Sunday, July 12, 2009

#53 Oy Chew-wawa

I just finished reading Elizabeth Hasselbeck's book, The G-Free Diet. It's about her years of stomach upset and discovering her intolerance to gluten. She has Celiac Disease, and her case is so extreme that she has to be very careful that no flour, wheat, barley, oats and rye get into her diet. I'm not going to go in depth about what she wrote, but she did say something that I thought was very smart and caught my attention. I'll paraphrase: you can't remove things from your diet; you need to replace them. We dieters know this very well. The minute we take away or deny ourselves something without finding a substitute, that's the beginning of the end.

Here's a perfect example, A friend of mine has been a member of Food Addicts Anonymous for years. I'll let you know you this up front, this program does not replace what it takes away. Members of FAA follow the AA [Alcoholics Anonymous] rules, except, in place of alcohol, they cut out all white flour products and sugar. From years of experience as a "us
er", I can say with great authority that sugar is a drug. I crave it, I love it, and when I "do too much" of it, I get bitchy and tired, and of course worst of all, crave more. However, just to see if I could, I decided to cut out both sugar and white flour. I allowed myself the freedom of no time limit, or as AA, OA, FAA recite, just one day at a time. Day one, no prob. Day two, no problema. Day three, oy chew-wawa!!! I went through major withdrawal or detox or whatever you want to call it. I was craving something sweet all day; I was nauseated, shaky and so tired all I wanted to do was lie down. On day 4, I was a normal person again. All in all, I was able to stay off white flour and sugar for 10 days. I lost a couple of pounds and felt great. However, like Elizabeth wrote, when you deny and don't replace, you're going to have trouble in the long run. On day eleven I went to one of my favorite restaurants, Blue Sage, and had my favorite sandwich -- the Farmhouse Cubano [roasted eggplant, melted brie, tomato preserve and garlic aioli on grilled focaccia]. I truly believed that I would be able to enjoy this meal, be "clean" for the rest of the day, as well as start the following day flour and sugar free. I am sure members of FAA, AA, OA and, any other addiction group acronyms, are laughing at me right about now. After that lunch, the rest of the day was pure torture; I was exhausted and craving sweets. I came to the conclusion that I just didn't have the fortitude, discipline, self control nor the desire to do without flour or sugar any longer. But truly, most of all, I just didn't want to stop eating those things with sugar and white flour. Alas, at 47, I want what I want.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This makes me wonder what would happen to me if I gave up white flour products and sugar. Other than the hassles of eating out, it would mostly probably be okay, I can always use Splenda for my coffee. The little bread I eat is whole grain. OTOH, I don't have Celiac Disease or sensitivities or intolerances, so maybe it would just be a lesson in making life unnecessarily difficult. Minimizing things seems a lot easier, more flexible, than eliminating them. I have noticed occasionally that eating refined carbs/sugar on an empty stomach will cause some weirdness, but really I think sugar tastes too good to want to give it up. Most refined carbs I could live without and hardly notice, but sugar, no. Moderation works best for me.