Hi, My name is Treisha,
and I’m an addict…
This is a little hard for me because I know there are so many mixed opinions out there. I also know that I don’t really seem like the poster child for a sugar addiction and on the surface, I really could fool you into thinking I’m a pretty put together person.
|photo courtesy of my 7 year old son|
You’re getting my deep down, heart and soul here. Your getting it because I’ve talked to more people than I can count over the past few weeks who are feeling overwhelmed, out of control, depressed, frustrated and plain old discouraged. If I could reach out and find a magic cure, I would in a heart beat, but the only thing I have to offer is what I know,what I’ve learned and my honest to goodness experience.
|My littlest kiddo is the only one who takes pictures with me in them|
So for that reason, I’m going to put it all out there, everything!
… okay, maybe not ALL out there- this gal knows that there are some parts of this story that are not ready to hang on the clothesline- not just yet anyway! But for some reason, my heart feels like this story needs to be told today.
I have not been shy about my sugar craziness over the years. If you’ve personally spent any time with me at all, you know that this is my “thang”-
I’ve laughed and called myself a “sugar addict” for years.
|Ain’t one person in this house afraid of raw eggs in the batter-|
But it really wasn’t a laughing matter- not if you understood what was going on in my head, my heart and my life. I’ve done some pretty insane things to hide this addiction or mask it in some way. I’ve been known to eat the rest of a pan of brownies while everyone is away at school and
a) made a new one and eaten the EXACT amount that was eaten the day before or
b) say I took them to the neighbor.
If you have been one of my neighbors, it is likely you got a treat once in a while from me so this story would be backed by evidence!
|My favorite Christmas sin… Trader Jo’s JO JO’s dipped in chocolate & crushed candy canes|
We “celebrate” everything with a trip to the treat store, just so I can get my “fix”.
I have been known to plan my route home deliberately so I could pass by my favorite shops.
I know EVERY specialty bakery in EVERY town I frequent.
|Our Nashville trip where we visited more cupcakery’s than we did music sites!|
And we’ve, more often than I will admit, eaten dessert instead of dinner.
I’ve done addiction recovery groups, tried meditation and medication and I’ve cleansed time and time again!
When I read this interview I actually sobbed, not for him- but for me!
Though it sounds so silly and just a little over dramatic- I know it does- but it is how I have felt.
Before we head on I’m going to say two things:
First- I’m going to say, “YES” I know there are some who truly don’t GET this! They just don’t see how you cannot drive by the FroYo store and stop for frozen deliciousness. They don’t understand why you need a “treat” several times a day or several times an hour! They truly don’t get why you can’t exercise good ole’ fashion self control in the midst of cookies, cakes and ice cream!
So I’d like to say to these people, read on anyway- because you know what, there’s a GOOD chance you know someone just like me who really struggles. Read with an open mind, because you might learn something and actually be able to help someone.
Second- I’m going to give you a quick tutorial on CANDIDA!
Candida grows naturally in our guts. Like the yeast you use to make breads, candida thrives with sugar. If you’ve never seen this, add warm water to yeast in one bowl and warm water to yeast and sugar in another- YUP, that’s what happens in your gut when you eat sugar. You literally grow a little candida monster blob! Every bite of sugar, every bite of bread- feeds that monster and he just keeps growing! He’s not shy and he WILL find a place to reside, which means he WILL continue to get bigger and bigger with every opportunity he gets.
Well, in simple terms, Mr. Candida monster don’t want to die! He likes this nice little home he’s got set up in your gut. So when you try to starve him of his sugar, he gets HUNGRY- think cookie monster hungry! And this hunger releases a toxin in your system. This toxin causes headaches, fatigue, swelling, bloating, foggy mind, irritability and and lethargy. So you know what you “think” you want- sugar! And what really sucks is that the sugar works- for the moment. But Mr. Candida man only cares about the minute, because now he’s had his fix and he knows how to get the next fix and the next. And every time you give in, your brain agrees with Mr. Candida that sugar really does make you feel better. Man, talk about a vicious cycle!
