Goodbye Snapple Peach Iced Tea. Goodbye Coke.

I went to the doctors’ yesterday for a couple of different reasons. While there, I stepped up on the scale. I know I’ve gained weight–I’ve gone up two clothing sizes in the past few years–but to see my weight at 211 lbs. (I’m five, five) was a shocker. I’ve never been this heavy, this fat, not even when I was nine months pregnant, carrying a 10lb. baby and my ankles were swollen to the size of tree trunks.

Everything seems to be okay and well within normal limits (blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc.), except for the fact that I’m unhealthly fat. I know I’m genetically predisposed for being obese. Family history going back as far as possible indicates most of those in my bloodlines have been fatties, however, I’ve not helped my situation. When I was younger, I was not only skinny, but healthy. Lazy, yes. (I’d rather sit and read than go for a walk–and a walk to WHERE? It always seemed pointless to me.) But, I was healthy, mainly because I ate right, which included almost no sugar. No chocolate, no ice-cream, no cookies, no candy. Four or five M&Ms were enough to make me “sick” of eating sugar. That all changed when I was pregnant with Hallgirl (24 years ago) and I began feeding a sugar moster that cropped up in my body. It’s been a steady decline since then. From 115 lbs. 24 years ago to this, almost 100 lbs. heavier. (Granted I was 16 when I was 115 lbs., and it’s probably not a realistic expectation for me now, but neither is 211 lbs.!)

Honestly, it’s the sugar that is my addiction, and it’s the sugar that has caused me to pack on my weight. For years, I’ve jokingly said that I eat all the things I’m supposed to eat, but I also eat the trash that I’m not. Salads with little or no dressing? Yep. Baked or grilled foods? Yep. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies? Yep. But they are cancelled out by the bowl of ice cream, or the cookies. My healthy breakfast of non-fat yogurt with nuts is cancelled out by the can of Coke I have along side of it. My sugar intake has become so crazy that I’ve found myself eating sugar that actually hurts my teeth, but continue to eat it anyway. How crazy is that?

As I was driving home from the doctor’s appointment, I was thinking of the Coke in my fridge, and the boxes of brownie mix and cookies in my pantry, and the M&M’s I had sitting on my desk at work and I thought to myself, “Is all this sugar more important to me than living long enough to be a parent to Hallboy? Is this sugar more important to me than living long enough to accomplish the new goals I’ve set for myself professionally?” Because, I know that if I keep up the sugar intake, the toll that it’s taking on my body will only get worse. I know that I’ll continue to gain weight, and soon my blood pressure will spike, and my blood sugar will go nuts. (I have a family history of high blood pressure and diabetes.)

So, this is it. Like many who have tried to kick bad habits, I know that the best way for me to do something is just do it, even if it’s cold turkey. With my personality, there’s no “weaning”, so I’ve resorted to drastic measures. Last night, I cleaned out the pantry. The boxes of cake mix, brownie mix, chocolate, cookies, Coke, etc. are out. No more processed and added sugar. Good bye Snapple Peach Iced Tea. Good bye Coke. Good bye French Vanilla Ice Cream. Good bye Oreo cookies and Ghriadelli dark chocolate and Snickers bars. You’ve been the worst kind of friend and although I might miss you today, tomorrow I’ll be glad you’re gone.

Good for you, phall0106! I’m happy that you decided to get a grip on the sugar intake! As a diabetic, I know it’ll be tough sometimes. Just do what you can to stay away from the ‘bad’ stuff.
You know, my husband stopped drinking Coke…he’s dropped weight like you wouldn’t believe! Just from cutting out the Coke! Amazing how much sugar/carbs that stuff has, and it’s equally amazing to realize how much weight you’ll drop when you stop drinking it! Then, since you’re letting go of all the other sweets, you’ll probably surprise yourself! Good luck to you!

My hat goes off to you. I fought and killed the sugar monster/diet of processed and fast food demon some years ago and have even now come to the point where I might indulge in an order of french fries a few times a year and I don’t fall off the wagon. I had to go cold turkey as well - but it was well worth it, especially when I began having children. The StormKids prefer snacking on fruits, vegetables and cheese, and I keep it interesting by introducing a new fruit or veggie each month. They eat it up, literally and figuratively - they have fun choosing the new fruit or veggie of the month. That’s not to say the kids don’t enjoy the cake and ice cream thing. It’s just an occasional treat rather than a way of life. I ditched the sugar monster and though I did give in to temptation more than I should have when I first went cold turkey, it got easier as time went on, especially after I started seeing so many improvements in my health. Good on you for doing this! For me, it didn’t take but a few weeks to see a difference in my health and my weight.

