th day, what ‘elation!’… literal “joy” at being free of the drug, ‘sugar’, and the consequences (ill health, shorter life-span, lethargy; associated illnesses – diabetes, muscle / joint-pain, more ‘interest’ in (ahem…) the joys of ‘self-expression’… ALL OF IT… my life literally changed. When I got to my ’30-days without sugar’, I made myself a ‘reminder-chip’ to carry in my pocket. Then, 60 / 90 / 120 days later, I did the same thing. I now have 12 ‘chips’ I hand-made, commemorating my journey. I’m actually going to have them ‘mounted’ so I can hang them on the wall in my office, (to serve as a reminder that I’m only “one day away” from going back to an addiction that was trying to kill me.)
So, ‘what’s it like now?’ Hey… I got down to a stable 196 pounds, which is 66 pounds down from last year!. I “feel” good, actually, ‘GREAT”. My mind is clear, (no more ‘sugar-fog’), most of the ‘aches and pains’ in my body are gone (I always thought it was age-related ‘arthritis’). My ‘pre-diabetic’ days are gone (AC-1 at 5), – I CAN TIE MY SHOES!! (hey, it’s a big deal when your belly’s too big to allow you to do that. – Most importantly, ‘The ‘Sugar-Blues’ are gone… Like Patti LaBelle once sang, “I’ve got a new attitude” (I’ve got it playing in the background, as I write this.)
I’ll say this, at least, “I seem to have a new: body / outlook / enthusiasm / and ‘sense-of-adventure’” ALL because I gave up sugar, and it’s associated ‘demons’, one year ago TODAY!!
And, I just wanted to share it with you.
Las Vegas Slim…
(PS- I welcome all calls and emails on this, don’t be shy, if you’ve got ‘sugar-questions’, feel free to get in touch with me, I’ll share my ‘sugar-free-world’ with you.)