I spent much of today at a local health fair. I manned my organization’s information booth. The goal was to distribute brochures and to engage in meaningful conversations in order to educate people about the services provided by my health care organization. While I did those things, I was also given a chance to be of another type of service.
The first person to approach my booth was also working at the health fair. I don’t recall how the subject came up, but she started telling me about her addiction to sugar. Whoa, Nellie, had she come to the right person.
This woman was in a lot of pain. She told me she eats sweets constantly, and even had a piece of candy in her mouth as we spoke. She said she would consider it a triumph if one person could enter her office and not see her with her hand in the candy jar on her desk. She tried giving up sugar once and couldn’t make it through the first day. She wants desperately to stop eating candy but feels she is hopeless.
I told her about my history with sugar addiction and how I’ve been sugar-free longer than I can remember. I told her that by eating clean, exercising and working on emotional “stuff,” I’ve shed 82 lbs…so far. I showed her a photo I keep in my wallet. It was taken 82 pounds ago. She was astounded.
She wanted to know how long it took after initially beginning to abstain before my cravings went away. (Answer: about a month, with the first three days being the worst of it.) She wanted to know if I still crave sugar. I honestly don’t, and I told her if I feel a little craving creeping in, I know there is some emotional issue I’m not working on and I spend time trying to figure out what’s going on between my ears.
While everyone knows sugar isn’t healthy, I don’t believe everyone is addicted to it. But I am. Just as a recovering alcoholic can not stay sober by having a little sip now and then, I can’t keep this addiction at bay if I have just a sliver of cake on my birthday or join in the office doughnut party on occasion. I told the woman that I treat sugar as if it’s a line of cocaine. I don’t touch it.
I gave her my business card and told her to call any time. If she wants give sugar abstinence another go, I’ll be there. I hope she’ll take me up on it. I’ll get more out of it than she will. But even if she doesn’t, she gave me a gift today by allowing me to be of service.