Miraculum's Journal, 24 May 2018

Addiction to Refined Carbohydrates

The low level of carbohydrate in the foods I eat quiets the carb cravings that I've experienced since I was a young child.

I've been aware of cravings for sugar and chocolate since age 6 or 7, when I ate my own 10"-high hollow chocolate Easter bunny, and then my sister's, before sunset on Easter Monday. My mother said she wouldn't punish me because I'd get so sick to my stomach that I'd never do that again. She relied on that to "cure" me, but she was terribly wrong. Chocolate became my comfort and most reliable companion.

I had a wonderful, loving relationship with my parents and grandparents up to age 14. I was otherwise compliant, cooperative, and a high academic achiever. I was a bit chubby, not an athlete or popular, and felt "less than" among girls my age.

So, I developed mostly solitary hobbies from second or third grade: reading and studying in my room, stamp-collecting, and writing to pen pals on every populated continent. I earned a ton of Girl Scout badges, most of them chosen because their requirements didn't necessitate group activities.

Mom was naturally thin. No one in the family suspected that I had this addiction, except perhaps my grandmother, who was morbidly obese.

Grandma had to know, because I'd dig into her secret bedroom drawer stash of "Drescher's Melt-Away Fudge" and eat half a boxful every Sunday. (No one ever disturbed me while I was studying behind that closed bedroom door.) She never blew me in, bless her heart!

What my family didn't know was that I would sneak food and even steal money to feed my addiction. If my mother sent me to the store for milk and bread (and cigarettes, back in the day), I'd buy a nickel candy bar. And Grandpa's dresser beer stein full of quarters was exactly a dollar lighter every Sunday evening.

When I was 12, the 86-year-old proprietor of the neighborhood corner store caught me shoplifting a 15-cent package of Hostess Cupcakes (chocolate, of course). My mother said she'd never tell my father, a supermarket manager, who'd thereafter "see [my] face in the face of every shoplifter he arrested."

Six months later, I'd spent school supply money on chocolate. To make up the "loss," I stole two shiny quarters from my grandmother's change purse. She was a widowed invalid, living with us temporarily after my grandfather's death. My mother, convinced that I was becoming a criminal, revealed the cupcake caper to my father and grandmother.

Grandma: "I'm so glad your grandfather isn't alive to see this!

After that humiliation, I stopped stealing chocolate money and started babysitting (which I hated!) to underwrite my sweet tooth. Although, one day, my mother caught me emerging from the bathroom with a purloined half-gallon of fudge ripple ice cream. "If you wanted ice cream, you could've just asked," she said.

No, I couldn't. I could not reveal this awful secret to anyone.

My dear smoking-like-a-chimney grandfather had died at 63 from heart disease. Within six months, my dear mother (age 34) and grandmother (age 69) were dead from massive strokes -- Mom's first, Grandma's third. My father had a stroke at age 74. I am clearly at risk. Did that stop me? Noooooo!

When I started making real money, I graduated from Hershey Bars and Tootsie Rolls to stocking my work desk with high-quality Fanny Farmer "Pecan Dixies" (their "Turtles" with chocolate and caramel) and "sponge candy."

And I didn't stop, even as I gobbled my way from 149 pounds at age 19 to 285 pounds 13 years later. I kept it on for more than 15 years despite developing all the signs of metabolic syndrome and, then, T2 diabetes.

I can count on triggering a binge by eating high-carb junk laden with refined sugar. Something "snaps." I now understand that to be the stimulation of the same "pleasure receptors" that occurs with other addictive substances, like cocaine and heroin.

I never took up cigarette smoking as a teen because chocolate was cheap, legal, and readily available. Same with all the other popular "Age of Aquarius" intoxicants! It has ruled my life.


Diet Calendar Entries for 24 May 2018:
1297 kcal Fat: 114.31g | Prot: 51.62g | Carb: 17.86g.   Breakfast: Aldi Heavy Whipping Cream, Coffee. Lunch: Galbani String Cheese. Dinner: Scrambled Egg (Whole, Cooked), Butter (Salted), Gouda Cheese. Snacks/Other: Archer Farms Raw Almonds Unsalted, Savoritz Wheat Round Crackers, Butter (Salted). more...
3581 kcal Activities & Exercise: Resting - 5 hours, Watching TV/Computer - 6 hours, Sleeping - 7 hours, Reading - 6 hours. more...

