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Too Many Sweets
chocolate candy
Photo: Sanja Gjenero
As a child I binged on sweets – deserts after every meal, candy and soda pop in between and ice cream and cookies before bed. I was a skinny kid so nobody thought much about it. But by the time I hit my mid-teens, my “sweet tooth” had decayed into a full blown eating disorder.

Complicated by the usual teenage insecurities and social pressures, I began secretly gorging on sweets to the point of illness. There were days I ate a dozen chocolate bars in one sitting, several large bowls of ice cream, plus assorted cookies and donuts.

Embarrassed by my compulsive overeating disorder, I would often consume this junk food in public restrooms at school, or the shopping mall, where no one could see me. I would hide and eat until I was so stuffed my sides would ache and I thought I would throw up (although I never did). I habitually used sugar as a drug to anesthetize my reality.

This behavior continued for about 10 years during which time I was often overweight, prone to illness, emotionally disturbed and mentally in a fog. During that decade I tried every diet in the book hoping to break free from my addiction but every success was short lived and followed by failure.

Nature's Way

Then, at the age of 24, I had a breakthrough. It was 1973 and by then, I had eagerly embraced much of the “hippie” lifestyle. As the “natural foods” movement began sweeping through the counter culture, I began reading health books and putting into practice what I read.

I stopped eating meat and became a vegetarian. At first, I had no idea what to prepare instead, so I ate a lot of eggs and cheese. Eventually, I learned to minimize the dairy products by enjoying recipes made with beans and nuts. I began consuming whole grain bread, brown rice and whole wheat pasta instead of the depleted white grains. I prepared large bowls of green salad and fresh fruit. In place of the sugary cookies, candies and deserts I tried honey, dried fruit and trail mix. I traded in my chocolate bars for carob, and left behind coke and coffee, replacing them with herb tea.

The changes were gradual but significant and so was my healing. Slowly, I began to get better. The fog started to lift from my mind and I could think clearly. My body became strong with an endurance and vitality I had never before experienced. My health improved dramatically; I rarely got sick. I was full of energy. And, the sugar addiction began to lose its’ grip on me. The healing process has taken years but today the rich deserts and candies that once controlled my life hold no attraction for me. I’ll always have my “sweet tooth.” But it now finds satisfaction in nature’s candy – fresh and dried fruit, because after more than 30 years, I continue to feel great eating this way.

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By Kathy A Lewis. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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