Hi. My name is Linda and I’m a carb addict.
Hi Linda (This is where you as the reader respond)
I’m up 16 lbs from where I was just one year ago and I know I need help.
I first realized I was a carb addict about two and a half years ago. I had no idea until I had a friend suggest trying a low carb diet. I personally thought people who didn’t eat carbs were a little nuts, but being at the end of my rope with my weight and my health, I gave it a try. If you’ve read my blog at all before, you know that in less than a week, my cravings went away, my appetite cut in half and a year later I had lost 50 lbs. I was much happier and healthier than I had been in years.
When I made the change to my diet, I realized that I had a carb addiction. I realized how many carbs I was actually eating and how when I allowed myself that once a month treat, it would have an affect on my cravings and my appetite. I found that there was a reaction within my body that was similar to when I had quit smoking many years ago. It was an addiction just like smoking, so part of my success in regaining my health and loosing weight was recognizing this and treating it as such.
My problem was never candy, cookies, or that sort of thing. Having always struggled with my weight, I knew I couldn’t have those things in the house so I just didn’t buy them. But it was carbs in general; bread, pasta, tortilla chips, lattes, (we will talk about the latte addiction at another time) hidden sugars, etc. that were the biggest culprits.
Now, while some of you may be rolling your eyes at the idea of being addicted to carbs, it has been proven to be a real thing. According to findings published on June 26, 2013 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the quick spike and subsequent crash in blood sugar that comes after eating highly processed carbs activates reward and addiction centers in the brain.
Everyone has heard of comfort food; macaroni and cheese, ice cream, etc. Think of everything you have ever considered a comfort food. All carbs I can bet. Even alcohol is nothing but liquid carbs. No one ever comes home from a bad day and says man, I need a piece of celery or a big salad.
I’ve been off the wagon now for about eight months. It started small. My son had gotten ill while at college five hours away. I had to spend a week in Cincinnati and the parents of one of his roommates at that time were gracious enough to take me into their home. I was grateful for their hospitality and whatever was offered for meals while I was there, I accepted without complaint. The food they offered was very good tasting, but there was a lasagna dinner and other meals that were not part of my low-carb lifestyle. When I returned home, that should have been the end of it. I should have gone right back to my normal eating patterns, but with the stress of his illness, trying to pinpoint what was causing it, and the expenses of all the doctors and tests, etc. I fully admit I self soothed with an occasional carb or a drink. I jokingly told my husband I was alternating the two to keep from becoming an alcoholic or weighing 300 lbs. Okay, I was half joking.
Regardless, the stress didn’t minimize and of course life happens and other stressors compound things and now I find myself in a full blown carb bender. Thanksgiving pushed me other the edge. My husband has a tradition of making his grandfather and father’s stuffing, and it’s one of my favorite foods in the world. As I’m writing this it’s three days after Thanksgiving, and here I had a large bowl for it for lunch. There’s still a huge bowl left in the refrigerator, along with all the other carbs: corn casserole, chocolate cake, and mashed potatoes. I know, I preach what a wise woman once told me and I should listen to that advice, “Thanksgiving is only one day, you will eat again.”
So here I sit, 16lbs heavier. My health is deteriorating. My legs and back ache from the extra weight they are carrying, my clothes and boots are starting to not fit, and I can see how much fuller my face is in photos. My self-confidence is diminishing. I need to make a change and fast.
Why tell you all of this? I could pretend that I am perfect and never make a mistake. Create that “social media persona” of a perfect life. But that would be all bullshit, and as my husband has told me time and time again, I am too honest. I can’t help it.
When I started this blog, I wanted to make sure it was real. I know there are others out there like me that struggle with their weight and with a carb addiction. They may even be like I was and have no idea that is what they are dealing with. I feel that by sharing my story and my struggle with you, my readers, I can hold myself more accountable and get myself back on the wagon; back on the path to better health.
So tomorrow I plan to crawl back up on that wagon and start the process of regaining my health and my sense of self. I know this is a bad time of year to try to do it and with a bachelorette party, wedding, and Christmas all this month, I could easily say that I’ll be like everyone else in the world and start my “diet” on New Year’s Day. But this is not a diet. It is even more than a way of life that I have gotten away from. It is an addiction that is affecting my life and the longer I wait to make the change, the further down the rabbit hole I will go.
So it stops here and now, because I have seen my future face to face and that is not how I want to live my life, bedridden and diabetic in renal failure. I want to be in my 70s, 80s and 90s traveling, seeing the world, enjoying my children, and hopefully some grandchildren; living my life to the fullest. None of that will happen if I let this addiction control me.
If you too are struggling, I invite you to come on this journey with me. Comment here or follow my Facebook page, Linda’s Low Carb Living. Let’s help each other live happier, healthier lives.
Disclaimer time: I am not a doctor or a medical expert of any kind. Just a woman that has struggled with her weight for 40+ years and has finally found something thatworks for me. I’m sharing my journey. I believe everyone must find what works for them and there are many good programs and tools out there but regardless of what you choose you should check with your physician before starting any diet plan, program or lifestyle change.