Hi, my name is Jonathan and I’m a recovering sugar addict. Today, I am clean and sober thanks to hard work, determination and grit. If I didn’t kick my addiction, I don’t want to know where I could have ended up.
For twenty two and a half years I struggled to contain my taste buds and their need for sugary, high sucrose goodness. It started when I was young, my aversion to health and proclivity towards anything that could rot my teeth. When I was five, my Grandfather once tried to pay me to eat carrots, 10 cents per carrot. Embracing my Jewish roots, I crammed as many into my mouth as possible before throwing up; my Grandfather demanded a refund.
During my teens, my Mother would not allow me dessert until I’d finished my broccoli. By this stage I’d perfected the technique of mashing my food around my plate until it changed it’s state into a viscous liquid. I’d even refuse to eat vegetables at my girlfriends house.
At the same time, I was consuming 2-3 bags of sour gummy worms a day, combined with nearly a loaf of white bread filled with peanut butter and jelly, and could easily ravenously devour a two litre tub of mint chocolate ice cream post-dinner. Trust me, with that much starch, carbohydrates and sugar you didn’t want to stand behind me after lunch time.
These tumultuous and dastardly eating habits continued throughout my teen years, and
well into my early twenties. I remember those days, and how I felt: slow, sluggish, weighed down and always at risk of ‘crashing’. To this day I wonder if my teen angst would have been THAT bad, had I not always been ‘coming down’ or ‘peaking’. Maybe I was lucky though? I’d always been active, playing basketball between 12-14 times a week and lifting weights regularly may have been enough to prevent me from becoming pre-diabetic.
During the latter days of those dark times, when the sugary cloud of temptation flittered above my head, clouding my thoughts, I’d often look at luscious green salads filled with crisp cos lettuce and succulent red tomatoes or roasted carrots and pumpkin, maybe drizzled with some paprika and olive oil and feel myself start to salivate. Yet, as soon as those apparently tasty morsels passed my lips, my gag reflex would force it back out.
Psychologically I wanted the nutrients and tingling sensations those foods provided; physically though, my taste buds spat them back out- literally.
Through the grace of exercise and the support of those around me, especially my then vegetarian girlfriend (who’s now my wife), I was able to kick the addiction. Today, I am 36 months clean and free of the white devil. Sure I still eat the diabetic demon on the odd occasion, but now it’s on my terms. Overall, my energy levels are more consistent, my moods are brighter, my skin is clearer and I can now look at a bowl of Allen’s party mix without breaking down into a blubbering mess and guiltily devouring the whole bowl whilst shouting, “DON’T LOOK AT ME! I SAID DON’T LOOK AT ME!”
I thank you all for your support, encouragement and for listening to me now. It means a lot to me, even if I don’t always say it and, for all those still struggling with the addiction, remember, that with the right motivation and people around you, you could kick the habit as well. Okay?