24 Supporters    Support   

You're an incredible woman, courageous and blunt and so human! An amazing story teller too, there's so much imagery here. Thank you so much for sharing this. 
24 May 18 by member: brookofmirkwood
I can relate to quite a bit of this. Thank you for sharing. 
24 May 18 by member: cjodyssey
I identify with you because I also love total honesty. It's the best way to get to know ourselves in a real level, and learn to know others too. Our loves and passions some times don't have anything rondo with the world or our personal lives. I noticed I got addicted to pleasure, to gourmet food, exotic flavors I wanted my palate to jump for joy, excite because of the flavors. Even though it sounds good and sexy, it isn't because those addictions interfere with so many things in life. It was years I did not enjoy a natural apple, romaine lettuce, white rice,. More plain stuff. It's good forndetoxifying of all this intense flavors. Take it easy and god bless 
24 May 18 by member: Damaris Berdut
Wow! I can totally relate! My childhood thievery revolved around sugar. I recall stealing bagged marshmallows from the grocery story. I finally got caught stealing a package of Twinkies from a local 7-11. I was probably 12? I never stole again thank goodness. The clerk let me go so my parents never found out. At home, I would steal boxes of jell-o out of the pantry and eat the whole package by the spoonfuls. I can still recall the the rush and flavor of that flavored sugar mix. And finally I can say I would spend my Sunday School money on candy on my way to church. I never realized as a kid how addicted I was to sweets. It wasn’t a “thing” back in the 60’s like it is now. I’m amazed now at what a skinny kid I was then so my family never clued in although surely my Mom must have noticed the missing Jell-o boxes but she never said anything.  
24 May 18 by member: Chow moore
Nice start! Let's go! #grindtime 
24 May 18 by member: jimmiepop
Oh my, what an honest and open journal of your life up until now. My heart goes out to you. I have always had good discipline with my sweet intake and I fully realize that I am lucky. A lot of people struggle with it non-stop and a lot of people lose the battle. You CAN do this. You can win. I can't speak on the level you were addicted to but I can attest to having tons of sugar and creamer in my coffee every day, for years. I also at yogurt that was laden with sugars. Breads made with gobs of sugar. All of those things made me crave ice cream, soda, etc. I had trouble shedding weight for a couple of years, even though I was exercising. I went on a cold turkey cleanse (it was tough) but once I got through it, everything else started tasting sweeter. I went water only for a day, then introduced vegetables and dark fruits for a week. Then I started adding whole, natural, grains and organic meats. When people bring cake and donuts into the office, I can smell nothing but sugar. I have zero appetite for them. I really recommend, if you can hold out, completely cutting out sugar from your diet for awhile. Then slowly introduce the good sugars and your body will no longer crave the bad ones. Sending love, hugs, and support! 
24 May 18 by member: Peasy3
Yes... I understand... because this is looking in a mirror. 
24 May 18 by member: adefwebserver
Thank you for sharing your story! The food addiction is real and it's awesome that you recognize yours from the beginning. You will crush this! 
24 May 18 by member: mars2kids
You ARE a CHAMPION! Get mad at that addiction and kick it square in the arse. What I get from your post is that is exactly what you're ready to do. It is time! 
24 May 18 by member: Minimizeme
Thank you for sharing. You are so strong and will overcome your addiction and weight struggles! 
24 May 18 by member: momma6224
You're an excellent story teller! 
24 May 18 by member: cocobutt
Thanks to all for your support! 
24 May 18 by member: Miraculum
Expect carboholism to become a buzz word at some point in the future. Congrats on being a pioneer in the field. 
24 May 18 by member: Diddlee
I was super skinny until I started "eating for two" but other than that...same! I was already working so I used credit cards because that wasn't "real" money :( I sometimes wish that just any one person understood the level of my addiction...no one would have cared technically but I hid it anyways...I realize now that it was a sign. Still addicted to sugar, but I'm fighting the good fight! 
24 May 18 by member: katies71
I can relate. Chocolate is my weakness until I found that we are allowed so much dark chocolate. Now that I don't have to feel like I'm cheating, I take only what I'm allowed but only a week or so apart. I try my best to stay under my 20 carbs a day. Now if I could only exercise, I know I'd do so much better! 
24 May 18 by member: TheKatspaaa
Katies71, I financed my addiction with credit cards, too. I doubt that many people realize that addictin to carbohydrates can be a financial burden. Addicton is like that! It didn't matter if I had debts to pay. I had to have the "good stuff"! I've often said, "If I were an alcoholic, I'd be on skid row!" Well, mentally and emotionally, isn't that where so many of us are? Truth be told, a "functional alcoholic" might be able to hide their vice. No so with us carboholics!  
24 May 18 by member: Miraculum
Ok darlin, now that you know its a problem you must quit. Everyone says moderation is the key but now for addiction, you must stop. It really stinks too, sorry! 
24 May 18 by member: AngieBarnette
AngelBarnette, you are absolutely right! 
24 May 18 by member: Miraculum


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