But here is where the addict part of it kicks your butt! So you’ve tried, you really have! But Mr. Candida blob keeps getting up in your face and gettin’ you down. So you start kicking too. You try harder and harder. And every time you try, you feel awesome. And every time you fail, you feel- well not so awesome! Negative mind chatter fills your head and you spiral- said spiral sends you to the store or the kitchen to bake. And you bake and you share your goodies and you feel good. Until you don’t. And then you start the whole process again. Man, I’m feeling the weight of it all, and I’m just writing about it!
So here is my personal story:
I am 45 (or 44, I never can keep it straight). I am healthy, active and educated. Okay, I do have lupus, but for some reason, I still consider myself healthy. And thank you very much, I am currently in remission, so I can for sure claim that “healthy” status!
I was a skinny kid but a plump teenager. Actually, I was a “fluffy” teenager more than “fat”, which I’ve learned a lot about in my quest for health and now I understand the difference. I was active in my youth, and as an adult I fell in LOVE with group fitness. I’m not a runner, though I am frightfully envious of people who can run marathons.
I’d rather lift weights any day, but I know cardio is important, so I find the best workout instructors around and follow their classes faithfully. Almost a decade ago, I added yoga to my workout drill and haven’t looked back. I actually just completed a Yoga Teacher Training and teach between 4 and 6 classes a week- which I LOVE!!!! Bringing yoga into my fitness routine has benefited more than my body.
|A little balanced living in the Carribbean|
I’ve always been a treat lover. I have a lot of happy memories that are centered around baking and eating sweets. I had a little bit of a rocky childhood, but I believe we only have to hold on to what we want to hold- so I hold on to my happy memories and have learned to flush the bad. So naturally, a lot of my memories revolve around sweet treats, eating and big family gatherings (dysfunction always hides for a family reunion, especially once the dessert tray comes out).
My husband loves to tell the story of our first formal GALA. We’d moved past poor college years and he was working for a great company. Each year they held a Gala to celebrate and recognize their employees. We were sitting at the table with his colleagues and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the dessert tables being set up. Faithfully, I watched EVERY step they made. I whispered to our server that I wanted to be the first one at that table, so he needed to come and tell me right before they made the announcement that dessert was being served. I was chatting with my hubby’s boss (yes, it had to be the boss) about skiing- just than I see the server coming my way and I know what is coming- he motions me to join him and “Yes, mid sentence, I leap from the table, (my husband says I scaled tables- I don’t remember it that way at all) and walk (okay, maybe gallop) to the dessert table. Man, it was worth it and I sampled EVERYTHING!!
I tell you this, because it is the perfect story to illustrate who lies within me! The problem (to some it seems like a blessing) is that I’ve always had this amazing metabolism! This has been a blessing in that it has kept me from being 6000 pounds, which surely I would be under different circumstances. BUT, it has allowed me to get really out of control of this crazy, big problem.
I first started thinking that sugar could be causing me a problem when I was pregnant with my third child. With both babies #1 and #2, I gained a lot of weight, but again it was that “fluffy” weight! Really, really swollen- but I had morning, noon and night sickness and vomited constantly.
Because I was a high risk pregnancy, my docs watched the weight, but more than anything they were watching how lupus was going to treat these pregnancies.
After each baby, I lost the weight and more, so by the time I got pregnant with baby #3, I was 10 pounds under my normal weight and the docs stopped thinking about my weight gain altogether.
My lupus didn’t like baby #3 at all, and tried to get rid of her very early. I’d already done my fair share of bed rest with the others, but with her, I was down for the count.
Because I spent sooooo much time in bed, I had time to pay attention to when and what I threw up.
I craved treats like nothing else in the land! I’ve never been a “salty” craver- but man, I love me a Hard Rock Cafe style Brownie Sundae!
I got sick every time I ate sugar-
I mean EVERY time!!!
But the more I tried to quit eating it, the more I craved it- which in turn led to the more I got sick.
Well that was the beginning, but it was long before we ever started learning about Candida, sugar addictions and toxins in our systems. Long before gluten free was trendy and waaaayyyy long before palio, atkins, and south beach! So I kind of sounded like a fruit cake when I mentioned this to anyone.
I chalked it up as weird pregnancy stuff and really only thought about it while hunched over the toilets for pregnancies 4,5 and 6! Again, the fact that I didn’t have a weight problem led my docs to not really put any weight into what I was telling them.
