by Jacqueline McFadden, born in Scotland, living in Holland
I didn’t even know I had a sugar addiction until I tried to eliminate sugar from my diet two years ago, due to health reasons, and found I couldn’t manage it. That white, soft ‘harmless’ stuff that is found in almost everything took me on quite a trip – it was the artificial sweetener of my life and I was dependent on it.
I work in a nursery. Every other day there is a birthday, so the mums bring in cake for all the children and for the teachers. Then, with family, more occasions to celebrate with more cake: birthdays / anniversaries / weddings funerals etc., and in between we don’t need a special occasion for a sweet treat because sugar is everywhere, in so many things.
I go to the supermarket – tons more sugar waiting there in everything from curry paste to tinned vegetables, along with the obvious sweet food products: we have become so hooked on sugar, it’s the ‘hidden drug’, an addiction we use to get through the day, take the edge off life – to sweeten things up.
SUGAR: MY SWEET REWARD
For instance, I used sugar as a treat and a way to reward myself – it became my ‘feel-good crutch’ to lift me and make me feel better; but sugar only gives a temporary boost, which would explain why I kept needing another ‘hit’, keeping me in a cycle of addiction. Oh yes, the sweetness of sugar I used to sweeten my life to take away the unpleasant taste life had for me.
In this sugar addiction of mine, life was one ‘big rush’. I was rushing around all the time, doing everything in a hurry – in a sugar ‘rush’: no time to stop, no time to eat, so I always ate quickly (which is a nice way to put it – I chucked my food down, like my body was a dustbin). Did I really taste anything? Of course not, that’s why I was always left feeling unsatisfied, un-nourished, and why I always had a need for a sugar top-up after meals. I was exposed to sugar at home and at school / work, and I gave it to my children, creating the next generation of addicts. We get hooked at an early age, so by the time we are adults we are well and truly ‘sugar junkies’.
It made it easier to crack my sugar addiction when I discovered the unconscious association I made with sugar a long time ago: I used sugar as an ‘artificial sweetener’ in my life, a substitute or a replacement for something I had been missing – my own inner sweetness; the beauty, playfulness and divinity I felt in me naturally as a small child, but had lost. When you lose something, if you can’t find the original you take a substitute – and sugar was mine.
Eating and overeating sugar in the form of cake, biscuits, ice-cream, chocolate, bread, dairy and creamy warm, comfort foods, was a way to not feel the pain of missing the connection I once had to myself, my true self. Every day I missed it, thus the need for a daily ‘sugar hit’ to fill the emptiness I felt.
CONNECTION TO MYSELF
It gets worse. Having lost the connection to myself, my natural sweetness and stillness was replaced with hardness in my body, and a ‘fastness’: a need to get as many things as possible done in my busy day (the sugar rush), no matter the quality they got done in, as long as they got done.
I was in such disharmony and the harm / stress I was doing to my body was obvious in my monthly cycle. Every month my body felt broken, so I had to stop and take lots of rest to allow my body to clear the disharmony that I had accumulated every month. I would crave chocolate at this time, so I fed my body chocolate and comfort food and after my draining, uncomfortable period was over I would continue as ‘normal’ in the fast lane. This was my habit and the cycle of addiction I was in, numbing my way through life.
Deep down I knew it was all wrong for me but as much as I tried I just could not escape or change my life because the patterns / behaviours and emotions were so ingrained, they had been playing me for years and seemed to work… that is until I got a huge wake-up call from my body in the form of breast cancer. This created the opening I needed to break the numbing cycle that I was in.
Sugar is still tempting but I no longer consider myself a sugar addict: the more I honour myself and my body, reconnecting to the sweetness within – the most satisfying sweetness of all – my craving for sugar gets less and less. In total it took two years for the cravings to stop.
To help me reconnect to myself, I did the five minute gentle breath meditation every day, as presented by Serge Benhayon of Universal Medicine. I am deeply inspired by his presentations to live in a way that supports me in creating a more harmonious life.
For example, I now go to bed early to give my body quality rest, I am up early and have plenty of time for me every morning. I eat food that nourishes my body, including meat. I eat slowly – tasting and enjoying every bite which means I do not overeat. No more rushing and no more comfort foods of sugar, dairy, wheat or coffee.
After two years of making self loving choices my body now feels nourished and truly nurtured so there is a contentment and no longer a need to numb myself. That is, there is no longer an addiction to feed with sugar and its ‘artificial sweetness’. Now my body is smiling without it… smiling from inside with my own ‘true sweetness’.