I remember the feeling of days long ago, before my Christian conversion, when I got high–a feeling of lethargy, as if my arms weighed 50 pounds each. I could actually feel the blood course through my veins. I could feel my heart beating without touching my chest. Suddenly things would get very quiet, and my vision centered in more and more as my peripheral vision narrowed. Yes, I remember the feeling. I was feeling it again, but now I was on sugar, not illegal drugs.
Every time I had my blood sugar checked, the results said I had a perfect balance. Then why did my post-sugar experiences rival my previously private pill-popping parties? After much research, I learned that refined carbohydrates like white flour and refined sugar convert into blood sugar. In me, they created an urgent situation that I often ignored.
The basics of what sugar does to the body is this: We eat and the food is changed into sugar which then enters the bloodstream. As the blood sugar level begins to rise, the pancreas sends insulin into the bloodstream. The insulin opens the cell walls, sending sugar from the bloodstream into the cells. Each newly energized cell produces energy for the body to function and perform.
When we eat a refined carbohydrate like white sugar, our bodies borrow essential nutrients from healthy cells to metabolize the incomplete food, but the bacteria in the intestines that manufacture B vitamin complexes begin to die. When the B vitamin complex level declines, the glutamic acid is not processed and sleepiness occurs. We may also experience decreased short-term memory and numerical calculative deficiencies.
Now, I’ve never been a “numbers” person; I’ve always been more of a “words” person. Consequently, I don’t need anything else to hinder my ability to make correct change at my next yard sale! Also, because I’m easily distracted, I certainly don’t need anything to impede my short-term focus.
I don’t have sugar diabetes nor do I have hypoglycemia. According to Potatoes Not Prozac, by Kathleen DesMaisons, I may be “sugar sensitive.” Whatever. I feel drugged.
With my awareness of how what I consumed made me feel, I decided to experiment. I cut out sweets. That may sound simple, but it really wasn’t. I went cold turkey. I was someone who could easily sit down and polish off an entire package of Oreos or Vienna Fingers in one sitting. I couldn’t cut back to just one cookie or donut. No, being a self-proclaimed sweets addict, cold turkey was the only way for me.
I had decided four years earlier that potato chips were giving me zits. I often came home from work and surfed the web, with a large glass of diet cola and a can of pre-shaped potato chips by my side. I called them my computer chips. So in the name of vanity, out went the chips. It was hard, but because I didn’t want greasy skin, I did it. With that memory relatively fresh and with new determination, I set out to avoid all sweets.
Tomorrow, join me back here as I continue to share how I said goodbye to sugar.
January: Begin @ full strength in Christ
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