I woke up bright and early on Sunday to watch CBS Sunday Morning. I knew that after sending out the notice to so many friends and family members that others would be watching, too. Sadly, my group interview was cut from the piece, and I didn’t get to tell my story on national TV. I know that my family thought I did that on purpose because they eat too much sugar. I hope they – and you – still learned a lot from watching it.
So here’s my story that I didn’t get to tell:
I am a sugar addict. I’ve been one all of my life. Grew up with a mom who baked on a regular basis. She made the best birthday cakes – double layered and covered thick with butter cream frosting. Did you know that to make enough frosting for one cake, you need at least one whole box of confectioner’s sugar mixed with a stick of butter? That’s basically the butter cream frosting recipe. I used to lick the bowl when she was done frosting it.
When I was a teenager, I used to bake a lot. Banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, muffins, cupcakes. I loved it. It was one of my fun after school activities. And I’d snack on sugary sweets frequently, when I wasn’t dieting or working out trying to lose weight.
In college, I became a junk food vegetarian – that’s someone who takes all the animal protein out of their diets and substitutes processed, negative nutrition for the foods one should be eating. I became very depressed and anxious, gained a lot of weight, lost all my energy. It was ultimately one of the reasons why I ended up leaving school for a semester. I did go back, but still didn’t realize why I felt so badly all of the time.
One of my first jobs out of school required long hours, and eventually had me working on an evening schedule. To stay awake, we’d drink coffee and eat lots of sugary foods, especially donuts. Then we’d go to the bar and drink beer after work until late.
One day, I got tired of feeling sick and depressed, and also being overweight. I started running and tried my first formalized diet – the Zone diet. I didn’t ultimately stick to this for the long run – too complicated – and I am still experimenting with my diet.
What I discovered from this first experiment, though, was that making some healthy changes in my diet and lifestyle could change my whole outlook on life. I slept better, felt better, looked better, and even thought better. And to my surprise, I was able to stop using prescription and over-the-counter medicines – I simply didn’t need them anymore.