Short Cut to Sugar Free

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The thing about short cuts to recovery is…

They don’t exist. Being realistic, there are no short cuts for a sugar-free life, and no quick fix if we want a sustainable, lasting recovery.

Somewhere deep inside we all get that to achieve our dream, we must surrender to a process – the process is how we lose the weight, how we crush our cravings, how we find peace.  

The process is how we are going to achieve this thing, -this big dream. 

We see this and agree that we will need to do the work, or we will not achieve the dream. 

We understand there are no short cuts. 

Ah, but.

The uncomfortable truth is, when it comes to health, we forget and are quick to ditch the process.

We prefer short cuts.

We say we want to live life, to experience better health, to participate, to connect and have more energy, to transform – we want the BIG WIN – just not the effort that is required in real life to deliver it):

We buy into the idea of the short cut.

We buy the diet club promises.

We buy into the quick fix.

We buy into easy.

We buy into the lie.

It’s human nature. 

The human brain is an energy hog, and it is designed to conserve energy wherever possible especially when that energy supply is low. 

Therefore, it loves short cuts!

But short cuts do not deliver lasting results. 

Short cuts do not deliver what they promise. 

Ring any bells?

Sound familiar?

That was me, years 18 to 54

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My middle name is persistence although nowadays I reflect this is not necessarily a virtue when it comes to dieting!

It can take years to wake up to the truth of it all but wake up we must if we want to change.

Here’s what a typical cycle of dieting looked like for me. 

And remember this happened over and over for four decades.

I would come to a point where I hated being so overweight, I could not bear to see myself in the mirror. Overeating and compulsive eating seemed to compensate for my lack of friends and tendency to avoid social situations and any way, I was so exhausted from the continual negative chit chat in my head, I had no band width left to offer anyone else. 

I just felt sad, all the time.

I knew my eating was disordered and my relationships dysfunctional and followed the advice in my women’s magazines that a new diet would be the answer to everything.

I would take it seriously and begin to avidly research the best options and prepare to start a new improved regime.

In the lead up to the diet, I would eat more and more because I knew the route ahead was restriction but also some sneaky part of my brain (my red dog) whispered eat it now because its hard times ahead.  It’s going to hurt so let’s make hay while the sun shines!  And other crazy talk.

So, I would follow the red dog instructions (to the letter)  and over eat everything particularly traybakes and hot ginger biscuits, milky coffees and flapjack.  If it wasn’t nailed to the floor it would disappear.

Then the new diet would start in earnest.

I liked this phase because I was in control of my eating.  I was following a plan, doing as I was told and I felt happier because of it.  Also, the weight was beginning to drop off and soon I would start to feel fabulous.  I would buy new clothes, socialise more, and feel that life was generally great.  There is no doubt about it, I was happier than ever.  The happier I became however, the more wary my family became around me.  This is painful to write because I now see this so clearly.  They became almost anxious for me because they knew it would not last.

And it never did.  The tighter the screw was winding around restriction the more unavoidable the release.  And then it would come over something simple: an anniversary dinner where we decided to share dessert with two spoons, a holiday, a celebration, and that was it.  Like a tightly coiled copper spring, my life would implode from the inside out and we would be back down the slippery slope at square one.

Actually, square one plus some because I always gained more than I lost.

Sound familiar? 

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For all us, there comes a moment of reckoning, a moment we have to stop pretending and a moment we have to confront reality.  For me that moment came when I was confronted with the results from my SUGAR Diagnostic Assessment Report and realised the extent of my addiction and that this was not going away.  That was a huge aha moment.

It is like a “coming too” of the senses – where we realise that every short cut we ever set out to change our weight and eating habits was a repetition of the same old thing, repackaged, yes, but still an overpromised conceit.

Had I not been working with a coach; I think this realisation may well have broken my heart.

We must finally admit that chasing a quick fix weight loss and the promise that this will change everything is never going to come. 

A first world problem, a false dawn.

It is never going to come UNLESS we learn to replace short cuts with a process, with a proven strategy to create our big dream.

Just as there is a process that will train us from couch to 5K, there is a process that will hold us as we learn to recover from sugar and processed food addiction. There is almost a century of experience around addiction to alcohol and drugs.  The realisation today is that sugar is a drug, and that food addiction is real.  Tapping into the work of those who have gone before us on this path is key to our recovery. 

And my role is to guide and inspire more sugar addicts into recovery, to light the path until you find your own way through the dark woods. 

There are no short cuts to building something great.

Remember, the tortoise always wins although to be fair that never stopped the hare from trying. Short cuts provide a dopamine fix.  Our brain is hard wired to hunt down easy that’s what we are up against.  Rational thought is also but a distant memory when we are in the grip of an active addiction.

We all want instant results.  And when it doesn’t happen, we give up, we quit even though everything we ever wanted lies just beyond that point of total surrender.  Perhaps the hare is a modern-day cautionary tale?

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Recovery is a verb and there are skills we must learn by doing.  Selling a short cut for life changing results is an easy over promise.  We fall for it every single day and maybe that is our path?  Only when we have chased this quick fix solution time and again and found only do we finally realise there are no short cuts to doing the work.

But I believe in you.

And I know when you are ready to change, you will reach out and start looking for a new direction of travel, one that will bring you home, for the final time.

And I will be there to welcome you!

Confucius says that we are born with two lives and the second one begins when we realise, we have only one.

Keep going!

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