Cold turkey has always been the only way I can successfully cut back sugar, because “cut back” is actually not in my vocabulary. I can’t exercise moderation in this regard at all. So when my sugar intake gets out of hand, I just give it up for some period of time, usually a number of months (until Christmas, or until my birthday, for example). I mentally move refined sugar over into the category of “things I don’t eat,” like styrofoam peanuts or carpet tacks. For me, this is much easier mentally and emotionally that trying to eat only a “reasonable” serving and obsessing over what is “reasonable” and how long I can wait before I eat another “reasonable” serving.

My personal rules for giving up sugar: “Sugar” means any form of sugar, including honey, molasses, dextrose, fructose, glucose – all of them. It also includes fake sugar products (like SnackWells) because I don’t find that eating sweets helps me give up sugar – it makes me want more sugar (or more fake sugar). If a product has sugar (or sugar substitute) as one of its first three ingredients, I don’t eat it. You’d be surprised at the number of things this encompasses: not just sweets but also things like flavored yogurts and most prepared cereals. And once I give it up for a set period, I do NOT eat it (see above re: it becoming "something I don’t eat), no matter how small the bite, no matter how special the occasion. I’ve told people I’m diabetic before to get them to stop shoving a dessert in my face. (I’m not.)

As some encouragement, though, I will tell you it never takes me more than three or four days to not want the sugar I’ve been consuming. I do allow myself to eat more carbs during those early days to sort of ease off the sugar, but then I cut the carbs back to normal so that I’m not just replacing refined sugar with complex sugar. But it’s helpful to allow yourself to transition off of sugar rather than trying to give it up at the same time you’re putting yourself on a diet. That is really, really hard to successfully do, for me at least.

I never liked diet coke, and I still think it’s crap. But I gotta admit, Coke Zero comes pretty damn close to the real thing without having any calories. Fruit-2-Oh is a flavored 0 cal water thing that’s at Wal-Fart, and that is pretty good for the non caffeine hours.

Also, it takes a while to get used to, and harder to add to my schedule to make sure I buy some regularly, but the effort of buying fresh fruit and keeping it around to snack on takes away a lot of the sweets cravings.

I cut out sugar last summer - then this spring it started creeping in again, so I’m having to cut it back out.

What helped me: I told myself I could have a candy bar if I really, really wanted it. But I couldn’t keep any in my apartment and if I wanted one, I had to walk to the grocery store to get one (this was maybe a tenth of a mile, not a big hardship walk or anything). I’m telling myself the same thing now - only now, I’m in Tucson and a walk to the grocery store (slightly further away, but still in easy walking distance) in 100+ degree weather…less likely to happen.

I do keep fruit on hand, and I try to knock the monster back with that before I let myself truly consider walking for candy. Most days, that fruit does the trick.
(Plus, it really helps that I now have my pots and pans back so I can cook in my apartment once more. And not have to eat out every freaking meal of the day. Worst part of moving, really.)

I can sympathize, as I’m really not supposed to have caffeine in my diet. A few years back, I was diagnosed with fibrocystic breasts; it wasn’t a severe or even a moderate condition, but it was enough that it was recommended that I should cut back on the caffeine to very small amounts on infrequent occasions. I had been pretty good about it to start with, as I was able to give up soda pretty easily and I didn’t like coffee, so my two vices were tea and chocolate. However, a few months ago, I developed a taste for coffee as a result of feeling tired and groggy at work, and now I have to work on not consuming it for a while to get back to where I was. Honestly, though, I feel a lot better when I’m not consuming a lot of sugar and caffeine through my beverages now that I’ve gotten used to it. It’s just a matter of not letting an occasional indulgence turn into a habit.

Best of luck on your goals.

Good for you. Your eating habits sound a lot like mine (even the toothaches), but I’ve got lucky genes (or unlucky ones that have yet to kick in). The only thing I won’t consume is sugary drinks. Feel like I’m having a cavity mouthwash. And I consider them emptier in calories than, say, licorice, which has a nice texture.

Cold turkey is paaainful. Good luck. But really, it is the only way to do it. You have to bring your levels down to the point where fruit tastes sweet again. I managed to cut out candy for a while and could barely stomach more than two or three gummies (have desensitized myself since then. Sigh. maybe I’ll give it another go)

I killed sugar cravings by swearing off anything with corn syrup added. Check the label, it’s in a lot of processed foods, even ones you don’t think of as sweet. Now, I’ll let myself get one small dessert made out of real sugar and make it last three or four days. Real food is so much more satiating than fake foods.

Oh, and good call to drop the drinks, I never drink calories. Research has shown that we fail to register liquid calories as real food and most people over imbibe. I have discovered Hansens Natural Diet sodas (Sweetened with Splenda) which hae a great taste. I often drink half of one for dessert.

Thank you all so very much for the feedback, personal stories and most of all, the encouragement. I didn’t realize how much it would mean until I read it. (Dang, where’s the crying smilie when you need it?)

I decided against diet drinks. One, I don’t tolerate sucrolose very well (and it seems that a lot of them have sucrolose in them) and two, the taste is horrible for me. I’d rather drink plain water.

