I am asked often, ‘When are you going to write a book on weight loss?’ Let me be clear-I will not ever write a book on weight loss. I will not clog the literary world with yet another book on weight loss and sell false hope to the public.
Diets do not work. I am always amazed that there is yet another book on the next new diet, the new weight loss plan, the latest and greatest fad, the next named weight loss guru, or whatever else comes along. There is not a secret to weight loss. You must move more and eat less. This is a, tried and true, for as long as man has been on the planet-Successful equation- Eat less, move more.
Now addiction, to sugar is a whole another story.
There is an entitlement in our culture to being comfortable. There is an entitlement to quick fixes. We as a culture do not handle discomfort, well, whether it is, emotional or physical discomfort, we do not handle it well. We want to be at ‘ease’ as quickly as possible. We have gotten farther and farther away from hard earned change. If there is a book that will help us lose 20 pounds in four weeks, Americans will buy, If grapefruits are the next weight loss secret food, Americans will buy them by the truck loads, and if there is a pill that will help our ‘restless’ legs and our muffin tops, Americans will swallow them, without question.
The reason weight loss is difficult is because it must be earned, one day at a time. The reason sobriety is so difficult is because it too, must be earned, one day at a time. The reason so many diets fail, is because we are looking at sugar addiction. Substance addiction recovery will never be about control but about abstinence. In other words, you can remove sugar from your diet for a certain amount of time but then as it is slowly reintroduced to the diet, the relapse begins. With sugar addiction, a person will never be able to control the sugar intake for any true length of time. It is the same with alcohol. Alcoholics cannot control the alcohol intake once it is in the body; it creates what is referred to as a ‘phenomenon of craving’, and it is exactly the same with sugar. Once in the system, of a person who is addicted to sugar, they will over a course of time, lose control of the intake and will, either quickly or slowly, be right back where they began. One cookie, will lead to two and then to ten, it is not a matter of will but a matter of bio chemistry and frankly, bio chemistry will win every time. This is the highly unpopular truth of addiction and diets; sugar need to be eliminated not controlled. It the lack of control the addicts die from and the very reason to eat sugar for a sugar addict, is to head back down the path to being overweight and despair.
Without sugar, addicts will lose weight; add sugar, try to control sugar and in time the weight will return. Every time: This is a guarantee.
To all addictions there is a psychological foundation or a certain temperament and way of seeing the world that will propel compulsive and self-soothing behaviors. To be abstinent from all mind and mood altering substances, including sugar, the person will need to look at their way of being in the world, heal what is wounded and learn how to self-regulate their feelings from the inside out, not the outside in. To maintain a life without sugar or substance is a return to hard earned physical and mental health.
This is the unpopular truth and why if I wrote a book on weight loss, it would not sell very well. We as a culture need to get back to the concept of delayed gratification and understand that the work I put in today to change and heal myself will pay off in six months from now. Healing takes time; you cannot rush it. Weight loss, even if you hate to hear this, takes time; you cannot rush it, if you want it to last. Addiction is a chronic issue, and cannot be treated with an acute model. Addiction is with us for a life time, and will not be gone in 17 days, or 40 pounds from now, and once you get into a size 6 jean.
I believe we as a culture need to have paramount shift thinking, from finding the next quick fix to accepting that lasting change comes slowly, and through a new way of living, not a strict food plan. Eat better food, whole foods, heal what wounds you carry, eliminate sugar, and move your body more. Weight loss will come, and better yet a deep love of self and a firm understanding that your life has purpose will fill you from the inside out.
We need to move from giving our power away to scales and clothes sizes and change our idea of beautiful. Imagine what it would feel like to love your body? To really love your body not for how it looks but how it feels and how it moves and what it does for you each and every day. I believe that true success is- to have an appreciation for the strength and power that our bodies innately have within. Change how you love yourself and your body will change too.
For me, I believe true success and health is, when at the end of the day, after the work is done, the children are asleep and lights are out, and it is just me on the couch that I honestly can say, I like the company that I keep.
Sober and Shameless, Kw