This photo was taken in 1992 and when I look at it, I see the inflammation, drawn skin, weight gain and pain. I could not look any less like my authentic self.
I sneaked, stole and hid sugar. Binged on Bubble Yum, doughnuts, and fruit and had a mouth full of cavities by 4th grade. My Mother was a good cook and we ate at home most evenings however, I chose to eat mostly wheat, sugar and fruit. I made “sugar sandwiches” with as much sugar poured on the butter as the Wonder bread would hold.
By the time I reached middle school, I suffered from migraines, hives, cramps, nosebleeds, trembling, anemia, fatigue, depression, anger and diarrhea/constipation.
At the age of 17, my binge eating was out of control. I ate large Pizza Hut pan pizzas with triple cheese and graham crackers covered with Betty Crocker frosting. Milkshakes with an entire jar of Maraschino cherries! Never feeling satiated remains very clear to me for I would eat two more pieces of fruit before bed.
During my 30’s, it all began to catch up with me. The bloat, constipation, depression, anger, anxiety and chronic gut issues reared their ugly heads. I was diagnosed with Candida. The Candida diet was effective yet challenging and I was sneaking sugar in no time. Depression and anxiety increased exponentially so I began therapy. Counselors and Psychiatrists prescribed antidepressants, sedatives and anti-anxiety medication. I took medication for 12 years! The viscous cycle of going on and off gluten, sugar and antibiotics wreaked havoc on my digestive system. I wound up with massive stomach aches, consequently missing weeks of work. All the while, I never gave up gluten, corn, dairy, sugar or alcohol for any length of time.
At the age of 41, I got sober which made a significant difference in my health and I lost 20 lbs immediately. The sugar and gluten intake escalated as I had not even begun to tap into my emotions nor had I healed my body from all of the alcohol abuse. For many years, I chose to have sugar over meals, over exercised and my only concern was staying skinny.
Now at 49, I have spent the past 8 years healing my body, mind and spirit. The turning point for me was recognizing that no matter how hard I tried, my anger, depression and digestive issues were not going away. After completely eliminating dairy and corn, my mood began to improve. Then gluten, all flour and finally sugar which improved my gut issues significantly. You wouldn’t believe the candy I used to put away! I never want to go down that dark road again.
I now have clarity around what these foods do to my gut and my brain; my healthy gut leads to my healthy brain. I deal with the emotional side of my eating disorder through EMDR and Overeaters Anonymous and the spiritual side through prayer and meditation. I have found self-love and curiosity regarding my feelings and my food. I am truly happy and healthy.
If you relate to my story and suspect you might be addicted to sugar and suffering the consequences, schedule a 30 minute complimentary consultation, tell me your story and let’s begin your sugar free life! Sincerely, Karen