Side bar here—-> please know ONLY you own your health- you are YOUR expert, if your gut says something, go with your gut!
Fast forward several years and I enter a MAJOR flare up with my lupus. No one can figure out why it flared with such a vengeance and there is nothing we can do to get it under control.
In the meantime, I am learning as much as I can about health and wellness. I’ve seen a HUGE change in my health since I started yoga, so I begin to study mind and balance and holistic living.
It took six years before these two worlds- massive lupus flare and balanced living- would come head to head and there could only be one winner-
Well, balanced living won- (there’s more to that story for another day)
I started playing with my diet and my food intake. I found an amazing doctor who was my advocate all along the way and I had a Rheumatologist at the time who was incredibly supportive. I realized some common ailments when I ate sugary goodness: my fingers and face would swell, I would develop a red rash all over my fingers, I had arthritis type flares in my knees and hips and I suffered from horrible insomnia. EVERY single time, I would say, “look at that, I just can’t believe this is sugar”. And EVERY single time, I would stay away from sugar for a time and YUP!!! I’d be right back at it! I always had an excuse, or a new plan or a new justification (but it’s my birthday)!
|thank goodness my cupcake obsession has finally been released|
If I was an alcoholic, I can guarantee my family would NOT have let me continue to drink- but sugar is socially acceptable. Not only is it socially acceptable, but it is almost worshiped! Don’t believe me?? Count how many donut, cupcake or bundt cake specialty stores in your area- We flock to sugar in our country! There are more treat stores in my town than liquor stores that’s for darn sure!! How often do you see people bring sliced apples to a pot luck and how often do you hear a parent offer ice cream to a kiddo who is good while shopping??? When was the last celebration you had with NO sugary goodness on the table?
|I love me a fresh cream puff stuffed with ice cream & topped with gooey goodness|
So here I sit, five years after I started this journey of discovery. I am more educated, I am an advocate of whole health wellness, I monitor EVERY thing I eat- I check labels, don’t touch white flour or rice to save my life, avoid processed anything, make my own ‘almost everything’ and rarely drink anything other than water. I exercise faithfully and I try desperately to treat illness and ailments holistically.
But gosh darn it, those sugary things somehow still haunt me and somehow they make it past all my food policing and get through. And every single time, I look down at my fingers and think “I just can’t believe this is because of sugar”. And every time I go through the same self abuse-
EVERY! SINGLE! TIME!
|Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Pretzel Crust|
This is all I have to offer you- this is what I’ve learned.
You can make changes, you really can! And you can eat a cookie- you really can!!
Your not a failure. You’re not doomed to failure. You are not doomed to feeling like crap ALL the time!
|One of our favorite desserts for guest nights- Baked S’mores|
Because yoga can vary from person to person and really even from day to day- I LOVE to offer variations to the poses and to teach some of the more advanced postures. I always coax my classes to try something new, even if it means falling! Falling isn’t bad- it’s only by falling that we learn to get back up.
And it’s in the “Get Back Up” that we learn anything worth learning.
But if you never try, you never fall- and if you never fall, you never learn to get back up.
I know from experience that eliminating sugar, flour and processed foods has benefited my health and wellness. I know it because I’ve fallen more times than I can count.
But I’ve always gotten back up and each time, I’m a little stronger-
a little smarter and a little more prepared for the challenges that I might face.
|My favorite- strawberry lemonade!|
I had an awesome massage therapist who sat me down one day, held onto my shoulders and looked me square in the eyes
(You might want to know that my massage therapist is 6’5″ with muscles to rival Rockie!)
and said “God does not mistakes Miss Treisha! He did not make a mistake with you, He did not make a mistake with me. In 6,000 years and more, He has made no mistake- you take this moment and enjoy it for what it is!”
So, I’m saying the same thing to you,
My friend, God does not make mistakes. This journey you are on will benefit someone, somewhere, sometime. Just learn, grow and keep moving forward-
Find something wonderful to say to yourself,
and say it EVERY time you start to think those self negating things that we say to ourselves-
those same things we would be shamed to say to anyone else
and would never dare let others know this is how we talk to ourselves!
Blessings & Balance to you and yours,