I think I’ve also decided to go along with Jodi’s philsophy with sugar is not one of those things I eat, instead of “allowing” myself to have a bit here and there. I think it would be an obsession before too long much like what Jodi described in her post.

This weekend should prove to be interesting, since I’m a grazer. Maybe we’ll go cherry picking and I’ll sit in a tree and eat myself silly. (No processed sugar!)

You may want to consider a diet plan, such as Atkins or South Beach, that provides a structured method of eliminating simple sugars from your diet (warning, neither allows fruit for a 1-2 week period in the beginning).

Another option, which I have not personally tried but intrigues me, is the “nutritional profile” system they use at – it tries to get you to get all your needed vitamins & minerals from your diet, replacing lower-nutrient foods with higher nutrient food.

For a free online food journal, I like You can track your foods, excercise, weigh-ins, nutritional goals, etc.

I feel your pain. I am trying to lose some baby weight. So many people lose weight easily while they are nursing, but not me! I am cutting out Coke, because that’s my biggest source of empty caloires, and man, is it hard! I just love the stuff. I think you are wise not to go on the diet stuff. I read that they can actually increase your sweet tooth! :frowning:

Good luck! I’m pulling for you!

Did you mention to your doctor how much sugar you consume? There could be a medical reason you crave it and eat so much of it, possibly a deficiency of some sort. Just a thought.

Good luck with it- I stopped eating sugar when I was 20 and having terrible blood sugar drops (brought on after I consumed quantities of sugar). It was hard at first and I did eat sugar substitutes. Over time (a period of years) my brain was reprogrammed so that I just didn’t want it any more. When I started to eat it again a few years ago, I found I couldn’t consume it like I used to- I couldn’t eat a whole candy bar, just a square or two. I couldn’t eat a whole donut and if I got ice cream it was a small serving. I just kind of lost my taste for it entirely. I now can appreciate a good tasting dessert, but I don’t sit around craving it and when I have it, I have a few bites and that’s it for the most part.

I hope you do well, and if you find you’re still craving it like you were, bring it up to your doctor and see what feedback he or she has for you.

Another great diet plan that a lot of people don’t know about is Weight Watchers’ Core program. It’s been compared to South Beach, but there is no gradual re-introduction of anything. You get to eat fruit from the get-go. After trying to lose weight by myself for years and always failing–and almost convincing myself that my hypothyroidism made it impossible to do–I tried Core and lost ten pounds in two months. It’s great, painless, I was never hungry. It was miraculous.

Oh–and join the weight loss club thread!


Honestly, it’s the sugar that is my addiction, and it’s the sugar that has caused me to pack on my weight. For years, I’ve jokingly said that I eat all the things I’m supposed to eat, but I also eat the trash that I’m not. Salads with little or no dressing? Yep. Baked or grilled foods? Yep. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies? Yep. But they are cancelled out by the bowl of ice cream, or the cookies. My healthy breakfast of non-fat yogurt with nuts is cancelled out by the can of Coke I have along side of it. My sugar intake has become so crazy that I’ve found myself eating sugar that actually hurts my teeth, but continue to eat it anyway. How crazy is that?

Don’t feel bad…I have your problem, and I used to be really chubby. I was 5’2" and 152 pounds. But then I grew six inches and dropped ten pounds, and I laid off the sugar.
TIP: Instead of eating like cookies or candy when you crave sugar, eat strawberries or blueberries. They are totally healthy and they taste just as good, if not better, than real candy. Good luck!

What I’ve heard a lot recently was that lemon juice in water helps to fight off sugar cravings. I can’t say that I’ve actually tried it, but it couldn’t hurt to try.

While in no way can I say I have conquered my sugar demons, I can say that I have drastically cut back on sugar intake. Every once in awhile I will have a sip of Coke and am amazed at how sweet and syrupy it is…I used to drink at least 3-4 cans a day plus maybe a large McDonald’s drive thru Coke DAILY!!! I can’t imagine doing that now.

One thing I wanted to suggest to you phall0106, is that while you are working on kicking the sugar habit you might also consider outside influences.

For example: I never realized how many candy commercials are on TV until I started working on supressing my cravings!!

Same thing with the grocery, pharmacy or convenience store…I had to make conscious efforts to avoid the candy, cereal and bakery aisles as sometimes those visual triggers are what would get me.

Not always practical, I know but just something to think about.

Good luck to you, just remember don’t beat yourself up if you have a relapse!

I don’t know about that, but that’s what I was going to suggest drinking in the summer, ice-cold water with a bit of lemon juice. It’s wonderful. If you need caffiene, unsweetened iced tea with some lemon.

Good to hear, phall0106. Let us know how you’re doing with it.
Welcome to the boards, Hollister!

Sliced strawberries are nice in water, and lime juice is even nicer than lemon. Good for you, and good luck.