By Sue Reese Finlay
"Nobody forced me to eat that entire giant bag of M&M’s or that gallon of ice cream; that fourth cup of hot chocolate or those ten cookies... or that box of See's Candies. Nobody. It was all my doing."
In April 2011, I stood sideways in front of our bathroom mirror and took a deep breath as I tried mightily to suck in my stomach. Everyone does this, right? Well, guess what? Nothing happened. Nothing changed. Nothing budged. Absolutely nothing. Not even an eensy weensy bit.
I was perplexed. Gosh, when did this happen?
Could it have been the nearly daily “chocolate runs” to the grocery store? Or all of the cookies, candy, and ice cream I was eating? Maybe it was how I was turning to food to deal with all the craziness that was going on in my world?
No doubt, it was all of the above.
I don’t know about you, but in my early 50s I had come to the conclusion that this was my lot in life: to forever be a slave to my nearly incessant and insatiable appetite for candy, cookies, and milk chocolate, thus forever wearing extra padding in every conceivable place on my body. To say that I had made peace with what I thought would be my reality from that point forward, would be a lie. I never was at peace with it, I had merely accepted it.
I would eat well beyond the point of satisfaction. It became an almost automatic robotic gesture. It wasn’t about enjoying whatever I was eating. No, far from it. What started out as a delicious experience, turned into a race to see how quickly I could devour whatever sweet thing I happened to be eating at the moment.
As I look back, it’s rather frightening, really, how much of a hold anything laced with sugar had on me. With one bite, any ounce of self-discipline or self-mastery simply flew out the window.
I became a slave... a WILLING slave.
Nobody forced me to eat that entire giant bag of M&M’s or that gallon of ice cream, or that fourth cup of hot chocolate, or those ten cookies, or that box of See's Candies. Nobody. It was all my doing.
For me, sugar addiction had become a reality. Once that first bite was taken, the rest was history - even when I was full, even when I felt like I would throw up, even when I had to lie down because I felt so awful, even when my clothes became too tight, even when my head became cloudy, even when I would lie about and hide treats, even when I would spend our last dollar on chocolate ...yes, even when.
Maybe you can relate.
It wasn’t the sugar all by itself that was the problem for me, it was the marrying of it with other ingredients. I didn’t take a bowl of sugar and eat spoonful after spoonful of it. No.
Yet, I could eat cookie after cookie after cookie - or any treat for that matter.
So, what changed for me? What happened?
On April 22, 2011, at about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, everything changed because of one simple question posed to me by my daughter...and my three letter response.
To be continued...
For most of her life, Sue scarfed down as many cookies and M&Ms as she could get her hands on. Thankfully, she walked away from that craziness in the spring of 2011, drastically altering the trajectory of her life.