Withdrawal Memories

I reposted Sugar-Free Halloween over on VibrantNation.com where I’m a Blog Circle member. Someone reached out to me via the comments section. She’s been binging on sugar for about a month, wants to stop, but can’t. I replied to her comment and warned her about withdrawal symptoms. She wanted to know what those symptoms were. This is what I told her:

The symptoms are likely different for everyone. I experienced headache and extreme fatigue the first three days. And just like many drug addicts report, it seemed as though every cell in my body screamed for me to eat sugar…in other words I had intense cravings.
It’s my belief that many people who try to quit eating sugar are unsuccessful because as soon as they start craving they cave. “I want this so I must eat it.” The intense craving is simply a withdrawal symptom.
OTC pain relievers can take the edge off the headaches and extra sleep will help with the fatigue (and you’ll also sleep through the initial cravings). But in my experience one must live with the cravings until they pass.
I’ve been off of sugar so long now, if I find myself craving it I know it’s due to an emotional issue I’m not dealing with. There’s no way it can be a physical craving because I’m not physically withdrawing from it. I should mention that I also receive (and give) support via a group of like-minded people who wish to abstain from disordered eating and sugar addition.

I’ve thought about the commenter a lot over the past few days. I so remember all the Monday mornings and first days of the month when I was going to stop eating sugar, only to give in to the cravings by 9 a.m. at the latest. I’m so grateful I don’t have to live like that any more. I hope she will soon experience the same gratitude I feel one day at a time.

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2 Responses to Withdrawal Memories

  1. Jared Porter says:

    I challenged myself to give up sugar for two weeks to prove to myself that I can. Nov. 1 was day 1 (the day after Halloween, appropriately enough).

    So far I haven’t caved! I’ve had some moments of strong temptation, but I’ve held out. I’ve been in the habit of something sweet after dinner for so long that it feels something is missing (if only a part of the “routine,” not the sugar itself). Talk about new awareness!

    I’ve replaced sweets with fruit: Rice Checks with banana slices, a fruit smoothie after dinner, that kind of thing. That seems to be doing the trick. I enjoy fruit and wasn’t getting nearly enough in my diet. (I wonder why — could it be the sugary indulgences?) Fruit is satisfying and is much better for me, and that is satisyfing in itsel.f

    I can. I will. I am!

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