5 Tips for Overcoming the Shame of Sugar Addiction
We’re moving into a political era where everything is our fault.
That is, whatever problems you have are your own personal responsibility. This ideology blames you for all of your successes and all of your failures as if there are no outside influences at play.
However, it’s not your fault that you’re addicted to sweets and it’s not easy to go sugar-free. The main reason it’s not easy is because someone makes a lot of money off your addictive eating patterns. Companies have a huge system in place designed to keep you eating junk food. The system is not just physical, it’s also mental and emotional.
If being addicted to sweets isn’t bad enough in and of itself, you may have shame associated with it. The shame often comes from the idea that eating more healthily is solely up to you. When you try avoiding sweets, you find it’s not that easy. Suddenly you feel foolish for not being able to do something that seems like it should be so simple.
Here are some tips for coping with shame:
1. Change Your Mind
You don’t want to go sugar-free. Not yet, anyway. The reason you’re having trouble staying off sweets is because you don’t want it badly enough. If reading the previous sentence made you angry, you’re ready to go on to #2. If you concurred that you don’t want to go sugar-free, do yourself a favor and start a different project.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice
You don’t pick up a violin and play Mozart in a matter of weeks. Going sugar-free is not just a lifestyle, it’s also a skill. You’re gonna have to allow yourself to mess up a bunch of times before you become proficient at it. There is no shame in that. It’s how you learn.
3. Dig In Deeper
You need to locate the source of your shame. When you feel it, mark it. You can write about it or do something to mark when you feel ashamed.
For instance, if you keep a journal you can process your feelings into thoughts and then into words on the paper. After writing several times you’ll literally see a story play out in front of you. The act of writing it down allows you to see that you have control over the story you’re creating. You can author and change the story.
If you’re not a writer, try marking the moment. For instance, whenever you feel shame, put a mark somewhere. Scratch counting lines like you’ve seen in prison cell imagery or leave some kind of visible marker so that you can tell where and when the shame happened. If it’s at home you’ll notice. If it’s at work you’ll notice. Then take action.
2. Get New Friends
It may be time to change the company you keep. Sometimes that’s easier said than done. Finding a new job and getting new coworkers might change your perspective in all aspects of your life. Maybe it’s time for a new partner. Maybe you need to have a conversation with a family member. It’s possible you’re drawn to sugar because of the negative influence and stressors have in your life. Figure out who and what they are and deal with or eliminate them (by walking away).
5. Get Rich Slowly
I wanted to learn how to make a million dollars so I did a search and found an article. It said I should first learn how to make $100 and do that consistently. Then go for $1,000. Then $5,000 and go up from there.
The same goes for being sugar-free.
Celebrate little victories such as maintaining your replacement food habit. Eliminate foods one at a time. If you’re having trouble, start a little smaller and allow yourself to become less and less sweet as time goes by. The longer you do it the easier it gets.