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Sugar Talks to Me

I knew I was addicted to sugar, as I rationalized that once this last canister of Godiva's chocolate was gone, I would once again get off sugar. I had made a habit of a steady consumption of serious chocolate in various forms: candy bars and hot chocolate drinks in the evening. And then, a clear voice spoke to me, But Susan, you know you can't live without me.

Sugar talks to me. I knew right then, that I was back on my addiction. I go on and off again. I have such sympathy for those suffering with drug addiction, because I too feel so out of control. It controls my thoughts, my movements and choices. I find myself eating a pint of Haagen Daz, and then wonder what has just happened.

I'm also addicted to coffee, again. And my husband, David, has decided to quit cigarettes. Only after becoming fully addicted again. We sat together and talked, wondering at the puzzle we had put ourselves in, again. "What could we fill our lives with, when we take out our addictions?" Fully aware that we couldn't take out our 'favorite' vices and not replace those needs with something else.

So, I asked David if he would like a shoulder massage as we pondered. It had been awhile since this regular ritual of touch exchange had passed. Funny thing, I casually realized as I began to gently massage his shoulders: Sugar has me pulling away and touching him less. After rubbing his neck and shoulders for a few minutes, he softly said. 'I think that's it.'

Sugar Blues
y friend shared this story with me over a late night conversation. I was at once touched, moved and also so awesomely reminded of food's effect. Funny thing. I, too, was "doing sugar" lately. That's what I call it. How I know my version of sugar addiction is sneaking up: I start skipping meals and eating sugar-food stuff (baked goods, handfuls of chocolate chips and hazelnut-chocolate spread on bread) instead of real food. My skin starts to break out, I get dark circles under my eyes, I become irritable and have intense cravings, just to name a few. This usually happens when something is bothering me and I'm not willing to do something about it.

The most powerful part of her sharing was Susan and David's acknowledgment that they needed more soul-food — touch, hugs, kisses and intimacy. You know, activities that fill and nourish you, but aren't served on a plate. I truly believe that we can become nutrient deficient in these primary foods. And it makes you sick and overweight and depresses your immune system.

Consider this: If something's off in your life — work, relationships, lack of inspiration, connection or fun, an upsetting situation, boredom, it can be anything — we often turn to food, in this case, sugar. Sugar can have a numbing effect on our emotions. Sugar can be a lot of things to someone. It can even talk to you.

Sugar Relief
washcloth and bath oilSo, here's the plan. I am inviting you to slow down and touch. Think AT&T and reach out and touch someone. Caress your partner, your pet, touch and appreciate your belly, touch and love your hair instead of quickly running a brush through it, affectionately touch a loved one for no reason, and most importantly, be gentle with yourself. 5 minutes is all you need to turn things around.

Here are some ideas:

  • A week before your period, put a hot water bottle on your abdomen with your hands over it a few nights — very comforting and centering.
  • Hug for longer than just a few seconds, and melt into your hugging partner.
  • Exchange a five-minute shoulder massage with someone.
  • Take a hot bath, light a candle, and gently rub your body, head-to-toe, with your favorite washcloth — it's like active meditation.

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