So I’ve been battling with sugar since about November. I’ve always had an unhealthy relationship with sugar. When I was a kid, my mom was super strict about it so I was the little fat kid begging for extra twinkies at my friends’ houses.
Sugar has always been my downfall. One of the biggest things I can thank my mom for was being super strict about soda. I always felt like a freak when I told people I didn’t drink soda as a kid but now, I’m 100% grateful for it.
Over the years, I’ve tried various diets and through regular PT with the army, I’ve kept my weight under control but once a fat kid, always a fat kid. I could weigh 130 pounds and still look in the mirror and see the chunky 16 year old me.
But when I had my daughters, I realized that things had to change. I refused to let them hear my inner voice shaping theirs so I’ve always talked about being healthy, I’ve never dieted in front of them and I’ve always tried to teach them about good choices.
Lately though, I’ve shifted. I’ve been really diligent since November about tracking what I eat and how I work out. What I’ve discovered is that while I may not be in the worst offenders category, I’ve also got significant room to improve.
And sugar is where I’m focusing. I’m currently reading Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Industry Hooked Us and let me tell you, it gives a whole new insight into the problem. According to Salt Sugar Fat, the food industry has made a concerted effort to find out not only what we like but how to achieve what’s called the bliss point the perfect point of perfection that overrides our brain rant says stop eating. So the more they load these processed foods up with salt sugar or fat, the more we eat and we literally can’t stop because the biological science they’ve used against us. Add in the social cues and yeah, it’s pretty dang hard to be healthy.
Think about how social food is. When you take away food, you take away a lot of social interaction. So just like I was the odd kid out when I said I didn’t eat soda, by trying to diet, the social cues all around us are telling us just go ahead and eat it.
Last night was a great example of how social can work in the opposite though. I was at dinner with a friend and I’d ordered something not thinking it was a sandwich. She suggested that I just eat the filling. Well duh, right, since I’m cutting carbs. But what if I’d been with someone who’d said oh just eat it. Different social cues, right?
So when the food companies target our children and make it seem like all the cool kids are eating this horrible sugar laden desert that we are legally allowed to call yogurt, it makes it that much harder to teach my own kids that they, this isn’t good for you. I actually told my daughter yesterday that I would rather she eat a Hershey Bar than one of those yogurts. She was psyched, but I explained to her why: at least when she’s eating the Hershey bar, she knows she’s eating a snack, for a once in a while treat, not eating something she thought was supposed to be good for her.
So I’ll struggle on and keep fighting the good fight of trying to get and stay healthy not for any noble reason other than to be a good role model for my kiddos. They need to learn a healthy lifestyle that involves balance because they have to live in this junk food laden world and I have to teach them how to make good choices when I’m not there.
And the food companies are banking on peer pressure to overrule me.