When I was a kid, like most of us I believe, I turned to sugar in all forms
I was truly living on it every day – it was my #1 food group it seemed.
Whether it was soda, white bread, pastas, pizzas, kool-aid, you name it, I went into a full throttle consumption of anything that could convert into sugar into my body.
I remember coming home from school, and just gobbling up as much as I could
Then as I turned into an athlete, I fell into all sorts of new forms.
Gatorade, carbo loading before the big race (even daily lots of pastas and starches), Clif bars and on and on.
I then turned to Starbucks in my early 20s when I found it as a great post run meeting spot, a business meeting spot for my sales meetings to “get to know you” spot.
Before I knew it, over several years, I was slamming 3 Venti Chai teas daily
I never put two and two together that when I drank these sugary filled drinks (caffeine on top of it) that it would cause me to not only crash, but have serious digestive distress.
I never realized how bad my digestive system as being compromised and causing loose stools, which caused immunity issues.
I know as a kid i had LOTS of sickness – tons of ear infections. And i even went to a doctor at least once to figure out what was my “bathroom” problem.
Society glamorized sugar and Starbucks and caffeine as though we couldn’t live without it.
Millions of $$$ were made off of this often synthetic “drug”
You can’t go to a store, a gas station, anywhere where there is a soda machine/fountain, most restaurants, where it isn’t sold CONSTANTLY.
According to addictioncenter.com, sugar addiction is real
“The clearest signs of sugar addiction involve consumption of large amounts of food or drinks laden with sugar. The individual may eat constantly, eat to combat boredom, and become hyper and crash. They may even talk about craving sugar after stressful or irritating life experiences……
A recent study suggests Americans eat far too much sugar. To be specific, approximately 75% of Americans eat excess amounts of sugar — many of whom could be classified as having a sugar addiction.”
When I went into a deep downward spiral with my health in 2006, I had so much inflammation, depression symptoms, adult acne and the beginning of an autoimmune disease (kicked off by hypo-thyroidism)
Decades of “abuse” of sugar and caffeine caught up with me, even at just 29 years of age.
I knew I had to change my habits after seeing a naturopath who told me I had “leaky gut syndrome”
I was like, WHAT IS THAT???
My neutortransmitters were also super low – cortisol levels, seratonin, etc.
How did this happen?
She shared with me that sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine and I would need to slowly come off it.
How could I do this?
i couldn’t just stop cold turkey…..the dopamine craving was so so high by this point.
People often enjoy the dopamine release that sugar brings. But due to the addictive nature of sugar, long-term health effects like obesity and diabetes are a risk of sugar overindulgence. Similar to other compulsions or behavioral addictions, sugar addiction is a special risk for people with low moods, anxiety, and stress.
Additionally, people who suffer from constant tiredness may reach for carb-rich sugary foods for a boost. Sugar releases endorphins in the body and combines with other chemicals in the body, resulting in a surge of energy. Once someone mentally connects sugar with help providing energy, they may become dependent on it (usually inadvertently). People may begin to crave sugar to balance irritability, emotional lows, and other conditions. At this point there is often little control over dietary habits, and a sugar addiction has developed.
It took me FIVE years of weaning myself off of Starbucks and all synthetic sugars – I went from 3 venti chai tea lattes to 1 a day.
Then I switched to regular coffee with cream/sugar
Then a year later I went down to coffee with just sugar
Then a year later I went to coffee with almond milk.
Then a year later, I finally went to just black coffee (still starbucks, but now to decaf)
I had no idea that decaf in many ways was even worse…..so my digestive issues and mental health were not where I wanted them to be.
Working with a naturopath helped…..and I did finally kick my coffee and sugar habit….for what I thought was for good.
But guess what?
I did NOT get to the root cause.
Abstinence (giving it up) didn’t work for long.
I only used will power and fear to get me off that path of addictive behaviors.
And being an athlete and a business woman, will power “appeared” on the surface to be my answer.
I even had coached thousands of people by that time and for the next few years in health, fitness, nutrition, kitchen clean outs, grocery store tours, telling them the way to eat using the Dirty dozen and Clean 15 model, eliminating sugar and using exercise as a natural way to boost those neurotransmitter and hormone levels.
I even became a fitness addict 🙂 (yes, that is a thing)
I couldn’t NOT work out or miss a day…..I was a marathoner and a P90X instructor and thought I had it all figured out!
And I even saw transference of habits in many of my clients….give up on thing, only to find another.
This is why yo-yo dieting happens
I saw people one month on keto
Next month on atkins
Next month doing a cleanse
The fitness industry and society marketed all of these things as “saviors” or the “answer” to the addictive behaviors.
There were even pills and lotions and potions and shakes that were supposed to nip these behaviors in the bud
I even did that and found it very very empty (and didn’t last!)
Well, I am here to tell you that it only took two years – after being a mom, marriage stressors and financial issues…..and then I found new sugars to delve into that I never in a million years thought I would.
I turned to alcohol.
And before I knew it, through networking events, business events, conferences and just plain life at home on week nights or weekends, I reached to that bottle of wine far too often.
Up to 3 bottles a week of red wine – sometimes beer – sometimes mixed drinks in mixed company.
Everyone was glamorizing this way of Being……and my brain/body followed suit.
I had become someone I knew I wasn’t at the heart of me.
I transferred one substance to another without being conscious of it.
Then, because I didn’t get to the root cause….I started becoming a workaholic – a networking-aholic.
And I saw I was surrounded by a LOT of those – but didn’t know what else to do.
So I continued.
It wouldn’t be until Feb of 2020 (so nearly a 15 year journey later from when I realized I had health issues due to a sugar and caffeine addiction), that I would realize I had a problem and needed help.
But then the pandemic hit, my brother died of alcoholism (that scared me since many believe this “runs in the family”), my mom died right after him, I was home schooling my two kids AND running a business……
I was lost and still drinking a lot to cope with all of the above
In my next blog post, I will share my most intimate details of my journey with alcohol….what worked for me, what didn’t and how I found compassion, healing, love AND got to the root causes (yes, there were many) to finally have a healthy relationship with this “Spirit” without demonizing it or hating myself any longer!
There is freedom when you break the cycle, go inward to find the answers and find your TRUTH
CLICK HERE to join me for my 5 day FREE health challenge that will undoubtedly blow your mind, connect with your heart, in order to find your root cause of what is holding you back from having that healthy relationship with any thing that may have become “too much” of a dependence in your life
Once I got to the root causes (all inside myself), I was able to heal SO many areas of my life.
Relationships, lifelong health challenges, relationship with money
And I am still on the journey!
Learning more every day – without judgment (and even if that creeps in, I witness it and honor what it might be trying to teach me in that moment)
You are worthy to get to that place of freedom, just as I was/am!
You are enough
You are loved
You are NOT alone
WHAT DOES HEALTH & VITALITY MEAN TO YOU? WHAT DOES THAT LOOK LIKE?
WHAT ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS DO YOU HAVE (DAILY OR WEEKLY) THAT MAY BE HOLDING YOU BACK FROM THAT?
LIST THE TOP 3
We will work on that in my 5 day free health and vitality challenge
For more free healthy n wealthy n wise resources, go to www.loiskoffi.com/resources
Check out my podcast at www.loiskoffi.com/podcast
Here is the podcast episode