I’ve made two big decisions recently. And I do mean ‘recently’ because although I’ve been heading towards these lifestyle changes for a few months, I’ve only become committed to them in the last 24 hours. I think it is perhaps true that an addict must ‘hit bottom’ before embracing recovery.
The changes I’m referring to are:
* Giving up caffeine.
* Giving up sugar.
Regular readers will know that I gave up caffeine for Lent and, liking the reduction in anxiety and migraines I experienced, decided to keep the change. But I wasn’t committed to it. Not really – I’d happily quaff a Diet Coke for a ‘treat’ or take painkillers bundled with a caffeine hit. Yesterday I made myself feel really ill and decided to cut out caffeine totally.
Meantime, I’ve been successfully slimming by avoiding my trigger food (sugar) and, therefore, not bingeing. Until today. So what went wrong? And what’s going to be different in the future?
What went wrong is clearing out the larder. I’ve been meaning to do it for a while – as you can see from the ‘before’ photo it was a mess and I’d got the the stage where I’d no idea what was in there. So having decided the caffeine had to go for good, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and clear it out while purging the caffeine. And all went well until I found the sugar. My trigger food. The sugar. Had I forgotten it was there? Kind of, I suppose. It certainly hasn’t been preying on my mind. I’d kept it to bake (for charity events, not for me to eat) and it’s been lurking on the second shelf of the larder without causing me any problem at all. Until I had to handle it this morning. And see it. And smell it. And taste it. Sad to say, the rest is history and I’m feeling very sorry for myself as the hangover begins. And, of course, tomorrow I’ve to weigh-in with my Doctor when my body will still be bloated and unhappy and heavy. So I’m cross as well as headachey and nauseous.
But onwards and upwards. What’s going to be different in the future? I’ve learned that the sight and smell of sugar is enough to trigger a binge. Previously, I thought I was OK to have it in the house and even cook with it so long as I didn’t taste it. This isn’t true – would you ask an alcoholic to work in a pub? So I’ve thrown all my sugar into the bin – even the icing sugar for which I haven’t yet found a non-sugar alternative – and I won’t be allowing it back into the house.
What happened today is part of the learning process and I’ll try hard not to beat myself up about it. This will be easier when I’m feeling less physically ill, of course. It’s hard to feel ill and know it’s your own fault. But I do now have a tidy, usable larder and a familiarity with its contents which was previously lacking.